Baby is Out But Not Quite Out Yet
Me and Jason would spend the following days shuttling back and forth the hospital. The time finally came for our tiny preemie to feed on breast milk but it would have to be given to him through a tube going directly inside his stomach. In order for that to happen, I would need to express milk artificially. It was quite difficult without a baby latching on so we asked friends if they know anyone willing to donate or even sell breast milk to augment what little I have. I was overwhelmed by the huge response to our call for help but I settled for two mommies who were willing to share milk.
Our son Joshua stayed in NICU for almost a month. Some of the babies there even longer. Jason had to go back to work a week after Joshua came out so it was quite tough dealing with all of it on my own. For a month my routine would be hospital-home-hospital-home. Inside the hospital, I would go to NICU and check on Joshua’s improvements then to cashier to slowly pay off bills and back again to Joshua to just look at him and touch his hand from time to time. When he was big enough and his tubes were finally removed, I would be there 90% of the time, coming home just to catch some sleep, shower and change clothes. It was very, very tiring. There where times when I cried not because my baby was in the hospital but because I was so exhausted.
Inside the NICU while breastfeeding or lulling Joshua to sleep, I was able to witness a whole range of human emotions and situations that goes on inside the hospital. I witnessed a father losing his wife to aneurysm but gaining a beautiful baby girl in the process. I saw a baby who was forced to stay in the hospital for so long because his young mother couldn’t afford to pay the hospital bills. Then there were two other babies in the NICU. My son wasn’t alone in his struggle to survive. I wasn’t alone in my struggle.
I have two older boys but I hardly had time to check on them. I was really grateful I had a lot of help from my parents and my kids’ nanny. The whole pregnancy also took a toll on our finances but I’m grateful that Jason and I were both gainfully employed at that time and we were able to afford all the hospital expenses. I was also grateful for all our well-meaning friends especially for my good friend Aimee who is a medical doctor herself. I believe she helped us a lot in making well-informed decisions about the whole situation of having an emergency c-section.
The Baby Is Finally Home
After a month of staying at NICU, it was finally time for Joshua Jason to come home. He was still small and fragile when we brought him home. The house has to be spotless and if any of us got a slight sneezing or coughing, we will have to wear mask before we get close to him. He slept for most of the time…and most of the nights. And for that, I’m also truly grateful.
You don’t just carry a child for nine months and give birth. You have to make sure your offspring have everything they need to have a fighting chance in surviving this world.
So Why This Is My Last?
People are so surprised when I tell them I don’t want to have a baby anymore. They look at my boys and say that I must be insane not to try for a baby girl. Well, here are my reasons:
- I’m contented. I’m happy with just three kids no matter what their gender is.
- We can only afford to give good life to three kids. I’m really practical at this point. Whether we admit it or not, finance is a big factor in having kids. You have to be able to give them a safe environment to live, access to medical facilities, good education and kid-friendly activities they can enjoy from time to time. I don’t believe we’ll be able to do that with four kids. We might just end up short-changing our children with the life they should be having.
- I’m not up to it anymore. I’m generally a healthy individual but let’s face it, I’m past 30 and the lifestyle I have as a working mom will not allow me to have another healthy pregnancy. I don’t want to go through the same situation as I have with my youngest. I don’t want to spend my pregnancy in and out of the hospital and I don’t want my child in and out of the hospital either.
Having a child is both a miracle and a responsibility–a really, really huge one. You don’t just have sex and play Russian roulette of getting pregnant or not. If you’re having a baby on the way and still not mentally and emotionally prepared for it, you can be doing harm to yourself and your unborn child. I know any type of contraception is being shunned by the Church so having sex and not having a baby can prove to be quite a challenge for a lot of couples. I believe that it’s each to his or her own conscience and most of all, I believe more in educating people on responsible parenthood. You don’t just carry a child for nine months and give birth. You have to make sure your offspring have everything they need to have a fighting chance in surviving this world.
Note: This is the last part in a 3 part series called Why This is My Last One. You can read the second part here. It had taken quite awhile for me to finish this series, almost two years to be exact. But I remember everything as if they happened a few months ago.
I first had an idea writing about my “final” pregnancy in April 2014. I was constantly being admitted to the hospital and confined to total bed rest due to bleeding that for the last two trimesters of my pregnancy, I feared for mine and my unborn child’s life. I was a relatively healthy adult female with two previous normal childbirths. I never had any complications except for the threatened PLC (Premature Labor Contractions) with my second son which I was able to carry to term. April 2014 was also a milestone for the proponents of the RH Bill or Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health of 2012 (R.A. No. 10354) where the Supreme Court declared the law “constitutional” while striking down 8 provisions as “unconstitutional”. You can read about an update on RH bill on a Rappler article here. I am not Pro-RH Bill nor am I Anti-RH Bill but I am a firm believer of being a responsible parent. Being a responsible parent, I have to make sure I am healthy enough to care for my young sons even if it means giving up on hopes of having a daughter.