I think I am writing this mostly for my benefit, so I have something written in detail to look back on and even show Tahlya. She has been in the world for a year and a half today and the memories are getting a little fuzzy.
I will be honest, a lot of times I find myself feeling disheartened when I read birth stories. These mamas seem to have everything planned from the beginning (even if it didn’t go their way). They have a birth plan, some vague, some detailed. Either way, they usually planned ahead, were ready, and made it a beautiful experience. They get a photographer there from the moment they go in labor. While in the hospital they are getting precious pictures and already dressing their little one in the cutest clothes. To get an idea of how productive I was, I did not shower once in the three days I spent there.
Tahlya’s birth story is beautiful in the fact that I was graced with a precious angel, but it was messy. It is different from most stories you read. I was/am young. Younger than most are when they first have kids. I thought birth plans were not really a thing, just something they talk about in movies or tv shows. That being said, I went in with no plan at all.
When my due date came around, Tahlya was not at all ready to come out. I was large and uncomfortable and my doctor needed me to wait one week before I could be induced.
Forty one and a half weeks pregnant, I went to the hospital at eight thirty in the morning to be induced. Luis, my parents, and my little sister tagged along.
I had the mindset that wanting to even try natural birth was insane, so only two hours later I asked for an epidural. OUCH! I actually had to get it done twice because the first one did not take. Luis, being the sweet-heart he is, turned my head away when I tried to look at the needle. Good thing too, I probably would have passed out.
For the next seven and a half hours we waited and waited for me to be dilated to a ten. We all took bets on the time Tahlya would be born. Little did we all know that we had completely low balled that number. I could not get out of bed so Luis and my sister took turns going to the snack room down the hall to get me slushies and ice to chew on. Oh boy, I was hungry. I could not wait to eat something later that night. I was furious anytime anyone tried to be sneaky and eat a cracker in the room!
Finally, at six in the evening I was dilated to a ten! I was so excited to be meeting my daughter at any minute but I was so wrong. Pushing went on for the next two hours. Luis held one leg down as my mom held the other. My sister stood by for moral support and my dad waited outside. I remember getting so mad at my mom for not holding my leg down as good as Luis. Bless her heart, it is not her fault that she is tiny!
What was Tahlya doing to make everything so difficult? She refused to get her head under my pelvis bone! Just as talk of a C-section began, her head went under. I was happy that we dodged that bullet.
We could tell that she was going to be born with a full head of hair. As much as I love that hair now, it caused problems at the beginning. The doctor needed to use a vacuum like device to pull her out, she simply was not cooperating. The first vacuum was a fail, her hair made it impossible to stick. With my help, and a second vacuum, she finally entered the world. It was four minutes after ten pm. I had discussed briefly with the nurses earlier that I wanted skin to skin contact immediately after birth. Luis cut her umbilical cord but she was not handed to me. I remember being vaguely confused but I was drugged up, exhausted, and had just learned that I had to birth the placenta.
As I did that and got sewed up (of course I teared, her head was huge!) Tahlya was taken across the room. I remember not hearing her cry, I later learned that she was born with the cord around her neck. Apparently the doctor said it but I must have been drugged more than I originally thought. It was not tight, he simply took it off, but she spent A LOT of time in the birth canal. She needed help beginning to breath. Her lungs were filled with fluid.
The cry, oh we finally heard the cry. It was squeaky, rhythmic, and just about the cutest sound ever. All dark thoughts left my head. Luis brought her over to me, in that moment I completely forgot about our ongoing banter over who would get to hold her first (but yes, you won husband). It was the best moment of my life. As he laid her in my tired arms, my heart nearly burst. She looked me right in the eyes and smiled as if to say, “You did good mama, it’s nice to finally meet you!” They will tell you it is just gas, but she smiled at us all night long. From that first moment I got to see her perfect little dimple.
The doctor loved your cry, the nurses thought you were just the cutest little thing. From that moment on we became use to hearing, “look at ALL THAT HAIR!” One nurse even came to find us the next morning because she wanted another peek at Tahlya!
Oh, miss Tahlya, as reluctant as you were to say hello to the world, you ended up loving it out here. Late enough into the night that it became morning, you stayed awake. You were alert. Yaya, papa, and auntie said their hello’s but they left to get some sleep and let us have alone time as a new family. Dad and I could not get enough of you. Once in our room I finally got some food and it was the best chicken sandwich I have ever had. We loved you with our entire hearts from the start. I remember calling you my chunky little monkey and you were just that. That time we spent in the hospital with you was bliss. I did not have a photographer there, you stayed in the little shirt they gave us, and I did not shower at all, but your dad and I savor those memories. We look back on them as our pause in time, nothing else in the world mattered but you.