No one wants to be in a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to the hospital is now the last resort, even for pregnant women giving birth. There are many changes to the hospital's childbirth protocols to ensure that the mom, newborn, even the health professionals, are all safe from COVID-19. (Read here on what to expect if you're due to give birth anytime soon.)
But reality can be different from what's written on paper. We asked moms in our Smart Parenting Village who gave birth during COVID-19 enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to share their stories. There were a few who opted to give birth in lying-in centers, but not all preggos can do that. Here are some hospital birth stories:
Monitored baby's movement in place of prenatal checkups
I didn't go to prenatal checkups at the hospital sa takot ma-expose. Di ako nakapagpa-ultrasound for the last trimester, ang ginagawa ko na lang is i-monitor ang movement ni baby. My OB decided na i-induce ako at 39 weeks since we last saw each other nung 34 weeks pa ako right before the ECQ. Nauwi rin sa C-section (CS) dahil ayaw bumaba ni baby at ruptured water bag na ko.
Blessing na rin na 'yung napili naming hospital is for pregnant lang talaga; no other patients, kahit paano nabawasan 'yung anxieties ko. Thankful din sa OB ko na 'di ako pinabayaan. — Jonah Gonzales gave birth via CS on April 7
Wearing a mask while in labor for 12 hours
I was wearing a mask even when I was in the labor room for 12 hours kasi in and out ang mga nurses and doctors to check up on me. I'm glad I was the only one giving birth that day, so I felt much less threatened. We only spent two days in the hospital. We didn't want to stay long and normal delivery naman ako. — Jalyn C. Monteras-Fernando gave birth on March 17
The hospital was like a ghost town
After having my bloody show on March 16, we went to St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City. I work in the same hospital, but it looked like a ghost town. Before being allowed in the delivery room, a nurse conducted a triage, asking for travel history or symptoms such as fever or cough. The resident sent me home because I was only two centimeters dilated.
That night when my contractions were stronger, we went back and was admitted because I'm a high-risk patient. I had an epidural and gave birth to a healthy baby girl via low forceps delivery. I wore a mask the whole time. We were discharged on March 18. — Joy Pega gave birth on March 16
Doctors may induce labor early
My doctor advised to induce labor since term na rin naman daw ako, so I went to the hospital to process admission. It took a while kasi the staff had to assess first whether you have had any COVID-19 exposure or had symptoms.
I was transferred to the labor room with face shield and mask on, kaya medyo mahirap huminga at kumilos. Normally daw kung induction, may 12 to 24 hrs of trial labor. Pero due to COVID-19, they can assess earlier. OB decided to perform CS dahil 'di bumababa si baby. With everybody including me wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), I gave birth via CS. Kahit sa recovery room, I still have my face mask on. — Jewel Gallardo-Manalaysay gave birth via CS on April 17
'Hindi na painless kasi nagtuloy-tuloy na'
Three hospitals that my obstetrician is affiliated with were closed due to COVID-19. Doc gave me one more week para manganak or else i-CS na kaysa walang mapag-anakan na hospital. Buti na lang may isang natirang COVID-19-free hospital.
On my last checkup on the day I gave birth, one centimeter dilated lang ako. Pag-uwi ko, pumutok na panubigan ko kaya sinugod na ako sa ospital. After an hour of labor, baby out na. Yung plan na painless, 'di na na-push kasi tuloy-tuloy na. Blessing in disguise din kasi mas nakamura kami. — first-time mom Jessa Herrera Gaygon gave birth on April 13
The bill was higher due to PPEs
All prenatal check-ups were done via text, but I needed to go to the hospital twice every week to have my nonstress test (NST). My OB decided to induce my labor at three centimeters dilated because I was high risk due to type 2 diabetes. I gave birth in less than an hour without anesthesia since late dumating si OB and anesthesiologist. I stayed for 24 hours only. We paid higher than expected since we are charged with the PPE the delivery staff used. — Mina Lazaro gave birth on April 8
14-day quarantine at home after discharge is required
My OB advised me to go directly to the hospital's delivery room in case of labor pains. We had to pass through two checkpoints and had to undergo COVID-19 screening before ma-admit sa hospital. Thankfully, my OB already advised the nurse at the delivery room that I'm not a COVID-19 patient, and I didn't have to undergo an X-ray, which is now a prerequisite before admission.
My husband and I wore masks the whole time we were out. I also had to wear one throughout labor and delivery, making the process harder even with oxygen. Supposedly, kasama si husband sa loob ng labor and delivery room, but hindi na in-allow ng hospital. Our newborn daughter had to be delivered in my room in an incubator. There are no visitors allowed.
We had to be quarantined at home for 14 days after discharge before namin makita yung eldest daughter namin who was under the care of her grandparents. Tiis-tiis muna sa video call. — Jo-Anne Navarro gave birth to her second child on April 13
You need to source your own blood in case you'd need it.
It was so stressful because I needed to have a stand-by blood reserve for the CS operation. Unfortunately, three blood banks in Bacolod do not have my blood type. There was no bloodletting activity lately due to COVID-19. I tried looking for donors, but most are hesitant because of the situation. I was already in the operating room, and my OB won't start unless I have a blood donor. My husband was desperate.
With God's guidance, the hospital elevator operator heard my husband's conversation with my OB. He approached my husband and said we have the same blood time and that he can donate blood. He was our lifesaver. If it wasn't for the elevator operator, I don't know what could have happened. It's a random kindness from that man that saved me. I will always be thankful for his help. — Pia Yap Maestrecampo gave birth via CS on April 20
'Nakaligo at nakapag-kilay pa ako'
My water unexpectedly broke so I contacted my OB immediately and pinapunta na niya ako sa hospital. Nakaligo pa ako, nakapag-tanggal ng polish, nakapag-ayos at nag-kilay.
We asked help from the barangay and hinatid naman nila kami sa hospital. Pagdating doon, floating pa si baby and two centimeters dilated pa lang. Doc induced my labor, but after about five hours, she decided to perform emergency CS. Kada internal exam e lumalabas ang water ko at mauubusan na ng water si baby sa loob. Wala pang isang oras na-deliver na si baby. I was hoping to have a normal delivery pero may reason naman lahat. I stayed in the hospital until March 27.
Blessing in disguise na din na ECQ ako nanganak dahil binigyan kami ni God ng pagkakataon na alagaan ang aming baby girl na kami lang. Nagpapalitan at nag-aalaga, nagtutulungan at gumagawa ng magagandang memories kasama ang aming LO. — Karen P. Torres-Agab gave birth via emergency CS on March 25
Doctors want you home as soon as possible
My supposedly weekly check-ups were canceled, and my OB instructed me to go to the hospital if I feel contractions. On the morning of March 28, I had contractions and went to the hospital, which was almost empty. I gave gave birth to a healthy baby girl at nearly 5 p.m., then ni-room-in si baby sa room ng mga 11 p.m. We had to wear masks the entire time.
First visit ni pedia sa room, she practiced social distancing. She was wearing PPE while giving us mga basic do's and dont's kay baby. Doctors want to get you home agad at makaiwas sa possible COVID-19 exposure sa hospital. 'Yun na din ang gusto namin. 'Yung na-imagine mong may visitors ka na happy and excited to welcome your new baby, wala. — Piah Sumampong Segovia gave birth via CS on March 28