Wednesday, June 13, 2012

17 January 2012: Father mode. :)

And I'm loving every second of it.

Before the dendrites in my brain gets burned by wear and tear, I need to chronicle the details of the day that changed my life forever. We were blessed with a beautiful and healthy little boy on Juanary 17, 2012, at around 11:42 pm.

From this experience, I realized that it really takes a team to build a family, including pregnancy. As for Bubbles and I, we are forced to become the super tag-team champs, since we have no support group within 5-mile radius. :) With God's help and of each other, we pulled this off very smoothly.

Okay here's how our day started on January 17th. We did the usual thing, woke up early, got ready for work, had breakfast. With the natural instinct, Bubbles felt like taking all the D-day (a.k.a. giving birth) stuff: Bag with our clothes, car seat, stroller, food, etc., "just in case." Little did I know that she was feeling bits and pieces of contractions since dawn. She did not mention and did not mind since it was too mild to be alarming.

At around 10am, I got a text from the Missus saying she was feeling some contractions every 15-20 minutes. From our birth class, Doctor made it very clear that any contraction interval longer than 5-6 minutes is a "false alarm." So when I got this, I just replied, "Ok, just keep on monitoring. Let me know if it worsens." And it did in a few hours. She did not feel the pain yet, only that she already had "bloody show." She called her OB, Dr. Jane Piness' office, telling them about this development. They instantly instructed us to proceed to their clinic. At around lunch time, I rushed to Bubbles' office. Thank God I was only a mile away.

On the way to the clinic, the contractions became more significant, more frequent. But according to Bubbles, it was not that painful yet. We went to the clinic, were received by the friendly Claudia and Shadi. They led us to an observation room, where they connected some monitors to Bub's tummy. Now she's feeling a bit more pain than the previous contractions. Dr. Piness came to see us and checked whether it was time. Cervix was only dilated 4cm, still far from the 10-centimeter full dilation. She asked that we stay for a few more minutes so she could monitor the contraction intervals. Based on Bub's count, she was contracting every 10 minutes, still a "stable" contraction.

Few excerpts of our monitoring:

After a few hours in the observation room, we were told that: we won't go home that night. Dr. Piness' office instantly called the delivery room and told them we are coming. They did some paper work, gave us a copy to show the delivery room, and we were officially in labor at around 2:45pm.

After giving us the papers to give the delivery room, Shadi bid us good luck and showed us the way. Showed us the way!! No wheel chairs for Bub, no cart for our stuff! Just me, Bubbles, our stuff and Juancho ready to eject!

For Bubbles, the way to the delivery room felt like forever. With increasingly painful contractions and no wheel chair, we needed to stop from time to time so she could wait for the throbbing pain to stop. All I could do was give her words of encouragement, stroke her back, and wait for her to get back on the groove. I felt helpless seeing her in pain.

Finally, after what felt like 300 kms. of walk, we arrived in the Labor and Child Care area. We stopped at the lobby to submit the papers. This is not our last stop. We needed to walk further to the delivery area. At this first stop, finally, we were offered wheel chair and cart. We instantly said "of course!" After a few minutes, the nurse came back without anything on hand, telling us that all wheel chairs are used, no carts as well. So we again walked for a few more steps, shorter this time, more like 100kms.

We finally arrived the delivery area, we were assigned a room, and immediately, Bub changed to the usual hospital gown, while the nurse connected all monitors.

There were idle times in the room. Most of the time, we just waited and watched TV. Contractions got stronger, and I have never seen Bubbles in that much pain. That was around 4pm. I asked her if she wanted epidural already, and she said no, not yet. She wanted to feel the labor pains. She was very brave.

A few minutes later, contractions came incredibly stronger than usual. Bubbles could no longer speak when it struck. And it was more frequent than previous. I then commanded that she be given the epidural.

The next time the nurse arrived, we mentioned that she was in pain and wanted the epidural. The nurse then got the paperwork for her to sign. Feeling the sense of urgency judging from the pain that Bubbles is enduring, I asked the nurse how long before the epidural is administered. She said epidural will be connected after blood exam and some paperwork, which will take around an hour.

AN HOUR?! I sensed Bub couldn't wait for another hour. We then asked how do you know if it's time to push? The nurse then said "Is this your first baby?" We said yes. She then said, "Normally labor is about 14-21 hours for first-timers. You know it's when you feel like you want to move."

Bubbles then shouted, "That is what I have been feeling for the past hour!" After saying that she checked Bub's cervix. After which, she hurried out to immediately connect the IV and to call the anesthesiologist. She found out Bub is now 9cm, just an inch away from full dilation. They suddenly felt the urgency.

The nurses immediately attached the I.V. The first nurse tried, and after several attempts to get to Bub's vein, she gave up, leaving drips of blood on the bed and on the floor. The second nurse came in, and finally, the IV was attached.

Bub felt the urge to go to the bathroom. Catheter was not connected yet, so she either needed to use the bathroom, or use the bedpan. She tried the bedpan, but she couldn't take it. So what we did was to give her a trip to the bathroom in between contraction intervals. Success!

After less than an hour, the Anesthesiologist, Dr. Roland, arrived with the epidural. At this point, Bubbles could no longer take the pain. I assisted Dr. Roland by making myself a step stool to Bubbles as she bent her torso to show her spine. The procedure was swift and Dr. Roland did great.

The next few hours were a bit stable. Bubbles could still feel the contractions, but this time, very lightly. She even managed to sleep for a few minutes after the procedure. We just waited for the right time, ate a few snacks, received a phone call from Ate Kat in Oregon, connected with Bubble's twin sister Petite in Skype. Thank God for technology, we were joined by Petite during the last three hours of labor.

We were visited regularly by Dr. Holly Masel, the resident OB for the night. Bubbles' doctors, Dr. Jane Piness and Bridget Casadaban were both out that night so labor was left in the hands of the doctor-in-charge for the night. Dr. Masel was nice and very accommodating.

At early evening, Bubbles was again checked for dilation, and found that she was 10cm. However, contraction should be stronger and more frequent in order for Bubbles to start pushing. She needed to be induced for faster and stronger contraction. They gave her a dose of Pitocin.

At 11pm, Dr. Masel found that it was time to push. There were only three people in the delivery room: Dr. Masel, our nurse for the night, and me. I took the right leg, the other nurse took the left. I helped in the pushing by giving the 10-second countdown every push. Bubbles exerted all her energy for the push.

After around 40 minutes of pushing, at 11:42pm, I was able to see the most beautiful thing: Juan Santiago Apostol Reyes was out, belting out the loudest scream. He was taken by the nurse to the cleaning area, along with the resident Pediatrician to check on his vitals. He weighed 6 lbs. 5 oz., and measured 21 1/2 inches.

Some newborn photos:

Every night I thank the Lord for the safe delivery and for the greatest, most beautiful gift. :)

This experience proved that we have a formidable, super tag-team. And for that I love you more. :)

I just love being a husband and a dad. Yahoo!

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