Where to begin? I want to document somewhere how things happened when Liliana was born & how things are now that she’s here. I guess starting with being pregnant is the way to go....
Being pregnant went by in such a blur, time really flew by. I barely had a chance to enjoy it, to revel in it, what with all the drama in my life. but there were definitely moments when it was simply amazing to be pregnant, like the first time i felt her kick. I was sitting on the chair in my boyfriend Chris’ house and realized it wasn't just gas knocking around in my tummy, it was the baby. Of course i cried.
I carried so low you hardly tell I was pregnant until about the 7th month or so, i just looked chubby, which I am, but eventually it was unmistakable that the bump was positively a baby. I talked to her daily, felt her kick and move around all the time, but it was so surreal to me the entire way through. Even finding out I was being induced at week 39 was surreal. I had a date that the baby was being born but it was still so unreal. I was having a baby? Yes I was.
I was scheduled for the induction on Dec 13th at 6am. I went to my last Dr visit the 12th and was told I wasn’t even remotely ready for labor so they would be sending me in that night at 8pm instead. I had my bags all packed and ready to go but again it seemed so unreal. Best friend, Laura, in tow, we headed to the hospital to have a baby. My boyfriend, Chris made it there a couple of hours after we arrived and he hadn’t missed anything. Turns out you can’t be induced until you are 39 weeks exactly, no more no less, which meant I couldn’t even start this process until midnight. So we waited. We snacked, watched some food network and tried to make the clock go faster.
At midnight we started. They gave me cervidil first, an awkward insertion of meds to soften up the cervix. I was left to its devices until 730 the next morning. That night was LONG let me tell you. I didn’t know what effects it was supposed to have on me so I toughed out the pain, and pain I was in. It made me contract every 15 minutes or so which after a few hours is really painful. I lasted the night, barely sleeping, watching random episodes of Smallville to distract me while Chris slept on the pull out couch in the room, waking up every few hours to help me get to the bathroom with the IV attached to me.
At 7:30 the next morning we discovered nothing had come of those long, painful hours and I was going to get the pitocin drip next. From 8am-12pm I was fed the pitocin, and the pain. I asked for meds this time, it was more than I could deal with. I then felt drunk and hazy, which made things much more bearable. After 4 hours STILL nothing was progressing. I was beginning to curse the people who decided I needed to have this baby that day, because clearly she wasn’t wanting to come out yet. I got a small reprieve and got to eat some lunch, since I hadn’t eaten since about 5pm the night before. Then at 2pm they decided I needed a 2nd round of cervidil. Again awkward insertion, more painful this time due to all the contracting, and I was left to feel the burn and hope it worked. It was left in for 12 hours. 12 very long hours.
My grandparents had come from across the state to be there for me, so that helped as a distraction and having Chris & Laura there was invaluable. Since I had then been through 26 hours of attempting to get labor going they gave me another reprieve- a shower. I got unhooked from all the monitors and took a much needed shower and got to have a little snack.
At 4am we went back to more pitocin. I had seen several nurses over the time I was there, probably 5 or 6, but the night nurse that night was an older lady named Shirley. Shirley was old school, to say the least. She felt I should go on with inducing the labor until I had the baby and she made that clear. But whatever was going to happen they have to try 2 rounds of both drugs and then see what happens, so I was stuck with pitocin from 4am until noon. I asked for pain meds, Shirley however, didn’t think I needed them and fought with Laura who rallied for me to get them. In the end she gave me some but I don’t think the dose was as high as the first time because it hurt much more this time, I was much less hazy.
Noon comes and goes and no one comes to take me off the pitocin. Eventually around 1pm they came to check me out and I was about ½ a CM dilated. Basically I would be there all week if I kept on with the way things were. The Dr told me I could have a c-section if I wanted to. Old school Shirley was trying to talk me out of it, as was Laura who had had one herself and had many complications during it. I went in prepared to have the baby the regular way but after enduring 36 hours of pain with no reward in sight, i decided to not listen to anyone but myself. I opted for the c-section.
I was told I could eat lunch and was scheduled around 4pm for the surgery. Unfortunately my grandparents tried to beat the dark home and missed the birth by a few hours. Continuing on the unfortunate streak I was then faced with another unfortunate decision to make, who would go with me to surgery? If i delivered her in the room I was in the regular way I could have had up to 3 people there, but since a c-section is major surgery, i could only have one. Who do I pick, my best friend of 20+ years or the man in my life who wants to help me raise the baby?? There were tears and drama but I decided to pick Chris. The way I saw it, Laura’s and my friendship would survive this, because it’s survived 20+ years but Chris is the one who is going to help me raise this baby and I wanted him to be there from the very beginning. So with tears in my eyes I was taken out to the room where I was going to have my baby. Was it turning into reality for me yet? Nope, not at all. I think I was trying not to think about the fact that I was about to have major surgery and that the baby was finally coming out.
I was taken to the operating room and prepped for the spinal needle. They gave me a pillow to brace myself and had a woman standing in front of me to brace me. I was scared shitless. so much build up and the woman finally says “your feet should start to feel warm now”. Um thats it??? I didn’t even feel it at all, a small prick, if anything and then i was numb from the chest down! The 36 hours prior was way worse than that needle was.
Then the curtain went up and I know they did stuff to me, and i read about what a c-section entails, but I just held Chris’ hands and chatted away with the nurses. Then I heard the most beautiful sound ever, my babies first cry. They told me she had a lot of hair and whisked her away to the table next to me. I couldn’t see her. Chris, wuss that he is, couldn't look when she was having the mucus sucked out of her throat. I just remember thinking that was funny after being in the room while I had major surgery.
Then the blur began to happen. They showed her to me, all wrapped .up and said she wasn’t doing well and needed oxygen so badly I couldn't even hold her. My only thought was, take her to where ever she needs to be to be ok. I know the Dr told me stuff about what was wrong but it was all a blur, even now. I just remember bruises on her little chubby face and them taking her away in an oxygen cover. There was nothing I could do but lay there, numb and get stitched up.
I was taken to my new room, without the baby. The Dr came up and told us all what had happened to Lily but again, it was mostly a blur. How can she become real to me if I haven’t even been able to hold her yet? I was just so scared that something would happen to her I was in emotional denial. I felt nothing but scared which made me cease up. Around 8pm that night we were allowed to go to the NICU and see her, but no holding because she was undergoing a blood transfusion. I got to touch her a bit, through gloved hands and both Laura & Chris got to come in for a few minutes and see her. The visit was short, too short. Chris had to head home an hour and a half away because he had to work the next 2 days in order to get the next week off to spend with us, so he helped me get my bags to the new room and went home. Laura headed out as well.
I was left alone, doped up on morphine, no baby with me in the mother-baby wing, sore as hell from the c-section. It was a very long night.
The next morning I got a visit from Chris’ Aunt & Cousin. They took me down to see Lily and were allowed, one at a time to see her with me. She was still hooked up to all her do-dads and wires, she was a sad sight. The nurse told me her transfusion went great and she no longer needed the oxygen and that she was about to take her off the IV, bathe her and move her to her own crib! She told me I could help if I wanted!!! I told her as long as I got to hold her I was staying! So Brenda & Jennifer left and I helped Lily get her first bath and got to finally hold her.
It was when i finally got to hold her that something clicked inside me and emotion spewed out. She was going to be ok and she was all mine! I don’t think I have ever been happier than in that moment. This precious, tiny little life was mine, I made her and I had her and I got to keep her.
Of course she had to stay in the NICU but i could visit her anytime day or night. That made staying in the hospital bearable, even if she wasn’t in the room with me. I ended up staying in the hospital from Tuesday night until Saturday afternoon. I did have a couple of visitors but mostly I was by myself, which was hard but knowing that little girl was nearby made it all ok.
I was up and moving the day after the birth, which I was told was great, although it hurt- a lot.
Pain be damned, I had a little girl to see. So i walked myself to see her by walking behind a wheelchair, very slowly. I got to feed her for the first time. I walked down there a few times a day, every day to make it for the feedings and to spend time with her. By the end of the week she was looking so healthy! The only thing holding her back from going home was that she hadn’t quite been eating consistently and they needed her to eat a certain amount and if she didn’t eat it was fed to her through what we affectionately dubbed her nose jewelery, a small feeding tube.
Saturday came and they told me I was going home, but Lily wasn’t. Chris was driving back to pick me up and stay for the week so he came to spring me from the hospital. As soon as he arrived we packed up the car and went down to see Lily. Chris got to hold her for the first time that night. We stayed for a while, even watched some required videos to stall for time, but it was getting late and we had to go home sometime. The hardest thing I have had to do in a long time was leave that little girl in the hospital. I bawled all the way home. There was a holiday party happening at the friends’ house we were staying at for the week so I tried to get in the holiday mood but every time someone said “congrats” or “hi mommy” I burst into tears. I didn’t know you could miss someone so much.
We spent the next few days going to as many feedings as we could, twice a day usually. It was super hard for me to get in and out of the car with my c-section scar, but I would have done anything to see my baby. It was a long, lonely weekend without her. We were waiting on results of tests that were sent out to make sure she didn’t have anything viral. The only thing I ever did find out is that she pooped in utero, which is toxic to her and was the main cause of her issues at birth. If I hadn’t decided to go ahead with the c-section she might have had more problems because she was stuck in the meconium. Monday morning came and went and no calls about the tests, which was good news. Around 3 that afternoon I got the best phone call ever- the NICU Dr calling to say we could spend the night in the hospital with Lily and take her home the next day! I cried and cried. Finally she was coming home. We had a long, uncomfortable night in the hospital but Lily was with us in the room and I got to take care of her so all was right with the world. At about 8am the Dr came in and said she was ready for discharge!
We were home by about 11am that Tuesday morning.
Since then it’s been a whirlwind. I never thought I would enjoy changing diapers so much or feeding someone. Granted I’m tired but knowing she is fed and happy makes the sleeplessness worth it. She is the most beautiful thing to ever happen to me and I will thank god every day for her. She is such a little person already and I am loving every second of being her mom. Sometimes it’s still hard to wrap my head around the fact that she’s really mine and that I’m some one’s mom, but it’s the most amazing thing in the world and I wouldn’t change one single thing about how I got here and how I got the best Christmas gift ever, my Lily.