Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One crazy, life-changing beautiful day

August 11, 2011

Driving into the parking lot of Providence Holy Cross, I thought to myself, "This is it! Francis and I are walking out of this hospital with a daughter!!!!" Never did I imagine that things would happen the way that they did, but regardless, Francis and I will definitely mark this day down as the best day of our lives.

Walking into the hospital I felt nothing but excitement. I walked to the admissions bungalow as Francis found a parking spot. I waited for Francis and was wheelchaired into labor and delivery. Apparently there were about 3 other deliveries occurring at the same time and since I was an induction, I was of course the last to be seen. (after experiencing contractions, I completely understand why!)

I finally got admitted into a room (1110) and we were set. I was to deliver in this very room sometime within the next 2 days!! My nurse checked me and told me I was about 1cm dilated and 40% effaced and was not nearly ready to have Alana just yet. She couldn't quite make out whether she felt an ear while examining me so she asked for a second opinion from an ultrasound and an exam by Dr. Gabbay. The ultrasound confirmed that she was definitely head down, but what was that body part that the nurse felt?

Dr Gabbay finally steps into my room and while performing a vaginal exam, she accidentally breaks my water!!!! Guess it's time to deliver!!! And for those of you who have never had kids yet, be soon as your water breaks, those light contractions turn into unbearable pain quite quickly. Epidural please!!!! Of course again I was last to receive mine. But I wasn't exactly brave when it was finally my turn. Everyone including Francis was asked to leave the room.

They first injected me with lidocaine to numb the area. I was instructed to keep completely still as I sat at the edge of the bed and to my surprise, I barely felt anything at all! There was a slight pressure on my spine but no pain. Whoever invented epidurals is a genius!!!! Slowly the pain decreased and all I could feel was tightening on my stomach and some tingling in my feet.

After another exam, Dr. Gabbay realized that Alana was in face presentation and could not be delivered normally. The "ear" that the nurse thought she was feeling was actually her mouth and she had to be delivered via C-Section. Within minutes they were prepping me for surgery.

I was prepped by my nurse fairly quickly and taken to the operating room. Francis wasn't allowed to walk in for the first few minutes while they got me ready and I was just completely nervous being alone in there. I was moved onto the OR table with each arm to my side, and the anesthesiologist near my head. A curtain was placed so that I wasn't able to see my lower half and Francis was finally allowed in. He sat to my left, held my hand and before I knew it, the surgery had already started without me feeling a thing. Within 4 minutes, the surgery was done and the first thing I heard was the beautiful sound of my daughter's first cry and the tears flowed. She was finally here!!! I looked at Francis and it was the most amazing moment of our lives! He walked over to the nurses near the warmer as they checked her and swaddled her. They brought her over to me for a few moments and I was completely speechless. During my pregnancy I kept imagining that moment in my head wondering what I would say to her when I finally saw her, but I was just speechless. She was absolutely beautiful.

Not long after Francis left with the nurses to give Alana a bath as they completed my surgery. When they were done, I was wheeled into recovery and waited anxiously for my new family to meet me there. Francis held Alana for the first time at my bedside, kissed her head and immediately fell in love. He handed her over to me for the first time and I felt a happiness that I have never felt before. I couldn't believe that she was finally here and that we were a family. I only wish someone was there recording that moment...

One by one our family came in to visit us and I noticed that I was just utterly exhausted. I kept asking my nurses and the anesthesiologist if the grogginess was normal and they said normally people aren't but it can happen. So I dealt with it and let it be. They admitted me into postpartum room 1117 and the rest of our family came in a few at a time. To cut the story short, I bled a lot more than I was supposed to and went into hypovolemic shock. I quickly let Francis know that my vision was getting blurry. All I could think about was Alana and Francis...don't close your eyes, don't fall asleep was what I told myself. From what I was told, I became pale, lips were blue, and my monitor registered at 0 for a few seconds. I slowly came back and they pumped me with fluids to replace what I had lost.

After that scare, I was just happy to know that my little family and I were together and healthy. Our family was there the whole time through it all to support us through this and I couldn't thank them enough. Not until this incident did I finally realize how much family means to me. I think through the years I've taken my family for granted and I was reminded of their love during my hospital stay. Thank you to our parents for loving us so much. Hopefully we will be just as amazing in raising Alana. We love you so much!!!

Excited parents-to-be!!!

Francis' view waiting to enter the OR

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Always there for me...

Beginning of surgery

End of surgery

Our beautiful daughter Alana

A little swollen because of her face presentation

First picture as mother and daughter