One year ago our precious son decided to make his grand entrance into the world. He didn't come early, he didn't come late, he came right on time - on his due date. This is what I looked on the morning of February 4, 2009 before I left for work in the morning. 40 weeks exactly and huge!
**Warning - My labor and delivery story follows so if you don't care to read the details stop!**
My long term sub, Kristine, was working with me that day in my first grade class and she was supposed to be with me for the next two days as well. I started having small contractions at about 9 am but didn't tell anyone. Kristine was a blessing to have there because she made me sit with my fat feet up and drink water all day. As she taught my class I sat at my reading table in the back of the room working with small groups or one on one with students or just simply sitting and doing nothing. I thought I was just having Braxton Hicks contractions like I had been the last week or so but after a short while I noticed they were coming more frequently, lasting a little longer, and felt a lot different than those practice contractions - they were beginning to hurt! I began writing down times on an index card and by noon I knew I was beginning the labor process. When it was time to take the kids out to recess, I decided to stay inside and when Kristine brought my class back in I met her and Jennifer in the hall and teared up big time. I told them that I thought I was in labor and my contractions were from 4-7 minutes apart so I called Hector and my parents. My parents had been in town waiting for our baby to arrive and when I called them they said they were going to come pick me up from work. As I waited with Jennifer by the gym doors of my school, I cried tears of excitement, fear, nervousness, and joy. My dad was driving to get me and he kept telling my mom to calm down and he was the one who was getting a little worked up! My mom had to tell him to slow down. I had to wait at home for about 30-4 5minutes for Hector to get home from work. At the house my mom and dad were helping me breathe through contractions and rubbing my back with tennis balls. When Hector got home, we loaded my bag in the car and headed to the Woodlands to the hospital. We arrived at 4:15 and when I told the nurses at Labor and Delivery that I was in labor they didn't really believe me - they said most first time moms are sent home at least once before actual labor really begins. They took me back to triage and discovered I was at 3 cm and you have to be at a 4 to be admitted. They said they would come back in about an hour and half to check me again and when they came back 45 minutes later I was at a 5. My pain was pretty high then and I was convinced I wanted an epidural at this point. After receiving the epidural, I felt like a new woman. I was smiling again and progressing fairly fast. Soon after I told the nurse that my right arm was feeling a little wierd and my hand was numb and she kept insisting that it was the blood pressure cuff tightening on my arm causing it. I didn't know any better but the next thing I knew I was asking Hector what was wrong with my right eye. It was drooping over and trying to close on its own. They had to turn my epidural drip off for awhile because it was giving me too much on the right side of my body! It was quite strange! The L&D nurse who was taking care of me was new and had to keep asking other nurses for help. She was making me a little nervous going in and out of the room with her uncertainty about things. As time went on and I was getting closer to 10 cm my water broke or the nurse broke my water (I don't remember which) and when she saw it she ran out of the room as fast as she could. That really scared Hector and me but all we could do was wait. She came back in and informed us that there was meconium in the water and that we were going to have to deliver fast. The doctor came in shortly after in regular clothes and after about 45 minutes of pushing I delivered a 9 pound 2 ounce baby. When a full head of hair was seen, Hector proclaimed that it was a boy but we were still waiting on our surprise. The doctor had to use forceps to help the baby out. They had to suction the baby to get all the ingested meconium out and they pulled 3 huge tubes of it from the baby. When the baby was totally delivered they announced it was a boy, Hector cut the cord, the doctor held Santiago in the air for me to see and then they quickly put him in a bassinet to suction more from him. All I could hear is crying and all I could see was his big feet wiggling. After they got him cleaned up a little bit and swaddled, they let me kiss him and then they had to take him away to be closely monitored. Hector and I had talked before about what he should do if something was wrong with the baby. We were hoping that everything would be fine but good thing we did discuss this because we had decided that he would go wherever the baby went and leave me with my parents. While he was away with the baby, the doctor discovered that my placenta had ruptured as well. I immediately started running a fever and both Santiago and myself had to be put on antibiotics right away. Santi had to stay an extra day in the hospital to finish up his antibiotics by IV so we were there a total of 3 days.
At 11:38 PM February 4, 2009 we were blessed with our beautiful baby boy. It has been a fabulous year and we can't wait to see what the future holds for our little man. And because it is Santiago's birthday - here he is in his birthday suit!