Push it, push it real good.

I didn’t have the best pregnancy. It’s so interesting how pregnancies differ from woman to woman. My first trimester was filled with 24/7 morning sickness, I craved sweets, and often couldn’t find anything to eat that sounded good and seemed nutritious enough to feed my growing baby. From the very beginning my baby seemed to measure a little small from check up to check up. However, she remained healthy and there wasn’t anything that seemed out of the ordinary. Although, my pregnancy was considered “high-risk” because of my age (37), there wasn’t anything special I had to pay attention to. 

My second trimester was much better compared to the first, even though I had bouts of different symptoms. I started eating a little better, working out when I could and then before I knew it, those feel good sporadic moments ended and I entered my third trimester. 

During the third trimester you start going into check ups weekly with your doctor just to make sure the baby is healthy and growing as she should be. It was at one of these appointments that the doctor raised her eyebrows and noticed that the measurements were smaller than they should be, especially this late in the game. We scheduled a follow up appointment for a sonogram the next week so they could get a more accurate picture. Following that next appointment it was determined that the baby was much smaller than she should be at this stage so I was sent to the high risk doctor. At first they though it was just her belly that seemed small, but the high risk doctor found that she was small in every aspect.

After my visit to the high risk doctor, we decided that it would be better to be induced a couple of weeks early. My pregnancy was considered an IUGR pregnancy (Intrauterine Growth Restriction)…. Basically my placenta wasn’t feeding her enough nutrients in order for her to grow at the rate she needed to. I was originally due on June 20th and we scheduled an induction for June 8th. From what I understand, IUGR can cause major complications, but since it occurred later in my pregnancy there wasn’t as much risk as long as we induced a little early. At 38 weeks, I was still full term. 

On June 7th I went into my schedule appointment and I hadn’t dilated at all at this point. Swollen from head to toe and as uncomfortable as a penguin in the desert, I was more than ready to have this baby. My husband and I checked into the maternity ward around 3:00 p.m. and got settled in for what would be a very long night. As soon as I was given the cervidil to help with dilation I started having more contractions. I always had the worst cramping growing up during my cycle, and this felt like the the worst of those cramps time and time again. Around midnight they gave me some medication to dull the pain so I could try to get some sleep. Getting sleep is hard when someone comes in every 30 minutes to an hour to check on you or get some piece of paperwork signed. 

After what seemed like such a long night I was excited that morning had come because I was anxious and ready. Being so uncomfortable, I was just ready for the next step. My doctor came in around 8 and gave me the lowdown. The nurse had previously checked my cervix and informed us that it didn’t seem like I had dilated at all. The doctor confirmed that I was half a centimeter to 1 centimeter, if that. She said that she’d try to see if there was a chance she could break my water but made sure that I knew it was a slight chance, given where my body was at in the process. She and the nurse both told us that it was highly likely that I would have to have a c-section the next day if the circumstances didn’t improve. 

Low and behold, it hurt like crazy (LIKE CRAZY), but she broke my water! I had told the nurse earlier that morning that I thought my water might have broken when I was in the shower. I guess I had no idea what that flood would feel like!! It was like a warm rush of liquid that seemed never ending at the time. 

The Doctor told me that she’d be back to check on me after her rounds. Her last appointment in her office next to the hospital was at 2:00 p.m. She said I probably wouldn’t go into labor until the evening and possibly the next day. Little did she know, baby girl wanted to arrive a bit more quickly. 

An hour later I had already gotten my epidural and was dilated to 4 centimeters. The nurse had asked when I wanted my epidural and I told her that I wanted it is soon as I could get it. As soon as my water had broken I was already having very painful contractions (and I thought the night before was bad, who knew?). My husband helped me through that process and once the epidural was in place I felt much better.

The next time she checked in on me nothing had changed. My mom got there and we gave her the updates and told her we’d be playing the waiting game for quite a while. The nurse turned me onto my right side to see if that would help move things around a bit.

The next thing I know, I’m talking to my mom and husband and I have a very painful contraction. Gripping the sides of the bed and crying, I just know that I’ve opened up a little. The nurse comes in and I tell her so, so she checks to see how much I’ve dilated at this point. Her head is coming out!!

Deep breaths.

The nurse calls the doctor on her radio to let her know this is happening and happening now and the doctor says she just had to finish up one quick appointment. Then the nurse reiterated that this was something that couldn’t wait. She really meant that the baby was coming NOW.

My nurse seriously took charge and started running the show. If the doctor wasn’t going to be on time, then we were going to have the baby without her. I never trusted anyone more than my nurse and am so grateful that she was the one in the room with us. All of a sudden there was a team of people in the room.

My mom and husband were both on my right side holding my hand and I was uncontrollably shaking and crying. My bodies reaction to the pain and circumstances was more than I could have imagined. 

The nurse instructed me on breathing and pushing in intervals and the baby slowly started making its way. My doctor flew in just in time to take over and my baby was delivered in the next several minutes. She told my mom and husband not to worry, and that my reaction was just hormones. 

The umbilical cord was wrapped around the her foot so had to be cut loose and she was immediately taken by the nurses. While I was getting stitched up they were working on the baby. I didn’t know what was going on, but my husband kept staring in her direction watching it all. I looked up at him and it didn’t seem like all was ok. I’ll never forget seeing the image of her when she was delivered. So dark and tiny and still. She was born at 11:05am.

With so much going on it was hard to focus and understand anything, but I remember being a little worried. More so because the look on his face, trying not to worry but knowing that he was. My mom there, telling me everything was fine and that I did such a good job. After what seemed like forever, we heard the most beautiful cry I’ve ever heard in my life and I started crying. It turns out that she wasn’t breathing and they had to unclog her little throat. 

We weren’t able to hold her and I wasn’t able to see her closely for about an hour. She measured in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces so could not keep her body temperature up. When she was finally warm enough, they wrapped her up and put two stocking hats on to keep her head warm and finally handed her to me. 

What a feeling. 

Shortly after, my Dad, Sister, Mother and Father In-law arrived.

Cosette Isabela had her eyes wide open, taking everything in and all of a sudden was our little girl who stole our whole hearts in such a short amount of time.

I hope this is an experience I’ll never forget. It was the hardest experience I’ve ever had, and also the best. 

It showed me how strong I am and it was also something that brought me and my husband even closer. I was so lucky that my mom was there too. I feel like I couldn’t have done it without them.