Dea Hannah: Another angel in our midst

About three-thirty AM yesterday. Lea sat up from our bed and got worried that a rush of fluid flowed from her. Then she proceeded to the toilet as she felt like defecating. Then pelvic pain ensued. For about 10 minutes, she and I waited wondering if she was already due to give birth. Only when the pelvic pain continued did we resolve to rush to the hospital. She prepped up while I went out to call a tricycle, which transported us to St. Vincent Hospital.

At the emergency room, an attendant screened her while I was asked to fill up a couple of forms, one was about her admission and another about my consent to her ligation (yes, we decided that to punctuate our desire for the great future for our children). Lea’s pelvic pain heightened and contractions went more regular. Her blood pressure rate was 130/90 and opening, 4 cm. After a dextrose was attached to her, she was brought upstairs into the delivery room. I was asked to wait outside. Argh!

I’m sort of used to that pattern as it was the fourth time that Lea was to deliver a baby. But being blessed with another angel is a feeling like no other. The concern for Lea’s safety has always been there but anticipating a child gift from God feels like a new divine experience for me.

While waiting outside the delivery room, I met a man in his early 30s who chatted with me. He said that his wife had just given birth to their first baby. I was glad to know from him how he felt when his wife experienced the pain while giving birth. That fed into my view that husbands do share the pain of their wives, if only vicariously, wishfully thinking that they could take the pain away from their beloved.

Over one hour into the waiting, I felt weak and was reminded about my own health condition. Wishing that I wouldn’t miss the time of our baby’s birth, I went back home to take my breakfast and bring a few things to the hospital. Back at the hospital, I was surprised to know that the baby girl was just born at 6:20. Of course, I was elated by the news but was equally sad that I missed to see it as soon as it was born. Anyway, after a few minutes, the doctor went out of the delivery room and asked me to get inside to see the baby. Wow! I was so blessed to see her. She looked tall and her cheeks were rosy. The doctor remarked that she’s beautiful. I agree as she looked like her mother.

With my excitement, I forgot to take a picture of her. That should have been a copy that my wife would see while she’s still away from our daughter.

At 8am, I still felt alone inside Room 201 becuase Lea’s not yet brought in. Doctor said she’s still asleep and under observation. While waiting, I told the news through a text message to all our colleagues, friends and relatives, about 80 of them, who have numbers in my phonebook. Expectedly, most of them replied with congratulations and best wishes. Two of them called me. One was Singapore-based Ninong Joven, father-in-law’s best friend, who said he didn’t know about Lea’s pregnancy. He congratulated me and gave his regards to the Banares clan. Another caller was Mars Mendoza, who expressed surprise at the coincidence that the name we gave to our daughter is the same name she’s giving to a baby girl she’s about to adopt.

Another coincidence was noted by Lea’s best college friend. In her text message, she informed me that a strong typhoon is about to visit the country, named Hannah. I replied saying that the typhoon is a good one.

Speaking of our baby’s name, Dea Hannah. Dea is a blend of Dong and Lea, which is a good thing because it also means God. Hannah means gift (from God), which also puts consistency in our naming our children, whose second names start with “H”: Howell, Harmon, and Herald.

At past 12pm, Lea was finally brought inside our room. She was already awake but looked still having pain. I kissed and congratulated her for our new baby girl. Then we exchanged updates. She narrated how she labored with her BP shooting up to 150/90. She said that her doctor ably sensed her condition, giving injections each to her back shoulders and buttocks to counter the threat of convulsion. She further said that she had felt groggy and unable to make sense of her surroundings. According to her, even the remark by the doctor that Dea Hannah was beautiful sounded nothing to her because of her state.

In our exchange, we could not help but analyze the situation where I should have been at the important three-day activity of my organization. I was not even prepared for the cost of Lea’s delivery. Last week, we made an appeal to our baby, with me speaking in front of my wife’s stomach, that she be born on October 1, after the three-day activity of her Dad is finished and the money for the hospital cost, produced. We were conditioned about that “imposed covenant” with the baby. But, with what happened, Lea half-kidded that perhaps Dea tested her naughtiness to make “lambing” with her Dad. Lea surmised that perhaps that is already a sign of Dea’s being “malambing” (affectionate), particularly to her dad. I guessed so.

God was really benevolent because I was able to find ways to meet my financial needs that day. My office mates were there to support me, facilitating my emergency loan. And so was my godfather, who gifted me with sufficient amount of money to complete the amount needed for the hospital cost.

The day was also enervating because I had to do errands to buy stuff related to my “mag-ina” (wife and baby). Nevertheless, I think that was good enough for me as a form of physical exercise.

My dear God. I feel like I’m being pampered by You with the blessings that come our way. I know that I must be prepared for possible trials along the way. So please give me strength to remain humble and persevering in life. And thanks very much for another angel in our midst: Dea Hannah.

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  1. Congratulations sir Dong!

    This entry reminded me of the time when our youngest sister was born 3 years ago. Our youngest was also “malambing” back then (not so now that she’s in her terrible stage, hehe).

    God bless you and your family. 🙂

  2. what a very moving entry Dong :)..I am imagining the scene in my mind. You, talking to the baby in your wife’s tummy and begging to come out after your three-day work. I think that would be a nice theme for a photograph, is it?

    Congratulations and I hope for your wife’s immediate recovery, that BP during delivery is kinda serious.

  3. teacher dungkal, conrats! naalala ko tuloy yung emotions na naglabo-labo sa ipis at puso ko nang ipanganak ang dawter ko more than 3 years ago… 🙂

  4. karlo, nalen, arnold, and ryann, thanks for sharing your thoughts about my wonderful experience as a father (and husband as well). I look forward to reading yours in the future.

  5. oie!

    congratulations! kaya pala di ka nakakareply
    sa mga organizational thingy text messages ko
    sa iyo. anyway. hope you enjoy your paternity leave.
    and see you around kung wala ako sa area.


  6. dear dong and leah,
    i have loved the name you’ve given your latest addition for the past 10 to 12 years though spelled differently. mine, whether its a boy or a girl, i would have christened an addition to my family…”deo jannah”.
    i was soooo surprised when dong texted me the good news–him awaiting to be a father for the nth time but was sooo elated, tooooo amazed to hear of the selected name. i dunno how to explain this but dong and i rarely communicate with each other, unless its a major disaster or what. i was driving when i got the good news and had to stop to read the message thrice or more. for a moment there i felt my blood rush when i read the name ‘dea hannah’.
    coincidence? i dunno. but what i know of is that that beautiful kid will grow up healthy, intelligent, a sense of community, and loved.
    again, congrats to both of you!

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