Monday, April 23, 2012

Birth Story: by Normi Alvaira Herrera, Inexpressible joy

  • April 12

        • Hi Chiqui!

          Hope all is well with you.  I'm sending you this message because I really need your advice on something.

          See I'm already on my 40th week and my calculated due date is supposed to be today. However our baby hasn't engaged yet and I haven't experienced any regular signs of labor except for painless contractions and my cervix is still closed. Our OB left for Europe on a scheduled vacation last April 9th and will be back on the 20th. So in case I go to labor, I will be attended by her reliever. We already have communicated our birth plan to our OB before she left (patterned after the sample that was included in our manual), and she agreed to it. We showed it to the doctor who will take over and she agreed to it on some modifications.

          Anyway, this doctor also wonders why the baby is still high and floating at this time so she required several tests to be done. We had BPS with Non-stress Test done to check on the baby's condition. He scored 10/10. The ultrasound didn't show any possible complications like a coiled umbilical cord as the doctor theorized, except for the head size which is 9.55cm. The placenta is also in its perfect place and evaluated at Grade III. Also, since we plan to deliver at the Asian Hospital, she also requested urinalysis and CBC w/ bloodtyping because Asian Hospital doesn't accept lab tests done outside (part of their SOP). We also went through a pre-op evaluation (also part of their SOP, even if we've communicated to the OB that we wanted an unmedicated birth), wherein we will be interviewed by an anesthesiologist for evaluation in case I would go through medicated normal birth or C-section. So we did all these yesterday and we'll see her again this afternoon for the follow up check up. Then we will know how we will go about it--since she said the last time we saw her (last Apr. 10) that I have a 50-50 chance of going through a C-section.

          Our faith is we will still go through a natural and unmedicated birth and we keep praying that we won't have to go through a C-section. But with these conditions, what do you think is the best way? Should we wait it out for the baby to engage on itself until the 42nd week? Is it safe for an induced labor at this time? Could we avoid C-section or is it the only way we can deliver the baby in these condition? Does this happen normally?

          I really appreciate your advise on this. My husband and I have been reviewing our childbirth class notes and we regularly do the exercises for a healthy childbirth, so imagine our frustration and anticipation to finally see and hold our baby given this situation.

          Thank you very much for taking the time to read this message. God bless you more and more. 


          Normi Alvaira-Herrera
          Class #207

      • April 14
        Birth Times
        • I'm not a doctor so I don't practice medicine. If all the tests indicate to be normal, then I feel there is no rush to start labor or even induce or do a CS. Again this is my personal opinion and what I would do if I'm the one. Not one labor is the same as another. Some take more time while others go much faster. If I were you I would relax and let nature take it's course. Of course it's good to check with your OB for the tests to be done to check baby's and your well being. If you have some doubts, it's always good to get a 2nd opinion. No harm on that. I hope my advice is not too late an has helped you. Take care and please don't hesitate if you have other questions. Chiqui 0917-8824784

      • April 15
        Birth Times
        • Hi Normi! What happened? Were you able to get a 2nd opinion? How are you?

        • Hi Chiqui!  Well, nature indeed has taken its course. The same day I sent you that message, our OB told us that we'll do another BPS with non-stress test by Apr 14 to check again if the baby's condition is doing well. If the results deteriorated from the last tests, then we'll have to change the delivery plan.

          So, on April 14, I got up extra early to prepare for the procedure since we were scheduled in the morning. But then, mild contractions arrived at 7:22pm so I began timing it. It came regularly with 2-3 minutes in duration and at 10 minutes interval. My husband and I knew that this was it! I wasn't sure yet if I had bloody show while I was in the shower, but I saw blood so I took note of it too, in case the doctor would ask. While in the car on the way to the hospital, it was certain I had bloody show. My husband and I were excited because we knew that this was the day God planned for our baby to be born.

          We headed to the Genesis section of Asian Hospital as we have been instructed. Our OB already left orders to the staff on duty about my condition. So when we arrived, I was immediately strapped with an apparatus for the Non-stress test to check the baby's heart rate. As the results showed, everything was well, except for one or two dips in his heart rate which was not so alarming. But the good thing is, the BPS doesn't have to be repeated. After an IE, the doctor on duty said I was almost fully effaced and was 2-3cm dilated, though the baby has not engaged yet. They began preparing me for the birthing room. My husband and I were actually ecstatic that in a matter of hours, we will be seeing our baby. We were in faith that baby will engage naturally on his own and we won't have to resort to a C-section.

          It wasn't all natural as we planned because my contractions were not strong enough to coax the baby to engage. They had to hook me to an IV and give me medications to cause stronger contractions. Except for the IV, we still were able to practice Lamaze. Since I wasn't able to eat breakfast that morning, I was allowed to eat soup to nourish me. I even had one lollipop that was prepared in our labor bag weeks before. At 12PM, my OB arrived and after IE, she said the baby was still very high so she advised me to walk around. I most willingly obliged. My husband was such a great coach, even w/ an IV, we were able to do the Lamaze breathing and labor exercises.

          After a while, I had to be strapped back on a fetal monitor. By this time, the contractions were coming strongly. When the doctor on duty did another IE, she said I was already fully effaced and was 7cm dilated. The urge to push was so strong but I had to control it because the baby's head was still above -4. Eventually I caved in and was given Epidural, because my dilation was progressing but the baby still won't engage. It was difficult while they were administering it because the contractions were already so strong and I had to be in a certain position for the Epidural. After the Epidural, I was able to rest for a while. But this actually backfired. My OB returned and said that my contractions lessened so it won't help the baby to come down. So we had to wait for the Epidural to wear off and then they had to give me stronger contractions by increasing the medication in my IV. By then, I was fully effaced and dilated and with a few pushes the baby head rotated and began coming down. I rested for 2 more contractions and finally the baby is at +4. The birthing staff got ready and baby is finally on his way. My waterbag finally ruptured but it was stained. I was more determined than ever because I didn't want to stress my baby even more. With the encouragement of my husband by my side and the cheers of the birthing staff, I was motivated to give it my all. I had a great team working with us and I believe it was a blessing from the Lord.

          Finally, after 5 strong pushes, Ezekiel Norton Alvaira-Herrera came out with a loud and healthy scream at 4:39AM. He weighed at 7 lbs and 11 oz and measured at 52.5 in length. My OB and all the other doctors were so amazed at how I was able to handle it and how well I pushed that baby out. Well, had it not been for the classes we took under your facilitation, Chiqui, it would have been difficult and it may have turned out differently.

          Thank you very much Chiqui for sharing your wisdom on Lamaze techniques. It sure did help us and gave us the most amazing experience of childbirth we could ever have. I'm recommending it to my friends who are also expecting babies.  May God continually bless you more! 

          With deepest thanks,
          Normi Alvaira-Herrera

          P.S. If you need more pictures, you can view it on my wall. 

      • Sunday
        Birth Times
        • Thank you so much for sharing your story. Wonderful! Normi, may I have your permission to post your story in my site? Also to get some photos in your album? I hope you are breastfeeing.

        • Yes please go ahead.  Yes I am breastfeeding. Though sometimes it can be tiring, especially in the middle of the night but the bonding moment is just priceless. 
        • By the way, there's a correction there. It's 4:39PM not AM. Thanks!
        • And he's 52.5cm in length. 

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