So here was the deal. I was armed and ready. I took classes for everything pregnant. Birthing class, Breastfeeding Class 101, 202 and 303, Yaya trained and ready, monthly checkup with the OB was going as planned, baby stuff all washed and ready to use. Birth plan printed and signed. During my 6th month of pregnancy, my OB was concerned that my baby was small, but after some tests, they reassured me that she’s fine and her size is still within normal range. Then one day, towards the end of my pregnancy, during a Biophysical Profile (BPP) – this is also Ultrasound, but takes longer and is more detailed coz they quantify the figures, baby’s physical measurement, amniotic fluid, etc… They told me the news. You’re having a BIG BABY.
The sonologist couldn’t believe the measurement she was taking. She had to repeat it 3 times. But in the end the result was the same. At 39 weeks, my baby was already 8.14lbs and I was only 50% effaced ( for the non moms, meaning my uterus has not thinned out totally. It has to be 100% effaced during birth) and I was only 1 cm dilated (to give birth, cervix has to open up to 10cm). My OB’s first reaction of “OH! MY!” kind of gave me the clue that I’m gonna be a challenge for them.
So after multiple BPPs and NST (non stress test – this is when they hook you up to a fetal monitor, and monitor your baby’s heartbeat, contractions and movement) I faced my fears and talked to my OB about the inevitable – C Section. I know a lot of people who gives birth thru CS, and I know it’s not a big deal, other than the fee is double of normal birthing, but this was huge for me coz for almost 9 months, this wasn’t what I was psyching myself for. It felt like I studied so hard for a certain exam for so long, then none of the questions in the test was gonna be taken from the book that I studied from.
But thanks to friends and family who gave birth thru CS, they have appeased my mind that if CS is the only way to go, then embrace it. My sister in law even told me: “Just think of it as saving your vagina! Haha!!!”
So when I talked to my OB, I was more prepared with my questions and was ready to hear the answers. I asked her if is it still possible to give birth naturally (meaning using LAMAZE method -no anesthesia) and normally (vaginal birth). Take note that by this time, not even a week has passed since my last BPP, and my 8.4 lbs baby was already 9.7 lbs. at 40 weeks, at 41 weeks, she was a whopping 10.0 lbs (I swear she grew on her own and I didn’t overeat or anything, and the next person who would ask me if I did will be sucker punched in the gut… just kidding… ) She told me that some can give birth to big babies normally, but it’s up to me. I was having strong and consistent contractions by this time, but still 1 cm dilated. The way to do it was to induce me, which would make the contractions even stronger, hopefully to dilate faster. But I was worried coz 8 out 10 people I know who didn’t dilate and were induced ended up in CS anyways, with the mom so tired and in pain and the baby stressed. So I requested that if it seems that what I wanted was impossible, instead of inducing me then waiting 6 hours to dilate (my doc only gave 6 hours so as not to overstress the uterus and the baby) then wait if I could actually still give birth normally – which might jeopardize the health of the baby should she be too big for me to push or God forbid her shoulder or her tummy gets stuck, I requested to give birth via CS. No more trial for normal since even if I dilated, the baby might not fit anyways. And I would rather sacrifice anything than hurt the baby.
And so I was scheduled for CS the day after. The night before, I called up some friends and family and asked what I should expect coz above all, what I feared most was the unknown, and the only way to prepare myself was to KNOW what will happen. When I went to the Delivery Room, the moms who I saw the day before writhing in pain were still there, still in pain. And I was secretly thankful that I wasn’t in their shoes. Things went smoothly, there were moments that I was scared, especially since throughout my pregnancy I was expecting that my husband would be there with me during my labor had I been prepped for a normal birth. But since I was gonna have a CS delivery, hubby wasn’t allowed in the room (but I think some other hospitals allow that now, but not in the hospital I was in) Being an over thinker, the scariest part was the waiting for the OB and the anesthesiologist, lying on the operating table, staring up the big lights and wondering —-How things would go? Would I be ok? Is this the best decision for the baby? I hope she’s normal — and pretty and intelligent too if it’s not too much to ask from God … Can that male nurse just GO AWAY!?! 1st time Mom with no undies on the table here!?!
Then they came. The team who will help me see my angel. They were confident and efficient. My anesthesiologist I remember kept saying “I like that!” he kept making casual conversation with me, telling me that I’m tall “ I like that!” and when he found out I wanted to be awake during the operation so I can immediately latch my baby, he only had to give me “one tap”— another “I like that!” and the male nurse that I wanted to go away was there for a reason, to help me bend to a fetal position – which is really hard with my huge belly so my “i-like-that anesthesiologist” could inject me through my spine, another “your strong! I like that!”, when he found out I’m having a big baby, “I like that!.”
After several more “I like that’s”, and a few moments of not seeing anything but the sheet in front of me, hearing others calling out medical terms, others making casual conversation and some eerie noises of medical equipments later, and the longest moments of deafening silence, I heard the most beautiful sound— The sound of my baby girl crying. I remember my OB giving the staff some of my instructions according to my birth plan. Latch immediately, but since I had CS, they had to cut the cord first and the baby was still a little groggy I guess coz of the meds. No immediate bathing for baby, just pat dry.
And when I saw her, and it made it all worth it. All the pain, worries, sacrifices was forgotten. Some people say giving birth is over rated, that it’s just another human experience, but I beg to differ. I felt a different kind of emotion when I saw her. She took my breath away, she made me want to be more. She made me MOMMY. In all my eloquence the only sentence I was able to utter was— “Ang ganda ganda nya…” then she was brought to the nursery and I was off to lala land…
Check back in once in a while for the continuation of this story…