And just like that, it’s 2016! And it’s already February! Christmas and New Year just came whizzing by that, to be honest, I didn’t get a chance to savor them at all. In a sense, it was the best Christmas yet because we have our little bundle of joy with us, but at the same time, I can easily just dismiss the thought. Time can be irrelevant when you’re taking care of a newborn.
It’s been almost two months since I gave birth to my handsome and adorable (says his mommy) baby boy and, similar to life’s other milestones, I’m writing my birth story down before I forget the details, especially if what they say about the long term effect of anesthesia is true. :P Having had a cesarean delivery, I really don’t have an exciting story to tell as those moms who delivered normally. But I’ll tell it anyway.
My family and colleagues know that I really wanted to give birth on the first week of January (my estimated due date was January 8), however things took a surprise turn when we went to the doctor on December 19 (my 37th week) for a regular prenatal visit. Apparently my blood pressure was consistently rising in the last two visits and my edema looked beyond normal to my OB-Gyn (I looked horrible!) that she had to break the news to us that I’m giving birth that same day, else both baby and I will be in serious danger if we were to wait until after Christmas. Deej and I were at her clinic at 11:30am, she scheduled my cesarean delivery at 1:30pm!
So from the doctor’s clinic we walked straight to the delivery room, laughing along the way because we didn’t expect it to be that soon. We then texted and called our family and close friends to break the news and ask for prayers. Good thing our hospital bags were stashed in the trunk of the car, but still, it all came as a big surprise to us. We were supposed to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens that day. Lol!
Being inside the operating room was very daunting, especially to me who has never been confined or treated for any serious illness before. I prayed nonstop in there so I can overcome my fear. Thank God, the only real pain I felt was when they placed an IV in my hand. It was scary though when they gave me the anesthesia and I felt my lower body slowly turn cold and tingly. Deej being in there with me made a lot of difference. I had a moral support and a photographer!
Before they started, Dra. Madelene Ang-de Joya, my OB-Gyn, asked me how I want my cut to be – horizontal or vertical? I just shrugged and she said, “Okay, vertical it is.” I didn’t really care, I wasn’t going to wear a bikini anyway.
The whole process of getting the baby out took about 45 minutes. I was awake but groggy the whole time. At one point, I even felt bored and drifted off to sleep. But I suddenly sprang back to life when I heard the baby’s cry for the first time and Deej’s voice telling me, “Dylan’s out!” Hearing his small and squeaky cry was music to my ears. From the point on I just kept looking to my right where the doctors were cleaning and checking him. I remember asking Deej to check if Dylan’s fingers and toes are complete. Haha! They brought him back to me immediately for our unang yakap and to make him latch (MakatiMed strongly promotes breastfeeding of newborn babies). My anxiety instantly went away and was replaced with inexplicable happiness. My Dylan Jacob is finally here!
Closing me up took a bit long, and by 4:30pm I was in the recovery room with Dylan in a bassinet beside me. Deej arrived a few minutes later as he had to give an update to our families who were all waiting in my room. My back and arms were so itchy which I later learned was a side effect of the anesthesia. I wanted to sleep at the recovery room but with Dylan by my side, I really just wanted to stare at him sleeping, making sure he doesn’t go anywhere. Haha.
By 7:30pm they wheeled Dylan and me to our room and everybody was just all over him. I wanted to chat and tell them how everything went but I was so exhausted. Dylan was just sleeping most of the time so I was able to rest a bit as well, waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse him.
The following day, I was already out of bed and walking. I tried to regain my strength (and to fart and poop!) immediately so I can be out of the hospital right away. Deej and I were very conscious of the hospital bill. LOL. By the fourth day (December 23) we were home with our little prince. We call him prince because all we do now is all for him and about him. Haha.
Before all these, my close friends know that my biggest fear really was childbirth. But I realized that delivering a baby (via c-section at least) was hard but not as hard as I thought it would be. There was a lot of pain and discomfort after the operation but it wasn’t something I couldn’t handle. The real challenge was taking care of a newborn, especially because I chose to breastfeed exclusively. Contrary to childbirth, I thought breastfeeding wasn’t a big deal but it is actually extremely difficult and frustrating. But that’s a story for another time.
It’s been seven weeks since and I’m happy to report that my CS wound is healed (at least on the outside) and I can function like a normal human being again. I’m still sleep-deprived and struggling with breastfeeding but things have definitely improved over the last few weeks. My next challenge is storing enough breastmilk for when I go back to work next month.
I’ve come to accept that the challenges a new mom faces will never end. :)
Thank you Jesus for my little boy. <3