My Cubican and Me

My Cubican: Ryan, Sweet husband of Mexican and Cuban descent (hence my Cubican)

Me: Kellie, Wife, Mommy, and so much more

Our Boy: Kylan, the cutest little man ever

Our Girl: Rosie, tiny, precious, and full of spunk

Our Blog: Life, Love, Laughs, and other good things...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kylan Gustavo Lehi Aguiar.

Two weeks ago was the hardest and most rewarding 24 hours of my life. And now, before the memory fades, I want to tell a story... Kylan's Birth Story.

Mostly this is for me, and my little boy,  but since we are friends, I don't mind sharing it with you as well...

My due date, June 24, 2012, was a Sunday. I was just as pregnant as I had been for the past nine months and it didn't seem likely that anything was going to change. I went to church, had dinner with family and friends, watched the Food Network. Really it was just another day. My dad's birthday was the following day and I went to sleep that night with my dad's prediction of a baby as his birthday present ringing in my ears. As much as I wanted to meet my little guy, I had reached the point where going into labor seemed like an unlikely event, something that just wasn't ever going to happen. I loved being pregnant. It was the most sacred and wonderful experience (In fact, I miss it. Not that I want Kylan to go back in or anything!)... but after being pregnant for so long and with no signs of change to come, it just felt like I would be pregnant forever. 

That night I lost my mucous plug. (Seriously a gross experience.)

The next morning (Monday, June 25th) at 6:30, I started having contractions. I laid in bed, not sure what to do, and honestly not even sure that I truly was experiencing contractions (hello, never had a baby before, not quite sure what this whole labor thing is like). It hurt, that much I knew. I decided to try and go back to sleep, especially since its not uncommon for contractions to just stop. The contractions came about every 10-30 minutes for the next couple of hours. I slept through some, had breakfast through others, and at about 9:30 I told Ryan and a few others. I still didn't want to get my hopes up, but figured I should let them know that a baby might be on the way. 

Because I was overdue, we had an ultrasound scheduled for that afternoon. My contractions had sort of calmed down and were coming less frequently so we just decided to go ahead with business as usual. When we headed to Springfield (an hours drive from our home) at about 1 the contractions were back and coming pretty regularly, 10 minutes apart. In the ultrasound we discovered that our little chunk was estimated at 9 pounds 6 ounces. We got to see his adorable face and his big feet, little did we know that we would be seeing him again real soon!

Kylan's adorable foot with his darling monkey toes!
His gorgeous face. I love him so!
After the ultrasound (about 2:45pm) we decided to come home. Even though it was a long drive and we figured we would have to make the trip again pretty soon, I wanted to labor in the comfort of my own home for as long as possible. I called my mom to get her advice and while on the phone with her had a pretty narly contraction. We were about to start driving home when another nice, strong one came. Ryan looked at me in shock, wondering if I really just had another contraction... those two beasts were only 4 minutes apart! Because we just weren't sure what else to do we went and got smoothies (and a chicken wrap that tasted like spicy peanut butter), continued to time my contractions, and really just waited. After about 45 minutes of steady 3-5 minutes apart contractions, going home seemed like a waste of time and gas, but I absolutely did not want to go to the hospital yet. At this point, quite honestly I was super irritated. I was uncomfortable and I just wanted to be home. More than once, I cursed the stupid ultrasound appointment that had inconveniently, and now unnecessarily, brought us to Springfield several hours too early. 

Despite my crankiness, Ryan was a rockstar. He held it together so well. And also came up with the pretty brilliant idea to go see a movie... Hey, why not! I'm just laboring, might as well do it in the blessed air conditioning (it was something over 100 degrees outside) with some nice entertainment. So off we went to Snow White and the Huntsman. Throughout the movie I continued to time my contractions. They came like clockwork, 3 minutes apart. I remember being amazed at how much it hurt and then once the contraction passed, how great I felt. Such complete opposites just minutes apart. 

When we left the movie at about 6 (We didn't quite finish it, for those who were wondering. With about 20 minutes left, I felt too much like a caged animal to keep sitting there, so we abandoned the theater and I just told Ryan the ending...) we got a hold of my mom, who was driving to Springfield to meet us. I didn't know what to do, and wasn't sure when to go to the hospital. Because I wanted to be able to move, to walk, to take a bath, whatever felt most comfortable, without interference, we decided to go to my sister's apartment rather than the hospital. My sweet Marlena lives just a few minutes from the hospital and, having just had a baby 6 months ago, was more than sympathetic. Her and her husband opened their home to this huge laboring whale (thats pretty much what I felt like). While at her house we indulged in delights such as chocolate protein shakes, a hot hot hot bath, one super awesome birthing ball (btw who actually has their own birthing ball! Winner... ok well I bet it is actually like a "yoga" ball or an "exercise" ball or whatever. Minor details. I was birthing: so a birthing ball it is!), Bunheads, tacos, and a whole lot of painful cervix dilating!

I would like to take this moment to express just how grateful I am to be blessed with such supportive friends and family. My husband was so sweet and understanding and did everything I asked of him without question. And my mom, having had 4 of 6 children at home, was invaluable. She showed me different positions and techniques to try. She reminded me to keep my eyes open, to relax, to breathe through the contractions and let them work the way they are supposed to (all of which are pretty difficult to remember when you are in such exquisite and indescribable pain).  

After a few hours of this I decided I was ready to go to the hospital. It was about 8:30 at that point. When we got to the hospital I change my mind about that place real quick! I had never been in the hospital before, never had a serious illness or injury, and the word that kept repeating in my head was a simple one. No. No I do not want an IV, I do not want to lay in bed, I do not want to do this. Unfortunately it was a little late for that... We made it up to labor and delivery after much stopping to lean against the wall and breathe (you would think that, at a hospital, a woman in labor would not be that exciting or out of the ordinary, but from the looks we got I was quite the entertaining sight). I was a little worried that because I had only pre-registered on Friday (procrastination has always been one of my strengths) that I would have all sorts of paperwork to fill out before they would let me in. As it turns out, all they wanted from me was a half-sheet of paper, the first line of which asked my first name, but even that was just too much. I remember staring at the words and knowing that I should know the answer, but not being able to come up with it. I quickly passed the pen and paper to Ryan and focused on simpler things like standing. 
Sorry it's a little blurry, but here we go! Checking into the hospital...

Signing the paper, after Ryan filled it out
Because the triage rooms are so small only Ryan was allowed to come back with me. We went in and they took my weight and had me leave a sample (peeing in a cup while in labor: not an easy task)... They nonchalantly told me to change and then I would be checked and possibly admitted, if I really was in active labor...... because the last 14 hours still left doubts about that? Dumb nurses. I was at a 4, sounds pretty active to me. Once that was established I got to go to my nice little suite. That was when I met Lorinda. She was my wonderful, supportive, knowledgeable, kind nurse throughout the duration of my labor and delivery. At the time I was unaware of just how much I would come to love this lady in the next few hours... Although the last thing I wanted was to lay down, into bed I got like a good little hospital patient. Lorinda, as quickly as possible, went through all the necessary "house-keeping". She put in my IV, she went through all the paperwork at the speed of light, and made calls to my doctor to get a release for me to be up and about. Because of her sheer awesomeness within about 15-20 minutes all that mumbo jumbo was done; I was out of bed and on the birthing ball! I was informed that although my doctor was not the doctor on call for the hospital, she is always on call for her patients and would be the one delivering my baby. I'm not sure how I missed that fact throughout all my previous appointments and interactions with her, but it made me love my doctor even more than I already did. I had discussed my birth plan with her previously and she gave the ok for me to walk around and have only intermittent monitoring. I was determined to do this on my own, naturally. 
Lorinda, my exceptional nurse!

Signing more papers... 
Over the next hour I cycled through various positions and labored to the tune of Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives... Yes, that's right. Food Network accompanies me even when having a baby! Then it came time for monitoring. I had to be all strapped up again and in bed for about 20 minutes. I was checked and had progressed to a 6! Two centimeters in a little over an hour, my pain was not for naught. Baby was doing just fine and so was I, so after the monitoring nazis were satisfied I was allowed to get up again. This time I decided to take a walk down the hall. What a pretty procession we made :) Me, in my double gown so as not to expose my bum to the world, my IV pole, my barefoot husband, and my mommy. 
I'm so charming, even in labor! 
Our trip down the hall...
Several times on our lovely stroll we had to stop so  I could lean against the wall and Ryan could put huge amounts of pressure on my lower back... This was pretty much the only thing that alleviated some of the pain. 

Ryan's shoes, abandoned in the room
 Up until this point I have been doing pretty good... Staying positive, breathing, in control. That's when transition hit full force. Holy cow. Transition labor is a beast. Only a few centimeters to go, but it feels like a never-ending hell ripping through your body. Despite my desire to keep it natural, I requested some kind of pain medication to help me through. I was informed that once given said medication, I would be confined to my bed for monitoring. Because it is policy for patients to be monitored once they reach a certain point anyway, and I was nearly at that point I decided to get a shot in my hip and feel a teensy bit less pain. Once in bed, it was a struggle to stay there. Each contraction brought waves of pain that had me writhing. My mom and Ryan, who had been taking turns putting pressure on my lower back through each contraction all night, were now massaging my legs non-stop to help me relax and allow the contractions to do their job. These two individuals seriously worked almost as hard as I did for this little guy! When I was about an 8, I pretty much just lost it. I remember feeling so out of control. How on earth could I keep doing this, I wondered. I just wanted to go home. No more labor. Just home in my nice bed, and not feeling this awful pain. 

This is the part where the story takes a bit of a sad turn for me. I wish desperately that I could change it, or hide it, but what is the point of telling Kylan's birth story if I don't tell the truth. Besides, despite the feelings of disappointment and shame I am still struggling with, this is the most miraculous thing I have ever done. I had a baby. A perfect little boy. And when I felt like I just couldn't take it anymore, I was offered an epidural. I said yes. It might not seem like that big of a deal, and I have absolutely nothing against epidurals or women who choose to get them. But personally, I have never wanted one. It is something that I have always felt very strongly about. My body knows how to have a baby, and women (my mother included) have been giving birth without epidurals for thousands of years... In that moment, however, the pain seemed intolerable and the end so far away. I assumed that I still had hours of this whole labor business left, and hours of pushing. So not only did I say yes, I began to beg for the anesthesiologist to come faster. 

Although he got there fairly quickly the epidural took what felt like hours to place. I sat hunched over, unmoving, through contraction after contraction and by the time it was done I was already almost fully dilated. He then told me that it would take about 20 minutes to take effect. 3:25 a.m. That was when my relief was supposed to come (for those of you who are unaware, Kylan was born at 4:06... so about 45 minutes later...) but to be honest it never really did. They pushed the little button, the anesthesiologist even came back and gave me another dose, but still I felt every contraction, and when it came time to push, I felt that too. Each time a contraction came, my mom encouraged me, ensuring that it would be the last one I would have to feel. She wasn't lying to me, she just didn't know that there really was no way for the medicine to catch up to the pain I was feeling. With everyone else I have heard of, relief and numbness came almost instantly... I guess epidurals don't like me as much as I don't like them. 

Shortly after I got the epidural Lorinda began asking me if I was feeling any pressure to push. At first I didn't really, but then the urge became stronger and stronger. My room had become Grand Central Station as nurses prepped for the baby to come. With my mom on one side coaching me, Ryan on the other, and Lorinda monitoring our progress, the pushing began. Lorinda soon informed me that I am a good pusher, I thought she was just trying to encourage me, but before I knew it we were calling for the doctor to get there ASAP. Too bad "as soon as possible" did not seem to be quite soon enough; with the doctor about 10 minutes away, I was instructed to stop pushing and instead "blow through the contractions"...... Oh ok. Yeah, I will just blow through them. Great. Sounds easy enough, even though my entire body is screaming one word at me... PUSH!!!! After a few failed attempts, they were calling the doctor again to see just how long she would be otherwise the on-call doctor just might have to step in. Luckily she was making her way into the hospital! I swear it was like we were in a movie or something: she ran in, and raced to put on all the proper baby-catching gear, stepped in front of me, then one contraction (3 pushes) later Kylan practically jumped out! I only pushed for a total of 31 minutes and at the end of it all I could think was "Wait! Is that really it? Its over? We're done???" Shock doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. 

Kylan Gustavo Lehi Aguiar, 9 lbs 10 oz, 22.5 in
I can't even begin to put the love I have for this tiny, little human being into words. Motherhood is truly a sacred calling in life; one that I will be eternally grateful for. 

Some other fun facts for your gee-wiz file (mostly these are just minor details about my labor and delivery that I don't want to forget):::

Ryan is currently taking online classes, and he just happened to have some assignments due that night (the 25th)... So while I was in labor, when it wasn't his turn to help me through the contractions he was on my phone trying to complete his homework! :) What can I say, we are good at multitasking! 
Just taking his test, no big deal. 
When Lorinda asked me if I wanted any ice or a popsicle, Ryan jokingly asked if he could have one too... just a few minutes later she returned with not only my ice, but a popsicle for my silly husband. She also got my mom some juice because she heard us talking about how mom had forgotten to bring some. I tell you what, that woman was just an angel! 

During transition, I was having a really hard time staying focused and in control, so my angel nurse quietly excused herself, saying that she was going to get me something to focus on to help me through the pain. Shortly after, she returned with the sweetest little teddy bear. A teddy bear that I kept with me throughout the rest of my labor and that I slept with afterwards when they had taken Kylan to the nursery.
My little friend.

After they took Kylan to the nursery, my little friend kept me company
My adorable and wonderful Katie-sister stayed up texting my mom all night long, so that she knew exactly what was going on, despite the fact that her two young daughters would wake up just as early as they usually do the following morning. She was also the one who kept the rest of the family updated! 

My mom told me this after the fact, but when the nurse was cleaning Gus up and all that jazz, she went to put a diaper on him and joked about how she wasn't sure the newborn diapers would even fit him! Gotta love my little man... btw he outgrew newborn diapers when he was like 4 days old. 

It fit! 
So grateful for this sweet addition to our family!