Zara's Birth Story
Today is Zara’s birthday and I wanted to share her birth story with all of you. When Zara was first born I wanted to document her story in my own words, but I was so tired and busy trying to figure out how to care for this tiny little human that I just couldn't get my thoughts straight. I was sleep deprived while also overwhelmed with joy and with every other emotion known to man that it was difficult for me to write anything that made sense, but here we are four years later and counting! Giving birth was a beautiful and life changing experience, but I learned that these things never go as planned. For all of you expecting and future mothers, I hope that this story encourages you and gives you an idea of things you can expect.
It feels just like yesterday. It was one in the morning on Valentine's Day in 2014 and I woke up feeling mild contractions. They weren’t too painful and the contractions were not that close together. I was still able to walk around and these early contractions weren’t anything like what you see in the movies. I woke Jon up and I let him know that I was having some mild contractions and that he should cancel whatever plans we had for the day because we would probably be having a baby soon.
It was already two weeks past my due date so we already had a follow up appointment scheduled for 10am on Valentine's day. As we got ready for our appointment I made sure that Jon grabbed my hospital bags because I just had that feeling that we would not be coming back home. When we made it in for our appointment my contractions were still not close enough to be considered labor, but my blood pressure was a bit higher than usual. As a precaution, they tested my blood pressure three times.
After the third time, my blood pressure was still too high so they felt it was necessary to have ultrasound done to check on Zara. They found that the amniotic fluid was low, there was a leak and Zara was now at risk for infections and there was a possibility that the fluid could run out so they told me then I needed to get admitted to the hospital right away. We checked in at the Labor and Delivery department at around 11:30 am. My original plan was to have our baby at the birthing center with the midwives, but that would no longer an option due to the amniotic fluid leak.
After about 30 minutes of monitoring Zara’s heartbeat and my blood pressure my midwife came into the room and told me that I had preeclampsia so they would need to give me magnesium through the IV to prevent seizures during labor and that I may need to be induced for labor if my body did not dilate soon.
Let me remind you, this is my FIRST time giving birth and at this point I was confused, scared and just wanted to have hold my daughter in my arms and as if labor wasn't scary enough on its own, I had to do it while dealing with the side-effects of magnesium. I was extremely drowsy, had horrible nausea and I was vomiting every five minutes.
At 2:30pm on Valentine’s Day I was only 2cm dilated so it was decided I that I would need to be induced for labor in order to speed up the process before any major complications arose. I asked how long it would take to give birth once I was induced and they informed me that it could take from a few hours up to two or three days. So with blurry vision, slurred speech and nausea I spent Valentine's Day 2014 in a hospital bed waiting for a baby.
I woke up the next morning extremely tired from the magnesium and with nurses coming in and out of my room every few minutes to check on me and my body was dilating veeeeery slowly.
The magnesium made my body feel so weak that with each contraction I felt like I was going to break in two. Around 11am the anesthesiologist came in the room and asked me if I wanted an epidural. This was a question I had been dreading for the prior 10 months. I really really didn't want it. My original plan was to have a natural birth with a midwife at the birthing center and if I got the epidural I felt like I would be conceding once again and scrapping my plans completely. I looked over to Jon hoping he would answer for me so I could blame him for it afterwards, but all he kept saying was that it was up to me. After factoring everything in and with the pain I was dealing with I decided to have the epidural.
As soon as the anesthesiologist injected me it felt like a stream of cool liquid running through my veins that took the edge out of each contraction. An hour later my water broke, and it was finally time. The doula came in with ice chips, a hand fan and an impressive collection of essential oils and she was very encouraging the entire time I was pushing. Even with the epidural I was still able to feel the contractions so I was able to push with every contraction. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but its really helpful to feel your body contacting and knowing when to push.
I was exhausted after an hour of pushing and still no baby. My doula was a sweetheart, she fanned me, fed me ice chips and she even applied Chap stick and made sure to let me know that I was doing a great job.
Finally, after another two and a half hours of pushing and crushing Jon’s hand with every contraction I remember crying and saying that I couldn’t push anymore because I didn’t have any more strength, but as soon as I said that I heard the midwife telling me that the baby was crowning, I even had Jon check because I thought they were lying to me, but sure enough Zara was crowning and all of a sudden I gained a second wind and started pushing with every ounce of strength I had remaining. I could feel the blood rushing to my face as I screamed and pushed and suddenly I hear a baby cry. She was the most precious and beautiful little human I had ever seen.
Zara was born at 2:34pm on Saturday, February 15, 2014. 6lbs3oz - 20.90 long
She was peaceful and quiet as they placed her on my chest. Her her eyes wide open as if she was scanning the room. The moment she rested her cheek on my chest I became her mom. This was hands down one of the greatest moments of my life and just like that the Ramirez party of two became a party of three.