I was a fresh graduate from college when I married. I was barely out of my teens and should have been enjoying “single blessedness” as they call it, but I fell head over heels with my husband. To make the story short, we married in a simple ceremony; but for me, it was the most memorable day of my life. I was so happy because I would finally live my life with the person I love so much.
The days went by like a breeze and before I knew it, I was pregnant with our first-born. It was not an easy pregnancy for me. I had bouts of morning sickness and most of the time; I was in bed feeling so weak. In the mornings, I had crackers, tea or banana to reduce my nausea. At times I had a candy in my mouth to lessen my propensity for vomiting.
My OB-Gynecologist advised me to take a leave from work, which I did reluctantly. I could hardly eat because the smell and taste of food made me sick. I thrived on bland crackers, banana and tea. There was a time they had to give me intravenous fluid because I was nearly dehydrated.
It took me 3 months to overcome my morning sickness. I had lost 15 pounds and I was fearful the baby might be malnourished because I was not eating well. The doctor assured me that the baby would be fine because he had given me prenatal vitamins. I had also regular laboratory examinations on my blood sugar and urine protein; two very important components that could be detrimental to a normal pregnancy.
The presence of sugar would indicate gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and elevated proteins could cause pre-eclampsia which could elevate my blood pressure. I worried a lot about my baby; so I avoided eating too much sugar, salty foods, preserved foods and meat fat. I concentrated more on fruits and vegetables.
On the 4th month my abdomen has grown rapidly. I had to wear wide maternity dresses. My doctor was happy with the progress of my baby. The morning sickness vanished altogether but in place of it, I started to have muscle cramps and experienced pain in my thighs. The doctor advised me to take in additional calcium tablets and elevate my feet during the night. This is to decrease the pooling of blood in my feet due to prolonged standing.
5th, 6th, 7th month followed. My abdomen was distended then and I had difficulty lying flat on my back. I had to shift positions various times during the night and had several pillows alongside my bed to cushion the weight of my tummy.
On the 8th month, I had gained weight considerably. My doctor cautioned me to refrain from eating too much carbohydrates and sugar. I had to maintain the ideal weight of the baby because I wanted to have a normal delivery.
On the 9th month, I felt very heavy. I had pin-point pains all over my body and felt very uncomfortable with the added weight, but I was happy with the knowledge that soon, I would be having my baby.
The big day came. Everything was ready. My laboratory exams were all normal. I had the spotting at 10 in the morning, and I started to have contractions at around 6 pm. The contractions increased in intensity at 9 pm. The pain continued to build up that I had thought it would never end.
I had opted for normal delivery with no painkillers as I didn’t want to take the chance of my baby experiencing fetal distress, even if the likelihood was rare.
Every mother who had undergone normal delivery without any pain killer would attest to the fact that it was an excruciating torture. As the pain continued to build up, I had even wished, in some moments that I could just die, than endure more of that exquisite pain.
At 12 midnight, I could no longer stand the pain; I was wailing loudly.
They told me it would be painful, but I never imagined it would be that painful.
I had clawed my nails at anything I can get hold of, and almost bit my husband. We decided that a pillow would serve me better, so I gnashed and bit into the pillow to stop myself from screaming out loud.
Then the moment came when I was ready to push. The nurse made an internal exam and rushed me to the delivery room. I had known later that the head of my baby was already coming out. They did not even have time to prepare me properly, I was unshaven.
I was acutely aware of everything. When my baby came out at last and I heard his first loud cry, I was overjoyed beyond belief. Nothing could ever equal the feeling I felt then, when I finally held him in my arms – my baby, my son!