I’d like to share my experience in giving birth at Cardinal Santos Medical Center. Here’s how my so called little experience went:
1. They’ll prep you. You’ll be asked to go to the 2nd floor. This is where the Delivery Room is. Inside these doors, you’d find a hallway that would lead you to the Prep room, Labor rooms, Recovery room and Operating Rooms. You’ll first be brought to the “prep” room where you’d be asked to change into a hospital gown. Make sure you have a bag with you so your husband can put your clothes in it. They’ll be getting your blood pressure and several doctors/nurses will be coming in asking the same questions. So if I were you, I’d print out all information and just show that to all the doctors coming in.
2. Enema. If you’re going through normal delivery, most likely you’ll be given an enema. A bed is inside the prep room which is a meter away from the bathroom. This is where you’d be running to when you feel the need “to go”. You’ll be doing this around 3-4 times depending on your “output”. It has to be clean 🙂 But if you’ll be having a C-section, then an enema is not needed.
3. Labor room. You’ll be strapped onto a machine monitoring your contractions. You’d be staying here until you’re ready to give birth. Back in 2008, my husband was still allowed to stay with me inside this room. But last year, they had new rules and he had to wait outside. Don’t worry, there’s a TV inside. Celphones are also not allowed inside as it has to be a sterile environment. But all the nurses and doctors had their cellphones with them! That din’t seem fair! I even told them what if I had to contact my husband, and they said they’ll be the ones to contact him for me 😦 But you can still hide your cellphone in your bag hehe. If you’re undergoing scheduled C-section, ask them why you need to be strapped there, then the nurse will ask the doctor and say “oh yeah”..duh! right? That’s exactly what happened to me. Those monitors with graphing paper coming out of them cost by the minute! So if you don’t need it, make sure they don’t strap it on you.
4. Delivery Room/Operating Room. I had a C-section so I went straight to the Operating room. They scrubbed me down. Yes, scrub, as in remove hospital gown, and they’ll get a luffa and scrub your entire body. And yes, all the doctors and nurses are there watching 😛 (If you’re the shy type, it will be a bit of a culture shock for you. The bad thing is you can’t do anything about it!) Then Epidural happens. Your anesthesiologist will walk you through the process (Mine even gave me a blow by blow of what was happening the entire time until my baby came out.) Husbands are asked to come in after they’ve given you an epidural. When you’re drugged, they start opening you up. Your O.B will tell your husband to get ready to take pictures as it is a fast procedure. Well I’ve only experienced it with one Obstetrician, Dr. Pastorfide, and he normally does it real fast.
5. Baby Out. C-sections are quick. Baby normally comes out in 5 minutes (again, that’s my experience). It’s stitching you up that takes 20-30 minutes. When baby comes out, they immediately take baby to the mother to latch for a few minutes. Then picture taking with parents happen. After this, they take the baby for clean up and newborn screening. Your husband can take pictures while this happens.
6. Recovery room. Moms are brought to the recovery room for 6-8 hours. The whole time, a blood pressure machine is strapped on to you. Some have chills. Don’t worry, that’s normal. When I say chills, as in you’d be shaking! Don’t get scared. It’ll pass. You can also ask for an inflatable heating cover which will keep you warm. Since you’re here for quite some time, your baby will be brought to you every 2-3 hours to breastfeed.
7. Private Room. This will be your home for the next 3-5 days. Try to make it as comfortable as you can. I always brought in 2 comforters. 1 to put under the sheets coz their bed is covered in synthetic leather which makes you slide every time you move. The other is to keep me warm. I also use my own pillow cases and sheets.
8. Room-in baby or Nursery. You have a choice. But once you choose to room in your baby, you can’t take him back inside the nursery anymore. If you choose to keep him in the nursery, the only stuff he’ll need are: a bonnet, mittens, and socks. Clothes, blankets, and diapers are all provided by the hospital. He’ll need a set of going home clothes though. I personally don’t like rooming in coz the air conditioner is always too cold. The vent goes straight to our faces so poor baby if ever he’ll be in the room with you the whole time. Plus I always had C-sections so it’s hard enough for me to move around more so take care of a newborn. I always admit I need all the help I can get especially if there are nurses to help take care of my baby. If you don’t room in your baby that doesn’t mean you love your baby less. Not at all! I always go for what you think would be best for baby, that’s what you do. But then again, that’s just my opinion.
9. Miscellaneous items. The only thing you can bring is the braun ear thermometer replacement plastic so that they’ll just charge you one piece. Maternity pads or bed pads so they also charge you one piece too. All the rest, they’ll charge you anyway coz they’ll be opening a big pack of it for you to take home anyway. Example, a box of surgical gloves, a huge plastic bag of cotton balls, whole pack of baby disposable diapers, baby thermometer, alcohol, etc… They’ll all be handing this over to you when you get discharged. Oh, well what you can tell them you won’t get is the hospital kit which contains the hospital plastic glass with logo, soap, and tissue paper. Just make sure you bring your own.
10. Documents. Paper work is done by the hospital. You’ll just need to get the forms ready and there are Maxicare and Philhealth offices available at the lobby. Someone from the Records department will go to your room for filling out of birth certificate forms. They’ll be the ones to file them as well. Make sure you have all your SSS and Philhealth forms ready. That’s a good 30-50k discount depending on your contributions.
11. Checking out/ Discharge from hospital. I always make it a point to request from my doctor to discharge me on the morning of my third day in the hospital. If there are no complications with your pregnancy, you can do the same. I don’t get to rest in hospitals, I’d rather do the resting at home. Every 2-3 hours, the nurse from the nursery will wake you up to tell you to go there for feeding. Then every 2 hours a nurse comes in to check your vitals or give you meds. Then the sound of the nurse’s blood pressure trolley is sooo noisy that you really won’t be able to sleep coz you’ll be hearing that sound the whole night going back and forth the entire hallway.
The only important thing for me is that the baby has no problems and that I was able to pass gas, pee and release some bowels to make sure my system is back on track from the operation. Once these have happened, I’m free to go! But during my first C-section, I stayed in the hospital for 5 days! That’s coz I went in at 9pm and everything was new to me. For the rest of my C-sections, it was a breeze. It was just like setting an appointment and I knew exactly what I needed with me 🙂
Cardinal Santos changed management recently. They are now managed by Manny Pangilinan. You’ll see it has more structure/process and a lot of rules have changed. They’re more strict, but it’s for the better. I’m very comfortable giving birth in this hospital.
How were your birthing experiences? 🙂