We were both exhausted and ready to plunge into an afternoon nap. As Jaycelle was resting, I read to her the book, A Labour of Love by Gabrielle Targett which I borrowed from Shiphrah a couple of weeks ago. Right after the bookmark was the chapter about mucous plugs. It narrated our situation earlier and it said to just chill it out and stay at home yet. We were one page short on being saved from an unnecessary trip.
After sleeping, we researched more about what’s happening in her body. We were keen in looking for signs whether to run out to Shiphrah again or to stay put. This time we read about Spinning Babies as we’ve learned from a Gentle Birth seminar we attended weeks ago which was facilitated by Irina Otmakhova. Although our baby was not in a breech position, we tried some of the stretching exercises as illustrated in the website. In a way, we were trying to induce the labour progress but nothing significant happened. We were left wondering if the regular contractions will happen within the next hours or sadly, days.
Jaycelle had familiarity of other women’s birth experiences – thanks to the members of the Facebook Group, Gentle Birth in the Philippines. She told me that some pregnant women wallowed in days labouring. My anxiety couldn’t wait for days. But I was her doula. Couldn’t really complain to a pregnant woman, could you?
At eleven in the evening came even more consistent contractions. We were hesitant in prepping up and going to Shiphrah because we were told that we should wait for the cervix dilation to be 4 to 6 cm. But I had zero experience in performing that kind of IE so I contacted my female cousin who has a certificate in midwifery to come over and check her out. Unfortunately, she was already offline. I was already Googling for midwives around the area as my last resort and Jaycelle was contemplating in going to a local hospital just to find out about the “cm”.
The night didn’t play out without a quarrel. Jaycelle didn’t want another wasted time and I wanted to be secure that a midwife was just within a holler’s reach. In the end we both agreed that it was best to drive to Shiphrah and stay at some nearby hotel if she was baby-shy again.
To Shiphrah, take two
2 am, we were king of the road. Jaycelle, still pregnant, was sitting beside me. It was exactly like the morning before but this time the contractions intensified by the hour. The ride went smoothly except for a depressed (but covered) manhole in Pasig that I ran the car over. The thud distracted Jaycelle who was timing her contractions. “That’s too much!” she shouted irritably.
I was guilty, uneasy, anxious, and sleep-deprived. But for my best interest I kept my mouth zippered-shut. Just a little more and we’ll be there, I assured both ourselves.
It was the most silent of nights when we pulled over under a towering tree outside Shiphrah. As we carefully alighted the vehicle, the neighboring dogs barked like we were cat burglars. It seemed like nobody’s home but the gates were as wide open as they were inviting during Wednesdays when check-ups and seminars were scheduled. My anxiety only invited awkwardness because at this ungodly hour when everyone couldn’t be bothered while dreaming, I was about to buzz the door bell. How loud or buzzy this doorbell was, we were about to find out eyes closed. The midwives assured us that we’re welcome 24/7, though.
To be continued…