At this time five years ago, I was already checked in to Cedars Sinai Hospital. I had been bouncing happily on a ball awaiting the arrival of my first child, Ace.
Hungry, I asked the nurse if I could eat and I was given the okay to snack on some Teriyaki that my family was eating. Several hours later there wasn’t much going on so my Doctor decided to give me pitocin to start the labor since I was already late. I watched my contractions coming and going with ease even taking time to make a collage on Instagram. Birth was a breeze.
A few more hours pass and a lot more ball bouncing.
Somewhere in between my husband leaving to go meet with my parents, they decided to place a foley ball into my cervix to expand it. The foley ball is then filled with water a little at a time. Once its fully expanded, they take it out so basically you give birth to a ball the size of a 5 pound baby, And with NO drugs. And this. was. painful! Not to mention, the thing is inserted through a catheter.
About every hour after, the nurse would come and check my cervix. In other words, they’d stick their hands inside me like a chicken about to be roasted. Apparently, I have a curved cervix so placing a catheter is not easy and each Doctor visit made me more and more uncomfortable.
The hours passed by and my husband returned.
I was then able to be moved into a “room with a view” and was almost fully dilated. By then my family started to file in. It was morning and everyone was excited to meet little Ace. My husband who never left my bedside after the “foley ball” incident was patient, kind and doting. He was the only person I could tolerate that afternoon. I was told I couldn’t eat since chances of me receiving a Cesarean were growing each hour. I went from happy Mom-to-be to straight up irritable.
My Dad marched in and turned up the volume to some news report while my sister brought in pizza which filled the room with its cheesy aroma. Starved, I felt like crying. And in fact, I did. I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but I finally gave in to the tired, hungry and uncomfortable ordeal that seemed to never end.
Everyone was escorted from the room by my ride-or-die nurse and I was finally able to get an epidural which enabled me to sleep. I distinctly remember watching the sun rise while everyone slept. I looked at the warming table with the little hat and swaddle and I knew that Ace would never come out in that room. I knew I would need to get a Cesarean but I found peace almost immediately. I knew that the presence of God was there and he would watch over Ace and I. After 30 hours of labor, fully dilating and being told his head was too big, they wheeled me to the OR.
By this time I was more than tired. No amount of sleep could help me.
I was dressed, painted brown and served some more drugs till I couldn’t feel my chest rise and fall. Apparently, puking is normal so I, of course, puked. A lot. Lying on that table and only being able to look at my spouse can be a little unnerving. Thankfully I married a man who’s calm and his facial expressions are peaceful. I, on the other hand have no chill. I cried out of nervousness and was shaking profusely. Another wonderful side effect of whatever that was they stuck in my IV.
My Doctor made an appearance and then the operating commenced. “A little pressure” he said and then a 9 pound, 12 ounce baby was lifted out and swaddled. Ace cried, I cried and then my husband cried. That moment I knew I had done the most amazing thing I could ever do. I grew a beautiful baby boy inside my body. I fought the fears that I was fed by Doctors who said Ace would more than likely be down syndrome. I prayed constantly, took care of myself better than I even imagined I would. I unselfishly gave everything up for that very moment. And all I needed to hear was his sweet, soft cry.
So not everything goes as planned during birth.
Not every woman’s story will be the same. I am not less of a woman because I got a C-section, I am more of a woman because I housed a child inside me for 9 months. And it couldn’t have been more perfect.
Now, five years later, we have a kind little boy who I could not be prouder of. Happy Birthday mi cielo! You have already enriched my life and made me complete. I hope and pray you continue to grow and enrich others lives…
Thank You for taking the time to read my birth story of my first and thank you to all the nurses of Cedars Sinai who are a special part of each birth story.