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Manila, Philippines

Rose's Childbirth Experience

dear utols and friends,

as many of you may have already known, by God's grace, Juan Jeiel has been safely delivered via normal delivery section. he was born last June 13, 2000 at 8:35 a.m. i haven't gotten round to writing you all about it sooner 'coz both dan and i are so preoccupied with taking care of precious Jeiel (actually, just watching him most of the time... totoo pala ang lyrics ni Freddie Aguilar -

at ang nanay at tatay mo
di malaman ang gagawin
minamasdan pati pagtulog mo....

(Your mom and your dad
don't know what to do
they watch even the way you sleep...)

God is SO GOOD!!! My contractions started coming at 6 pm of June 12. but they were not intense; mostly lasting less than 1 minute with intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 1 hour. (Actually, I already had a blooding show at 10 in the morning of that day.) dan and i were watching a movie on the VCD until 1:30 a.m.; contractions were still relatively bearable and more than 15 minutes apart.

dan was keeping time and filling up our "Labor Progress Chart". he figured that D-day is probably days, even weeks away; me, i kinda know that it was just hours away. at 2 am, the contractions started to intensify, but still spaced rather far apart. i had to go to the bathroom several times.

a little after 3 am, i sensed the contractions to be getting even stronger so that i already prepared to go to the hospital. dan had to hurry after me ('coz he really thought it would be still be days before i give birth). at 3:30 am, we were on our way to PCMC; as we were going to the parking lot, my water bag broke (3:40).

we went straight to the labor room - i already have my folder with me containing all pertinent medical information they need to know about me and my pregnancy (siempre, high tech din with all the charts monitoring my blood pressure, my intake of meds, etc.) when an IE was done, ala eh, 7 - 8 cm. na pala. (full dilation is 10 cm.) i think, too late for an epidurial block. my BP was shooting up, nag- 160/90, at which point, i concentrated on simply relaxing, doing my breathing exercises (thanks to the Prepared Childbirth Class dan and i attended under Chiqui Brosas-Hahn).

at 4:45, my OB-gyne spoke to dan over the phone to assure him that she is already on her way to the hospital, and that she will personally fetch the anaesthesiologist she chose to work on me. at 5:30 am, she was already there. IE again, ooops, balik sa 6-7 cm. since my BP was really on an increasing trend, the OB informed dan that we could risk doing Lamaze; in fact, she was already preparing for a CS delivery. she asked dan to contact our blood donors and have them come over for their donation. it was already about 7 am and most of the donors, except 1 have left for work. at that time, my BP stopped its ascent and just settled at a less uncomfortable 140/90; this was after the sedatives have started to take effect.

dan was informed that i will be given a spinal block but that they will forgo the local anaesthesia to be on the safe side. the insertion of the spinal anaesthesia hurt but no so much because they timed it with a contraction (in other words, mas masakit actually 'yung contraction in comparison).

after that, i was asleep most of the time, in between contractions. the doctors would wake me up everytime there is a contraction and they would give me instructions to PUSH!!! problem though is that i was numb from the waist down; so actually i was just simulating the pushing routine. i got feedback from my doctors if i was doing it right.

the rest was just a blur.

i kinda remember being shown jeiel (this was at 8:35 am), to which i tearfully remarked, "ang baby ko..." ("my baby...") i wasn't able to hold jeiel then 'coz i was so groggy. my OB just informed me of what happened next. as it turned out, part of the umbilical cord was wound around jeiel's neck so that each time i would push, jeiel's head would start descending and go back in after awhile. and so, my OB had to use forceps.

afterwards, my placenta (low-lying as it is) would not disengage itself from my uterus even after 30 minutes. and so, my OB had to manually extract the placenta. hence there was more bleeding than usual but it was not so severe that required transfusion ('yun nga lang tapos nang nag-donate ang aking donors, 2 of them). i was just given a shot of ferrous sulfate (given intramuscularly) to stimulate production of hemoglobin. i also need to continue my iron supplements for 3 months, just to be on the safe side.

so, you see guys...GOD IS SO GOOD!!! all of our prayers were answered. thank you all for your support and encouragement. looking at all my risk factors, i really couldn't imagine how things would work out. i only know that God is in control of everything.

Jeiel is now 9 days old. at birth, he weighed 5.85 pounds (lower bound for "normal" infant weight is 5.5) and he measured 51.7 cm. in length. (of course, you would recall that that was one of my apprehensions given that my total weight gain was only 13 lbs.)

he has a fair complexion; mama's nose, mama's lips; mama's legs. we have to wait a few more weeks or months probably to see what he got from dan. this young, he doesn't even seem to have a prominent jawline. the shape of his face, parang sa akin din yata, eh. meron din siyang sideburns (again, like me....) may dimple (like dan and me).

he has long fingers (puede daw basketball player, says the proud papa; or else pianist, sabi ni contented mama). his feet are also long. alanganin nga 'yung ibang booties 'coz they are too short but too loose for his "slim" legs. he's POGI, if i may say so.

yesterday, we brought him to his pediatrician/friend. good news is, he's gained weight - 7.3 lbs. na siya. fully breastfed siya, thanks to my friends who breastfed their kids and who were only too eager to teach me how to do it.

first week?!? well, wala halos tulog. wala pa kasi siyang pattern. sometimes, he would wake up for feeding every hour, sometimes after only 30 minutes, minsan naman after 2 hours. iba-iba. pero ok lang, malakas naman siyang mag-feed which would explain the weight gain. hopefully, by the time he's 1 month old, medyo mas may laman na siya.

got to sign off now. jeiel's about to wake up. again, thank you all for your prayers. above all, Praise be to God.

juan jeiel (sleeping with a contented smile)

PS i have attached a letter i wrote for jeiel on june 12, the day before he was born. 'thought i'd share it with you all.

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