Emily’s Birth Story

Monday, February 23rd – I woke up and felt normal, like I had the past few days. I was feeling a little disappointed because I thought Well, I guess today’s not the day, either, but I still had my doctor’s appointment in the afternoon after I picked up the boys from school, so there was still that slight possibility and I was keeping my fingers crossed.

I took it easy most of the day, even though I knew I should be putting the bassinet together and sweeping and mopping. I just felt like I should actually relax for once, so I did.

I took a shower, picked up the boys, dropped them off with Mom after giving them instructions about homework and chores, and left to the doctor’s office.

I chatted with the girls at reception and they told me Dr. C. was, again, at the Mission office. I had a feeling he would be, so I said ‘see you later’ and was on my way.

I was starting to feel nervous and I had no idea why. What if Dr. C. said today was indeed the day? That I was ready? As ecstatic as I was about possibly meeting and holding Emily very soon, I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling of foreboding in the back of my mind. I was so worried about the whole GBS thing and if she’d come out of everything okay. I kept telling myself to stop; I needed to be positive.

I got to the office and started reading New Moon after I’d signed in. I didn’t have to wait long; they called me in after 15 minutes. Everyone kept commenting how cute my nails were; the ones Maggie had done for me on Friday night. I think she’s starting a new trend down here!

They took my weight in the vitals room, 140.9 again. I am still so amazed how I’d said around 3 months ago when I weighed 137 how I wished I wouldn’t go over 140 and look, I hadn’t so far! I even asked the nurses if it was okay and they said yup, the baby was growing just fine and I was healthy, so my weight was just fine.

My blood pressure and urine were good and they took me to one of the rooms to undress from the waist down. I did so and got my camera ready for the sono and read a little more. Dr. C. came in around 5 minutes later followed by a nurse. He asked how everything was going and said, “Wait, you called me on Friday night, right?” I told him yup, that after I spoke to him all signs I’d been having of labor disappeared. He laughed and said, “Well, let’s see where you are today.”

He did the sono and sure enough, the baby’s head was extremely low and her heartbeat was nice and strong. He helped me lay back for the pelvic exam and he literally had to push my belly back to push Emily a little further away from the cervix so he could check. I cringe and groan from the pain and he says, “Sorry, just trying to move her out of the way…oh! You need to go to the hospital!”

I spring up and stupidly ask, “What? Why?”

He laughs and says, “Yeah, you’re having a baby!”

I’m in total disbelief. “How far along am I?” I ask.

“Mmm…about 3 centimeters. So yeah, go home, grab your stuff and your husband and go to the hospital. Let me write the order.”

He leaves the office so I can clean up and I’m bubbling with excitement as I’m dressing. I quickly text Mario the news before walking out the door.

Dr. C. gives me the order and I’m relieved that he’s written that I’ll need antibiotics for GBS.

I speak to Elisa outside, about my nails, going to the hospital and about getting the tubal done. I tell her, “Are you kidding? I’ll end up visiting you guys again next year if I don’t!”

I’m giddy as I’m walking through the parking lot to the truck. Mario calls and I squeal about how excited I am and should I pick him up from work? He said yes, Adan would take his truck home.

I call Mary and Noelia on the way to pick Mario up and tell them the news. Noelia said she’d try to make it that night if I got admitted before visiting hours were over. They wanted the whole story, so I told them and hung up with them before I got to Mario’s work. I see him standing outside the entrance with his hands in his pocket and his jacket draped over his arm. As I’m driving up to him I smile at him and he grins back. He opens the passenger door and asks if I want him to drive. I say yes and start unbuckling my seatbelt. As I’m getting out he’s sitting in the passenger seat. I look at him, confused, and ask, “Weren’t you going to drive?” He laughs and says, “Oh yeah, duh.” We’re both obviously excited.

It was the weirdest thing; I felt just fine before the appointment, but as we’re getting closer to home I’m actually feeling pressure in my belly. Not pain, but a tightening, squeezing pressure that takes my breath away.

We stop by H-E-B on the way home, to Mario’s protests. I tell him I just *have* to get a few things for while we’re away for Alaethia and the boys. I didn’t feel too bad, yet, so I wanted to take advantage. I’m sure the walking would be a plus. We rushed around getting everything we needed and I ran into three students from work. It felt like an -eternity before it was our turn in line at check-out. I was glad that I still felt pretty good, or else I would have panicked.

We got home, re-packed whatever we’d taken out of our hospital bag (laptop, camera, books, toiletries) and hugged all the kiddos and Mom. Jaylen looked a little worried, but I told him we’d be fine; we’d be home the next day, hopefully, with his new baby sister. He said he couldn’t wait to see her face :). Eenan was also getting a little choked up and plucked off a picture of himself, Jaylen and Alaethia to remember them by while we were away, aww :).

As we’re driving to the hospital I feel my tummy grumbling. “Shoot. I should have eaten something before we left. Who knows when I’ll get to eat real food again,” I tell Mario. He asks if I want to stop by McDonald’s, because it’s one of the only fast food places we can think of on the way to the hospital, and I say yes, I’ll get a Fruit and Walnut Salad.

I called Sally while we were waiting in the long drive-thru line and tell her the news. She’s excited and glad that she’d be here to visit us and see the baby before she left on her almost week-long business trip. We squeal and giggle about the whole thing and say our see-you-laters. When we finally get to the drive-thru window, we hear a screech and boom; a girl had driven her truck onto the curb about 15 feet away from us and into a light post. Seemed like she’d hit the gas instead of the break.

Mario was shaking his head and said, “Stupid girl.” I said, “I know! Her bumper’s ruined!” He said, “No, look at the path she was on, where she would have hit if the curb hadn’t stopped her.” I follow his gaze and my heart lurches when I realize she would have smacked right into us!

We get our food and we eat on the way. I gobble up the rest of my food in the parking lot of the hospital and take a deep breath when I’m done. This was it! We were being admitted and FINALLY meeting Emily!

It was about 7pm when we arrived at the hospital, and it was packed. We made our way to the admissions office and I feel like kicking myself when we get back there and it’s overflowing; I should have pre-registered.

We let the admissions girl know I was next (after the 5 people that we in front of us) and one of the students from work was there with her mom, who was also in labor. I felt like everyone was staring at us, especially since I kept slowing my breathing now that what I assumed was contractions were closer together. I still wasn’t feeling pain, which I felt with all the other kids. I was still only feeling pressure and I was glad for that.

Mario and I both took out our books while we waited. I read about two chapters of New Moon before they finally called us in to register. We were sent back out and waited another half hour before they finally brought the wheelchair to take me to Labor and Delivery. I always feel silly being rolled over there when I can walk just fine on my own.

We arrive at the L&D waiting room at 8:05pm…and wait. I’m still feeling the pressure in my belly, but not in regular intervals, which is weird. I read some more and finally, around 8:40pm, they call me into my labor room. Mario waits in the waiting room till they decide to call him in.

It finally begins to sink in as I’m walking into room 292 that I’m going to have a baby, either that night, or even better, the next day on the 24th. I like even numbers :).

My nurse is Lauren and she’s really young and nice. She fills out my info on some forms, and has me sign a few, some about blood transfusions during the tubal–just in case–which made my heart sink. I felt so strange signing that paper. Anyway, she hands me a specimen cup and a bag with the gown and belly wrap to change into. I do everything I need to do and come out of the room to find it empty. I just sit in the rocking chair and wonder what I should do. As I’m getting my book out to read again Lauren walks back in with arm-fulls of IV bags. My heart instantly drops. Mario wasn’t in the room yet and I needed him to be there to get the IV done. I ask her if she can call Mario in before she starts on them and she laughs and says, “Oh, you’ll be fine! We’ll get you through it.” Oh gosh.

She tells me to hop on the bed and starts to strap the baby’s heart rate and contraction monitors on me. She sits next to me with the IV needle and tells me to flip the channels on the TV to distract myself while she started on the IV. Yeah, right. I tell her how my veins always pop and she said, “You have great veins! Let’s see…” and begins to insert the needle on the back of my left hand. I cringe and turn my face away and feel the horrible shock of the needle go in. She says, “See? It’s fine!” and as I’m turning my head to look the skin around the needle bubbles up and turns purple. I looked at her with an I-told-you-so expression. As she’s trying again, this time on the side of my right wrist, I tell her, “The worst part for me out of the whole labor experience is quite possibly getting the IV done, quickly followed by the epidural.” As soon as I was done speaking the sentence she’d inserted the IV and it actually stayed and didn’t pop my vein. Whew. The two liquids she inserted were the regular saline liquid and the antibiotic for the GBS.

She leaves to call Mario in just as I’m getting a text from him. He’s overloaded with bags, my poor hubby. He kept saying I hate you playfully every time he had to move the bags or looked at them LOL.

It was 9:45 by this time and Lauren came in to let us know Dr. C. was going to see how far I could get by walking for about 2 hours (!), and he’d induce early the following morning if I hadn’t gotten far on my own. She gave me a (very painful) pelvic exam and said I was still 2-3 centimeters. She was checking the monitor and asked, “Are you feeling anything right now?”

I thought about it and told her, “Nope. Am I having a contraction?” And she said, “Wow. Yeah, you are.” I felt pretty good. If I was supposed to be feeling these contractions and I wasn’t feeling pain, this was going to be a breeze!

It was 10:15 when I got up, put on my hospital socks and wrapped my pink robe around myself. I kept reminding myself to ask Mario to take a picture of my bare belly but everything was going so fast I ended up forgetting :(.

Mario held my hand and off we went. Lauren showed us where the nursery was and we walked back and forth looking at the 2 babies that were incubated there. I’m glad Mario was with me; I would have gotten lost walking around by myself. He kept redirecting me whenever we’d turn around another hallway. We talked about everything we could think of and started noticing a pattern; every time we got to this one hallway I’d feel that same pressure, like my back and chest were being crushed and like I couldn’t breathe. We assumed those were the contractions. I was actually starting to feel pain in my back by this time and I realized that, once again, I was going to mostly have back labor, like I did with Jaylen and Alaethia.

It was 11pm and I was quickly getting tired. Mario asked if I wanted to take a breather and I said no, I just needed water, but did he want to take a breather? He said no, he was fine. So we sneaked into our room and I took a drink from my water bottle. On one of our trips back to the nurses’ station, which was right in front of our room, I asked Lauren if I could get some cold water. Just as I thought, she brought me a huge glass…full of ice chips. Oh well. I joked with Mario that I was going to pretend it was a snow cone LOL.

Tuesday, February 24th – At exactly 12am we went back to our room. Mario said, “It’s the 24th.” Yes! She was going to be born on an even-numbered date! And if she was born on the 24th, Emily’s and Alaethia’s birthday’s would be exactly a month apart!

We took a few pictures while we were still alone. I should have turned side-ways for this one.

Post-Walking

I was about to ask Mario to take one of my belly when Lauren walked in. I lay back down and got strapped onto the monitors again. Lauren checked me and said I was the same, so she was going to give me about an hour and then insert a pill, Cytotec I believe, to help my cervix soften up.

I couldn’t really sleep because of the pressure I kept feeling so I read some more. Mario was completely thrilled because there was wireless internet, just like I told him there would be, and was eternally grateful to me for suggesting bringing the laptop. He played on Mobsters and Myspace while we waited for something to happen.

Around 2am, I believe, Lauren walked in and checked me again. I was 3-4 centimeters. She started the Pitocin drip to help my contractions become more regular. I couldn’t really say I was in pain, but my back was really uncomfortable and it was really bothering me when I felt the contractions in my belly and I couldn’t breathe. Around 3am, Lauren walked in and asked if I wanted the epidural. I said yes, since I wanted to get as much sleep as I could before it was time to push. I didn’t want to be passing out between each push like I did with Alaethia.

The anesthesiologist came in packed with all his supplies and I immediately reached out for Mario’s hand. He stood by my bed awkwardly, waiting for the nurses to give him a chance to get close to me. I was a little annoyed, not to mention scared shitless, when the anesthesiologist kindly asked Mario to take a seat. Lauren stood in front of me and coached me on what to do: curve your back slightly, look down and rest your chin on your chest, relax (sure!), and breathe through the contraction. I don’t know if it was the baby getting lower into the birth canal or the sheer terror I was feeling but I was shaking uncontrollably and my teeth were chattering. The Dr. scrubbed my back with an itchy cloth and iodine and prepared me for the needle. I got a contraction just as he was inserting the almost foot-long needle and for once the contraction didn’t surpass the pain of the needle slowly entering between two disks in my spine. It felt like it took forever this time; it didn’t seem as long with the other three kids, though the mom-amnesia may have something to do with that.

I was so grateful when it was over and Lauren helped me lay back in bed. She told me the anesthesiologist gave me medication to speed the epidural along so I was going to feel itchy. Once I was situated in bed again I felt what she was talking about: my neck and chest were itching like crazy. My legs were also becoming tingly from the medication.

After they gave me the epidural Lauren inserted a catheter. It felt so weird. I remember I couldn’t feel a thing during Alaethia’s labor after the epidural, so this was different. I got to sleep for about an hour and a half or so since I didn’t feel any more pressure. I woke up to Lauren coming into the room and telling me she didn’t like Emily’s stats. Her heart rate kept dropping and she wasn’t coming down fast enough, so she was going to have me lay on alternate sides with my “bottom” leg straight out. I ended up only laying on my right side because she didn’t like the left side too much. I think she upped the drip on the pitocin line at this time.

Lauren came in at 6:30am with another nurse who was going to give me a pelvic exam. As she’s moving things around in there I literally hear a pop, which was my water breaking! I’d never heard it like that before. It wasn’t a crazy never-ending gush like Jaylen’s, either, it was very abrupt. The new nurse says that I’m at 5cm. Lauren says I’m moving a little slower that she and Dr. C. hoped.

I kept up with lying on my side and Lauren put an oxygen mask on me around 6:45am. She helped me prop my spaghetti legs to give me a pelvic exam and I was at 7cm. Emily’s heart rate was still dropping whenever I got a contraction. Lauren said it was probably because her head was a little constricted now that it was lower. She asked me if I felt like I needed to push yet. I told her no, not yet.

At 7:20am or so, when Lauren came to check me again I was fully effaced and dilated. I’d just been telling Mario that I felt like Emily was right there, like she was just going to fall out if I pushed. I let Lauren know about this and she said she’d call Dr. C. This was around the time there was a shift change so I sadly didn’t get to have Lauren as my nurse when Emily would be born. Luz, another really nice nurse, was our new nurse.

I silently prayed that Dr. C. would make it on time. I didn’t know how long I could hold her in! After what seemed like forever, he arrived. It was around 7:45am.

He began to prep himself and Luz and another nurse (whose name I didn’t catch) prepped me and my bed. It felt awesome to be alert and in good spirits. It almost felt surreal; I couldn’t believe the day had finally come that I would meet Emily. I just wanted to push her out and hold her in my arms and make sure she was healthy.

Dr. C. stood in front of me and Mario and Luz stood on my right side. Luz said we were going to do a few practice pushes. So I did the first one, and then another and another since I was getting contractions. Dr. C. told me to keep pushing on the fourth one and Mario, my excellent coach, cheered me on as well. I was so relieved on the 5th push to feel the spill of little limbs and the loudest newborn scream I’d ever heard at 7:53am, or 7:52am. We heard two different birth times announced LOL.

I got to hold her while Dr. C. cleaned me up. Her hair looked curly at that time. Automatically Mario and I thought she looked just like Eenan when he was born, only a little lighter. They took her to the bassinet and she weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 19 inches long. That makes her the 2nd biggest of my babies :).

They let me hold her for a while after they’d cleaned her up a bit. We had to wait for the operating room for my tubal so we took some pictures.

The Three of Us

I regret not getting one with Dr. C. and Emily in it. I didn’t get to take one of him with Alaethia, either.

They removed my catheter, I can’t remember when at the moment, but then they reinserted it after they took Emily to the nursery and began to prep me for my ride to the operating room.

When it was time for me to go to surgery they wheeled me out so fast I just looked after Mario; they didn’t even give me a chance to give him a kiss or anything. That made me nervous. While they wheeled me out I heard them letting Mario know what postpartum room I’d be in so he could take our things and rest for a bit.

I’d never had any type of surgery before and being in that white, bright room made my teeth chatter again. One of Mario’s old co-workers, the same one that did the epidural for Alaethia’s birth, is the one who was prepping me for the tubal. I felt awkward, because I was practically nude.

The nurse that did the second catheter was the one who was strapping my legs into this scary wooden box-type thing, so I wouldn’t move, I guess. Mario’s old co-worker laid my arms on either side of me and explained when he was on my right side that I was going to feel cold since he was injecting some medication into my IV. He went over to my left side and injected some more anesthesia into my epidural line. I was about to ask him, “What’s that for…” when I blacked out.

I woke up in room 292 again, the labor and delivery room we’d been in. I couldn’t open my eyes and felt completely out of it. I finally forced myself awake when I saw the nurse pass by. She tells me I should rest some more and I asked her if they were done with the surgery. She answers yes just as I see Mario walk into the room. He smiles and I’m so relieved to see him. He asks how I’m feeling and I say fine, just really sleepy.

They wheeled me into the room Mario had been waiting in, room 256. As we’re going through the doorway I see a blur of red and blue. Mary and Mom were already there, waiting for us. They’d been chilling out with Mario while they were waiting for me to get out of surgery. The boys were still at school and Alaethia was with Aide, who’d gone over to the house that day to clean it. I felt a little odd, since no one but Mary or Mom have ever helped me clean my house and I was afraid the piles of junk in my bedroom would be a little overwhelming for her LOL. I never got to properly clean that room!

Mom and Mary were waiting for Emily but she was still at the nursery. They went over to see her through the windows and then showed me some gifts they’d left for me to look at later and went home. Between moments of consciousness I asked Mario what he did while I was in surgery. He said he tried sleeping but couldn’t so he ended up uploading the pics we’d taken to his Myspace account. Aww :).

I tried sleeping a little more and then they brought Emily to us, yay! I tried breastfeeding her and realized right away it would be a challenge. She was having trouble latching on but I tried my best. Of course, since I was breastfeeding, the cramping that follows was really strong, emphasized by the pain of the incision of the tubal. It was complete hell trying to get in and out of bed. Mario couldn’t help me much that first time because he was holding Emily while she drank a bottle and my nurse never hurried to help. They sent a receptionist, which was really strange, to help me walk my numb legs into the bathroom. I feared the worst when I finally sat on that toilet but everything was fine; nothing was painful. Getting up from a sitting position—now that was another story. It was the worse pain, ever.

It was so nice to have visitors this time! Only Pete and Sally, bless them, went to visit us when I had Alaethia, because everyone else at home was sick. Our first visitors were Mary and the kids. Jaylen was so cute; he was blinking away tears while he held Emily. He was overcome with joy :). Eenan touched her and cooed at her a few times. Alaethia was just so excited to see her and immediately wanted to hold her.

Mary had asked Mario to go home and rest just in case he went back to work the next day, which we both decided he would (go back to work). He told her, “No, I want to stay.” Aww. He’s so great. Adan was going to pick up his work shirt and take it with him so Mario could change at work.

They left when Alaethia got a little fussy. Our other visitors were Sonia, Yazmin, Sally, Yadira, Angela, Elda, Aide and Adan. It was nice having company.

I was a little disappointed when one of the nurses told us Emily and I might have to stay an extra day, since I tested positive for GBS and they might want to monitor her. But she said some of the doctors didn’t do that if the babies seemed healthy. I was hoping we’d be one of the exceptions. I just wanted to go home to my other kiddos with my hubby and new baby.

It was tough at night, trying to move around without waking Mario for help. Every little movement hurt and it would take me a good 5-10 minutes to slowly slide myself on and off my bed to go to the bathroom or get Emily from her bassinet. I had to figure it out on my own, since I’d be on my own the next day and I couldn’t exactly be calling the nurses to help me for everything. I did call them every few hours though, to get pain meds. I was taking alternate doses of Tylenol with Codeine, Motrin, and Extra Strength Tylenol. I was afraid it would get into my breast milk but they said it wouldn’t. I hoped they were right.

Even though I was in tons of pain, I couldn’t have been happier holding my little baby in my arms. She’s such a good baby; she’d only cry when her diaper was being changed or when she was uncovered. She wasn’t a fan of the cold, which explained why I was always burning up during my pregnancy.

Up until the moment I delivered her, I always felt like it was too good to be true. Like my whole pregnancy was an awesome dream I was going to wake up from. But it wasn’t, and I was so glad that she was in my arms and healthy and lovely. She’s the perfect finishing touch to our family of 6 :).

Double Chins!

At the hospital

Had an appointment and just as I expected was sent to the hospital picked up Mario, stopped at HEB, went home to get our stuff, assured the kids that we’d be fine, picked up some McDonalds, and came to the hospital. It’s 9:38pm we got here at 7:00pm I got a popped vein will walk till 12 midnight and we’ll see where I’m at at 6:00am. If she’s born in the morning the girls birthdays will be exactly 1 month apart. Wish u s luck! I’m so excited!

Posted by Mario for Yajaira.