Things never go the way you imagine, and that’s the beauty of life.
Our first daughter, Sofía, was expected to come on July 28. Actually, she had two due dates, the other one being August 4, but I stuck with the first one because I didn’t want to believe she could be as late as August 18!
So imagine my surprise when, on the evening of July 8, I started having contractions. Not just braxton hicks, but real contractions. And they were so bothersome I couldn’t find a good position to sit, lay down, or stand up.
I woke up my husband at 4 AM (he had reminded me the night before that my due date was still a few weeks away and that I should just relax. Ha!), and we headed to the hospital.
We had literally just finished painting her nursery less than 48 hours before this, and I had packed my hospital bag that very weekend as well. It was my first child and everyone told me that I’d most likely go past my due date since it was my first. Everything was happening so fast, I just couldn’t believe that I might meet my baby much earlier than anticipated.
When we arrived at the hospital, they determined I was already dilated to 3 centimeters. My contractions were definitely way more sporadic, so I couldn’t time them, and some of them hurt more than others. The nurses told me I needed to wear an oxygen mask so the baby could get more oxygen. Every time I had a contraction, her heart rate went down. Nobody seemed too concerned about this, so I didn’t feel nervous. It wasn’t until after when I talked to people about my labor that I heard from many people they had to have a c-section because of this reason alone. I definitely feel blessed, because I was dead set on having a vaginal birth.
Six hours after being admitted, it was time to start pushing my baby out. Up until that point, the epidural had been pretty effective and I was able to drift in and out of sleep. My husband got even more sleep at the hospital, but I was fine with that since I didn’t really need him until the pushing.
Finally after nearly 2 1/2 hours of pushing, our beautiful Sofía made her way into this world. I had no idea this was a normal practice at the time, but the doctor was holding her by one leg, smacked her bum, and she just started to wail! That image will be ingrained in my brain forever. I immediately started sobbing and kept repeating, “She’s so beautiful!” It was one of those moments that always makes me cry if I think about it hard enough.
César was given the task to call my mom and his mom to announce Sofía’s arrival. Neither of them believed him. They both thought it was a huge joke since he isn’t exactly the serious type. Although 2 1/2 weeks isn’t that early to have a baby, it’s earlier than what they expected. Luckily, he finally convinced them that, in fact, we had a new baby girl and they could come visit 🙂
Everything seemed to be just fine with her. We were moved to our room and enjoyed a few minutes of peace as a new little family together. Then the nurses came to check on me, and César took little Sofía to get a bath. I ate some food while they were gone, and then family started showing up. After about an hour, I realized that César hadn’t returned with Sofía.
When he finally came back, he didn’t have her with him.
“Where’s our baby?” I asked him, with a bit of suspicion in my voice.
“They had to put her in the NICU,” he calmly replied. Ok, two things. One, why wasn’t I informed of this before now. And two, why was she in the NICU?
I couldn’t believe my ears, and all I wanted right then was to just have my baby back.
Read on for Part 2 HERE.