My Birth Story

Although I haven't really been telling stories in this blog, I want to make an exception to this one. It'll be long. It's very graphic so reader discretion is strongly advised. It's my Birth Story...

It all started Saturday, 5.13, day before mother's day. The previous day I spent all day shopping and was exhausted. Saturday, I planned to relax because the next day was Mother's Day and my family is throwing me a baby shower as well. I was sitting on my bed, folding clothes and watching Brokeback Mountain. When I stood up, I noticed an oreo sized water stain. Hmm, that's can't be my water breaking, I still have a week to go, plus, it's too tiny to be it. Watching Sex & the City and Friends, I know there'll be a gush of water, so I was a little apprehensive but continued on my day.

That night, around 4 am I went to the bathroom but noticed the bed was a little wet. Hubby said I better ask the OB-GYN if that is my water breaking. I called - and a doctor returned my call. He didn't think it was, but did say to call him back in the next two hours to give him a progress report. At 5:10 am, I felt it. A gush of water coming out and not stopping. I knew for sure this was the bag of waters. I tried to page the doctor again, but he didn't call back right away.

As hubby started preparing the car, I ate my last meal. I knew when I got to the hospital, there would be no eating for me. I tried to stall for as long as possible, but when the doc called me, he said I should get to L&D (Labor & Delivery) right away.

We got in around 8:00 am and a wonderful english nurse named annette tended to me. In tow was a nursing student. Annette checked my cervix and said I was 3 cm dilated, 90% effaced and at about a -2 station.

Half an hour later, my OB-GYN came by to say hi. Unfortunately, unless I got into active labor in the next few hours, he won't be able to deliver me because it's Mother's Day and he has a thing. The on-call doctor we'll name Dr. S. I was disappointed since Dr. S was not one of my doctors, so I hoped he would be good.

At 10:00 am, Annette checked my again and there was no progress. my OB-GYN suggested I go home for a while but annette said I should just stay. It looks like the ETA for my labor would be around 3 am. And so we stayed. I took a shower there and walked around a bit...

The day dragged on. I was progressing very very slowly. Even annette was a bit concerned. By 7:30 pm, I was only about 6 cm dilated - when supposed to be, once I reached four, I would be dilating at a much faster rate.

Shift change. Wendy is my new nurse. She's very nice as well. I asked her about medications. They were concerned about giving me a epidural because I'm progressing so slowly, it might make things slower, and we do not have much time. I have to have the baby before 5:10 or else we'll be going beyond the 24 hour mark.

A few hours later (I forget the exact time), Dr. G (the anesthesiologist) and Dr. S came by and said we are ok to do the epidural if I want. I said I was concerned that it'll slow an already slow process. Dr. S said that it might actually help since maybe I'm not dilating fast enough because I was tense from the pain. So, sure ok.

Hubby watched as Dr. G inserted the big ole needle. Of course, my luck, he had to do it twice since he couldn't find a space the first time around. I felt relief from the pain.

Sometime later again (midnightish?), there was talk. Doc said that they're giving me pitocin and if I still don't dilate, we should consider a c-sec. Hubby asked doc at what point should we call it quits, but the doc was vague and told my hubby that it was his (doc) decision as to when we should stop trying [this made hubby outraged but that's another post]. At this point, I'm starting to panic and prayed that the pitocin would work. Hubby fell asleep, I couldn't. They've turned down the lights and I can see Wendy monitoring me.

Then I was feeling it. Definitely, something was going on. I was hurting...feel like contractions are stronger. I told Wendy what I felt and she gave me an exam. She said I was about complete (yay!) and she called Dr. S. Dr. S did the same exam but said my station was still high so we should wait and not push.

Now this was the hardest part of the evening. As the contractions became stronger and stronger, it was so darn hard not to push. I was holding on to hubby for dear life and did all those breathing things we talked about. We did this for 45 minutes - seemed like an eternity. I tried. I really tried. But Wendy kept giving me an out. If you really feel like you have to push, then let's push, she keeps telling me. The she said that I probably wouldn't push for too long because the baby looks like it's headed down.

And so I push. I'm sorry, this is the hardest part. Hubby has my one leg and Wendy the other. She kept saying encouraging words to me: That's a girl! Good Job! and so I thought things are going ok. I did wonder why we started pushing without the doc but at that moment, I was very confused. We pushed for two hours to no avail. So she got the doc and explained to him what happened. No words were said but I knew he was not happy. He checked and said that the baby was still too high, and implied that we shouldn't have started so soon. He also said I wasn't pushing with all my might. What? I wanted to smack him.

Then after another hour, he decided to lower my epidural. Um, hello! Why wasn't that thought of sooner? He also wanted to increase the pitocin level. The nurse kept telling him that if they give me more, my blood pressure will drop but he didn't seem to listen. So, sure enough, my stats beeped like crazy.

Then, with what seemed like hours of pushing he said that the baby is turned up and that he needed to turn him around but he's too high up to do that. He told me to push some more and said that I wasn't pushing with as much intensity because, hello - it's been three hours. He said the first two hours didn't count because I wasn't doing it right.

It was all a blur. I was in too much pain, yet I wanted to just finish it. I've been in labor at that point for more than 24 hours and I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. I prayed with all my might to have the strength - but it wasn't meant for me. By 6:00 am - Dr. S still wanted for me to push, but the nurses pulled him aside and told him that we are beyond the 24th hour and my fever was very high and we (baby & I) might end up having infections.

When Dr. S said it out loud, tears started rolling. It won't stop. I couldn't believe that after all that, it wasn't over. Wendy kept telling me I did a good job, but I was numb. All feelings have risen to the surface. My face was calm but inside I was bawling. I asked for some ice chips because I haven't eaten in 24 hours. But of course I couldn't have it coz now I'm going into major surgery.

The surgery table is as hectic as I imagined - all these people, all for me. I kept asking if I'm going to feel it. Dr. G said I won't, but when I felt the incision, I started to panic. It wasn't that painful, but boy did I felt it. I felt them moving my guts around. I saw hubby trying to peek. Then I heard it. A little cry. Then some whispers. Then a louder cry. Hubby squeezed me. I heard congratulations. I saw him in the corner of my eye as they showed him to hubby. The told hubby he can follow them to the nursery, but he stayed by my side. I was still in tears. I didn't hit me yet that I just had a baby. When everything was over, the doctors told me I did the best I could, and that I was marvelous. Joshua Alfonso Do was born on a Monday, May 15, 2006, 7:30 am. He weighed 7 lbs., 10 oz.

They wheel me to the recovery room around 8:00 am and said I had to stay there for two hours. It was the longest two hours. I kept staring at the clock. There was one nurse with me. I was so thirsty. I ask for ice chips but at first she said no. I felt trapped. I wanna see my husband. I want to see my baby. Later, she said. So I stared and stared at the clock.

Finally at 10:00 am, they wheel me to my room. I see hubby and my family there waiting for me. They were all smiling and yet I couldn't muster a smile. He's gorgeous, mom says. But all I can say is, I haven't even seen him yet. They give me words of love and encouragement but I wasn't really taking it in. But then they wheel Joshua in. My eyes wander to the little bundle of joy and then it hit me. I've just had a baby - and he is the cutest thing ever. My heart filled with love that I couldn't quite explain. In that moment, the pain, the struggle of the past day just melted away. What did it matter how he came out? He's here and he is love. My eyes filled with tears again - but this time, it was tears of joy.


Bodhi Fortune Cookies

As Blue sleeps on the floor beside me (right now), I look at his sleeping face and realized I haven't given his a nice real treat in a while. And since this is the year of the dog, maybe I should give him this Year of The Dog Bodhi Fortune Cookies. They're cute and cinnamon-y and the picture of that dog is just to die for!


Belles of the Ball

Smokedog's latest blog post talks about his TV shows he misses. What do I miss? Sex And The City - which I believe is still one of the best shows out there.

I'm going to give props to one of my favorite episodes of all time: Episode #58 (Season 4) Belles of the Ball - picture shown.

If I haven't blabbed to you already, I love Aidan. I love Carrie with Aidan. During Aidan's reign, I see their relationship as most real [cue scene with Aidan & Carrie in the bathroom both wearing tidy whities brushing their teeth.] Aidan would be a perfect boyfriend - perfect because he's not perfect. Big, for me, is too perfect. Handsome and rich, sitting in the back of a limo. I'd rather have someone cuddle with me eating KFC than having a dozen roses sent to me by boyfriend's assistant. But that's me.

Anyway, this episode brings us to the country where Carrie & Aidan are spending the weekend. Big calls all upset because his actress girlfriend has dumped him and wanted Carrie to comfort him. Big barges in on their weekend and Aidan shows restrained anger - after all, this was the guy Carrie cheated on him with. All of this leading up to the fist fight the two boys have the next day to which Carrie utters my favorite line of all time: What are you doing!? You're middle-aged!

As I was watching the two boys, at dawned on my just how hot Aidan was. Big looked old with a bit of a belly, while Aidan was lookin' goood. Sigh...Season 4 rocked. Let me go watch that again.

Jack and Lulu

Another cool little thing - from a company named Jack and Lulu - gift tags made of ice cream wooden spoons. On one end it has To: and on the other From:

From the website it looks like they only sell these in bulk but it's a crafty slash ready-made-ish idea to use ice cream wooden spoons as gift tags!

Mesu Measuring Bowls

Cute stuff for the kitchen! These are the Mesu measuring bowls from Studio Panepinto. It's a set of 6 nesting bowls that are freezer, oven, microwave & dishwasher safe. It's so cool, that it makes me want to bake something...


Margaret Nicole Purse

Oh! Look at these cuutttee cable knit clutch purse from Margaret Nicole - Don't look at the price though, you may not want to buy it. But I love purses and bags and I love brown (you know I do).


My Bathroom

Since I've been having conversations with most of you (yes, you!) about home improvements / remodeling, I've decided to open up and show a little about myself - ahem - my home. This is our guest bathroom, which we've been slowly remodeling since we got the house 3 years ago. It's no dwell-home, but trust me, it's an improvement to what was there before.

Being in architecture, I had high hopes in remodeling when we first got the house, but as real life would have it, my hubby does not share my views regarding design. So, there's been a lot of compromising. The color palette we could agree on was a neutral one: creams & browns with punches of color.

Our favorite place to get tile is the Import Tile Company in Berkeley. We got our floor tiles there - and - we installed it ourselves! Pretty good for people with no installing experience whatsoever. The shower curtain & mirror I got from Target. The medicine cabinet from Ikea. And the magazine rack is from the Container Store. The one thing I love about this bathroom? The dark brown paint on the sink cabinet. I love love love deep brown. Alright. End of sharing!

Wallter Circles

There's always something cool at Urban Outfitters. One thing I'm debating of getting are these Wallter Circles. They're 3-D wall art - Connect them to make a pattern that's completely you!