I finally got around to writing Roberto’s birth story.
I wanted to share my labor & birth experience with you all since I talked a lot about how I was preparing myself for it during all my pregnancy updates.
Let’s not waste time and get started…
It all started at 8:50pm on August 3rd, 2012.
I was home alone, watching tv and waiting for Rinaldo to call to tell me he was on his way home from work, when my water broke. I was 38 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy.
I was a little in shock because I really didn’t think I would go into labor before my due date and I wasn’t expecting my water to break. I pictured myself getting contractions first and laboring at home for as long as I could.
I called Rinaldo, right away, to tell him so he could make his 1 hour trip home from work.
In the meantime, I called Maria and she came over to keep me company. I took a shower, plucked my eyebrows, cleaned my bedroom and finished packing last minute things in my hospital bag. I never thought I’d be that relaxed once I knew that I was in labor.
Once Rinaldo got home, he took a quick shower and then we were all off to the hospital! You have to go in right away once your water breaks, and I was nervous that my contractions wouldn’t start soon on their own and I would need pitocin.
We arrived at the hospital around 10:45pm and I was dilated to 1 cm and 70% effaced. I was having contractions every 2 minutes and had just started to feel them a little bit. After getting moved into our room, I thought it was best to try and get some sleep since I knew I would be laboring through the night and needed as much energy as I could get.
I tried to relax for a couple hours and then things started to get intense. By 1am my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting 1 minute. This entire time I was feeling the contractions in my lower abdomen. Just like strong menstrual cramps. The only thing was that the pain was constant… I felt so much pressure on my bladder and was literally going to the bathroom every 2-3 minutes to try and empty it out and get some relief. All I can remember was telling Rinaldo & Maria was that I wasn’t getting a break. Everyone always says that contractions are intense, but in between them, you feel completely normal.
Well, that wasn’t the case from me. My pain was a 10 during the contractions and between them, it would only go down to an 8. The nurse came to check me and I was between 3 & 4 centimeters dilated. I explained how I was in so much pain and not getting a break and she told me that my bladder was probably having spasms and there was nothing I could do since the baby was moving lower and lower. I tried every labor position that I learned about in our Bradley Method classes and tried not to tense up from the pain, but nothing was giving me any sort of relief. No one could talk or touch me. I just needed to deal with the pain and get through it myself.
By 5am I couldn’t take it anymore. The pain was too intense and I still wasn’t getting any relief in between contractions. It literally felt like my bladder was going to burst. I told Rinaldo that I wanted the epidural because I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Maybe I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was but, but I knew that I had reached my limit and needed some sort of relief in order to make it through this.
Rinaldo, along with Maria and my nurse encouraged me to just keep going and try to get through the pain, but I had made up my mind already. I needed relief and I needed it NOW! I was hooked up to an IV and within 15 minutes the anesthesiologist had arrived and I received the epidural. The medicine didn’t kick in right away, which made me mad. ha… He decided to give me an extra dose and then it started to kick in, but later I completely regretted getting that second dose..
Around 6am my parents had arrived. They weren’t getting any sleep at home and wanted to be there for me. My dad waited in the waiting room while my mom joined Rinaldo, Maria & I. I was pain free for a couple hours and tried to sleep, but it was hard since I had the shakes from the epidural and ended up vomiting twice. I started to be able to feel the contractions again, but I could handle the level of pain. What I couldn’t feel were my legs and bottom and that was a horrible and icky feeling. I totally wish I had not gotten that second dose of the epidural because I wanted to feel some sort of pressure to know whether or not I was ready to push.
The nurse checked me at 10:15am and I was fully effaced and dilated. It was show time! I was so excited to finally be at this point and Rinaldo & I couldn’t believe that in an hour or two we would be meeting Roberto! Well, two hours passed and to make a long story short, I ended up pushing for four hours. It took so long because I could not feel where to push, and because Roberto had his hand by his face making it almost impossible to push him past my pubic bone.
Even though I had trouble feeling where to push, everyone was amazing and helped me so much.
I had Rinaldo by my side the entire time, encouraging me with words and telling me how strong I was and that he was so proud of me for going through all of this. I’ll never forget the look on Rinaldo’s face and how emotional he got when he first saw Roberto’s head popping through. It made it all that more real that there really was a baby in there!
Maria was another huge help. My nurse had asked her if she had attended other births before because she was so encouraging and totally knew what she was doing. While pushing, I would hold onto one end of a sheet, while Maria was at the other end, and it really helped get some great pushes in. I bet she didn’t think she would get in a workout while helping me labor! I couldn’t thank her enough for being there with me the entire time. I”m so grateful that she was there as I welcomed my first child into the world.
Lastly, my mom was just as great. My mom made sure I was comfortable and kept me cool by placing cool rags on my forehead and chest. She let me know how great I was doing and that Roberto would be here soon!
The strength of my pushes were monitored on a screen and every time it would show a peak, everyone in the room would cheer me on and tell me how great that last push was. It truly helped and made me feel like I knew what I was doing and was getting somewhere.
I keep looking at the clock, and after 2 and then 3 hours passed, I was getting a little discouraged. By this time, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to push him out and would need a c-section. My doctor would come to check on me everyone once in a while, and would just tell me to continue pushing…
When it was getting close to 4 hours he came in again and said that I was really close and if I could just push the baby a little further out, he would help me get the baby out. I had been pushing with all my strength but found a little more power deep down somewhere and gave it all I had. I was so tired at this point and just wanted it all to be over. I gave my last few pushes and my doctor assisted me with the vacuum and finally, it happened.
After almost exactly 4 hours of pushing, at 2:18pm on August 4th, 2012, baby Roberto was here!
I couldn’t have been anymore happier!
There are no words to describe seeing and touching your baby for the first time. We all couldn’t stop saying how cute this little guy was and just how alert he was!!
He connected with us from the minute he was born and made us feel like he knew who we were and was happy to meet us too!
We were so surprised that his hair was pretty light! We had imagined him having dark black hair and darker skin.
He weighed in at 7 lbs 3 ounces and was 21 inches long.
I honestly feel that if I didn’t have such a great and patient doctor, I would’ve ended up with a c-section. Most doctors will only give you 2 hours to push. He never put a time limit on me or anything. All of the nurses I had during labor and after were nothing short of AMAZING. They were all so supportive and incredible kind. Rinaldo joked and asked if we could stay at the hospital for a month because they took such good care of us and made us feel so welcomed.
In the end, I didn’t get the unmedicated birth that I wanted and prepared for, but I know I gave it my all and even though I got a few hours of relief from the medicine, I definitely had to work the hardest I ever had in my life. Both me and baby were healthy and have been doing great since.
I don’t think I would have made it through all the pushing if I hadn’t worked out throughout my pregnancy and stayed in shape the best that I could. It was hard work to push for 4 hours, and I owe it all to the way I stayed active and ate for the 9 months.
It’s been a little over 2 weeks since I gave birth and I already love being a mom to this little peanut.
Sure, I’m more tired than I’ve ever been, but it’s really not that bad and when this little guy looks me in the eyes, all the tiredness goes away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely looking forward to when he’ll sleep more than 2 hours at a time, but I’m enjoying these days too because he will never be this little and cuddly again.
Thanks to all of you who followed me throughout my pregnancy and were so excited for me! I have such great people in my life and feel so blessed by all your thoughts and words!