Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My Cesarean Birth Experience

This is the story (through pictures taken on my iPhone) of the arrival of my second son, Tobias Marquez David, on March 9, 2016.

In the operating room, moments ater the 8:05am arrival of Toby.

In 2012, when I delivered my first son, Benny, I felt cornered into having a C-Section before my due date. I hadn't felt a single contraction, no water breakage, not even a slight urgency to deliver. But my OB-GYN said the baby's heart rate dropped during one of my routine weekly appointments and that same night (Dec 7, 2012), Benjamin was born via emergency C-Section.

What i experienced the following weeks was probably one of the darkest moments of my life. I got post-partum anxiety and post-partum OCD and everything just spiraled downward for me emotionally, until about a month later, when I was finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and accept the fact that even though I didn't live up to any of my birth expectations Benny and I were ok and that's all that mattered.

I wanted a vaginal delivery, in a calm stress-free environment, a baby to bond with and breastfeed immediately after giving birth, a short hospital stay and my mom by my side through it all... But given the nature of my delivery, NONE of this happened. My milk didn't even come in until about 10 days later (and a very low supply at that. I struggled a lot, cried a lot and ultimately gave up). 

Now fast forward to Baby #2. This second time around, I gave myself the peace of mind necessary to believe that everything would be fine, no matter the struggles, surprises or setbacks I'd be faced with. I accepted the doctor's recommendation to have a second C-Section versus a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). I called a therapy center to establish a client file in case I got anxiety again and felt the need to seek professional help. I also hired a lady to do placenta encapsulation since the placenta is said to help a mother's milk supply, hormonal balance, provide energy and ward off the baby blues & post-partum anxiety,among many other benefits.. 
Needless to say, it's been two weeks since I gave birth and I feel fantastic. It's almost too good to be true. I have energy, clarity, joy in my heart and no physical or emotional concerns.
Thank you, Lord.
Here's a snapshot of my experience the second time delivering.

On surgery day, we arrived at the hospital at 5:00am. The Cesarean was scheduled for 7:30am.

My husband with my OB-GYN, Dr. Leo Y. Peress, an excellent doctor who made me feel calm and unafraid.

The hospital where I delivered does not have a nursery and  if babies are in good health, they're left with their mothers from the moment they arrive. This was amazing because I knew I'd be able to bond with my little one. 

I really fell in love with Toby from the minute they brought him to me in the post surgery recovery room. Impossible to not feel a sense of overwhelming joy.  

Toby arrived at 8:05am weighing 8 lbs., 14 oz. I cried and thanked our Heavenly Father for this miracle!

 Later that day...

Day 2
Cheesecake and apple cider to celebrate the arrival of our baby boy, compliments of the hospital.

Benny was allowed to feed Toby for a few moments. This was when we were supplementing with formula since my milk had not come in and toby had lost over 10% of body weight.

Day 3

Valerie Rosas from Feel Good Placenta Co. arrived at the hospital with my placenta pills and made a fresh citrus smoothie for me while there.
My placenta rendered over 300 capsules and came with the umbilical cord in a heart shape!

Coming home with baby...
Clean house, fresh flowers and a cute welcome sign, thanks to my parents and sisters who made it all happen while we were in the hospital. They also took care of Benny.

Meanwhile, my mother-in-law left a room full of presents for Baby Toby and big brother Benny

My parents stayed over several nights and made sure to serve fresh, healthy meals, vegetable smoothies and an array of nutrient-rich foods during my recovery.

One of my favorite dishes was this amazing Beef stew... "Caldo de Res"

Toby's first visit to the pediatrician was two days upon returning home from the hospital. His weight remained the same as the day we checked out of  the hospital

Thanks for reading,
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Farewell, February 2016!

February came and went in a flash.
I guess that’s how fast time flies.
That’s how fast we see our children grow and start feeling the sneaky little signs of aging (grrr).
For me, February 2016 was all about staying home (and my parents were right here to help in any possible way...they're the best), satisfying cravings, working on small projects and completing the baby’s nursery, even though the baby will probably not sleep in his room until we start sleep training, several months down the line!
Valentine’s Day was fun. I made some Conversation Heart Mini-Cheesecakes and celebrated low-key with my husband, son and parents. 
At this point, I am BEYOND pregnant.
I can’t even walk from the backyard to the kitchen without feeling tired.
I am exhausted and ready to meet Baby Toby.
He’s supposed to arrive one week from tomorrow, God willing.
My last day of work is Friday and then I’ll be off to Mommyland for a few months.
Once I get over the hormone deal and sleepless nights, I will share tidbits of my birth experience and other mommy blogger projects scheduled for the spring!
For now, here are some snapshots of life in February.

Thanks for reading!

My husband has been so helpful during this last month of pregnancy. He has taken care of Benny like no other, cooked for us, made us laugh, cleaned the house and even managed to have an art workshop at home to teach us how to use charcoal for prints!

Paul's mixed media piece titled: "Ashes"

By now, I'm sure you can tell that we went with an animal theme for Toby's nursery.

Food cravings-- On a recent steakhouse outing, I sat down, looked at the menu and couldn't convince myself to eat steak! Even though it was me who had requested steak for dinner, I couldn't have any. Instead, I went for asparagus and a stuffed potato...go figure! Below: February cravings, including: strawberries & cream, delicious homemade lasagna from my mother-in-law, one pound of my favorite Sees Candies chocolate: Apricot Delights, Walnut Squares and Toffee-Ettes. Not shown: Pineapple juice and chips and salsa...LOL

Made some papel picado streamers for a blog post coming up this spring!

En español
¡Hasta pronto, febrero!
Febrero llegó y se fue en un instante.
Supongo que así es como se pasa la vida tan rápido.
Así de rápido vemos a nuestros hijos crecer y comenzamos a sentirse las señales del envejecimiento (que coraje!).
Para mí febrero del 2016 fue de quedarme en casa, satisfacer los antojos, trabajar en proyectos pequeños y completar la recámara del bebé, a pesar de que el bebé probablemente no dormirá en su habitación hasta que empecemos a entrenarlo a dormir solito!
El día del amor y la amistad fue muy sencillo. Hice unos postres con forma de corazón y celebramos en casa con mi marido, mi hijo y mis papás.
En este punto, estoy DEMASIADO embarazada.
Ni siquiera puedo caminar del patio a la cocina sin sentirme cansadísima.
Me la paso súper agotada y ya muy lista para que nazca Toby.
Primeramente Dios, llegará de mañana en ocho días.
Mi último día de trabajo es el viernes y parto para Mamilandia durante varios meses.
Una vez que tenga recupere la estabilización de las hormonas y me acostumbre al nuevo horario de noches sin dormir, les compartiré mi experiencia del parto y otros proyectos que tengo programados para esta primavera con un niño y un recién nacido en casa!
Por ahora, aquí hay algunas fotos de febrero.

¡Gracias por leer!