I was a week and a half past my due date, and ready to give this baby girl an eviction notice to get out already! I remember waking up around 6:30 in the morning because I felt an uncomfortable cramping. At the time, Junior and I were living at his mom’s and so I wandered out to the living room where she was, and I curled up on the couch.
She asked me what was wrong, and I ignorantly answered, “Oh I have these cramps, they woke me up…” She asked me how far apart the cramping was, and I still didn’t catch on to the direction of her questioning, until she told me she thought I was in labor.
I was thinking, really? It didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it was supposed to. It was really just like period cramping, really uncomfortable. We started timing them and called my doctor. She advised that we head to the hospital, so we did!
When we arrived at the hospital, the nurses checked me out and I was about five centimeters dilated. While one nurse was ready to send me home, thankfully another overruled and told me I was staying. She then instructed me to take a walk around the halls of the hospital for an hour and come back to see if I dilate more.
So junior and I headed off on a stroll around the hospital halls. At which point, my contractions started getting stronger and closer together. Every few steps I took, I ended up curling over in pain, groaning until it subsided, then I would walk a few more steps. After what felt like the longest hour of my life, we returned to the nurses to get checked out again. I had dilated a couple more centimeters, so they admitted me to a room.
I felt as though I was handling the contractions fairly well, given I didn’t have any pain meds at that point, and I was getting really excited to meet my baby girl. The nurse came in and asked me if I still wanted an epidural? If I didn’t get it soon, it would be too late. I almost had second thoughts, wondering if I could have handled the pain and done a natural birth… but I opted to get the epidural anyway.
The anesthesiologist came into my room and advised me to sit with my legs off the side of my bed and reach down to touch my toes. When the needle was inserted into my back, I felt the most awful shocking feeling run through my body. I have no idea if that is normal, but the feeling afterwards was great. I couldn’t feel anything from my waist down, not even the contractions as they came. It was great!
As the contractions got closer together, the doctor announced that it was time to start pushing! Three big pushes and fifteen minutes later, out came my beautiful baby girl! Gabriella Yvonne, named after her Great-Grandma Yvonne, was born at 6:55 PM on Sunday, April 6th, 2008. She weighed 7lb 4oz and was 19.5 inches long.
I watched helplessly as the nurse took her and cleaned her off. It looked to me as though she was rubbing her down pretty rough and this intense motherly instinct came over me quite suddenly. I wanted to take my daughter from her immediately. I’m sure I was being overprotective already, but I couldn’t help it, I just wanted to hold my baby.
I remember the moment the nurse brought her over to me and placed her on my chest. She was so small, and I felt as though she was so extremely fragile. I was just in awe of this little person and amazed at how much love I felt for her at that moment, having just met her. She was so beautiful, so perfect and I was so in love.
I don’t remember much that was happening around me honestly. Both Junior and I’s family were waiting on us, and I can’t say who was first in the room to meet her. All I know for sure is how I felt in those first few moments, and that my life had been changed forever.
I was a mother. I gave life to this tiny little person who is fully dependent on me for everything that she needs to survive. I knew I had to do everything within my power to make sure this child felt loved and was kept safe. For as long as I lived.