Zion Joaquin Alfaro | 01-27-15 | 6:06pm | 6lbs 12oz 20"
From the beginning of my pregnancy I've prayed to have a fast, smooth, peaceful, and calm unmedicated birth — and my prayers were answered (minus the calm part ;)). I have always wanted a water birth since I was younger and luckily IMC hospital, the closest hospital to us, was doing a water birth study, so I was able to have one!!! This post will be jumbled but I wanted to actually blog about it even though I've put blogging to the side.
On Tuesday, January 27th I woke up at 2:00am and just felt off, totally different, and full of energy so I didn't sleep much that night. Since I was up and feeling different, I prayed and asked for peace and patience while I waited for the arrival of my son. I occupied my time watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, watching Parenthood (totally hooked now), and eating cereal. Also during this time I went to the bathroom and found I had my "bloody show", so I knew something was going to happen soon! I finally was able to sleep again around 5:30am but got woken up by Ariel getting ready for work around 7:00am, so I moved to the bedroom to get more rest (I had been sleeping on the couch lately because the firmness helped with my hip pain). I then woke up around 9:30am because I felt back contractions and so I decided to time them. They were coming every 5 minutes or so and lasting for about 30–45 seconds. I just laid in bed relaxing while I timed them and about an hour later I decided to call my mom to see if I should have Ariel come home just in case it was the real deal. She told me to get up and move around to see if they continued to be regular or intensify, they certainly did! I tidied up the house, painted my toenails, and watched an episode of Parenthood while I waited for the contractions to get closer together. Around 12:00pm I decided to have Ariel come home since my back contractions were coming every 5–3 minutes and they were getting more intense. I hopped in the shower to relax during contractions and get ready for the day (the hot water felt so nice on my lower back)! Once Ariel got home we started to pack the last minute hospital bag stuff (I hardly used any of the things I packed, the hype of hospital bags is so not needed, btw) and getting everything ready to go if I was truly in labor. Once we got all ready, we decided to go get some food and go on a walk to see if that would help increase my contractions. I wanted something light to eat so if I did throw up during labor it wouldn't be to so bad and so my first trip to the bathroom after labor wouldn't be too bad either. ;) We were deciding to go to Zupas but passed La Fontera and I so wanted some Mexican food, so we ate there instead. I totally ate beans, rice, and a big Chimaconga while in labor — I am a champ! ;) I was contracting pretty frequently during lunch so I wanted to leave early and go home to rest for a bit, so we decided to skip the walk.
As I got home, I went to the bathroom and I was bleeding more heavily, I was concerned so I called the Midwife on call to see if I should worry. I explained to her how I was feeling and how close/long my contractions were and she just had me come in so she could check my cervix; if I wasn't processing I could just be sent home without having to go to Triage. Before we left for the hospital Ariel gave me such a sweet blessing, one I will always cherish, I am so thankful for having a husband that hold the Priesthood. So Ariel and I went to the hospital at 4:00pm and went to see Lindsay, the midwife on call. She checked my cervix and was like, "yup you're not leaving, you're 5cm dilated, 100% effaced, with a bulging water bag".
So she walked us down to L&D and I was admitted around 4:30–4:45pm. I felt good and my contractions weren't too unbearable, I just had to stop talking/walking while I had one. I totally thought I had labor in the bag! As I got to my room, my tub for my water birth was being filled and I changed into more comfy clothes. Once I got into my room, my contractions seemed to be getting way more intense and I was totally being snappy/bossy to Ariel while I was having one, I seriously had an alter-ego during labor — during contractions I was a bossy brat and in between them I was happy and talkative. Lindsay was an AMAZING Midwife and was with me the whole time and helped with counter pressure and helping me stay calm. I went to the restroom and as I was about to sit down on the toilet, I had a contraction and felt a strong urge to push so I forgot about using the restroom and asked to have a cervical check. My bags were so bulging and baby's head was RIGHT there, so I could of pushed then but the tub wasn't ready so I waited it out. Let me tell you, resisting the urge to push was so uncomfortable and that's when I started to lose control of my contractions and let them take over. I was moaning so loud during this time, having strong contractions and having the urge to push was so intense, I was totally embarrassed on how I was acting during labor. The tub was finally ready so Lindsay broke my water and I was in that tub in a heart beat! I was on my knees facing Ariel as he held my hands and Lindsay was behind me, making sure baby was doing okay. As a contraction came I pushed and I just lost it! I was being a TOTAL drama queen just making so much noise (it was helpful to be vocal though) and saying how I couldn't do this. ;) In between contractions I just relaxed in the warm water and it felt amazing, so calming and soothing... until another contraction came. I was really doubting myself during contractions so Lindsay told me to reach down and feel Zion's head; his head was right there and it felt so squishy and soft, such a weird feeling! I pushed some more after I gained some motivation feeling his head and I finally felt the "ring of fire" and I was just crying and moaning loudly because it hurt like hell but Ariel and Lindsay helped me through it. I probably pushed for 5 minutes, time seems to be nonexistent during labor, and Zion was born about an hour and a half after I was admitted to the hospital! I was able to reach down and pull him up to my chest, all by myself, and it was such an amazing feeling (I FREAKING DID IT, I BIRTHED A BABY WITHOUT MEDICINE! I was really proud of myself because I thought I couldn't do it when I was in transition and I wanted to give up but I didn't and well couldn't)! I looked down at my little baby and he was so little (6lbs 12oz) and didn't look like I imagined but I was in love with this little being. I looked up at Ariel and he was crying (later he told me it was because it was so hard for him to see me in pain and unable to help), but we were both so in awe of this perfect person. Zion let out little whimpers and they were so cute, he came into the world peacefully and without screaming bloody murder.
Ariel cut the umbilical cord, after it was done pulsing, and Zion was then weighed and measured while I got out of the (very) bloody tub to birth the placenta. I tore in 3 places (I seriously only thought someone could only tear around their perineum but nope) so I had to get stitched up and get Pitocin to help harden my uterus because I was bleeding more than they'd like to see.
Ariel held Zion while I was being cleaned up and it was lovely seeing Ariel hold the little person we created and seeing how much he loved him. I know, so cliche but what they say about loving the man you love more once you see them love the child you created together, is so true. I was then able to hold my sweet baby and attempt to breastfeed and it was pure heaven and I cannot thank Heavenly Father enough for allowing us to raise this sweet spirit. Zion Joaquin, mommy and daddy love you!
I'll be writing about what happened to Zion and how he ended up in the NICU later, so stay tuned!