May 18, 2016 | Ariel and I took the afternoon off for our ultrasound + prenatal check up appointment. We started promptly at 1:30pm. It wasn’t my OB who performed the ultrasound, though Dr. Reyles came highly recommended by my OB. He’s done most of my ultrasound at Makati Med. The request was for biometry and biophysical score. It normally takes a few minutes. Dr. Reyles is a man of few words. He doesn’t talk a lot during the procedure, and instead, he lets my OB explain the results to me during follow up. So he was his quiet self during the process while Ariel and I just look at the monitor. I started worrying when I noticed Dr. Reyles switching from one baby’s heart to another. It was taking longer than usual and I was becoming anxious. After 30 minutes, Dr. Reyles finally spoke. He said that the baby is measuring within norms, heartbeat is strong and blood flow is good. However, they are not moving. Movement is an indication of breathing, which is one of the metrics in the biophysical score. Because of this, Dr. Reyles recommended that we do non-stress test, to further check the babies. We did it immediately and confirmed that the babies are just sleeping. Whew!
After that, we went to see my OB, Dra. Regina Manahan. She just looked at our test results and reassured us that everything is going well. I asked her if we can schedule my delivery on May 28th. That would be the 37th week. OB told us that she can’t just schedule a C-section delivery earlier than full term without just cause. She said that since I am not yet dilated, I have no contractions, and that my belly is still very high, it looks like I will reach 38 or even 39 weeks. Sigh.
After our check up, Ariel and I decided to drop by SM Makati and Glorietta to buy a few more things we will need for the babies. We had dinner out and shopped til closing.
May 19, 2016 3:00am | I woke up feeling a mild contraction. I thought it was Braxton Hicks again. I shifted position and suddenly felt warm liquid gushing out. I stood up quickly to avoid getting the bed wet (successfully!), and ran to the bathroom. I stood there for a while, stunned. I was trying to assess if that was my water breaking or if it was urine incontinence (don’t ask me why I considered it). However, judging from the quantity of fluid, the smell, the appearance, and the fact that I was still dripping after a couple of minutes, I was pretty sure my water broke. I also saw what I thought was my mucous plug. It was white and sticky. At that point, I heard Ariel get up. He said he will use the toilet. I calmly told him that we need to get ready to go to the hospital because my water just broke. He started to panic, and was urging me to rush. I told him to calm down and that there is no need to rush. I told him that it will take a few more hours for me to give birth. LOL. I think I might have asked him to calm down a few times. I said I will take a shower first, which I did. Then I texted my OB to tell her what happened. I decided not to call her because it’s too early. Instead, I called the delivery room and asked for instructions. They asked me to come in, and told me that they will take care of contacting my OB. By 4am, we were on our way to Makati Medical Center.
We got the the Delivery room around 4:30am. I was ushered into the examination room, where I usually have my non-stress test. There, Dra. Manahan’s resident saw me. She performed an internal exam – the most uncomfortable process in my entire pregnancy, and determined that I am not dilated yet. I was also told that my delivery is scheduled for 1pm. What?!!!
Soon after, I was wheeled into the labor room. Hubby was to join me there, after he is done with the paperwork. He was also asked to buy me brunch. I told the nurses I want 2-pc pancake with sausage meal from McDo. After being deprived of sweets and fast food for months, I just want McDo breakfast. The nurses urged me to get a heavier meal but I was set on pancakes with sausage. LOL!
At around 10am, I felt another gush of warm liquid. I told the nurses and they gave me a fresh set of bed pad. I wasn’t expecting I will experience having my water break 2x. But since it’s a di-chorionic di-amniotic pregnancy, it made sense. The wait felt like eternity. I experienced some contractions during that time. Nothing major. Just a few uncomfortable ones.
I had to tell my boss and team that I am going to deliver already, with instructions that I don’t want hospital visitors. Good thing we had our turnover meetings earlier that week. Other than my colleagues, I only told my brother that I am giving birth. I told him to tell my parents so they can pray for us, but not to tell anyone else. I don’t want visitors in the hospital other than our immediate family. Ariel gave the same instructions to his family.
By noon, I was wheeled into the operating room. I was nervous. Ariel and I prayed earlier in the labor room. I kept praying in the OR. I prayed that the Lord will guide the anesthesiologist as he administers the epidural. I prayed that He will guide my OB as she delivers our babies. I prayed for our babies, that they will be healthy. I prayed that there won’t be any complications in the delivery. Soon, the anesthesiologist came and started administering the epidural. It was extremely uncomfortable. They asked me to bend down as low as I can, while I was seated on the operating table. With my big belly, it was so uncomfortable since I had to hold that position for a bit. The male nurse assisting the anesthesiologist kept telling me “konti na lang po, sandali na lang po”. It felt like a lifetime. I felt the needle inserted on my lower back. It stung a bit. Finally, I was allowed to lie down. I felt pins and needles on my legs and was told it was expected. Then I was asked to stretch out my arms to my side. My arms started getting numb. I asked the doctor why my arms are getting numb. He said it’s to be expected because of the epidural. I wasn’t expecting that as I thought only my waist down will be numb.
Around 1:30pm (there was a huge clock on the wall), Dra. Regina told me it’s time to deliver. “Where is my hubby? Please call my hubby.” The anesthesiologist calmed me (he had a very soothing voice) and told me Ariel is on his way and that they won’t start without him. Soon, I felt Ariel’s hand on my shoulders. Then he held my hand. I couldn’t feel and see what they were doing but I heard them say that the baby is out. I saw them carry Amaris to the side and I heard her cry for the first time. Tears came. There are no words to explain how I felt at that moment. Then Alisa came out. I heard her cry, too.
I was so groggy and didn’t remember much, but I remember feeling the babies on me. And I remember someone took our photo. I think it was the anesthesiologist.
I don’t remember much after that. I remember being awakened at the recovery room as the nurse helped the babies latch to me. It was a dream come true. I was feeding my babies.
I was wheeled into my room after a while. The babies were brought to me every two hours to feed. I wanted to room them in but both my OB and the pedia advised against it as I needed to rest. Turned out it was a good idea. I was exhausted. Even the feeding every two hours was tiring. I wanted to sleep for a few hours. But I’m a mom now. I don’t think I will have 8 hours of sleep in the next couple of years. LOL!
Every two hours, the nursery will call so Ariel can escort the babies into our room. This is a security measure to ensure that the babies are released to the right people each time. We had to turn off the aircon every time the babies are wheeled into our room. They get cold easily. They needed to maintain a temperature of 36.5-37.5C. On our second night, the nurse told me that Alisa is cold and will have to be held skin to skin. Both babies were brought with cling wrap around their torso to help keep them warm. Alisa was brought to me. I had to take off my top, hold her against my chest, wrap us in a blanket and sit under warm light until her temperature goes up to normal. Thankfully, she warmed up after a while.
We took the babies home on Day 4. We are grateful that they are healthy and they need not spend time at the NICU. We are grateful that the delivery went well without any complications. My Hematologist advised that I prepare at least two bags of blood. Since I had been anaemic my entire pregnancy, he anticipated that I will need blood transfusion. Thankfully, we didn’t need it at all. We are grateful that recovered quickly. I was able to move about starting day 2, and the pain was manageable. Most of all, we are grateful to have witnessed God’s grace throughout our pregnancy and delivery. Truly, He is a God of miracles. He is a God who provides. He is a God who answers prayers. All glory to our Lord!