Although I was due to deliver on the 25th of September, Sophie Patrice decided to come out on our family date, just like her sister. However, because I started having a bloody show on the 24th (just like what happened on the morning I gave birth to Caila) we thought she would come out then. We thought the same thing on the morning of the 25th when the blood that came out was bright red, but when we went to the hospital, the doctor said I was just 1 cm dilated. As much as we all wanted me to deliver normally, since there was no sign that I would give birth on the 25th and I couldn't be induced (because I had a c-section before), Dr. Iliana said that there was no choice but to deliver via c-section again. Of course I asked to schedule it for the 27th to which she immediately made the arrangements.
On the 26th at around 9am, my back started hurting. I would feel the pain for a few seconds, then it would disappear; it would return after some time, and then go away again. Mama said these were contractions, but since they were far apart (several minutes up to an hour), there was no need to rush to the hospital just yet. They started to become a bit more painful from 6:30pm, but somehow, still tolerable. A few minutes after midnight, the contractions became more regular but still far apart; nonetheless, I had a difficult time sleeping through the night because of the increasing pain. By 3 o’clock in the morning of the 27th of September, I gave up trying to go back to sleep because the contractions became more frequent, attacking approximately every 5 to 7 minutes. By 6:15am, I felt I couldn’t bear the pain anymore, so even though we were told to be at the hospital by 9am, I told Hubby that I wanted to go there early.
We arrived at Belhoul Speciality Hospital at 7:30am and went directly to the labour room. One of the nurses set up the CTG to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions, and after a few minutes, the OB on duty IE’d me. She had been informed that I was scheduled for an LSCS that day, but upon finding that I was 4 cm dilated, she said we could try for a normal delivery. Hurray! A couple of hours later, I was IE’d again; this time I was 6 cm dilated. In the midst of the pain from constantly being IE’d and the contractions that became more frequent and stronger as the time passed, this was definitely good news. However, when the OB checked again at around 10:45am, she said I was still 6 cm dilated. I was beginning to cry at the thought of waiting and suffering much longer, so I told the doctor that I wanted to push through with the CS. Never mind if I would regret it later; I just couldn’t bear the pain anymore because it was really making me crazy. At each contraction, I would either hold on to the bed bars or pull at my face with my hands while telling Mama “Ma, ayoko na! Ang sakit-sakit talaga! Di ko na kaya!” over and over. Disappointed, Dr. Iliana spoke to Hubby (he was waiting outside) who simply agreed with my decision.
At 11am, preparations began for my operation. I remember in the middle of a very strong contraction, a nurse chose that moment to enter the room and ask me if I had any allergies or preferences to any medicine or food, if I had any diseases, etc. I wanted to scream at the very “perfect” timing (please note the sarcasm) she chose to ask me, but since I still had some manners left in me, I just shook my head profusely while answering “No, no, no” even though she hadn’t finished the questions. After some time, I was taken to the operating room. The patient should be sitting up when spinal anesthesia is given, but I was just too weak and drowsy so the anesthesiologist gave it to me while I lay on my side, and probably because of this position, I could really feel the anesthesia going to my legs. Finally at 11:37am, Sophie Patrice was delivered. When Dr. Iliana showed her to me above the curtain, I just said a weak “Hi baby” and then immediately knocked out. I was told later that considering her size compared to my small body, there was no chance that I could have delivered her normally; she was just too big for me! Good thing I decided to quit trying when I had enough.
I woke up at 1:30pm, and my daughter was brought in to me a few minutes later for feeding. She latched on right away and started sucking, which only meant one thing: I had milk! I was gladly surprised at how fast and easy it was this time. After Sharice had her fill, the nurse took her back to the nursery, and at 2pm, I was taken to my room. I had a quick nap, and at 5:30pm, the baby was roomed in with me.
During the two times that I’ve been confined in the hospital here, I noticed that the foods served were actually pretty tasty...not at all tasteless and bland compared to those in many hospitals in the Philippines, that is. This really helps in the patients’ recovery because they willingly eat the nutritious food that they need. As soon as the doctor said I could eat solid food, my breakfasts were tea, cereal or oatmeal, eggs, and 2 slices of bread with butter and jam. Lunch and dinner meals always had three viands: 1 veg, and 2 non-veg (chicken, beef, fish), plus soup, green salad, fruit, and dessert. Aside from that, I also had 2 snacks: one in the morning and one in the afternoon, which were usually a small portion of pastry dessert, biscuits, or yogurt and juice. I remember I finished everything on the trays almost all the time.
I heard that since it would be my second c-section and they would be opening up the same cut as my first, recovering would be more painful. On the contrary, it was actually much easier this time around. I went through pretty much the same things I did more than 3 years ago, but the pain wasn’t as much as before. Beginning to walk again the day after my operation wasn’t agonizing, and when I laughed or sneezed or coughed, I wouldn’t bend in pain. And so far, I haven’t experienced postpartum depression. I’d like to think that my being able to breastfeed right away, having Mama here and Hubby was already on leave prior to my delivery helped…a lot!
Unlike my first delivery where we had to pay for everything, thanks to Hubby’s family benefit, I had maternity insurance to cover the expenses this time. Initially, we thought we had to shoulder 20% of my bill because that’s what he was told was his entitlement based on his job level; but when he went to the Billing Department, he found that we had to pay only 5%! It was absolutely great news! Of course we had to pay the full amount for Sharice’s bill, but it wasn’t much. In the end, we just had to pay approximately Dhs2,000 in total. Whoopeeee! Hubby was practically dancing Gangnam Style. =)
And considering he still wants to try for a boy, if I still have maternity insurance and if we’ll be able to afford raising another child, I have no problems going through all of this again…that is, if my next pregnancy, delivery, and recovery will be as easy as this.
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