Familia

On our 1,532 day as husband and wife, we became parents.

The doctor’s estimated due date for our now Maria’s arrival was

October 10th.

However, despite my every effort to induce labor leading up to her “due date” that long anticipated date came and went without her making an appearance.

From the beginning of our pregnancy the more knowledge I gained about labor and delivery the more fascinated I became by the female body’s ability to go through so many changes, take on pain, in order to give life.

I was determined. Our child would arrive when they were ready.

No medications would be taken, and I would power through an unmedicated labor with every bit of knowledge I had gathered in order to best prepare for an unmedicated delivery.

I wanted to join the thousands and millions of women around the world and throughout the course of time who delivered unmedicated.

I wanted to join the ranks of women who were powerful brave and resilient through labor and delivery.

On our 41 week appointment my Doctor suggested that even though my womb was prime real estate ( my words not hers) that I schedule an induction to break my water towards the end of my 41st week so we scheduled a 7am induction for Friday October 19th.

Once she said that I figured no problem I can definitely have my water break on its own before then I’ll go ahead and schedule.

After all, I was doing all the things for weeks: going for long walks, eating spicy food, eating dates, drinking tea,pelvic hip opening exercises, among other things and still … my body was showing signs of prepping for labor.

I was a little bummed by having something scheduled because I love spontaneity and was so eager to experience that spontaneous moment where you go into labor. But in scheduling came to terms with that not happening.

Sure enough day by day passed, and October 18th arrived and THAT is where this post about Maria’s birth story picks up:

October 18th 4:15ish pm

Gregs parents, my Tia Nubia, and brothers were on their way to our house. We had planned a dinner out together at Oceans and Ale as one final meal together pre-arrival of our child.

Around this time I was getting out of the shower because we were planning on having dinner and …trickle… trickle…trickle

how annoying I thought, having to pee after a shower

and then wide eyed it hit me

or maybe its not pee.

So I did what any millennial would do

I googled what was happening,

and decided to text Greg

“No worries… I’m probably wrong… Im not sure but…

I think my water might have broken. but then again I think I just peed a little”

Greg was home in no time with a loving but curious ” Threeeee-sssaaaaa??”

Greg wanted to go to the hospital right away, I wanted to go to dinner because even if it was my water breaking I wasn’t feeling contractions so I assured him it’s fine ( *note: I later learned I had been feeling contractions all throughout that day but thought nothing of it).

5:30ish pm

Our families were arriving and once we were all ready, we headed out the door to Ocean’s and Ale.

I continued to feel like I was peeing a little bit but ignored it throughout our meal and joked to the family like how crazy would it be if my water was breaking.

We continued to enjoy our dinner ( I had a Seafood Pot Pie and Island Fire Shrimp) then at the end of the meal as we were all standing outside the restaurant about to head our separate ways I said,

“so I’m gonna call the doctor because Greg and I think my water may have broken earlier but didn’t say anything because I was hungry and still wanted to go to dinner”.

8:30ishpm

After a humorous conversation with my doctor verifying it was indeed my water breaking, grabbing our hospital bag at home, we headed to and were admitted to the hospital where they confirmed around 8:30 that we were indeed in labor. My water had broken on its own! I was having contractions. We alerted our dearest and nearest friends and family via phone call/text. This was the spontaneous going into labor I was hoping for.

9:30ish to 11:30pm

Contractions contractions contractions

According to the little machine monitoring me I was having them and I was uncomfortable but never in intolerable pain.

At this point my labor was progressing, my body was doing what it was supposed to be doing.

Surely delivery was happening tonight!

Despite the contractions happening … there were no signs of baby’s arrival quickly approaching so my nurse suggested I get some rest. So at around 11:30 I decided to lay down and get some rest.

Maria abracando a Mamãe

October 19th 1:30am to 5:00 ish am

Awakened instantly by sharp intense aching pains.

“Morzinho, MORZINHO, MORZINHO” I woke Greg up thanks to those pains.

Greg is normally very supportive of anything I set my mind to,

and going into this full throttle stage of labor, was no different.

Contractions were happening every 5 minutes and were lasting 1-2 minutes,

and Greg was exactly what I needed him to be in each moment.

He held me, affirmed me (with numerous birthing affirmations we had prepared), breathed with me,

walked the halls with me, encouraged me, swayed with me, reminded me I was strong,

switched gears for me, helped me relax, listened to me, distracted me,etc.

I re-fell in love with Greg between contractions,

the pains were so strong but my support was stronger.

I was shaking, I threw up, I was hydrated but with every contraction I felt closer and closer.

By 4:45am I reached my breaking point.

Not Gregs fault, not my awesome nurses fault,

I was just tired.

And as I cried in Greg’s arms because I so badly wanted to Gove birth without medication he did something so refreshing for me.

He reassured me.

He held me close and said to me that asking for help doesn’t make me weak.

or what I was about to do any less meaningful.

I told him I felt like I was cheating,

that if I caved and got the epidural…

it lessened the authenticity of my labor and delivery experience.

He looked at me square in the eye as he held me tight to say

“whatever you decide I am RIGHT HERE, you know what you need to do,

and you know if it was me I would’ve asked for the epidural as soon as I stepped foot in the hospital”.

We laughed together.

And I felt a sweet relief and sweet release to make the call,

and get the epidural

because I was just so weary and worn.

The nurse that was taking care of me during this part of the story had been ultra supportive of me throughout and when I made my decision she said

” Thressa all births are natural, some are medicated some are not,

listen to me whether its vaginal or Caesarean, medicated or unmedicated,

every time a woman is giving birth something natural is happening”.

The angel on call anesthesiologist arrived 15 minutes later.

By 5:10 the affects of the epidural kicked in.

Thank the good Lord for medicine. I ate a popsicle and then fell asleep.

October 19th 7:00ish am

I woke up and was still having contractions that were every 5 minutes but now I felt nothing, which felt amazing. I said goodbye to my night nurse and met the nurse who would be taking care of me throughout the day. Greg remained by my side and family arrived because showtime was surely around the corner.

10:00ish am

Three hours later and the doctor filled us in that I hadn’t dilated any more than 6cm at this point. The doctor expressed concern, because from what I understand once someones water breaks it’s best to have the baby delivered within 24 hours of the water breaking.

Since my water broke at 3:30pm the day before the doctor encouraged me to get induced with Pitocin, to expedite labor in order to reduce the risk of infection. Because even with getting Pitocin it could be anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours.

So around 10:15ish am I was induced with Pitocin, and at noon to the nurses surprise I was fully dilated all systems go READY to start pushing.

I cried some happy tears in disbelief the time had finally come.

After all this pregnancy

and labor

and delivery had been one long waiting game.

But of course . . . the waiting game wasn’t quite over yet.

12:15pm

Teaching me patience, because even when I was fully dilated my nurse gave us some news.

When she contacted the Doctor to come deliver the baby,

we come to find out we can either have the baby now and our nurse deliver

or

wait 30 minutes for the Doctor to arrive because she was currently in the O.R. performing a tubal ligation (tying someones tubes).

So I chose to wait.

We waited this long already, whats another short while.

We waited and waited…

nearly 30- 35 minutes we waited.

And once 12:40pm came around I grew impatient.

Sure enough as I said forget it lets just go ahead and start,

the nurses were setting up the bed and stirrups for delivery

and it somehow felt not right and uncomfortable.

I felt like I was leaning to far back and the stirrups were wobbly and uncomfortable.

I said ” I know Ive never done this before but this doesn’t feel right can we adjust I feel like I’m falling”

and in that moment the Dr. came into the room like a superhero.

12:45pm

Immediately she said okay who set this up? First things first,

We gotta fix this.

It was so cool because she just came in and took charge.

She instantly delegated and rearranged things to be way more comfortable, efficient, and sturdy.

Including a direction she gave me, ” I’m gonna need you to drop the epidural remote, grab your legs, lean forward and start pushing”.

12:50pm

SHOWTIME.

Greg, mãe ( my mom), mom ( Greg’s mom), and Tia Nubia were there in the delivery room with me.

Behind every great women’s their support system.

I started pushing as Greg pressed play to the first song on the playlist he created:

Samurai Cop by Dave Matthews ( which we’d been listening to all throughout pregnancy that is all about the joy of giving birth and savoring the early days).

In between the song’s I remember hearing Mae saying

“isso ai Thressa, muito bem, continua minha familia,”

Freedom by Beyonce

( a power ballad for back when I thought I wasn’t getting an epidural to help me power through. Either way it kept me determined to keep pushing)

At this point I thought okay I’ve been pushing for 10 minutes surely baby is out by now.

Nope.

More waiting.

More pushing

Rise Up by Andra Day

( a beautiful uplifting song normally, but poor Greg trying to help with the music, I had him change the song because it was too sad.)

He then searched for another song while the doctor and nurse guided me through contractions as he whispered things like ” You’re brave you’re powerful..” and I said okay Greg stop whispering…

Then he played,

Life is Wonderful by Jason Mraz

and as this song was playing

as I was encouraged by the people I love in that room

the time came for no more waiting.

1:10pm

Sobbing like I’ve never seen before Greg said the words

” Thressa… we have a baby girl”

This moment was inexplicable.

Pure bliss and joy and tears rushing down my face.

It’s hard to put into words the feeling of seeing your baby for the first time.

Hearing the man you love so deeply,

who walked beside you every moment of pregnancy with you,

be the one to reveal the gender of your precious newborn as she’s handed to you, is a incomparable feeling that I never want to forget.

I sobbed right there with him.

Life is wonderful continued to play as we held each other and became a family. It was perfect.

We had an hour of skin to skin, Greg cut the cord, the medical team made sure both I and Maria were okay, then we had my brothers and Greg’s Dad come into room as we announced her name.

Greg (Papai) cutting her umbilcal cord)

She was named after my great grandmother

Maria

who raised my mother and taught her so much of love, sweetness, and gentle constant care. A loving woman who loved her family tremendously and prayed for me and my brothers every single day of our lives.

( Naming her Maria has a bonus significance because Greg’s grandmother on his dad’s side who passed away when he was a teenager whom he loved dearly name was Mary, the English translation of Maria. From what I learned)

Her middle name is to honor a strong brave woman who taught me resiliency how to enjoy life and how to love others, my mãe ( my mom )

Glenia

and then of course to carry on the heritage of her Brazilian blood as well as her American heritage

DaSilva – Irving

EPILOGUE:

What I learned was that even though I ended up getting an epidural

and a pitocin induction

and waiting for my Dr.

and needing an episiotomy

(because this daughter ours was trying to make her own exit)

and seemingly nothing about delivery going the way I anticipated it,

it was wonderful.

Because this labor and delivery

much like life with all its curveballs

like Jason Mraz sings, was wonderful.

I was still able to have a labor and delivery experience

that left me feeling

powerful, brave, and resilient

like the thousands and millions of women

around the world and across time.

It turns out my powerful,

meant being powerful enough to admit I was weak.

My brave, meant being brave enough to ask for help.

And my resilient, meant doing whatever was necessary to proceed in labor in order to ensure a healthy delivery for our baby.


Name: Maria Glenia Da Silva-Irving

Birth Date: October 19th 2018

Time Born: 1:10pm

Length: 20 inches

Weight: 7lbs 8oz

Head Circumference : 13.5 inches

Song Maria was Born to: Life is Wonderful

Post Author: Thressa Irving

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