Saturday, April 25, 2015

Nainoa's birth story

Thank you for taking the time to read about our sons happy birth day. I would love to know your thoughts or questions about it so please comment at the end.

It's been 24 hours since our third baby beautifully came into our lives. I am laying on my bed resting and listening to him make sweet newborn noises. I feel like I'm in heaven.

Nainoa Colton Gomez (Juan likes to call him baby Nai) decided to make us wait a little for his arrival. He was due on April 16th which came and went with no signs of labor. I was fine with that because my in-laws arrived that very day and it was nice to catch up with them and get them settled into our routine with Marcus and Melia. I was very relieved that I didn't go into labor before they came because without their help we are pretty alone here in Texas. We do have a great ward family and neighbors that were ready and willing to step in and help us. But it is nice to have live-ins when you have needy babies running around the house. Melia took to her abuelita (grandma) so nicely. She was shy at first but then it was like she remembered her from her last visit and would not let her go after that. She started call her 'Pia!' and would rather go to her than anyone else. Marcus loves to play with 'Pita', Juan's grandma so it has worked out nicely.


My in-laws were expecting me to go into labor any minute so the days dragged on and everyone started to get very anxious. I had my 41 week appointment with my midwife, Bernadette on Thursday April 23rd. She asked me if I wanted my membranes swept and call me crazy but I just didn't feel right about it. I wasn't ready. I hadn't had enough sleep the night before and to be completely honest I was having some fears. Fear is a very powerful demotivator and women naturally have many things to be fearful of. I knew that I shouldn't be fearful because I had been preparing my whole pregnancy, as well as my last pregnancy, for delivery time. Still, it's like a championship match in sports. Athletes prepare so much and for so long and it all comes down to one short game where they have to prove themselves and perform their very best.

Bernadette told me to go home, rest up, mentally prepare and come back the next morning ready to have a baby. So I did. Well first I went to the grocery store to make sure we had plenty of food in stock (not just for us but also because my brother-in-law had just flown in and boy can he eat! Lol). That afternoon it was hard to rest with all the excitement and kiddos so my Nano (Juan) took me out on a date. We went to a movie (Age of Adaline- great movie by the way) and for a walk in the park. Nano really helped me feel supported and empowered and got me pumped up and ready to give birth.

The next morning, at 3 am I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. My thoughts were racing and my back was aching. Honestly, I hate being pregnant, it is so hard for me! I am nauseous after every meal, I have anemia and PICA (a condition that makes me crave non-foods like chalk, dirt, and concrete), and my back, hips and pelvis are always sore. But, I'll stop complaining because many women have it worse than me and I always tell myself to be grateful because my babies, though debilitatingly parasitic, are healthy. If I didn't have healthy pregnancies I wouldn't be able to birth the way I choose to so that is a big plus.

When Nano woke up I asked him to give me a blessing (he is a priesthood holder in our faith and can put his hands on my head and give me a blessing through the spirit). He quickly did so and got ready for work and the gym and took off. I was able to fall back asleep but after an hour was awakened by the garage door. I thought to myself, 'oh I really hope he is going to stay with me.' He came upstairs and said, "I don't know what I was thinking, I'm not going to work, I'm going with you to your appointment!" I was so grateful he followed the spirit! I needed him!

We quickly got ready and he woke up his mom and grandma to make us breakfast. Grateful again! I was just going to have a piece of toast. They made us a feast and we took off for the birth center with full bellies. 8:00 am. When we got there my midwife made me drink a strong tea to help soften my cervix and then checked me. I was dilated to a 4. She got things going by separating the bag of waters a little from the uterine wall. She said his head was not in an ideal position so she adjusted my back a little and did some interesting massage on my lower back. Then she told us to go walk for an hour and then come straight back.

There was a nice big park nearby so we stopped there to walk it out. It was a beatiful morning. A little sticky with humidity but there was a nice breeze and the park was full of birds singing and friendly squirrels rastling around. This is my idea of the beginning of a natural childbirth experience. Nano only noticed the mosquitoes. If you know my family you'd know that we all get stupidly optimistic every time we head out into nature. I mean, I was in the middle of a contraction and I saw a bunny rabbit in the bush and I started inching closer to get a good look at it! Nano had been timing my contractions and asked, "so did your contraction stop then?" I was like 'oh yeah, I think so.' Talk about pain management! I called my dad and told him where I was. He told me I couldn't leave until I spotted an armadillo. I know, we are ridiculous. On with the birth story.

My contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart and about 2 minutes long but not strong. Very manageable. I was able to walk through all of them. 10:00 am. When we got back to the birth center they sent us to our room and told us to make ourselves at home. This is the first reason I love birth centers. They make you feel at home. We had a queen size bed in the room, decorations, high ceilings, windows, comfortable chairs and an over-sized tub. We got situated and I laid down to rest up a bit.

Nano just looked at me like now what? I told him I just wanted to rest before my contractions got stronger. I guess he didn't feel totally comfortable because he said, "why don't we just go home and wait until you really go into labor?" Um, honey I am in labor. He argued back that I probably had a good 3 or 4 hours until things would really get going. I told him the last thing I wanted to do was get in the car and go home to messy screaming toddlers just to turn around and come back. He persisted and tried to convince me. Finally, I said, "let's wait till she checks me and see what she says." Nano, "okay, fine."

Bernadette came in minutes later to check my dilation and sure enough I was almost to a 7. Of course being the competitive couple that we are, I looked at Nano like 'see, told ya!' and he rolled his eyes. Bernadette kept checking me and tried to stretch me a bit when, oops! she broke my water. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to try to birth Nainoa in his bag like I did with Melia but, oh well, He would be born in a bigger bag/tub of water. My midwife said, "okay, into the tub you go!" and off we went. It was so relieving to be in the water! I felt weightless and was able to move around freely. Nano sat by the edge of the tub and massaged me through each contraction. The greatest tender mercy of giving birth is the break you get in between surges. We were able to joke around and discuss private things and then go work when a contraction came. Most of the time it was just me and Nano in the room. My nurse, Alexis, came in every now and again to check the baby's heart-rate with the Doppler. The birth center is not open on Fridays so there were only the 4 of us in the building. Nice and quiet.

My pressure waves (contractions) started to get shorter and stronger. I floated on my belly and hung over the side where Nano was, laying my head on his leg while he rubbed my back. It felt so good to have him rub away the pain. My midwife came in and asked if I was ready to push. I didn't think I was that far along. She checked me and said I sure was! Crazy! I told her not yet because my friend hadn't arrived yet. Back-story: I was so fortunate to meet someone a few weeks before my due date that had also given birth in the water AND in the caul (bag of waters). She had been planning to come and help us with her essential oils and photography. Well, she didn't make it (sorry Larissa!) I should have held him in for you ;)

I started to feel tons of pressure and reached down and could feel the baby's head. Time to push. I told Nano to take off his shirt and jump in. With a room full of ladies he said, "are you ready for this?" Haha, funny guy. As he proceeded to enter the tub, my midwife retorted, "uh, actually were not ready for you yet, how much do you weigh? 200?" He replied, "well I recently lost 30 pounds." We had to let some water out before he got in otherwise our teacup would have overflowneth.

Nano really saved me at this point because I started to get light headed and tingly. My contractions were very strong and close together. I was leaning back on him at first but then turned on my side so he could help by rubbing my back. He held me up like a baby and rubbed my pain away. It was incredible to have him right there with me through all the pain. I could not have done it without him. 

The time came to push and I knew I wouldn't be comfortable on my back. I had to hold on to something so I turned and faced Nano and put my arms around his neck. I gradually got louder with my moaning and was basically screaming in his ear by the end. He just held me up and encouraged me. My midwife helped guide my pushing and after about 4 difficult pushing sessions through contractions, the baby was out! I'm not going to lie, I really felt the ring of fire this time. Like I was pushing a burning bowling ball out of me. Ouch! 12:45 pm. Nano had to catch the baby when my midwife brought him out of the water because I was so disoriented. It was an indescribable feeling! We did it! And Nainoa looked so peaceful and


calm like he didn't know what had just happened. He barely moved at first and that made Juan nervous. My midwife assured him that he was slowly taking it all in, no rush to take his first breath. He was purple and beautiful (this is why purple has been my favorite color since Melia was born). Black hair all over his head. Wrinkly skin and long fingers. Our perfect baby boy.

While Bernadette suctioned him a little and put a towel over him, we were able to get a little more comfortable and check him out. That first interaction with a newborn angel is priceless. It was a perfect moment and I'll never forget it.


After we finished getting acquainted. The nurse let out our water and I birthed the placenta. While I was holding Nainoa in the tub he had his first bowel movement all over me. Nice, thick black meconium. My midwife wrapped up the placenta and carried it with the baby over to the bed. He didn't make a sound, perfect little angel. We cleaned up a bit and they helped me out of the tub and over to the bed too. I got to hold baby Nai and he was able to latch on for the first time. He was so alert and peaceful. 

After we bonded for a bit my nurse took Nanioa to be cut, measured and weighed. She did it all right there in front of me on the bed. Nano cut his cord that had been attached the the placenta for about an hour. Then the nurse measured him, 22 inches, long, like his big brother and sister. The moment of truth came, she went to weigh him. Nano was sure he was a 10 pounder but the rest of us guessed around 9. He was an a ounce heavier than his big sister at 8 lbs 13 ounces. Then Bernadette checked to make sure all his body parts were in good working condition.









Then it was back to the tub for me and baby. We would have an herbal bath together. This was such an awesome experience. The herbs help me to heal and help the baby to relax and adjust. It was so awesome to see how calm and comfortable he was in the water.





Nano then took baby away and got him dressed. My midwife asked if I wanted my hair washed. I didn't really want to do it because I was tired but she said, "oh I'm going to wash it for you honey." Well alright then! I felt like the beast on Beauty and the Beast as she scrubbed my scalp and sprayed me down. It felt soooo good though. It was so nice to not have to wash myself or even dress myself. They did it all for me. What a great perk of going to a birth center! Nano even asked when he got his turn. Man, I felt like I was in a spa because my friend arrived a little while after I gave birth and she applied some of her oils to my feet and calves to help me relax and recover. She also took a bunch of pictures for us. Thanks Larissa!

Nainoa fell asleep on his big soft daddy while I rested a bit on the bed. The nurse checked my vitals and went over our discharge information. We were out of there by 5 pm, closing time. I've always hated how long they force you to stay at the hospital so I felt free as a bird to be able to go home. 

We arrived in a short 15 minutes and Marcus was so excited to see his baby brother. He wanted to hold him for a long time. When it was time to let abuelita hold him he got mad. Transitions are hard for widdo guys. We let him hold baby Nainoa again and he was so proud. I loved having all my babies around me. Happy moment. Happy day. 

Happy birthday Nainoa! Welcome to our family!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

The hotel potty debacle

Poor Marcus. He just wanted to go potty in the middle of the night. What happened is sad yet totally hilarious.
We are in the process of moving to Houston, Texas. This week we packed and moved out of our house, cleaned it, checked out and hopped on a plane with our 2 babies, Melia and Marcus. We had a late flight so the kids slept most of the way. When we arrived to our hotel we had to carry Marcus up to our room and lay him on the couch. He is a very deep sleeper so he had no idea where he was. So in the middle of the night, he needed to go potty so he ran to the nearest door, opened it and expected to find a toilet. Instead, he was in the hallway of our hotel, locked out of the room. So, out of necessity he dropped his pants and peed on the carpet. Then he looked over and saw the elevator buttons. Oooh, buttons. He loves to push buttons. So he pushed the buttons and got in the elevator and went down to the lobby. Commando style.
Moments later, Nano and I were rudely awakened by the phone ringing. I remember thinking, 'what the heck kind a hotel calls at this hour!' It was around 3 am. I picked up the phone and handed it to Juan. The guy asked, "do you have a son named Marcus?" Juan was like, 'yes,' wondering what this was all about. "Well, Mr. Gomez, your son is down here half naked wandering around looking for you." I've never before witnessed nano jump out of bed so fast. We were so confused.
He got dressed and went outside our room. Seeing Marcus' underwear next to a wet spot on the carpet made it all come together. He hurried down to the lobby and as soon as Marcus saw nano, he started crying. The poor little guy. We were so grateful he didn't get hurt and that he was smart enough to go ask someone for help. We don't even want to think about what could have happened to him. Still, we have been laughing about the whole thing for a few days now.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Melia's Birth Story

The Long Version

Baby Mel's birth story has to start with her big brother's birth story. Marcus was born a healthy 10 pounds 1 ounce with a nice cone head and big lips.
He had a great start at life but I, on the other hand, had a less than ideal birth story. I was induced 5 days after my due date because we knew we were going to have a big baby. I wanted to try to have the baby naturally without the epidural but the pitocin was up way to high by the time I got to 7 centimeters and my contractions were 1 minute apart and a minute long, giving me practically no break at all. So I got the epidural. It was nice at first to have that break from the pain and I took a long nap (which, if you really think about it, is a really odd thing to do while your in labor) but I now wish I had never been induced in the first place. When it came time to push, some guy came in that they told me was the doctor on duty and lifted his eyebrows at me and suited up. Poor thing had to wait for 2 1/2 hours for me to get the baby out. He got bored a few times and walked out telling the nurse to call him if anything started happening. He never uttered a word to me the whole time but rather whispered to the nurse and I knew he was wanting to wheel me in for a c-section. I gave it all I had and somehow pushed that baby out despite hardly feeling a thing. I'm leaving out a lot of details but the point was I had a terrible first experience giving birth. I tried to forget all of it when they placed sweet baby Marcus on my belly but it was hard to while the doctor was stitching me up. He kept asking for more thread and he wouldn't tell me how many stitches there were because he lost count. The next SIX MONTHS I bled and suffered. Though the pain gradually eased it never fully let up. It was uncomfortable to sit, stand and walk let alone carry and breastfeed a growing 10 pounder. Needless to say, when my husband asked me when we were going to have more my anxiety would give me nightmares and I wondered if I really even wanted to have more children. I knew that I wanted more children but not more childbirth experiences like the one I had.

Well, after 1 year and a difficult miscarriage my heart started to ache for another baby. We tried for another year after losing one at 14 weeks and finally we got pregnant right after Christmas last year. We were really excited but I still always had anxiety about the impending birthday of my little girl. This time wanted to have a better experience, but what? Another epidural? I wasn't sure of my ability to deliver naturally and drug free, I mean I had a 10+ pound baby for crying out loud. I tried not to think about labor and deliver the first half of my pregnancy but just about having a new baby girl and all the new experiences we would have.

I started thinking more about natural childbirth when a few friends had their babies naturally and told me their experiences, all positive. One friend, whose hero is Ina Mae Gaskin, delivered her first, a 12 pounder, at home naturally (but it was a 24 hour labor- eeek!). Another had a water-birth in a birth center employing hypnobirthing techniques. Another had her first naturally after taking a 12 week Bradley method course with her husband/coach. And another had hers at home with 2 midwifes with her other 2 kids running around the room.

So there I had it. 4 friends who did it and did it well. So I started asking myself millions of questions. I asked my friends questions too. I wanted to know everything there is to know about how to deliver naturally. So I researched the Bradley method, hypnobirthing, acupressure, doula massages. I checked out books and documentaries from the library and spent hours and hours watching and reading everything I could get my hands on. I learned so much about birth and a woman's body and its amazing capabilities. The reoccurring message that I got from nearly every source I tackled was that if you are able to breath and relax through pain and discomfort then you can endure childbirth. I also learned that I needed to recruit my husband to not only be by my side through it all but to act as my coach, doula, massage therapist, and motivational speaker. He was very supportive of my wishes and read from my books, watched some videos and listened to me go on and on about what I was learning. I knew I could count on him.

Setback

Two weeks before my due date I felt as if I might not be capable of achieving my goal when my husband fell and sprained his ankle badly. I know it sounds dramatic but I lost all hope as I saw him fall to the ground and writhe in pain and then barely able to walk for a week. I had been relying on him so much so suddenly having to take care of him, Marcus and my 9-month-pregnant self was overwhelming. I went from getting a foot massage every night to having to treat and care for his foot every evening from 5 until bedtime. Before the ankle sprain the kitchen and dishes were cleaned every night. Now they piled up and the kitchen stank. I had to do things I probably shouldn't have been doing while pregnant like carry a naughty, screaming 30 pound toddler up the stairs to bed. I knew I couldn't deliver a baby without him so I thought about hiring a doula or buying a birth tub or even changing to a midwife that would deliver my baby at home in a tub. Every option came with its high costs and added stress. One day while frantically making phone calls and exploring my options on the internet I stopped and stepped away from it all and laid down on the bed. I cleared my head and immediately a scripture came to my mind: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. I repeated it over and over again. I knew I needed to trust The Lord more and just believe. Of course, in the back of my mind I was still stressing out about everything.

Breakdown

So I had an appointment with my midwife that very day and I just broke down to her and told her everything that was going on. She already knew my birth plan and hadn't said much about it. She mostly talked about how powerful the mind is and if I can think it in here (pointing to her head) then I can do it. I felt like she had confidence in me. She said exactly what I needed and it pumped me up to give birth naturally. So I gave up on trying to find a doula or birthtub or birth center and I started to believe. Every time a doubt came into my mind I pushed it out with 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.' And believe me- lots of doubts came. It surprises me the negative responses you can get when you tell someone that you want to give birth naturally and drug free. Why don't people say, 'Good for you!' or 'You can do it' or 'That is awesome!' rather than: 'Oh, I am so glad my wife is gonna get the epidural' or 'Just wait and see how everything goes, you might change your mind' or 'Scary!' I got all of the later but none of the former so I kept it to myself most of the time.

D-day
                       We took this picture just a few hours before I went into labor.

So my due date came...and went. But not without some significant progress toward going into labor. I went to my midwife appointment and I had already been 4 centimeters dilated with an extremely soft cervix. This time I was 5 centimeters dilated, 70% effaced and still had a cervix soft as butter. So we decided to strip my membranes. For those who don't know it is simply separating the bag of water slightly from the side of the uterus near the cervix. It is supposed to help get labor started and helps the body release hormones to start contractions. It was uncomfortable when she did it and I thought the baby would fall out after that but it just felt like menstrual cramps for 24 hours. I was a little dissapointed. The next day, Thursday September 19th, my menstrual cramping continued until we were heading in the car to Marcus' soccer practice at 6 pm. I felt tightening come and go in my back and belly so I started timing them. Half way through his practice I had timed about 5 of them and they were about 5-6 minutes apart. They weren't painful, in fact I was talking through them and laughing and getting super excited that this might be it. Juan was getting excited too. I called my mom and sister and told them. I told some of the mom's at the soccer practice that I was having contractions and they just looked at me like I was crazy for not dashing off to the hospital.I was just breathing deeply through them like I had practiced, pushing as much air into my belly as possible which helps relieve the pain. So as they were wrapping up the practice Juan shooed his family (oh, by the way I forgot to mention that my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and grandma-in-law had been here with us for a few weeks) into the car and we headed home. I told Juan not to rush because I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible. We got home and started going through our hospital bag and making sure we had everything. Marcus was being kind of difficult to put to bed so Juan had to leave me in the room a few times to help his mom. The contractions progressed to about 3-4 minutes apart when I was walking around but 6-7 when I sat down. When Juan came back in the room I told him that and he thought we should stay at home for a little longer. Then some stronger waves came and I just knew we needed to get to the hospital. Juan disagreed and it made me unsure too. He told me he thought that they weren't painful enough because I was talking and walking around and when I had the contraction I was just breathing deeply and looked really relaxed. That's hypnobirthing for ya!! It is amazing how relaxed you can make yourself with a little practice. When I listened to the hypnobirthing audio files during my pregnancy they made me relax so much I always fell into a deep sleep. I highly recommend them!

To the hospital we go!!

Juan felt I wasn't ready so I tried to explain to him about the hypnobirthing and that the contractions really were stronger. I headed down the stairs and out to the car but he still took his time talking to his mom and grandma and grabbing some other things. We took this picture before we left for the hospital.
We were super excited! So the plan was for my sister, Sarah to come to the hospital with us if it wasn't too inconvenient for her. Since it was 9:30 it was perfect for her. She had already gotten all 5 of her kids to bed and was excited to come with us. We went to her house so she could follow us. We were keeping it so cool that when I called her upon arrival we asked her if she wanted Juan to take their garbage out to the curb. She was so confused because she thought we would be in a rush. My mom came out to my window to say good luck and I smiled and said hi. Sarah was in such a rush we were telling her calm down everything is fine. So we took off. After making a turn and going a couple of blocks Juan was looking back to make sure she was behind us, but she wasn't. So I called her. She was all flustered and said that as she started driving she realized that she couldn't see. She forgot her glasses! So she had to run back and get them. I can just imagine the look on my mom's face when she ran back into the house and how fast my skinny little sister scaled the stairs. So we waited for her at the intersection but it wasn't long. We had a good laugh at her expense. You have to know, my sister is the sweetest most generous, positive person you will ever meet. I knew she would be a perfect pseudo-doula for me!

Centennial Hills Hospital

We got to the hospital around 10 o'clock. Juan had been timing my contractions the whole way there and they were about 2 minutes apart. We parked and walked into the emergency room. The place was packed with people and I just smiled as I walked by. They all stared at me and started whispering. I had grown accustomed to this because I carry so low and it just looks like a basketball in my shirt; those are the exact comments I always get out in public. I had to stop a couple of times before we got up to the second floor, crazy hospital doesn't have an elevator!! JUST KIDDING! I'm not that tough! Okay, not funny.
When we got to the labor and delivery front desk I went up to the lady and smiled and said we are here to have a baby and asked if the room with a tub was available. She looked at me like, 'haha- we'll see if you are really in labor first.' She sent me to triage to have me checked. Sarah couldn't go into triage with us so she went to the waiting room. I had to pee in a cup first and then lay down on a bed that was separated from another couple with a curtain. We had no choice but to hear their conversation with the nurse. They were being sent home and the lady sounded like she was almost in tears- that sucks!
So it was my turn to be checked. Moment of truth. 7 centimeters! Juan was smiling ear to ear and gave me a high five. Then our nurse for the night, Joan came in to meet us. We hit it off right away which was important for us. She joked with Juan saying, "my name is just like yours only switch the U for an O." I was so relieved when Juan told me that he liked her. The reason was because we had a terrible nurse with Marcus- worst ever! I was so excited to be 7 centimeters but still getting a good break in between contractions. When I was at 7 centimeters with Marcus they were 1 minute apart and a minute long thanks to the oxytocin. I was feeling really good about everything at this point.
Joan checked my contractions and the baby's heartbeat. Everything just grand! I gave Joan my birth plan and she told me she would do her best to stay out of my way but needed to check me intermittently and give me a hep-block (stick a needle in my wrist just in case I needed fluids or asked for drugs). The thing is huge but I tried not to let it bother me. 
Then she wheeled me into our room and Juan started to set up shop. We had our birthing ball, Iphone with speakers, heating pads, lotion, lavender Essential Oils humidifier dispenser, massage balls, and hypnobirthing audio files. I closed my eyes during contractions and went to my special place, Temple Beach in Laie in the early morning with the waves crashing in the background and it felt just like being in paradise. I did my deep breathing through contractions while Sarah and Juan massaged my lower back. 

I tried numerous different positions; kneeling on the bed and laying on the ball turned out to be the best although I moved around a lot in between contractions. And I just let Sarah and Juan alternate massaging me since Juan needed to take a break for his ankle. The nurse told me they could check my dilation anytime I wanted so I told her I wanted to wait for my midwife, Angela. She walked in minutes later and I was so surprised to see her. I introduced her to Juan and Sarah and she turned to me and asked, 'Are you really in labor?' I have to tell you, I absolutely love Angela and I knew Juan would like her too. We had fun joking around a bit and it boosted my spirits because the contractions were getting a lot harder. She checked me and I was at an 8. So we started working through the contractions again. Juan and Sarah were amazing at helping relieve and distract from the pain. I was getting so much encouragement and I was so grateful to have both of them and Joan and Angela all there for me. It got to a point where everything was a blur and I just felt hands all over me. I think Juan was massaging my legs, Sarah my back, Angela was holding my hand and Joan had the monitors on my belly. How awesome to have a nurse crouch down and hold the monitors in place for me instead of strapping me up like an inmate. I loved Joan!
Since, the contractions were much stronger Angela wanted to check me again. I was at a 9 1/2! I couldn't believe it. She told me I could listen to my body and push soon. So I asked for the squat bar and they quickly set it up for me. It was nice to stay upright and lean on it in the bed because I felt like I was helping the baby to move down. Sure enough it didn't take long for me to feel that urge to push. So I listened to my body and pushed a little while kneeling or squatting on the bed. At this point the pressure of the baby was helping ease the pain of the contractions and I was feeling awesome. Yes, it was painful but I was still getting a nice break in between contractions. I wholeheartedly believe that it is a huge blessing from God that women get those breaks in between the intense pain because otherwise we wouldn't be able to do it. What was amazing is we were able to joke around during the breaks. I was able to push for a while with the squat bar but then my legs started cramping so we needed to try a different position. I had been scared to lay on my back because sometimes I have terrible tailbone pain but I tried it and it actually felt more comfortable. I started pushing with the contractions and Angela coached me. The contractions were excruciating but being able to push felt awesome. I felt like I was being productive rather than just enduring through them. 

To break or not to break

This is my midwife, Angela- love her to death!

At this point my water hadn't broken yet and I could reach down and feel the bag. Angela asked if I wanted her to break it, telling me there would be a lot more pressure but it would go fast. It was hard for me to decide because I hadn't thought about it much before. She told me that in her 15 years she had only delivered 2 babies in the bag so I said, "let's make it 3 then!" So she held a cloth over the bulging bubble while I pushed just in case it burst. Juan wanted to get a closer look at it and Angela said, "At your own risk, buddy." He explained to me that it was so thin and transparent. At first it was just a bulge then he could see the head and features. The bag was as clear as water. I pushed during about 5 more contractions and baby girl came sliding out. Angela had to slow me down a bit and I did my best to hold and push when she told me too. It was so amazing what she was able to do! She supported my perineum so it wouldn't tear while the head was coming out. She had also been massaging it before to prevent tearing and it worked. 

Baby in a bag

It was so fascinating to see baby Melia in her home before Angela tore her out. It was like literally peeking into the womb. So incredibly amazing! My only regret for the whole labor was not getting a picture or video of it. Here is one from the internet and it looked very much like this.

And the bag was so thin too! All Angela had to do was pull at it a little and it tore. Water came spilling out like a water balloon and she lifted the balloon over her face. What a gorgeous baby! She was purple and perfect! She didn't have a lot of vernix on her and her hands and feet were pretty dry and pealing which is normal for babies that go past their due date. They placed her on my chest and Juan yelled, "cheeee-hoo". We looked at the clock. 2:30. The exact time of day that Marcus was born. So my labor in total was about 8 hours. 4 at home and 4 at the hospital. And I know it sounds crazy but it was probably the best 8 hours of my life. Such an amazing experience.

Baby Melia

I am so in love with this little girl. She is absolutely perfect. I fall in love with her more and more each day. She is so sweet and tranquil! I love hanging out with her. I'm so grateful that my in-laws are here to spoil us and I get to spend most if my time with her. I couldn't be a happier momma. I can't wait to have another!