Delima is a Portuguese last name, but the literal Filipino/Tagalog translation of Delima is “of five” (de = of; lima = five). Our family was blessed with our third child’s arrival two weeks early, and now we are a party of five.
I knew something was different the day before Sebastian’s birth. I felt a ton of pressure (more than usual) on my bladder. I frequented the bathroom only to realize that I really didn’t have much in my bladder to empty. I thought I actually had a urinary tract infection.
So, I went about my day. I saw patients in the afternoon and finished all my dictations. I regretted not calling my OB’s nurse while driving back home. My plan was that if the pressure continued, I was going to ask for a urinalysis (urine check) the next day.
The evening with the family went fine. I made dinner, and I finished the last of the freezer meals. On one of my bathroom trips, I noticed more discharge (sorry for those not comfortable with bodily fluids), which was yellowish and thick. I called Derrick and said, “This might be my mucus plug?!”
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Anyway, I continued working in the kitchen. Finally, around 9:30 p.m. or so, I started paying more attention to my Braxton Hicks. They actually went away and came back, although irregularly. I took the book from our prenatal class in 2009 from our first child’s birth and reviewed the stages of labor. (Hey, even MDs have to review things like this.)
At 11 p.m., my contractions were coming seven to eight minutes apart. I told Derrick that I was most likely in early labor, and he should probably call his parents before it got to be too late. My in-laws came around midnight and picked up the sleeping kids. After that, I obsessively timed my contractions using a free app.
I knew I needed to rest and sleep, but when the contractions started, I opened my iPad or iPhone and timed the contraction. I must have slept for 30 minutes—more or less.
Around 4 a.m., the contractions were about a minute long every five minutes for an hour, so I called the OB line. My OB was on call! Yes! She told me to take a warm shower—whatever’s comfortable—and head to the hospital.
There was no traffic at all, so we got to the hospital in less than 10 minutes. I was still smiling and joking around with the nurses in between my contractions. My labor nurse was so sweet. I rated my pain as a 7 out of 10, and when she checked, I was 7 centimeters dilated. So, yes, my contractions were doing something to prepare my body for delivery. I was so thankful—the pain was actually doing something.
I was moved to the labor and delivery room, and the baby’s heart rate was fine during contractions.
Changeover for nurses was at 7 a.m. My admitting nurse bid us goodbye and wished us good luck. I met my other nurse who was just as helpful and sweet. I also agreed for a student nurse to follow me along. (I’m a resident, and I know the value of learning and teaching. So I can share this once-in-a-lifetime experience as a “teacher.”)
I thank my husband—I would not have made it through another normal, unmedicated birth without him. I prayed during contractions; I focused on my breathing and expanding my lungs. I kept thinking, one contraction at a time, and I tried to forget that the pain would intensify and continue during the transition phase. The anxiety and anticipation was worse this third time around. I knew what was coming, and I was scared. I’m so grateful for my husband who is an awesome labor support.
As the contractions came back to back, I held my husband for dear life. I held him for strength while my nurse stayed with me and rubbed my back to relieve the pressure and back pain. She checked me in between contractions, and I was progressing fine. I was 8.5 centimeters dilated. Again, I whispered, “Thank you, Lord,” because the pain was doing something.
It’s a blur now, but as the contractions grew stronger and closer together, I asked Derrick to call my mom. I needed her. He called her, but he predicted that mom wouldn’t make it in time. With the rush-hour traffic, baby would have been delivered by the time she drove up to the hospital. (Derrick was right. My mom came after Sebastian was born.)
I asked my nurse to check my dilation again because the pressure and urge to push intensified. She said I was 9.5 centimeters dilated, but my bag of waters was still intact. She asked if she should call the OB and have my bag of waters artificially ruptured. I said, yes.
My OB came, and she told me the pediatric staff and nurse were coming because the amniotic fluid was stained with meconium. (Sebastian had a bowel movement in utero.) My OB ruptured my membranes artificially, and I remember saying, “Baby coming now!” She said, “Yes, baby coming now.”
I pushed with all my might thinking, Get this baby out! I didn’t even realize the contraction was over. My OB had to stop me and say, “Milder push,” on the next contraction. The second contraction came, and I pushed again! Sebastian had a nuchal cord. I remember my OB saying she had to reduce the cord, but Sebastian did it all on his own. One more push, and he was out!
Derrick said, “It’s a boy!” (Oh, thank you, Lord.)
I saw Derrick, and he cried just like when Isabel was born. He told me later that he cried mainly for me because my pain was over.
I didn’t hear Sebastian cry, which frightened me, but Derrick saw Sebastian with his eyes open and looking around. His APGAR scores were 7 (at one minute) and 9 (at five minutes). Those are pretty good APGARs!
There were probably 10 people in that room—quite a crowd compared to my other deliveries. The RT and pediatric nurse were there. Thanks be to God they did not have to do anything (like suction his trachea to get the meconium out). They checked him out, and by the time I was finished delivering the placenta and getting my stitches, he was in my arms!
With my other babies, they were already in my arms when I was delivering the placenta or getting my stitches. This time, it was a little delayed, but I am glad Sebastian was all right and healthy. He had some minor forehead bruising and conjunctival hemorrhage (a rim of ruptured blood vessels surrounding his iris) because of the fast delivery—and because I pushed like a crazy woman. But overall, he was healthy, eating well, pooping and peeing—just like what a newborn should do!
He’s already a blessing in so many ways. As David wrote in Psalm 37, “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I prayed for a healthy baby, and we got Sebastian. Now, I continue to trust as God takes care of my family of five and leads us wherever He wants us to go.
Read more about Sarah’s adventures as a new mom at disisd.com.
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