Tag Archives: st. luke’s medical center quezon city

Preterm Labor Scare and Worst Hospital Service Experience

2 Aug

Last July 25,  I had to be admitted to the hospital due to possible Preterm Labor caused by severe contractions. I was having mini episodes of contractions a week before, lasting for 5-10 minutes at a time.  July 24, Morning: I was feeling unusually tired (but I’ve been working really hard the past few weeks so I figured it must just be fatigue) but went on my usual tasks. While getting some supplies, I had a really painful contraction in the afternoon. Practiced some relaxation breathing technique and the pain subsided. July 24, Evening: I noticed some blood on the toilet bowl. For some reason, I was unsure where it came from. We decided to ask my doctor in the morning and went to bed. When I woke up at 9am, the contractions were there and the pain was bad, but slightly manageable. I went on my usual tasks. At around 1:30 PM I felt this really painful “tug” on my tummy, followed by what felt like the worst case ever of menstrual cramps. I couldn’t move my whole body and I was literally paralyzed in pain. I practiced the relaxation breathing technique and they actually helped. The pain subsided and I quickly fell asleep. When I woke up at 3:30PM the severe pain was back and we immediately called the doctor and was advised to come to her clinic as soon as possible.

Upon arriving at the clinic, my doctor checked my tummy and right then, she could tell I was having really painful contractions cause my tummy was really stiff. She did an Internal Exam to check if my cervix has opened.  Thankfully, it hasn’t but that doesn’t mean baby and I were safe. She had me rushed to the hospital’s delivery room for admittance, so they can give me some uterine relaxant via IV to prevent preterm labor.

Let me tell you about my Preterm Labor Scare experience at St. Luke’s Medical Center’s Delivery Room Holding Area. It was SCARY and very stressful, seriously. I wouldn’t want to go through that experience again. First upon arrival at the delivery room, they did the usual interview then proceeded with the Fetal Non-Stress Test. A Fetal Non-Stress measures your baby’s heart rate and your contractions. There are two palm-sized round sensors attached to your belly with a belt. It also checks whether your baby has adequate oxygen for the heart rate and movement to be within normal ranges.

Next, I was started on the IV and several doses of uterine relaxant were administered. I was then transferred to the Holding Area and sadly, I had to say goodbye to daddy since no one is allowed inside. The Holding Area looked like a huge ward with 4-6 beds and nothing but curtain dividers and huge empty spaces per division. No TV, no magazines, no one to talk to, nothing- COMPLETE ISOLATION. When I arrived, only 1 bed was occupied and it felt really creepy,like you’re in some nuthouse’s isolation area cause the divisions were huge and there was a nurse’s station with one nurse . I could hear the anesthesiologist briefing the moms in the room about labor procedures and boy, was I starting to get nervous. After a few minutes, a nurse arrived and informed me about the steroid shot she was going to administer. she said it was for baby’s lungs, in case baby comes out, the little one will have strong lungs & be able to breathe. That got me scared as —-.

After a few hours, I was wheeled out (in bed and all) so I can have my dinner. Can I just say that that was the worst meal ever??? It was cold and nasty, nothing like the meals they I got the last time I was confined at St. Luke’s (May 2012). After dinner, I felt this severe pain in my stomach followed by a sudden urge to “move”. I was wheeled into a different room, along with moms who just gave birth. I was transferred to the Recovery Room. I was put in complete bed rest so that meant no going to the toilet and having to poop/pee on a bed pan. I’ve never experienced doing so and that was the most awkward and disgusting thing I have ever done. I asked for tissue and cleaned myself afterwards. We only had one nurse (there were two nurses: one was assigned to the moms and babies and ours was working on us preterms and the new moms/babies). It was a challenge to call the nurses attention. 

I suffered diarrhea all night til morning due to the hospital food and was in pain the entire night until the next day. I couldn’t sleep. I had the IV attached to my left hand and the Fetal Non-Stress Test Machine attached to my belly althroughout. The babies kept crying all night and the severe pain due to contractions and acquired diarrhea didn’t make things easier. I had to “move” every 30 minutes or so, and in addition to the contractions I was having, the pain was insane. It was so hard to call for a nurse and the buzzer was out of reach. There were times when I almost pooped on my bed (and 2 instances which I did). They did not provide water or soap for you to clean yourself with and I had to clean myself and wait a really long time for the nurse to remove the used bed pan. I was lying in bed with my own poo and pee beside me. I kept asking for drinking water but the nurse just kept saying yes but never comes back with it.

Thank goodness the new nurse arrived and she was somewhat better than the last nurses. She gave me water and soap to wash myself with after every painful “movement” and provided me with a sheet covering. It was still hard to call out and ask for the bed pan to be emptied and I never got that water.

I really felt like crying all throughout the night due to desperation and frustration as I waited til John could come back. I borrowed the service phone and asked him to bring me some crackers and water as I was extremely weak, starved, and tired from the non-stop diarrhea I was having.  I had to wait until John arrived so I can finally get some decent amount of drinking water and a good meal.

My doctor arrived in the afternoon and told me I could go home as the contractions have subsided. I was given the second dose of steroid for baby’s lungs and was discharged afterwards. I’ve never felt so relieved! Overall, it was the worst experience ever. I felt so weak and depressed after. I wouldn’t want to go through that experience again. It cost us more than 10,000 pesos for less than 24hours of stay at the Delivery Room.

Now, I’m having second thoughts on my birth plan. Considering these three options based on the cost of giving birth at St. Luke’s Hospital and their services (these are not the actual/total fees, I will include the breakdown and estimates on my next posts. These are for the stated rooms/facilities only):

  •  St. Luke’s Birthing Room, Global City and Quezon City: P 15,000 per day
  • High Risk Pregnancy Unit (HRPU): P5,500 per day
  • Delivery Room Holding Area: P1,500 per day

Looking into Natural Birthing (no sedation, no epidurals, water birthing) as well. I have yet to discuss it with Rome Kanapi, my Prepared Childbirth Class Teacher and Betty San Luis, a certified doula. I will post updates on Prepared Childbirth Classes and on these two ladies on my next posts.

I am just more than grateful that my little one is out of harms way and is safely getting fat inside my ever-hungry and hugely growing tummy. The pain from all the contractions, IV insertions, shots, and yes, even the diarrhea, as long as baby is safe, it was all worth it.

This post is not intended to ruin the hospital’s and the nurses’ reputations, rather it aims to inform so as they can provide better service to patients and to avoid another unfortunate experience from occurring again. I really hope this will serve as a wake up call for nurses and healthcare providers/hospitals to go beyond duty and business and provide better care and show more compassion towards patients. My brother is a nurse and so are most of my friends, so please don’t take this the wrong way as I understand how hard and stressful being a nurse is.

Second Trimester: 16 Weeks. Happy Mommy: Goodbye Morning Sickness! Healthy Baby: Baby’s Development, Flu Vaccine, and Congenital Anomaly Scan

26 Jun

If you’re now on your second trimester like me, congratulations mommy, we’re halfway there! No more morning sickness and you’re feeling more active, daring, and energetic as ever! Flaunt that pretty little bump!

The Second Trimester is when baby starts getting very active and busy with development. Baby is growing hair: those beautiful lashes that you’ll adore when you play “peek-a-boo” and those pretty little eyebrows and lustrous hair are starting to sprout at this stage. Baby is also practicing her reflex movements like swallowing, kicking, “punching”, and sucking. At this stage, you’re probably starting to feel those little feet kicking and jumping up and down your belly. Isn’t it the most precious feeling in the world? Baby isn’t just a little bump in your belly,you now get to finally feel your baby and interact more with her!

A few tests and procedures I had at 16 Weeks (and what you and baby will get too):

  • Flu Vaccine

Did you know that aside from protecting your body (and baby’s ,as well) from the annoying and harmful effects of flu, Flu Vaccine is beneficial to your pregnancy and baby’s well-being? There are lots of benefits of flu vaccine for pregnant women and unborn babies. Pregnant mothers who have had the shot were less likely to have a stillbirth, premature birth, underweight babies, and passes the antibodies on to baby.

  • CAS: Congenital Anomaly Scan (18-28 Weeks)

CAS is Congenital Anomaly Scan. Congenital Anomaly Scan is very important for you and baby’s well-being. It tells you a lot about you and your baby’s physical health and development. It checks for abnormalities in your baby’s organs, deformities, and/or birth defects. It also gives you information on baby’s gender, position (breech, vertex, etc), placental health, grade, and location (with previa, low lying, no previa), your EDD (Estimated Due Date), baby’s age, weight, and length, position (breech, vertex, etc.) Its very helpful as it helps determine whether you’re baby is at risk of Down Syndrome, Neural Tube defects, cleft palate, to name a few. It’s usually done between 18-28 Weeks.

There are Ultrasound clinics that offer 3D/4D CAS scans. 3D gives you a three-dimensional look at your baby. 4D gives you a real-time look at baby’s face and movements. Go for either one if you want a better look at your baby. Although, a 2D scan will do for a CAS, as well.

I had my second ultrasound and baby’s 2D Congenital Anomaly Scan at 16 weeks (usually 3D/4D is not advisable during early stages, 16 weeks below, as you won’t be able to see much details as baby’s is still developing and growing). A few tips before your ultrasound, I suggest you drink a fruit shake, have a light snack, or a chocolate or granola bar so baby will be more active. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and empty your bladder as well. Unlike my first ultrasound (Transvaginal Ultrasound: click link to read my article on Transvaginal Ultrasound and its Rates), the Sonologist slathers your tummy with lubricant and scan your tummy.You will need a Doctor’s Request for your CAS. We were too excited to see our little angel and find out the gender, that we had it too early at 16 weeks. Although, the OB/Sonologist wasn’t able to determine baby’s gender since she wanted to play safe and wait til the organs were fully developed, nothing compares to the awe and bliss of seeing your baby kicking and playing in your tummy. Daddy was even more elated and excited when he saw baby, that he had that wide smile on his face and kept replaying the ultrasound video throughout the day, and the following days after that.

San Juan Ultrasound Clinic Experience/Review:

I had my CAS at San Juan Ultrasound Clinic. It’s located at N. Domingo Street, San Juan. (5-10 minute drive from St. Luke’s) The clinic has 2-3 staff members and an OBGYN Sonologist. A waiting area is provided where patients can watch a movie or read magazines while waiting. If you get hungry, there are also some cafes and restaurants nearby. There’s a viewing area for dad, with a Flatscreen TV where he can see baby and record the ultrasound video.

*Edited August 25, 2012: When we had our 3D/4D Scan last August 13, our experience wasn’t as good as the first one. The receptionist, Maricel, was very rude and inconsiderate. Service truly goes down with employees like her. We also weren’t allowed to take a video of the ultrasound. I guess even with healthcare providers like this one, business is always business and by not allowing video footages, they can earn more by getting their patients to pay for a video request. We had to go back  last August 22 for a re-scan and they had “Picture/video taking not allowed” posters below their LCD Monitors. I feel for all the first-time/excited parents who comes here and won’t be allowed to take a video of their child’s ultrasound. Another was, we came all the way from QC just to find out the doctor has already left. How inconsiderate. The least they could have done was inform their clients if their sonologists won’t be able to accommodate them. Same thing happened last August 24 and had I not stood my ground and asked for a re-scan that day, the doctor would have left as well. I also found it very unprofessional for the staff to keep going in and out of the ultrasound room to see what our son looks like, check if the doctor was done, and to snoop around and check whether we were video-taping our son’s ultrasound video. I don’t think they know of such a thing as QUALITY SERVICEPROFESSIONALISM and PRIVACY. Truly disgusting. I used to highly recommend this place but, if you want your money’s worth and not have your supposedly wonderful ultrasound experience ruined, do not go to this place.*

The costs and rates for the Flu Vaccine and Congenital Anomaly Scan are as follows:

Flu Vaccine: 

  • St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City: P 950

Congenital Anomaly Scan:

  • San Juan Ultrasound Clinic, N. Domingo Street, San Juan: P1,500
  • In My Womb, SM Megamall, SM Marikina, The Fort: P2,700 (Set an appointment in advance, subject to availability of OB/Sonologist).
  • St. Luke’s Medical Center, (Quezon City, Global City) : P2,772 (Set an appointment in advance, limited slots)

I’d go for San Juan Ultrasound Clinic. It’s more practical- economical and convenient, plus my doctor recommended them.

Mommies, feel free to leave a comment or post your questions on the comment box below.

Have a Happy Mommy Day! 


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