Happy 2014 everyone!
I’ve been MIA for quite a while but for good reason. I’ve been a slave to my baby boy — giving in to his every whim. I’ve been pooped on, peed on and my shirts are stained with spit-ups and milk. My head is constantly spinning from lack of sleep and I have a child who is practically glued to my boob all the time. In other words, I’m having the time of my life haha.
For my first post for the year, I will share my experience in St. Lukes Global. Deciding where to finally give birth became quite a debated topic in the family. I’m sure glad that we ended up in St. Lukes though. Read on and you’ll understand why.
When people often refer to St. Lukes, the common feedback is that the hospital is extremely pricey. Let’s face it. It’s intimidating! Hotel-like lobby with chandeliers and a pianist…come on! Which is why I initially dismissed it as a possible option. That was until I found out that they offer “Save packages”. When I checked the costs, I realized it comes out cheaper than the hospital in San Juan where I gave birth to Tala 4 years ago. The only thing that could potentially be an inconvenience to parents when availing the package (which was also one of our major concerns) is that they have a policy that you need to settle in full, days before admission.
Anyway, my scheduled CS was supposed to be on December 9. But at 1:30am on December 4, I started feeling recurring pains in the tummy. The pains were getting more and more unbearable by the minute. I went to the bathroom and there it was…the bloody show. Holy freakin crap, I thought to myself. This is it. I’m in labor! I was excited yet at the same time slightly pissed. Since I was supposed to have a scheduled 2nd Caesarian, the plan was that I get to check in conveniently at my own time, and I get to skip the pains of excruciating labor. But no! This child has other plans. We sped off to the hospital coming from the farthest point of QC to Taguig in 30 minutes. It was a scary ride. Thank God the baby chose to make his debut in the wee hours of the morning. If he chose a later time, we would have been stuck in horrid December traffic! So there I was in the backseat…huffing and puffing as the contractions were coming on strong in 10 minute intervals.
We got to the hospital close to 4am and I was wheeled into the room where I was dressed in my hospital gown and strapped into the heart monitor. The nurses took off my nail polish rather hastily so it looks awful. To think I just had it done the day before! Bummer. Haha. Anyway, that’s me all smiley in between contractions.
In less than an hour, my doctor arrived and I was given a sucrose IV because my iron level was still dangerously low because of my pregnancy anemia. Hence, we’ve already alerted the blood bank incase a blood transfusion was necessary. Thank God it didn’t come to that. Going back to the IV, truth is I’m more scared of the IV more than the CS incision itself. In the same way the idea of an episiotomy scares the living daylights out of me. Which may be how I ended up getting a CS. I may have subconsciously willed it upon myself. Haha.
In a few hours, I was wheeled into the operating room. It was super bright inside…almost blinding. I was thinking to myself this must be what it’s like when you’re crossing over to the light. Haha. I was administered my spinal anesthesia by the very kind anesthesiologist. He’s an old man who patiently listened to my woes about my last CS experience. I told him that I felt the tip of the scalpel and that I didn’t want to ever experience that again. He assured me that the operation will only push through once I’m completely numb from the waist down. During the operation, he gently talked me through the whole process to ease my worries.
Mr. D was allowed inside the room when the baby was about to come out. In his scrubs, he sat beside me and held my hand while I shivered uncontrollably. He was very casual about the whole thing and even asked if I wanted a photo of my placenta. Nice. I declined of course.
And then at 7:27am, although slightly woozy, I heard a sharp loud cry. He was brought over to me and I met him for the very first time. All 7.3 lbs of him. My bunso. It was love at first sight. I cried.
The nurses made him latch and shortly after, we were both wheeled into the recovery room where we stayed till 12:30pm before we were brought to the room.
Here’s the semi-private room by the way. Well technically, I got the window side so this isn’t the actual room that I stayed in. Just took this photo a week before I gave birth when I did the ocular, which by the way I highly recommend for all expecting parents. Do a walk-through of your hospital before you give birth that way you’re familiar and comfortable
with your surroundings.
Luckily, no one occupied the other room so it’s as if we had a private room all to ourselves. Only downside is that there’s no TV but the truth is, you don’t really need it since you have to catch up on some serious Zzzzzzzzs every moment that you possibly can.
Post surgery, the question I got asked too often was if I’ve already passed gas. Since everyone was too eager to know, I readily volunteered the information every time a nurse came knocking at my door. “No fart yet!” I’d say haha. Here’s some of the hospital grub I had during my four day stay. You’ll see the transition from (sorry TMI!) pre-fart (clear liquid diet), post fart (soft diet) to post poop (regular diet). Moms I know you can all relate here haha.
One of the awesome things about being in St. Lukes Global is that the baby is roomed in right away, provided he/she is a well baby. This makes it easier to breastfeed. A lot of their nurses are trained lactation nurses too so I felt like I was in a breastfeeding bootcamp as they patiently counseled me on how to achieve a proper latch. I didn’t even mind that they would literally grab my boob (with my permission of course) to show me how to do things right. I was given a chart so I can monitor if the baby is getting enough milk based on the number of wet and dirty diapers per day and the poop’s appearance. The nurses gave me a number to call incase I had any concerns about breastfeeding. I didn’t get the chance to call them but on December 27, I got a text message from my lactation nurse asking how my breastfeeding was going. I think it’s awesome that they follow through by checking on how moms are doing, even after they’ve been discharged from the hospital. We all need that kind of support. I’ll do another post to let you know how things are progressing in that department.
Overall, I would give St. Lukes Global a 10 out of 10. Facilities are great and nurses and doctors are all friendly, efficient and are pro-breastfeeding. Because the baby and I were well taken care of, my recovery was quick and I was already walking in less than 24 hours. The admissions and billings department were open 24 hours and they were easy to transact with especially with regards to Philhealth concerns. The Save package was complete and had no stressful hidden charges. For visitors, there are lots of restos/shops to check out which includes a Starbucks and Bizu. But if you want to be practical, there’s a cafeteria on the 4th floor where watchers and hospital staff eat. If there’s anything that I appreciate the most, it’s that each step is explained clearly by the hospital staff to the patients and that clearances are sought first before every procedure. Such as in the case of vaccines given upon birth. They are candid in saying some foreign patients refuse vaccinations and they respect that.
Oh did I mention the freebies? :) They gave us this cute baby set in the hospital which includes a top, bonnet and blanket.
They also tied up with Babyshower studio and they sent over a photographer to take pics of the baby. A few weeks after, we picked up the free album in their studio (there’s an option to pick it up at the doctor’s office too) and we were surprised with more freebies! It includes a pack of diapers and three newborn tops that says “I’m a St. Lukes Baby”. We have yet to avail the free “one month” photo shoot soon.
So there’s my long overdue post. I’m happy that my second birth experience was very pleasant and I feel that it has a lot to do with the hospital that we chose. It gave us a great start to welcoming the newest addition the the family. It was actually my mom who was very insistent on having me give birth there. I should thank her for that.
If you happen to be scouting for hospitals, check out St. Lukes Global and their Save packages. You can call their number at 8468830. You may also drop me a message, and I’ll send you a PM if you want to know more about my birth experience there.