Thursday, September 5, 2013

Alexia's first all-nighter (almost)

I know I promised my next post would be about choosing Alexia's name, but Alexia clearly had other plans. 

Last night, Alexia decided it would be a good night to try to pull an all nighter. From 9pm to 5am, she slept for only 2 hours and cried and fussed for the rest of the time. Yesterday morning, LoLo and I both woke up with sore throats. We told each other we'd go to sleep early so that we could rest and try to fight off any cold that might be trying to make its way to us. Alexia must have been laughing when she heard us say that.

She's lucky she has this sweet little face!
 We brought her upstairs around 9 after she finished eating and were all ready to put her in her pjs and into her bassinet. I set her down on our bed and ran to the bathroom to get something. When I came back, I could smell that she needed to be changed. When I picked her up though, I realized her diaper had leaked. On our bed. I ran her to the bathroom and held her over the sink and she went again. LoLo stripped her down and cleaned her up while I took off the duvet cover and brought it and her clothes down to the laundry. No big deal.

Two hours later, at 11:45, Alexia was still awake. Now one thing you need to know about this baby is that she sleeps a lot. Like so much that she only wakes up to eat and then goes immediately back to sleep. Being awake for two hours is not something that happens with her. I kept trying to feed her but she wasn't hungry. She just wanted to fuss so we let her. Soon we figured out why when she spit up all over herself. Another change of clothes and another trip down to the laundry. Still no big deal. We got her comfortable and put her in her bassinet to sleep.

Two hours later, she was awake again. I figured we'd feed her and she'd fall right back to sleep like she normally does. Not last night. She cried and cried. We gave her a pacifier for the first time and she spit it out. We checked her temperature to make sure she didn't have a fever. LoLo rocked her in the rocking chair and even though it started putting him to sleep, she was wide awake. At around 3, she finally fell asleep. I put her in the bassinet and ten minutes later, she was screaming again. I couldn't help but cry. I didn't feel well and just wanted to rest so that I could get better. I didn't know why she was so upset.

At around 4:30 when I felt like I just couldn't take it anymore, I held her tight in my arms with her little face pressed up against mine and started rocking in the bed. She started falling asleep. I started to cry again but this time because I kept thinking about how much I loved her. How if this were anyone else messing with my sleep, I would be furious but because it was her all I could think of was how much I loved her.

It was a moment I don't think I'll ever forget. It was in that moment that I realized I'm really a mom. It was in that moment that I realized I love her more than I love myself.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's a Girl!! The birth story

Most of you have heard by now that I had my baby. Alexia Lidia Santana was born on Saturday, August 17 at 2:32pm, ten days before her due date. She was 8 pounds, 15 ounces and 21 inches long. LoLo and I are so happy and love her so much already!

It all started Friday evening when I got home from work around 6:20. As I was driving home, I called my mom like I always do. When I stepped out of the car, I told her "Ummm, Mom? Either I just peed myself or my water broke." I ran into the house and up the stairs to the bathroom to make sure. There was no doubt. Immediately I started yelling for LoLo but he was downstairs in the basement playing a video game and couldn't hear me. I called his phone and he didn't answer so I just kept yelling until he finally heard me and came running. The first thing he said was, "Do I have time to take a shower?" Really LoLo? That's your concern? That question makes me laugh now but at the time...

I called the doctor and he said to take our time but to come to the hospital as soon as we were ready. LoLo took a shower, I finished packing my bag and the baby's, and we were on our way to the hospital.

We arrived around 7:15pm and were taken immediately to a labor and delivery room because all of the triage rooms were full. The room was huge. They checked me out and I was 1cm dilated. I wasn't having any contractions so they let me go down to the cafe to get some food, walk around my room, hang out with LoLo and my mom, and watch the Red Sox game. They told me that if my contractions didn't start by 10:30, they would start pitocin.

Hanging out before they started the pitocin.
 At 10:30, I hadn't had any contractions so they started the pitocin. I was so scared because I had heard that pitocin makes the contractions come hard and fast, but the contractions weren't too bad until the morning. By about 6:30am Saturday, I was 5cm dilated and the contractions were coming really strong. By this time, I was exhausted and almost crying with each one. It was definitely time for some pain medication. They gave me a temporary medicine that helped a little bit, but I knew I wanted the epidural. Around 8am, the anesthesiologists were able to come to my room.

Walking around before my epidural.
I'm not ashamed at all to say that the epidural was a miracle drug. I went from almost crying to falling asleep and only feeling a little pressure from the contractions. By 9:30, I was already 7cm dilated. At 11, I was 9. By noon, I was fully dilated. When the doctors checked me then, they told me to let them know when I felt like I needed to push. That was the second time that I felt terrified. I even asked if I really had to push or if I could just stay the way I was. The doctor's answer was "Well, the only way you're going to get this baby out is if you push. It's not coming out on it's own!"

Happy again after getting the epidural.
By 1:30 the nurse came back in and asked if I felt the need to push yet. When I said no, she said "Well, it's time!" It came instinctively to me. With each contraction, I would push 3 times for 10 seconds each. In between contractions, I was making jokes and laughing and chatting. I told you, the epidural was a miracle drug. I could feel just enough to know when to push, but all I felt was pressure. The nurse was amazing. To help me push, she twisted up a bed sheet and knotted each end. I held one end and she held the other. With each push, she had me play tug of war with her. In less than a half an hour, she told me it was almost time and she needed to get the doctor.

When the doctor came in, he made the same comment as everyone else who entered the room: "Wow! I can see the head and that baby has a ton of hair!" As I continued pushing, the doctor called over the medical student who was shadowing him that day. He told her, "Quick! Come here! You may never see this again. The baby is moving it's head to try to get out!" 

When they finally pulled her out, the doctor brought her up to my chest to show us that she was a girl. At first, her umbilical cord was in the way and LoLo and I couldn't tell if she was a boy or a girl. But a few seconds later, it was obvious. We were both so excited. LoLo cut the cord and the nurses took her away to be checked out. As LoLo and I stared at each other in awe that we were parents of a beautiful little girl, we whispered to each other about the name.

In my next post I'll tell you more about her name and the first few days of her precious little life.