I have been wanting to document this story for a looooong time. I never want to forget the very little details of the arrival of our miracle girl. A moment we had waited for, for a very long time. Five and a half years to be exact.
I was 39 weeks pregnant. When I woke up that Tuesday morning (May 31st), I felt different. It wasn't the typical pregnant Marilyn everyone had gotten used to. Exhaustion had claimed me during my third trimester. I fell asleep, everywhere. EVERYWHERE. The swelling in my feet was so obnoxious and I no longer walked with one foot in front of the other. I had mastered the pregnant shuffle. Imagine for a second how penguins walk. That was me. The nausea was back full force and I couldn't keep anything down. Getting up in the middle of the night to puke was eventful. I remember thinking that someone needed to invent some sort of device that could help pregnant women physically get out of bed, like an escavator or a pulley system or something. I couldn't bend, so rolling out of bed was no longer a metaphor but pure reality. HA. Gosh, I miss that big belly and those sleepless nights. ANYWAY, that morning was different. I woke up with so much energy. I was feeling so so good. I remember blasting my music and twerking to a Pitbull song. Yes.....I did say twerking.....and although it was a very awkward twerk sesh, I still feel like I looked better than Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs. (proof below)
At that time, my mommy was here from Colombia. She had been taking care of me for weeks and helped me get our home ready for the arrival of my girl. That day, I was craving a turkey burger and fries. But not just any turkey burger my husbands homemade grilled turkey burger. It was a blessing Manny worked from home that day too. So at around 4:30pm, my mom and I went to our local grocery store to buy all the turkey burger fixings to make at home. I wore a bright blue swing dress and a denim jacket. At the grocery store, I waddled up and down the aisle, when I felt a gush....now, I had gushed like this before, and went to L&D, for them to tell me I had just pee'd my pants BAHAH (that happened 3 times BTW). This time felt different. My belly felt like it was pulling down. I wasn't contracting, wasn't in pain, but my belly felt like it was just dropping down, down, down and my gut knew.... it was time. I told my mom what was happening and she insisted we leave immediately, get Manny, and go to L&D. On the drive home to get Manny, I explained to my mom that Manny doesn't do well under emergency situations (like we are talking Captain Panic), so I told my mom that when we got home, we had to act non-chalant, like eh, no biggie, buuuuuut convince him to take me to L&D stat. (Little did I know that my mom was in full panic mode inside). Soooo, we walk in the house and Manny is working in the office, and I say "Hey babe, I think I pee'd myself again, but I want to go to the hospital just to make sure since I'm so close to the due date so can you take me to the hospital". Manny says "Okay babe, I'll take you". And he mosey's on upstairs to change. He was taking his sweet sweet time. Probably man-scaping, who knows, when all the sudden I heard my mom yell at Manny "Manolo, tienes que salir ya, rapido" (Manny, you need to leave NOW, quickly). We get out the door, and drive to the hospital.
On the way there, I still wasn't having contractions so I honestly convinced myself we were going more for a peace of mind kinda thing. We get to L&D, (its about 5:30pm by this time) and I tell the nurse at the front desk, as calmly in the most non-urgent way (because like I said, I wasn't feeling anything and didn't know I was actually in labor HAHAH) that I thought my water had broken but I wasn't sure but wanted to get checked out just in case. The nurse told me not to drink or eat anything until all testing was done, and since I obviously wasn't panicking, they had no sense of urgency to get me seen, so they ushered me to a waiting room. Manny went and brought me a hamburger and fries and a Diet Coke, because no one tells pregnant Marilyn when she can and cannot eat...(but also, I truly thought I was going to be sent back home). I inhaled that delicious burger, and as I was wiping any evidence of ketchup on the corners of my lips, they called me into an exam room. After pricks, pokes, ultra-sounds, labs, and manual checks in the hoo-haaa, my ER nurse walked in at 7:30pm and said "Well, Marilyn, you are in labor and you aren't leaving the hospital until you deliver that baby girl". All of the sudden, it was like I forgot that I HAD to actually give birth. It was happening. My body began to shake uncontrollably. I shook so hard from the very top of my head, all the way down to my toes. My core, my teeth, everything in my body was shuddering. Warm tears streamed down my face, as I realized "Holy shit, this is happening".
They moved me into my room. My nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural (I wasn't in pain, or uncomfortable). But, I had remembered that my girlfriend Terry, from California, told me once that if I was offered an epidural, take it as early as you can, even if you aren't in pain, so you are as comfortable as possible and so you can rest before delivery. So that I did. The anesthesiologist, the kindest most caring person, met with me to administer the epidural. He explained that it would feel like a bee sting, but that I wouldn't feel anything after that. He was right. He instructed me to roll onto my side and Manny observed in horror. To this day, I don't know how big that needle was, but the look on Manny's face said "Holy shit balls, that is huge". We waited 10-15 minutes for the numbing to take effect. When it did, the nurses came in to move me. That. was. weird. Being paralyzed by this medicine from the waist down was mind blowing. I watched the nurse pick up two large lifeless legs to hoist them over to the right. When I realized that they were my legs. I almost puked. I do not recommend looking when that happens. Anyway, at around 8:30pm, my husband needed his work materials (laptop, paperwork etc). He needed a way to communicate with work through email blah blah, deadlines blah blah, big boss kinda stuff, and I called the only person I knew would come through without hesitation because we just have each others back like that. My girl, my bestie, my Laura Gleton. Everyone needs a friend like her. I am so so so beyond blessed to call her my friend. She drove to my house, picked up Manny's belongings, and drove 45 min south to the hospital for me. Some may say "oh that was nice", but for me, it meant the universe. She spent some time visiting with me in the hospital that night and it was so special.
At about 11pm, the nurse checked and mentioned that I wasn't dilating at all!! But she could see on the monitor that I was having some pretty serious contractions. They contacted my Dr. and she instructed them to start Pitocin to get me going. It was a loooooooooooong night. Nurses checked in on me every hour, and sleeping was pretty much impossible. The best part though was that I wasn't in any discomfort or pain.
At about 8:30am, my Doctor (Dr. Parrett), came in and said I was dilated at a 7. She checked Mila's positioning and Dr. Parrett noticed Mila was in face position. Face position means that Mila's head was tilted face up with her neck back, which meant vaginal delivery was literally impossible, and very dangerous. Dr. Parrett told me that she would give Mila an hour and come back and check to see if she changed position. During that hour, I pressed my belly to try to nudge her to change positions but she wasn't moving. An hour later, Dr. Parrett came in, checked again. I was dilated at a 10, and Mila's face was in the same position but now, her head was wedged way way down my pelvic bone. When my doctor discovered this, she immediately and urgently called in her staff, tossed Manny scrubs, and said "Marilyn, we need to get Mila out now, you are going to have a c-section". As those words were coming out, I already had nurses prepping me quickly for emergency c-section. I began to convulse, as adrenaline, shock, and fear poured over me. It happened so fast, but I remember every detail.
At 9:15am, They rolled me into a very sterile white room with metal tools and knives that laid on small tray tables around the hospital cot, with large circular bright lights that aggressively hovered around the ceiling, and a medical staff of at least 10 filled the room. My anesthesiologist pulled up a stool and sat behind me with his assuring hand on my shoulder the whole time. He promised to take good care of me and communicated with me during my surgery. I needed that badly. I truly thought I was going to just fade into darkness. As the medical team prepped my body, my anesthesiologist had increased the dosage of the medicine so I couldn't feel anything from my armpits down. It was a weird feeling. Dr. Parrett announced that they were going to start cutting me open, and Manny's mouth dropped to the floor. I remember him looking at me saying "Babe, do you feel that", and I was feeling loopy and replied "Nope". Gosh I am grateful for modern medicine.
At 9:55am, on Wednesday June 1, 2016, Mila Snow Gomez was born. She measured 21" long, and weighed 7 lbs 15 oz. She was perfect. I remember waiting to see her and envisioning what she would look like. I laid behind that blue curtain as the medical team stitched my belly up and Manny had left my side to go meet Mila. My anesthesiologist kept telling me it was okay to close my eyes and to relax, but I couldn't. I wanted to meet her so so badly. Even though it was completely unexpected, I was glad I had a C-section. It was actually a really good experience. I also, loved the very fact that it was my husband that got to see and hold her first. I had the privilege of carrying her for 9 months, and I got to selfishly feel her nudges, flutters and kicks in my belly. So to know that my hubby got to meet and hold her first was the best gift I could give him. After what felt like 10 years, Manny walked over to me while he held Mila (at 10:08am), and he brought her up to my face and laid her there. She was mine. I closed my eyes and inhaled her sweet heavenly scent and just praised God. She was mine. She was the missing link and I was finally complete. I choked back tears and was overcome with the purest happiness.
She was here. The battle was over. We had won.