November 16, 2016
She’s here. Our beautiful, amazing perfect little girl is here. I am so in love.
11.9.2016 – due date. I went in for my 40 weeks appointment and everything looked okay, we talked induction date (11/18) but Rachel was concerned about my stomach measuring small. She requested a growth ultrasound to check fluid levels but the technician had already left for the day. So we scheduled an appointment for the next morning and went home with a bit of uneasiness. But also a little excitement because we could be having the baby the next day.
11.10.2016 – We woke up early the next morning despite the appointment being at 10:20. Packed our bags for the hospital just in case, and headed out the door. I felt really calm but slightly apprehensive because I just wanted to know what was going to happen. Sure enough, growth check showed low fluid levels and the doctor recommended grabbing some lunch before heading to the hospital to have our baby. Stunned isn’t the right word to use, but the same kind of numbness swept over me with happiness and I was just ready. After lunch, we got to hospital and checked in. Then we waited for a couple hours for a room and nurse and had some fun (:
When we got to the room, I got set up with an IV and a foley bulb to ripen my cervix. Baby was already low, I believe almost +2 position but my cervix opening was tilted back so her head hadn’t been pressing on it directly to open. Not going to lie the foley bulb felt so odd. Alex left to grab Changs for dinner at my request. I was craving honey sauce and rice. He got back and literally minutes later at 7:36pm, I stood up at the foley bulb fell out. My cervix was about 4cm. They let me eat dinner and started me on pitocin to begin my contractions at 9:58pm.
For the beginning the contractions were breathable but it quickly became apparent to me the hardest part was going to be relaxing and breathing through the back pain. I started shaking uncontrollably which was exhausting. The contractions themselves were bearable but the intense back pain ached and the shakes refused to let my body relax. I tried a few positions. Because I was being constantly monitored, walking around wasn’t much of an option so I stood some, but the shakes left me weak. Alex did amazing, he held me, he rubbed me, he held a cup for me as I puked. He kept me strong through the worst of it. Around 8 in the morning, doctors changed (Brazeale was awesome) and Alvarez came in and after a painful check for my cervix, he said there was little change but my water was bulging. Shortly after breaking my water, I felt some relief from all the pressure. But Alvarez and our nurse, Heather, spoke firmly with me as the pain worsened. My cervix was still not dilating. Exhausted, Alex held me as I asked for the epidural. AT 9:40am they gave me the epidural and immediately my legs grew warm as the medicine started working. I cannot express the relief as the contraction pain in my back subsided, and my legs stayed warm. The nurse brought warm blankets and just the fact of being warm slowly eased my shakes. The nurse told me to sleep and both me and Alex crashed. I woke up, they had me roll to the other side and Heather put the birthing peanut ball between my legs to help speed up my cervix opening. After noonish, Heather checked my cervix and announced, “Well you’re at 10 cm and I feel her head and hair.”
I was ecstatic. Alex woke up and we asked for a birthing mirror. I am so so glad we did, it was absolutely magically watching her birth. Alvarez came in and we got set up to push. The first time Deb, Alex and Heather coached me to push, I had the odd feeling of not feeling anything and not knowing what or how to do it. It’s still amusing to me remembering that feeling. Within about 5 pushes, Alvarez told me to just relax as my body naturally pushed her all the way out. It was incredible and I couldn’t believe it, one of the most amazing moments of my life. Alvarez clamped her cord and had Alex cut it. Immediately they placed her on my chest. Skin to skin is still my favorite thing in the world. She also latched perfectly later on and watching her nurse was special. She opened her eyes and just stared at me. I couldn’t take my eyes off her so I didn’t notice (and obviously i didn’t feel) the placenta birth as well but Alex described it as really clean.
Riley Alexis Ocasio was born at 1:02pm, 11.11.16 and she weighed 6lbs 13 oz and was 20″ long. We were able to leave the hospital around 36 hours later because mama and baby were healthy and doing well. Our families came and visited her both the night she was born and the morning after (: Being home with her and spending time as a little family has been the best few days of life. Alex and I are so happy and we are so in love.