Saturday, March 17, 2012

Eden's Birth Story

We went to the zoo last week and I walked around a lot and started having regular contractions, but then I was so exhausted I fell asleep soon afterwards and they went away. So Monday we decided to go to the mall and walk around until I went into labor. The mall has cute little cars we can push around that the boys like to ride in, so they really enjoy it... plus we ride the carousel and get ice cream too. (We usually get 2 separate cars and intentionally run into each other. The boys really love that!)
{This was their first ice cream in a cone... they got it everywhere!}

We walked around for about an hour and a half, until I needed to sit down. We decided to eat dinner at a bakery... yum! Just about the time my food came I started having contractions about every 10 minutes. With the boys it didn't take much to get me to 6 cm dilated, so by the time we finished our meal Jimmy decided to have the hospital page my doctor to call us, to just check. (That was after a protest from me. I wanted the contractions to be painful before we called.)

My doctor, Dr. Najarro, told Jimmy to bring me in so that I could be hooked up to a monitor to read my contractions. We went through our night night routine with the boys, grabbed my packed bags, and drove to the hospital. I must add that we had been up since 4:30am that morning to make it to my 8:00 doctor's appointment. Traffic is really bad in the morning, so we didn't want to put things off and then sit in traffic for 2 hours.

We had been through the hospital policies with my doctor. Once we check in, the ER notifies him, so we don't have to worry about it. The doctor on call, Dr. Cano hooked me up to a monitor at about 9:30 like my doctor had called and asked him to do. Dr. Najarro had just finished a surgery when he called Jimmy before and was about to eat supper. Just like us, Dr. Cano assumed that the ER had called my doctor when we arrived, but they didn't. Since Najarro never heard from the ER that I had checked in, he assumed that my contractions stopped and that I never went to the hospital.
{Dr. Cano}

Well over 5 hours went by before my doctor was finally notified. When Dr. Najarro showed up, this very calm and polite man was obviously not happy with the lack of communication. I had not seen him like this before, but I never want to be the one he his not happy with. He is fierce! I was very thankful to have him on my side and felt like he was very protective of his patient!

Dr. Cano sat with us in our room most of the night, from 9:30pm until 3:00am when Dr. Najarro arrived. I was very thankful for Cano. He was extremely kind and very talkative, we enjoyed the company.
{At the beginning of labor. We were very excited!}

When Najarro checked me at 3am I had only dilated half a centimeter more than at my appointment that morning. It was very strange that I was not progressing. By 5am I was dilated maybe another half a cm and while my contractions weren't all that regularly spaced they were getting pretty strong and very frequent, so Najarro ruptured my membranes (broke my water) and then went ahead and ordered me an epidural.
{Me telling Jimmy I was having a contraction (this was before they got bad)}

That was a low point of the entire birth experience. For one reason, I had started the night off with a very nice nurse, but the nurse that was taking care of me by this time was stressing me out. I don't care to share the details, but she kept causing me extreme pain. She wouldn't tell me what she was about to do, she just kept doing things that hurt and she didn't have a name tag like the others did. I would say something to her, like "that hurts!" and she would just mumble something and keep going. This lady made my entire body tense up in anxiety every time she entered my room.

A guy in a Micky Mouse hoodie and a backpack came into my room at one point. I realized this was my anesthesiologist. I was wheeled off into another room with that scary nurse and the anesthesiologist. Dr. Cano was there and kept telling me not to worry. He was holding me still for the epidural. Again the nurse did something else particularly scaring. By that point I was sensing that Dr. Najarro was not happy with her either... once again, my doctor had my back. He called her out into the hall and I can only assume he said everything and more of what I wanted to convey to her... did I mention that man is fierce!
{Jimmy tried a couple times that night to get some sleep. I think he got an hour}

The epidural seemed to take a very long time and I sensed something was wrong because the anesthesiologist did not appear very confident while he was working. Still, he said everything went great at the end, so they wheeled me back to my room.

I was the only patient on the ward until morning, so the anesthesiologist sat in my room. My left leg hurt so bad, like when you hit your funny bone. My right leg wasn't functional, but I didn't feel any numbing anywhere else. I told him that I didn't think it was working and he kept telling me it would take a little while and my left leg hurt because it was the side I was laying on when I got the epidural.

Then the contractions got much worse and I knew it wasn't working. So now I had no relief and I couldn't move my legs. Then stupid me told him again it wasn't working, so he piped more drugs into the IV he had left in my back. Guess what... that just made my left leg throb worse. I now at least had a distraction from my contractions that kept going off the charts on the monitor... my limp painful leg.

The anesthesiologist wouldn't leave my room and I felt bad telling the doctors that this man's epidural was not working in front of him. It sounds stupid I know, but I was exhausted at that point and wasn't about to go through the whole epidural experience again anyway. I was just counting down the time until I could move my legs again and relieve some of my back pain. I did get up the courage to whisper to Dr. Cano that I was afraid of the scary nurse. She left me alone for the rest of the morning.

Right after my failed epidural they started me on some type of oxitocin to regulate my contractions better to maybe help my cervix dilate more.
{The last 3 evenly spaced contractions on the right are after the drugs}

Dr. Cano left for a c-section around 7am I think. Another female doctor who works for the hospital started checking on me when Najarro wasn't there... I'm really not sure why she did. She kept telling me not to move around during my contractions because it was making the line squiggly on the monitor... SERIOUSLY LADY?!?... I couldn't care less about your little monitor reading when I am in that much pain. I finally had my legs back and I was going to move! Besides I could shout out the exact number on that monitor by that time based on my level of pain if I wanted to and all that mattered was how much I was dilating anyway. I tried my best to ignore her for the rest of the morning. Jimmy and I did have some good laughs about her and the scary nurse in between my contractions. I was glad Jimmy was there to make me laugh.

We really wanted a VBAC and Najarro was very supportive of that. He let me labor until 10am (5 hours later) to wait and see if my cervix would dilate. I was very thankful. When he checked me at 10 and I had only dilated to 4.5 cm. I cried. I felt like a failure. I couldn't hold back my emotions. I felt bad because I don't think Najarro was expecting tears. His response was so understanding and comforting. I really appreciate that about him. There is always dialogue. Unlike the lady doc who just barks orders, he listens and I feel like we come to a decision together. He felt like it was putting stress on my uterus and the baby and it would be dangerous to continue. We agreed and he went to prep for surgery.

Since the maternity ward surgery room had just been used and needed to be cleaned, we had to wait for a surgery room on a different floor to be prepped. This took almost 2 hours. So if you were counting and believe me I was, that is over 6 hours of hard labor... for NOTHING! Before they came and got me for surgery I asked if my cervix could be checked one last time. Dr. Najarro was already in the surgery room. The chief of residents came in and it was at that point that I realized why no one had checked me the entire time I was there other than Najarro. He cautiously explained (as in- no one messes with Najarro) that Dr. Najarro doesn't let anyone else check his patients. That made me laugh. My doctor is awesome! I didn't really want to deal with the lady doc again anyway.

Then they kept telling me that Dr. Najarro wasn't coming and that they needed to take me to surgery. I know my doctor and I knew that wasn't true and sure enough guess who walked through the door during our argument?! Dr. Najarro checked me one more time and after another hour and a half of hard labor I had not progressed. He knew I was really disappointed in myself. He explained to me that there had to be a reason I was not progressing and that it was not my fault. He said that I had done everything right and had been very calm and patient. It really was a sweet little pep talk!

That was the point at which everything turned around completely. They rolled me to surgery. A different anesthesiologist met me at the door and introduced herself. She was so professional. I immediately told her that my epidural had not worked and that I wanted a spinal block. I don't know if there are any other options for c-sections, but I was going to be sure and voice my desires at this point. I said all of that to her in Spanish and then she responded to me in English... ha! (And she was in scrubs instead of a Mickey Mouse hoodie.) She was so thoughtful and talked me through every step. Dr. Cano was there and held me still during my spinal block. (Dr. Cano was a gift from God to get me through that night.) I was having very strong contractions while on the table. He would talk me through breathing techniques and the anesthesiologist would wait until each one ended to continue working. My spinal block worked perfectly. I had a little nausea at the beginning and she took care of it within seconds. She stayed there the whole time right above my head.

It is hospital policy not to let the husband in during the c-section. We were disappointed with that. As a last minute attempt Jimmy told the hospital director that he needed to go in with me to be my translator. Then the director asked me in Spanish if I could understand what he was saying. I answered him in Spanish and said that when I am in extreme pain I can only speak English! He laughed and got a resident that spoke some English to stand by me and translate things to me during the surgery. That wasn't what we were going for, but I thought Jimmy's attempt was sweet. It ended up being really nice to have the resident there. He told me everything that was going on, on the other side of the curtain just like Jimmy would have done. (Not the same, but I appreciated it.)

When the spinal block kicked in I was so happy. Najarro kept asking me how I felt and I reassured him I felt gooooood! There is nothing that feels better after being awake for 31 hours straight and 6+ hours of painful contractions than a spinal block. In fact, it was probably the best I had felt in months! My body had been so tense and now it was completely relaxed. I knew I might fall asleep, so I asked my resident translator to be sure and wake me up before they pulled Eden out. I wanted to hear her cry. Sure enough I fell asleep a couple times. The familiar smell of cauterized flesh woke me up once.

This c-section took longer because it was my second. Dr. Najarro was taking his time to make the incision in the same place and I had some scar tissue he had to take care of. I felt bad for Jimmy. I had the resident telling me all of this, but poor Jimmy was in the waiting room not knowing anything other than it was taking longer than expected.

Finally the resident said they are about to pull her out. That took a while too. She was very low and long. They had to use a spoon to sort of dig her head out... lovely I know! He told me everything was ok. Then I heard her cry. It didn't sound anything like Jonah or Silas'. She was my little girl! Then the resident told me she had hair. I really wanted to have a baby with hair! Jonah and Silas were bald for almost a year.

Eden was born at 12:20pm on March 13th.

I saw the pediatrician transfer something over to a table. I tried to stretch my head to see around him and get a glimpse. I got a couple peeks at her fingers and toes. Then he wrapped Eden up and brought her over to me. I kissed her head several times and told her that I was her mommy and that I loved her very much and of course that she was beautiful.

At that point one of the doctors called Jimmy and told him "Congratulations, your daughter has been born!" Jimmy could hear Eden crying! Jimmy asked about me too. Poor Jimmy had heard a faint cry much earlier and thought it was Eden. He had been worrying all that time that something was wrong with me. We do much better when we don't have to be separated!

Since our pediatrician is in Petén, Dr. Najarro found us one here. His name is Dr. Muñoz and we really liked him. If we need a pediatrician in Guatemala City ever, we will definitely use him. Dr. Muñoz found Jimmy in the waiting room and took him to Eden before he did any of the measurements.
Eden Juanita Dinsmore
8 lbs, 10 oz
20.5 in.

Eden means "delight" and was the only girl name we could agree on when we were pregnant with the boys. Juanita is my grandmother's name, whom I love very much!
Jimmy put his arms around Eden while she was on the table and kissed her through all the goop. Then he told the doctor that he didn't want her to have a bottle. Dr. Muñoz wrote an order for her only to have breast milk, or else the nurses would have given her one. It is a status symbol here in the city to be able to afford formula, so it is not very common to breast feed.

Jimmy watched them give Eden a bath and then they put her in an incubator for 2 hours while she was under observation.
{Eden through the glass in the nursery}

{The view from my room to the nursery (furthest right).}

The hospital is being remodeled and the maternity ward is one of the first floors they started on. There was construction going on the entire time we were there. I liked that we were close to the nursery because if we were sleeping when Eden was sleeping I would let them take her back to the nursery since one of the nurses would constantly be watching her and I was afraid my drugs might keep me from hearing her. When she woke up they were to bring her back to me. I could hear her cries from my room and they did immediately bring her to me each time.
While she was in the nursery they would put her right up to the glass. People would walk by and comment about how huge the gringita was. She was significantly larger than any of the other babies born while we were there, but to hold her I think she feels very feminine and delicate. She must wear her weight well!
{My room}

I was so happy to see Jimmy again once they wheeled me back to my room.
{It says, "Welcome Eden Juanita"}

They told me they were going to bring Eden to me at 3:00. That gave me about an hour and a half to try and sleep. Unfortunately the entire time I was there nurses were in and out of my room every 20 minutes or so, so between that and nursing I didn't get much sleep in the hospital. At that point it didn't matter anyway. I was having an allergic reaction to the morphine and my entire body was itching so I couldn't have slept through that anyway.

3:00 came quickly, so I must have dosed off a little.
Eden started nursing within seconds!
{I love all of her hair!}

This is Jimmy holding his daughter for the first time. We took her layers of clothes off so that I could hold her skin to skin (kangaroo care).

It was kind of funny while we were there. We chose the cheapest room which meant Jimmy had no place to sleep and there was no air conditioner. I figured since it is pretty cold here right now we would be fine. Well I have been running hot since being pregnant. I was dripping with sweat most of the time we were there, so I always wanted the windows open. Poor Jimmy, besides sleeping in a chair for 4 nights, he was freezing cold the whole time! Cool air is considered to be very dangerous in this country. They would bring Eden to me with multiple layers of clothes and blankets and each time I would peal them off down to her onesie.
They did not like that very much... especially with the windows open. I would tell them I was really hot, but they just couldn't help themselves. They would close them and I would open them again after they left. Eden was always snuggling with me under a blanket, so there was no way she was cold.
{Dr. Najarro checking on us.}

Eden likes to keep her hands close to her face.
She has very long fingers and toes and the perfect amount of rolls!
I love her chubby cheeks! She also has 2 dimples just like her brother Silas, but we haven't been able to snap a photo of those yet.

I will have to do another post of Jonah and Silas' reaction to their new sister. I love watching all 3 of them interact!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for Eden's safe delivery. Her large size ended up being the reason why labor was not advancing the way it was supposed to and Dr. Najarro was right to press for a C-section in the end.

We are IN LOVE with our little girl! Our family is very blessed!


  1. I loved the story of your delivery and the aftermath of it all. It was kinda similar to my first son, Denim. Lots of long labor too. Nurse that was way too mean and glad to get out of Baylor and go home. I'm so happy for all of your family and your baby Eden is beautiful. We will continue to pray for each of you. God bless you all!

  2. I know how you felt about not being able to give birth the way you wanted, but the important thing is that Eden made it! I'm stunned they didn't let Jimmy in the room for her birth, I thought that private hospitals all allowed for the father to come in. You are paying, after all! Glad all is well and so jealous of the morphine! :)

  3. So glad to read through all the details! So sorry about the meanies!

  4. Congratulations!! She is beautiful. Enjoy these precious moments. They grow so fast.

  5. She is absolutely precious! That is quite the story--well done for taking such detailed notes. Lots to look back on and relive over the next years.

    Congratulations to all of you!

  6. Precious story!She will love having it read to her one day and then reading it herself. Made me cry. Y'all were so blessed with those good doctors and weathered the bad ones very well. Thanks for sharing. Marsha


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