On Sunday July 10, 2022, at 8pm, my sister, Omar and I walked into the hospital and we were ready to walk our with our newborn son. That week, prior to Sunday, we kept trying all the things to try to get little man to come on his own. Lots of walking, drinking water and tea and yoga circuits but no signs he was coming. On Friday, I swore my water broke and the 3 of us ventured to the hospital only to be told my water had not broken but rather I had peed on myself (opps! lol). That Sunday, we took it easy. We finalize the bags, tripled checked the carseat and had a small carne asada at my house. It was then go time. Michelle, Omar and I loaded up in the car, stopped at Walmart (thanks to Omar lol) and we headed to the hospital. I was all checked in and the show started - slowly but it started.
We opted for a small tape-like medication to be placed on the cervix to try to get it to thin and dilate. They placed the tape at 10:02pm and things were pretty slow going. Omar went and got us dinner - tacos and quesadillas from the taco truck and we finally got to sleep around 2am. I woke up at 3:23am because I felt like I had to pee. The moment I got up from the bed, a splash hit the floor.- my water had broke! At 3:58am, the test came back confirming that indeed it was my water and not pee like last time. Around 6:45am, the contractions started to get more intense. A quick checked confirmed that I was more effaced but no real sign dilating. By 7:00am, the pain was getting to me. I had asked for the epidural as I knew that if I didn't get it, I would be too exhausted to push. However, the nurse was good and reminded me of my "plan" - to not jump to the epidural right away. We started with nitrous gas to help with the pain. I also asked for a peanut ball to help with labor pains However, between my asthma and the anxiety every time I put the mask on to breathe, the anxiety would take over and I would throw myself into a minor asthma attack feeling like I could not breath with it on. At 8:50am, the nurse administer an IV pain medication as the gas was to helping. By 10:30am, I was 2cm and almost completely effaced. There was lots of breathing techniques and swaying for those few hours. They tried to get me to eat something before I got the epidural as I would be unable to eat once I got it. Amid a contraction, the one thing I was able to actually eat came right back out. I remember Michelle had been chewing Juicy Fruit and the moment I got a smell of it I told her to get rid of it it made my stomach turn!
I had a great support team to help me during labor - Omar, Michelle and my mom were there. Later, Omar's middle son also came and was there when the baby was born. At 11:51am, they placed the epidural. I remember the anesthesiologist came in and was getting me ready. My mom and Michelle were there supporting me while he started the procedure. He got everything ready and then said that he forgot the actual mediation! I remember saying "Are you fucking serious? Hurry up please!" and right then and there, during a contraction, he placed the epidural. The moment he ran the test medication, my sister said she could see my body relax. See, once the tape triggered labor pains, my body went into full on labor. My contractions were lasting between a 45-90 seconds and were coming every 30-60 seconds; I was not able to relax in between them as I could feel the next one coming. Along with the epidural, they started a slow Pitocin drip to enable labor to continue while I napped. By 12:05pm, I was up to 5cm. At 1:04pm, I was 8cm. My doctor came in at 2:40pm and checked me and the baby. She was surprised with how quickly by body was responding to being induced and said she did not think we would start pushing before 3pm. With every contraction, his heart rate would drastically increase then drop. He kept falling off the belly heart rate monitor and we opted to have the prob placed to ensure his heart was doing well - at that time, his wellbeing was more important than anything. She took me off Pitocin to give the baby a break. I started to feel pressure and at 2:50pm, she decided we were going to try to start pushing. Omar was at my side and was helping hold my leg. I pushed then he slowly put my leg down and tried walking away. The doctor grabbed him and asked where he was going. He said "I thought it was just practice. What are we doing?" and she responded with "We are having this baby, it's go time."
By 3:22pm, the baby was getting lower and lower with the help of the vacuum. As time progressed, I remember I was feeling defeated and like I could not keep going. I even asked my doctor if she can use the vacuum again and I remember she looked at me and said "Julie, I will not use the vacuum anymore, you have to do it from here on out, you CAN do it. You HAVE to do it, if we can't then we will go into emergency C-Section." I looked up towards the ceiling and in the glass of the light, I was able to see what was happening! It gave me the urge to keep going. After the three 10-second pushes, I remember saying "no I can't [stop and take a break], I have to push I have to push" it really is a natural reaction, I was not pushing, my body had taken over and it was pushing. At 4:15pm, Ezekiel Roberto was born 🤍
When a baby is born, there's the immediate cry. My goal was that they would place him on me immediately for skin to skin and possible a feeding and delay the cord clamping while we had the golden hour then Omar would cut the cord. However, when Ezekiel was born, I did not hear a cry. I remember asking Omar and Michele over and over "why is he not crying." Later, the doctor confirmed that he had his cord wrapped around his neck. As soon as he was out, the doctor cut the cord and took him to the warmer for the NICU team to work on him. It literally felt like hours but in reality, Michelle confirmed it was seconds. Then I heard the sweetest sound - my son let out his first cry. He sounded like a little kitten meowing.
When they brought baby to me I got emotional and covered my eyes in complete emotional shock that he was finally here and I’m his momma before they placed him on my chest 🤍 He was here; my son was here and in my arms. We were overcome with emotion and we could not wait to get him home.