It has been almost two months that I am silent here. If you have noticed my last blog's date before this post was dated "December 8, 2009", then nothing followed but utter silence. A lot of you maybe have continued to visit and hop hoping an update from me. My apologies. Thank you for your love and wishes. I have not even wished you all a Happy New Year, but deep in my heart I hope and pray that this new year would bring a lot of blessings and happiness for you all and your family. Now , let me tell you the reason of the long days without a word from me.
December 8, 2009. What happened that day was still fresh to me. I reported still to the office. In reference to my LMP, it was already on my 38th week of pregnancy. However, as my OB did not rely on that counting as my series of ultrasound reports all directed to December 20th- up as my birthing day, I still reported to the office. We were so busy doing our department's Christmas decorations as a contest was held for that field. We made Christmas tree and decors out of nature-related materials. While doing the activity, I noted some irregular contractions but have not put some major weight on it. I thought of it as due to the tiresome activity. We finished a little late. On the way home, I joked to my officemates that if I give birth tomorrow and we win the contest, I'll have all their shares in the prizes as their share on my hospital bills. I was tired and texted my husband to fetch me but he was not feeling well too. While I was on the footbridge in Bicutan I felt again another series of irregular contractions. Though the pain was bearable, it made me thought that I am having early labor signs. Oh my God, how could this be, I thought the ultrasound measures were more accurate than that of my LMP. It was a little early for me.
I reached home. I told our yaya that I felt I am having early labor signs already. I was not at ease. I was afraid due to past experience that all of my three children have only little time of labor. I called my OB- Doctor Francis Arnold Canaveral and told him about my observations. He told me to go to his clinic have an Internal Examination (IE) with the OB-gyne on duty. I woke my husband who had slept early that night. We called a cab and brought Ate Nida who is a "manghihilot" (therapist) with us to the clinic. I was examined. The doctor confirmed that I was on the onset of labor. My cervix was 2-3cm dilated. The doctor called my OB and told him of the result. My OB talked to me and said it could still be way longer time to wait but I was firm on my decision that I'd better go straight away to the hospital as again based on my other children I do not labor tedious hours.
We went directly to St. Claire Medical Center. My OB informed the emergency room already and told me that they are already waiting for me. Right to his words, when I arrived they attended to me right away. The resident doctor on duty examined me again. It was still the same 3cm open and according to their terms still "high", meaning the doctors still could not feel the head of the baby. After my husband paid the downpayment and got a room for us, I was brought to the labor room. It was 11pm, December 8, 2009. Hours passed, the nurses from time to time checked on me asking me a lot of questions whether I have already felt strong contractions so on and so forth. I myself was waiting for that moment. But, there was none. I kept on looking at the clock. The clock ticked from hour to hour but still no strong contractions. I was thinking maybe my baby is waiting for my OB. As Doc. Canaveral did not come yet as based on the report the baby is still far.
December 9, 2009. My OB-gyne arrived at 7am. He examined me right away. Contrary to my statement that I do not labor long hours he said to me, "shelo what happened? You are still 3cm open, no significant improvements." I immediately said to him, "Doc induced me now". Yes, that was his plan really. I had previous cesarian operation so he could give me full dosage right away. 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, hours passed and still no effect. My water bag was leaking. Doc talked to me and said I'll give deadline 5pm, if still no improvement, we have no choice but to do c-section operation. I immediately agreed to that. He talked to my husband and hubby and me talked. Zel was getting emotional and was worried about me. I said , the Lord will take care. I thanked to all those who prayed for me and wished me well during those hours. It was already 4pm nearing the deadline. My doctor examined me again, it was still 3cm and he felt that the water was already getting little. I decided not to wait for 5pm. I said "doc do it to me now". I was then rushed to the O.R and had been readied for the operation. I was so nervous. It was my first time to experienced it awake. I had a c-section with my eldest but I was asleep that time and did not even know when the anesthesia was injected at my spinal cord. But this time, I was wide awake. I felt afraid when I started to feel numb on my lower body. I was afraid that when they cut me I could feelt the pain. I breathed deeply the name of the Lord, "OH LORD JESUS". The whole time I was calling on the name of the Lord. That gave me peace. The Lord's love was the arbitrating peace in my heart. Then I heard her first cry! December 9, 2009 4:45pm my baby was finally born. She was kinda small weighing only 5.8 lbs at birth and measuring 48cm. It was only less than an hour operation. They brought the baby near to me but I was not able to see her clearly cause I was beginning to feel sleepy. But I thanked the Lord that I was alive. Someone read my future before and told me that on my fourth baby I am going to die while giving birth! But Praise the Lord! He is my real protector and shield. My God is victorious and is victorious over the evil spirits in the air.
On the next day, I wanted to see my baby but she was still on the nursery as that hospital is not practicing rooming-in of the newborn babies to avoid infections and risks to the newborns. I asked my husband to take photo of her while on the nursery so I could be sure that she was not the one I could hear crying from our room as we were near the nursery. Zel gave me all the alibis. I could not understand why on the world she could not take photo of her. I wanted to see her even on the photo cause I could not get up yet as my wound was still fresh. It was still too painful to get up more so if I walk. My hubby went home to get some things when my sister arrived to keep me company. A little while later, the pediatrician Dr. Aileen Sebastian Opinaldo came to see me. She has the same clinic with my OB-Gyne Dr. Canaveral. She asked me how I am and started to tell me about my baby. Words after words , I realized that she meant that my baby wasn't well. My tears started falling. So that was the reason why Zel can't take photos of her in the nursery. I have learned that few minutes after birth Lishan's (my baby's name) color turned dark. Her lips got dark as well as her face. Her breathing was not normal. Right that time she was in the incubator fighting for oxygen supply. I cried more when she said that their initial finding was "congenital heart disease". Oh Lord, how could I bear such condition of my baby. I wanted her to be well. My heart was grief-stricken. Dr. Opinaldo was very reassuring. She is also a woman of faith. Her words strenghtens me when she said, prayers do a lot. I know she will be praying with us.
Daily, she updated me on my baby's condition. Nearing the day of my discharge, she updated me of their (she and the pedia cardiologist) final findings. The official result of the chest x-ray came out. It turned out that my baby has TRANSIENT TACHYPNEA OF THE NEWBORN. It is a condition which extra fluid in the lungs remains or the fluid is cleared too slowly. So it is more difficult for the baby to inhale oxygen properly, and the baby breathes faster and harder to get enough oxygen into the lungs.
Signs and Symptoms of TTN
Symptoms of TTN include:
* rapid, labored breathing (tachypnea) of more than 60 breaths a minute
* grunting or moaning sounds when the baby exhales
* flaring nostrils or head bobbing
* retractions (when the skin pulls in between the ribs or under the ribcage during rapid or labored breathing)
* cyanosis (when the skin turns a bluish color) around the mouth and nose
Other than the above symptoms, infants with TTN will look fairly healthy.
Lishan had all that symptoms. However, I was relieved as TTN is far better than having a hole in the heart. The pedia reassured me too that after treatment with proper oxygen supply, three days more or less the baby's condition will get better. But of course, prayers are still needed. I thank the Lord that even in that situation I could still see His faitfulness. The Lord is really the reality of all the positive things in the universe.
During my baby's stay in the neo-natal care unit she was simply monitored to ensure that her breathing rates slow down and her oxygen levels remain normal. At first she received extra oxygen supply through under a plastic oxygen hood (sometimes called a "headbox").
However, as she was still struggling to breathe, even when oxygen is given, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) was used to keep air flowing through the lungs. With CPAP, a baby wears a special oxygen cannula (a type of tubing placed directly into the nose) and a machine continuously pushes a stream of pressurized air into the baby's nose to help keep the lungs open during breathing.
Lishan was left at the hospital for more than a week. Everyday, I received updates from her pediatrician and everyday I was amazed on how the Lord worked in ways to save my baby. Everyday was a day under His grace and mercy. The Lord continued to breath on her the breath of life making her little body regained her healthy condition.
December 18, 2009 my baby finally came home. I was so happy when Dr. Opinaldo texted me that Lishan could be discharged anytime. Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy that is ever new. If we only trust in Him nothing could go wrong. Our God is living and available to take in. His riches are unsearchable and if we take Him in we inherit all that He is and He has.
My greatful appreciation to the most wonderful OB-gyne Dr. Francis Arnold Canaveral who took care of my during my entire pregnancy till my big day and even after. My thanks to the pediatrician too who devoted her time in looking after the wellness of my baby, Dr. Aileen Sebastian Opinaldo. I thank the Lord for preparing wonderful people who had my baby on safe hands. Praise You Lord for your Grace and Mercy that is so rich and so true.!!!