The Story of the Pregnancy I Was Afraid to Have
by Maria Lourdes M. Serrano
(Davao City, Philippines)
This Baby is surely a BLESSING!
I had my first pregnancy at age 23, second was at age 26. Both were on Normal Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery without complications. At 32, I had my third child through a cesarean section because of cord coil. Beforehand, my husband and I have decided on a tubal ligation right after the delivery, because we already had three. We had a boy, a girl and another girl as the third child.
So we signed consent for a bilateral tubal ligation. We don’t have to undergo counseling or any pre-procedure session with the OBY since my husband and I are both nurses, and we know what tubal ligation is and how it works. We’re more than ready for the procedure, we are prepared emotionally, financially, and I have prepared myself to accept any physical changes posts TL.
All three pregnancies were a happy one. The whole family prepared for it and everyone was just too excited about every pregnancy. The previous pregnancies were spaced just right, every need of the kids was well taken care, quality time was provided with all members of the family. Three kids in a family is just the right number to be able to experience and enjoy every moment of seeing them grow up normally and happy children.
Pregnant After 35 while on Tubal Ligation
Until one day, when I have to break the news to my husband. I was 2 weeks delayed, and this isn’t my usual menstrual pattern. I saw his face turned blank, I knew right there, his mind was playing with a fact that we both don’t want to admit. It couldn’t be! I’m 39 that time, the institution where I worked in was not stable that time because of low enrollment for nurses, the kids are grown up and they would be subject of ridicule for their mom is old and would still be having a baby. It just couldn’t be, because I have been ligated 6 years ago.
Shocked as he was, he managed to buy me a pregnancy kit, and we tested it, and we both saw it. Two lines- I’m pregnant! We still don’t want to admit the truth, so I got an appointment with my OB. And shocked as we were, my OB just opened her mouth, and she wrote an order for an ultra sound. And the ultrasound result was just as clear as the billboard sign- POSITIVE INTRA UTERINE LIFE 6 weeks.
I couldn’t move on the ultra sound table, this is it, I’m really pregnant. And for the first time, the feeling was just not the same. Not the previous pregnancies I had, where I jumped with joy when I missed my cycle. This was just different. A lot not the same when I had my first, second and third. I was younger then, my husband was earning well, we had sufficient bank savings, and we had a medical card aside from the regular medical benefits we get as employees.
Everything was prepared for every pregnancy then. It wasn’t the same with my fourth pregnancy. I was in my late 30’s when I knew I was pregnant, so that would mean I will be forty when my fourth baby comes out. I had disturbing varicose veins on the previous 2 pregnancies and almost stayed on bed for a period of time. I’ve been on Duvadilan as early as 5 months because of premature contractions.
So how would it be with this fourth pregnancy? A lot of questions came to my mind, what would other people say? What if she was born with deformities? Would I still be able to nurse her? Why at this time, and why me? I couldn’t answer any.
For the whole week, my husband and I were very silent, still couldn’t absorb everything. We still don’t want to believe that the pregnancy test was an error, or the ultrasound report was a mistake. But it wasn’t. When the OB – ultrasonogist was doing the examination, I just felt that mother instinct, I’m going to carry another life in my womb, and it’s not a mistake, it is there for a reason.
It seemed that the whole world was shocked when they knew about my pregnancy, my children, relatives, workmates, friends, my students. They weren’t bothered of being pregnant at forty,
because I don’t look my age anyway. But they knew that I was already ligated, and that surprised them. My only reply: “well, Tubal Ligation has a 99% success rate, and I’m on the 1%”. They agreed, and added:” That baby is surely a BLESSING!”
All the remaining months of pregnancy, was spent just the same with my other pregnancies, I frequent the malls for specific food cravings, ate a lot of fruits, I read books, listened to Mozart pieces, watched Discovery, National Geography, and communicated with the baby in my womb, that everything will be alright and she is going out to be a beautiful creature.
I prayed hardly and I didn’t want to entertain the fact that Down Syndrome babies are mostly born to late pregnancies. And that’s actually what I’m afraid most of all. Frequent OBY check-ups was done, I was on hyperemesis gravidarum on the first 2 trimesters, varicose veins got worst, so I have to stay in bed most of the time, and could not wear shorts, or short dresses because it was just not a very nice sight.
Due date seemed to pull so fast; everyone was busy for the Christmas holidays. Parties, reunions, get together of the high school and college batches which I still managed to organize, got me busied. My EDD is between December 27 to 30. I asked my OBY if she can open me up earlier because I have to travel to my dad’s hometown in time for his 75th birthday surprise which I also organized. And she said she could not, she has to wait for the 27th. So I just gave in.
Before the Christmas Eve, the whole family usually hops to places with beautiful Christmas adornments and festivities. And after dining went to “Mana” ( Filipino term for Heritage) to see the Christmas decorations that they spent so much every year, and won them a recognition yearly. Every passerby enjoyed the sight, except me, I wanted to find a place to seat, most of all lie. I could feel the weight down my belly, and it feels like coming out anytime soon. So we just went home, and I called my OBY. I got instructions that if my bag of water leaked, then I go straight to the Emergency Room.
At 12 midnight, I can feel the water tricking down, so I took a bath and headed to the hospital, where I was brought to the delivery room immediately. I was scheduled for a repeat CS, and repeat tubal ligation at 10 am. All the staff (whom I have worked with because I have been a clinical instructor assigned in the delivery room for quite some time) was all excited. They knew my story. They all knew that the “miracle” baby is going out soon.
My son was allowed to get inside the delivery room to take pictures, my OBY, anesthesiologists, the residents, nurses, midwives- the whole team opened their mouth in awe, a kicking baby girl, born at 11:00 am in December 23,2010 was truly a wonderful creature-made not by accident, but just for a reason no one else can fathom. I still do not have the answer to many questions. One thing is sure though, everything happens for a reason, and nothing is to be feared, when you trust HIM.
My mind, groggy still with the anesthesia, could well remembered the features of the baby, just like mine. Truly, she is my baby. And I just thanked the Lord, the operation went smoothly. We spent Christmas in the hospital. We all had the best GIFT we could ever ask for. An additional baby to the family, a constant reminder that it’s not us who has control over our lives, there is far greater than us that take the reigns, it may seem impossible, but to Him everything is possible.
Every morning when I wake up and see beside me my little angel, I could only utter: Lord, thank you. I already have 3 kids, and it was fine with me, and you gave me one more, and that’s just the best thing that ever happened to me.
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