• My Birthing Story: Rissa Mananquil-Trillo

    Unlike most women, Rissa hardly feels labor pains and is able to give birth quickly, but she shares how this could also be a disadvantage.
  • Rissa Mananquil-Trillo

    Rissa Mananquil-Trillo
    Wife to Paolo, mom to Enzo (17), Celestia (2), Audra (7 months)
    Co-founder, Happy Skin cosmetics
    Beauty columnist, The Philippine Star
    Model and former PMAP president
     
    SP: Tell us about your birthing experience with Audra.
    Rissa: My birthing story starts with a little background of how I gave birth to my first daughter, Celestia. We discovered I have a high tolerance for pain and that I start feeling uncomfortable only when I’m actually close to giving birth. I’d be dilated and contracting already but not even feel it. Sounds great but it's quite scary.

    With Celestia, we found out I was contracting and dilated only because I had a scheduled check up. Since I was not in pain, the doctor allowed me to wait at home since we lived 3 minutes away from the hospital. We were advised to go to the hospital once we saw signs of bleeding, my water bag bursting, or lower back pains. I was happily comfortable at home sleeping like a bear and I was even able to take a nice, long shower. When I asked for a back massage because I was feeling a bit uncomfortable, that’s when my husband decided we should leave for the hospital already. I was insisting it wasn’t time yet because I was not in pain but my husband demanded we go already.
     
    Thank God he did.
     
    We were at the hospital basement parking by 1:00 am, then went straight up to the pre-labor room. When I sat down on the chair to wait for my turn, that’s when my water bag burst. I was asked to be admitted so my husband went down to process papers in the admitting office. I remember feeling uneasy with the contractions, but the pain was tolerable.

    I kept asking the nurses to call my OB-Gyn and anesthesiologist already, but I think they took it lightly because they didn’t think I’d dilate so fast and give birth in less than an hour. I vividly remember seeing my dextrose time stamped at 1:40am. I gave birth at exactly 2:00am. My husband was still filling up forms when he was asked to rush back up to the labor room. He almost didn’t make it. When he entered the delivery room, I gave birth a minute after. My OB-Gyn, who lived 5 minutes away, did not make it. My epidural also did not kick in on time. I knew because I felt them cut me up down there for normal delivery. But oddly, it did not feel painful because the contractions were a hundredfold stronger. I can’t think of any force more powerful in the universe so it was like the hand of God clenching it.
     
    My anesthesiologist told me, "Now you know how women in the 18th century gave birth". He says it's called precipitous birth. "You're the type that can give birth every year," he said. It was music to my husband's ears!
     
    And so we soon got pregnant again. Because we know now how quickly I give birth, my husband wanted to be more prepared this time. The last thing he wanted was for me to give birth at home or in the car, so we decided to wait it out at the hospital to be sure. When we got to the hospital at 4:30 pm, I was just 4cm dilated. I remember feeling impatient because I would rather wait comfortably at home, but nonetheless, I knew this was what's best.
     
    By around 7:00 pm I was in active labor and was dilated 6-7cm. I requested for my epidural early but I could feel that it was starting to wear off. My original anesthesiologist was out of the country so it was another anesthesiologist attending to me. She apparently placed a test shot and probably could not comprehend how fast I give birth. By 8:00 pm, I was already 8-9cm dilated. By the time I told my doctor I was ready to push the baby, the epidural had worn off. The anesthesiologist tried to give additional epidural shots but it did not kick in on time.
     
    Our daughter Audra Alessandra Trillo was born at 8:45 pm on April 25, 2014. The moment I saw her, the first thing that ran through my head was that she looked exactly like Celestia. Even my OB-Gyn thought so. After that, I told myself two things: next time I’ll make sure that both my OB-Gyn and anesthesiologist are in the country because they understand my body best, and that I just might consider going epidural-free for my next baby.
     

    SP: What particular cravings did you have while you were pregnant?
    Rissa: Maybe chocolates? But then again, I’ve always had a very sweet tooth. I eat sweets whether pregnant or not.

     
    SP: Did you follow a special diet during your pregnancy?
    Rissa: No. But I think it helps that I don’t really take softdrinks and that I eat brown rice or quinoa everyday instead of white rice.
     
     
    SP: How quickly did you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, and what did you do to achieve that?
    Rissa: I grew up dancing many years of ballet while engaging in tennis, football, and cheerleading on the side. An active childhood played a key role in helping me stay fit and healthy throughout the years. But my abdominal muscles also weakened after two consecutive pregnancies. They became so weak that they felt like I was doing crunches every time I sneezed or coughed! So I started doing Pilates at Options Studio Greenhills. It’s the first Pilates facility located within a chiropractic setting so it was also perfect for my lower back. You can already feel the difference with just the first few sessions. You’ll discover muscles you never knew you had!
     
    But I also credit my current body shape to breastfeeding. It worked wonders to get me back to my pre-pregnancy weight even before I started Pilates. After three kids, my husband says I’m at my sexiest.
     

    SP: How was your last pregnancy different from your previous ones?
    Rissa: That was my first time to see a chiropractor. My back started aching so bad during my last trimester, so I went to Cancio Chiropractic in Greenhills because Dr. Anton Cancio is said to be the best-kept secret of athletes and celebrities. That's how I discovered I needed extra hip support because my hips were opening up and my back muscles were working extra hard trying to compensate. One visit to a chiropractor made a huge difference to my well-being!


    SP: Finally, what advice can you give new moms?
    Rissa: Sleep when the newborn baby is asleep. I realized that when you’re well rested, you are also a better wife and mother.

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    Click "View slideshow" to see what's inside Audra's baby bag!

    Photos by Mark Chester Ang. Makeup by Angie Cruz for Shue Uemura. Hair by Patty Inojales.




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