Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cruz's Birth Story

Cruz John Manganaro
November 13, 2011
6lbs 15oz; 20 in long
Saturday, November 12th  (38 weeks, 5 days)

Nick & I had planned to spend the day watching football and lounging around the house, so in the morning I ran to the grocery store to get ingredients to make chili and some other game-day snacks. Around 2pm and after getting everything together, I was relaxing on the couch when I felt an uncomfortable leak. I [waddled] into the bathroom where I noticed a difference from the normal pregnancy discharge and when I wiped the paper was more pink than clear. At this point I was concerned, so I got onto my laptop and googled what had just happened. I got mixed messages on what I should do next and if in fact this was the start of labor. At this point, Nick had come upstairs to get something to eat and I explained to him what had happened. He asked if we needed to head to the hospital and I said, "not yet."

As I was laying on the couch, I continued to feel a slight leak and decided to call my doctor's office. Surprisingly, Dr. McTaggart picked up the phone herself and as I explained what was going on, she said that we should head to the hospital and she would call and tell them to expect us.

I went downstairs and told Nick that the doctor wanted us to head into the hospital but I was going to shower and get ready first so he had about an hour before we needed to leave. After getting ready and washing up the dishes, we packed up the car and headed to Bergan Mercy. On the way down we were debating calling our families to let them know we were heading in - my biggest fear was that I was wrong and they were going to send us home because we weren't going into labor yet.  We decided to call our parents and, of course, my sister Tessa. We also sent a heads up text out to our brothers & sisters. At this point, I started feeling slight contractions.

Once we got to the hospital around 4:30pm, they immediately checked us into a birthing suite where our nurse, Sheryl, started examining me.  This is when my water fully broke and she confirmed we were going into labor. At this point, I was only dilated 1cm. A while later Emily, a resident, came in to examine me and predicted that we wouldn't have the baby until 4am. (What...4am?!? But my water broke, isn't it time to have this baby?) Around this time, the anesthesiologist happened to be in our wing so they asked if I would be ok if they started the epidural process. Surprisingly, Nick watched as they stuck the needle in my spine (surprising because two of his biggest fears have always been childbirth and needles!)
Getting the epidural

From there it was a waiting game. Nick went between pacing the room and being on his iPhone watching football and texting family & friends and I was on my iPad and phone doing the same. Tessa was the first to make it to the hospital and came up to hang out with us in the birthing room, followed soon after by my parents, Josh, Ashley & DeLaney, and Nick's mom Carol & her boyfriend Duane.

Around 7pm, Sheryl left and introduced us to our new nurse, Maelene. Right before 9pm, the contractions were coming more frequently and were more painful, so I asked for the epidural and our families left for the waiting room. The epidural was amazing. As soon as the anesthesiologist put it in the catheter, I could feel the cool, soothing sensation flow down my back and almost immediately the pain went away (though I still had some slight pain with each contraction). Shortly after, Maelene examined me and told us that I was only 3cm dilated...that was such a deflating feeling, it seemed like it was taking forever. At this point, I felt bad that everyone had been waiting for so long and it looked like it would take a lot longer before Little Mango was going to make his appearance. When Nick's dad John got to the hospital, he came into our room to quickly say hello - and that is when he saw the dry erase board on our wall where Nick had written "Welcome Cruz John Manganaro." We hadn't told him we had decided his middle name would be John and you could tell he was moved. He then sent Janice up and then they went back home to put Sicily & Dominic to bed since they were babysitting them that night.

The waiting continued until my 11pm examination. When Maelene told us that I was fully effaced and 9cm dilated, we were ecstatic - it was game time! Maelene and a few other nurses started prepping the room. We were excited to think that we would be having our baby on 11/12, however, the nurses had other things in mind and we stared at the clock as it ticked closer to midnight. Finally, Maelene came back in, verified I was 10cm dilated and prepped me. I hoisted my legs in the stirrups and she helped me practice pushing during the contractions, which consisted of her watching my contractions on the monitor and having me take a deep breath and push for 10 counts. I would be doing this three times during each contraction.

Sunday, November 13th  (38 weeks, 6 days)
Around midnight, a doctor and a couple of nurses came into our room and we were all waiting for Dr. McTaggart who had been paged, but hadn't yet responded. Finally they found her (she had been asleep!) and we were ready to roll.

With Nick up by my head, holding onto my shoulder, I started pushing through each contraction. Since I couldn't feel anything it was hard to tell if I was making any progress, but all of the nurses and doctors were great at giving me positive feedback after every push - at least making me feel like we were getting somewhere. After some time, they explained that Cruz was being stubborn and wasn't progressing as quickly as they hoped and they thought they would have to use the forceps to help pull him out. I was praying that wouldn't happen and after a few more pushes, he was out!

It's difficult to explain how I felt as soon as I saw them take him from me and bring him over to get cleaned up. He was bluish in color, with a little cone head from being in the birth canal a bit longer than anticipated. Immediately I broke down in tears and took one look at Nick who was smiling through his tears. What an amazing moment. While they removed the placenta and stiched me up, Nick walked over to where they were cleaning Cruz up and grabbed his tiny little hand...almost immediately, Cruz squeezed his finger back.

Finally after what felt like forever, they brought him over to me. With tears pouring down my face, I looked into my little boy's eyes. He was perfect and for the first time I felt like a mother. This moment was truly the best of my life.

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