It was Sunday, April 24th and I had just reached my 40 weeks so I knew time was up and this was the moment we were waiting for. I would be lying if I said I wasn´t nervous, but this feeling turned into excitement, anxiety and love, all the love in the world we had in store for our soon-to-be born baby!
As soon as you know you are ready to pop, all of your relatives and close friends pregnancy stories turn into a live movie in your head. Around 2:00 am. contractions began to kick in, every 15 minutes to be precise. It has been by far, the biggest pain in my entire life. It felt like I was dropping a cannon ball from my behind every time the contraction started to happen. I decided to call my doctor and she said: “don’t come to the hospital until you are having contractions every 3-5 minutes or the hospital will send you back home”. I went like this for 2 hours until the pain was unbearable. I decided to wake up “sleeping beauty”, that´s my husband BTW, and tell him that I was ready and IT WAS TIME TO GO!
We went downstairs and called an UBER. The driver was so nice to us and he tried to avoid any potholes but hey… this is Manhattan and it was still bumpy and I felt like tearing the driver´s seat apart.
We got to the hospital to check in. I had already dilated 4.5cm. Before they took me to in for check up, I remember saying: “I want all the drugs!” Nurses got a laugh with my comment and then said: “OK, you can go in now”. I am definitely positive 9 out 10 moms have the same demand before going into labor. Whats most important is that if you don´t ask for the drugs, more likely they will send you home until you are at least 7cm dilated and I was not going to go back home with the cannon ball coming out feeling.
One of the best feelings ever was the epidural. I admire every single moment in this planet that gone through labor without painkillers. A nurse came 3 times to tell me that I could stop pressing the button to release the drug because it activates every 15 minutes so even if I pressed 10 times, it was not going to work. Nevertheless, that thing did its job because I slept most of the day, listening to my (LABOR DAY PLAYLIST) of course. I was very relaxed but the down side to this was that my water had not broken yet and my dilation didn’t increase since I was given the epidural. Around four thirty, three doctors and a couple of nurses said it was time for me to go into labor and I had already dilated 11 cm. Mom, dad and sis gave me and my husband a kiss/hug wishing us good luck ☺.
After almost 2 hrs pushing, there was no way our baby was going to make it through, because her head was too big and it was not until the baby´s heartbeat began to drop that they decided to perform a C-Section. Lets get prepared for more drugs and labor part no.2.
My husband never left my side and I do remember that, despite my lower body being numb, I felt like someone was wrestling on top of me because of the pressure of the doctors trying to get the baby out. At 6:47 pm. one nurse said… “OH BOY” and my husband said to me… “there´s our boy”; and then she continued… “Her cheeks are so cute!” I was like.. HER? My husband smiled at me and he said: “you wanted to be surprised right?” and boy was she was a big baby. Meet our little one, Hannah Alexandra Schreier.
Weight: 8 pounds 3 ounces; length: 51 cm
Yes, I was filming my husband and not the other way around till the nurses said that there was no recording allowed in the OR. Seriously? But I got enough footage of my loved ones.
What a day April 25th was. I felt exhausted since I have been in the hospital since 5 am., but extremely happy now that my baby girl was finally with us. They took me to recovery room and I asked one of the nurses to get my mom and then my sister because I knew the wanted to see how I was doing after everything that had happened. My dad and my former roommate went in for a little bit while my husband went to check on our little one.
Everyone recommended to get as much rest as I could because as soon as I had my baby with me it was going to be a whole different story, so I asked the nurse not to bring her until 7 am.
Around 3 am. one nurse came into the room pushing a portable clear box and something wrapped in it. I could barely move because of the C-Section, so I moved to one side of the bed, curious about the trey. This may sound absurd but with all the drugs I had been given, I thought a gift was being delivered or maybe it was time to eat.
I turn around and I see this beautiful button face, chubby cheeks, eyes closed, and said to the nurse: “I thought you were going to bring her at 7 am.”. “I will bring her later”, she said, but as I saw the clear box pulled away, I felt like someone was ripping everything away from me so I said to the nurse: “No, wait…please. Leave her here with me”. The nurse handed Hannah over as I asked her: “what do I do with her now?”
The nurse smiled and said: “anything you want to. Congratulations mommy”. The pain I had described before was all gone and I started to move a little bit more. I leaned forward and picked my baby. Yes…my SHE was home. This is the best feeling and I will never forget this moment. I have listened friends talk about this experience and how much love you get to feel for the first time, but honestly, no one will be close enough to understand this feeling until you live it.
Hannah and I had our first of many quality time moments alone, the word abortion popped into my head and all I could think was: “what if we had decided to terminate our pregnancy? What´s so wrong about the possibility of a DS baby when all I see is nothing but perfection? How can another human being made me consider doing something like this? Insane!
I didn’t want to let her go at all and also didn´t get any more sleep afraid I could drop her. I guess this is common when you´re a first time mom, but most important, I just kept staring at her more or less from 3:30 a.m. to 6 am. and painkillers started to come my way again at 6 am. for every 6 hours. YEI! ( I usually never take medicine but this experience made me ask for everything I could take.)
One of the nurses said: “we need to take Hannah for a while” and I was like… “You are not taking her anywhere”. They laughed because I was extremely apprehensive.
Another funny quote was the story of my sister almost killing “literally” a poor balloon delivery guy because the arrangement was not what she had ordered. It was beautiful to see her walking into the room with so many balloons for us and I can´t even imagine what was what she really ordered.
The next couple of days were really something, between doctors paying us visits, nurses constantly walking in and out of the room, friends coming over and learning how to be a parent. It was fun until we were taught how to wrap our little one like a “taco”. It looks so easy when nurses did it but it´s completely different when we tried. I have to recognize that my husband did a magnificent job and I had to learn from him.
Everything was going well until doctors came in the room to inform that our baby had Jaundice, which usually appears in the baby´s first five days of life. Jaundice occurs when your baby has high bilirubin levels (my husband used to sing to Hannah “La Bilirrubina”, by Juan Luis Guerra”, a very famous latin song and that way we would be less stressed dealing with Hannah being in an incubator. Doctors reassured us this was nothing to worry about and not to get alarmed. They also said this was normal in newborns and in our case was probably because we had different blood types, mine being B negative and my baby´s AB positive.
She was going to be inside an incubator in the NICU with UV rays, all cozy as if she were at the beach, in her own personal tanning bed until her bilirubin level was stable. I have to admit that when I went to see her for the first time, she looked extremely comfortable, with tanning glasses, her arm behind her head and my sister in the other side of the incubator calling her “Bono”.
Couple of days went by and overall it was all peaches and cream, until one morning one of the doctors, a Geneticist, came to our room to talk about our little Hannah.