This has to be the most emotional and difficult blog post that I have ever had to write. Finding the right words to express how I’ve been feeling the last couple of days hasn’t come easy, which is why this blog post has taken me so long to write. I find myself often just starring at her as she sleeps, cuddling her close after a feeding, and bawling my eyes out at the mere thought of her. Literally, I walked into a lactation consultation with Stephanie of Modern Milk and just started crying. Of course, these are all happy tears but its been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. This week and a half has rocked our world, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Our Vivienne is finally here.
Throughout our pregnancy, our doctor, Mary Deka said because of my size we would more than likely give birth earlier than 40 weeks. So as week 39 came, JJ and I were surprised to see that I was still pregnant. We went to our scheduled OB appointment on Tuesday, and went ahead and had my membranes stripped. Membrane stripping is a method used to try to start labor. The doctor puts her finger into the cervix and uses the finger to gently separate the bag of water from the side of the uterus near the cervix. This was… uncomfortable. The rest of the day I was feeling more contractions and had the worst back ache of my life. This continued into the evening and I was convinced that we were going to be heading to the hospital instead of bed that night. JJ told me to go to sleep and if they were real contractions then I would wake up. I went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling… normal. How frustrating! I scheduled another stripping for Friday as well as to check the status of my dilation. Since I was having contractions, and dilating close to a 4, my doctor suggested to go in and check to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid.
We arrived at Scottsdale Shea at 10am, and was greeted by a nurse named Angie. When she came out to greet us, JJ goes, “Yup, I know her.” Growing up in Scottsdale himself, it was a likely chance of this happening… but really, what are the chances? She was the absolute best! After my fluid came back as negative, we made the decision to stay at the hospital and be induced. JJ made a good point that we were well rested, it was the morning, and we might as well go for it than be woken in the middle of the night to go to the hospital. We were ready to meet our girl. So, on Friday, October 21st… we were going to have a baby!
I got hooked up to an IV, which was probably the most painful part of this entire delivery and was instructed to walk around the second floor in hopes to naturally break my water. By 1pm, Deka came in and broke it for me. Thankfully, I did not see what device she used to do this as I probably would have been more nervous if I had, but it did not hurt… just felt like I peed myself a little. Now, as I’ve often heard before… when your water breaks, its gametime! I was preparing for some heavy contractions to start rolling in. To me, the early contractions felt like a seriously bad period cramp that were slow and manageable for me to breathe through. Since I was planning on having an epidural, Angie suggested I ask for it sooner rather than later, as it could take 10-15 minutes for the anesthesiologist to get to my room. I felt about two more contractions, had my epidural, and it was smooth sailing after that. I won’t lie… I was a little nervous to get the epidural. Something about a large needle going into your spine really didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but just a really weird feeling that I can’t quite describe. I felt a pinch in my leg, then flipped from one side to the other to equally numb me from the waist down. A couple minutes later and I was officially numb.
Now, to watch my dilation progression. Angie put the birth ball between my legs, which actually worked extremely well. I went from dilating from 7cm to 10cm within 10 minutes? Regardless of the exact time it took, it felt that quick. She got in touch with Deka to come to the hospital since I was ready to start pushing. Now, this was by far the most surreal moment of my life. Pushing. No one can prepare you for this moment and whether you have an epidural or not, you DO feel the pressure! Completely numb is not a thing. The first time I pushed, I cried so hard. Since I had felt so great throughout this pregnancy, kind of going through the motions of it all, the moment I pushed for the first time was the moment it became real. She was about to be here. Insert ugly cry face. Have I also mentioned that JJ and I had a playlist playing in the background? I would highly recommend this as it can help you focus on something else other than the pressure. JJ though, was told to change the song multiple times, as, “Hootie and the Blowfish can’t be playing when she comes out.” I continued to push for about 40 minutes, which felt like forever and no progression was being made, but Deka and Angie assured me that I was doing great and she was on her way. I was even brave enough to use a mirror. Why not? I’m a visual person. Ha! The pressure intensified as she got closer to the end… with one more big push and SHE WAS HERE! I remember closing my eyes to push hard and opening them to her being lifted in the air and on her way into my arms. I didn’t have a birth plan, my goal was to have her out as safe as possible, but what I did want was for her to be put into my arms immediately. It was love at first sight. “She looks like Daddy,” Said Deka. Of course. Ha! JJ immediately cut the cord, I got stitched up (two small tears- two stitches needed), and Vivienne was taken across the room to get weighed and vaccinated.
I couldn’t have been more thankful for the motivating coaching from JJ, Angie, and Dr. Deka. Thank you! Thank you!
Vivienne was born on October 21st at 7:10pm
Weighing 7 pounds, 20 inches long.
She was born to Let It Be by The Beatles
After you have a baby, the nurse takes you to the restroom to give you your gauze panties (which were actually very comfortable), the extra large pad, and have you all cleaned up before sending you off to your recovery room. When I sat down after walking to the restroom, I almost passed out. I turned completely white, started sweating, and black spots came into my vision. I was not feeling good. I wasn’t surprised that it happened… as my friends warned me that it had happened to them. Luckily, I was sitting down and it passed a couple minutes and a sip of juice later.
The next 48 hours was about learning to breastfeed, recovery, and utilizing the help from the hospital staff and nurses. Vivienne also had a couple of tests that she had to pass before she was allowed to go home. Since I was seriously sore and couldn’t get on and off the bed easily, let alone walk to the restroom myself, JJ was the best help with diaper changes and taking care of V and I. I couldn’t be more grateful to have him by my side.
We absolutely loved all of our nurses during our hospital stay. Each one was so different and amazing in their own special way and I couldn’t have been more grateful for the help they provided us. The day we left the hospital, and I was being wheeled out with my baby girl in my arms, I began tearing up thinking about how amazing this staff was. Donna, who was our night nurse, went above and beyond for us one night and I couldn’t have been more grateful for her support and kind heart. Thank you so much, Donna!
A couple of hours before we left, Lauren of The Lauren Style came to take photos of us at the hospital. Before our stay, I anticipated having Tara come do my hair and perhaps get my makeup done for this shoot. Yeah… that didn’t happen. Nor did I want it too. In the end, I wanted it to be as organic and natural as possible. This was us, this was our experience, and this is what I wanted to share with you. Please meet Vivienne James Garcia.
More “real talk” posts to come about newborn essentials, how the first couple of weeks have been, and what I really used during our hospital stay.