Now that my little babe is on this side of the belly it is so, so easy to forget all the weeks of back pain, insomnia and swollen feet. Emotionally the world seems so much better now as well. All the fear, uncertainty and concern of how things will be, are gone. Everything seems very clear now, all things are coming into place, all pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly now. There were two of us and now there are three. Seems like three is what has always been. My precious boy completed our little family.
The birth was all I imagined and more. Anticipating the due date I was scared, excited and anxious, I was not sure what to expect. My biggest fear was me not recognizing the early stages of labor, getting on a subway and my waters breaking somewhere between Jackson Heights and 59th Street on the way to work.
After crossing the 37 week mark when the baby is considered near full term I started walking on eggshells. My anxiety grew each day. I was also dealing with pregnancy diabetes and somewhere around week 36 my sugar levels started to get out a bit out of control, no matter how careful I was. Well, I also cheated here and there since it was the Holiday Season! All the cookies, chocolates and other sugary treats were spread all over the office’s kitchen counters and were so hard to resist. That did not help the sugar levels either. Yikes.
I never skipped a single appointment, blood test or an ultrasound. As I was getting closer to the due date, my baby boy just kept growing. Due to the diabetes he was on a bigger side, at least that was what the ultrasounds were showing. I was getting heavier myself and by the time I was 38 weeks I had gained 40 pounds (I went from 124 to 164 pounds). By that time I was ready to have my boy. Actually, I felt ready at week 36 which is when I basically stopped sleeping, there was no relief from insomnia. By that time Franco already dropped, pressing on my pelvis causing me a lot of pain while walking, sitting, lying down, basically doing anything.
Around that same time (week 36) I was already 1 cm dilated; I really thought Franco would make an early appearance! Well, let me tell you that I stayed 1 cm dilated for 4 weeks, until the day I was induced just a few hours before my due date. Earlier that day I had my OBGYN appointment hoping to hear good news of dilating more and progressing. After being examined, it was still 1 cm. I literally broke down. I was so tired from not sleeping for the last month (and still going to work full time), exhausted from the pain in the pelvis area and not being able to sit, walk and basically do anything without hurting that I started begging my doctor to induce me. It was my due day the next day after all. Since it was my first pregnancy, I knew it was not uncommon to go a week or two past due; I felt I would not be able to go one more day. My anxiety went really up.
My doctor agreed, but only for the reasons of my sugar levels being very high due to diabetes, not due to me begging. She promised to give me a call later that day after speaking to my other doctor who was in charge of managing my diabetes. When the phone rang around 6pm I got goose bumps, all I remember the doctor saying was ‘grab your bag, you are being induced tonight’. I literally started running in circles. Excited. Scared. Relieved. Happy. I knew I was going to meet my baby boy within the next 24 hours.
T. and I had dinner, I ordered an UBER (ha!) and off we went to NYU Langone Medial Center. I was hooked up to a machine measuring contractions, getting prepped to be put on Pitocin to induce contractions. And guess what?? Once I was in a hospital bed I started having contractions on my own. As if my body relaxed and gave in, possibly because I felt I was in a safe environment and my fear of going into labor on a train or in the office, was finally over. My body started going into labor naturally. Regardless, I still received Pitocin to speed up the process since my natural contractions were 12-15 min apart.
It was quick from that point on. We arrived in the hospital just before 8pm and I held my boy in my arms at 4:34am that same night. I had a wonderful experience with all the neonatal nurses and my OBGYN who delivered my boy. I feel blessed to have access to modern medicine that made the process as painless as possible as well as safe for me and the baby.