Hi guys! Hope you enjoyed the holiday break. Today is a very special day! One year ago today, I gave birth to my baby boy Andres Sebastian. I still can’t believe he’s already one. So I thought what better day than today, on his 1st birthday, to share my birthing story with you. Here goes….
Before we started trying to get pregnant, we knew we wanted to try to have a natural birth, so we did something called hypnobirthing (and no, I didn’t get hypnotized during birth—I wish!). It’s nothing weird like that. It’s basically a calming technique that helps you mentally get ready for childbirth-think of it like meditation. A month before my due date, my husband and I took hypnobirthing classes with a doula in which she taught us relaxation techniques, visualizations and deep breathing methods. For weeks, I practiced listening to an affirmation CD that pretty much sounded like this.
|I told Fernando to take this picture just for fun, but little did I know I'd be going into labor this same day! My belly was GINORMOUS!|
Okay, so back to the story….earlier in the day, before I went into labor, I was doing a tv segment on Telemundo and I remember everyone telling me “Wow, you look like you’re ready to pop.” I was 38 weeks pregnant and although I was already considered “full-term,” my due date wasn’t for another week. That same night, on January 4th, 2013 around 12:30pm I was woken up by some cramps. At first I thought it was Braxton Hicks (false labor contractions) but still decided to wake up the hubby. He immediately took out his cell phone (he had a contractions timer app—naturally) and started timing my contractions. At that point they were about 5-7 minutes apart. So I tried to go back to sleep. Although of course, I kept waking up every time I got a contraction. At around 5am, I called our doula Vivian and told her how close the contractions were (that morning, oddly enough, I was suppose to have my last hypnobirthing class). The doula arrived at my house around 5:30 am. The contractions were getting stronger, but were still bearable. I remember just trying to relax and breath through each one. I did a lot of walking around my house and took a hot shower.
My water had not broken yet--for me it didn’t happen like in the movies. I tried to stay at my house as long as I could, before it was actually time to head to the hospital. At around 1:30 pm, once my contractions were getting closer together we headed to Mount Sinai Hospital. I remember putting on my headphones and listening to my hypnobirthing affirmations on my iPod the entire 10-minute ride as my husband drove me to the hospital. Once we arrived, I was only dilated 4 cm (for those without kiddos, you have to be 10 cm to deliver a baby). I did some walking around the hospital (walking is suppose to help progress the labor) and was finally admitted at the hospital around 2:30pm. My plan was to try to not have an epidural, but at the end of the day, if I needed one I wasn’t going to kill myself over it.
The entire time my doula and my husband were super supportive. They massaged my back and kept encouraging me the entire way. At times I didn’t want to be touched at all lol. I was also very quiet. I kind of felt like I was in “the zone,” listening to my iPod with my affirmations, so anytime I talked I immediately got out of it. The pains started getting stronger and stronger. It’s hard to describe it, but think of it like menstrual cramps times one thousand. At about 8pm (20 hours after going into labor) I had only dilated 7cm. I was so bummed. A nurse also had to break my water. At this point we were worried that my labor was not progressing fast enough. So at around 10pm, Fernando (my husband’s name by the way) and I discussed getting an epidural and thought it would be best. For me the epidural did not take away the pain completely. I remember reading how some women feel no pain at all after getting an epidural, but that definitely wasn’t the case for me. It wasn’t as bad as before, but I still felt the contractions. The breathing techniques I had learned definitely helped soooo much.
The next morning, at around 7:50am, the doctor checked me again and I was finally 10cm. It was game time. At this point I was also running a low fever, but I was ecstatic that it was now time to push. In a few minutes, I would finally get to meet our son. The little baby I had dreamt of. He would finally be in our arms. I started pushing and the minutes started going by sooooo slooooow. I remember thinking to myself, what’s going on…why isn’t he coming out? Why is this taking so long? 30 minutes had passed and nothing. Fernando kept cheering me on….You can do it sweetie! We’re finally going to meet our baby! C’mon Carmen push! Finally almost an hour later…an HOUR of pushing his little head started to show. I gave one final push (and a tribal like sound) and at 8:57am our beautiful baby boy was born. The nurses cleaned up him and put him in my arms. He weighed 7 lbs. 12 ounces. They also took his temperature and realized he had a bit of a fever. The nurses took him to the nursing unit and Fernando went along too. He didn’t leave the baby’s side for one second.
One hour later they brought him back and thank GOD his fever was gone. He was perfect! Our baby boy was perfectly healthy. The overwhelming feelings of emotions kicked in immediately. It’s amazing to experience this amazing gift from God--the gift of life. We stayed three days at the hospital until we went home. Writing this now, it’s crazy to think a year has already gone by. It all seems like a blur. And I can’t help but get teary eyed. Happy Birthday my son! We love you more than you could ever know!
Thank you for reading our looooong birthing story and for allowing us to share this with you.