She’s Havin’ The Baby

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Hosp_bracelet Well, since that last gasp of a post sometime in August I have been one busy bee. I gave birth to Jethro Iñigo, who is now over 3 months old, but looking all of 6 months! I have pictures to prove this, and with a little more fiddling around in here, those photos should be up soon.

Jethro choose to make an appearance hmm, what… almost two weeks ahead. On a Friday the 13th in August, no less. I wanted to write down as much of this momentous event as I possibly can for posterity’s sake but somehow, in the flurry of sleepless nights, milk-colored days, and all the attendant bustle that occurs around a new baby, my resolve faded away. Before I knew it, I was juggling yayas, lugging diapers and formula, staying up nights, dozing off days, trying valiantly to keep a tight rein on my sanity.

But on that Friday the 13th of August, I felt like I was being put through a wringer. And you know what, I found out I can weather a lot more than I give myself credit for.

Ah yes. There I was, tummy a-bulging doing groceries, seeing to dinner, and then putting Jeremy to bed. Now this young man, my eldest, must have sensed something was going on, because I swear he just clung to me, didn’t want to go to sleep unless I rocked him in my arms. Normally, he doesn’t demand this anymore, but on that night he was fussing like crazy, so I gave in and rocked him to sleep. No mean feat that, when you are so far into the pregnancy that standing up, you can no longer see your feet. After I put him to bed, I lay down beside him. That was when I felt the beginnings of pain, just a wisp of a contraction, barely legal, but it was there, alright. I chose to ignore the pain, I was so sleepy I just dozed off the moment my head hit the pillows.

At 1am, officially Friday the 13th, I was awakened by some rippling contractions. I time them, willing them to somehow subside, wanting the clarity of day to be able to cope better. Or so I thought. I quickly do a preparedness test: baby and mommy bags—packed, doctor’s orders—ready, baby things—all there. But what I wasn’t prepared for was having to leave Jeremy, who at that moment was sleeping peacefully, not knowing that soon, he will no longer be the only child. I only had yaya with me, and she is snoring softly in the next room, oblivious to all.

I try to sleep off the contractions, even though all the while I am half-aware that they are coming closer and closer together. At 2AM I get up and decide to take a shower to prepare for the hospital trip I know I must make soon. When I come out the shower I see blood on the towel. Ah, the scare that bright red sight brings! It is a sharp stab to the heart, it quickens the pulse. I will myself to calm down and make arrangements as best as I can.

I wake up yaya and pierce through the fog of her sleep, saying, “The baby is coming. I have to get to the hospital, I need you to get me a taxi.” I then get dressed and check my bags. Waiting for the taxi to arrive, I pace back and forth, looking at my sleeping son. The pain is escalating. I can’t sit, I can’t lie down, oftentimes in the midst of pacing I have to pause midstep and let an awful wave of pain pass. At last yaya comes in to say the taxi is outside. I leave her instructions to take care of Jeremy and make sure he has breakfast later. She brings my bags down and bundles me into the taxi.

I look out the window as we speed by, trying to hold in a bellyful of baby boy raring to get out. The night is balmy, the smoky glow of streetlights renders the scene almost surreal. It seems to me there are no other cars on the street. The funny thing is, a few blocks go by before I realize the driver has no idea that I am about to have a baby, let alone that I am pregnant. My tummy was not that apparent under the loose shirt and well, it was dark. Funnier still, on the radio, full blast, the 70’s atrocity, “Funky Town” was wailing away. Now I am a long-suffering creature, trying to be brave and all, but I’ll be damned if I am bringing a kid into this world to the tune of “Funky Town!” I ask him to please turn off the radio and find us a nearby ATM because I need to withdraw money if I am to make a deposit at the hospital before I go off to the labor room. He sits bolt upright and does a double take, I swear.

He gasps, “You’re going to have a baby, mam?!” Of course, this exchange occurred entirely in Cebuano.

After that, things proceed a bit faster, I get out the taxi and slow motion my way to an ATM. The kindly driver kept a worried eye out for me, I’m sure he was praying that we get to the hospital on time. And we did, but first we took the wrong entrance so I had to get back in and sit myself down in the backseat again, so that we could drive to the emergency this time. The driver helps me with my bags and wishes me well, then speeds off, relieved to be free of a potential burden.

At the hospital desk they begin asking me a few essential questions, mainly who was going to check me in. Not exactly in the mood to elaborate, I distract them from actively pursuing this line of questioning by moaning loudly from the pain. I was then I whisked off in a wheelchair by an orderly who cheerfully informs me that I have superb timing, going into labor on a Friday the 13th.

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