It was a Friday morning, September 17, 2021 and Stella slept in our bed for half the night that night. Looking back, she had been doing that for the last few weeks. Waking up and coming to our bed. This particular morning, I woke up to her kissing my face. I opened my eyes and she smelled my boobs then said “boo boos are ready”. She then pulled the covers off my belly, looked at it and said “baby is coming”. We got up and went on with our morning making our way downstairs. I made our favorite breakfast and we ate together. When I was done, I sat down on the couch with some cramping that I was breathing off. I found myself not being able to get up as easily as usual but chalked it up to the pelvic symphysis disfunction I had been suffering from. I thought maybe I had just pushed myself a little too hard the day before at my maternity shoot. After measuring the pain to be 5 minutes apart, I called for Eric to come down to take the food off the stove for me. Plus, we had made plans to go to the beach and we needed to get a move on it.
I felt my contractions come and go as he cooked and cleaned and kept a close eye on me. Stella kept asking if I was okay and I kept reassuring her that my belly was hurting but I was okay. All of the sudden our cat Ramona jumped up on the couch behind me and started sniffing me closely and intentionally. She went from one side to the other and settled right next to my face. That was rare.
Once Stella was done with her breakfast, I took her out of her chair and decided to go upstairs and lie down for a few minutes. Stella came up and got into my bed with a book and she proceeded to read to me. Eric came up too and I asked him to start putting our hospital bags together. See, we had another 6 weeks to pack and finish the nesting process so we hadn’t finalized most things yet. He packed for us both and I asked him to call my doctor to see if I should come in or go to the hospital. He told them I was having contractions every 5 minutes but I was 33/34 weeks pregnant. They immediately told him to take me to the hospital.
The biggest challenge that we were facing was what to do with Stella since kids aren’t allowed in the hospital due to covid and I could only have 1 person with me. Ironically, on this same morning, our super nanny left for Canada to spend time with her family so she would be here when I went into labor in a few weeks. Life sure does throw you curveballs. We packed the car and took Stella with us to the hospital. I got myself checked in and Eric figured out what to do next. My contractions were now closer and stronger and checking in was taking what seemed like forever because the lady didn’t “believe” I was in labor at my gestational week. Stella saw me as I walked out of the checkin and sat in a wheelchair. She walked over to me very concerned. I kissed her and told her i was going to see the doctor and I would be with her soon. Finally, the woman wheeled me up to triage. The whole ride up there she was filling my head with worst case scenarios. I looked at her and simply said, I’ll see what the doctor says.
We arrived and I was scoping out who the nurses on duty were hoping to see none of the same ones from the last time. My last experience at triage was traumatic. I had been trying to bypass this step this whole time, but it’s not possible unless you have a planned cesarean. Luckily, this time I was met with welcoming nurses who took good care of me, listened and truly did their best. They hooked me up to all the machines with belts around my belly to measure contractions and an IV to keep me hydrated and lessen the contractions. When they checked my cervix I was dilated 1 cm.
After a few hours if monitoring, I was 3 cm dilated and the midwife could feel the baby’s foot poking out of my cervix. She was in shock. At that point they put me on bed rest because my contractions were stronger and stronger and they were trying to avoid a premature birth. They decided to take a more aggressive approach to stopping the contractions with an injection. That played out for the next couple of hours with a couple of more injections as the contractions wouldn’t subside. I was then moved to labor and delivery with an even more aggressive approach to stopping the contractions and a steroid shot for the baby’s lungs.
Finally my contractions were slowing down a bit and they cleared me to have food. Eric went out to get something to eat but by then, I was feeling the contractions again and as a precaution, I decided not to eat. I continued to measure them on my own and reported back to the doctor because I knew the machine I was hooked up to wasn’t measuring them. The nurse didn’t have it on correctly. At that point, she decided to check my cervix again. This time, I was 6 cm dilated and she immediately called in for an emergency c-section. Baby Beni was defying all medical intervention and was ready to grace us with his presence.
With a foot in my cervix and my contractions growing closer and closer, I was prepped for surgery. I cried as I turned to Eric. I found myself most concerned with my baby being okay than any fear I had of being cut open. Eric kissed me and assured me everything would be okay.
The nurses whisked me away and I could hear Eric telling them to stop so he could kiss me. Carrying all our bags, he ran down the hall to me to kiss me and caress my head before I left his sight. He reassured me that he would be right there and that he loves me. A few minutes later they rolled me into a sterile room with massive machines and lights. It was very intimidating. There seemed to be about 10 people in there all in scrubs from head to toe. They moved me to another bed and continued to prep me before the doctor and Eric came in. Once they were both there it went super fast.
I felt a lot of pressure and movement but no pain. Eric didn’t take his eyes off of me for one second. Next thing I knew, the doctor holds up our baby and announces “it’s a boy”. Eric jumped out of his chair and cried. It was such a beautiful moment that we will cherish and remember forever.
Being that Beni was 6 weeks early, they had to take him away and clean him up immediately. But before they took him to the nicu, they called Eric over to cut the umbilical chord and take pictures while they sewed me up. Once he was all bundled up, they brought him over to me. With a face mask on and completely incapacitated on the surgical table with my arms spread out like a cross , I wasn’t able to do much but look at him. Next thing I knew, I was being wheeled into my postpartum room where I would spend the next three days recovering and pumping for my new baby boy.
It was an unexpected delivery, but it was beautiful.