Well, sort of. His birthday is tomorrow so technically he’ll be one then but wow, the time has really flown by. It feels like just yesterday I was uploading stories of my time at the hospital. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m pregnant again or because it really did happen so quickly, but my baby is one. Yes, that’s right. Santiago and I survived 364 days of being his parents. And yes this post is mostly about him, but it’s also about me because everything is.
I can’t believe he’s mine. He’s so orange and blue, fat and delicious. To say we are obsessed is a complete understatement. He has a strong personality, doesn’t like to be smothered by kisses and isn’t a big smiler. He isn’t super independent and loves to be around people. He is the ultimate baby brother and I actually think he’s going to be the one running the show. He began taking his first steps on December 2nd but still prefers crawling. I’m not his favorite person in the world but he’s finally warming up to me. I truly think 2020 is going to be our year.
For those of you who didn’t experience his birth, I want to share with you his birth story. You know, ’cause it’s his birthday. I do want to preface by saying that my experience giving birth to him and to Santi is different because with Santi my water broke naturally. With Joaquin, I opted for an induction because I couldn’t stand the thought of being pregnant for one more day.
My day started off at 4:25 AM when I went downstairs to have breakfast. You’re supposed to go on an empty stomach but I’m not about to lay in a bed all daydreaming about food. An hour later, Santiago was finished with his beauty rest and we arrived at the hospital. Once you’re there, you check in with your license in the lobby and head up to triage on the maternity floor. Triage is the place where it all starts. You change into the super sexy scrubs, get into bed, and begin the process of getting touched all over. For me, the two most painful parts about childbirth are getting the IV and getting checked for how dilated you are (before the epidural). I’m one of those modern women who arrive and immediately say I’m in pain even if it’s not true. I’m sure feeling contractions is fun but it’s not for me. So instead of “powering through,” when they ask my pain level, I immediately say 11. Even if the range is from 1-10.
By 6:07 AM I was in a bed in my room waiting for Dr. Molina to come in and break my water. Now, I want to preface by saying that I love Dr. Molina and I think she’s the best OBGYN in the world. I don’t think I would have survived either birth without her. With that being said, she’s lied to me twice…to my face. The first was on December 5th, 2018 when she told me to go to the hospital at 5:30 AM and she’d break my water by 6:30 AM. The second time was when she told me that breaking my water wouldn’t hurt.
It was 7:22 AM when they started me on Pitocin. This drug gets labor started, gets contractions going and is pretty much a miracle. It’s also a miracle that I let them give that to me without having an epidural. Because guess what, I felt the contractions guys–and I wasn’t into it. I couldn’t get the epidural until the Dr broke my water, so we were just waiting for her to come so I could tell her she was a liar and to hurry up. She arrived at 7:50 AM and broke my water. She also did this thing where she made me 1cm more dilated than I was in the morning. It was very uncomfortable but whatever, I was 1cm closer to meeting Joaquin. 30 min later, I got the epidural and all was right in the world.
The epidural I got with Joaquin was 10000 times more fun than the one I got with Santi. Let me tell you that it really doesn’t hurt. It’s a very cold, cold shot that goes into your back and you immediately feel relief. It’s scary because you’re alone (spouses can’t be in the room) and they continuously tell you all of the side effects that could occur (like paralysis), but it’s great because it’s instant. This particular epidural took all the pain away but I was still able to feel and move my legs. A++ to that doctor (I forgot his name).
From this time to about lunchtime, I was in my room hanging out with my mom, cousins, aunts, you name it. I love being surrounded by people and the day I’m giving birth is no exception. Maybe this is why Joaquin doesn’t like to be alone. Who knows… Throughout the day is also prime time for Santiago to complain about being cold, hungry, tired…to mention it’s taking too long. I mean, this is someone who has said to my face that the worst part about having a baby is watching me give birth (even though I literally give birth in silence and do so very quickly). But alas, it’s just too much for him to handle.
At 12:00 PM they checked me and I was 8cm dilated and 100% effaced. For those of you who don’t know, you need to be 10cm dilated and 100% effaced (this is how low the baby is in the birthing canal). At 12:45 PM the nurse came back in to write something on the computer and I told her I felt super, super weird. She told me not to worry that I was just getting closer but it had only been 45 minutes so I should be about the same. Now, I don’t want to say that I was right and she was wrong, but when I made her check me again I was 10 cm dilated and 100%++ effaced (meaning, he was coming out). She called Dr. Molina immediately and she asked if I could wait for a little for her to finish up with some clients or if she needed me right away. I had the epidural guys, and I’ve been in the waiting room of her office only to be told she had to leave, so I told her to stay.
At 1:30 PM she was in my room getting ready. When you’re about to give birth, your room transforms into the safest place for a baby. A piece of your bed comes off and the stirrups come up, lights from the ceiling are now facing your lady parts and a table of tools you 10000000% pray aren’t for you are in the room “just in case.” They turn a heater on for your baby’s first crib and the nurse that’s been helping you all-day gives you tips on how to push. And just like that, it’s go time.
I know this is irrational. I know it’s something that I can’t even change, but one of my biggest questions while pregnant was, “will this baby also be a ginger?” I really wanted him to be, and I had many dreams about him coming out with jet black hair (and a lot of it), so before we began pushing, I asked Dr. Molina to tell me when she saw his head. She had done the same for Santi, so even though she probably thinks I’m a freak, she did me the favor again.
“It’s light–don’t worry” were the last words she said to me before saying “he’s here!” Joaquin didn’t cry immediately when being born and I freaked out. Fun fact: if the umbilical cord is still connected, the baby doesn’t need to cry.
Joaquin Andres Ortega was born on December 12th, 2018 at 1:53 PM after 9 minutes of pushing. He weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz and was 20 inches long. He was absolutely perfect.
The part where they hand you your baby for the first time is unlike any other moment in your life. Even if you have a baby already, this is another child and they’re yours. He was orange, big and beautiful from the moment I met him and I swear to God my heart size multiplied the second I touched him. I can’t explain how nervous I was about meeting him and loving him but it just happened.
So, here we are, a year minus a day later with our big baby boy–our king baby as my dad calls him. Happy, happy birthday to my baby boy. Joaquin, I love you more today than yesterday and I will love you forever and ever, to the moon and back!