Birth Story

On the morning of May 4th I woke up at 9am to use the restroom as usual since sleeping in late was a thing of the past with my little baby dancing on my bladder each night. When I was done I turned to flush and noticed my mucus plug had fallen out. I distinctly remember this part of the birth class my boyfriend and I attended and remembered we googled it right after to see pictures and be ready. I sat back down on the toilet and yelled to Tito,
“It’s happening!”.
He shot out of bed and asked me how I knew and I showed him my mucus plug. Tito was amazing throughout my pregnancy where most men would have stepped back or been grossed out he was always intrigued and wanting to be a part of each new moment no matter how gross it was. There was a full moon that night and I recall my grandma telling me I was going to give birth on the 9th full moon of my pregnancy some old Cuban wives tale but here it looked like she was going to be right again. We showered and checked off the baby bag check list. I put make up on and a comfortable dress. All the while I was feeling little cramps and thinking to myself this isn’t so bad. Tito called out of work we jumped in the car and headed to the hospital. Once we arrived we checked in and I was still having what felt like bad period cramps but not in any specific sequence. I let the nurses know very eagerly that my mucus plug came out and I think I’m going into labor. One of the nurses asked if my water broke and I kindly responded no not yet and then she asked,
“Well why do you think you are in labor then?”. In a sarcastic way. I was so confused.
My doctor is an eccentric crazy man as I like to describe him. He’s probably in his 50’s, loud, Cuban , and is always telling jokes and running around driving his staff nuts. He told me during my last appointment once your mucus plug comes out go straight to the hospital so that is what I did but I was getting the sense I wasn’t supposed to be there just yet. I was 39 weeks and 1 day. Full term as most would say. They strapped me in the monitor gave me water checked for dilation and there was none. I did have tiny sporadic contractions but nothing that I couldn’t handle. They mostly felt like strong period cramps. They kept me there for another hour and did an ultra sound to check on fluids and the baby and all was good. The nurse said she was going to send me home that I was not in true labor but she wanted to check for dilation again. She went in and at that moment I felt pain. I had no clue they just went all up in there with their hands. It was so uncomfortable. I wasn’t dilated at all but I did feel liquid come out. I asked if my water broke and she said that it was just the lubricant she used. With that Tito and I got up and I was discharged to go home.
We were so excited but it turns out she wasn’t just quite ready. I went home and organized a few things and tried to relax. I didn’t tell anyone but my mom so I didn’t have to announce to the world my false alarm. Piece of advice try not to tell anyone until it’s really happening because when it did I had an army of family and friends waiting to see us.
At around midnight that night we finally got into bed. I had started feeling the same cramps again but since it wasn’t anything major I didn’t worry. That night I woke up almost every hour to use the bathroom and noticed some fluid coming out on my liner. The pains were a little more frequent and a tiny bit more intense but nothing more than a bad period. I wanted to let Tito sleep. Poor guy would wake up every time I got up throughout my entire pregnancy. Tito had to work at 8am Tuesday the 5th so I tried my best to keep quiet and just shook it off to a little pee on my liner. He woke up at 7am started to get ready when I told him I was leaking. This time I wasn’t sure if I had just peed myself a little. Which happens when you are huge and I was HUGE. He asked me if I was ok and that he would call out of work again. I didn’t want him to get in trouble so I insisted he go to work. Right at that moment the pains started intensely. Seems the baby didn’t want him to go anywhere. These cramps were stronger and sometimes shooting down my lower back. I tried to lie back down and go back to sleep but nope not with these pains. I didn’t want to make him nervous but I let him know I would call him if anything. He kissed me good bye and went off to work. Just a few minutes after him being there I started texting him every time I had a contraction. Yes a contraction. You know when you ask how do you know it’s a contraction well let me tell you there comes a point where you realize it’s a contraction and not some crampy pain and it hurts like hell. When people ask me what a contraction feels like the best way I can describe it is that feeling you get when you have a fart that is stuck but is still trying to come out and the worst period cramp ever all together, if those two had an evil baby that’s a contraction. They were all over the place. One at 8 minutes and the other at 5 then at 3. I called Tito and once again I told him it was happening but this time was for real. Tito came right back home and when he walked in I was doing yoga poses on our bed to calm the pain and relax. I wanted to stay home as long as I could because I didn’t want to just be lying there at the hospital again. I had to be sure. The tiny bit of clear liquid was still coming out on my liner and the pains were becoming more intense. I called my doctors office and let me know what was going on and the nurse said,
“You need to get to the hospital right away it sounds like that liquid is amniotic fluid!”.
I told Tito we had to go and once again I showered got ready and then he asked if I was going to do my make up and I told him no and that’s when he knew I was in a lot of pain because I didn’t care about anything but getting the car fast. At around 9:30am we drove there and I was moaning and groaning with pain. They checked me in again at the hospital laid me down and checked for dilation. I was 1cm dilated and the nurse told us she would get us a labor room ready. Tito looked so happy and scared but this was it. I was in pre labor. My contractions were more regular and a lot more intense. The nurse already had offered me the epidural since I was in a lot of pain but I wanted to stick it out as long as I could. The phone calls begun. We had to let our close family and friends know and of course my mother who was my other support person. Before they moved me to the labor room the nurse checked again for dilation and then I felt like I peed myself. Oh my gosh my water broke, and I was 2cm dilated! I was so happy and Tito as always was so intrigued he had to get up and look closely. I was so excited I was moved into my own private labor room and almost immediately the contractions became so much more intense and much longer. Each one was lasting about a minute and that happy moment I felt when my water had broke was slowly turning into major discomfort. Tito would coach me and make me laugh with each contraction and tell me that I got this. My mom and my stepdad finally arrived and came in. I had made them pink custom grandma and grandpa shirts since was their first grandchild. They put them on and then a contraction came. I could see in my mothers face she was freaking out. My mom can not really handle seeing her kids in pain. As kids she would even walk out when we got our shots. The nurse came in again to check for me and I was 2-3cm dilated. No clue what that meant because I assumed you were either one or the other. They offered me the epidural again but I wanted to wait a bit longer. I got this! My sister Cristy arrived and was all too excited asking a million questions and at that point I wasn’t a happy camper. My contractions were between 2-4 minutes and shooting down my back and my legs at times. Tito was playing the role of updating my father in New Jersey and his family and our friends but he was always close by. Every time I had a contraction my mom would call to him and beg him to comfort me because she just didn’t want to see me in pain. It was around 1pm when the nurse came in again and checked me but this time I felt as if she was jamming her fist inside of me and her fist was covered in knives that were then covered with acid. Yes it hurt that much. I screamed loudly in pain and had a contraction all at the same time. It was awful and then she told me I was 4cm dilated. She offered me the epidural again and by this point I had my mom explaining to me that I didn’t need to be in pain and maybe it was time to tap out and get an epidural. I was uncertain and then the next contraction came and went by surely the most intense one yet and as I screamed I asked for the epidural. The nurse let me know the anesthesiologist would be shortly. Everyone left the room they prepped me for my epidural. The anesthesiologist came in and he was wearing thick gold chains and pleasantly plump and was very chipper. He let me know this was going to hurt a bit but I didn’t expect it and I moved a little when he put the needle in. All I was thinking in my head was I’m going to be paralyzed now and my back was ruined. I tried so hard not to move while my contractions shot through my back. I had the nurse holding me, I was grabbing a pillow for dear life and the anesthesiologist telling me not to move. It was all too much with the pain but then suddenly I felt no pain. It was all gone and he told me I was done. He explained to me the little button hear my shoulder was some extra juice in case I needed it and the nurse helped me lie back and I was relaxed. Tito, my mom, my step dad, and my sister came back in and I was in a much better mood now but I couldn’t feel or move my legs which really bothered me. The contractions were still happening and the only reason I knew it was because the spikes on the monitor next to me because I felt nothing. I was all happy go lucky and talking it up with everyone the nurse came in examined me and I felt nothing. I was 4-5cm dilated at that point. I was thinking how awesome this was and why didn’t I do this sooner but at the same time I was proud I was at least able to make it this far with out any meds. Shortly after I noticed the nurse checking up on me a lot more then she was before and I also noticed the babies heart rate monitor didn’t sound as consistent and strong and before. I asked her if everything was ok and she said yes but the doctor would be in very soon. Then out of no where I started to feel queasy and had the urge to puke. Tito ran and got me a puke bag and I let loose. My mom just looked and me and kept asking the nurse why I was so pale and everyone started to worry. All I could hear was the babies heart rate slowing down and then speeding up again. The doctor came right in and let me know that he had been watching my monitors for some time and things were taking a turn for the worse. The babies head was already at the end of my cervix and I was only 5cm dilated. They couldn’t give me pitocin to jump start my labor because my blood pressure was too low and irregular. Each time my body was contracting I was squeezing the baby and causing her heart rate to be abnormal. Then the doctor told me what I had prayed so much I would never hear. I had to have a c-section. My immediate reaction was to burst into tears. Both the doctor and my mother consoled me. After all, he delivered my brother and sister so they were both working together to calm me down. I asked if the baby was ok and he told me she was but he feared if we waited longer that she might not be. I nodded yes and had to accept it. I broke down again and just began to tell Tito how sorry I was for not being able to deliver our baby normally. I felt like a failure. All the baby classes, the endless research, and the prenatal yoga felt like a waste. I was devastated. I knew I had to do this for Penelope. For her safety and even though she wasn’t even born yet I put myself second and only thought of her.
I kissed my mom, step dad, and sister goodbye. It was all very dramatic. I was terrified. I knew my mom had four c sections and all of us were fine but there is something about knowing you are about to be sliced open that is unnerving. They handed Tito a blue surgery suit and told him they would grab him once the room was prepped. I was rolled away and put into a white room full of shiny metal this and that. In my birth class the instructor told us that if we end up having to get a c section and get curious to look up at the light because the dome reflects back at you. Big mistake! I was staring at them rubbing orange liquid all over me and putting a blue curtain up. The epidural was in full swing I couldn’t feel anything at all from the waste down and I couldn’t move. I had a weird reaction and was uncontrollably shaking my arms and chest. They offered some more meds to help with that but I had just about had it with modern medicine at this point. There was a sweet nurse that came into the room. I had cried the entire time while they were prepping me but when I saw her and she started to console me I broke down. I knew I needed to be strong for her but I was so worried about her. She was more important than me shaking or being cut open. I just wanted Penelope to be ok. Tito still hadn’t been brought into the room and that was something else I was missing. My partner in all this. He was there from the moment of conception, to the baby classes, and coaching me during my contractions. I saw my doctor rush in and begin talking but I didn’t hear what he was saying. All I heard was the sound of small instruments crashing around and monitors beeping in the background. Tito finally gets brought into the room he looks at me and tells me that everything is going to be ok and somehow I believed him. Within seconds I hear,
“IT’S A GIRL!”.
Just like that Penelope Marie Iturria was born at 3:24pm on May 5th, 2015! We joked all through out the pregnancy that we wanted a Cinco de Mayo baby since both him and I were born on the Fourth of July and it really happened. We had a little Cinco de Mayo baby! The nurse had told him he could take pictures with his phone and he just looked like he had seen a ghost holding his phone up in shock with a smile smeared across his face. He finally looked down at me and told me she was here, but I didn’t hear anything from her. Then once again I was filled with worry until a few seconds later I heard her first cries. That was the most soothing sound I had heard all day. My babies first cries reassured me that she was ok behind this large blue curtain. It was as if the doctors were putting on a magic show behind that thing. Tito was so still and the nurse let him know he could go see her. I yelled at him to go to her. When he came back Penelope Marie was placed upon me wrapped like a little croquette. I was in shock. That came out of me?! She was by far the cutest little alien thing I had ever seen. Yes babies look like aliens when they are born but she was the most beautiful one ever! Her eyes were slightly open and Tito, Penelope, and I were all staring at each other. The sweet nurse was kind enough to interrupt and take some photos of us meeting for the first time. It was all over. I carried this beautiful creature for thirty nine weeks and two days but she was finally here. It was all worth it. Each contraction, the heartburn, the swollen feet, the endless bathroom trips, the unsolicited advice we endured, and I would do it again. Now a different journey began. Tito said it best. Let’s raise this baby!

Meeting Penelope Marie for the first time!
Meeting Penelope Marie for the first time!
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6 thoughts on “Birth Story

  1. Jessie this is Awesome!! I could swear I was in the room with you as I have tears rolling down my face! Can’t wait to meet Penelope!!

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  2. That was beautiful!! My heart was racing as I read and I was literally freaking out with you. I think mostly because of how alike our stories are. Like you said, I would do it again! God bless these beautiful babies. They have changed our lives forever. ❤️❤️❤️

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  3. I literally have a single tear coming down my eye. This is beautiful. I can’t relate, but you give me something to look forward too. Thank you
    For sharing . I absolutely love this story.

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