On a rainy Saturday night, the eve of Mother’s Day 2015, INQUIRER.net set out to three different hospitals in and out of Metro Manila to capture the journey of four first-time mothers who were about to bring new lives into this world. Through this photo showcase, allow us to honour these brave women who endured hours of labor and delivery pains for the children they’re about to hold—a path they chose from the very beginning. This is what motherhood means to them; this is the legacy that childbirth brought them.
Baby Nash Andrei was born in the wee hours of Mother’s Day at Cornel Medical Center in Marikina City. He was delivered through Ceasarian Section (CS), a procedure that involves making incisions through a mother’s abdomen and uterus to bring out the baby when vaginal delivery is not possible for the mother. After establishing a skin-to-skin contact between him and his mother Angie Ramos, Nash Andrei was immediately placed on the hospital’s nursery tray, wiped clean of blood by the doctors and then wheeled out of the delivery room to prepare him for further tests.
A few moments after delivery, Baby Nash was finally placed on his mother’s chest wherein he fell asleep. This act helps babies bond with their mothers outside the womb. At this point both mommy Angie and baby Nash started their recuperation from the grueling hours of labor that started Saturday afternoon and ended at 1:00 a.m. on Mother’s Day.
Baby Nielvean was born thirty minutes into Mother’s Day at Batangas Medical Center. He was born through normal delivery, a procedure wherein a child passes through the birth canal and out of the vagina before it is delivered. First time mothers who undergo normal delivery oftentimes experience labour pains for hours as the cervix dilates in preparation for the baby’s birth, followed by more pains when the baby pushes its way out of the vagina. Mother Lennie Raya has endured these pains as evident in her facial expression, but has strongly held on for her son’s sake.
First-time mother Lennie Raya, 35 years old, is seen smiling as she is handed her son, Baby Nielvean Raya. After hours of intense labor pains, a smile finally cracks from Lennie’s face as she holds her son. It finally sinks in to her—here was her son, her first child, cradled in her arms. It’s been an intense night, but to her, Nielvean is worth all the pain and suffering.
24 year old first-time mom Mary Grace gave birth to Baby Hunter on Mother’s Day in the same hospital as Baby Nielvean’s. Like Lennie Raya, Mary Grace underwent normal delivery and was able to bring Baby Hunter out in to the world 10 minutes before Baby Nielvean was born. After hours of agonizing labor pains, Mary Grace only had smiles and warm touch to greet her baby who was placed beside her, falling fast asleep to her mother’s soft lullabies.
One would think Baby Hunter was delivered quickly and without pain, what with the unmistakable joyous smile his mother, 24-year-old Mary Grace Abo, is showing. Hours through her labor and into delivery, Mary Grace experienced pain sensations most people will not even be able to tolerate. There’s the intensifying pressure during contractions, then there’s also the burning sensation when the baby’s head starts to enter the vagina. Those are just some of the things a first-time mom may experience in normal delivery, but none that Mary Grace will not forgive and forget as she holds her son closely to her bosom. The pain, the uncertainty, she’d go there again for Hunter.
Baby Charmel, born during daybreak of Mother’s day, sticks her tongue out numerous times, as if she’s tasting the air of this new world she’s in for the first time. Born in Batangas Medical Center, Baby Charmel was successfully delivered normally by 28-year-old first-time mom Mary Jane Cometa. Despite the long and tiring night, mother Mary Jane was able to finally give birth to her daughter just as the day was about to start.
First-time mother Mary Jane Cometa finally makes eye and skin contact with her daughter, Baby Charmel, who was born during daybreak of Mother’s day. Because of the intensity of what she went through, Mary Jane had to be given oxygen supply to make her as comfortable as possible before and after childbirth. From contractions to actual birth, mothers who go through normal delivery also go through a lot of excessive sensations of pain, with some described as varying levels of burning and internal pressure. But Mary Jane’s smile directed towards her infant daughter speaks volumes about what she’s willing to do for her. She’s been through the fire for her; she won’t hesitate to go through it again for her.