The Baby That Made Me Cuss
I was admitted to the hospital at around 1am of 5th September 2009. After the initial IE in the emergency room, they wheeled me straight to labor room, saying I’m ready.
Once in, I was not allowed to have water or food anymore and I had no communication with anyone in my family & friends. I intentionally left my phone for the reason that I didn’t want to be distracted while I’m in this thing called “labor”. I wanted it to end as fast as possible too and at the same time, I wanted to relish each moment with no phone ringing, etc. Focus, focus, I’m giving birth and it’s my first baby!
But what transpired was nothing like what I expected. My cervix was refusing to dilate. It was literally in slow motion (or no motion at all) despite the fact that my water bag is already tense and ready to burst! I was staring at the wall clock unbelieving of how much time had gone and I’m still not there yet! I wanted to understand why my cervix is taking ages to cooperate. I started to worry… yet I remained calm. I guess that’s what I was known for – being able to stay calm in any given situation. I was sooo hungry, thirsty, and bored though, and not to mention, in pain. Had I known, I would have brought my phone with me – at least I could talk to my hubby and get some sort of needed relief (by scolding him for impregnating me? LOL!). Calm and collected, starving, bored… I stayed there waiting for the time, feeling every pang of labor. From time to time, my doctor would ask me if I wanted to take some pain relievers. They wouldn’t know if the pain I was feeling is still bearable to me or not, maybe because I was exceptionally quiet. I said no to pain relievers. In my mind, I’m relishing it, experiencing every bit of it. Nice to meet you labor!
Good thing I was the only one in the labor room that whole time. I couldn’t imagine having someone lying next to me, screaming, cursing and calling for their moms, etc. LOL! I heard lots of funny stories like that. Also, my timing was peak season for interns! 🙂 I was surrounded by so many interns – each one of them taking turns in monitoring my condition. I was pampered. The only thing I didn’t like is when they got too noisy in the room, reviewing for their upcoming board exam, exchanging stock knowledge, ideas, hands-on experience, reading review materials and just chatting away the time. They were totally oblivious to the fact that there’s one woman in the middle of the room “in labor”! Perhaps that is the downside of being so quiet and calm – they tend to forget you are there. Grrr! Much as I am grateful to each one of them, I wanted to yell and complain, but then these people are studying! They are putting to good use of their idle time waiting for my dear cervix to give way. They are the pioneers of Silliman University Medical School and they are the wonderful students of my very own OB-Gyne, Dr. Gem. If they would make it to the board exam with flying colors, I would be very proud of them all! So, I let them be, until one doctor asked me if I wanted to sleep (she must be a mind reader!) I said yes to sleeping pills without hesitation. Slumber is the perfect answer to this debate of medical terms and board exam questions (Silliman got 100% passing rate in that board exam, by the way).
My seemingly endless time in the labor room went on… After 14 hours of labor, my doc decided to just prick my water bag to aid my cervix in opening up to the extent required. I agreed. After a few minutes, they whisked me to the delivery room. Now is the time to push it with all my might and then I’m done. Okay, I’m ready to do it! I thought. This is the time we all have been waiting for!
One, two, three, push! No, I couldn’t get my little nudger out! I didn’t have the strength; I didn’t have the energy. I begged them for water. I was pretty sure I would be able to push him out with an ounce of water in my throat. But they said no, absolutely not allowed. Another try at pushing… one, two, three…push! No. My baby didn’t come out still. I was breathless. I was wearing out. I was anxious, worried and tired to the bone. Something is wrong. Why can’t I push him out?! Ah, it should be my position! I asked them to change my position. Opening up my legs and raising my feet up in the air is just not helping! Whoever designed the Delivery Chair is a misogynist. Again, they said no. They didn’t allow me to change positions. How mean can they get?
I had a few more tries and every try is killing me and each one a failure. I couldn’t deliver my baby the normal way! I resigned from the entire struggle and began to welcome the idea of having a C-section instead. I begged my doc to do it, but the answer was another NO. She’s so confident that I can pull it off (thanks doc!). Instead, she asked one lady (nurse or intern) from the audience to help me push, as according to doc, my push only reaches down to my neck. The nurse/intern climbed up from behind me and positioned herself on top of my upper torso and was literally pushing my bump downwards. I realized there’s not a few of us in the room. The noisy interns were all there in the delivery room all quiet now, watching my agony, or shall I say staring at my private property that’s really not private anymore, taking in the experience and probably relating what they have learned from textbooks to what was actually happening. Was I glad? No, not at all. But it’s too petty a thing to even think about it. Giving birth is beyond the absence of comfort anyway. I have an audience. So what?! My delivery is some kind of a performance or entertainment with one camera ticking away as per my hubby’s request. So what?! I was in excruciating pain and I just wanted my baby boy out of my swollen womb without deforming his head, because he got stuck in between my opening. I didn’t want to cause him any distress. I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to breathe while crowning. I would forever hate myself if something bad happened to my baby, just because I couldn’t give a proper push. Without me realizing it, my fears gave me courage. I mustered every iota of energy left in me to try it one last time. If I had to let out some cuss words, I would, who cares! I just need him out safe and sound!
There… The once was a quiet woman in the labor room is now blurting repeatedly the single cuss word in her registry. “Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t!” One, two, three…PUUUUUUUUSH! …and then pop! What a relief, as though a missile had just exploded out of my system.
There he is, with arms wide open, legs wide open, and mouth wide open – screaming! That’s how he welcomed the world. Everyone in the room welcomed him too with adoring smiles in their faces. 🙂
To say that it was a great experience would be an understatement, but I would say it anyway. It was a great experience. If given the chance to change anything about it, I would not change a thing. 🙂