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.
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.
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!!!
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!!!