This is the story of our very first adventure together and how you entered this world. I’m writing this to remind you how fiercely I loved you right from the start. Not to mention, it’ll also serve as a nice little reminder of why your mama deserves a little respect when you’re an angsty teenager.
So let’s start at the beginning. Towards the end of December 2015, I had a gut feeling that I was pregnant. I took three tests and they all came back negative. I knew it to be true so I took another test early January and there was a VERY faint line, meaning it was positive but it was so faint I couldn’t be sure. I of course spent hours googling what it could mean but I still couldn’t be sure. I took two more tests a few days later just to confirm. After the sixth test and a very dark “positive” line, I finally knew for sure! We felt surprised, overwhelmed, and full of joy all at the same time.
Thankfully, you and I were indeed healthy the entire pregnancy but each trimester had its challenges. Let’s just say you didn’t let me forget that you were in there, not for one second! During the first trimester I had extreme meat aversions. I had to close all of the doors to the kitchen when Papi was cooking and would set up a barricade on the table so I didn’t have to see the meat that the guys were eating. I couldn’t even open the fridge or freezer because I could smell absolutely everything! Papi and Oscar called it my super power! Then there was the morning (or ALL DAY) sickness and vomiting. I didn’t go anywhere without a plastic bag. My clients at work knew I might have to run out of the room at any moment.
The second trimester was filled with sleepless nights due to Restless Leg Syndrome and insomnia issues. Some nights I only got three hours of sleep. I did everything possible to sleep—acupuncture, espom salt baths, magnesium, meditation, lavender, massages from Papi, etc. Then there was the pregnancy waddle from the pelvic pain I was experiencing. It hurt to do pretty much anything, including putting on pants!
Despite all of that, I enjoyed being pregnant and feeling you kick and move inside my belly. I always felt your jabs to my left side and little flutters in my lower belly where your hands were. You responded when we all talked to you by moving a little more and kicked back when we pressed on my belly. Your Papi, Oscar, and I talked to you every day.
By 38 weeks the “pregnancy glow” had dissipated and I was ready for you to get outta there! I was cranky, tired, and my feet were so swollen the only shoes that fit were my Birkenstocks. Plus, I was anxious to meet you!
I always knew you were going to come a little early so I was ready for your arrival any day. Sure enough, I woke up on a Monday when I was about 38-and-a-half weeks and knew something felt different. I got dressed to go to work, started driving, and then turned around to go home. I wasn’t feeling well and had this sense that I couldn’t focus on anything that day but you. I slept all day, which was good because I needed to rest before the marathon we were about to run! Later that evening, we went to Costco to stock up on food before your arrival. I was experiencing what I thought were strong Braxton Hicks but later realized I was having pre-birth waves.
Everything that transpired thereafter was exactly as I had envisioned it. Call it mother’s intuition? Or maybe it was all of those Hypnobabies tracks! I knew you would come a little early, that I would start birthing overnight, that it would be a bright and sunny day, and that we would have a beautiful water birth. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened!
At 11pm that night, I was experiencing strong contractions (or pressure waves as they’re called in Hypnobabies). I was in the tub most of the night to help me stay relaxed. By 1am, I called your Papi upstairs. (He was sleeping downstairs because I was too restless and miserable to share a bed!) He spent the next few hours pouring hot water on me to keep me calm as the waves got stronger and stronger.
I started to feel anxious that I didn’t notice you moving around 4am. I couldn’t stop worrying. Looking back, I’m sure you were just napping away but my mommy paranoia took over and we headed to the hospital. By that time, the pressure waves were very strong so I was constantly listening to the hypnosis tracks. After a couple hours of monitoring and a very painful exam, they concluded that you were A-okay. I was not effaced or dilated at all so home we went. The nurses kept saying to keep my pre-natal appointment for Friday but I knew you were coming that day.
We went back home at 7am and thankfully I was able to rest for the first time. Throughout the day, the pressure waves were coming every four minutes but were getting progressively stronger. When I wasn’t in the tub, I did lunges and went for walks outside. Any time a wave came, I would stop and your Papi would hug me, sway back and forth, and help me get through it. He was there every moment to support me. At one point, he was following me while I was pacing around the house and I told him to knock it off!
Around 3pm, Cheyenne the Doula came and helped as things became more intense. We went to the hospital around 8pm and when we arrived I was 5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. After all the work I had already done, I was a little discouraged that I wasn’t further along. I kept reminding myself that my body knew what to do and to trust that you were safe. I knew you would come when you were ready. Cheyenne read the Hypnobabies scripts to me to help get through each pressure wave. I maintained a sense of calm and determination. Everyone was saying I was a rock star.
I hung out in the tub at the hospital and Papi spent a few more hours pouring water on me as I did my tracks in the comfort of the warm water. Just as I was losing my cool and getting impatient, my water bag broke while in the tub. I was startled by the large POP feeling but felt encouraged that we were getting closer.
(Bubble of Peace)
As the night went on, I became more and more irritable. I wasn’t sure what I needed and nothing seemed to help. I didn’t want your Papi to touch me. I even yelled at a couple nurses for asking me too many questions and for not getting the birthing tub ready. I think it’s a universal rule that women can say and do whatever the heck they want during labor.
Cheyenne helped me realize that I had entered transformation, the most intense part that occurs before the pushing phase. At that point, we finally moved to the other room so I could get into the big birthing tub. I initially felt excited; the end was near! Then fear set in. I lost my hypnosis groove and was filled with self-doubt. I got lost in my thoughts of— “How much worse is the pain going to get? How much more could I endure? Am I crazy to try an un-medicated birth?”
Your Papi comforted me and reminded me how strong I am. The midwife, doula, and nurse were a chorus of encouragement. “Your body knows what it’s doing. Put your mind on a shelf. Let your body do it’s job. It will all be a dream in a few moments. You are doing this! You’re safe. You’re strong.”
In a brief moment of desperation I considered an epidural. But you know me. I was too stubborn to give in and quickly decided to stick with my vision of a natural birth.
(End Bubble of Peace)
With everyone’s encouragement, I regained confidence and trust in my body. I was a mom-on-a-mission and was able to re-focus on hypnosis and breathing. I felt like a complete bad ass and was quite proud of myself, I have to say.
After about 26 hours, you were finally on your way out. My body started spontaneous pushing and I welcomed each wave because I knew they were bringing you closer to me. “Bring it on!,” I thought. I felt like a mama bear and had a sense of determination. I kept telling everyone that you were moving down the birth canal but they didn’t believe me since things were progressing quickly. The midwife was actually with another woman in the next room.
Then Papi saw your head coming out and I knew the end was near! The midwife rushed back to our room just in time. The next half hour was an out of body experience. I went to another place to cope. (I’m sure the nitrous oxide helped with that too). I finally came back into awareness and realized that everyone was yelling to lift my leg. Papi lifted my leg and the midwife helped you rotate to get your shoulders out. The rest of your body just slid right out with one push. What a relief!
You were brought out of the water and immediately placed on my chest. You gazed up at me with your eyes wide open and blinked ever-so-slowly. You were calm and peaceful as you took in the new world around you. I stared back at you, completely mesmerized. I wept as I held you close to me and was overcome with love. Your tiny body felt at home in my arms. I knew in that moment that I was meant-to-be your mama and you were meant-to-be our precious baby boy. I looked over at your Papi and we smiled at each other with tears in our eyes; you were finally here with us.