Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Santiago’s Journey. {Sept 2009}

{This Blog Post is from Nov 2009; after the birth of my son, BUT STILL VERY ACCURATE!}

It has been about 2 months since my last entry.

As you may have guessed I had my baby, Santiago Isaias. He is amazing and I want to share with the world what it has been like…the best way to introduce him is with his journey into this world….

First, I found a blog which I never posted from 9/4/09; it was pretty relevant at the time and could be an intro to what was to come…

[“Near the end”
Or so they say.

Since Sunday I have felt "uncomfortable", despite the promises made by the doctor’s office; "If you feel like something is just not right you call us!" I have not heard back from them in 2 days!

I went to my routine monitoring and ultrasound this week but was only left with more questions. At this point, I feel like the confusion is not helpful. But, I will have no other choice than to wait and see.

I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and can't wait to leave work in a week. I have so much to do at home.]

And it ends… not sure where I was going with that but I know I was in utter despair and completely exhausted.  It’s true what EVERYONE says… when you come to the “end” it feels eternal!!!

The last couple of weeks, which really were NOT the last couple of weeks, because I was delivered 3 weeks early, but to me they were the much NEEDED last weeks… I could not have waited until October 9th to deliver and honestly as I told my husband and friends…neither could Santiago. He was ready, I knew it and he knew it. And thank GOD, my doctor knew it!


It ALL started on Friday September 11, I had what would be my second to last doctor’s visit. I went in for a regular visit awaiting my last day at work which would be on Monday September 14th. But, with all the anxiety of getting it all over with and having my baby in my arms, I think I made myself sick! I had high blood pressure, excessive protein in my urine which was causing excessive and painful retaining of fluid which led to swelling. Once the doctor confirmed all of the above she simply stated “I want you on bed rest as of today.” I thought…impossible, I have one more week until I am induced and I need and have so much to do. But, she prohibited me from going back to work that day and from leaving my house except to see her or to go to the hospital IF I should go into labor. She ordered me to go home and to come back to see her for further monitoring on Monday with a 100% chance of being induced on Tuesday or Wednesday and an 80% chance of having a c-section, everything one week ahead of schedule.

For those of you who don’t know, I was already scheduled to be induced due to my gestational diabetes on the 21st of September but now I had further complications and everything was being moved up ONE WEEK!

Panic and anxiety came over me. Not about the delivery or my health or Santiago’s BUT I HAD SOOO MUCH TO DO! Everything else God was in control.  Relentless and worried I went to work to pick up some things and give my boss the notice that I had to be confined to a bed for the next 5 or 6 days, and then back  home.

The weekend passed and Monday was here.

I walked into my doctors office with a about a liter of urine, for protein sampling! Gave it to the nurse, had some blood draw and vitals taken. With that done it was more bad news, everything was still elevated and now I was looking to be induced as soon as the next day if a room was available. By the end of my visit around 10 am the OB/GYN coordinator and the doctor came rushing to me with smiles, "You are being admitted tomorrow night at 8pm."

The next day and half went by fast, after a mad dash for the finish line I was ready! With my bag was packed, my home as baby ready as it could be and “READY” physically, emotionally, and mentally we headed out. I wasn’t scared, just anxious and excited.

Picture taken by our good friend Buritica

{Tuesday September 15th 2009}

As we walked out, our good friend Ricardo B. took the final picture of us as a couple, we would return as a threesome..Lol. A “real family”, baby and all.  The ride to the hospital was peace. For a while, no words, just our hearts beating through our throats, louder than the cars and noise outside. Ricardo and I drove the 25 minute drive to the hospital almost silent, only expressing that we were scared as we held hands and prayed. Suddenly the sky was beautiful and the trees were greener than ever. We drove up to the hospital searched for the Labor and Delivery parking lot and parked.

We gathered our things and began the walk up to the hospital, along the way from the parking lot a couple with three children walked passed us, looking at me with my belly and bags in hand the lady turned to us and said

“Felicidades y Buena Suerte.” (Congratulations and Good Luck!)

With deep breaths and nervous smiles Ricardo and I said “Gracias”.

Not knowing what was to come we walked into the quiet lobby and up to the volunteer desk attendant. An older man in a red vest, “Can I help you?” I said, “Yes, I am here to be admitted into labor and delivery.” Being that he was a bit old he looked at me and said, “Oh let me call them and make sure.” He looked for the number, called and spoke to the nurse “A young lady is here to be admitted”, he then said “Oh they are waiting for you.” He gave us the most confusing instructions on how to get to the 5th floor labor and delivery area. Ricardo and I then walked to the elevators and up to the 5th floor, down the hall and to the registration desk. A nurse and patient account representative were waiting for us to begin all the paper work needed to have a baby. It was insane.  Not the paper work, but I was there to have A BABY!

After that I was taken to my room and instructed to strip down and dress in the usual blue hospital gown. The excitement and nerves were no longer there…I was simply living it.

One nurse came in and started the preparation process, an IV, some blood work, preventative medications, medical instructions and questions..lots of questions. The room was filled with medical equipment for both baby and myself, I felt like a lab rat. Being probed and poked to assure accuracy and quality of the highly anticipated experiment…LIFE! Buawhahahaha!

Then another nurse came in asking if I could donate the baby Blood Cord supply…lots more questions and poking.  About an hour after my arrival at around 8:45pm, the nurse walked up to me and said "ok, I am going to give you the medicine to induce you."

At this point everything, everything became so overwhelming and emotional. Was I really here, was everything ok after all those questions and tubes of blood, could Santiago make it out ok and if so would he be healthy and would I be ok? So much could go wrong, so much could happen. I was so emotional during my entire pregnancy and so much had gone on in such short amount of time that about 2 hours after I was induced I actually broke down. The nurse walked in and stated that because my blood sugar and blood pressure was so elevated I had to be further  be confined to my hospital bed on extreme medications and monitors.

I wanted to have a natural delivery with more than traditional methods and a Doula.

The nurse stated though that the only thing I could  do was lay there in bed, I would get a catheter and medications that caused me to be drowsy, so no more getting up to the restroom and my blood sugar would be taken every hour as well as my blood pressure. I didn’t and couldn’t believe that after all I had read and learned I would be having the most medically induced labor and delivery! Tears, snot, chills, sweats, disappointment, horrible uncontrollable feelings filled and took over my body. I had prepared for 9 months to have Santiago naturally, calmly, with my family and at his own time. But, from my arrival at the hospital so much was already wrong with me that I was immediately brought back to reality.

For the next 24 hours I was not only confined to a bed but probed, poked and attached to so much that a “normal or natural” delivery had been throw out the window long before it even had a chance to squeeze in. I cried, uncontrollably for about 5 minutes, my mom and Ricardo attempting to console me as I slowly regained composure. With all my Faith and prayer throughout the night I accepted anything and everything that was to come not for me, but for Santiago. He was all that mattered now. This life was no longer about me.


I was told that the drug given initially was less intense than what would come the following morning. Still all night I had cramps and irrepressible discomfort. Needless to say the night was not only uncomfortable and painful but sleepless as well. Yet the nurses somehow kept repeating that I should rest. It’s easier said than done.

Come 6 am, a new nurse, more medications, more needles and more blood work and the worse pain I have yet to feel. The breaking of my water and more contractions.

{Wednesday September 16th, 2009}

So, the new nurse was not only intense and unruly she was also very adamant about me having my baby as soon as possible. That didn’t make me mad, trust me, I wanted it all to be over as fast as possible as well. Because, despite the fact that the overnight contractions had been mild, they were still painful. And, now they were beginning to get stronger, closer and lasted longer. All signs that labor was well on its way. The morning hours seemed to become eternal as I waited for my OB/GYN to show her shining face at 8:30 am and break my water!

My morning seemed more painful than my night because the new nurse was all about changing positions while in bed!  Which would have made for a much more comfortable experience had I not been attached to every tube and needle in the hospital!  

So, I gracefully went with it, quietly and in pain waiting for that doctor to make my day…or so I thought!

And as planned and on time, unlike a doctor, at around 8:30 am, the much awaited and dreaded moment, Dr. Diase, came in to break my water. Probably the most pain I have ever been in, in my life. With no pain medication in my system, wanting to make the experience as natural as I could (laughing), I took some deep breaths and with fear and tears I got through it. Buckets of water poured out of me, as it was expected. After all I had been retaining excess fluid in every part of my lower extremities for about 2 weeks now caused by the Gestational Diabetes.  Swollen legs and feet, as well as an 8 lbs weight gain at the end of my pregnancy put me at about 200lbs at time of delivery; I calculate that about 20 of those pounds came gushing out onto that bed as water. After lots of pressure, a warm feeling; like when you wet the bed in your sleep as a child, comfortable and a sense of relief, the water was broken! It was only “a matter of hours” before the baby would be here. I should have started dilating pretty quickly and in no time we would be ready to push. 

Most of that day and all the “checkups” for lack of better words, are thankfully a blur.  I do remember lots of pain, lots of awkward breathing and everyone reminding me of the fact that there was pain medicine, as my family continued to fill the room and crowd over me. No embarrassment was felt because the pain overshadowed it. The day was long and all I wanted was to deliver.

The contractions felt as if my little man was making his own way out of my womb with some kind of invisible crafting knife he got for Christmas and my patience was quickly running out. No longer happy to be in the situation I remember being annoyed by my husband’s voice with his reassuring comments and comforting touch. I wanted to slash his neck and pull out his kidneys so that he knew what I was going through. Again, all else is a blur (because it’s true once you deliver you forget it all!).

It was now about 6pm, and I had been in labor for about “oh a mere 22 hours or so” of which the last 10 had been pretty intense to say the least. And before the doctor came back to check on me, I decided that at that point, I was done. I need the good stuff and I don’t mean illicit drugs, I mean the really good stuff! Immediate relief and a real walk on the clouds came for the next 24 hours; numb, no feelings, all was pink and fluffy bunnies and the answer to all my problems was “YES”.  True this landed me in the least and far from natural experience of labor and delivery but I had to, I love my son but enough was enough. And without knowing what was to come or how much longer Santiago could torture his mother, I did it. I had to do it, “they” told me to do it. I had become a sellout, a less than woman, and half bread if you will, with no regards to the possible side effects of what all that medication could cause my unborn child or me. But, the pain was so intense I could have yanked my eyes out and thrown then at the doctor. But, with a couple of deep breaths and long pointy needle to my spine, all gone! I wouldn’t practice my self-control, reach my happy place or have controlled breathing sessions with the hubby but you know what NO MATTER how I DID ITI did it!

At around 6:30 maybe 7, the doctor came into my room to check on my “progress”. She really is a sweet woman, tall, thin and with two little ones of her own. After my epidural she could have chopped off my finger one by one and I would have loved her just the same. She didn’t….the verdict? Well, after 24 hours of labor I had dilated to about a 6, maybe a 7! If you are a woman with children…now is when you gasp for air and feel not only pity for me but utter understanding. A “Bless your heart” is in order.

What did this mean…in short….I was getting NO WHERE! After my water had been broken I should have dilated about a centimeter an hour but it had been almost 12 hours, you do the math. After all that pain all I could think was “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!” The doctor then went on to say… “The baby is head down but face down in the birth canal (baby’s should be face up when they are delivered, for their safety), so he is no longer safe to come out this way!”…ooohhh did I mention that only 30 minutes before I had decided to get my epidural, do we remember that, yeah well! The doctor then decided that they would attempt to “manually”, yes manually flip the baby around. At this point my legs were like noodles and my body was exhausted. And, as all the nurse power prepared to perform this process, they also quickly realized that at 200lbs and pumped full of epidural I was not gonna budge. (By the way, I had been at the hospital so long I had now gone through almost FOUR shift changes! Not even noticing when the last one had left, the current nurse was also pregnant and by the looks of it…she could have had her baby before me and with my luck she would have shoved me off the bed and said “blop” here is my baby HAHA! And run off…end scene).

By this time things began to go completely downhill, I started to feel really cold and began to tremble beyond control. I started feeling a burning sensation all over and the nurses and doctors quickly brought in an anesthesiologist, my worst nightmare was occurring, my epidural was running out. I was starting to feel pain again, God forbid and I just wanted this to end. The nurses stopped trying to move me and covered me in blankets. Then the doctor uttered those fearful words, subconsciously I had wished she said them hours before, “Emergency C-section”, they were heaven sent.

A new phase, we now had to wait, there were THREE, THREE other “Emergency C-sections” ahead of me so it was now about 8pm. The medical staff at one very busy maternity ward had exhausted all possibilities with me and as if planned everything had NOT turned out exactly as I imagined or as naturally as I would have wished BUT now after 24 hours of labor, I was steps away from being a mommy! At last.


Then after about an hour of waiting (now 9pm) the doctor came in, “ohhp, we have a cancelled C-section and you are next.” (Always with a smile, she really is sweet and I always felt as if she sympathized with my pain and waiting.) I was in and out of my own little madness caused by the epidural so I vaguely remember that trip to the OR; I know I was prepped and reeled into surgery. I remember being placed on the surgery bed, being told the process that I would go through, and being asked questions. Then after about 20 minutes of being told that there was cutting and lots of pressure going on the doctor said “ok, we are ready for dad.”  

This meant they had cut through all the layers of fat, past scar tissue from my previous surgeries, into my uterus and were ready to detach that life that for the last 9 months had depended solemnly on my body. There would be no more monthly visits to the doctor’s office to hear our baby’s heart beat through my belly. No more prenatal checkups or testing. No more classes to be taken in preparation for our big day. The baby showers were REALLY over this time. {Ha.} The anticipation of WHEN, was NOW. No more wondering what or who he really looked liked, despite the doctors and nurses attempts to say he looked like his father in those blurry black and white pictures. No more weekly ultrasounds and monitoring where Ricardo would sit in a big comfy chair watch “Regis and Kelly” or “the View” and pass out while I sat strapped to machines listening attentively to assure that Santiago’s heart is beating and his movements are consistent. No more late night belly talks, prayers, tears or fears that he wouldn’t make it this far. His kicks through my stretched skin which reassured me every time I felt sick or overwhelmed will now be felt with full force (not that they weren’t before!) with his tiny feet in the flesh. Those sleepless nights, that I complained so much about, when his butt or head were wedge up against my lungs or kicks and punches caused my bladder to explode, would end here. Now when we lay in bed, thinking “what is he doing?!” we will know! No more nausea and heartburn supposedly caused by his hairy little head. This was it.

During the surgery the anesthesiologist asked me if I could feel anything, and at some point he would give his magic wand a pump and tah-dah, pain no more.

Ricardo finally appeared through those OR double doors, camera in hand, and wearing those blue paper scrubs and face mask, for those of you who know my husband, he is easily grossed out and very scared of this type of situation. I could through my daze sense his fear and could almost hear his body tremble and shut down in disbelief.  As I laid there, loopy and split open like a dissected lizard ready to become a mom, Ricardo clenched to the camera as if it were going to erase the experience and send us forward (or backward) 10 years, the moment was here. After only minutes of tugging, pulling and pushing (the doctors, not me!) at about 9:27pm…those words…the culmination of 9 months, “Wow, he’s a big BOY!…A really big boy!” and then through gurgling cries, the sound of water being pumped out of his mouth, then louder cries…MY SON…Santiago Isaias Gomez, he was here, in this world, ready to be loved and seen. His arrival was short of spectacular and he sure knows how to build up the anticipation causing so much suspense and yes, DRAMA! (If you know him now…he is not patient and he will bring on the drama if need be!)

For several minutes all I could hear was shuffling around, lots of tennis shoes speedily getting my baby cleaned, weighed, checked, wrapped and ready to be loved, the doctor had allowed my husband to cross into the OR and take pictures and seconds seemed like years! Finally HE emerged from behind the blue curtain a bundle with a little puffy, chalk white face his body wrapped in the usual hospital receiving blanket like a glow worm and his head covered with a tiny pink and blue beanie.

He was in my eyes perfect and best of all HEALTHY!

Because I was delivered so early the thought was that he would not be coming home with us and would have to be in the NICU for about 1 week to make sure his lungs were fully developed but by the looks and sounds of everything he was perfectly healthy. I had never worried about this, because I knew that God would not make us wait any longer to start our lives together. With tears in his eyes and the sound of his heart beating through his throat, his hands still trembling, not sure of what we just did, Ricardo with a cracking voice and a smile on his face said, “You wanna giv’em a kiss?” He brought him near and with the bit of strength left in my body I shed some tears, kissed my baby and passed out for the remaining of the procedure on the surgery table! I was EXHAUSTED and anxious to feel better. As I began to shake uncontrollably again and was prepped to go to the recovery area all I can remember is the exhaustion.

What I know is that Ricardo ran that victory lap with Santiago as they were photographed more than Jon and Kate on their worse days. The hall was filled with paparazzi aka my family. I was reeled off to recovery and later visited by Ricardo and my parents. All I knew was that this part….was over. (It makes me tear up thinking about it all over again.)…. It was a looooooong journey! Very trying BUT YES….SOOOOOOOOOOO WORTH IT!


And it’s not true that you forget about it all once the baby is here….well at least not in my case.  Yes the last 9 months had been erased but those last 24 hours still very vivid in my failing mind and worn out body.  But now, I had to be stronger than before, recuperate and move forward, there was now a beautiful baby boy to care for! And again…my child is not very patient! 

After this around maybe uhm 11:30pm or midnight I was taken to my hospital room and formally introduced to my son.  And then….a whole new me emerged. The nurse asked if he should take Santiago to the nursery to which I wanted to say "are you crazy lady didn’t you just see them rip this child from my body and now want me to let him gouhmmm no!" He was almost immediately attached to my breast for the feeding and diapers and tears started flying everywhere!

We were to remain in the hospital for the next three days, filled with lots of getting used to, lots of visits and frustration. The next day after my delivery I was forced to stand up and get out of bed, when I made it over to the mirror all I could think was “I look horrible and I feel like a train just ran me over, stopped and said oh wait I missed a spot…and then backed up and ran me over again.” My body was limp, my insides where sore, my soul had been lifted and I felt as if I were having an outer body experience. Is it hard and painful to have a baby? HECK YES! Is it worth it and would I do it again? If GOD allows me to…In a heartbeat!  Not soon though! Not soon.

Thank you to EVERYONE who not only made this last year an awesome one but also put up with my pregnant self!


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