Marcos Andres Dominguez arrived on April 1, 2017 at 10:22 p.m. weighing 7 pounds and 14 ounces. These past eight months have been the most exciting, blissful, exhausting and stressful months of my life but I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.
Each time I look or think of my my son I feel so much joy and love and a desire to be the best Mother and person that I can be.As I type this, he is sleeping peacefully in his crib. As I watch him on his monitor, I feel so blessed to have such a sweet, handsome and healthy baby boy who smiles, giggles, waves, babbles, and completely melts my heart every day.
Marcos’s Birth Story
On Friday evening, Oscar and I went to go see the movie “Logan”. We knew it would be a long time before we could go to the movie theater together so we went out for a date night. I had just finished my last day at work because I was 39 weeks and knew that Marcos could come any day now. We got home late and I had trouble falling asleep. I think I finally fell asleep around 1:30 a.m. only to be woken up a few hours later feeling some light cramping and pressure in my lower abdomen. I remember thinking to myself “Could this be it?” Could this be the day? Or is this just Braxton Hicks?” I went to the bathroom a few times but nothing was happening so I figured that I should probably get back into bed and get some rest.
I managed to get another hour or two of sleep then a little after 7:30 a.m., I started to feel uncomfortable. I got out of bed and googled “the first signs of labor” into my phone. Then I sat and rocked on my exercise ball for some relief, played some Hall and Oates and started timing and logging my contractions. I woke Oscar up around 9:30 a.m. and told him that I was having contractions since they were really starting to hurt and I didn’t want to be alone anymore.
Oscar and I hung out in the living room together to try and relax while I timed my contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart. I remember thinking to myself that this better be the real deal because I was very uncomfortable. My contractions were getting pretty intense and I was also getting some sharp pains in my back which were alarming and there was nothing I could do to cope with the back pain. Luckily they only lasted for about 45 seconds but they were coming every four to eight minutes and they HURT!
Oscar called my OB/GYN because we were unsure as to why the back pain was happening. I remember being instructed to call only when I experienced contractions that came every five minutes and lasted for a minute for more than one hour but the back pain had intensified so we called the doctor just to be safe.
The doctor told us to head to the hospital with our bags so she could check me out. I showered before we left while Oscar packed up the car with our hospital bags. A warm shower felt good, but by the time I got out and started to get dressed, my contractions significantly intensified. I found myself folding over and holding onto the dresser and the wall as I tried to deal with the pain. I remember throwing up a few times before we left and thinking to myself…”this is gonna be a looong day!” We headed out the door to the hospital around 2 p.m. By then my contractions were eight minutes apart.
When we got to the hospital, we were sent to the triage room while I was hooked up to a monitor and asked a bunch of questions by the nurses. I can’t remember everything, just that I was in a lot of pain and I did not want to be sent back home. They left Oscar and I to wait in the triage room for an hour to see if I dilated. I remember the pain getting really intense and crying out “I can’t do this!” My wonderful husband took my hand, reminded me that I can do this and continued to comfort and encourage me while we waited for the nurse to come back.
After an hour, the nurse came back with my OB/GYN to check on me and told me that I had dilated three centimeters and we would be welcoming our baby today!! Hoorayy!! That was music to my ears!! 🙂
Oscar and I spent the next 60 minutes getting registered and prepping for the epidural. Oscar had to do all the talking because I was in so much pain I couldn’t speak. I had to motion my social security number with my fingers as the pain of my contractions and back labor was just excruciating.
After the epidural, the pain was more manageable but the back pain started to creep back. Also, the epidural seemed to work better on one side than the other so Oscar and my Mom took turns giving me back rubs to help me with the pain. Its hard for me to remember all the events that took place between the time I received the epidural and the delivery but here are some key details:
- The epidural definitely helped with the contraction pain as monitors showed when they were happening but they barely registered with me.
- Eventually, the external baby heart monitor was not working and they had to insert an internal heart monitor to better monitor the baby’s heart rate.
- The external heart monitor could be heard in the room and we started noticing the heart rate slowing with some of the contractions. At first we didn’t know that the sound was the baby’s heart rate.
- During one contraction that was paired with a shot of back pain, our doctor came in, looked at the monitor strip, and spoke with the head nurse off to the side of the room.
- After the doctor left, Oscar asked if there was something wrong and that was when we were told that the sound we heard slowing down was the baby’s heart rate.
- The next contraction saw another drop in heart rate, which is when the doctor came in and called a need for the emergency c-section.
The C-section operation did not take long and Oscar remained by my side holding my hand the whole time. I laid very still, went into my “zone” and prayed for my baby. I couldn’t feel a thing but I was awake and I heard the doctors talking while they were operating. And I heard them say that my baby’s neck was wrapped around my umbilical cord! Poor thing. I was scared but I had a feeling it was going to be OK. And then…I heard him. I heard my son crying. Oscar and I watched the nurses clean him, test his vitals and wrap him up in a blanket. I remember Oscar and I saying to each other….”there he is, that’s our son” and we were both crying while we watched him taking his first breaths. I am crying now as I type this.
The nurse brought my bundled up baby to me while I was lying on the delivery table. I wasn’t able to hold him yet since I was still strapped on to the table so I rubbed my cheek against his little face so he could feel me and smell me. That was not what I wanted for us but I was so relieved that he was delivered safely and I knew that we would have plenty of time to bond. I was taken to another room to recover while Oscar and my parents got acquainted with our boy. I will never forget Oscar’s face and reaction to the birth of our son. It was a wondrous moment and he was practically skipping and prancing into the nursery.
I will never forget our very first night as parents. We were so exhausted from the entire day and couldn’t wait to go to sleep and get some rest but wait….we are parents now. We have to take care of our newborn baby! The nurses brought Marcos into my room and bathed him and then gave him to for skin-to-skin contact and to start breastfeeding. After that, he woke up about every two hours to feed. Oscar changed his diapers and brought him to me each time he woke up because of the surgery.
The next morning with my son was absolutely surreal! I just couldn’t believe that he was sleeping next to me and no longer in my belly. When I held him in my arms the next morning I sang to him “You are my sunshine” and I cried happy joyful tears.
We had to stay in the hospital for a few days so I could recover from the surgery. Marcos stayed in the room with us the entire time. The recovery was hard but the more I walked around and moved my legs the better. During my second night in the hospital I was suffering from post-surgery gas and bloating from the air that got sucked into my abdomen during the surgery. It was very painful but I still had to get up out of bed to breastfeed my son. Despite the pain, I got myself up and breastfed my son without my husband’s help. Afterwards, Marcos looked at me with this happy and appreciative look in his eyes like he recognized me and knew I was his Mom. It was the best feeling in the world. That was when I officially felt our bond and I knew I was gonna rock at being a Mom!!
With each day I got better and Marcos was healthy. We took him home on a Tuesday and celebrated with a homemade quiche, salad from my Mom and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Then we celebrated our Anniversary a couple days later as a family of five 🙂
This is the end of the birth story but the Mommy and Daddy adventures continue. I plan to document my journey into Motherhood so stay tuned for more Marcos blog posts in the future!