On July 16, 2001, (my due date) I went in for a routine check-up and found out I was 2 cm. dilated. My doctor said, "Any day now." I was very excited, however the days came and went with no signs of labor. I had already lost my mucus plug two weeks earlier, so all I was waiting for was either the onset of contractions or for my water to break.
July 18, 2001, saw me at the mall with my mom and cousin. All through the day I had been experiencing lower back pain, which my mom believed was a sign of labor. Being a first-time mom, I didn't know what to expect. As the hours passed the pain got worse and all I wanted to do was to go home, lie down and relax. Eventually at about 8:00 p.m., I went home and decided to watch T.V. The pain slightly decreased, and I felt comfortable. My youngest brother came over to spend the night, and I went to lie down.
My husband was working the swing shift that week, so I was hoping for the baby to come during the day. I dozed off, and woke around 11:00 p.m. to go to the bathroom. I noticed blood on the toilet paper and felt a little worried because I wasn't sure why I was bleeding. I went back to my room, laid down and called my husband to advise him to keep the phone close to him. I told him what I was experiencing, and he replied he didn't think I´d be going to the hospital that night. After about 15 minutes of lying down I got back up, went to the restroom and noticed more blood. As I was walking back to my room I felt what I thought to be my first contraction. I started timing them and they were approximately five minutes apart. I then called my sister-in-law who came right over and started timing my contractions while I called the hospital. The nurse advised me to take a shower, relax, then go to the hospital when I wasn´t able to tolerate the contractions any longer.
After my shower I got dressed, combed my hair and decided it was time to go. My sister-in-law called my husband and mother, and woke up my brother. We proceeded to the hospital, where we arrived around 1:00 a.m.
In the labor room my nurse introduced herself and I was given a gown to change into. The nurse then checked for my temperature and blood pressure and realized I had a fever. I was started on an IV right away and checked for dilation. The exam revealed that I was 4 cm. dilated and I figured I had a short time to go. I was so excited because in a few hours I was finally going to see my baby girl! My husband arrived at 2:00 a.m., dirty and of course exhausted. I told him to go home and shower because there was no way I was going to let him hold our baby until after he´d cleaned up.
I wasn't handling the pain very well, and even though I had previously decided not to take anything I asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came to my room, explained the whole process and proceeded to try and find a space to insert the epidural. After two tries she was unable to insert it and I felt like that was not for me. I told my nurse I didn´t want to continue with the epidural and to check if I had dilated any further. By then I´d reached 7 cm. My water hadn´t ruptured yet so the midwife proceeded to do that.
Freshly showered, my husband returned as I was experiencing the worst pains of all. I´d dilated to 8 cm. and the nurses kept rushing into the room to change the position of the fetal monitor due to the baby's sudden drops in heart rate. I was given an oxygen mask to help pass oxygen to the baby. I was very scared because in reality I did not know what was going on. At about 6:30 a.m. my baby's heart rate really dropped and all the nurses and the midwife rushed into my room and inserted an internal fetal monitor to help get a better reading.
I thought everything was going well, however when the midwife checked to see if I had dilated any more she realized I was stuck at 8 cm. Then my baby's heart rate dropped further, and the nurses called the OB/GYN on call, who explained that my baby was in fetal distress and needed to be taken out right away by a Cesarean section. I was terrified because my baby was at risk. They wheeled me out of my room to the operation room. I was prepped and after two more tries the anesthesiologist finally got the epidural in.
My little princess Gizelle Andrea was born on July 19, 2001 at 7:58 a.m. weighing in at nine pounds, two ounces and measuring nineteen and a quarter inches long. She is now two years old and when she wakes up every morning and smiles at me I realize that she was worth all the pain I endured to bring her into the world.