Tuesday, August 18, 2020

I gave birth the day the world shut down


Well, I had a baby! Since my unintentional blogging gap I managed to grow an entire human, give birth, and now he’s 5 months old! I have written my other two birth stories pretty quickly after, so I need to get this one down before I forget. Each of my birth experiences have been so different, and to be honest I thought and was hoping this one would be like Dom’s which was my favorite birthing experience, but alas it was not so, and as I remember things in hindsight, I realize how many tender mercies took place, since I gave birth on March 12, the day the world (or the USA at least) shut down because of Covid 19. 

To backtrack a little, Victor was gone the last 2 months of my pregnancy: working on a project with a team at the Pentagon. They said he could come back for the birth, but were asking for a date when he could come back. I was so annoyed, thinking “well tell them my due date is March 12, but my body does what it wants, and don’t count on that at all.” But sure enough, that’s the day he came, and all that stuff of trying to get Victor back to DC didn’t matter anyway since by the time the baby arrived, everyone working on the project was told to finish it from home. 

My amazing mother in law arrived 2 days before my due date, and the day before while both boys were in school, I had the inspiration to go get pedicures together—a tender mercy of sorts since by the time I got out of the hospital, there would be no nail salons open anymore haha. But that was nice to do with her. And then that evening, my amazing friends in my ward had a little “baby sprinkle” for me. When they asked if that day was cutting it too close to my due date I replied “don’t worry, I know I’ll go over so it will be fine.” 

Then the next morning was my due date appointment. The hospital was starting to set triage tents up outside for the impending virus spreading in the USA. It was starting to feel weird. At my appointment, I strangely had a high blood pressure reading, which I never had before. They decided to send me up to labor and delivery just to “run some tests,” which I thought nothing of. But the doctor came in and said “we could do all that, but it’s your due date already, so let’s just induce you to be safe.” 

That was not the kind of labor I was expecting or planning for, and I was not prepared, and once the induction process started, I frankly was angry that it was happening this way. The pain started quickly and strongly, the iv was placed somewhere weird and made it very painful and irritating. Normally when I labor at home first, I can move around and take a bath and shower, which I couldn’t do. And sorry to not be g rated, but I was so sick of the invasiveness of getting my cervix checked and then the breaking of my water, that when I told the nurse a few hours later that I felt pressure and pain and she offered to check my dilation, I said “I don’t want any more hands up my vagina!” But I let her and sure enough, it was time to push. 

The doctor came in to have me start pushing and joked “so what are you going to name him? Covid?” And I was too out of it to realize “Covid” was the new name for the coronavirus, so I just ignored his bad joke while victor gave him a courtesy laugh ha. Can you tell I was not in a very good mood? 

Pushing was hard and took a little longer than with Dom—about 20 minutes. (Which still isn’t bad, I know.) But then there he was, and all the physical pain from contractions and the wonky epidural was gone, as was the emotional stress I had been feeling for most of the afternoon. Those first moments meeting my newborns are pure bliss—the closest thing to heaven. It’s surreal and euphoric. 

I did skin to skin for a long time. I snuggled with him while he cried—he was pretty dramatic, and then I fed him as well before we decided to finally see how much he weighed. He came in over 10 pounds! Such a shock to both of us. 

My mother in law brought both the boys the next morning. J should have been at school—unknowingly it turned out to be the last day before schools shut down, and sometimes I feel sad he never got to go that last day, but then I remember he got to do something other siblings of Covid births didn’t get to do: actually come to the hospital and have those amazing first moments of seeing their new baby. So I realize now that that doctors decision to induce me was full of tender mercies like that. And since my blood pressure was only high that one random time, I think that it was possibly divine intervention as well so I could have the baby when I did, and not a week later (like I usually am), when things truly were so much different. 

We got to come home on Saturday and then hunkered down! Our quarantine and “self isolating” was probably something I would have done anyway, but “staying safe at home” never felt more right than with a beautiful sleepy newborn to snuggle with all day. 

We are so grateful for this precious gift from God. We named him Mateo Jeffrey Castro. His middle name is after my dad. And we are all smitten with him, especially his older brothers. A little too smitten, but I would rather have that than have them not care! We just are so so thankful. He’s the best thing to happen in 2020, hands down! 


1 comment:

  1. I’m so glad you got to meet your baby boy before everything went crazy! I can’t believe he was over 10 pounds! After doing two induced births I totally understand how uncomfortable it is to be stuck in a bed for the whole thing. Every time you post a picture of that sweet boy I just want to squish him! He is so adorable!