Friday, April 15, 2016

Birth Story: Leo Florian Manganaro

After waiting for what felt like forever and at the same time sped by so quickly, our second Little Mango joined our family on Thursday, February 4th at 9:33am. He weighed a whopping 8lbs 8 1/2 oz (all thanks to his big ol' head) and was 20 3/4 inches long. And he is absolutely perfect. The most amazing addition to round out our little family of four.

It all started on Wednesday. Since my doctor had scheduled me to be induced on Thursday morning, we had lined it up that Cruz would go to my sister's (aunt Titi) and spend the night since we had to be in the hospital for delivery so early the next morning. Nick and I decided to take advantage to our last free night - we got pedicures and had dinner at Baby Blue. Sushi (cooked, of course) had been my go to during this pregnancy for sure. It was at dinner that I started having contractions. I didn't mention it to Nick because it felt like I had been having real contractions so many times in the weeks leading up to his birth that I felt like I was becoming the girl who cried wolf. The Braxton Hicks with Cruz had definitely been different than they were this time around.

Once we got home from dinner, the contractions got stronger and were coming closer together. After a couple hours, I called my doctor to get her thoughts on if we should go in. She gave me some tips on how to keep them at bay (drink tons of water, walk around when I felt them coming on, etc) and if they didn't slow down to call her and head to the hospital. Since I was scheduled already to see her in the morning, I don't think she wanted to drag herself out of her house on that cold night for an earlier birth. =) I could tell Nick was nervous because he was pacing around the house and throwing stuff into a hospital bag, asking me repeatedly if I was ok, should we go in, are you sure, you just tell me when.

My contractions continued getting closer and stronger, so we decided to head in around 9pm. It would be better to labor through them at the hospital versus trying to get comfortable at home knowing I wouldn't be able to sleep that night. And the hospital has drugs. Always go where they have the drugs. By the time we left for the hospital, my contractions were about five minutes apart.

At the hospital, we got checked into the room where I would give birth. They ran tests and got me hooked up and after talking to my doctor determined they were going to try to get me to hold off until morning. The night was rough, I'm not going to lie. The nurse gave me some meds to help with the pain and while they worked for a while right after she gave them to me, they didn't last. I did manage to get a couple cat naps in here and there.

By 7am, a new round of nurses and residents came in and got me ready for the pitocin. Once that was given, the Anaesthesiologist came in around 8am and set up my epidural. Surprisingly when I had Cruz, Nick watched them administer the epidural needle into my back. Surprising because he does not do well with needles. This time around, the nurse set up a chair in front of me and made him sit in it. They said they do this for all husbands these days because they've had too many hit the floor and didn't want to risk it.

By that point, I was feeling no pain...

Then my nurse asked if we wanted a mirror to watch the delivery. I had no intention going into this thinking I would ever want to watch it...and Nick definitely didn't want any part of that. I surprised myself by telling her I wanted her to move the mirror in and if I changed my mind, I would have them move it. I figured this is the last time I'm doing this, if I don't watch now, I may never see it happen live.

Around 8:30am, I was 9cm dialated and by 9am I was at 9 1/2 cm. It was at this point I started feeling what can only be explained as hot flashes and then nauseous. Then I puked. A lot. My nurse told me this was common at this point in the labor. Now it was go time. My doctor came in, the nurses got me set up, and I was told a resident was going to do the delivery while my doctor stuck close to manage. (Whatever....if you get this kiddo out of me quickly, I really don't care who does it.)  This was approximately 9:25am.

With Nick at my head (grasping my arm, headphones in and looking toward the wall behind me - I promise this was for the best, we didn't need a man down) and my nurse at my side, I started pushing. All I know at this point with both my deliveries is that they are asking you to push as hard as you can, and you think you are, but you can't really tell/feel it so you don't know. After one push and a look in the mirror, I could see the top of the head and a mass of dark black hair (holy surreal). Throughout, Nick kept squeezing my arm and looking down at me, almost completely oblivious to what was going on just a few feet away. =)

A few more pushes and they realized that his shoulders were stuck by my pelvis. They used the forceps to guide them out and the next thing I know little Leo was out. They cut his cord, swaddled him up and immediately handed him to me...goopy, gross and all. Tears were streaming down our faces. I was in love. And I wanted to hold him forever. After a few minutes of them stitching me back up, the nausea came back and I called to the nurses that I was going to be sick again. I quickly handed Leo off and threw up yet again. After they cleaned me up, I got my baby back and got to feed him for the first time. He ate quickly and feverishly.

Labor hair. Don't care.
How was watching the delivery? Well, the best way I can describe it is as the most disgusting, interesting, weird, crazy, amazingly beautiful train wreck. Even if I wanted to look away, I couldn't. "How is that coming out of there?" kept repeating in my head.

Once all the tests were run on Leo and I and after they cleaned him up (finally), they moved us down to our recovery room where we would stay for the next two nights. Fortunately we lucked out again and got a double bed, which is so nice. Nick was able to stay right in bed with me and not have to park it on the uncomfortable couches in the rooms. Similar to Cruz, we took advantage of having the nurses and sent Leo to the nursery each night. Some may not agree with this, but for us it was some of the best advice we were given. It gave us a chance to rest up while knowing our little man was getting attentive care in the nursery.

Throughout this pregnancy, I struggled with how I could love another human as much as I love Cruz. I mean, I am nothing short of obsessed with Cruz. He is my best friend and my favorite person in the world. There was no way I could have that much love to give another baby.  And I can't explain it, but as soon as they put Leo in my arms, I was overcome with the biggest feeling of love and pure blessing. It was such a surreal experience, but I immediately knew that I loved this little guy as much as his brother. And I'm equally as obsessed with him. I'm so lucky that I get to be a mama to two of the most amazing little boys.


  1. Ohhhh! Love Leo's story...and girl, you look fabulous post-delivery! Not that I'm jealous or anything! ;) I especially love the pics of Cruz and Leo together!

  2. gah! girl. good work. leo and cruz - swoon.

  3. gah! girl. good work. leo and cruz - swoon.

  4. Oh my god follow the drugs. YES. I am dying that Nick had to look away! Did he do that with Cruz?! Hilarious. I'm dying. And the double bed and nurses who willingly take a baby. Wow. Sounds like a spa hospital! Lucky!

  5. All the stinkin' feels with this post girl! When I texted you earlier you should've said "read my blog dummy." :) So fun reading about how sweet Leo made his entrance!

  6. Oh my gosh - you are one strong mama!! I was laughing at how nick had headphones on and you said - for the best LOL!! Congratulations again - he's perfect! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  7. Not to sound like a jerk, but most newborns are not cute. Your sweet boy is absolutely the exception. Holy cuteness!!! 💙

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Your comments make me smile! Thanks for taking the time to share some love =)