My Labor & Delivery and how God delivered me

My due date was fast approaching and I prayed for the following things.

1. That I will begin labor early morning (because, TRAFFIC plus it was also very rainy and there may be floods so I was praying that we will not encounter these things.)

2. That my sister (staying in SG) will be able to see Greyson since she will just be home for a few days. That my aunt’s family who came home from the US will be able to see Greyson too since they will be staying for just 3 weeks.

3. Normal, safe delivery and healthy baby.

We were scheduled for check up on Thursday June 7, 2018 to check if I was dilating. So far baby’s head is engaged already and we were just waiting if my cervix would open. Prior to this we have been walking and walking and doing some squats as to facilitate labor quickly. I was instructed that we go to the delivery room if any of the 3 conditions happen -bloody show, contractions, and water breaking.

 June 6, 2018 We visited our friends, brother and sister Ian and Sheena in their new home and also to congratulate Ian and Joan as they just had their wedding in Baguio which we were supposed to host but we are scheduled to give birth around their wedding date. I had to go up a flight of stairs (maybe this triggered my labor! :P) and then chatted for a while with our friends. I noticed there was a dot of blood when I went to pee, but it was so unremarkable that I brushed it off. I mentioned this and joked that maybe tonight is the night I’ll go into labor!

We left their house and had dinner at Alex III. It was pouring during that time. I remember telling Jason what if I go into labor and it was raining this hard, maybe we should go to St. Luke’s our bags are packed anyway and with us in the trunk of the car. But since there weren’t very real visible labor signs we went home.

June 7, 2018 around 1AM. I got up to pee and went back to bed. As I wrapped my legs around the pillow to get back to sleep I felt as if there was a short gush like pee. Maybe I was losing the muscle and was peeing uncontrollably. I told Jason that maybe my water broke, he told me to just observe. I got up again went to the toilet and there I saw some weird looking material / discharge. I looked up what a mucus plug looked like and yup it was my mucus plug. Shortly after water with a tinge of pink came out and it wasn’t like the movies wherein water would pool at the floor! It was just some drops on the floor. I told Jason that my water broke. I texted my OB. I was so excited! Could this be the day? I still remember my excitement and anticipation! I was trembling in excitement. I was excited to go into labor to really experience how it feels to push, to finally see my baby!! Jason finally got up and I took a shower and we prepared our snacks. By around 2 AM we reached St. Lukes QC. It was raining lightly and there was no traffic – an answered prayer!

2AM : I went to the Delivery Room at the 2nd floor bringing with us our admission order by our OB Dra. Jing Fernandez. I told them that I think my water broke. I was instructed to wear the hospital gown and the first IE happened. To be honest if I were to rank pain it would be in this order 1. Breastfeeding 2. IE 3. Contractions. That was how painful the IE was of the resident doctor huhu. It was confirmed that my water did break and I was already 3cms dilated (didn’t feel anything up to this point). Actually the IE I think depends on the doctor, the other resident doctor’s IE was uncomfortable but not painful.

4AM : We were transferred to the High Risk Pregnancy Unit since our request was that Jason join me. They gave me antibiotics thru IV and I was just laying down the whole time. Jason got some coffee.

Labor and Delivery BW4

Labor and Delivery BW2

5AM : I was able to sleep since I didn’t feel any pain still and around 545 an IE was done again.

6AM : I was given cervix softening meds – Buscopan? (3x during the day) From this time until the afternoon nothing really happened I was just laying down and watching TV. My mom arrived and there wasn’t really much action going on. I was still able to eat light food, it was a bit boring just waiting for things to happen. I wasn’t allowed to stand up to walk so I was given a bedpan.

Labor and Delivery BW9

Doc Jaycee, my ate’s friend who so happened to be mentored by my OB Dra. Jing, visited us during the day to give tips and encouraged us when labor happens and to stimulate contractions. She also advised that I need to reserve my energy to push during labor.

3:30PM  : Around this time I felt some contractions and when I timed it, it was between 3-5 minutes for around 30-60 seconds. It was tolerable, I need to remember the cleansing breath (this was all I remembered in a free birthing class we attended). I was 4cm dilated around this time.

6PM – Induced : Finally Doc Jing arrived and induced me with Pitocin to speed up dilation and contractions. I was on a catheter too around this time.

9PM – The intense contractions came : Then came the painful contractions! Even if I tried to breathe it was tolerable but I guess anticipating the pain made the pain worse than it actually is! I asked for epidural and my anesthesiologist, Dra. Marzo came around 30 minutes later, good thing she just lived nearby and she was able to arrive soon! I was asking Jason for lower back massages to distract me from the pain. I was already 5 cm dilated! I guess when Pitocin was administered it did speed up the contractions.

Labor and Delivery BW11

They wheeled me out of the HRPU to the delivery room to administer the epidural. The delivery bed was narrow I felt I was going to fall off with my huge belly! They instructed me to do the fetal position it was so painful to hold still, a male assistant had to hold me still in the fetal position but I really couldn’t! So I was instructed to sit down instead. This was so much easier to be in a crouching position and Dra. Jing was holding my hand during these moments. As soon as the epidural kicked in WHEW! I felt that I could go on and push. I was like BRING IT ON! Haha. It was a bubble though because I was given a few doses only so I can feel the next dilation coming along! The epidural wore off as the centimeters got wider and as the pain intensified I just gave in and asked for epidural.

JUNE 8, 2018

1AM at 7CM : It has been 24 hours since my water broke but I was still at 7cm. The progression was very slow but I was successfully dilating.

3AM at 9CM : I was finally 9cm! But baby’s breathing dipped a bit with my contractions. But the belt that was strapped to my waist kept falling off / it had to be readjusted every so often so… This time Dra. Jing told Jason that I had to undergo CS because of baby’s breathing. At this point I was a bit disappointed because I really wanted a normal delivery and I wanted to experience the pain of delivering normally! But I also wanted to see our baby and his safety is a priority!

4AM : I was wheeled out once again into the Delivery Room. Dr. Marzo gave me more anesthesia and Jason followed soon after.

Labor and Delivery BW20

I really appreciated Dr. Marzo telling me what’s happening and she was also the one taking pictures since Jason was already in gloves to prepare to cut the umbilical cord. (Unfortunately we had to forego this…)

Labor and Delivery BW14

I was sleeping some of the time during the procedure due to the anesthesia. Before Greyson came out, Dr. Marzo told me I would be feeling a pressure! I didn’t realize it would be so hard and intense! They were pressing on my chest and my brain was telling me I should panic because I had a hard time breathing, but because I was a bit groggy I was calm. The pressure was because they were pulling the baby out.

Labor and Delivery BW15

5:39 AM : FINALLY BABY IS OUT! Greyson Maddox Tan was born on 06/08/18, a combination of our birthdays… Jason was born on 06/16, I was born on 08/08.

But when Greyson was pulled out, he didn’t cry! Meriting him an apgar score of 6. They had to rush him to the corner to check on him and then he finally cried which raised his score to 9. I was a bit worried when I heard “baby out” but I couldn’t hear the cry.

Labor and Delivery BW16

They also had to forego the cutting of umbilical cord since they had to check him. After a quick family picture they rushed him to the IMCU (immediate care unit) just beside the NICU.

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Labor and Delivery BW24

8AM : They were done with the stitches and I was wheeled to the recovery room. I was able to drink water by that time. My mom and Doc Jaycee visited me there and checked if I could raise my legs which signaled that the anesthesia has worn off or something like that 😛

10 AM :  I was able to go to my room and I was informed that Grey may have some complications due to the prolonged labor. He is presumed to have sepsis and they had to do blood culture, cbc and Xray.

Labor and Delivery BW31

My heart sunk. Hearing this was hard to process for me since I thought that I would be able to see and hold my baby right after I give birth and eventually be beside him in the hospital room. I thought that we would go home in just 5 days maximum but we had to stay for 7 days because Greyson was given antibiotics. I was hoping that my labor and delivery would be so uneventful like I would just “poop” my baby out and then be on our way home (I just packed for 5 days) but here it was. I wasn’t even allowed to do Unang Yakap because he was whisked off to the IMCU. I was disappointed, to say the very least and the room was so quiet as I still stared at that empty space beside my bed on the day of my delivery. I didn’t know how to feel but I felt a deep sadness.

4 PM : I was given morphine to ease the pain of the CS.

10 PM : We were visited by friends – the Disciples, Josh and Corinne . We really appreciated their presence as we were at a loss on how to handle this new stage and also this unexpected outcome that we had no baby in the room! It was also a relief to share how labor and delivery went, our disappointments, and frustrations. We were also very thankful that they prayed for us as we were at the most confusing time in this season!

JUNE 9 – I was finally able to see and hold baby in my arms…

Labor and Delivery BW29

Labor and Delivery BW30

I thought about baby and this gave me the courage to immediately stand up from the bed and visit him at the IMCU. I thank my aunt from the US who helped me stand up and recover quickly.

Jason was the first to visit baby and he was able to do KMC. I asked him how baby was and I got a bit envious he was able to hold baby first (no wonder baby is now a daddy’s boy :) .

The following days were a blur as we had a very difficult time breastfeeding, plus I had seroma – I was leaking lots of fluids from my CS cut which lasted for 9-10 weeks. I was in between emotions – I was ecstatic, frustrated, sad, joyful, thankful to God, felt bold and brave for my baby and battling some misgivings about breastfeeding. I couldn’t feel my CS pain as the pain from breastfeeding was so intense! (All in the next entry)

I was sad I couldn’t rejoice 100% since I had to visit Grey at the IMCU which was totally unexpected. I was also in pain and didn’t expect that breastfeeding would be so difficult! I thought that you just had to stick baby to the breast and that was it! But no….

I was also frustrated and felt hopeless that my CS wound leaked so much that it seeped through the many times the gauze was changed and placed – I had to use a maternity pad (that thick and that long) to cover my wound and yet it would still get soaked (then my wound opened which could fit around 5 cotton buds). I couldn’t just expose it for it to dry up because then it would drip everywhere (clothes, floor etc.) and I would probably need so many hospital gown changes in a day. When asked what caused this, the doctors couldn’t explain it and they just said it just happens…though very rarely! It was so rare I didn’t know anyone who had the same situation though I searched so much in online support groups and told people about this. At that time it was the least of my concern as we focused on baby’s well being, and that he should be able to get food from me.

 But God was in control the whole time and I felt I was being refined and tested in spite of all these. Would I still praise Him? Would I still have faith? Despite all these, I was just so thankful to see my baby and finally hold him.  I thank God for answering our prayers and sustaining us, and giving us the grace to endure and also financial providence. For me it was the darkest time – I was in pain all over, we had a baby that could be sick, and who possibly couldn’t be getting enough milk (formula was not allowed at the hospital and we had to keep going at latching, pasteurized milk was also scarce) and who had to go back to the hospital just after 2 days at home. Though it was the darkest time by far, it was also the time I saw God the most. I felt that I was being taught to be humble but God didn’t leave me there broken and discouraged. Whenever I would feel at my wits’ end, He would always come to rescue me. I just feel so grateful. 7 days passed and we thank God that baby was safe from sepsis. Our prayers were answered , he was healthy though just not in a way that we expected it to be.

Looking back, I am very thankful how God delivered us from this ordeal. We were not in control of the people, of the circumstances, but He was. It was also best that Greyson wasn’t roomed in with us immediately because I had time to rest and recover – ready to face the challenges ahead. I was able to sleep and relax and still have my baby taken care of at the IMCU with pasteurized milk initially. Every time I would feel like I would have a meltdown, He would always rescue me – whether it be thru my husband, my family especially my ate who was emotionally supportive of this new phase in my life, thru friends, for a new found friend and ate in Doc Jaycee, and even strangers like the nurses at the maternity wing. I praise God for them – we had the best mother-baby care at St. Luke’s QC because of the nurses and staff. It was a nursing aid who helped me realize I already had milk which came in on my third day.

I thank God for The Disciples’, The Santos’. My mom who was always there. Our family and in laws who helped us adjust to normalcy. Many more who visited us, prayed for us! For our godparents, Ninong John and Ninang Maeva for visiting us, Tita Julie and family who sent their love through a beautiful bouquet that made our room feel less empty. Even during breastfeeding I was led to depend on God to help both Greyson and I. That he would be able to get milk from me. I was praying every time we tried to latch and whenever I would give up, God delivered me… He came to my rescue and baby and I would have the perfect latch. I realized that it wasn’t about this one time moment. It was about who God is all this time and how He never failed us and was so faithful to us in these trying times. Indeed, when I called He answered
And He came to my rescue and I just want to be where He is,

By God’s grace it has been almost 5 months since I am writing this entry and looking back we would not have survived and would have drowned if not for God’s goodness in our lives. I thought that after our problematic latching which lasted for a couple of weeks, we wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. But as I write this entry, I type with my left hand and baby is happily breastfeeding on my right breast. I am looking forward to know God more as we begin this journey of parenting and we pray that Greyson grows up to know God and love Him with all his heart, mind, and strength because truly knowing God here on earth will be the greatest treasure that he could have. <3

The Second Trimester: Gender Reveal and A Setback

After an eventful first trimester, I couldn’t wait to just settle in what they say as the “easiest” trimester RELATIVELY. They say that in this period, pregnant women usually feel more like themselves…(usually). But then again, every pregnancy is truly different. I still hear stories about moms vomiting all throughout their pregnancy and I really feel so bad about them. I experienced a bit of morning sickness but it is usually due to hunger or because I ate something bad.

I am not exempt from the fears. There are times I get so paranoid about the food that I eat – that it’s not cooked enough, it has mercury, the utensils in restaurants are unsanitary. All these crazy things I put in my head that strike fear to the already fearful first timer moms. But whenever these attacks come to me I am reminded to just keep praying. This just teaches me to be more dependent on God and I praise God for stretching me. I am not in control and worrying does not add a day into both our lives (Matthew 6:27). Worrying just gives me an illusion of control but really… I will never reach that state.

16th Week Symptoms

We were glad to finally be with the rest of the family to celebrate Christmas! Some of my symptoms were

  • Feeling breathless sometimes when I sleep on my right… but when I turn to my left..
  • …I have some pains in my ribs. It’s as if someone is pressing down on my ribs
  • I get sharp pains in my uterus that lasts for about 5 minutes

During the second trimester I was advised to drink Iron and for the info of first timer preggies, the first time I drank iron and did #2, it was so scary! So be prepared and apparently it’s normal because the body is getting rid of the excess blood I think. (I’m not a doctor)

17 weeks

18th Week Symptoms

I was sitting down on a chair waiting for Jason to check in (we were having a staycation for New Year’s Eve) and I suddenly felt this wave in my stomach! They said that the first time you would feel the baby is this fish feeling. 

Could this be our baby?? I was so happy with the movement I felt inside, I think the baby was stimulated because of the noise of people around.

Most would say that it is usually during the 20th week that they’d feel a distinct movement, so part of me was shrugging it off but part of me was excited that baby made itself known a little early. We were looking forward to seeing the baby in the Congenital Anomaly Scan (CAS) which happens during weeks 20-24. 

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20th Week Symptoms and Finding out the gender

Weeks leading to the CAS we were praying that baby was healthy and normal. Before this scan, baby was a bit heavy and advanced for his gestational age. If the baby’s supposed GA is 1 week, it always turns out 1 week and 5 days old. Doctors would say it is normal. But anyway the moment of truth has arrived. 

20 weeks

We found out we were having a baby….. BOY <3 In the first trimester I was given a dream that we will be having a boy weird as it may sound. But anyway… it was so easy to spot his gender. :)

CAS lasted for about an hour because the baby was active and it was hard to measure his limbs and everything. Everything was thoroughly checked, his fingers, toes, limbs, his heart, his face. This was the first time we saw his face and my heart melted.

We just prayed for a healthy child then and though I initially preferred a girl (because I was so clueless about boys!), I was reminded of our earnest prayer to conceive a healthy child and here we are – in God’s faithfulness – halfway there. I remembered my worry of how I was going to raise a boy – how am I going to teach him how to pee! But then it dawned on me that Jason was there and I was not going to raise him alone. Jason also reminded me that God knew and God gave this boy and He will provide the wisdom on how to raise our child. 

  • First time to feel your soft kick (it was so tiny!) But I felt it and took a video of it.

Since we found out the gender, we want to celebrate it with our family. We conducted a simple gender reveal party for my side – the Tan family because we have more kids who would enjoy the concept of a reveal party. They voted a boy and they won! 

gender

For Gia’s side, the Mendoza family, it was more simple. We ate at Silantro and they voted for a girl except for Pau, Gia’s sister who came from SG and gave us so much baby products. Since it’s a boy, we named him Greyson Maddox Tan = GMT, same as Gia’s initials and the commercial building. We decided that if it will be a girl, she will have my initials CJT.

Greyson means son of a steward. He can still be part of the many meanings of our vlog Project G – project Greyson. 

Super proud of the hubby for setting up this gender reveal party! He is the one behind all the DIY and designs. I saw him poring over Pinterest :)) to see how to set up the house. He is such a blessing! Where I lack (in arts and stuff), he completes! Truly, he completes me.

gender2

gender 3

Week 20 and that gush of blood

We were almost back to normal, working and doing ministry every Saturday night in kids church. But that particular Saturday I had a gush of fresh blood as I went to the toilet. I felt so faint and I got so dizzy. I panicked and told Jason. I rushed to the bed, put myself on bedrest, lay down on my left with a pillow in between my legs and prayed that our baby was okay. I thought that time I was miscarrying because there was a significant amount of blood. God spoke to me through this verse again which also gave me comfort during my 1st surgery,

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, I am with you, be not dismayed I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you and will uphold you with my right hand.

I was praying and crying and I immediately texted my OB Dra. Jing. She immediately called me and asked a few questions.

God enabled me to surrender this to Him too and I just observed what would happen during the day.

Praise God because it turned out I was just having some hemorrhoids. (things that happen sometimes during pregnancy)

  • New symptoms I experienced were backaches
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding gums

21st Week 

We attended a free birthing class from Rome Kanapi at an event, Pregnant Pause. We missed a lot because we arrived late due to a change in their venue. But I feel that we were able to heart the most important part which is the exercise – Pelvic Rock! I needed that during those times and it gave my lower back so much relief! It was good that Jason was able to attend too because he would know where my most painful part would be – lower right back. Since the third trimester he would regularly massage this part using a peanut ball. 

22nd Week Symptoms 

Found out I gained a lot! Let’s not talk about this. Haha let’s just say I’m a happy chubby preggy. 😀 The most important part was that baby is healthy and has a healthy heartbeat of 145.

  • feeling occasionally nauseous
  • can’t breathe when lying straight
  • when laying on my right, I feel baby g’s legs doing some bicycles as if a hamster on a wheel. I think he does not like me laying on my right. It feels as if I’m squishing him.

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24th Week Oral Glucose Challenge Test

During the 24th – 28th week, preggies are required to do the glucose test – either the OGCT or OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test). The difference was the former was a shorter and quicker version while OGTT was more intensive and it takes half of your day. I took the test at Marikina Valley Hospital which costs around 600. This test is to determine if we have Gestational Diabetes or a diabetes acquired during pregnancy. Something like that… (I’m not a doctor)

ogct

For the procedure of OGCT this is what happened

  • No fasting needed
  • After breakfast I had to wait an hour
  • Had to drink an orange liquid within 5 minutes
  • After an hour, they took my blood sugar.
  • Got my results at 12nn!

It was really quick and praise God I passed the test 84/146. I was expecting that it would be elevated due to some sugars I’ve been craving and eating. 

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In just 4 more weeks we’re about to enter the third trimester! I’m so excited. So for me I would say it is true, that during the 2nd trimester, I felt more like myself. I was able to go back to the gym during my 22nd week, meet my clients and go to work. I’m hoping this energy would last until the third trimester. In the meantime, we are excited to plan for an out of town trip – probably our last for the year. :)) 

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We thank God for everyday – for this life inside of me. I thank God every time baby G moves in my womb, I never thought we would come this far after the bleed in the first trimester. I thank God for sustaining us everyday despite of our lack in judgment on what’s good for us. I may not be confident about the pregnancy and about the things we are learning or even applying but during these times, I am taught to be confident in a good God who is loving and all-knowing and gives us what is best for us. 

Now on to the third trimester!

The First Trimester: Adjustment & Bed Rest

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