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Halloween Experience

Making a DifferenceHalloween is one of those things that Ive only read about back in the Philippines. I didnt get the opportunity to know the meaning of the word in its entirety until we came over to America five years ago.

Although my children, who have been to school for the first time in this country on August 2002, had started telling me about trick or treat, Halloween costumes, Halloween candies, and knocking on doors from one neighbors house to another words that Ive heard for the first time, and heard extensively from them I failed to equip them with those things so they could have gone to the trick-or-treat night.

For early in the morning on October 30 I started to feel the pain that was associated with childbirth. Incidentally, the eve of our supposed first Halloween experience here in America was going to be my delivery day, me being nine months in the family way during that time.

I had an 8.11 pound baby girl around eleven in the morning on October 30, 2002 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. And surprisingly, after going through childbirth eight times four at V. Luna Medical Center, twice at Villamor Air Base Hospital, and twice from non-military hospital I had the opportunity for the first time in my life to realize that having a baby could, after all, be had in a most less painful way.

The kindness and care of the nurses who attended to me while waiting for my delivery allowed me to go through a wonderful process of childbirth. Do you feel pain? They would check on me constantly. Tell us right away if you are in pain. The baby is not coming out until eleven. You can go to sleep you need enough rest to go through this delivery. The nurses understanding of what I was going through shockingly surprised me!

Unfortunately, I was losing so much blood after the delivery that I had to go through immediate operation. Then came several blood transfusions that I first refused to have. By noon time the following day I woke up to the silent visit of a doctor. Happy Halloween! He greeted. Oh yes, indeed! I replied. Its Halloween today. We have no Halloween back in my country, you know, doctor. Im so sorry, he said. You have to spend Halloween here in the hospital.
After checking on me I asked him the first question I asked upon waking up at the recovery room after the operation.

When can we go home? Ill check on your progress and Ill let you know this afternoon, he said. Okay, Ill wait to hear from you, doctor. Happy Halloween! He called out before closing the door behind him. He didnt come back in the afternoon.

The next day, I again asked the same question to the first person who came to check on me. But the reply was not promising. Unless we are sure that you can stand up and walk by yourself without falling down we wont allow you to go home. My goodness! I complained in secret. Until when would I stay in the hospital. I wanted so much to go home. Besides, I get scared when night time comes. I didnt feel good sleeping alone in my hospital room. One night I felt the presence of a woman by my bed side watching me. It scared me every time evening comes.

Finally, on our fourth day in the hospital I was told we can go home. I was relieved. By noon time, however, the babys pediatrician came. Have you tried to carry your baby? He asked. No, doctor. I replied. She was only put beside me one time but I didnt carry her. The doctor informed us that my baby had a broken arm. They might not allow us yet to leave the hospital as they would examine her further to make sure if she really had a broken arm.

After hours of waiting, the pediatrician confirmed their findings. But they allowed us to go home, anyway. Thank God! And we took our new baby home, so excitedly, although she had a plaster cast on her tiny left arm.

This was my Halloween Experience. This was really not about activities associated with Halloween celebration. This was about spending Halloween in the hospital due to childbirth.

Yesterday, October 30, my baby Sunshine May, turned five year old.
Happy Halloween to all!

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