I would like to share this scary experience that I had last March 7-8, 2013. I was close to giving birth then, and we have been inside the clinic for four days.
They had three small rooms there for those who are giving birth. It was tight, and the only furniture that fit there was a single bed and three plastic chairs. My husband and I occupied one room, and the other two were empty.
Then a pregnant woman went in and asked for a check-up. We caught a bit of their conversation, not because we intended to eavesdrop, but because the clinic wasn’t large, and the walls of the rooms were thin. The midwife told the woman to go home, walk around a bit and come back in the morning the next day.
However, the woman couldn’t wait until tomorrow to get herself admitted. That night, she came back, along with her husband and her grandmother. The woman was young; I believe she was still around 18 years old.
So it was now noisy, and the people were now moving around outside. My husband and I weren’t able to get back to sleep because of it, and we simply listened to them as if we were listening to a radio show.
Then suddenly the power went out. There were emergency lights in the clinic, but there were only two of them outside our rooms, and the rest were in the delivery room. A few minutes passed, then someone screamed in utter fright! The midwife’s assistant said that she saw something by the window.
The door was in between two windows with jalousie glass. There was apparently a dark-skinned person who peeked in. The assistant wasn’t able to see the face of the person, but she did see their eyes. The midwife stopped the assistant from saying any more, because obviously, it wasn’t the right time to scare anyone.
I couldn’t explain what I felt that night. There was fear, but there was also worry and concern, just like in another story that was told in the group about aswang. The aswang is our local version of the vampires of old and they are known to favor unborn and newly born babies.
As a mother, there’s a feeling burning inside me that will fight anything because you wanted to protect your baby. My husband and I now turned on both our phones’ flashlights as if expecting something or someone to attack.
It was soon the middle of the night, and the pregnant lady was crying because her abdomen was already aching. It was noisy inside the clinic, but we could clearly hear a cat’s loud meowing. It was just outside the window and was also making so much noise.
I honestly didn’t like what I was feeling back then and my arm hairs were now all standing up.
They already took the young lady to the delivery room. As I mentioned just earlier, there were also emergency lights there. The midwife also had all the equipment for helping someone give birth in that room.
Then someone screamed again.
They said that there was a large cockroach inside the room. Like, absolutely black, and not brown like the usual roaches you see at home. They made a ruckus inside and started to attempt smacking the pest until it went out of the room.
I invited my husband to pray with me. We prayed and prayed, not only for us and our baby but also for the other woman, who was now giving birth, and her baby.
We could hear that she was having a hard time pushing the baby out. The woman was already being scolded by the midwife since she wasn’t listening or following what she was being told to do. It continued until we heard it had become an actual emergency.
There was a problem with the child. It was already blackened when it came out. The child was now dead. I couldn’t help but cry my eyes out at the news.
When everything had already quieted down, I think the lady had already fallen asleep then; we heard the conversation between the midwife and the grandmother…
The grandmother said that she knew it would happen. She had a dream some time before where she saw that her granddaughter had given birth and the child was already dead when it came out. It seemed that all of the first-born children in their family die, taken by the ones that come after them.
The midwife couldn’t believe what just happened either. The child was still moving inside the lady’s womb the last time she checked, and that was earlier in the day. The heartbeat was okay as well.
She also couldn’t believe that there was a cockroach in the delivery room since they cleaned it every day. It was their first ever one inside that room. It was large and black.
That was also their first death in their clinic. The midwife was well known in our area since she was good at maneuvers, and even if the position wasn’t favorable at first, she could get the baby out via a normal delivery.
And yet, here was a baby dead while in her care.
Even though the clinic just experienced a death, we didn’t leave that place yet.
It was around early morning when everything became quiet. My sleep was on and off, and I was already experiencing a few contractions. The midwife doubled her efforts in attending to me and my husband. She didn’t expect us to stay there despite what happened.
Maybe if it was someone else, they would have moved to another clinic or hospital because of fear. But then, my husband wasn’t the type to allow himself to be intimidated. No matter what happened, he said that God was the one in charge of all of us.
For the entire day, the midwife regularly went inside the room in order to check my condition and record my baby’s heartbeat. As for myself, I paid close attention to my child. She wasn’t moving that much, but I knew she was okay.
At around seven in the evening, the power cut off twice. It was a WTF moment for all of us back then. It was just like the other night.
Then the cat appeared again, making a loud noise. My husband got so irritated that he wanted to go outside and throw something at the cat.
All of us in the clinic were getting nervous, and the midwife was coming in at regular intervals to check on my condition. She was obviously fearful, tired, and short on sleep. I knew she didn’t want a repeat of what happened last night. She even asked for help from another midwife and told her all about what happened the last time.
I started labor at around nine in the evening. Thank God that the power had already returned. My husband was also with me in the delivery room. The midwife allowed him inside as a bonus, so that he could also experience and witness my childbirth. He went through everything, and he didn’t faint or anything like that.
Did you know that when my child came out, she wasn’t crying? She was already smacked a few times on her butt, but she still didn’t cry.
Midwife A started to cuss out of nervousness. She said, “You’ve already taken the other one, damn it, don’t you dare take this one!”
Midwife B took out a large syringe. As far as I know, that was a last resort, and is used to wake up a baby that didn’t cry right after childbirth. I don’t know the medical term for this procedure.
They were all so scared and worried when suddenly, someone screamed. It was a small and short cry coming from my baby.
She was okay. She was absolutely okay.
But I promise you guys, that was the only sound we heard from my baby. She still didn’t cry even after we went home.
I’m sorry because I needed to cut this short. The last part is a bit on the long side, and it’s about what happened when we finally got home. Hopefully I can come back and write the rest of the story…
And I’m back.
There were two rooms in the house that we, as a married couple, rented out. One of them became our storage room. There were no mesh screens or even grills on all the jalousie windows. And we didn’t bother fixing it up since we would move again shortly after.
But the thing that made me the most irritated when we got home was the power outages. They’ve been occurring a lot more by this time. We didn’t have emergency lights back then, but we had a lot of candles and flashlights.
The baby and I slept together on our full-sized mattress, and my husband slept by himself on the other mattress. I didn’t let him sleep together with us since he moved a lot when he slept, and he might hit the baby.
One night, the power went out again! My husband and I dived towards our baby and even bumped heads too. I told my husband, “Do you hear those footsteps on the roof? It sounds like a person’s walking on it.”
The odd thing was that our dog didn’t even bark at it, and it was the type to go wild at intruders, even cockroaches!
My husband got his Japanese-style sword and went out of the house. He went around it and listened for whatever it was. He threw something onto our roof, and something fell onto our neighbor’s roof.
I was worried, as my baby was still so young. I carried her and didn’t put her back on the mattress.
All the flashlights were switched on and pointed at different directions. My eyes, however, were trained on the window. I wasn’t afraid since right outside, near the window, there slept our dog. If someone started standing over there, the dog wouldn’t just stare at them since it was protective of me.
It’s just that, on that night, he didn’t bark at all.
When my husband went back inside, we prayed. I uttered a silent prayer, while he said one out loud in Arabic. My husband was Muslim.
Suddenly something cried out in some kind of moan. The hairs on my body all stood on end and goosebumps erupted all over me as well.
My husband went out again. I cracked the window open.
There was a large black cat sitting in our yard, it had probably gotten inside because our fence was made of bamboo. Anyway, it was sitting smack dab in the middle of it. The power was out, and it was dark, but I could see it because the moon was bright outside.
My husband tried to throw things at the cat, but it didn’t go away. It mewled strangely, sounding like a crying woman.
Meanwhile, I continued praying. It was just a silent prayer, but the beating in my chest was intense.
My husband then went back inside the house and got out his sword again. He also got himself some salt and a pitcher of cold water. I didn’t know which of the three he used to drive away the cat, but after a long while, the cat stopped making noise.
However, our dog was acting strangely. He paced to and from the window, not barking at all, but you know he was worried about something. He kept whining, as if he was stressed out.
My husband and I didn’t dare sleep until dawn came.
After that, we pulled many more all-nighters. We still heard those mysterious and creepy footsteps, and it wasn’t just the cat that visited us every night.
However, we didn’t give in to our fear.
My husband bought one of those rechargeable fans that had LED lights on the side. When the power went out and we used it, it became really bright inside the room. I felt much better as long as there was light, and we didn’t care how many more things visited us as long as the two of us guarded the baby and prayed.
I knew that as long as we did that, we wouldn’t be harmed, especially my baby.
My child is four years old as of this writing. I gave birth to her on October 7, 2013.
Imagine that, I’m now telling you the story of our experience so many years ago. Happy anniversary to this story and happy birthday to my child!