Showing posts with label Khaleid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Khaleid. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Good Wife

I was entitled to a maternity leave of 75 days, and today I'm in the home stretch. I was looking back at those days and I realized that I spent them entirely by taking care of the kids and doing the endless chores at home. Perhaps, the only time I could consider "personal" was whenever I was lucky that both kids happened to nap at the same time and I could watch an episode or two of my downloaded TV series, The Good Wife (TGW), usually while expressing milk.

One of those days spent watching TGW.
I was enjoying my Seattle's Best Javanilla, which was a peace offering from the husband.

TGW is a legal and political drama, which centered on the life of Alicia Florrick; (played by Julianna Margulies) a lawyer, mother of two kids, and wife to Governor Peter Florrick. The latter is former Cook County's State Attorney, who has been jailed after a public sex and corruption scandal. Alicia was an opt-out mom - she left her career and stayed at home with her kids during their formative years. After 13 years, she went back to the grind to practice law. 

There was one episode in TGW that struck me most. Alicia was in the midst of her routine as a lawyer; constantly in the middle of something, and at the beck and call of her clients. She wanted to breath and take a break for a minute, and she told her friend Kalinda, that when she was still a stay-at-home mom, there was a time in her daily routine that she looked forward to. Everyday, at 3PM, she would pour herself a glass of wine and enjoy the silence while waiting for the kids to come home from school. She said she was missing the silence at 3PM.

I know that in a few days, I will find myself saying the same thing - "I miss the silence at 3PM, when my kids are both asleep and I'm sneaking, almost in a juvenile way, to breath and take a break."

Don't worry, for photo purposes only. I separate them when they sleep.

Being with my kids and taking care of them was a very happy time - but one that could get really exhausting. I wouldn't mind much how they wear me out physically; but being emotionally spent, that was a different matter. Since emotions could get a bit high, (and I tend to be a bad mother when I'm emotional), I found that a breather was almost always a necessity. 

Just a small window in 24 hours - a time to recharge, to take a quick bath, turn on the TV, elevate my tired feet, drink a juice from the fridge, open a bag of chips, and pray that the kids stay asleep for the duration of at least one episode of TGW. 

After my break, my emotions would be on a clean slate again. When the kids wake up, I'd have more patience to tolerate tantrums and fake cries. I'd have more energy to carry a baby sucked to my breast.

I will miss that "window", the silence at 3PM. But I will miss the kids more. 

Last night, at bed, I was telling Zohan that I would resume office on Friday. He said, his voice breaking and his face pitiful, "Eh wag ka na pasok office. 'Se wala ako Nanay. Hanap kita, di ba?"

I wish I could tell my son how sorry I was that his Nanay was no Alicia Florrick. Bouncing back to the practice of law from a 13-year hiatus could happen only in TV series. (Well, at least to me.) 

I wish I could tell him how sorry I was that I could not be an opt-out mom. But it was a personal choice. I felt that I would be a better mother if I would continue working than if I stay at home.

So I hugged him instead. A tight hug that I hope could dispel the sadness in his sweet and innocent heart. And I resolved to myself that I would devote all of my time and all of myself to Zohan and Khaleid the second I step out of the office -- even if it meant I will never have a window again to recharge every 3PM. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Khaleid's Birth Story (and my failed VBAC Attempt) - Part II

 "There could also be an initial attempt to do labor but after several nerve-wracking pushes, the baby's head turns out to be too large or the mommy's pelvis too small to allow the baby to pass through. In all of these, there would be a gut-wrenching pain, from labor or otherwise, followed by a relief that when everything else seemed to fail, the mother would be summoned to the operating room for incision for her own good. These mothers would end up with a scar from the CS operation, but they fought a battle, and they fought hard."
                                                             - An excerpt from my very first VBAC Post 


After a long, arduous, and exhausting trial labor, my efforts were all for naught because I wasn't able to deliver through a varginal birth. In medical jargon, the failed VBAC was because of "arrest in descent, secondary to cephalopelvic disproportion".  In ordinary parlance, the baby's head was too big and my pelvis was too narrow.

But for me, the real reason was the Universe working its way to save me from a looming danger. I was wide awake during the CS operation, that's why I was able to witness why God refused to listen to my plea for a normal delivery. 

Upon opening up the previous wound, Dra. Guinto immediately discovered that my first CS operation had not just one, but two incisions inside! That would have been okay, except that while the first stitch was low transverse (which is the primary requirement before a VBAC is allowed), the other stitch was VERTICAL - a contraindication of VBAC (the kind of incision with a higher risk of uterine rupture). 

The reason why Dra. Guinto allowed me to try VBAC was because I was a qualified candidate - or so we thought. The operative record of my previous CS operation indicated a low transverse incision, which led us to believe that I could pull off a VBAC without any unusual risk. (I wrote about the requirements for a VBAC candidate here.

But that was where the problem lied -the record indicated only the transverse incision; thus, neither Dra. Guinto nor I would know about the second incision. As to why the operative record did not accurately reflect what was done inside my body was something I refused to ruminate. It was water under the bridge.

At 10:16 AM, "baby out" was finally announced by Dra. Guinto. I heard my baby's cry and I let out a sigh of relief. 

When Khaleid was handed to me, there were no tears of joy or music playing in my head or thoughts of magical moment. Of course, I was glad that we were both safe, but I was so ready to close my eyes to sleep. I was that exhausted. But I couldn't sleep just yet. Khaleid was immediately placed in my breast for the "Unang Yakap". With just a few attempt, he latched properly and our breastfeeding journey began.

At this point, Dra. Guinto and her team was still at me, re-doing the stitches from my previous operation. She figured it would take her hours to "improve" the old stitches. When I heard her making calls to cancel all her appointments that morning, it dawned to me how fortunate I was to have found a very competent doctor. It was a good call she made to discontinue my VBAC attempt. With the vertical stitch inside my body, who knows, I might be just one push away from uterine rupture.

At around 2:00 PM, Khaleid and I were wheeled into our private room, where Kristan had been anxiously waiting. Kristan was alone in the room since my labor began and I could just imagine the worry and anxiety that he had to go through for hours. He kissed me on the forehead and whispered how much he loved me and how grateful he was to me for enduring everything. 

After two and a half days, I was cleared to go home. I stepped out of the hospital leaving my hopes of a vaginal birth behind. It was not only the end of my VBAC journey; it also meant that we could not try for more babies. But that's okay - I had always believed in the greater scheme of things. I knew the Universe knows better than me. 

The most important thing was how blessed we were to have been entrusted once again with another being - to raise, to nurture, and to love. It was a wonderful, wonderful journey which ended so beautifully with me endlessly taking a whiff of my baby's scent and planting kisses on his cheeks to my heart's content.



You can read PART I here.
You can read all my VBAC-related posts here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Khaleid's Birth Story (and my failed VBAC attempt) - Part I

I gave birth to our second son, Khaleid Immanuel, in the morning of February 3, 2014 via an emergency caesarian section. I was hoping for a Vaginal Birth After Caesarian (VBAC) so I was a little frustrated that I had to be cut open once more. But in hindsight, I'll dare say I'm still lucky things did not go my way, as there was an unforeseen risk that could have cost me my life had I insisted on vaginal birth.

I had my last check up with Dra. Guinto on January 29 (Wednesday) and after an internal exam, she said I'd give birth within the next seven days. Thereafter, I had been having bloody show and contractions had been coming at irregular intervals. Despite the signs, I knew it wasn't time yet, so I went on with my routine as days went by.  

On Saturday, I was restless and anxious that I couldn't get myself a decent sleep. I was up until 4:00 AM, timing contractions that were still intermittent. On Sunday morning, contractions became a bit painful. That's when I knew I was nearing the D-day.

However, I was resolved to postpone going to the hospital until the pain becomes unbearable. I'd rather hurl invective in the comfort of my home than embarrass myself in the labor room. Besides, if I go to the hospital at the first sign of pain, and my dilation and effacement would progress slowly, I was afraid the doctors would become impatient and cut me up instead.

So with the thought of increasing my chances of VBAC, I went on to do the usual "palengke Sunday" with my husband instead of going to the hospital. I was wincing in pain in between haggling for the price of meat and weighing vegetables. After our errand, I stayed put and monitored the pain, which increased in intensity. And at the end of the long day, I managed to sleep through the pain.

I was awakened at around 1:00 AM because Zohan was coughing very badly. I got up to carry the poor kid and lull him back to sleep; when I realized my contractions were disturbingly painful. Although bearable, I knew it was time to hit the road. 

When we arrived at Manila Doctors, I was examined by the doctor and was told that I was already 6cm dilated. I was sent to the labor room where I would spend hours in labor pain. Dra. Guinto arrived soon enough and she patiently monitored my progress. Hours passed but I did not become fully dilated. At 8:00 AM, Dra. Guinto was already lecturing me on shifting to a caesarian operation. 

She gave me a final attempt and ordered me to try pushing. I gave out all my strength to do an epic push as if my life depended on it. To our surprise, I became 10cm dilated. At 9:00 am, Dra. Guinto said normal labor is a go. I was wheeled into the delivery room. Despite my exhaustion from seven hours of labor pain, I was grinning from ear to ear. This is it, I said to myself.

At the delivery room, the nurses and staff were in full force to help me push every time a contraction would come in. Since I had been waiting for that moment, I mustered all the remaining strength in my weary body to make strong pushes. Dra. Guinto said I was one of her powerful "pushers"; but it seemed that wasn't enough.

For an hour, I experienced strong contractions, to which I responded with even stronger pushes. But for reasons only my body could answer, my dilation would spring back and forth. Dra. Guinto could already feel the baby's head but since there was an arrest in descent, the baby just wouldn't come out. It also didn't help that baby's head was so big and my pelvic bone was too narrow.

At 10:00 AM, Dra. Guinto gave me last two chances to make a push before she would order an arrest CS. I began each push with a prayer. I took a deep breath and gave out the most powerful force I could give, but to no avail. The baby's head was already stuck inside with all the back and forth movements it underwent. The doctors were already concern with uterine rupture of my previous CS wound since I had been in labor for eight hours. The inevitable came and an emergency caesarian operation was ordered. I closed my eyes and accepted what I considered defeat...

(Part II here.)
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