I can't believe it's been that long since my last post...but I've been a little busy creating a tiny new human =). He's finally out in the world, and I'm prouder than words could ever express.
You may remember me saying that I don't really like kids (and still don't!), but when it comes to your own, things are different. I guess every parent thinks their kid is somehow special, the prettiest, smartest, cutest...I guess we see our babies through b̶e̶e̶r̶ love goggles...So I don't know if I'm way off when I say that my baby is the most handsome baby I have ever seen, but I certainly think he is.
The last month of pregnancy was hell, I won't lie to you. I was in constant pain and could barely walk at the end. I was a mess, so I was actually looking forward to the labor part just to get it over with. Funnily I wasn't scared of the pain. I always thought that what you see in the movies (women screaming their lungs out) was a huge exaggeration. I couldn't picture myself like this. I think of myself as having a rather high pain tolerance, and imagined myself suffering in silence until I got the epidural.
The day of..
But let's rewind for a second. My son was born a few days early, and little did I know on the morning of June 4th that I was going to give birth. I had felt some minor pain during the night, but didn't think much of it. I thought this was normal, as the body was getting ready for labor.
I have never had kids before, so I didn't know what to expect at all and had no clue what a real contraction actually feels like. When I woke up, I had breakfast as usual, and didn't really pay attention to these cramps that were coming and going during breakfast. My mom and I had planned to go to Boquete, a small mountain town near where I am staying to have coffee and lunch with a friend, so we drove there later on with @el-cr. The cramps kept coming and got more frequent, but I thought these were just more "fake" contractions.
Everyone told me, when it's the real ones, you'll know, so I just went on with my day. Coffee with a friend, and then eventually lunch. My mom and her friend grew increasingly worried as I was grimacing every 5 minutes through my 30 second contractions. They were indeed getting a little more intense and unpleasant, but not to the point of not being able to take it. So I just ate my sandwich....
My mom was a little more nervous than I was and finally told us, guys, we need to go now! I think she needs a hospital.
I told her to relax and that it was nothing....but she insisted on driving me to the emergency room back in David right away. I thought, OMG they will send me back home because my mom is overreacting a little, but since she's a retired nurse, I let her make the decision for me. Once in the examination room, the doctor confirmed 3 cm dilated, meaning that I was indeed in active labor! If I hadn't listened to my mom, my son would probably have been born somewhere midway in the car LOL.
I thought to myself cool, this doesn't even hurt so bad, I'm such a badass LOL
An hour later, everyone was there: my gynecologist, the anesthesiologist and the pediatrician. For those who don't know, the cervix has to be dilated to 10cm, and they count around 1 cm per hour. According to their calculation, I was due around 10.00pm, but my dear son seemed to be in a hurry and came already 2 hours later. at exactly 6.22pm.
But let's get back to the pain.
There is nothing I have ever experienced in my life that is as painful as giving birth. If you've ever been to the doctor and they have asked you to determine the level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10, this definitely qualifies as 10, if not 15...
I screamed. I begged. I cursed. I cried. I wanted that epidural FAST, and I didn't know why it was taking so long. I was supposed to receive it at 5 cm dilation, and I had reached that already a while ago.
The worst part about painful contractions is, you know they will come back a few minutes later and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Every time another one came, I hoped it would be the last before receiving the damn shot in my back, but Panama being Panama, the birthing room I was in was not equipped the way it should have been, hence the delay in giving me the shot. They didn't have the equipment ready and had to go look for it. I'm so glad they didn't tell me this in the moment, because I would have lost it....
When they were finally ready, I was told to sit up so that they could inject me, but as soon as I did, I already felt baby's head coming down and the urge to push (and take a shit!). Giving birth to a child really feels like you're going number 2, and pushing as if you were going to the bathroom is sort if a natural reflex.
I thought to myself oh no, you will stay inside until that shot does its effect, and so I tried to hold him in for a bit longer. I was afraid that if I told my doc, she would have said to do it without anesthesia and I wasn't ready to do that...but nature did its thing regardless of my wishes, and the urge to push was stronger than anything else. A few pushes later, there he was, screaming his lungs out.
I was so relieved. I felt good for the first time in months, I felt light, all the pains were gone instantly (even if my doc was still stitching me back together down there), and I was so happy that my contraction nightmare was over. Respect to all the moms out there who have been through this. Mothers are warriors. Especially if they decide to do it all over again (not me though, one is enough!).
It all went so fast, all in all only 5 hours of (hard) labor, not counting the time I spent casually having lunch in between contractions. Once he was out, they didn't give him to me right away. They took him to wash him, measure him, make sure he's healthy and then they handed him over to @el-cr before I could even see him. I was a bit disappointed because I had read all these things about the importance of skin to skin contact during the first hour, but none of that happened at my hospital. I was escorted back to my room and had to wait for them to bring me Tayel, so that I could hold him for the first time. The picture you see here was taken in the delivery room, right after they handed him to my husband.
What they say is true. Once you see that little "thing" that came out of you, it's love at first sight. I was so scared that I wouldn't bond with my baby, that I wouldn't have a mother instinct, but turns out I do have it in me after all. I couldn't believe how cute his little face is, his tiny fingers and feet, such perfection. A miniature human, with everything, so small he fits in 2 hands. But most of all, so fragile and dependant on us! My first reaction was to hug the little guy and just stare at him for hours. He makes all these little faces that are hilarious, and I've had quite a few giggle attacks on his behalf (making fun of him already, I know...).
Now I'm just getting the hang of things. We're both still afraid to "break" him because he seems so fragile, but we're learning how to hold him properly, how to give a bottle without making him choke on it, how to burp a baby, how to change a diaper etc. After a few scary night shifts, we're slowly getting the hang of it. I don't know if I'll ever get used to the lack of sleep (he has to wake up strictly every 3 hours to eat because he was born a little underweight), but I'm trying to make up for it with naps during the day.
That's it for now, my brain is a fog...I will try to keep you guys updated on this whole motherhood thing, and also about how I'm going to slowly start my fitness routine again. If I get time to shower and make myself look like a human, I might even try a video...stay tuned =)
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