Archive for the ‘milestones in mommying’ Category

6i was supposed to have my baby shower the day i gave birth to mikkel. who knew he’d pop out 13 days earlier? when i went to the clinic of my ob-gyne (who also happens to be my dear aunt/ninang) for my routine check-up, mike and i were still laughing about the names we thought of for our son the night before.

gustav, picasso, vondrew, bogart, and buhawi were just few of the many crazy choices we had in mind until we settled for mikkel andrei, which we thought was nice and will not give him a hard time.

while we were waiting, my doctor arrived. it was around 12 noon. i greeted her and she lightly touched my larger than life tummy. she looked at me skeptically and said, “bakit ang tigas nyan?” i just shrugged and kept laughing.

during the check-up, i found out that my cervix was already 4 centimeters dilated. what, i was already at the end of early stage of labor and i have not even noticed it yet? wow! but the first thing i said was, “oh no, what about my baby shower?!” my aunt/doctor could not help but laugh. i was already in labor and i was still worrying about the baby shower.

then the real panic set in. “wait, i haven’t packed yet! i’m not ready yet! mikkel’s not yet supposed to come out until the 16th!”

do you remember the feeling when your grade school teacher thumps her ruler on the table and screams, “finished or not finished pass you papers!!!” multiply that anxiety twenty times and that was what i felt when i learned it the hard way that that babies can come out a lot earlier than you expect.

it was my first day after i left work for a leave of absence and i had so many plans in mind–read up books on giving birth, share my pregnancy joys with my friends during my baby shower, and pack my giving birth bag. i did not plan on giving birth that day!

that’s when i realized that my baby does have a thing for catching me off guard and surprising me. first, my pregnancy came as a big shock for me and everyone who knew me and now, this!

my family and friends who were waiting for me at home for the baby shower were just as alarmed when they got the news. they turned the place into a mad house as they plowed through my things to pack everything that i needed and tore down the neatly wrapped gifts of baby bottles, blankets, and bibs.

when mike brought me to the labor room, i was not panicking anymore. i returned back to my usual bubbly self because i got excited to see my baby. i remember the nurse telling me that i was required to poop. it was quite embarrassing but then i did what i had to do.

after a few minutes, i achieved success and got out of the comfort room. a nurse walked to me and interviewed me about basic personal information. what is your name, do you have any family allergies, and so on. i was still very cheerful because i was not feeling any pain yet. i was even telling myself, “is this it? is this the dreadful, mind-blowing pain that my officemates kept telling me about?!”

i was brought into another part of the labor room where i waited with two other ladies. the other has been there for more than a day and i really felt sorry for her. she looked like she’d give anything just to get her baby out of her.

i was reading the newspaper when the first pang of pain struck me. i remember glancing at the wall clock and it was 4pm that exact moment. if you have experienced dysmenorrhea (menstrual uterine pain), where you feel like your insides are doing crazy knots, it was like that, only a hundred times more agonizing.

if not, imagine a 6 inch nail being pushed into your belly button and the excruciating pain reverberates throughout your whole body. i winced, twisted and somersaulted in pain. nothing helped. so this was what they were talking about! one of the doctors came to my side and asked me to stop egg-rolling all over the bed because i might fall off.

the fact that mike was not around because husbands were not allowed inside the labor room as per hospital rules did not help me at all. if only i had him to hold onto, the pain would probably be much more bearable.

because i didn’t have any choice and i was going insane with pain, i called on to the guy doctor in sight and asked him to hold my hand for “moral support” (yes, i actually said those words! i saw this doctor again months after in the same hospital and i swear i was just too ashamed to even say hi.) he stared at me with a strange look on his face and jokingly muttered something like, “no thanks, you might bite me.”

the pain would go away after some minutes much to my relief. but the bad news was that when it came back it was even a lot more painful. what made it worse was that i felt really alone amongst the sea of faces of doctors, nurses and patients that were all strangers to me.

i was feeling quite high because of the sedatives injected to me a few minutes earlier but i still had an inkling of what was happening. after a while, i saw a blurry but familiar image. it was my aunt/doctor. i was teary-eyed upon seeing a familiar face.  my aunt asked me how i was and assured me that everything’s going well. her being there gave more relief than the sedatives were able to give me. after checking up on me several times, my aunt instructed people to get me to the delivery room.

finally, it’s time.

my travel from the labor room to the delivery in a stretcher was like a scene taken from an episode in ER, or at least that was what i imagined. there were flashing lights, heightened emotions, kaleidoscope images of doctors and nurses frantic and panicking, and a powerful orchestra music to heighten the drama and suspense. i doubt that it was really like that. it was probably the sedatives.

when i arrived in the delivery room, it wasn’t an ER episode anymore. i felt like i was in a movie and i was the star. spotlight was on me and my vaginal opening. the director was my aunt and the supporting characters were the other doctors and nurses beside her.

i had to open my legs wide and they buckled down my feet. i don’t remember the exact chronology of events but what i can never forget is the energetic, high pitch toned doctor beside me who relentlessly cheered on me, screaming, “kaya mo yan wendi, kaya mo yan, parang tae lang yan, parang isang malaking malaking tae lang yan!!!!”

i also remember someone saying something like, “hindi pa pumutok ang water bag nya, putukin na natin!” again, i don’t know if it’s the sedative but i heard a loud gush of water similar to a waterfall after they pinched my waterbag.

another thing i remembered was feeling a huge round thing coming out between my legs. that was the time my aunt asked to give a long hard push, which she said i cannot retract because the baby might be pulled inside.

i gave the longest and hardest grunt that i can give in my whole lifetime, that made virtually every vein in my body stand on my skin. i heard my aunt and the other doctors cheering because i was apparently doing such a great job in giving birth.

after that one seemingly endless push, the real star came out. my life is never the same again.

after i dozed off, i imagined myself receiving an award for best performance in a giving birth role, the first person i mentioned in my thank you speech would have to be of course, mike my ever supportive husband. i read in books like first time mom that many typical first time dads are uncomfortable, nervous, and somewhat insensitive to the needs of his partner. mike is the complete opposite of that. giving birth would not be a breeze if not for him.

then i also thanked my whole family and mike’s family for every small and grand thing they did to make my pregnancy wonderful and easy. i won’t forget to mention my friends also, especially those who stayed with me during the ups and downs of my journey as a big bellied woman.

and of course, the person who showed mikkel the way to the outside world, my aunt, my doctor, Dra Beatriz Villanueva. she is truly one of the biggest reasons why i never had any qualms or fears about giving birth even though it was a completely new endevour for me. her unwavering support and priceless guidance ever since i was a child and throughout the whole nine months of my pregnancy and even after, is just something that i would never be able to thank her enough for.

if there is one thing i can brag about this whole experience was that i never felt a single strand of fear at any point, not even for a second. for someone who is always fraught with anxiety, this is a very big deal. but this would not have been possible without the people around me who are the primary reasons why i was able to go through all of this with flying colors.

3the series of weird events in my birthing experience concluded in the recovery room, where i found myself a few hours later. the other patients were sound asleep but i was restless. i hardly had any energy and yet i felt the urge to find someone awake to ask something. when some doctors came in, i immediately asked them, “is this a dream? am i dreaming? did i really give birth or am i just dreaming again? ‘coz if i am dreaming again, this is the fourth time this week!!!”

the doctors laughed and said, “this is the real thing, dear.”


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By Wendi Peneyra-Garcia
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:29:00 05/26/2009

Filed Under: Family

I really thought that my husband was the only man for me. But barely a year into our marriage, I met another guy and fell in love. And unlike with my hubby, there was no getting-to-know-each-other phase, no texting, no talking, no going out several times before I felt this way about him.

When I first met the guy, he looked somewhat disgusting. He was covered with sweat and blood. He was small, wrinkled, and so very loud that it would be hard not to take notice of him. Still I was instantly smitten.

It is safe to say that it was love at first sight. I actually never believed in this until I experienced it first-hand. I wanted to hold him right at that moment, but unfortunately I lost consciousness before I could.

The next day, I saw him again. This time he looked a lot more handsome and clean, too. My heart was beating very fast as the nurse handed to me my sweet little angel. And just like any other mother, I could not help but cry.

My husband Mike could not be any happier. That exact moment in the hospital room when Mike and I held our baby in our arms and stared at him for what seemed like an eternity was like a scene taken from a movie. The feeling was surreal.

The first time I knew that I was having a baby was not a pleasant experience at all. At that time, I could not have imagined that I would be this happy to see my little one. At that time, all I had was worry, fear and anxiety over a pregnancy that I was not prepared for—physically, emotionally, spiritually, or even financially.

Mike was just fresh out of college and was still job hunting. I, on the other hand, had only been working for one year. I had barely saved enough for my future, let alone the future of another human being.

Most of our friends consoled us, saying that at least we had already graduated from college. Yes, that was the positive way of looking at it, but still, there were some things that made it hard for me to accept what I was going through.

Actually the biggest thing that worried me was my ultra-conservative family and how they were going to feel, particularly my grandmother who at the age of 83 should not be receiving shocking news anymore.

The first person I confided to was my brother who saw me crying in my room. He hardly said anything. He just cried with me. It was the first time I saw him cry after we had grown up.

After that, I told Lola about it. I knew in my heart that I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to her because of this. But thank God, Lola was calm as a serene ocean when she told me to accept this blessing from the Lord with my whole heart.

I would also never forget the time when I told my mom about it. She was in the United States and we had not seen each other for the last five years (phone calls and Internet chats kept up close though). That time, she called me up to know how I was. When I said that I had something to tell her, she knew already before I could say another word. It is true that a mother’s instinct is true 99 percent of the time.

She did nothing but assure me that everything was going to be all right. I was deeply moved at how she, my father, my Lola, and my whole family still loved me just the same. I was extremely thankful that both my family and Mike’s family welcomed the situation with open arms.

But what I am most thankful for is the fact that the father of my son is a good man whose constant love and support kept me positive during the lowest moments in my life.

Mike and I had a simple but memorable wedding. After that, he and our families stood by my side throughout the whole journey of my pregnancy. My husband is truly one of the reasons I was able to pull it through.

Of course, I cannot say that I lived a fairy tale ending afterwards. Most of the time, Mike and I laughed at the most ridiculous things. But sometimes, we also fought over the smallest things.

Taking care of an infant who was awake when we were supposed to be asleep was one of the most difficult challenges in early parenthood. This is just one among the hundred other things.

Having a kid is truly a life-altering experience. They say that a parent’s love is unconditional, and I agree. I loved my child even before I saw him or met him.

I love him and will continue to do so even if he makes mistakes or grows up to become a person different from what I expect him to be. I will love him just like how my parents embraced every inch of my being, whether good or bad. Of course, I never really knew I was capable of this kind of love until I had my baby.

This month, I had my third Mother’s Day. Being a young mom is so many things, but as one of my friends puts it, it simply is sensational.

My son turned 2 last March.

(Wendi Peneyra-Garcia, 25, is a journalism graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman. She works as a home-based web creative writer.)

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