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March 8, 2013 / thegirlwhotooktheleap

Officially a mom!

I know I haven’t posted in a while… But a lot of things have happened to say the least! I’ll try to backtrack and recap my life the past couple of months.. Definitely the biggest change that has happened is that I am now a mom! John was born February 3, 2013 at 2:13pm and he is amazing and incredible. I am so in love with him! Before I go on and on about John, let me first get to the things that happened leading to his birth…

January

At this point I was still in the middle of doing my school placement even though I looked like I was ready to pop anytime. From 36 weeks to the day before I gave birth I still went to work everyday.. In a nutshell my school placement was amazing and a completely fun and enriching experience. It solidified my urge to work for a school district. Kids are just so much fun and I think I have a knack and passion for this field of speech pathology. I had such great supportive supervisors who really guided me and were so understanding about my situation. Being a pregnant intern was definitely a challenge! I was also going to weekly doctor’s appointments and everything seemed to be progressing well with my pregnancy. I was even cleared to just keep working until my due date. I was definitely getting more and more uncomfortable at night when I tried to sleep but the pregnancy was actually still quite manageable. I was very fortunate! I was expecting to go over my due date which is why I booked my mom’s ticket for February 4th, a week before my due date because I was pretty confident I would make it till then. By mid-January, Christy, my aunt who flew in from the Philippines to help with the baby had already arrived and it was a relief to have someone around at home to help me with chores as well. I was definitely getting too pregnant to do things around the house, like carry laundry to the laundromat and shovel snow! But now I wasn’t alone and just having the company was so amazing. I am truly grateful for her! Last but not the least, a fun surprising thing that happened this month was that I had another baby shower! It wasn’t just for me though, it was for all the military wives in Tim’s unit who’s husbands were deployed. It was conducted by the PA Masons, the March of Dimes, the national guard and American baby. I got a whole bunch of stuff for baby John and it was just very sweet. It was awesome to meet other military wives who were going though he same situation as me and it felt good to know I wasn’t alone. It was a sweet gesture, and I am very grateful to everyone who helped make it happen. It made us all feel special despite the circumstances.

News article about the military baby shower

February

When February came, I knew it was definitely coming close. Since this is my first time, it’s not like I knew what labor felt like so at that point I definitely felt like nothing was happening and I just felt like a normal pregnant woman. I would get contractions here and there, I never had any discharge or loss of mucus plug, I never leaked milk, never really had any intense back pain or basically anything that could signify that labor was coming.. So I just kept working and I even worked until
February 1st and did an evaluation. I had an appointment that day and even asked my midwife if there was anything I could do to help jump start labor because I worried about becoming overdue since mom’s visit and my “maternity leave” from school was so limited. At that time I was 38 weeks and 4 days and she checked me and I was 2cm and 50% effaced already (though that’s not really a good indicator of anything so I didn’t really get too excited upon knowing that). She suggested that I start taking evening primrose oil orally and drink some raspberry leaf tea as well just to soften my cervix. On my next appointment the following week when I would be 39 weeks and 4 days she offered to do a membrane sweep to see if it would help as well. I was just pretty excited at that point because I knew my mom was coming in 3 days and would be staying for a whole month!

On Saturday, February 2nd, I woke up like it was any other normal day and just went about doing my regular business. I did the laundry with Tita Cristy and even went out for lunch. At that point I already started feeling funny. I could feel some light contractions coming and going but they were still about 15-20 mins apart and not really painful. So I decided to lie down and drink water and rest just to see if it would go away… It didn’t. Tim called on Skype and I told him I was feeling funny. He could see me getting contractions and told me that they were already 10 mins apart. It was about 2pm then. I started getting nervous so I told Tim to just go to bed and I would wake him up later either to let him know if it was a false alarm or because I was headed to the hospital. After that I nervously called my mom to let her know that I thought I was getting contractions. Of course she was devastated and nervous for me because she wasn’t there yet but I had to be strong… After all what could I do at this point? It is what it is. I called my doula, Virginia, who was a volunteer through Operation Special Delivery, a program that helps pregnant spouses of deployed servicemen so that they don’t give birth alone. She came over right away, took one look at me and knew I was in early labor. I was freaking out! She arrived at about 4pm and just helped me labor at home. Contractions by then were getting more intense and steady and coming in every 5minutes. I stayed home until I felt like I was already getting very nervous and uncomfortable. Finally at around midnight, I decided it was time to go to the hospital. So Cristy, Virginia and I headed over to Geisinger Medical Center at Danville and I messaged Tim to let him know I was going to the hospital. He was fast asleep so I had to message some other wives in the hopes that their hubbies were awake and had them wake up my husband. It worked, and by the time I got to the hospital, Tim was already anxiously awaiting my Skype call.

We got to the hospital around 12:30am and they admitted me and checked me so that they could decide if they were keeping me or sending me home. I was told that I was already at 5cm and 80% effaced so that meant I was staying and I was having the baby. Boy was I shocked and terrified! I called my mom to let her know the news. They then proceeded to check me in my room and I refused the IV because I wanted to labor in the tub and also have the chance to walk around and move. I also did not need the epidural yet at that point because I was still managing the pain. Virginia was doing awesome as a labor coach! She really guided me through everything. The first thing I did was get on the tub and we called Tim. Tim just stayed on Skype with me the whole time, leaving only for bathroom breaks. So I stayed in the tub for a while, then they checked me two hours later and I was a 6.

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We then walked the halls and got on the birthing ball and an hour later I was a 7.

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I got back on the tub and labored there again and an hour later I was an 8. That was around 530am. So I was making good progress! By the time I was an 8, the contractions were already so painful and intense. I was definitely getting exhausted but I felt like I was already so close to the end so I just kept going. When they checked me at 7am, 8am and 9am I was still an 8! For some reason I just stalled and stopped progressing. I was tired and running out of energy and I was already getting the urge to push even though everyone kept telling me it wasn’t time yet. I was just miserable! At that point my midwife suggested starting me on Pitocin to increase my contractions to get me out of that 8. They were worried that my cervix would swell because I was getting the urge to push even though I was only an 8. I agreed to the Pitocin so they started me on the IV and I needed to have a couple of bags before they could put the pit so I had to wait till I was hydrated. It was terrible! They ordered bloodwork for me at 930 and asked me if I wanted an epidural and I finally agreed. They called for the anesthesiologist and by 11am I had the epidural. It felt amazing, especially since I had already been through so much at that point and I was just nearing the point of exhaustion. By 1pm I started pushing and it took a while, but finally at 213 pm Johnny was born! He was 8 lbs, 4.5 ounces and 20.5 inches long. I had a 2nd degree tear but I was just relieved to be done with it!

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My mom’s flight was at 2:30pm and they were about to takeoff and she was about to turn her phone off when I managed to sneak in a phone call to let her know that Johnny and I were okay. The entire 15 hours that I labored in the hospital Tim was on Skype with me, and Virginia and Cristy never left my side. Although it wasn’t my ideal labor, I still think it was memorable and I am just so darn proud of myself and my little man! My mom arrived the following day at 930am and was welcomed by my sweet baby. I ended up giving birth at 38 weeks 6 days and I seriously believe that he came early because he wanted to welcome my mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

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So there’s his birth story. More about his 1st month on my next post ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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8 Comments

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  1. Help Me Help Holly โ™ฅ / Mar 9 2013 5:20 am

    Congratulations! Your story made me cry happy tears for you! I have a 19 week old daughter so the whole labour*birthing thing is fresh in my mind. I was lucky enough to have both my mum and my husband physically there with me. You are amazing for how you handled it ๐Ÿ™‚ And your little boy is gorgeous! Enjoy being a mum โ™ฅ

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Mar 9 2013 7:23 am

      Thank you!! It was still a pretty amazing experience despite not having them there ๐Ÿ™‚ congrats on your little one too!

  2. shetraces / Mar 10 2013 12:46 am

    What an awesome blessing, talk about 21st century labor! I love how your husband is cheesing in every picture. You’re such a trooper, an inspiration! Best wishes as you transition into mommyhood!
    I’m almost one year down, and one to go! IN a couple of hours, I leave on a service trip to Haiti! I’m super excited.

    • thegirlwhotooktheleap / Mar 10 2013 9:12 am

      Oh my, how exciting to go to Haiti! I can’t wait to know how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you and take care over there ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. jigdood / Mar 10 2013 6:05 am

    having a baby is amazing, having one with fun is a dream

  4. louisa.bassey@yahoo.com / Mar 10 2013 9:43 am

    Congrat gf I hv been waiting 4 ur post so much,hope and praying u give birth safely.but as last month something told me dat u might hv put 2 birth,maybe just trying 2 put up wit being a mom.well congrat mydear.
    Sent from my BlackBerryยฎ Smartphone, from Etisalat. Enjoy high speed internet service with Etisalat easy net, available at all our experience centres

  5. Flor / Mar 21 2013 8:10 am

    Hey Steph congratulations on the arrival of your JFK! So cute! You really did a great job! You are so brave! Congratulations again mom Steph!

  6. Lea Del Rosario-Pearce / Apr 9 2013 10:11 pm

    Oh my god! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Congratulations! I’m so very happy for you! Btw, I been reading your blog and it really made me happy and inspired! You are blessed with a wonderful journey of life being an army wife, a grad student and now a newly mom. You’re a one brave Filipina I’ve known who’s full of courage and hopes in life despite of all the circumstances given. Some of your blogs made me cry mostly the one when you were becoming a newly mom while your hubby is currently deployed. I can totally relate to some of your blogs cos i am an army wife too and a first time mom just like you, but I was lucky and thankful enough to have my husband beside me gone all through my pregnancy and gave birth to our little boy. February of last year, after we found out that I was pregnant, I keep on praying that hopefully my husband will not be deploying, then after they came back from NTC he told me that there’s a possibilities that their unit might not be deploying on July of last year that month comes really fast and their unit was the only one left in Kelly Hill, Ft Benning. I was so grateful that God hear my prayers, I was so grateful cos I know to myself I couldn’t make it through without him by my side. I’m not brave enough like you. Your an amazing woman, wife and a mother even though this is just your first time having a baby. I can tell cos you made everything possible in your life. Good luck to your new chapter! You are one inspiring mother and wife!

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