It has been exactly a month since our breathtaking and unforgettable water birth experience and I can say that it really expresses and epitomizes what motherhood is. It is pain, suffering, endurance, and life. It is truly amazing what our bodies can do and to be more specific, what our bodies as women can do. So I want to share and narrate our water birth story as a present to you mothers, whether expecting or not because we all need that empowerment to lift our mommy spirits up.
June 3 started like any other day. The only thing different was we were finally going to lay our dad to rest 2 years after passing away. I had the usual contractions that day and since June 7 was my expected date of delivery, I thought that I still had a few days left to wait and that my contractions that day could still be Braxton Hicks.
After that we had a small and short gathering with our relatives, then we headed to the mall and all the while I was monitoring my constant and seemingly getting stronger contractions. I even had a “last supper” of my favorites matcha latte and chococro. My family and I kept chatting that I might give birth the next day. I somewhat brushed it off and just said maybe or maybe not! Who knows right? So after eating, we went to the department store because my mom had to look for a dress. I was patiently waiting until I felt the seriousness of my contractions. It felt like the real thing and I knew it because it’s my second pregnancy already. I irritably told them “LET’S GO HOME SO I CAN MONITOR THE CONTRACTIONS AND IF IT CONTINUOUSLY GETS STRONGER LET’S GO TO THE HOSPITAL ALREADY!” I started feeling uneasy so we left and went home.
Once at home, I spent the time soothing myself with the labor exercises I learned from The Birth Basics Workshop of Doula Betty San Luis. The exercises greatly helped in easing the pain but the feeling was still there and it won’t go away no matter what my position or activity was so I decided that it was time to go to the hospital.
My husband was at work that time and we just agreed to meet at St. Luke’s BGC. On the way, I contacted my doula, photographer, and OB. I headed to the hospital’s maternity complex and had myself initially checked and monitored there. At that moment I knew my contractions were real labor already. I told myself “It’s time!” Doula Betty said that my contractions were mild to strong based on the monitor. After a few minutes of waiting, a resident doctor checked my dilation and effacement and to my (our) surprise, I was only 1cm dilated with a still very thick cervix. I said, “Not again!” I didn’t want to be sent home again. (This happened during my previous pregnancy too.) They advised me to go home and take some rest.
At 10 pm we went home very disappointed. It wasn’t time yet. But my contractions felt really painful. I complained and said it’s impossible. How can that be? I didn’t want to stress over it so I tried to relax, clear my mind, and slept at 11 pm. I woke up at 2 am to really painful contractions but I tried to put myself to sleep again. I couldn’t! I said, “This must be it because I couldn’t sleep anymore!” I kept myself busy by doing labor exercises because the contractions kept coming and increasing in pain. At 5 am I tried to sleep again. I rested on my left side and suddenly felt something pop! I seriously thought I put too much weight on baby with that position. When I stood up, it was my water bag! It trickled down my legs then I felt much more intense waves of contractions! I woke my husband up and told him that my water bag broke, we need to head to the hospital!
We just left the house and on the way, we suddenly heard a faint ding! It was our gas! Our gas was running low! Of all the times this could happen why now??? I was in the backseat on all fours and this! Okay, we were along the highway already then my husband blurts out “Do you have cash?” HAHA! WHAT! I couldn’t really laugh that time but what a series of unfortunate events! Good thing he found some in the car and in his wallet.
We reached the hospital at 6 am and headed to the maternity complex again and I was in a wheelchair. I couldn’t walk anymore, it was too painful! While being monitored, I felt waves and waves of pain. At that time I almost asked for an epidural. Instead, I thought positive and that each wave brought me closer to seeing my child. I breathed through it mostly but being monitored and restrained to lie down on the bed was even more painful. I asked the nurses if I could be transferred to the birthing suite already because I could feel the baby coming out!
My photographer was there first and she kind of assisted me with the pain and she even gave me tips on how to push because she also had a water birth for her child. (Thank you Cherry!) Then Doula Betty arrived. Things went faster then! They wheeled me to the birthing suite while I kept making faces on the wheelchair because of the anguish!
When we came to the birthing suite at around 7:50 am, they still had to ready the room and tidy it up a bit, plus they had to fill the tub with water! I swear I felt like I wasn’t going to make it to the tub! I initially went to the bed first and was on all fours to slow things down a little. But my contractions were too much already. My tummy was pushing my baby out. I couldn’t help it anymore. I asked Doula Betty if I could go inside the tub already. She said “They’re still filling it up. Just do your exercises for a few more minutes.” I hugged her cause I felt the bearing down feeling already. I felt weak. The baby was coming out real soon! When the tub was half-filled, Doula Betty told me that I could go in already.
When I went in, WOW, the warm water felt really relaxing, soothing, easing and whatever! I FELT WAY BETTER! I regained my energy and probably had some adrenaline rush. My husband joined me in the tub and I rested my back against him. I felt relaxed. It felt great to have someone in that experience with you. I held his hands. At first, I pushed with a lot of pressure and force but Doula Betty told me to breathe fast and small breaths through each contraction. It went fast. The baby was crowning already. I barely pushed but I felt the baby coming down! I wanted to smile cause feeling the contractions was a huge difference compared to birthing with an epidural. It was easier to push! I breathed and just breathed. I felt his head first then his body followed. At 8:38 am on June 4, the baby came out! What a relief.
It was a very fast and easy birth and something I didn’t really expect. Things may not have gone how I planned or expected it to but it happened perfectly. Timing was perfect. God works in such unique ways. He made me let go of my dad first before delivering this new life on earth. So welcome earthside Dylan, son of the wave.
Thank you to our wonderful and very supportive birth team for helping us achieve our dream birth.
Thank you, Doula Betty San Luis of Birthing is a Blessing Childbirth Mentoring and Doula Support Service for the support, guidance, love, and care. Too bad we weren’t able to use the birthing ball and peanut! 😂 My labor was too fast! And thanks to you I reached the birthing pool in time. Thank you for the very informative classes and labor exercises. Thank you for helping me equip myself in this birth and for helping me be very ready. What you have is a gift! Thanks to you, doula Irina and miss Yeyette for the Blessingway session and for the sound healing for removing my fears, stresses, and anxieties to get me ready for this birth.
Thank you to my husband who supported me in my decision to water birth despite deciding late and spontaneously. Thanks for being with me in the birthing classes, for massaging my achy back and feet, for laboring with me, and for being in that birth pool with me. I couldn’t have done it without you believing in me. Thanks for holding my hands to help me push our baby out!
Thank you Bearthside Photography – Manila Birth for the wonderful photos and for spending the time to document our birth story.
Thank you, Lord, for this reminder that life is beautiful.