Monday, February 16, 2015

January 9th, 2015

     January 9th, 2015 became the most memorable date of my life!

     A few weeks before my mom was supposed to come over on the 8th, we were making fun about which date the baby was going to come on... Our edd was the 12/14th of January so we kept throwing some numbers around, the 8th, the 10th, the 16th... After my mom arrived, we were all just relieved that it didn't happened before she was with us. On the 8th at lunch, we were discussing how I thought baby would definitely arrive later than the estimated date, since 4 days prior, at my Dr. appointment, my cervix was still completely closed and besides...wasn't I supposed to feeeeel something when the time was approaching?! I mean, here I was 39 weeks pregnant, full of energy, driving around, going at the mall, excited and happy... I always imagined, my last weeks before baby would be more torturous then what it was. I expected aches, moodiness, tiredness and at least some swelling here and there...

     The next day, at 6 in the morning, I was dreaming. What else would I be doing that early?!  :D 
No joke, I was dreaming that my water was breaking. The next thing I know, I open my eyes cos... 'am I really dreaming?'  I jolted out of bed in an instant and there it was... a waterfall of fluid. Against what most pregnancy books will tell you, this really was like you would see it in the movies. There was no mistaking what had happened. I dribbled all the way to the bathroom (should have stood still) while excitedly screaming 'honey, honey my water broke!' 

     I was in shock! Was this it? Was it time to meet my baby? Had the day come so ...unexpectedly? unexpected as it could be at 39 weeks!  :D

     After I took a shower and shaved my legs...duh! , we laid back in bed waiting for contractions. I was determined to labor at home as long as I could. About 30 min later I started getting very mild contractions, about 7 minutes apart. We tried to get some more sleep in, but let's be serious... who could possibly sleep with all that excitement? So I just relaxed and tried to keep calm in the face of what was going to come.

     At around 10, contractions were 4 minutes apart, starting to get properly noticed, but still mild enough that I started to hope this whole giving birth thing might not be all that bad... (ha!little did I know)
     Since I wasn't exactly prepared to have my waters break before any other sign of labor and having lost quite the amount of fluid, I wasn't very sure of myself, so I decided to call my Dr. and the midwives to ask whether I should come in or if I could still wait it out at home and they both answered that I should bring my laboring ass to the hospital right away! (I should mention here that my Dr. was in Dubai and could not make it to assist me at the delivery).

    And so we did. We picked our bags and some (totally unnecessary) snacks and headed to Burjeel Hospital. Once there, we got settled in our labor and delivery room, shared our birth plan to the nurses, along with some chocolate (wink-wink), received some food, laughed around, took some pictures, played a couple of rounds of 'where's Wally', listened to music (Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer' and 'I guess that's why they call it the blues' were on repeat),  all of that from one contraction to the next. They were definitely getting stronger, but as long as I could still smile and talk in between we were fine.

     We got monitored for a little while and both the baby and I were perfectly fine. The on call Dr. came in (rather rude and unpleasant), checked and announced that I was about 3cm dilated. After watching countless birth videos, this sounded good to me, but I had no clue how long it would take to get all the way to 10cm!

     Things kept evolving until laughing and talking were no longer on the menu, contractions became more and more intense, my mom and husband were taking turns massaging my back and the only position even remotely comfortable was standing up, bent over the bed and supporting myself on my (completely numb) hands... I lost all sense of time, barely noticed it got dark outside and the pain was getting stronger and more tiring by the minute (or was it by the hour?!).

    I was relieved when the shift changed at the hospital  and the new nurses and Dr. came in and properly introduced themselves. They were so nice!

     By the time they checked again I was 7 cm dilated. After that, lying in bed, I went into a complete state of focus and this was by far the best I had felt in a while. Contractions were about 1 minute apart, but during that short break I would even snore and I think I even dreamed of something at one point. I was completely absent (which kind of freaked my husband out), enduring my intense, long contractions and being completely out of it every chance I got in between. I guess it was my body's way of saving some energy for the final phase.

     Sometimes after 8 in the evening, I started getting what they call 'urge to push'. I did not expect that, was taken by surprise and it was absolutely horrible. Let me explain... I always thought that, with each contraction, I would be in control and totally responsible with the pushing part. Ahm...wrong!  

    Suddenly, my whole body started to tighten and forcefully push on top of each contraction, leaving me grunting and breathless... This was by far the most unpleasant part of my delivery story!

     We alerted the nurses, the midwife checked us again, helped me position myself on the delivery table and then I noticed them starting to prepare. The Dr. came in and started to suit up, then more nurses... I couldn't believe the time had come.

     The pain was way more than what I could tolerate without a certain state of trance and contractions were kind of blending in with each other... I was already exhausted.

     Our medical team was exceptional, they were so helpful and supporting, without being overly dramatic and cheered me on with each successful push and every single cm the baby was heading towards the grand exit.

    My husband was more than I could have ever imagined. He took such great care of me and everything I could have needed for comfort, water, back-massage, encouragement, loving words, a reminder to breathe...  He certainly lived those moments with me (he even cut the cord!) and he was absolutely perfect!

     I pushed for a total of about an hour and at 21:50, weighing in at 3.070gr and 52cm long, Nalia Sofia was placed on top of me, beautiful, clean and pink. It was totally surreal... she was finally here and she belonged to us!

     Although my mom said she would never be able to stand in the delivery room and see me go trough all that pain (plus all the other nasty stuff that go along with it), she did and I was so proud and happy that we got to share this moment together. It was really precious!

     We were then left to do skin to skin for more than an hour and I got to breastfeed baby right away.

     I needed some stitches, but as long as she was in my arms, nothing else seemed to mater in the world... After a while, the pediatrician came to check her up, the nurse took her foot prints, helped put her tiny little clothes on and I got up on my feet right away.

     We then moved to our recovery room where we were left alone with our baby. Now let me tell you about how clueless I felt... There are no books, videos, talks and pieces of advice that can ever prepare you for that first moment you are holding a teeny-tiny newborn in your arms... I never felt that unprepared in my entire life and that first night (ok, let's say first month, to be fair) was by far the biggest exam of my life.

     Everything was fine with all three of us, especially after we got some food, which I pretty much inhaled, I was completely starved. And then we hit a little bump in the road. It was no biggie, except the nurses, as per hospital policy, wanted me to breastfeed every 2-3h, which proved to be impossible since my baby was sleeeeepy and wouldn't stay awake no matter what we all tried. After several attempts, this turned into some horrific experience of baby screaming her little lungs out, me cringing in pain both for the baby and because of the nurse who was squeezing and shoving my nipple in baby's mouth... Nothing about that felt natural and ok. Several sleepless hours later she fed again and then there was another looong break which went on the same as the first time around... Looking back on it now, I realize that it was actually no reason to worry and had I been more prepared or at least more rested I probably wouldn't have worried at all, but in that moment I was freaking out as more hours were passing by and my baby kept on sleeping...

     Here's some more TMI for you, in case you are still reading and didn't have enough...   :D 

     Not sure whether it was physical or psychological, but for some reason my nipples decided not to cooperate at all and went completely flat every single time I tried to breastfeed. With me having quite large breasts, I couldn't reach in her little mouth, so that became an issue. After meeting with the lactation consultant, she suggested I used a silicone nipple shield, which ended up working perfectly and which I am still successfully using today.  Now, I am all about natural...everything, but I quickly realized that using this little tool is not harmful in any way, gets the job done easily for me and for baby, so I just accepted it's use and that's that!

     We spent 2 days in the hospital, trying to wrap our heads around what happened, what it all means and how to love this little baby as much as we already did... Then after a quick baby-bathing lesson, a visit from the pediatrician, a couple of shots for baby and some last Q&A's with the Dr. and nurses we were deemed able to raise a human, got discharged and left to go home.

     I already stretched the story way past delivery time, as I previously intended. I'm glad I finally managed to put all of this in writing (minus a few feelings and sensations that I will keep all to myself), because it was the most impressive thing I have ever experienced in my life and something I want to hold on to and cherish forever.

     After having the 'Pregnancy Talk' mini-series on my blog, I will continue with a 'Baby Talk', sharing all sorts of thoughts and happenings of our life with a new baby.

     And to fit to all the writing I just did, here are a few pictures showing a few bits of this great experience we got to live!


Paulina said...

hahaha I LOVED this post!!!! So funny, loving and so Andreea!

toytulip said...

Thank you for being one of my most consistent readers Paulina! :D :D :D I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D

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