Unforgettable Good Friday recollections    

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas - The Freeman

Thank God, April 13, 1984 was Good Friday.

We got to the Perpetual Succor Hospital in Mandaluyong within only 15 minutes from Valle Verde.

As soon as he dropped me at the entrance, my husband rushed to the parking area to join me soonest.

I hastened to the elevator.

Inside, a doctor noticed I was already in labor because of my Lamaze breathing. He immediately instructed the elevator staff to proceed to the delivery floor without delay.

After ringing the door bell, the attending nurse who also noticed I was doing Lamaze breathing instructed me to walk straight to the pre-delivery room .

As I climbed up my assigned bed and sat in lotus position to resume Lamaze breathing, I smiled when I saw a reassuring, big yellow Smiley on the wall!

Soon, my husband came rushing in. He looked funny, with a sterilized white mask and a cap.

Some 20 minutes later, we transferred to the main delivery room.

We had to wait, however, because our dear OB-Gyne, Dra. Herminia Baja-Panlilio, was caught in traffic.

I was asked if it was ok to have a resident doctor assist my delivery.

As we had spent 9/more months together for medical consultation with her, we all decided to wait and have Dra. Panlilio do us the honor of delivering our very first, much-awaited first chlld!

I cannot remember now how long, how many more minutes we waited as the labor pains got more intense and my Lamaze breathing getting more difficult to continue!

Gratefully, my husband was there to coach and coax me through my Lamaze breathing which carried me through, above, beyond the labor pains.

And then, the moment we had all been waiting for!

Dra. Panlilio told me to push.

I soon learnt this meant pushing your baby with all your strength, with all your breath!

And push with all I could I did!

However, every last  push, I could not hold my breath long enough for our baby to be born!.


Fear set in.


I wonder if all mothers who deliver for the first time experience and anxiously ask this same question:” will I die if I hold my breath too long?”

We had to wait another 20/more minutes after two unsuccessful attempts for me to again try to push our baby out into our waiting world!

The nurses/residents in the delivery room were not only our instant cheering squad during the big push attempts; they also became our instant choir, singing with me during the big push intervals!

And then the light bulb moment – this first beautiful, profound, unforgettable Good Friday recollection/realization!

Overcoming fear, on the third try, I finally decided to completely hold, literally cut off/stop my breath, push to the max, yes, even if that meant death.

With this last, full breath, our child of love was born!!!

Wow, a mother’s “last” full breath is her baby’s “first” breath on earth?

Then this humbling recollection/realization later:

God’s life-giving breath was man’s first breath on earth!

“Then the LORD God breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live.” (Genesis 2:7)

And this other Good Friday recollection/realization:

“And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” And having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:46 / Mark 15:37).

“The beauty of Christ’s final breath on earth is our first breath in heaven. With Christ’s last gasp on the cross we have been set free. Death no longer declares victory over us (Corinthians 15:55). This is the beauty, of Christ’s crucifixion- the breathtaking awe of Easter!”

God’s loving breath=our earthly birth.

Christ’s last loving breath= our heavenly birth, eternal life, and, love.”


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