I was scheduled to give birth on my 40th week which was June 22, 2009. But according to the World Health Organization, fetuses are in their full term on their 37th week. My best friend Ina Raymundo-Poturnak gave birth to a healthy Jakob on her 37th week. We were waiting for her in the baby shower we set up for her. But instead of going to the party, she was rushed to the hospital.Knowing all these facts and testimonials, I was dead set to give birth on my 37th week. All I needed to do was to convince my son Xavier Zappa to go down when all his organs are ready and baked to perfection!
May 31 (end of my 36th week), also the last shooting day of Pintakasi (an indie movie) shoot since direk Mark Meily was leaving for the U.S. and will be back on June 22. PACK UP DUE TO THE RAINS!
Oh no! Pagbalik ni Direk Mark, manganganak pa lang ako. I can’t go back to work immediately, mabibinat ako. Kelangan ko nang manganak bukas. Gagawa ako ng mantra. I will apply The Secret. All day, I kept on saying, “Zappa, please come down tomorrow. Manganganak ako tomorrow. The Lord will give me a painless childbirth without anesthesia. I will give birth tomorrow.”
June 1 (start of my 37th week), I told my gym instructor to “Bring it on.” No more pre-natal work-outs. Back to hardcore tayo. After my workout, I went to my acupuncturist in STI Megaclinic in Megamall so that she could induce my labor thru acupuncture.
She felt my pulse and told me, “Zappa’s not yet ready to come out. I will only induce you once your cervix is open already. I thought, “Hmmm…the universe is not aligning with my mantra, must change it.”
True enough because my doctor texted me that he was leaving for Davao the next day. And so I changed my mantra: “Zappa will be ready in two days. Manganganak ako the day after tomorrow. The Lord will give me a painless childbirth without anesthesia. I will give birth the day after tomorrow.”
June 2 (37th week and 2/7 days), Doctor Raul Quillamor was out of town. My stomach was tight but I didn’t think of them as mild contractions. Akala ko, nasobrahan lang sa workout so I rested and had a prenatal massage. Besides, my doctor was in Davao, I wanted Doctor Quillamor and nobody else.
June 3 (37th week and 3/7 days), I went to see my doctor and asked him to give me an internal exam just to see if my mantra was working. He laughed and said I was due in three weeks not three days but to satisfy my “kakulitan” he gave me an internal exam. After feeling my cervix he asked me:
Doctor Quillamor: Sa’n ka nanggaling bago ka pumunta dito?
G-Spot: Sa gym po. (I did not deny that I did have a heavy workout)
Doctor Quillamor: “You were five centimeters dilated in the gym, It’s a good thing you didn’t give birth there. I have to admit you already.”
G-Spot: Doc, I can’t feel any contraction. Please make me go to the salon first kasi after I give birth di na ako makakaligo for a month kasi susundan ko yung “Chinese way” para di ako mabinat. Nabinat na ako kay Lia. I need to shampoo and iron my hair. Please ayoko manganak nang pangit.
Doctor Quillamor: “O siya, I’ll be around your area in case manganak ka sa salon.”
It was 9:00 p.m. when I arrived in UERM. I decided to go home first and take my “last bath” for the month, then go to Salon Excellente, then— “kung di pa humihilab”—have eyelash extensions sa Grace Lagman, then go to UERM. At nagawa ko lahat!
Since the media crews were there since 3:00 p.m., I accommodated interviews at the lobby of UERM and inside my room till 12 midnight. It takes a 10-centimeter dilation for the baby to come out. I was 9-cm dilated by 12 midnight but still not feeling any pain.
My prayers were being answered. Instead of being brought by a stretcher, I walked to the delivery room, changed to a gown and lay down in the delivery bed. There was no action to film. I was calm and happy, so my husband decided to take pictures ala-pictorial style. Medyo na-diyahe nako sa pag-aantay ng media. Some were waiting 8-12 hours already, so I asked my doctor to induce me with pitocin (oxytoxin) to hasten my labor, but no anesthesia.
He warned me that my contractions will elevate to a level where I might have to ask for an epidural. “Bring it on! Kaya ko ‘yan.” He want joking, when the pitocin started kicking in at 1:55 p.m., “MUKHA-ASIM” na fez ko. Di na ako makapag-project ng tama sa camera at naiinis na ‘ko sa kaka-pictorial ng asawa ko.
Sabi ko, “Hoy, lamaze coach ka. Di ka photographer. Wala kang kuwentang coach!”
Na-diyahe si Emil so he started to massage me and coach me the proper breathing. It was working because after two very dramatic alarming and screaming pushes, my 6.75 pound healthy baby came out out at 2:55 a.m.!
He was so strong, and his Apgar score was 9. One hour of painful labor and pushing combined—not bad for the prayers and mantras I asked! So my dear PEPsters, believe in prayers because they do come true if it’s part of God’s plan for you.
“Ask and you shall receive.” (Luke 11:9)
“Mangyari sa inyo ang pinaniniwalaan ninyo!” (Matthew 9:27-29)