On the 38th week of my pregnancy came the labor signs. It began with light pain--like menstrual cramps. There was a bloody show on the afternoon of July 21, 2017.
Early morning of July 22, around 2:30am, I started to have contractions. I timed it using the downloaded contractions app and I welcomed the pain I was feeling. Since the contractions are about 10 minutes apart, I tried to get some sleep to preserve energy, but my mind kept thinking about the things that needed to be done.
At this time, my husband was at work overseas. I only had my eight-year-old daughter and a helper with me. I manage my small household. That means the helper takes care of my eldest, while I take care of myself.
When the contractions were already less than 5 minutes apart, at around 4 am, I started sending messages to Doula Ros and she came to my house at around 5:30 am. I labored at home until I cannot bear the pain any longer. Doula Ros was there to watch over me and guide me on my breathing and positions, to somehow manage the pain.
At past 7am (if my memory serves me right), I can’t anymore hold the urge to push. And the pain started to get more intense. I told Doula Ros that we need to go to the hospital. So off we go. Me, Doula Ros, my eldest, and my helper with all the bags, went to ride the Uber car that would take us to the hospital. The 15 minute trip seemed to be so long as I labored in the car on my knees.
When we reached the hospital, I was told I was already almost fully dilated. I can’t remember if they also informed me how fully effaced I was. But they rushed to prepare the labor room. In less than 10 minutes, Dr. Rey-Matias also arrived. I thought–this is it! I am ready! Game face ON!
Aside from Doula Ros, my daughter was with me in the labor room. Yes, our Yasy was part of my birth team too! I am sincerely thankful to Dra Rey-Matias for standing up for my right to have my daughter with me during the labor. Because the labor room nurses initially sent my daughter out. But Dra. Rey-Matias fought for me and supported my desire to have Yasy by my side. My daughter was eight at that time, she is just a kid, but she behaves well. That was the only condition she was given to stay with me in the room.
Her hugs and backrubs helped me release the natural oxytocin I needed to aid my labor. Though I felt unbearable pain, she calmed me and helped me focus on my goal.
Almost six hours passed since we arrived in the hospital, and the contractions were regular, but there was little progress. I was not fully effaced. My water bag hasn’t popped yet. I am gradually losing strength but I was bearing the pain without any medications. Before 1pm, Dr. Rey-Matias suggested that we rupture my bag of waters. It was against my birth plan, but after discussing with Dr. Rey-Matias and Doula Ros, I agreed to it. Rupturing the water bag was done with the hope that it will speed up the labor.
After an hour and a half from the ruptured membrane, there I was still in labor. They had to monitor the baby. Thankfully, he was not “stressed” and was just relaxing in my womb. He wanted to stay a little bit longer. This time, I was able to take short naps in between contractions, while waiting for that big push!
At 320 pm. I was back on “all fours” with the yoga ball. And Yasy was still there to comfort me.
At 417 pm – He is coming! I let out a big moan, signaling the unbearable pain. I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to Yasy as the nurses wheeled my bed to the delivery room. Dra. Rey-Matias was already in her full gear, ready to help me deliver the baby safely out. With one last big push, out came the baby! After nine hours of active labor, at 4:23pm of July 22, 2017, Jiro came out of his comfort zone (aka my womb).
I was in tears. The moment has finally come to hold him in my arms! I thank the Lord for guiding and leading the whole team to bring Jiro in this world!