Birth Story: Juliana Kate

by - May 11, 2018






May 11—A very special day for our little family, as this day marks the birth of our precious daughter, Juliana Kate (Kitkit). To celebrate her first birthday, I'm sharing our birth story. It's truly a wonderful memory to reminisce, one that I never wish to forget. So here it goes:

Baby is Coming

It was a sleepy afternoon at the office on May 10, 2017. I was working on some last-minute kinks on my writing project, trying hard to concentrate while the contractions came and go. The contractions had been kicking in since early that morning, at 15- to 30-minute intervals, until it got closer and much more pronounced as the sun started to set.

I already informed my manager that I might not be able to come in the next day. I was not due until May 26, but the past days, I have an inkling that my baby might come sooner than expected. As my shift ended later that day, I've already texted my husband, my OB, and the rest of my family that D-day is near: Juliana Kate is coming.

Despite the 10-minute contractions, I still had time to eat dinner, go back to the office to get my slippers, walk around IT Park, and wait for my husband outside my office while he took a dump (I know). 


Admitted

By 8:00 PM, Jerome and I arrived at the Perpetual Succour Hospital with my hospital bag in tow. My then-pregnant sister and her husband were already there, busily prepping me on what to do next. It was my first baby, so I didn't have a clue on where to go and what to do next. As the nurse helped me to lie down on the gurney, I asked him if I could just walk to the Delivery Room instead. The nurse, bemused, told me I couldn't for safety reasons.

As we approached the door to the Delivery Room, I took off my jewelry and wedding ring as I hurriedly kissed and hugged Jerome. He was visibly tense and nervous. I was too, and I wished he could go inside the DR with me, but sadly he couldn't (hospital protocol).

Jerome waiting for me outside the Delivery Room
I was still 2 cm dilated, but the baby's head was already engaged. The resident doctor gave me the option to go home for the night and wait it out, or have myself admitted to the hospital for monitoring. I went for the latter option; I had a strong intuition that my labor will progress between the wee hours in the morning, and we lived a considerable distance from the hospital.



Labor Room

At around 11:00 PM, I started getting bored and hungry. I was the only patient in the Labor Room and was strapped to the non-stress test machine all night, which meant I couldn't walk around freely. I wasn't allowed to bring any personal items, even my phone, but I took the risk and asked the doctor if I could read a book. Surprisingly, she said yes. I asked her to get my book from my husband, and for a few snacks and some water too.

By around 1:00 to 2:00 AM, my contractions became more regular and more painful. With every strong contraction that came, Romans 8:18 was on loop in my head:

The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming.

I read my borrowed copy of Lisa, Bright and Dark while the resident doctors slept, all the while wondering what Jerome and my sisters were doing outside while waiting for me. I munched on the cookies and brownies that Jerome gave me. It was a long, long night, and all I could do was wait, read, and eat.

My family waiting for me at the hospital room while I was in labor

Occasionally, I unstrapped myself from the non-stress test machine on my own so that I could go to the comfort room to relieve myself, and then strapped myself back again, confident that I did it correctly because I watched the doctor closely earlier that evening.

Come morning, I was half-expecting I was already in active labor, but to everyone's dismay, I was still 3 cm dilated. I worried that I might be put under the knife, considering how slow my labor was progressing. More patients started coming in at 8:00 AM. By 11:00 AM, there were already four of us in the labor room, and doctors from the Cebu Institute of Medicine relieved the night doctors. It was also by then that my OB decided to artificially induce my labor with oxytocin.


Induced

By noon on May 11, an hour after the induction, all hell broke loose. I was in terrible pain. I could't bring myself to eat, my book and cookies forgotten at the bedside table. I couldn't think straight. I begged for the doctor beside me to lower the dose or to get me an epidural. I never knew induction could be this painful.

"Ma'am, naa pa'y mas-sakit ana. Three cm pa ka (Ma'am, the pain will be worse than that. You're still at three cm)," the doctor said, attempting to soothe me.

Yeah right, I thought sarcastically. I was positive I was more than 3 cm dilated at that point, but I was too much in pain to retaliate.

I was mostly ignored after that, and they transferred the non-stress test machine to the new patient beside me, so my contractions weren't monitored anymore. I cried silently as the contractions became stronger and more frequent. It seemed that I only had a few minutes' respite before the contractions came again, more painful than the one before. I couldn't resist the urge to push; it was like my body unconsciously telling me what to do.


Finally

By 2:00 PM, a resident doctor finally checked on me. As her gloved fingers hovered near my opening, about to perform an internal examination, my water broke in a large gush. Just like that.

It was a blur of harried activity after that: The resident doctor supporting my opening as my baby's head crowned; the other doctors frantically calling my OB, who was thankfully only a few minutes away from the Delivery Room; the nurses and hospital staff preparing the Delivery Room; the orderly ushering me to sit on a wheelchair to be transferred to the DR; the nurse supporting me as I mounted myself on the delivery bed; my OB running, her heels loud on the tiled floor.

"Okay, Kris," my OB said. "Hold the rails beside you, pull your body up, and look at me. Push!"

I did as I was told, took a deep breath, and pushed.

In a split second, I heard my baby cry. A cry so loud and determined, I couldn't believe my ears that she's finally here.

At 2:15 PM on May 11, 2017, Juliana Kate was born.


Our little girl, born 5 lbs 6 oz in just one giant push!

All the pain, fear, and anxiety I felt during pregnancy and labor vanished the very second I heard her strong cryher first breath.

After she was cleaned up, she was brought to me by the midwife. The first thing I said was her nickname that we fondly started calling her even before she was born: Kitkit.

The moment I said her name, her tiny eyes fluttered and stared back at me. She had a curious expression on her face, and when our eyes met for the first time, my heart melted.

They say motherhood is a calling. I never knew what I wanted more in my life until that very day, the day I had Kitkit. It was then that I knew that being her mother and being Jerome's wife was what I was made to do. And there's no greater joy than that.

The proud daddy

Exhausted but utterly happy

Our first morning together as a family


Here she is, our little girl. So perfect and pure. Our baby Kitkit!


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