On August 10, 2016 just a few days overdue my water broke. It was early am around 7:20 I believe and I remember the feeling … “this is it” while desperately walking around the apartment trying to gather the stuff I should have already packed in my hospital bag. My intention was to be a organized, structured mommy with a hospital bag and a yoga ball – you know, to help ease with the pain now that I was so determined to go un-medicated. – Lol – more about that later.
People were picked up – and a stop at the local Dunkin’ Donuts in Forest Hills (might I add, this is my old block. The hospital is only a stone throw away from my old house and I miss it) was in order. Once you check-in at the hospital there’s no more food. Not that I really thought about food at all …
I was already pre-registered so most of the daunting paper work had already been taking care of. However, I still needed to answer a bunch of questions about my overall health and habits both current and in the past. Contractions were getting a little stronger and this was just an annoyance to me. I was friendly to the nurses but inside of me I was going: “Whyyyyy … Why is this necessary?”
I guess 45 minutes went by from when I arrived at the L&D (Labor and Delivery) until I was rolled into my delivery room – which had the number 4 that happens to be my favorite number since I was a kid.
The delivery room is large with flowery wallpapers. I didn’t care much at that point because contractions were picking up. I was 2 cm when admitted and contractions were 5-6 minutes apart. It became harder to breath faster than I expected. Though I was teased by the fact that before it became too unbearable I was answering emails from clients of my online concierge business. I guess it looked funny to the onlookers because of what they knew about unmedicated birth and what I’d soon know as well; ‘There’s no way you would be thinking anything but … get that baby out of me NOW!!’.
Hours went by. Contractions grew stronger and closer. I still didn’t want an epidural. I am scared of needles. And I thought to myself I could do it without. Even getting the IV was a fear of mine and with good reason. It was very painful (sorry if you’re reading this hoping I’d say it isn’t … ) … at least to me it was! They were having a hard time finding a good vein but nothing compared to later on when they were putting in a second “back-up” IV. I ended up with big bruises on both arms and hands for 2 weeks post-partum. Anyways …
Around 4Pm or closer to 5PM, I could no longer have a decent conversation with anyone. I had been giving air through a mask and my sister kept feeding me ice-chips, which was really the best thing at that point. Pain was excruciating. Almost like the pain was no longer natural as it should be with birth. I was 8cm and contractions were just 2-3 minutes apart and I asked if it was too late for the epidural. It wasn’t. I was scared … not of the thought of the huge needed going into my spine … but if I could sit still while getting it. Contractions had me screaming and crying. The nurse told it didn’t help screaming. Well. Ok nurse. She was nice though and held me tight when the anesthesiologist prepared to give me the epidural. It was QUICK! I felt a little sting and it was over. It wasn’t painful at all. Granted, the contractions had me thinking I was being ripped in pieces so in comparison … yeah, nothing.
Few seconds after the epidural was administered I got a weird sharp pain that was different than the contractions. I told the nurses and anesthesiologist that something felt very odd. It was like all the contractions had concentrated in one narrow place in my lower regions and it was … indescribable! I asked: “Why, why, why … the pain was supposed to go away!” … and the anesthesiologist gave me a second dose.
From this point on my memory is pretty blurry. I remember that everyone had to leave the room during the administration of the epidural. I don’t remember them coming back in. I know they were there because I had their comments and them trying to comfort me. But mostly I kept feeling that concentrated sharp pain, screaming, crying and trying to breath through that mask. I think I ended up with 3 or 4 doses of the epidural. And hearing voices talking, wondering why it wasn’t working. Because it wasn’t. Maybe it was too late after all…
At a certain point the doctor was there and I was asked to start pushing. I remember my mother and a nurse holding my legs but I don’t remember a nurse almost being on top of me trying to push the baby out.
I remember they kept telling me to push. And at some point … well, I’ll try and spare the details … let’s just say that they baby had to get out ASAP and certain measures were taking. I remember hearing my mom and sister saying: “The baby is here, he’s here!”
The baby was out at 8:12 PM. He was taking away. I didn’t hear him cry but I kept asking if he’s alive. I don’t know if I slightly fainted or was just exhausted. Quite a while went by and the doctor was “fixing” what he had to fix.
And then … my baby was placed on my chest!
It was a surreal feeling. For 9 months I had carried this little guy inside of me. And especially during the last 7 month when I knew about it – I had talked to him and pictured him. During the last month I had a weird feeling of missing him though I had never seen him. Now, he was finally here – all 8 lbs 12 oz. 21 inches of him. After 13 hours of labor.
It’s easy to say that you love your baby. That you fall in love with him. It’s totally different actually being in that situation. I knew we belonged together and that he would forever be my priority. It wasn’t like: “Oh wow, I just started loving him”. It was like I always loved him.
He was very alert right from the beginning and though something bad were definitely happening during the last couple of hours of birth – we were both good. We were able to go home the 12th in the afternoon. Him eating and sleeping well. Like his mommy! 😉
September 24, 2016 – Now, time has passed by rather quickly and I’m writing this more than six weeks later. He’s been alert and strong from Day 1. He’s holding his head, doing small push-ups already. He gained about 3 lbs by his 1 month doctor’s appointment and grew 2 inches.
He goes ohh, ahh and cooes, and smiles. He loves taking baths. He enjoys listening to Mozart (or me singing when he’s fuzzy) and he likes taking long walks in his stroller. He only wakes up 1-2 times at night. He may be sleeping twice during the day but usually prefers to be right next to me so I don’t get much time on my own. I don’t really care though. Even when I feel like I would give anything for 30 minutes of alone time – I still can’t help but look at him or his pictures when he’s sleeping. He’s gorgeous. Cute. Beautiful. More cute. Delicious. Amazing. I see myself in him. I sometimes see daddy too. Other people say the top part of his face is dad, lower part is me. His hair is black and straight. But it curls up really cute when its wet. He has a lot of hair. He’s light brown like a tan I’d give anything for. He’s my little handsome guy and I honestly feel that I became a better person because of him. I know I’m trying – and for the first time in more than five years I’m missing Denmark a little bit. The security. The family. It’s not going to be easy raising my child in New York. But as I’m a Danish citizen and he was born here he is a dual-citizen already. Options are many and while I look ahead to the future and hope for something great to happen soon I know we will make it happen … “If [we] can make it here, [we’ll] make it anywhere!”