Hello, my name is Gisela and I came into this world on December 29th, 2015 at 6:38 am. I weighted 6 lbs 10 oz and was 20.5 inches long. Here is my birth story as told by mommy.
Despite feeling like a whale the last month of my pregnancy, the majority of my pregnancy was a blissful state. I had a very healthy and happy pregnancy. I loved to see my belly get bigger and loved to feel my baby move and kick. My due date was January 2, 2016; however, I felt that I would go into labor a few days earlier before my due date. I was not only anticipating my labor to start in 2015 but I was also wishing for it. First of all, I wanted my labor to be as natural as possible and I did not want to be induced if the baby was to arrive later. I was fearful of complications that later delivery might bring. Secondly, I was ready to meet my baby and be done with pregnancy. The last month of pregnancy is challenging and exhausting, your belly limits your ability to move, sleep, walk … do anything pretty much. I could not wait to feel my old self again. And finally, I just knew and had that feeling that my baby is healthy and ready to be born. I did my best to eat healthy, not have any alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated teas, as well as, limit sugar and stress during pregnancy; now, I was anxious to provide her a safe and happy entrance into this world. I was ready and so was my baby.
I was hoping to go into labor after Christmas. I wanted to celebrate Christmas with her in my belly (belly bump’s first Christmas). In addition, Matt’s paternity leave was starting right after Christmas. It would have been nice to have him next to me when I would to go into labor.
On Sunday morning of December 28th, Matt’s stay at home vacation started and I started to have very weak pelvic discomfort. This slight, almost unnoticeable cramping continued all the way to Monday and I gave very little thought to it. I went to bed late evening on Monday 28th and as I finally settled comfortably in my bed all tugged in between my down filled pillows and blanket, I felt my baby move and kick with a force that I never felt before. She was strong and determined…then I felt a pop and gush of water. My water broke! It was around midnight! Oh the excitement! Contractions started right away too, strong and frequent.
Matt and I rushed to the hospital and around 1am I was lying on the hospital bed, waiting for the nurse to come check up on me. Contractions subsided. The nurse came up to check on me and said that even though my water did break, I was not dilated at all. I was also losing amniotic fluid and baby’s heartbeat started dropping. Nurse suggested for me to be injected with a chemical that would start my labor. At this point I was worried. I wanted to have as little chemicals as possible in me and my baby during delivery, yet, I was worried for my baby and wanted the labor to progress. However, thanks to some weird intuition, I just knew that my labor would start and progress any minute. I just got settled into my hospital bed and was now becoming more relaxed. I was confident that a more relaxed me would bring my contractions back. The baby was also getting saline fluid and her heart rate normalized. In 15 minutes the monitor was showing my contractions getting stronger and closer together. There was no need for injection and I was relieved.
I had Matt next to me the whole time. He was my rock, my guiding force. Every time I felt contractions, I would press his hand and we would start breathing techniques we learned in pre-natal classes. He would breathe and I would try to mimic and follow him. Thanks to Matt, I was able to relax and focus on breathing and not be consumed with pain of my contractions. I was still fearful that my labor would slow down and I would have to be injected with that nasty chemical. Feeling contractions gave me reassurance that my labor was progressing. In some weird way, I was welcoming pain and was almost in a meditative state. I would close my eyes and imagine myself getting dilated more and more with every strong force of pain. The more painful the contraction was, the more thankful I became as I knew I was getting closer and closer to meeting my little girl. All I wanted was for her to arrive safely into my arms. I would also talk to her (not out loud ha) telling her not be too stressed and to come out and meet her parents. I am not sure where all this mantra voodoo meditation stuff came from haha but I was in my element, in a trance like state.
I asked the nurse to check how far I was dilated and to my surprise I was 5 cm dilated. At that point I was offered epidural but I held off because the pain was not bad at all and I still had that nagging fear of my labor slowing down. I was eager to have my baby safely out into my arms.
I went into having more contractions, they would peak up and down, with peaks getting stronger and longer. Every time I felt a painful contraction, I would know that it is currently at its peak and would bear it until it would start to come down. I felt proud of myself at the decline of the contraction, knowing that I just got over one more contraction safely and thus, one more step closer to meeting my baby. It was challenging and almost addictive … in a weird way. Once in a while, the contractions would get so strong that I would lose my breathing rhythm and would feel pain to start taking over me. That’s when Matt would breathe with me and guide me back into the rhythm and I would regain my control over the pain. Everything but Matt was a distraction to me. Nurse speaking to me, hearing phone beep with text messages from our family, noise outside of our room – it gave me goose bumps of annoyance. I was tuning everything out, focusing on my breath, and picturing my baby in my arms.
At 5 am, 4 hours later after being admitted to the hospital, nurse checked my cervix and to everyone’s surprise announced that I was 10 cm dilated. I saw Matt’s eyes filled with shock, surprise, pride, and happiness. I was surprised too that I was able to bear the pain until the last stage of labor. It was not as painful as I anticipated. I was ready to push, I was near the finish line. At this point, I decided to take the lowest dose of epidural, mostly to have control over the pushing. Once epidural was injected, I did not feel any pain. I felt pressure but pain was completely gone. In fact, most of the sensation was gone. I had no idea now what was happening and whether the labor was progressing. I kept telling the nurse to lower my epidural dosage and she kept reassuring me that I was getting the lowest quantity. I kept asking the doctor if “everything is continuing’.
It was around 6:30 am and a doctor placed a little warm body on my chest. I could see a head full of dark hair and a tiny little arm stretched out over my chest with tiny little fingers. I remember the weak cries she was making. I wanted the doctor to weight her, I was worried she was too big or too small, I wanted to be reassured that she is healthy, I wanted to see Matt’s reaction to seeing our girl for the first time, I wanted to know if I was ok. It was all a blur at that point, so many emotions just mixed in, swirling, making me unable to focus on anything. I do remember just feeling immensely at peace knowing that she is here, my little one, my baby. It is all behind, all my worries about labor are behind. She is here!