The Friday before Aleena was born, which was 5 days prior, I left work early because I was so uncomfortable that it felt like I had the worst menstrual cramps ever. Fernando left work early so that we could head over to the mall and try to kick the contractions up a notch. After a couple of hours we realized that the walking wasn't doing much besides give me a big blister on the back of my heel. Our next plan was to pit stop at the restrooms then grab some dinner. Well, to be vague, I lifted my leg up to flush the toilet, (public bathrooms freak me out!) and water trinkled down my leg...twice!!! I was so happy! My water broke! When I got back to Fernando and told him the news, (with his anxiety kicking in) we headed to the exit and were on our way to the hospital! Once there, the nurse, which I loved, did a test to make sure my water broke. The test came back negative and they said I had probably lost control of my bladder. LIARS!! Still to this day I know it wasn't my bladder! They kept me there for a few hours, making me walk, checking my cervix, (which was only dilated at 1.5) monitored me, but my body wasn't progressing enough. So I was soon sent home with the feeling of desperation. Sooner or later we were going to meet our baby girl, the next time we left the hospital we would leave with three!
A few more days flew by rather quickly because we were moving to another apartment, spending time with Fernando's sister, niece, and nephew who had been staying with us for a little over two weeks, and trying to prepare for Aleena as much as possible. I swear that move wore me out, and I finally realized that I needed to slow down and take it easy for a while. Well that didn't quite happen because all day Monday I was having contractions, like the ones that knock the wind out of you kind of contractions. I felt so bad because his sister was unpacking our house (which is what I should have been doing, not her) while I was "relaxing" on the couch. I finally got to the point that I knew that I needed to just go in again. So round two, we were back at the hospital, and the nurse this time wasn't that nice. I was told to walk for a few hours to see if my still 1.5 dilated cervix would go up every hour like it is supposed to. Sad to say I didn't progress, my contractions weren't as close as they needed to be and the nurse made me feel as if I was incapable of reading my own body. She made me feel like I didn't know anything about my baby girl, and that type of person has no right to work with emotional hormonal mothers-to-be. I tried to keep it to myself but I ended up telling my entire family about our bad experience with this one rude nurse. That was not the end of our encounters with her, I wish I would have said something to her, gave her a piece of Aleena's and my mind!
The next day I was miserable. I was trying to keep myself busy with organizing our new apartment but the pain kept getting more intense as every minute went by. I felt as though I should keep my emotions under control because we had house guests (nobody wants to see their sister-in-law freak out over pain!) I know that Valerie (Fernando's sister) wouldn't have cared, if anything she would have done all that she could to help, (I even remember her massaging my back to ease the pain) I wish I would have let her.
I had promised to make dinner for everyone that night, I was wishing that I hadn't though! It took me two hours to cook and it was only chicken stir-fry! Every few minutes I would have to stop, try to breath, and try not to sit down because I wanted to get dinner done! It was such a relief when I finished, everyone sat down to eat while I jumped in a hot shower to try to ease the pain. My sister Elesha kept calling to see if I needed any help because she was concerned with me not getting any sleep due to the pain. She told me that it was best if I went to the hospital to at least get some sleeping pills, but I didn't want to drag Fernando to the hospital so late at night when I knew that he had work the next morning. Finally at 12 I woke Fernando up and told him I was leaving. Elesha was already on her way, and I would be back soon. He insisted on taking me but I convinced him to stay home and get some rest.
The drive to the hospital was hell. I cried every time we hit a speed bump or crossed over a railroad track (there were 3 along the way)! We finally arrived and the nurse, which happened to be the same rude one from the night before, informed us that my cervix had to be checked before they could give me some sleeping pills. I couldnt' believe that she was still there, I thought for sure that she would have been gone. I guess she didn't believe my cervix that Aleena was on her way, so she told me that in order to be admitted I had to walk for an hour to see if my contractions were moving along. I was filled with so many emotions when she told me that, once she left the room I started balling. I couldn't imagine myself even getting out of the bed, let alone walk for an hour. Well the walking lasted maybe 15 minutes before they had to come find me and tote me back in a wheelchair. Im pretty sure that convinced her.
Once we were back in the room, my entire family showed up, followed by Fernando. I remember keeping my eyes closed the majority of the time, just concentrating on breathing while everyone took turns massaging my back, arms and legs. It helped to soothe me, calm my nerves, and let me feel something other then my spine being ripped out! Finally, I couldn't take it any more. I needed drugs, lots of drugs, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't think clearly, I was afraid. Afraid of the next contraction, afraid of the pain. The epidural was my decision and my family supported me 100%. Though it wasn't what I had planned, it was my new plan. The plan that would get me through the night, the next hour, the next contraction. I needed help and I was not afraid to ask for it! Fernando stayed in the room while they administered the epidural, he was nervous, I could tell, but he stayed strong for me, he made me feel safe. I love you Fernando with all of my heart! You were a trooper!
As a side note: I don't know how some mothers give birth naturally, I wasn't that strong, even though I planned on being strong. So to all of you natural birth, baby making machines out there, I salute you. For the pain relief mamas, I know how you feel, it truly does really hurt! I finally believe you!
After the epidural, I slept for two hours. I just passed out as soon as the pain was gone, everyone left us alone because they knew we had a long day ahead of us.I wish that I had slept longer than two hours though, I was exhausted!
I woke up with the sudden urge to start pushing. At first it wasn't anything crazy, but then it started to get very uncomfortable, as if Aleena was about to fall out of me on her own if I didn't start soon! The nurse came to check me and said that I was fully dilated but Aleena needed to come down a little further before I could start pushing. Thirty minutes later, at 6:00am I started to push.
Fernando was so nervous that he sat the entire time in the corner. I could tell he was hyperventilating but I didn't have time to worry about him.I had a lot of my family in the room, I knew that I didn't want them to miss her birth. My Nonie, Mom, sisters Elesha, Raquel, and Abriam, as well as Fernando obviously! My mom and sister Elesha held my legs and they really gave me the confidence I needed, although I had planned on Fernando holding one of them, it didn't quite happen. About halfway through, the nurses shift change started (thank goodness). That rude nurse was out of my life finally, and I was blessed with another one! Which I loved! She helped reposition me to make every push count, guided my breathing, and helped me in the best way possible!
I guess because I was counting in my head so often, that the time flew by. Pushing didn't hurt me, it was a sort of pain and pressure relief. I wanted to keep pushing right through the contractions so I could finally meet out baby girl. Two hours passed and thats when the ring of fire kicked in! Ouch, they really weren't joking about that either. I almost got her out when the ring kicked in, but I didn't push hard enough. I had to sit there in the worst pain ever for a few minutes waiting for another contraction. Finally,I was able to push my last push.
Aleena was born at 8:16am. A healthy 7lbs. 11 oz., stretching 21 in. long! Her head was 13 3/4 in. around, and her first scream was so precious! When she came out she just laid in my arms with her big eyes looking around, so curious as to what was around her! She didn't make a sound after that! The first words I spoke to our darling daughter were, "hi baby!"
Fernando cut the cord, cried while looking at her, and fell in love that very moment all over again! We were both proud parents and have been ever since!