When I was younger, I dreaded the thought of childbirth. So during my 1st year in medical school (or maybe I was dreaming about it), it was included in the criteria that women below 5 feet are eligible for elective caesarean section. I said, yes! I can skip the pain of childbirth. I was young and immature back then. But during the course of my med school training, another guideline by the Obstetric Society circulated that elective caesarian section is not advised unless medically warranted or life-threatenng cases. So just because I am barely 5 feet that doesn’t excuse me from going the natural way.
When I got pregnant, now age-appropriate and less immature, I made a birth plan. Since elective caesarian section is out of the window, I planned a normal delivery via epidural anaesthesia in Iloilo City. I was due on July 5, 2014 and my hubby arrived in June 29 to be with me. Like an obedient baby and probably daddy’s little man, I started to labor just when I fetched my hubby at the airport. We waited a bit at home and when to the hospital at 6PM. When the resident doctor checked me, I was 4-5 cm dilated. I was surprised becuase I didn’t feel much pain yet. I was wheeled into the labor room to monitor my labor. My progress of labor was doing well, I was 1 cm dilated every hour. I still didn’t feel much pain at all. At 6 cm, I was still smiling and not needing my anaesthesiologist to hook me with epidural anaesthesia. I was feeling very confident that I can push out my baby without any trouble. I visualised how it will go and practiced my breathing techniques. When amnionotomy (artificial rupture of membranes performed by a obstetrician to induce or accelerate labor) was done, I felt a bit of pain and my contractions are getting longer & irregular so I told them that we can start the epidural anaesthesia. When they noted my contractions are continually lagging, they hook me to a machine to monitor my contractions and my baby’s heart beat . They saw a long deep in the baby’ heart rate. My obstetrician announced to me that we have to do an emergency caesarian section.
I didn’t know what to feel that time because everything was a blur. It took a long time for them to do a spinal anaesthesia after several unsuccessful tries until the anaesthesiologist decided that I will deliver via general anaesthesia. I was silently panicking inside. I will be intubated. I will be unconscious throughout the whole procedure. I won’t get to see my baby when he comes out. Will the general anaesthesia affect my baby’s well-being? Then when they started praying, I inhaled the gas from mask placed on my nose & mouth and I blacked out.
I woke up with a dull pain in my lower abdomen and I said ‘my tummy hurts’ and ‘how is my baby?’ I heaved a sigh of relief when they said he was okay. So as I lay there in the recovery room, I wanted so bad to see my baby. I started in my early years hoping for a caesarian section but when I was there in the labor room all I wanted was to deliver my baby via normal delivery. I now feel why some women feels a mingle of regret and sadness that they went through caesarian section. Ask Rica Peralejo or Kate Winslet. I felt like I failed my son by not delivering him the natural way. I am sad that I am not a warrior woman like other women. Maybe it was the postnatal blues talking.
When I cried and told my hubby my sentiments when I was transferred back in my room, he told me that the most important thing is our baby is fine. It doesn’t matter where he came out from. It was the right decision or else if I pushed the normal delivery, I could have endangered by son’s life. It made me understand why some post-cs moms feels that they wished they have experience vaginal delivery and why moms who delivered normally without any analgesia feels a certain pride. But now, I realised either way, the most important thing is that I have my son to hold now. And when he ask how he was born, I will proudly show him my vertical scar in belly and say, “You came out here, my son and you are God’s most amazing gift to me and your Dad”