Tuesday, April 23rd 2019 :
I was 39 weeks pregnant. Just one week shy of our May 1st due date. I was pretty lucky to have had such an easy pregnancy with no complications. My Mom had called me that morning to tell me a random fact about early labor. She asked me if I was experiencing any lower back pain. She heard that can be one of the signs. I told her no. The second I got off the phone, I had just felt a dull pain in my lower back. The pain continued on for the rest of the day. I wasn’t going to tell her that because there was no need for her to get anxious over nothing. Later that night, Vic and I went out to dinner. I still had that weird lower back pain. In my head, I kind of knew this wasn’t normal. I had a feeling this would be our last night of a family of two, but I never said anything. I hadn’t had any back pain my entire pregnancy, so I knew this was out of the blue. Later that night around 11pm, I told Vic I was going to bed early because my stomach was bothering me. Now if you know me, 11pm is pretty early. So that was another indicator that something was off.
Wednesday, April 24th 2019 :
It was about 3AM when I woke up. I tossed and turned in bed all night. I just could NOT get comfortable and my stomach was still hurting. I got up to use the restroom and quickly realized why I was so uncomfortable. At this point, I was pretty sure I was having contractions! I quickly downloaded an app on my phone to track my contractions. Then I woke Vic up in a panic. “ Vic…wake up, I think I’m having contractions!” We both looked at each other and said, “ What do we do? Should we call the Dr.?” After calling the Dr. , she told us to just keep waiting until my contractions were closer together and I started to feel more uncomfortable. Well I had nothing to base my pain off of because I was already uncomfortable in that moment. Ha!
I then did what any unprepared pregnant Momma does…I had to get EVERYTHING READY. I’m not sure what I was doing with myself one week before my due, but I had nothing prepared! I started to pack my hospital bag. I started a load of laundry because I had no clean clothes ready for our Son. I then took a shower, washed and dried my hair. At least one part of me would be ready for birth. My hair! Vic looks over at me and says, “ Should I pack my bag too?” “ YES! This is it! We are going to the hospital! Pack everything! “ I then went into a panic because I haven’t had my last “bump photo” taken to document the end of our pregnancy. So we walked around the whole house until I can find the perfect wall as my backdrop. And then we took some more in our bedroom. While having contractions mind you! I then continued on to the downstairs. I tidied and cleaned up every room to get our house ready. You probably would of thought I was a crazy person that morning if anyone saw me.
It is now 6:30AM and we made the call to head to the hospital. We texted our parents to tell them the news! My Mom and Dad had plans to fly to NC the day we went into labor. But we didn’t want them to book their tickets if this was a false alarm. So we had them on standby until we knew more information. After being examined around 7:30AM, we found out I was only 1cm dilated. Only ONE! I was in this much discomfort over ONE CM!? They told us this is very normal and could be false labor. We can have a baby today, in a few hours, next week, etc. They said we could walk around the hospital hoping I progress or go home to see if anything changes. We decided to go home to be more comfortable. My parents are still on standby waiting if they should make the move to buy their plane tickets yet. We told them to keep waiting.
After arriving home, I was so uncomfortable. I was hungry, but couldn’t seem to eat anything. I ended up eating a few strawberries and a waffle. I was exhausted but wasn’t able to rest. Lying down seemed to be worse. All I can do was lay on my side. And with almost EVERY contraction I had, Vic massaged my back for me. At this time I told Vic he needed to make another appointment for them to check my cervix. He kept telling me that we need to wait a little longer and that I’m probably only 2cm dilated. He didn’t want to go back to the hospital for another false alarm. But he made the appointment anyways. 2:45PM it was scheduled for. By the time we were driving to that appointment, I was in pretty bad pain. I gripped Vic’s hand the entire car ride. Luckily the hospital was only 15 minutes away from us. Upon arrival, I can barely get myself over to that check-in window.
Finally, the nurse called me in to examine my cervix. The words, “ Oh! You are about 5/6cm dilated right now! It’s time! Let me get you a wheelchair. We are bringing you over to a labor room!” I proudly looked over at Vic and said, “ I told you! I knew I wasn’t faking this pain! I knew I wasn’t experiencing this pain over 2cm!” Vic sends out a text to my parents. All it says is, “come now.” My parents have an entire different story to tell of their experience on the other side of this. It’s pretty funny! But they went into complete “GO mode” after receiving that text.
When we got to our room, the nurse asked what our birth plan was. I said I would like an epidural NOW! MY body was SO tired from having a contraction every 3 minutes since 3AM. I found this out later, but our Son was Posterior. (Sunny-side up) Which means the baby’s head is against the mother’s back. It explained the excruciating back pain I had through every contraction and push towards the end. By the time I was able to get that epidural, it was 5PM and I was probably around 7cm dilated. The nurse kept saying how impressed she was with how I was handling the pain. She said she was pretty sure I could have had a natural birth in no time if I just held out a little longer. I didn’t really care about that at the time! Throughout my entire pregnancy, the one thing I was scared about the most was that epidural needle in my spine. But it honestly wasn’t that bad. I even had it done during a contraction.
My body was finally able to relax! Everything was looking good. I was progressing ; just a little slower since I had the epidural. It was the weirdest feeling not being able to feel my legs. The nurses told me the epidural worked a little too well. My legs had to be held the whole time up during labor. And at one point, one of my legs fell off the bed. Haha! It was now 10:30PM and my parents had JUST made it! I couldn’t believe it. They couldn’t believe it. They couldn’t believe they made it before the baby came. They even thought we were joking and checked my stomach to see if I was still pregnant. They got to see us and talk for a little bit before it was time to start pushing! To the waiting room they went, because it was time!
11PM : 10cm dilated. Nurses had broken my water previously. They said for first time Mom’s that it was normal to push for up to 2 hours. They reassured me it wouldn’t be that long since the baby looked so close. (But it really was a straight 2 hours of pushing!) Contractions were about every minute or so. The nurse said with every contraction, I want you to make 3 big pushes! “ Push from within, hold your breath and tuck your chin close to your chest. I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I couldn’t feel a single thing down there. I couldn’t tell if I was doing it right, pushing at the right spot, pushing hard enough. The only thing I could feel is my back pain with every contraction. Vic and our nurse were the absolute best with coaching me through every push. They encouraged me when I had the “right spot” and they never let me feel as though I wasn’t doing a good job. I was SO concerned that I wasn’t “getting it” and needed just a little extra motivation.
Thursday April 25th, 2019
12AM : Vic and I glanced at each other and said we were glad we made it into the next day. An April 25th baby had a better sound than April 24th. Time was going by so slow, yet so fast at the same time. Now it was time for our Doctor to come in. She brought in one of those giant mirrors to put at the end of the bed. I told her I didn’t want to see anything, but she insisted anyways. I kind of wanted to look, but kind of didn’t. So at the end of every third push, I would take a tiny peek! It actually worked. Because I couldn’t believe that the end goal was in sight! I could see our Son! It helped me to push a little bit harder. Everyone kept saying that I was “so close!” But I just didn’t believe them. They asked for another big push, and all of a sudden…I felt this HUGE relief of pressure. I had no idea that last push did it! Before I knew it, I was holding OUR SON in a towel on my chest!
1:02AM “I did it, I did it, I did it!” All I can do was cry and say,“ I did it.” I’m not sure if I was crying over our baby boy, or over the fact that I birthed a baby! It was truly one of the most remarkable and memorable experiences I have ever had. I can’t even explain it. I never understood why some people loved birth and labor. I now was one of those people. The next day, I couldn’t even remember the pains from labor. And somehow, I missed it. I missed the whole experience. I wanted to go back to “that moment.”
Our Son : It took us three days in the hospital to agree on his name. “ Leonardo Manuel Ronquillo “ Born at 1:02AM | 5.13lbs | 19 inches | Our Little Leo
It was a couple months after Leo was born, we were all driving in the car and a song came on the radio. “ Do It Again “ Vic said, “ Did you know this was the song that was playing while Leo was born? “ “WHAT!? I didn’t know that! “ I said. “ Yup, the nurse even leaned over to me and said what a beautiful song to bring a baby into this world. “ I couldn’t believe I didn’t know this tiny and special detail.
“ Your promise still stands. Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness. I’m still in your hands, this is my confidence, you never failed me yet…. “I’ve seen you move. You move the mountains. And I believe, I’ll see you do it again. “
God is good. He is faithful. And He is always faithful. He brought us a healthy and strong boy. Our prayer is that he will know God and be a mountain mover.
When the time comes, I’ll be ready to do it all again…
Now what happened following our Son’s birth, my postpartum depression and our breastfeeding journey is a whole different story!