It’s been 11 days that our little bundle of joy arrived and yet, if feels like she’s been with us much longer than that.  As I type this, I look at her and can’t help but think she’s already growing so fast…. maybe because she eats A LOT.. she’s filling out more.

So, at this time, I would like to recall the details of her delivery.
It all started on Saturday, the 17th. I had started to get contractions that were starting to be more serious than the ones before… however.. that didn’t stop me from making our awesome Shrimp fajitas! (it just took me longer to make them)  The contractions continued all night and into the next morning.  I had woken up at 7am to get ready for Church when I had another really strong contraction.  I decided to stay home and rest instead of being super uncomfortable at church.  Just my luck, I had no other contractions that day so, Carlo and I went for a walk downtown to try to get the baby to drop some.
On our way home, the contractions continued into the next morning.  Still nothing too serious and anything I can’t handle so we didn’t think much of them.  Early Tuesday morning, I woke up to find blood when I went to the bathroom.  I knew this was a sign that things were starting.  I got online to try to see if any of my friends who are Nurses were online and they weren’t so, I sent a text to my sister and the conclusion we came with is that I was starting to dilate.  An hour after that, the contractions started and came every 15 minutes.  At this point they are strong and I can’t sleep at all.  Finally at about 4am, I was able to fall asleep until 7am when I woke up to get ready for my hospital appointment.  Since the 20th was my due date and still no baby, I had to go to the hospital to do a Fetal Monitor exam.  They strap some monitors on my belly to check the baby’s heartbeat, rhythm, & strength of contractions.  They also gave me a digital exam and a quick sonogram.  Everything was ok and I was not ready to deliver.
After walking home from the appointment, Carlo went to work and I stayed home to try to rest.  I wasn’t sure if it was the exam or just me thinking about the baby but my contractions started up again every 15 minutes.  I ended up falling asleep while laying on the futon watching TV.  Since the afternoon sun comes through our bedroom, I went to lay down on our bed hoping that the heat from the sun would help the muscle on my back while I slept.  Carlo came home and I continued to have contractions during the evening.(now every 10 minutes)  We watched a movie that night to keep occupied.  My best friend even called me that time and I answered somewhat out of breath.  I told her I was in the middle of a contraction AND watching a movie.  So, I updated her really quickly and ended the call.
The evening went along the same at the first except my contractions were stronger and closer together.  I tried to get some sleep but it wasn’t happening.  By 2:30 am the contractions were every 5 minutes and getting worse.  I decided to take a hot shower in hopes that it would relax me.  Afterwards, the contractions slowed back down to every 15 minutes… but then quickly sped back up.  By 5:00am they were back to being every 4 minutes.  I woke up Carlo and told him it was time.  I couldn’t take it anymore and I didn’t want to spend another sleepless night at home.

He quickly got dressed and by 5:15, we were in a taxi on our way to the hospital.  We checked in through the ER and made our way over to the OB department.  They did another exam and Fetal Monitor exam.  This time I was dilated to 2cm and my contractions were “mild“, so again, it wasn’t time BUT.. my blood pressure had dropped to 110/50.  So, they decided to keep me for observation since I was exhausted and hadn’t slept.  By 9am, I was already in a gown and in a room with 3 other ladies.  I spent the entire day in bed, or walking the hallways passing time and breathing through each contraction as they came.  Carlo stayed with me the entire time and his mom even came by to check on me.  As the day went, I was being monitored with more exams.  I wasn’t progressing fast enough but the contractions were getting stronger.

trying to smile between contractions

I honestly don’t remember much but I know that after dinner, I had my 5th exam and I was finally starting to show some progress. I was at 4cm!  They wanted to take me to the Labor rooms and have me do my Fetal Monitor there.  So, Carlo and I went down and what seems like forever I was strapped to the machine.  It must have been somewhere about 9pm because I never went back to my room.  They continued to come in, check the baby’s heart rate, look at my contraction strength and give me digital exams.

When I was finally at 5cm, my doctor (even though she wasn’t an actual doctor- more like a Physician’s Assistant) decided to help me out a bit by breaking my water.  She only punctured the sac and only a small amount was released.  (again, this is all natural)  Because the hospital does Natural Birth only, they do not give anything to help speed up the labor (such as giving Pitocin), therefore I just had to wait and hope that breaking my water would speed up my dilation.  They did, however, give me something to help regulate my contractions.  (which I would continue to have even after the delivery… to help my uterus contract slower after the birth)

The contractions were getting stronger every time and at this point I remember telling Carlo that I couldn’t do it. I was crying, I was trying to breath, I was screaming and I was tired.  He kept encouraging me, telling me that I COULD do it and that I was already doing a great job and I had to keep going.  By the time I reached 7cm, my doctor decided to help me out by stretching my cervix.  So, with each contraction, she was trying to stretch and dilate my cervix.  It hurt like crazy… I had a hard time keeping my legs up and apart for her because my instinct was to tighten up and kick my legs down and close them together.  She kept telling me that she was trying to help me but I couldn’t help myself.  I was in so much pain that I just kept tightening up instead of trying to relax…. but honestly.. how is someone supposed to “relax” when someone’s got their hand up your “girlie parts”?

With each contraction, came more pain and more stretching until I had finally reached 9cm, the doctor asked me if I felt like I needed to push.  I said no, but then with the next contraction I was ready.  She told me to start pushing and within a few minutes, the baby had dropped and gotten into position and I was dilated to 10cm.  IT WAS FINALLY TIME TO HAVE THIS BABY!!

The doctor asked me if I thought I could walk to the delivery room…. uhh… NO! Of course not!… so, they brought and wheelchair and very quickly…… wheeled me to the delivery room and I finally made it onto the table.  I was exhausted, sweating, nauseated, hot, cold, and ready to push.  I looked around for Carlo when I saw him walking into the room all dressed up in his gear.. and with the camera ready!  He was told to stand by my head until it was time for the baby to come out.  He stayed by me and had a wet paper towel on my forehead and helped me with my breathing.  All I remember is pushing as hard as I could until I heard some talking.  Carlo quickly went behind the doctor and said.. “Baby… she has a lot of hair!”  That was all I needed to hear because after that, I was pushing like a mad woman.

All of a sudden, I felt her…. I felt her head starting to come out.  I felt her head coming through and I also could tell that I had torn. (actually, they cut me.. but I didn’t feel any pain)  I heard Carlo saying that her head was almost out and to give a couple more pushes.  As soon as I felt her head come out, I didn’t want to stop pushing.  I just kept pushing until they told me… “piano, piano” (slowly, slowly)…. I just stopped completely and then…. it was done! I felt a slimey, gooey, and wiggly little person and then a huge relief!  I DID IT!  AFTER 20 HOURS OF LABOR……..I HAD GIVEN BIRTH! I HAD A NATURAL CHILDBIRTH AND I WAS STILL ALIVE!!!

April 22, 2010 @ 1:15am (Italy time)  Valentina Jade Piacente was born!  
She weighed 3,4 kg (7.5 lbs) & was 51cm long (20 in.) 

(the ID tag on her bassinet)

The doctors asked if I wanted her on my stomach, and (without any care) I lifted up my nightgown and the baby was placed on me.  I immediately held her while she was still covered in goo!  They put some blankets on her and then I continued to hold her for a few minutes until they took her to get cleaned up.  Carlo followed and took pictures while they cleaned me and stitched me up.  It took about 45 minutes for them to finish and I was back in the “labor” room recovering with Carlo and Valentina.  Carlo and I were both exhausted but so happy that he sent 20 text messages!  I called my mom to tell her that the baby was here. (we didn’t tell my family that I was in the hospital… just incase it was a false alarm)  We just sat and started at our little creation.  She even recognized Carlo’s voice.  She tried to move her head to follow the sound of his voice.  It was so precious.

After a few hours, I was taken back to my room where the other mothers all wished me “Auguri”.  I called my the rest of my family to tell them about the baby and by 4am.. I was sound asleep.  Since we don’t have a car, Carlo slept in a chair in my room until 6am, then walked home to sleep.

I had a 4 day hospital stay (that I will post about later) and I’m glad that I stayed for all 4 days.  I really needed the rest and actually enjoyed having Hospital Roomies!  After everything was done, I was happy with my treatment at the hospital, and the way delivery went.  Now… it’s picture time!!!

(daddy brought one of our many stuffed teddy bears for the baby)
(Nonna Adelasia- Carlo’s mom- was our first visitor)
(i couldn’t stop staring at her)
(“proof” that our baby was born in Italy!)


10 thoughts on “THE BIRTH STORY

  1. Great story of your delivery you are a trooper. My longest labor was 7 hours and that was with them stopping my labor. I went natural but 20 hours is a long time good job. Baby is so cute and I am glad to hear you are doing good and your mom and dad got to come and see all of you. Say hi for me. Heidi Bernal


  2. Great story of your delivery. Good job. I am glad to hear your mom and dad got to come and see you and that gorgeous baby. say hi for me, Heidi Bernal


  3. This brings back so many memories! I can still vividly remember both my natural childbirthing experiences…and o mamma, che dolore! Still, isn't it so completely worth every moment of “pain”? She's so lovely – enjoy your new family. You deserve it.


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