On Becoming a Parent

So, for those of you wondering how Emmalee's birth went down, here is the story:

We went to the doctor's Friday December 14. I was hoping to hear the doctor say we would be having our baby girl pretty soon. EVERYONE, and I mean everyone, said my baby would be coming before her due date, almost like a promise. Well, it's a promise I was fully hoping for as long as she did not come before December 9 which was the day my mom was arriving from Panama. Nope, The doctor said the baby was not coming anytime soon and he would be seeing me again December the 21st maybe to induce labour on the 23th! Well, I started taking everyone's advice on things that could induce labour sooner and found myself drinking tons of cinnamon tea and taking long walks.

It was 2 am December 16 when my contractions kicked in. I was having 30 sec contractions every 5 minutes. "Wow, she really is punctual," I thought to myself since the 16th was her due date. Yes! I won't have to spend Christmas in the hospital and I really don't want my daughter having her birthday on such an inconvenient date. The doctor had told me not to go running to the hospital right away because if I had no dilatation they would send me back home. I waited till the contractions became more often and stronger and decided to head to the hospital al 9am. I was admitted and since I had no dilation I was sent back home :(.
The rest of the day the contractions came farther apart in time but much stronger. The doctor told me to go back to the hospital if the contractions got closer together.

At 3 am December 17 the contractions were back to 5 minutes apart but much stronger in duration and pain. I called my doctor to tell him I couldn't take it anymore and to please admit me to the hospital. He was at another childbirth at a nearby hospital, so he asked me to wait for him in the emergency room of that hospital. In the ER of Hospital San Jorge I was checked by the on-call doctor who informed me I had 3cm of dilation. "That's good," I thought to myself, "Progess!" All of a sudden I realized my water just broke. "Yes! This means I am truly on labour this time!" The doctor came down to the ER around 4 am and told us we had 5cm dilation. "Amazing. 2 cm in less than 2 hours. And they say the last cm are the fastest! Thank You God," I prayed.

We transferred to Viera Hospital which is where we planned having the baby. The contractions had now began getting closer and stronger and stronger. I think I got really close to breaking one of Rodol's fingers. Rodol was the only one admitted to be inside with me while we waited for the time of delivery. I don't know if it is true or the pain was just so much, but I think those contractions were every two minutes with a 1 minute duration each.
I stared at Rodol and started crying "I can't do this. I can't do it anymore. Please get me an epidural."
This was around 6 am. The doctor asked me to be strong because an epidural could cause problems when the time to push came. I decided to be strong and keep holding on. At 7 am the doctored checked me again. "Please, God, please let me be at 7 or 8cm dilation. Please," I begged the Lord in my head.
"6 cm," said the doctor. He might have said 1cm and the disappointment would have been the same. From 4 am to 7 am I had dilated one cm.
"I can't do this," I cried again to my husband, as I twist and tilt of pain grasping his hand almost falling from the bed.
"Yes you can! You can do all things through Him Who gives you strength!" he replies.
"It doesn't apply!"
"It specially applies!"

Breathing through each contraction is getting harder and harder as each one becomes longer and more painful. My husband breathes with me so I can follow his lead. I'm able to do this during 4 to 5 contractions when I reach a breaking point and I begin to scream and moan on the next one to come.
"No crying! Breathe!" The stern voice of my husband brings me back to my senses. "Breathe! Just a little longer and it will soon be over. Just hang in there."
I regained composure and the cycle began again: 6 contractions breathing and 1 of desperation!
It is 9:30am. The doctor is gonna check again.
"Please, God, let him say we are at 8! Please let it be 8! Let it be 8 I beg You!"
My heart had dropped so low I could feel it in my stomach.
6cm! 6cm still!!
"I'm sorry. We can't do it any longer. You need a C-Section," says the doctor, trying to say it in a way I won't lose my mind.

I turn to my husband as I mouth "I'm sorry." When I'm finally able to speak I say "I couldn't do it after all" with tears flowing down.
"You tried." my husband tried to comfort me. "You did your best. No one can argue that. I'm proud of you."

With the realization that all that pain was in vain, I no longer had restraint. Every contraction that followed made me cry and moan and even scream a little. Rodol was still trying to get me to breathe while the nurses prepped me for the OR but my mind is lost.
I had never been in an OR before. I'm scared. Rodol couldn't go in with me anymore.
"They are going to stick a needle as long as my finger on my spinal cord!" I think to myself.
"Will it hurt?" I sobbingly asked the anesthesiologist.
"No more than your contracions," she replies. Very comforting because I'm no longer afraid.
She was right. It hurt far less than my contractions. Now, without any pain, I laid there disappointed and motionless. I was so sad that this is happening I forget about the baby.
And then I heard her.
"She's crying. She's crying so hard. She's here. She is finally here!" I think to myself as tears began to flow.
All the disappointment from before was gone and my heart was so full it feels like coming out of my chest.
"She is completely healthy and beautiful," the anesthesiologist who hasn't left my side told me.
And then I saw her!
My first words: "She is so hairy!"
They just placed her beside my head for a few seconds and took her away.
"Thank You God. Thank You. This was all that mattered," I prayed as I dozed of the rest of the surgery.

 Those who visited barely spent time with me as they all couldn't stop staring at the baby downstairs. They can only see her through a window for no one is allowed to touch her. It doesn't matter much; she is so beautiful they were all mesmerized
I was able to touch her the next day when I could finally stand up.
Only mommy was allowed inside to be with her. Poor daddy and grandma only watch from outside.
Parenthesis (Please excuse mommy's tired face)

At 4pm of the second day I began having a really strong headache. The headache was so strong that it hurt in the back of my eyes and I could barely see. The pain got stronger depending on my heads position, and it hurt more when I was breastfeeding. This pain tortured me for 5 days until I finally went back into the OR to have it fixed. I had a post lumbar puncture headache. You can read more of that here. I had the blood patch done on me. Thank God the procedure reduced my headache 90% almost immediately and I was able to enjoy my time feeding Emmalee.

Being a parent has been amazing. This frightful story becomes nothing when I get to stare into my beautiful baby girl's eyes. She keeps us up all night, even when she is not crying (Paranoic mommy wakes up to check she's breathing), she makes us wonder why she cries and we run all randomly trying to figure it out, we are still scared when giving her a bath, and we can't believe how little her finger nails are.
I would do it all over again and I regret nothing.

I was beginning to sing "Your Love is Strong" by Jon Foreman to her to make her sleep but when I sang the first lines "Heavenly Father, You always amaze me" I looked at her and was astounded by how truly amazed I was by my Heavenly Father with the preciousness of my daughter that I began to cry.

Dear Father,
You always amaze me. Your faithfulnes is forever with me and it humbles me and brings me to tears and joy.
I know this child is not mine and she is borrowed. May I raise her in Your ways and teach her to live a life that brings You glory. But before teaching her that, give me the grace and wisdom to show it to her. I love You, Father and Rodol and I praise You for our beautiful Emmalee.

 first time in dad's arms

 with my beautiful grandma


  1. Oh my goodness Linda, you two made a BEAUTIFUL baby girl. I pray you heal well and she thrives with her mom and daddy!

    1. thanks so much. How are you doing? That last month is hard. I pray you and your baby are doing wonderful too.