Monday, May 26, 2008

Joaquin's Birth Story

Here is the recap of Joaquin's birth story. I wrote it about a week after he was born...

So I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, January 31st with a new doctor (it was her first day on the job but obviously a seasoned doctor who said she had been in the business for over 20 years). She decided to check my cervix for progress and found that I was still only 1 cm and my cervix was long and hard. Same as I was 2 weeks before so she said it looked like I would go until my due date and if not, I was looking at a long drawn out labor…bummer! So that night I went to my baby shower and was glad to know that Joaquin would be coming in February after all- one of my hopes. Friday, the 1st of February, was a normally busy day with Diego and Mateo both having preschool. In the afternoon, before Hector came home, I decided to take them on a brisk walk around our block and we managed to do it two times and I felt good but felt like I was pushing it a bit by the end of the 2nd lap. I went to bed that evening wondering when I would go into labor since all of my labors start at night time. Well, sure enough at 2:45 am that morning of February 2nd, I felt a strong contraction that woke me up. I lied in bed for a half an hour trying to sleep and casually watched the clock. The contractions were coming pretty regularly but were very manageable at first. At 3:15 am I decided to get up and go to the bathroom. I had no bloody show so I thought this might just be a passing thing but they were still coming regularly. At about 3:30 am, I woke up Hector and told him I was having contractions but I wasn’t really sure what was going on. In between the pain, I would run around the house doing chores, picking up, doing some laundry, dishes, whatever, all in the dark so as not to disturb the boys. I got into the shower at this point because things were getting painful. My shower was brief- usually I love long showers while I labor, but I had to get out of there quick. I decided that I’d finish packing my bag and woke up Hector again and said I thought this was "it"…maybe. My labors with Diego and Mateo were at least 8 hours long or more. After a lot of denial, I wrote a quick email to friends to announce that I was in labor and then I called my parents at 4 am. They arrived about 15 minutes later and I was encouraging Hector to get ready to go. He showered, packed his bag, camera, unloaded his bike from his car, all of this pretty casually. Diego was peacefully asleep in his bed. Mateo was awake in our bed so I gave him some cuddles. My dad was in charge of the boys and finally we were off to the hospital after insisting that Hector get moving faster. My mom, Hector and I all piled into the car for a quick drive over to UC Davis Medical Center which is just around the corner from our house. I was in serious pain during the contractions at home but would just breathe through them, bent over at the waist- it helped a lot. I was on my feet most all of the time too. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, this intense pressure down below. During this time, I also was very thirsty and drank a bunch of water but then ended up over the toilet, dry heaving and salivating because I felt like I had to throw up. I believe I was in transition on the way to the hospital. I was so uncomfortable and started asking for a shot of pain meds or an epidural on the drive over, anything to take away the intense pain I was feeling. I was very irritable even though the drive was a short one. I decided to have us park in the parking structure so I could walk to the nurses station which is quite a long walk by the way. I don’t know what I was thinking….I guess I was thinking I still had all the time in the world. We made the long walk, with me clutching Hector as each contraction came and with my mom coaching us to keep moving so we could make it to the delivery room. I would have to stop and bend over many, many times on the way to the nurses station. We finally got there and I was ready for anything to get rid of the pain. I told Hector and my mom I didn’t want to do this again, I never wanted to do this again and didn’t want to deliver this baby. So familiar. Same feeling I had with Diego and Mateo. I was scared again. At 4:45 am, we checked in and the nurses took their time even though I told them I was dying!!! They finally took me to triage to check my progress. I threw off my sweatshirt and stripped my pants, refused the band they wanted to put around my belly and just kept begging for pain meds. The nurse couldn’t find my cervix just a bag of water. Next nurse same thing, no cervix just a big bulging bag. They called the resident doctor in and when she went to check me, my bag broke and she discovered I was fully dilated, fully effaced and –1 station. I was going to have this baby now and no pain meds were going to be given. They rushed me down the hall on the gurney. Quickly but painfully transferred me to the delivery bed. Got my feet in position, I scooted down, they asked if I had to push and I screamed yes and pushed immediately and hard. Out came his head to everyone’s shock and surprise, especially Hector. They told me to wait a second and then push again and he was out and very purple. They rushed him over to his warming bed to give him oxygen and he pinked up very quickly and we heard him cry while the resident doctor helped me deliver the placenta and then had to stitch me several times for a tear which HURT!!! At this point, I was shaking uncontrollably and was very much in shock, pain, relief. They then proceeded to put an IV on me – just in case- which I objected to but had to let them do. They also wanted to inject me with pitocin (AFTER the birth) which I flat out refused which did not make the staff happy. I absolutely saw no reason for either of these procedures but was repeatedly told this was their normal procedure. I kept telling them I believed in my body’s ability to take care of itself. So they didn’t do the pitocin but did the IV. That was our agreement I guess.

Joaquin Andres Sanchez was born at 4:59 am (just 14 minutes after arriving at the hospital) and he weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches. He was so tiny and perfect looking as I saw him from far away in the warming bed. They let me hold him for less than a minute and kiss him before taking him to the nursery for observation and a bath. I lay alone in bed again waiting a few hours and recovering before I was able to see him again. He was perfect and beautiful (even though I thought he looked funny the first time I really got a good look at him). He was very puffy and his eyes were very swollen and bulging and he almost looked like a little Down’s syndrome baby because of his face and his tongue was constantly pushing out. In fact the first words out of my mouth were "Does he have Down syndrome?" Everyone laughed it off. The nurse said he had great tone. He nursed like champ from the beginning and I was instantly in love….again !!!!

1 comment:

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

I have since learned about the "People First" language and realize that this post contains my original use of "Down's Baby" instead of "a baby with Down syndrome. Already learning so much!