Monday, November 14, 2016

A birth story - Part 2

Hey there! Ok so let's continue. Please read Part 1 first if you haven't! Thank you so much for reading.



October 11, 2016

I had been feeling great all day long. I continued to have no signs or symptoms of labor for most of the day. At around 1:30 PM, while Greg was getting ready to go to work, I began to feel a slight contraction, like a menstrual cramp. However, I dismissed it. A few minutes later, I felt another one, but assured myself that they were just false contractions.

Greg had to leave to work at that time, and I assured him that the “contractions” were false. However, I reminded him to have his cellphone on him at all times (his work does not allow employees to have a cellphone on themselves, but they had previously allowed him to do this). He left, and I went about my day, still feeling these false, now slightly painful, contractions.

At 3 PM, I felt a really painful one. I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe, I would be having a baby that day.  The more painful contractions continued, but I figured I still had time. We (Dad, Mom, Grandmother and I) decided to head to my sister’s house and then go on a walk around the park. The contractions kept getting worse! This had to be it. However, I didn’t go to the hospital at that time because the contractions weren’t so consistent or lasting for a long time.

After a few hours of being at my sister’s home, we came back to my house. I took a bath to ease the pain, but it didn’t seem to go away. The contractions were getting stronger to the point where I began to cry and were now a minute apart, lasting around 20-30 seconds. My water had not broken at this point. My mom advised me to call the “baby line” nurse and see what the nurse thought I should do.

The nurse told me to go ahead and head to the hospital’s labor and delivery triage for a quick assessment, as she did not want the baby to be in distress because of my minute apart contractions. I called Greg at this time and arranged to meet up at the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 11 PM. You should've seen my Dad driving and me trying to give him directions in between contractions - quite hilarious now. The doctor in house told me that I was only 2 cm dilated and 100% effaced! Two centimeters! To be admitted to this particular hospital, I had to be 3 cm. She advised me to go walk around the hospital and come back in an hour. This hour was probably the longest hour of my life! The pain was too much…or so I thought. A little after midnight, I went back into triage and the doctor now told me I was at 3 cm, baby was head down and that my contractions were, in fact, real. Real labor! What?! I was admitted at this time.



October 12, 2016 - Estimated due date!

I did not sleep at all throughout the night. Labor continued. The nurses began an IV on me (after three tries - I was so dehydrated, nervous or something) and began to push IV fluids. I also received IV pain medications at this time, which only masked the pain for a few minutes. Cat naps where also in progress – but no real sleep.

At round 6 AM, after 16 hours of labor, the nurse checked my cervix, and lo and behold, I was still at 3 cm! At this point, I asked for an epidural. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger, but they were ineffective, as my cervix didn’t dilate at. all.

Well, the epidural was heaven – for a few hours. I tried to sleep, but I was very uncomfortable. Also, at this point, every doctor, nurse, student and their mother was in and out of my room every few minutes. My family and Greg were also there for most of the day. FYI when you get an epidural, you are not allowed to eat, stand up, and you get a Foley catheter placed. Yeah, not fun for this pregnant mamma that wanted to eat and move around.

At 11 AM, my contractions were spacing out and were becoming less strong, according to the monitor I was placed on – as it sometimes happens when you get an epidural.  Also, I was still at 3 cm. It had already been 12 hours and I was still the same! My water had not broken yet. My blood pressure began to "tank". I remember seeing the monitor and exclaiming that the blood pressure I was seeing was normal for one of my little patients, but not for me. The doctors and nurses agreed to infuse Pitocin to regulate the contractions and make them stronger. The nurse gave me a rapid fluid bolus (to increase my blood pressures) and then started to slowly infuse Pitocin until I had received the almost maximum dose…

To no avail. Hours later, I was still at the same point. However, I could now feel every. single. contraction, despite the epidural! The baby and I were fine, but labor was not progressing.

Everyone was tired. Greg, my family and I hadn’t slept most of the night or day, and my doctors and nurses were a little frustrated at this point. They said we might have to talk later about the C word if the baby happened to be in distress. No thanks.

At around 6 PM I asked the doctor if she could please, please break my water. She skeptically agreed. I understood why they didn’t want to break it too soon, at 3 cm, (due to infection risk) but it was the only not so invasive option. When she did, we discovered there was meconium in the waters. My baby had pooped inside me! The nurse quickly called the special care nursery to prepare for this, just in case the baby aspirated meconium into his lungs.

8 PM came and the nurse checked my cervix again. I was now at 7 cm! Ah! Everyone began to get more nervous and excited. Thankfully, breaking the waters had worked to progress labor. One hour later, I began to feel the intense need to bear down and push. The nurse did not want me to push until I was at 10 cm, so she checked again. I was at 9 ½ - ish and she could feel his head coming. Not quite 9 cm, but not quite 10 cm. But, I couldn’t hold it anymore. I had to push.

The nurse quickly gathered everything for delivery and called the team in. At 9:30 PM the doctors checked my cervix and gave me the green light to start pushing.

And so, delivery began.


"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." Jeremiah 1:5

Part 3, last part, I promise, coming soon!

Love,
Gabby

Friday, November 11, 2016

A birth story - Part 1


October 9, 2016

Greg and I headed early in the morning to pick up my Dad, Mom and Grandmother from the airport. They had come all the way from Mexico to stay here in Minnesota for a week, with the hope of meeting their newest Grandson/Great-grandson. I was slightly worried his birth was going to be delayed by a week or two and they weren’t going to be able to be here for the birth and meet my baby.

It was my first child, after-all, and don’t they say the first one is always late? Or so I’ve heard.

I wasn’t feeling any contractions (besides Braxton-hicks – false, non-painful contractions) and was feeling great, normal! I had absolutely no signs or symptoms of impending labor.

No contractions, no discharge, no gush of amniotic fluid (water break). Nothing.   

That night, I asked God, if it was His will, to allow my parents and grandmother to witness the birth.

My estimated due date was only three days away.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." Jeremiah 1:5 

Part 2 coming up soon!
I wanted to do this all in one post, but it was too much and I wanted to slowly remember every detail (don't worry, no graphic details/pictures) - I hope you enjoy!

Love,
Gabby

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

38 weeks! Boy, that flew by.

Hello everyone,

Is anyone still out there? I hope you are! I wanted to give you a little update on my pregnancy.

Today we've officially reached 38 weeks! I can't believe it. It really did flew by. The third trimester was not slow at all...maybe I should feel lucky? Or maybe it was because I procrastinated doing all sorts of baby stuff until the very end, so I've been super busy with that.

I've been feeling great! No swelling at all. No stretch marks. Blood pressure is great. No gestational diabetes (that test was awful - I lost it. AKA vomited). I am, however, measuring a little small for gestational age. I also did have a little "scare" at 36 weeks. I thought he was coming, but he didn't. I thank God He decided to keep him there a few more weeks. I am also feeling so tired. I can't sleep through the night. Maybe the third trimester insomnia prepares you for newborn insomnia? When asked how I was doing, I told my manager that sleeping was the one thing I missed and she said, "Well, you won't sleep for the next 18-21 years!". I guess she has a point.

36 weeks!
In approximately two weeks (TWO!) we will be welcoming our little boy and, boy, our lives will be forever changed.

I can't imagine what God has planned for us. I can't imagine the joy that's coming. Ah! My heart bursts at the thought of it.

Would you please, please pray for us? I am a little scared of the labor and delivery part! Please pray for a smooth labor and delivery and no major complications with baby and I. Please pray for peace - I am inviting the Holy Spirit to help a girl out. But, really. I need God to flood that labor and delivery room with His peace. Pray for my husband, too. He doesn't seem nervous, but I know he is. Pray for my doctors and nurses - that they may be God's hands and feet and may be filled with His wisdom to make the right decisions.

Well, I'll leave it here. I'll tell you his name on another post! Thank you. See you soon!

In Christ,
Gabby

Monday, July 11, 2016

"It's a..." : 27 weeks + a very random life lately

Alright, so I didn’t get a post in for June, and now we are in almost mid-July! Thank you for reminding me, B. ;-)

This second trimester is going by so, so fast! I’ll be 27 weeks tomorrow! This will be the last week of the second trimester, and then we will go on to the last stretch – the longest trimester of all, or so I’ve heard.

A few weeks ago, during the anatomy ultrasound (AKA gender reveal ultrasound), we found out that this baby had what the doctors called “fetal arrhythmia” or irregular beating. They checked the anatomy of the heart really, really well, and it seemed it was caused by immaturity (or caffeine), and was not related to the anatomy. A second, higher level ultrasound revealed that the fetal arrhythmia had resolved a few weeks after that. Thanks be to God!

No more caffeine for me, unfortunately.

We also found out that our baby is a BOY! God is blessing us with a SON!

Holy moly. What am I going to do with a boy? They are so foreign! Just kidding. Kind of.

Anyways. Turns out that 90% of people were wrong on guessing it was a girl! The ultrasound tech didn’t even have to tell me. As soon as I saw the ultrasound, I knew. Don’t worry, the tech did confirm immediately.

Unfortunately, we are not settled on a name, yet. So this baby will have to be he-who-has-not-been-named, for now. We kind of have a name, but we go back and forth on it. I am hoping God sends me a huge sign revealing his name, soon.

Here is my baby bump - I am a little bigger now, as this one was taken at 24 weeks. ;-) 



So, life. Let’s see…

I cut out a lot of my hair! Did you notice? It's never been this short! I wasn't planning on it. In fact, it was just going to be a small trim. Then the hairstylist mentioned something about donating it, so there went my trim. 10 inches off later, here I am. I have a ton of hair, so I am hoping that the amount will be able to help at least two children. 

I am continuing to work at the children’s hospital. It’s getting really, really tiring. All the lifting, pulling, walking, up and down the stairs, etc. I am thinking it’s only going to get worse. But that’s ok. I love, love my job. However, we have some difficult decisions to make regarding my job, now that the baby is to arrive. Please pray for us, for wisdom. I know God will provide, as He always has, but it is difficult discerning His will for us.

I am also done with the Faith Formation class I was teaching at my church. I surely do miss my #thirdgradetheologians , as I called them! However, this week I am teaching VBS, or vacation bible school. I am the lead captain for “Bible Story/Activity”, along with a seminarian co-captain and four helping teenagers. Together we teach 80 kids! It’s so challenging (mostly physically), but so rewarding.

This has nothing to do with this post, but I am super excited to announce that my plants are still alive! :-D Haha! Well, my basil is kind of giving up on me and my tomatoes, well…rabbits or squirrels have been biting them! The other herbs are growing like crazy.

Also, I’ve been reading this awesome book called “Mother Theresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the ‘Saint of Calcutta’”. It’s so interesting to read her thoughts and become more acquainted with her. Her path to sainthood is one I wish to imitate, in my own life as a woman, wife, mother, nurse and teacher.

Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for reading and for still following me, even though I am not the best at keeping up with this blog. I am really thankful for you.

In Christ,

Gabby

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 20 weeks!

Hello everyone! 

Well, I am officially (as of tomorrow – so not quite officially) halfway through this pregnancy. Yay! I am so happy and very thankful. With each passing day this pregnancy becomes more “real” to me.

I’ve wanted to do this update since forever, but it seemed like 20 weeks was the perfect time.

Well, let me start from the beginning.

The first trimester was…ugh (most days). I am so glad I am over that! You know that thing they call “morning sickness”? Yeah, it’s a lie. It’s an “all day, err day sickness”. The nausea was intense. Thankfully, I only had one bout of emesis - fancy, nurse-y word for vomit. The nausea never went away, though. It was especially there when seeing, cooking or smelling chicken. Anyways, I’ll spare you the gross details. Ginger Ale was my friend.

My pregnancy belly didn’t quite grow a ton the first trimester. However, I did gain a few pounds - surprisingly, because I avoided food constantly. I think it was all bloat, since I've only gained 1 pound from week 10-17. I finally “popped out” around week 18!

I was also very hesitant to “attach” myself to this baby. And by that, I mean emotionally, because we are physically attached. ;-) A lot of prayer, crying and surrender to Jesus took place. It still is, but I am struggling less and loving more.



I slept a lot the first few weeks! I could seriously only stay awake for about 3 hours before I needed a nap. I’ve slowly been gaining my energy back, but I still feel very tired most of the day. I am also starting to feel the effects of “pregnancy brain”. It’s so real – unlike morning sickness. I’ve done so many things that do not make sense. One of those major fails was locking myself out of the house, during a thunderstorm, no cellphone, no car keys, nothing…while my husband was at work. My sister and my neighbor came to the rescue before I started crying.

As far as ultrasounds, we’ve had two. And both were very early because I was considered “high risk”. We first saw the heartbeat at 5-ish weeks! It was so surreal. It was around 94 beats/minute (almost same as mine). The nurse’s comment was, “For all we know, this heart could have started beating today, at your heart’s rate!” Swoon. We then had another ultrasound around 10 weeks. It had jumped up to 186 beats/minute! We also heard it. It was nice and strong, and very, very fast. We could distinguish the baby’s arms moving a lot. At around 16 weeks, our doctor did a small Doppler check (no ultrasound) to see how our baby was doing. The heart rate had decreased (normal) to 156 beats/minute. I think I’ve felt the baby move, but I don’t know if it’s actual movement or what. It feels kind of like nervousness in my stomach – if that makes any sense.

Our next ultrasound is at 22 weeks (2 more weeks!) and we will hopefully be finding out the sex of the baby. We are so excited! I feel it’s a boy (sometimes I feel it’s a girl), but I’ve been dreaming with baby girls most nights. People I’ve talked to think it’s a girl – even a stranger told me this – and only two people have told me it’s a boy. I think we are set on the names, but I’ll announce it when we know for sure.

As for baby “stuff”, we have accumulated so much. My sister-in-law and her husband gave us a lot of their items – even a frame for a crib and a bassinet! I am so grateful for this. The Lord has certainly provided for us through them, and I can’t wait to bless another expecting Mom and Dad as they have blessed  us.  In their items were also three boxes full of baby clothes (mostly gender neutral) for newborns and months 1-6. There was also a box full of maternity clothes – which I am starting to fit in! We haven’t bought anything new for the baby yet, but I am sure we will in these next few weeks. The checklist is still long!


Anyways, that is all for now. I am sure I am forgetting stuff, but let us blame it on the pregnancy brain. Please continue to pray for us as we approach the 22 week scan/anatomy scan. Thank you!

In Christ, 
Gabby 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

He remembered me.

Hey everybody! Well, it’s sad to say that I quickly abandoned my New Year’s resolution of blogging more often. February passed, March flew by and now here we are.

A lot has happened.

If you have time, I would like to tell you.

During the last half of 2015, I had a lot of health problems (pertaining to females). However, my healthcare providers dismissed them as “normal” at that time. I also could not become pregnant/sustain a pregnancy. My husband and I went through some dark days and trusting God through all of this was difficult. I felt He was very far away.

Fast forward to December, I went to visit my parents in Mexico and during that time, I had another issue come up. I decided that it would be best to see my doctor in Mexico and have his opinion. Well, my doctor found a large tumor/cyst inside or outside one of my ovaries. The ultrasound only showed a large mass – of whatever it was. I needed further testing and he recommended to go back to my Minnesota doctors to do it, as I would probably need surgery.

After calling my MN doctor in January, we decided to do another ultrasound and go from there. Well, we did and the tumor/cyst was still there. “Possible endometriosis, you will have a very hard time getting pregnant”, she said. I presented with most of the symptoms, but the doctors can’t diagnose this with certainty until I have surgery.

Then it happened.



A few days after the appointment, God revealed to us in two tiny lines of His work in me. He remembered me.

Greg and I are expecting our little one’s arrival this October! We are excited…and terrified. But mostly excited and full of joy!

I wanted to share with you the entire story because - God. One of my friends (knew my situation) asked me, “And what did you tell the doctor? That anything is possible through God?” Amen!

I am not worthy, but God had a more perfect plan. I’ve learned through all of this that even if I never got to have a baby of my own, He was enough for me. He is enough. It’s taken me a long time to say that. Just like we had said yes to Him being the Author of life, we had to learn to say yes whatever His plan might entail. And He didn't have to explain the why of that plan. 

Please keep us in your prayers. Please pray for our health. I still have to have surgery (postponed until baby arrives unless I have a major complication). Please pray that the tumor/cyst doesn’t grow and harm the baby. And please pray for my husband – he has sustained me all these months and reminded me that, if not, God was still good. He’s also been cooking more for us as I can’t stand the smell. ;-) I am hoping this small issue resolves now that we’ve crossed into the second trimester.

To God be the glory. Jesus, I trust in You.  
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. – Psalms 126:3

Love,

Gabby  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Home (Mexico) for the Holidays.

Hi everyone! I've been such a bad blogger these past few months. A lot has happened, but I've documented little. I've made it my "New Year's Resolution" to take more pictures and blog a little more...hopefully! ;-)

Well, Greg and I had the opportunity to go to home (AKA my parent's house) for Christmas and New Years. It was so much fun! I hadn't seen my family in a long time, so I was quite excited to spend time with them.

Allow me to tell you (in pictures) about our trip.

Christmas Day 
(we were also there for Christmas Eve...but I forgot my camera at home)

Hoverboard-ing in our half paved, half dirt road.


Christmas tree decorated by my Dad. Isn't it gorgeous? He always does a really good job.


Dad (or Papi/Daddy to me).



We grilled outside. The weather was delicious. I mean, I was wearing short sleeves!


Family. There were a lot more people there, but not everyone had arrived yet.


We had SO much fun together. I took a lot more pictures, but I don't want to overwhelm you just yet! ;-) 

Two days later was Mia's 11th birthday. Mia is the second youngest cousin in my family. She gets just a little bit spoiled by us. Anywho, we celebrated at my Grandma's (where she and her family were staying - they live six hours away). We also used balloons and birthday decor we already had. Since they were leaving early afternoon back to their town, we decided to have a "PJ brunch" at 11 AM. Haha! 

Oh, and it snowed that day. In my town. In Mexico. Don't you remember I was wearing short sleeves two days ago? The last time it snowed in my town was when I was in high school...so yeah, a long time ago. 



I love this next shot. Because I love my Grandma's big, old table and how it has gathered family here, like this, for years. 



A day later, we also gathered to play "Loteria". We played approximately 5 cents a card and three jackpots (approximately 25 cents per player at certain times). I didn't win anything, but my Mom won the three jackpots! 

Oh, and since we didn't have enough chips for everyone, we played with garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Haha! They worked, but they were difficult to see - making it difficult to figure out if you won or not!



On December 31st, our family gathered at my parent's house (again). My sister, her husband, and a lot more of the extended family were able to join us this day! We had a crowded house for sure!










Thank you for looking through! I hope you have an awesome 2016.

I've definitely missed blogging. I'll be back soon!

P.S. Do you have a "word" or a bible verse (to live by) for this new year? I would love to know! I was thinking about a specific word, but none came to mind/life. However, the Lord has been teaching me a lot about His power through my weakness, lately. So yeah, 2 Corinthians 12:9 it is! I may or may not have randomly blogged about it one day (past post). ;-)

Love,
Gabby



Monday, January 4, 2016

Perfect in weakness.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12: 9

This verse has been on my mind lately, and I wanted to share it with you. Happy New Year, everyone!