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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mila's Birth Story

The day of Mila's birth was one of the most intense and emotional days I have ever experienced. It was also the best day of my entire life and I wouldn't change anything that happened. I get so emotional and teary when I think about it and it's going to be hard to write this down, but I wanted to share it before I forgot any of the details.
It started out on Wednesday the 23rd of January. I woke up at 3:30 am with contractions that were lasting about 30 seconds and coming every 5-7 minutes. They were uncomfortable but totally manageable. I was just so excited to finally be in labor (since I was already 6 days past my due date), that I did not even notice the pain. I just felt so much joy! I put in my hypnobirthing CD and relaxed through the contractions. Meanwhile, I had already called my midwife and told her to expect another call once the contractions started to last longer.
Well, that never happened. I was still getting contractions the whole day but they would spread out to ten minutes, then get closer to five minutes, and then to two minutes apart, and then back to ten. It was so frustrating because they seemed to constantly pick up and then slow down the whole day. I kept my hopes up and continued to relax and breathe through the contractions, thinking that something would surely pick up in the night.
The contractions spaced out a lot Thursday night and throughout Thursday morning. In a way, I was grateful because I was able to get a little rest that night, but I was still frustrated that nothing was happening. Luckily, my Mom works in labor and delivery at the hospital so she checked me and I was about 4cm at this point. It seemed like my body had done much more work than that but instead of getting mad, I tried to stay positive. My midwife told me to take advantage of the contractions being so spread out and to just rest on Thursday. I wish I would have taken her advice. Instead, we walked the whole day to try and get the contractions to pick up. Unfortunately this didn't work. I went to bed that night losing more hope, but thankful I could get a little rest before the morning.
Well, I didn't get any rest. The contractions started to come hard that night and I was up every 6 minutes for about 45 seconds to a minute. At this point, they were becoming more intense and I could not relax through them. There was also no way in hell that I could lay down through them so I slept on the floor at the end of my bed with my Mom lying on the edge of the bed. Every time I would get a contraction, I would get on my hands and knees and rock my lower torso while my Mom rubbed and put pressure on my back. I did not know it at the time, but I was experiencing back labor. I never made a noise, just continued to focus on my breathing while rocking my hips. The next morning I was totally exhausted and still only about 5-6 centimeters dilated. My midwife came over in the morning to break my water to get things going. If nothing happened soon, I was going to die of exhaustion!
Before she broke my water, I broke down in tears. I was scared but happy and relieved at the same time. I had so many emotions inside of me and since I was already 6cm, I knew that after she broke my water that Mila would be here soon. Maybe even before lunch time! I was ready for it. Ready for the intensity to pick up, even though it felt that they could not get more intense. Boy, was I so wrong!
She broke my water at 10:30am Friday morning. It was such a weird feeling, like I was peeing my pants but could not control it! My attitude changed at that moment. Adrenaline kicked in and I was ready for anything that came. I just wanted to see my precious baby. I had waited so long!
At first, the contractions were the same as they had been. We blew up the birthing tub to get ready because I had planned on birthing her in the water. I walked up and down the stairs waiting for the tub to fill up. As soon as I got into the water, the most intense part of my labor began. I started to moan, something I was not expecting, but somehow it helped with the pain. My back was killing me and I could not focus anymore. There were so many people in the room and I was getting so frustrated with the talking. I asked everyone to leave except for my mother, Simeon, and the midwives. It helped a little bit but it was still very hard to focus. I kept moving my hips and body with the contractions. It's so weird to think about, but my body knew exactly what it was doing. Moving my hips just came so natural. It's what I needed to do, and I am convinced that that is what made her come through my birth canal, since we figured out that she was coming in crooked. I stayed at 7-8cm for six (yes, SIX) excruciating hours. The midwives tried so many tricks to try and flip her, since she was laying in an awkward position. This is what was preventing her from coming down through my birth canal and why I was not dilating further.

Finally, I broke down in tears and told the midwives that I could not do it anymore and that I needed to be transferred to the hospital. Had it not been for the exhaustion and lack of sleep, I would have tried to wait, but I was feeling so weak and the pain was consuming my body. I did not even feel like I was in the room anymore. I felt as if I was outside of my body and I could not focus anymore. The pain and exhaustion was too much to handle. She was not coming down and I felt that I could not continue for much longer.
I told the midwives that I was sorry. For some reason I felt bad not being able to birth my own baby. I had not planned it this way! I did not want drugs. I did not want the sterile feeling of being in a hospital with people yelling for you to "PUSH!", and I certainly did not want to recover in a hospital for two days. I wanted to be where I was most comfortable. Unfortunately, you can't plan how your birth experience will be. I was not expecting it to be anything like this but I knew that the epidural was exactly what I needed. At least so I could get a little bit of rest!
We left for the hospital at around 6pm. We decided to go to the hospital that my Mom works at because she was confident that the doctor would not pull any tricks on me since she knew him. Unfortunately, the hospital was 30 minutes away, but I am so glad we made the decision. The ride there was strange. Simeon was driving as fast as he could, but there was traffic. The contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes and lasting for a minute. I sat in the back of his car on my Mom's lap. Every time a contraction would come, I would get on all fours and rock my hips while my Mom put pressure on my back. It was the longest car ride of my entire life.
I don't remember much when we got to the hospital. I did not want to speak or look at anyone. I was trying so hard to just concentrate on the contractions. I knew that relief would come soon so I stayed as positive as I could. When I got into the hospital room, they told me that I needed to stay still for the IV and to be hooked up to the monitor. I asked the nurse if I could please sit up on the edge of the bed so that I could at least rock my hips. She let me do this, but I still had to stay completely still while she pricked me with needles. This was the hardest part. Staying still!
Finally, the anesthesiologist came into the room and was ready to give me the epidural. Again, I had to stay completely still while he numbed and stuck me with the needle. I don't know how I stayed still for this part because I was getting contractions the whole time. After about 10 minutes, the pain started to fade and I was back in the room again. I wanted to kiss the anesthesiologist. I told him that he was "my lifesaver" - ha! Although, I did not want the drugs, I do not regret this decision at all. After 15 minutes I was laughing and talking and relaxing. The original idea was to get the epidural so that I could sleep, but after a few hours, the doctor told me that he wanted me to push. I was 10 cm with a small lip of cervix still intact, but he wanted to see how effective the pushing could be. He told me to give him a push and when I did he said, "Okay, that was really good! Let's deliver this baby!". As much as I wanted to sleep, this was the moment I was waiting for. I no longer wanted to relax. Adrenaline kicked in again and I was ready to birth my sweet girl!
They put a mirror on the edge of my bed so that I could see the progress I was making with each push. All I could see was thick little black curls sticking out. My baby was almost here! The doctor told me that we should start pitocin, which made me a little mad. Hello, can you not see the contractions coming every minute on the monitor! I politely declined the pitocin and told him that I wanted my body to do the work. I also told him that I did not want to be cut. I knew that I could push her out on my own and I did want any interference to speed things up.
The pushing was hard, but only because I could not feel what I was doing. This was the worst part about the epidural. I wanted to feel my baby and my body. I desperately wanted the urge to push. Fortunately, once her head started to crown, I could feel so much pressure and I needed to push. It was an amazing feeling, I finally felt like I could do some work! I moaned and made loud noises. I sounded like an animal! I could not control it, but it just felt right. I could not stop pushing either. The doctor told me to relax after a few pushes but it was almost impossible. I just could not stop!

Finally after 2.5 hours of pushing, my little girl came into the world at 11:48pm on January 25, 2013. They placed her on my chest right away and I burst in tears. This was the exact moment I had worked so hard for. All of the pain and exhaustion seemed so far away in that moment. It was the best moment of my life. The feeling was indescribable the first time I saw her face. She was so sweet and little and made the cutest noises. After a minute she let out a big cry and everyone in the room seemed to awaken. After a few minutes, they weighed her. She was 9lb 8oz! No wonder it took so long to push! And she also came direct OP (face up) , which explained the intense feeling in my back.

She latched straight away, and we had lots of skin to skin time. I don't remember much after that. I was so mesmerized by her. I could not stop staring at her sweet features and listening to the sweet sounds she was making. I fell in love. Hard. And I am still falling in love with her everyday. I never thought that my heart had the capacity to hold so much love. She is everything I could have ever hoped for and I thank Simeon everyday for giving me such a sweet gift. She is so worth every ounce of pain I experienced and I would do it a million times over.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I am so happy to welcome my little girl:
Mila Alessandra Garcia
Born on January 25, 2013
9lb 8oz; 21 inches long
My heart is complete.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

maternity photos

Enjoy :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

pregnancy blog: 39 weeks

How far along? 39 weeks + 3 days. She will be here so soon!
Total weight gain/measurements: About 35 pounds still.
Maternity clothes: Still wearing only maternity clothes. I cannot wait to update my wardrobe!
Stretch marks: Still none *crossing fingers*
Sleep: Getting awesome amounts of sleep, besides the constant need to pee. But I'm getting used to that.
Best moment this week: We decided to change from a birth center birth to a home birth so it was exciting to have a home visit this week and organize where everything's going to happen!
Miss anything? Pre-maternity clothes and being able to stand up without pain.
Movement: Yep, still all the time
Food cravings: None really. Still extremely thirsty all of the time.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: I've had BH contractions but not too many and they are not painful at all. I had a little bit of bloody discharge but that was after my cervical check so I think it was just from that (ugh!). Other than that, I've been having very sharp pains in my cervix and I'm 1cm dilated and 50 % effaced (making progress!)
Symptoms: Just having to pee a lot STILL.
Belly button in or out? I think it's starting to make a tiny appearance! But just barely. It's definitely stretched to its max..its very sore.
Engagement ring on or off? On:)
Happy or moody most of the time: Very happy!
Looking forward to: LABOR!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

sage & butternut squash gnocchi

People, this recipe is amazing! I've made five or six different variations of this dish, and it never gets old. It's sweet, savory, smoky, and tangy all at the same time. I love making it with gnocchi just because it cooks so fast and makes it a little bit heavier, but you could make this with any type of pasta. If you are a goat cheese or butternut squash lover (like I am), then I promise you will love this!

Sage & Butternut Squash Gnocchi
serves: 4


1 package gnocchi
1/2 large butternut squash, diced
3 smoked bratwurst ( or sausage, or whatever else you like)
1 tsp sage, chopped
1 sml package of goat cheese (or however much you feel appropriate)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Cook the butternut squash in a large saute pan in olive oil until browned and soft - about 10-15 min on med high heat.
2. Add in the bratwurst until browned.
3. Add the sage and cook for a few minutes.
4. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water according to instructions. I find that once a few start to float to the top, they are done. Drain.
5. Stir the goat cheese into the gnocchi until it is melted. You might need to add a little of the pasta water or some milk to make it thinner.
6. Stir in the squash mixture carefully, so as to not make it too mushy.
7. Garnish with some more sage and enjoy!
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