Alonzo already took us by surprise. I remember feeling iffy as I learned I was pregnant again, earlier than planned. I asked the Lord and He taught me the math of love.
Few weeks before my due date, I got fearful once again. This time it’s about giving birth. My OB and I already had a game plan, to have epidural anesthesia during labor and to ease it off just when I am about to push. I was convinced with our strategy. I am a believer of anesthesia, I have nothing against it. I use it when treating my patients (I am a dentist) and it does no harm. I could already imagine myself relaxed and maybe falling asleep in the hospital bed during labor, or probably watching a movie just like when I was in labor for Judah’s birth.
Sunday. Two days before my due date, I could already feel a few contractions but without pain. I managed to go to church and walked in the mall for about 4 hours. It gave me more courage to face the upcoming event by being more active than staying at home and lying in bed.
At 11pm, I started feeling the contractions that I wanted. More intense pain, less interval time. I totally did not want to be early in the hospital so I planned that during this time, I will just take a hot shower to help me relax. I also intended not to pack yet so I would have something to do during early labor and somehow divert my attention from pain. Six cm is my ideal dilation when I get to the hospital.
At 11:30pm, I couldn’t bear the pain anymore. I woke Daniel up and I was fighting the pain which lasted 60-90 seconds and was coming every 4 minutes. I was screaming in the car on our way to the hospital (yes, like the ones you see in movies). It wasn’t happening as planned. Where was my movie and relaxation on a hospital bed? All I could pray was that God would help me bear the pain and give me the strength I need during the whole process.
At 1:30am, the OB told me I was dilated 9.5cm. Seriously? My Filipina nurse Ate Glen told me it would be useless to have epidural since I was already feeling the urge to push and all. Probably the quickest decision me and Daniel ever made, we opted not to have anesthesia and agreed to give birth naturally. Right there and then, OB coached me for 4 pushes and in 10 minutes, Alonzo was out.
Alonzo, “ready for battle” is the meaning of his name. His second name is Joshua, “the Lord is my salvation.” I am amazed how the name we prepared for this baby coincides with his birth story. Ready for battle, ready for action, I mean, shortest labor I may have known. But the Lord comes to save, to give strength, to supply grace.
I have 2 reasons why I would choose natural birth all over again. While this one was accidental, I am more convinced of the benefits it gave me than remaining on the side of choosing my own comfort of being numbed.
1. Quick delivery. Once you feel the urge to push, that’s it. The baby is going to come out as it is the call of nature. It must come out and it will come out. The anesthesia might delay this process because it numbs you and lessens your ability to feel the urge to push.
2. Fast recovery. I was given a tiny dose of local anesthesia for my stitches. But since I did not have epidural, I was allowed by the nurse, with her assistance, to stand up and walk few steps right away. I gave birth Monday at 2:30am. When I woke up in the morning, I was already walking around the room slowly, in and out of the bathroom. Tuesday I went home.
The pain of childbirth can only be possibly endured by the grace of God. The same grace that makes it possible for us to face difficulties, trials and pains in life. If you are an expecting mom, you are going to make it! You will endure labor and birth pain. The pain will be momentary while the times you will enjoy with your baby will last a lifetime. You are going to draw strength from the Lord who enables.
The Lord writes birth stories, no matter how accidental it may seem.