Showing posts with label Manila Doctors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manila Doctors. Show all posts

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.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Finally found my (hopefully) VBAC doctor!

This is actually a late post because I already settled with an OB who's willing to do a VBAC at the onset of my pregnancy. But I'm quite hesitant to post specific details of my dream VBAC, baka mausog and all. 

Recently though, I realized that there could be other readers out there who may have significant experiences to share, and who, for some reason or another, stumbled upon this humble space of mine in the blogosphere. 

In addition, I was also inspired by my new-found philosophy that happiness is in the planning, so with the proper frame of mind how to manage in case all these preparations turned out to be nil, I had mustered enough courage to tell you about it.

I previously consulted two other OBs in my quest for a VBAC doctor. The first one was from UP-PGH whom I consulted for a preliminary determination of my chances. (At that time, I was not yet expecting. I wrote about it here.) Upon learning that I was pregnant, we went to the second doctor, who was from Makati Med. This doctor said she would only do a VBAC if she was the one who performed the prior caesarian. I never went back to her clinic.

Instead, I asked Zohan's pediatrician, Dra. Vienne Saulog, if she knew of a good VBAC doctor, and she recommended Dra. Valerie Tiempo-Guinto. I looked her up and learned that she is the Chief of the Section of Maternal and Fetal Medicine in UP-PGH and the Head of the Section of Maternal and Fetal Medicine in St. Luke's-BGC. How was that for a background?

So my husband and I decided to visit her clinic in Don Santiago Building in Manila, just right across PGH. At the onset, I already informed her of my preferred birth method and asked her of my chances. I took out all the medical records of my first pregnancy and she looked at my history. Through ultrasound, she examined the incision done inside my tummy to determine if its location would impede an attempt to do a vaginal birth. She also confirmed the findings of the first VBAC doctor whom we consulted.

After all the initial examinations, Dra. Guinto came up with the conclusion that I have a good chance to do a VBAC. I had been seeing her every month since, and each time, I would always ask about my chances. Thankfully, my pregnancy had been uneventful and her answer remained the same. 

I am very much comfortable with Dra. Guinto. She isn't chirpy and comforting and sweet - in fact, she's the exact opposite. She looks and sounds tough, almost aloof - but I guess when one is an expert at high-risk pregnancies, being calm, composed and detached is a necessary requirement. And that's exactly how she appears to me. Despite her lack of knack for small talks, she is very thorough in explaining things without any sugarcoating. And with the premise that I want to do a VBAC, she is exactly what I need.

I am now at my third trimester, week 29 to be exact, and it seems I'm all geared up for the delivery room. After a thorough deliberation, my husband and I have decided that I will give birth at Manila Doctors, where Dra. Guinto is also an affiliate doctor. I am looking forward to the empowering experience and with Dra. Guinto's help, I have a really good feeling this "push project" will push through. So help me God.




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