Two months ago I was a nervous wreck. I knew at any moment my wife could go into labor. We had prepared as much as we could. All the classes and reading could only get you so far. It did help prepare us a little bit but when the moment arrives, everything we had learned was thrown out the window.
FEBRUARY 1 -
I am on my way to work when MA tells me that she is spotting and that she has to go to the nurse practitioner at her doctor's office. I turn around, take her to the nurse practitioner, and we are informed that it is a sign the baby is getting closer to saying hello world. The nurse tells us that its normal but to let her know if it continues. I go to work and after a couple of hours, MA calls again and we are back to the doctors office. Just days earlier, MA's doctor told her that she was probably a couple weeks away. We are still more than two weeks away from the due date but we know little Baby Padilla is already full term.
Spotting lessens but MA is a little more uncomfortable. She is having back pains that are causing her a lot of grief.
Back pain gets worse. At bedtime, she can hardly sleep. In fact, she doesn't sleep. I can hear her groaning and feel so bad for her. Woman are amazing. I cannot imagine going through all of this. I couldn't take being trapped in a cast for a month, much less having a baby changing your entire body and kicking you for nine months. It is the worst night of the pregancy. We do research and find that it could be like this for weeks.
It is hard for me to go to work because I know how much discomfort MA is in. MA has a stress test and is informed she is having light contractions every five minutes. She is told not to worry because the magnitude of the contraction is not yet strong enough to signify that the baby is coming. My sister comes over to San Ramon to stay with her just in case anything happens. I remember being stuck at work. It was a wet night and there were accidents all over the bay area map. I don't leave work until about 7:30 pm. When I finally get home MA asks for massages because its the only thing that distracts her from the pain. I massage her everytime she feels a "false contraction." After maybe half hour of rubbing a tennis ball on her lower back I start taking count of how often they come and go. She would tell me "now" wearily to let me know when to start. And right after I stopped she would tell me "now" again. I tell her, "MA thats like two minutes apart." But still the strenght of the "contraction" is the same as earlier when she was told they are supposed to be a lot worse. I just think MA can take a lot of pain. My sister is still with us and its like 10:30pm when MA calls her doctor and is told to just go to the hospital.
My emergency ready backpack is not yet ready so I run upstairs, throw some shirts, underwear, pants, pjs, and toiletries in a bag along with DVDs, an ipod and laptop to get through the night. We still believe we are days away from having a baby and we are just going to be sent home. Well, thats what I believe anyway. My sister heads home thinking the same thing.
We get to the hospital around 12:30 am. We check in and get a room. MA's doctor is called and a nurse walks in to check on her. The nurse checks how dialated MA is and the nurse says MA is dialated 8 inches! At that moment we realize THIS BABY IS COMING TODAY! I call my sister who just got home and tell her MA is in labor. My sister is shocked. And at that point everything is moving 100 miles per hour. The heart beat rapidly increases and we don't know what to do. We just have to listen to our nurse. She gives us all this paperwork regarding what they want us to do with our stuff and all this other stuff. I am just signing and trying to help MA sign. Then we debate for an hour whether or not to do an epideral. The nurses poke MA a half dozen times trying to hook up an IV and that is just getting us more nervous. They finally get it in. MA tells me to hook up the ipod but I can't find it. I end up just throwing a friends DVD in the laptop for her to watch. I try again to look for the ipod but MA gets mad as she needs an hand to squeeze. And YES, its true, pregnant women can squeeze a hand like Andre the Giant on steroids.
There is a point that I actually need to yack. There is just too much going on. My stomach was jacked already from something I had eaten and all that was going on was not helping. MA actually sees me dry gagging. I know I need to hold it together so I kinda just try to get in a place of zen.
MA's contractions progressively get more painful for the next hour. Before we know it, its 2 am and the doctor still isn't here. MA starts to freak out a little bit. The doctor that she trusts and is comfortable with is no where to be seen. We are informed that no one could get a hold of her and that the other doctor in the practice was paged. Of course that doesn't make this anxious, stressful moment in our lives any easier.
Then the pushing starts. I cannot believe that this is all happening so fast. Being there to see a woman push is also further evidence that women are 100 times stronger than men. And I have had a kidney stone and it was nothing like this. I will skip the details of this half hour just because TMI
I see the head is ready to come out and its a couple minutes past 2:20 am and the doctor is still not in the room. The doctor finally opens the door and walks in. The nurse tells her, that the baby is going to come at anytime and to hurry and put her gloves on. The doctor washes her hands, puts on the gloves, and the nurse actually tells MA to hold on and not push yet. When the doctor is finally ready, she gets in position, tells MA to push and all of a sudden at 2:25 am on 2/5/2010...WAAAAAA! WAAAAAA!
OH MY GOD! The baby is quickly handed to MA so she could be the first one to really hold her and I get shivers up and down my spine. There is hardly any blood on her and she doesn't look too blue like we had heard could happen. She doesn't even have that cone head because MA didn't push for hours. I cannot believe how beautiful our little girl is. I cannot believe she is actually OUR LITTLE GIRL.
I go to cut the umbilical cord and right when I start this blood squirts out. I compose myself, finish cutting the cord, as the nurse goes to clean the baby up and run some tests. I am trying to take pictures and video the baby's first moments on earth. I stop, just stare at her, and my eyes well up. This is so amazing. I just want to grab this baby and squeeze her as hard as I could (I still feel that way every day).
While I am watching and recording the baby's first moments out of the womb, I notice that MA isn't even done yet. She still has to push and do this afterbirth stuff which I am not paying any attention to as my eyes are glued on the cutie pie!
I could go on forever but I don't think I will ever get this post out. I started it weeks ago as it is but looking back on that day, my spine still tingles.
Later that day while Mary Anne was getting much needed sleep, I held the baby, who we finally decided to name Ava, in my arms and just looked at her in her eyes and my eyes began to water. Friends and family were soon coming over to visit. I could see Mary Anne sleeping right next to me and I could see my beautiful daughter struggle to keep her eyes open staring at me. A tear rolled down my cheek and as I wiped it away, I knew at that moment I had everything I could ever ask for.