After anticipating her arrival since I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks, the day had finally arrived. We had just moved back into our home after it flooded in Harvey 3 days prior. I was at my 38 week check up appointment on a Tuesday. My ultrasound showed low amniotic fluid, which was concerning because Gabriella didn’t have much room. They sent me over to labor and delivery to be monitored by the on-call physician. There, they hooked me up to the fetal monitor and did another ultrasound. After an hour, she gave me the all clear and sent me back to work as she found a couple of good fluid pockets. I called my doctor to update her, and she said she wanted to see me Friday to follow up. I returned to work and told them this would be my last day as I needed to get things situated at home because she would be here soon! Friday morning, I went in for my checkup. Dr. R hooked me up to the fetal monitor, and there was zero fetal movement. She took this “blow horn” (I’m not sure the proper term) and blew it on my belly several times. Still no movement. Thankfully they were also monitoring her heartrate and it was steady and strong (this allowed me to remain calm). Dr. R then took me to a different exam room to do an ultrasound and could not find any fluid pockets. She said, “Well looks like it’s baby time! I don’t want to send you home over the weekend in this condition”. I called Daniel and told him it was go time! I don’t think the realization had sunk in for either one of us at this point. We were going to have a baby in the next 24 hours. The induction process was started that Friday morning, and we were officially parents at 11:22am Saturday!
The first time I held her for our hour of skin to skin, I was in disbelief. I remember just staring at her thinking, “She was just in my belly, and now I’m actually holding her”. Taking in every inch of her. She was wide awake and looking back at me in such a peaceful state. We both just starred at each other. The nurse (who was so amazing) helped us with our first feed. I am so thankful for her experience, because I was clueless and just figuring it out as I went. I didn’t do too much research because I figured it would just come naturally and me and Gabriella would learn together. She just took my breast, squeezed it like a hamburger, and shoved Gabriella to me to latch. Now as a first-time mom, I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh that was rough!”, but it worked! It was such a weird feeling. You think about and try to imagine this moment your entire pregnancy, but you really don’t know until the day comes. Gabriella was such a natural, she made my first experience so easy. From then on, we latched for 30 minutes on each side every three hours, or whenever she desired. I have always fed her ‘on demand’. One thing I did learn from my support group, is the more baby is on breast, the quicker your milk will come in. I never stressed or worried if she was getting enough, because I knew that it was natural, and my body would produce what she needed if I took care of myself, even before my milk even came in. We were only in the hospital for 24 hours after delivery, so we were home in time for her first Dallas Cowboys football game! Our family, especially Daniel, are major Cowboy fans.
Come back next time as I talk about those first few nights home. Those endless, sleepless, blurry nights.