Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Raine's Here, My Feet Are Back and Other Tales of Birthing Joys and Pains

Into our lives a little Raine has come.
Erynne Isobel Hermoso-Prudente arrived with a lusty cry of protest on Wednesday, 28 March, 10:27PM.
WARNING: may contain graphic details and words such as "vagina" and "blood". And this is going to be a long post. Possibly in several parts.
Raine, Please Come Out Already
I guess it's a real sign of a Daddy's Girl. On Monday night, The Hubby told Raine that she could finally come out, and Tuesday 1:30AM my bag of water started to leak, complete with bloody show.
I woke up The Hubby to tell him, and my mom woke up as well. Calmly, The Hubby asked if I was having contractions. At that point I didn't know what contractions felt like, so I reluctantly said no. Both my mom and The Hubby advised me to go back to sleep and call the doctor at a more decent time in the morning. I admit I was a little upset that they didn't seem to take me seriously (The Hubby even asked if I was sure I just didn't pee in my pants!). The Hubby and Da Mom went back to sleep, but I was too excited and sort of worried to sleep well.
Got to talk to my OB at about 8AM and she told me to go to the hospital for assessment. So we took our time--bath, light breakfast, The Hubby backed up files on his desktop, and Da Mom and the giant of a baby seester prepared for a go-see. Finally got to the hospital around lunch time, to find out that our OB's team had been waiting for us. Oops.
To cut a long, long, long tedious story short, we had to check in Cardinal already because I was leaking and about a centimeter dilated. At 1:30AM Wednesday, I lost the mucous plug and there was more blood--and I finally learned what a real contraction felt like. I was contracting every 10, 15 minutes throughout the night, so that didn't make for a good night's sleep. Plus they put me on a fast, so no water at all. Almost died of thirst. Finally, at a more decent time in the morning, they allowed me a light breakfast. Then at about 10AM they wheelchaired me to the delivery room, where I was given an enema. Now that is an experience that is beyond words--going through the after effects of an enema while getting contractions. It's enough to make you sweat blood!
When they finally let The Hubby into the labor room, I had already been given an epidural, so I lay there, comfortably contracting, sometimes drifting in and out of sleep. The Hubby and I also enjoyed the tiny cable TV in the labor room. We were thinking that by 10PM, Raine would be out and I'd be back on our room, and we could still catch the new episode of CSI on AXN. But alas. It wasn't meant to be. After two-and-a-half hours of pushing, Raine just wouldn't come down, so the OB called for a Cesarean. I was strapped onto the operating table, crucifixion style. The anesthesia they gave me made me chill terribly, as in there I was, like something out of exorcist, tied down and shaking and rattling the bed while they did their rituals. And so after everything, Raine finally arrived--huge, screaming and very, very beautiful.
Raine weighed in at 8lbs, 5oz and was nearly 21 inches long. Big baby just like her mommy (I was 7lbs, 15oz and 22 inches long). She was the biggest (and prettiest of course) baby in the nursery. I could only start breastfeeding her Friday, when they took off all my attachments--the IV, the epidural tube and the catheter. I got to walk to the nursery and she latched on and sucked enthusiastically. It was so surreal.
Oh, side story after they took off everything. I tried to stand and walk around the room, and suddenly, there was a strong gush of blood running down my legs. It was like one of those classic Pinoy flicks. The Hubby, who just woke up, was telling me to stay calm and not panic as he zipped around the room, essentially panicking in a calm way while I stood in a puddle of blood. Finally, a nurse came in, saw what had happened, called a couple of very pleasant (female) orderlies who cleaned me up. End of adventure.
We took Raine home Saturday afternoon.
I also want to say we had such a great birth experience in Cardinal Santos. The whole staff, from the interns to the residents to the nurses to the orderlies to the people who clean the rooms, were all so nice. Very pleasant, very professional. The facilities were clean, even the bathroom (I dread hospital bathrooms--they look like the very place you catch disease). My core doctors--the OB, the anesthesiologist and the pediatrician--were extremely competent, and they made me feel I was in very good hands. I'd choose them again if I were to go through this again (maybe in three years--have to really think about it).