By Tin Bartolome

Posted at May 22 2015 11:35 AM | Updated as of May 22 2015 07:35 PM

They say each childbirth is unique—as unique as the babies brought forth by the event. Each of my deliveries was unique—and indeed, as unique as each child I gave birth to!

Childbirth Without Anesthesia

I never saw myself going through childbirth without anesthesia—but I did, and not just once! Initial contractions were bearable—pretty much like dysmenorrhea, only a bit exaggerated. But as they came closer together, they became intense, such that by the time they were five minutes apart, I was not quite sure whether to stand up or sit down. There were childbirths where my bag of water had to be punctured. When I gave birth to my youngest child, my water broke the night before. At around 10 pm, I felt the rush of warm water and wrapped myself in a beach towel. We went to the hospital at 6 am the next morning and it wasn’t until after noon that the contractions became uncomfortable.

My first prepared childbirth was the only time we attended classes regularly. The succeeding ones were merely refreshers, but we survived them. The special room for such childbirths was still under construction then but everything went fine. I experienced “false labor” during the next pregnancy and, had it not been for those classes, I would probably have panicked as much as the driver of the vehicle assigned to me then did.

I was then producing features for a morning show and our vehicle was parked near the intersection of EDSA and Ortigas. As the cameraman took more footage, I waited inside the vehicle. Then, I felt the contractions. I asked the driver if he could drop me off near my house and told him about the contractions. He was walking around the vehicle, asking for my husband’s name and contact numbers, which hospital he should take me to and who my doctor was. I assured him that I was fine and that he could relax as all I probably needed was a warm shower. My daughter was born weeks after this incident.

The situations I faced each time I was about to give birth were all different. So were the pains and how contractions began. What was common among them all was the fact that I felt each stitch during repair. All were exhausting but also exhilarating when I first looked at each newborn’s face for the first time.

Unique Experiences

Breastfeeding was the logical choice. Fully breastfed, these children did not seem to take the bottle well. Establishing milk supply was not easy. There were times when I have had to continue breastfeeding even when I was sore and bleeding! But the rewards of the experience are well worth everything I had to endure. My children grew up strong and healthy. They have remained close to me even in adulthood.

Somehow, I was able to connect with each of them in unique ways—as unique as the birthing process that brought them into the world.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.