I kind of feel obliged to write about Joaquin’s birth story because I did one with Kai – My High Risk Pregnancy
35 weeks in
The last Netflix episode I watched the night before was Locke and Key. I was probably already in labor while watching that night. I felt the contraction which I thought again was Braxton hicks. I didn’t mind it and just watched until we went to bed. I remember waking up in the middle of the night because I’ve gotta pee, I felt the contraction but I just returned to sleep.
The next morning, everyone climbed out of the bed except for me (which was unusual according to my husband). I had contractions and waited for one to stop before I got up. It was painful but not as painful compared to what I felt when I almost gave birth to Kai at 31st week, so I just brushed it off . The first thing I ate in the morning was coffee jelly. Enjoying every bite, I sat in the sofa thinking “am I going to deliver this baby today or not? hmm maybe not”
And so these contractions still didn’t stop and occurred every 5-10 minutes. I told my husband about it and that maybe it was nothing. I installed an app to start timing the contractions. After a while, the app set an alarm off that said “Go To Hospital now Emergency” with red font and all that. Okay, freaky. So I texted my OB, gave her the details and time of the contractions. She responded and instructed me to go to the delivery room.
Our pregnancy/hospital bag was still empty (again!). We planned to pack everything we have that weekend and buy the rest of the things we need, like a crib or newborn tie sides. Why my babies are always in a hurry to get out, I don’t know either. lol.
While my mind was reeling from it, the pain was getting a bit stronger. I still took my sweet time to take a bath and fill in Kai’s feeding bottle with water. I was worried that she’d cry if we left her but thankfully she didn’t. We kind of prepared her for this scenario. Before we put her to sleep every night, I’d tell her what will happen if the time comes that my tummy would be in pain, that her daddy and I will need to go the hospital and that she’ll stay with Tita Chie (thank you ate Chie) and Kuya Mithi, to play and that she’ll go visit us soon with my mom when everything’s okay. Kai listened intently and would always say “okay, mommy”. I didn’t even get a kiss when I left because she left hurriedly, which made me a bit sad.
At the hospital
It was Sunday and there was no traffic. In less than 20 minutes we arrived at the hospital. I went straight to the HRPU on a wheelchair. My OB had another patient at the delivery room so I didn’t see her right away, it was only the resident doctors who did an IE. I asked about my cervix dilation, they just said “malapit na” I was thinking maybe they gave me a vague response because they wanted me to wait for my OB (and not push yet) given my history. They did an IE again after a few minutes. I calmly asked them again and they said it was at 8cm-9cm already. I think they injected me with a steroid for the baby. They offered epidural but I tried to refuse it. Eventually, I gave in because they said it was going to be painful if they break the water bag inside.
After the epidural shot, I stayed in one of the HRPU room. Toppet was allowed inside and so we talked quite a bit. After about 30 minutes or so, at least that was what it felt like, I closed my eyes just when I started to feel the pain again and the contractions were getting really intense, like the epidural shot wore off in an instant. Sayang lang haha.
I told the doctor it’s coming out and I can’t keep it in any longer. They called my OB and they brought me to the delivery room. We didn’t have a birth plan but my OB already knows that I was going for VBAC, Vaginal Birth After Caesarean, and she encouraged me. We even had a monthly check up the day before ha! Who would’ve thought we’ll see each other the next day to bring this baby out?
Joaquin stayed in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for two weeks. His oxygen levels were low and he had to be intubated. He wasn’t roomed in with me even until I was discharged after two days of giving birth. It was hard for us to leave him there.
My husband wanted me to stay at home and recover, but I just couldn’t stay at home even though my postpartum edema was already showing. My hands, feet and ankles were swollen for days. My incision wound was in constant pain but it didn’t stop me.
From pumping milk every 2-3 hours, drive to the hospital at lunchtime, bring the milk to the NICU, check in on him do the skin to skin contact or KMC (kangaroo mother care) and tried to feed and make him latch. Then Id have a quick break, pump milk at the hospital then leave the milk again at the NICU, this everyday for almost two weeks. I’d go home past 7- 8pm, sometimes at 9pm when theres heavy traffic. When I get home Id spend time with Kai and continue pumping milk.
What got me through everyday was a neck pillow I’d use to sit on (mothers know what its for lol) and a Mars chocolate bar that I’d buy at a convenience store (my closest substitute for Milky Way). But kidding aside, it also helped that my friend, Tin (thank you!) would send food at the NICU so that I didn’t have to buy or think of where to get my lunch/snack.
Toppet felt bad that I had to do this alone but I knew he was struggling too. As much as he wanted to come with me and be there for our son, he had to work and look after Kai with my mom at home. You know the feeling where we want to be in two places at once? Because I also want to be there for Kai, we were missing each other for two weeks. Toppet and I both agreed that we’re doing what’s best for our kids.
We were exhausted. I was emotional. My hormones were all over the place. Sometimes I’d cry in the car at the parking lot before leaving the hospital. You know just breathing and letting it all out.
But we endured. Our baby is finally home. Looking back, if I have to do and go through it all over again for these two, I would.