Walk with #ChaMommy: My Birthing Story

Friday, March 23, 2018


After 9 months of carrying this little munchkin in my tummy, I am finally carrying Keia Lavender in my arms! Oh how amazing pregnancy and motherhood is! Hence the reason why I chose to share with you, my dear readers my pregnancy journey and how I gave birth. It is definitely not a travel post but this entry will serve as a transition post from a girl wanderer to a mother explorer. Because I'll be soon traveling as a mother, my succeeding travel posts will definitely include kid friendly destinations, family getaways and mom tips and struggles on traveling.

If you have been reading my blog, you probably know that I got married last year to the love of my life, Mike (Read: My Whimsical Travel Themed Garden Wedding) and this year, we were very blessed that the Lord was able to grant our prayers. June 2017, I learned I was pregnant. I felt there was something different about my body, I was nauseous, hot and lazy so I asked Mike to buy a PT and to our delight it was indeed positive! After a confirmation with our OB (who is also my Tita) it was Mike and my family who first knew the good news, then after 2 months of being pregnant we announced it to our friends and officemates. 

Pregnancy announcement post via IG and Facebook

I have to say that I had an easy pregnancy as compared to some stories I heard, meaning I never experienced spotting or complications (thank GOD!) Here is a quick rundown of my pregnancy journey

My pregnancy milestone per month

First Trimester 
The first three months were all sorts of weird. I had morning sickness- though I never vomited but I always had this urge of vomiting, I was sleepy the whole day, hated the smell of garlic and would crave a particular food at a given time, so everyday Mike will try to buy me the food I crave at that moment. 

First check up of baby's heartbeat
Second Trimester
The second trimester was my favorite and it was also a blur as it came by so quickly. I stopped feeling nauseated, though I was still sleepy especially at work, I stopped craving for food but I love pinching and kissing my husband's face. Although during the late months, I experienced difficulty in sleeping. I usually wake up at around 4am then will not be able to go back to sleep again until around 6am or worse, will not be able to go back to sleep at all! The second trimester was also when we knew the gender of our baby. My friends organized a gender reveal party and we were all ecstatic when we found out that I was carrying a girl!

Gender Reveal. It's a GIRL!!!
Third Trimester
This trimester was the longest, tiring and the most memorable! Even if my tummy was getting heavier and bigger I was able to travel to Taiwan with my family (with the consent of my OB of course!) where we had our maternity pictorial (Read: Maternity pictorial in Taipei, Taiwan) It was also on this trimester when we held our baby shower (Read: ChaMike Baby Shower). My difficulty in sleeping was extended until this trimester but was able to recover after my 8th month. On this trimester, we also attended seminars. Lots of it!

Maternity Pictorial in Taiwan

Baby Shower

Seminars during Third Trimester
Because we are first time parents and were very clueless as to how to give birth, take care of a newborn and breastfeed, we attended numerous seminars such as breastfeeding seminars, newborn care seminars and birthing class seminars. For first time parents, I would really recommend to attend all possible seminars because we really learned a lot (plus there were lots of freebies and discounts too!) Good thing, Mike was also very supportive in attending these classes with me. 

Attended numerous seminars at the Parenting Emporium
Prepared Childbirth Class Seminar
During the birthing class seminar facilitated by Ms Chiqui Brosas, Lamaze and Bradley methods were introduced. It focuses on using controlled breathing technique to cope with labor, it also educates women so that when interventions are needed or pain relief medication (like epidural) is desired, women are able to give true informed consent. This seminar was very helpful for us - we made a birth plan that we gave our gynecologist, performed pregnancy exercises, filled our labor kit bag, learned the right way to push during delivery and all other information about labor and delivery like contractions, dilation and effacement, medications and other drugs

Finished 2 classes of Prepared Childbirth Class Seminar with Ms Chiqui Brosas
37th Week
We really wanted our daughter to be born on the month of March (we wanted a spring baby!) same month as our wedding anniversary. And because I heard so many stories about early labor, we constantly talked to our baby who was still in my tummy to wait until March to come out. I also wanted to have a normal delivery and preferably no epidural (but I was open to the idea depending on my pain tolerance) Result of the ultrasound was 8/8 so I knew from the very start that my baby was very healthy. 

38th Week
This was the last week of February and we were still filling up baby needs. I've been doing minimal walking as I didn't want her to come out yet. Ultrasound result was still 8/8 so we were still pushing for a normal delivery.

39th Week
It was already March and all of Keia's stuff were complete (hospital bag, labor kit, newborn clothes and paraphernalia) so we were very much ready for her to come out but baby was still not ready (she's been very obedient I guess) my cervix was only 1 cm so my OB suggested that I walk a lot! 

40th Week
When my OB did an IE (internal exam) my cervix was still 1 cm so we were very pressured to have a contraction. I was hoping that baby will come out this week as our OB will leave the country the week after. So I really needed to give birth. To help fasten my contraction, my OB said I need to have an induced contraction. This would mean that she will have to put an oxytocin thru an IV pump to start my contractions.  If this is the case, I won't be able to use all the birthing techniques I learned as the contraction via oxytocin will be as twice as painful compared to normal contractions. 

March 9, 2018 | Friday
Because we didn't want to be induced, the day before my scheduled delivery, Mike and I made all possible natural methods to fasten contractions - I walked up and down the stairs of 2000 steps, ate spicy food, performed pregnancy exercises, and even nipple stimulation! And it actually worked! By 9pm I felt the contractions already. When it was starting to be consistent (30 secs - 1 minute duration, 8- 13 minutes interval) we drove our way to St Lukes Medical Center to have an IE.

March 10, 2018 | Saturday
At the strike of midnight we were already at the labor room of St Lukes. The resident doctors monitored me and did an IE a couple of times. Unfortunately, my cervix was only 2 cm so we didn't have a choice but to go back to our condo since they only admit patients with 3 cm and up cervix, we were asked to go back at around 8am. But because I had been feeling the contractions, this time more frequent and more intense it was already hard for me to go to sleep, I knew I was on my Early Labor Stage. Good thing I attended the prepared childbirth class so I knew how to cope with contractions. 

Waiting for advice from my OB

8:00 am
We were already at the labor room of St Lukes for a second IE check up, I thought that my cervix dilated but unfortunately it was still 2 cm! Good thing, they didn't asked me to go home instead I was brought to the High Risk Pregnancy Unit which we requested on our birth plan so that Mike can accompany me the whole time during labor. 

At the HRPU room with Mike. I can still smile here.
10:30 am
Because my cervix remained at 2 cm, the resident doctors inserted Dinoprostone Vaginal Gel inside my cervix. With this gel, my cervix will ripen and become thin and soft. This gel should remain inside the cervix for 6 hours or more for it to fully function. So you can imagine the pain I had been through as I experienced intense contractions for 7 hours! Contractions became more intense and more frequent as time went by, this time I was already on Active Labor so the pain worsened as compared to before. Mike kept on massaging my back, feet and head every time I felt the contractions. The pain was like NO OTHER!!! I was telling Mike that I wanted to give up and that I wanted an epidural right away, I even said I don't want a normal delivery anymore, I just want a cesarean delivery because of how painful the feeling was. The only good thing I experienced was they allowed me to eat and drink so I didn't feel hungry and dehydrated (this was also included in my birth plan)

The face I make during contractions
Baby's heartbeat and contraction monitor
5:00 pm
It was only this time when the doctors made an IE, they said that if my cervix remained intact, they would have to insert another vaginal gel and wait for another 6 hours! So Mike and I were praying that my cervix will finally dilate, I don't think I can endure another 6 hours of agony! Thank God, my cervix finally ripened and it dilated to 4cm! Hallelujah! I was in total relief and I thought I can finally take an Epidural Anesthesia, the most popular method of pain relief during labor. But the doctors said I should wait until my cervix ripened to 5 cm. I was devastated, I had no choice but to wait for a couple of hours. Feeling so helpless, I remember this was the time I cried to Mike because of the torture I felt. I kept on telling Mike that I didn't think I can do it anymore, that I wanted to give up. Mike, on the other hand, kept my hopes high, encouraged me and told me that I'm strong and that I should not to give up for our baby. It was in these moments that I thank the Lord I have a husband like him. 

Breathing technique during contractions
6:30 pm
I was 5- 6 cm already and my OB gave a go signal for an Epidural Anesthesia (pheeeew!) However, I had to wait for my anesthesiologist to arrive. It was during these moments the contractions were most painful. Believe me, it was painful as HELL!!! It was so intense and the interval was only 1 minute apart. I was yelling and moaning loud that even the whole HRPU area could hear me as I needed to release the pain that I was feeling. I can't imagine how I was able to endure the agony while I am writing my experience now. It was also during this time that I was convinced that maybe I don't want to get pregnant anymore. This was the longest 1 hour of my life!!! It was totally the HARDEST, MOST PAINFUL FEELING EVER!!! 

It was sooooo PAINFUL!!!

During this time, my Mama arrived and she switched duties with Mike inside the HRPU. She also soothed me by massaging my feet and head. It was indeed a relief when Mama was by my side in my most trying times. 

8:00 pm
Finally, my anesthesiologist arrived! He assured me that I will be smiling after the medication. I was transferred to a room where they performed the procedure and right after the shot I felt relieved instantly! One of the best feelings of relief in the world! Yes, my anesthesiologist was right! I immediately smiled right after the epidural. 

Finally, I can smile!

9:00 pm - 12:00 mn
These hours were when I felt most relieved, I was even given a full dinner so that I have energy during delivery. It was also this time when they raptured my membrane (broke my water bag) as it was still intact. My anesthesiologist even told me that he will take photos of me during delivery. I was lucky he is a photographer too and that he takes photos of his patients for free! We even prayed to give me strength and courage during the whole delivery. I also had the time to put make up on (kilay is LIFE!)

With Mama and Tita Doc Ginny
March 11, 2018
12:00 mn
During this time, even if I had an epidural, I started to feel the contractions again. That's because I was already on my last leg of Transitional Stage, I was already 10 cm, fully dilated and effaced. But before I went to the delivery room, I should try pushing the baby out as she was still 'up there.' So I tried pushing while inside the HRPU with Mama, I was able to apply the lessons during our birth class seminar, so after around 5 pushes, baby was now ready!

Starting to feel painful
1:00 am
I was transferred to the delivery room. Mike was given a lab coat so he can accompany me during delivery. As the contractions started to intensify I had this urge to push hard. It was not that very hard to do. In fact, I had a very fast delivery, I can even remember that I pushed for less than 10 times of course with the help of my OB, anesthesiologist, resident doctors and nurses. I was even halfway through the delivery when Mike arrived, he too was shocked that I delivered fast.

1:22 am
Baby Keia Lavender arrived. It was the most rewarding feeling ever!!! It felt even better when she had a high score and everything was normal. GOD is GOOD! 

Tita Doc doing her work
Hi Keia!!! The best feeling in the world when you hear your baby cry for the first time
Mike cutting the umbilical cord
The first minutes of her life
You opened your eyes na!
Unang yakap
I'm officially a mother!
First time parents <3
Good thing I was able to hold Keia in the first minute of her life
Never knew this kind of love existed until I saw you, Baby Keia!
Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts
Proud parents!
Thanks, Tita Doc! We owe you Keia's life!
Mama's first time to see Keia! <3
With our two doctors, Tita Doc and Doc Rene (who is also our photographer)
Lucky Keia, Doc Rene is a pro photographer! Look how cute you are! So much LOOOOVE!!!

After delivery and several picture taking me and baby were transferred to the recovery room and stayed there for a couple of hours as they had to check if we were already okay for release. When we had a go signal to leave the the recovery room, we were transferred to a private room where Mike and Mama were waiting for us.

March 11 - 13, 2018
We stayed until March 13 to wait for all of my tests and Baby Keia's tests too. I love that St. Lukes encourages breastfeeding and that they even have a lactation nurse to teach us how to nurse properly and observe us from time to time. I was thankful that Baby Keia was very hard working when latching, even if breastfeeding was so painful (I need another separate post for this! Hehehe!) I felt fulfilled that I was able to produce milk for my daughter. We were also taught how to bathe, carry, burp and change diapers of our baby, we applied all there methods when we went home.

I'm a St. Lukes Baby

Thank you for reaching this far, for reading my birth story. Now, time to focus on to a more important and more challenging phase of motherhood: Raising my child. See you all again on our next #ChaMike Travel or should I say, since we're now three, the first #ChaMiKeia Trip! :) 

Welcome to the world, Keia!

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  1. Congrats! I'm also having a baby girl soon. Looking forward to another motherhood post.

    1. Thank you for the kind words :)
      Good luck on your baby girl!!!

  2. I was teary-eyed after reading your birthing story, my dear Charmaine 💜

    1. Thanks, Mama for being there for me, Mike and Keia! I love you so much!!!


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