Cruz’s Birth Story
I’ve taken WAY too long to write this. I truly believe I’ve waited for the right time to write this piece so I can sit and feel what all transpired during labor and birth. This one is going to be a long one so brace yourself. Thank you for taking the time to read this story because it helps me heal and wrap my head around my son’s birth. This experience taught me that babies write their own birth stories, not us as parents. What we, as parents, envision and want is not always the outcome and I think that’s parenting in a nutshell. Every birth is beautiful and every child is beautiful.
My pregnancy was healthy and despite a few minor annoyances, I enjoyed being pregnant. My pregnancy with Cruz got off to a puke-worthy start and in hindsight, my projectile vomiting was a sign that I had a healthy baby cooking in my belly. I was puking every day until I was 20 weeks pregnant. I adapted to that. The second trimester felt so much better and the third trimester I had a lot of heartburn and insomnia. All very normal things and part of the process of carrying a child. I was relieved by having these symptoms and I truly mean that.
Those first kicks and finding myself falling in love so quickly are truly the most beautiful moments of my entire life. If the world wasn’t overpopulated and I had enough financial resources and help, I’d keep having babies until I could physically no longer carry a child. I highly doubt Marcel would be on board with that! LOL!
My due date was set at December 15th and Cruz made his appearance December 9, 2016 at 12:30 am. My water broke on December 7th at 10:00 pm. I was upstairs in our bonus room and wallowing on the couch watching Netflix with the dogs and the woosh of water came and all over the couch. I’m not gonna lie, I was scared shitless because I thought this was it! We called the Midwife and labored at home until about 1:00 am on December 8th. Before we left we for the hospital we watched movies, I ate a vegan version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and thank god because I wouldn’t eat again until lunchtime on the 9th. Marcel rode with me through all the waves of contractions and when the contractions got closer together, we made the call that it was time to go to the hospital.
When we arrived to the hospital they admitted me because my blood pressure was high. I truly believe it was due to the environment and nerves. I got settled in my room and we waited, waited, waited, and waited. I only opened up to 4 cm on my own from 10 p.m. on December 7th until 2:30 p.m. December 8th. That’s 15+ hours of labor without drugs, over 48 hours since I had slept, and to say I was depleted was an understatement. My Doula and Midwife guided me with things that I could do to help the contractions but the depletion was very obvious. I walked the halls, did squats, took showers, and took nitrous oxide between contractions. I did all this from breakfast until the mid-afternoon.
After that shitshow I said, “Give me the damn drugs!” I got Pitocin and an Epidural. Initially I felt like a failure for asking for drugs, but I think I knew that I needed them. and looking back I should have gotten them sooner. I cried in the shower with Marcel about not having a natural birth but I think he was relieved that I was getting some relief. I was never forced to take drugs and my labor was not rushed by anyone. I demanded them. I was asked multiple times if I was sure about taking drugs. I had become so weak that I knew that I could not carry on how I was. I looked and felt like road kill. Marcel and I rested after the epidural kicked in. I slept hard! And I mean hard. At about 6 pm on December 8th I was FINALLY fully dilated! YAY!
The Midwives came in and it was now time to push! I was so fucking ready to meet my son! I pushed for over 4 hours. What the fuck?!? It’s show time! Where is my baby? The Midwives talked about using forceps because his head was literally wanting to crown and they could see it but something was preventing him from coming out and it was my god damn narrow pelvis. Head going against bone kinda shit. Head couldn’t go through because my pelvis was acting like a dam. One of the Midwives said, “There is no way forceps will fit.” My heart sunk. What options did I have left? The Midwives told Marcel and I that they needed an OB/GYN to examine me because they did not feel comfortable using forceps because it might break my pelvis or hurt Cruz. The OB/GYN came in and she did an examination and told me that my pelvis was extremely narrow and the way his head was turned was compromising to his neck. The Midwives and OB/GYN talked to us and said the only safe way both Cruz and I could be safe was via C-Section. At 10:30 pm Marcel and I made the decision to have a C-Section and we would be the last surgery that evening.
At this point, everything felt like a dream state. I was prepped for the operating room and I felt like I was surrendering to how Cruz wanted his birth to be and that was okay and beautiful. My Midwife had a pep talk with me about honoring my wishes even though I was having a C-Section. I wanted my placenta encapsulated, delayed clamping of the umbilical chord, and Marcel to have skin to skin with Cruz immediately because I wouldn’t be able to.
My wishes were respected and honored by the Doctor and surgical staff. The operating room is extremely cold. So cold. Marcel talked to me and asked about what I wanted to eat after this was done and kept me focused while they were cutting me open. My Midwife was in there the whole time too. It was beautiful how everyone came together for Cruz and from different parts of the medical field met in the middle and honored everyone present. It was truly beautiful. No egos or anything. The next thing I heard was, “Look at those cheeks!” from the surgeon and the most beautiful cry I’ve ever heard. My Midwife took beautiful photos of everything.
This was the greatest day of my life besides marrying my husband. Nothing I had been through in the past 48 hours, nine months, or my entire life mattered at this point. My son was here and we were nurtured and loved by everyone, from our family to the entire medical staff. It was a beautiful morning. The totem I associate with Cruz is an owl because he was conceived during a dark time in my life and he brought light to it. It was very fitting that he was born at 12:30 am…when the owls are out.
December 9, 2016 at 12:30 am Juan Cruz Hernandez, II was born at 8 pounds and 3 ounces, and 21 inches long and this is his story.
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