SOCIAL MEDIA

05 March 2018

His Birth Day

Cyrus is here, and this is the story of the day he was born.


I woke up with a contraction at 3:40, and thought I should get up and wander around the house to see if they were going to continue. From that first contraction to the next one was just three minutes, and they continued at that rate. After about 15 minutes of wandering, it occurred to me that although it really hadn't been long, I probably should hop in the shower and start getting ready to go...just in case. They always tell you that first-time moms are likely to think they're in labor when they're not...or to go to the hospital way too early in labor, so I was hesitant at first to think anything for sure...especially when it had only been 15 minutes.

After my shower, I woke up Angel and told him, "I think we should get ready and go to the hospital now." He was a bit dazed, but jumped into action quickly, texting his boss that he wouldn't be into work, and getting everything together so that we could leave. He reported later that he noticed when I woke up and left the room originally, but thought I was just out for a middle of the night snack...and that he noticed when I got in the shower, but thought I probably just needed some pain relief. We worked quickly together to get everything we needed (although we forgot our toothbrushes), contractions coming steadily 3 minutes apart the whole time. 

I told Angel to fill up a thermos with ice from the freezer right before we left, a last minute stroke of genius that came in very handy during the hours that followed. 

The drive between our home and the hospital is normally filled with a good bit of stop-and-go traffic during business hours of the day, but the roads are very clear around 5 in the morning, so we made good time. We parked near the Emergency Room and I walked in ahead of Angel while he grabbed our backpack. I entered through doors that say "No Unauthorized Entry," but so far we have never been able to find an entry to that ER that doesn't say that...seriously, there doesn't appear to be an authorized entry to the ER. It was a sleepy little place, but the reception people took one look at me, asked how many weeks I was ("39 plus" I responded) and immediately called for a wheelchair. A guy wheeled me to a delivery room right away. The pain from contractions was giving me nausea and I distinctly remember thinking, "I really don't want to throw up in this wheelchair."

Angel came up in the elevator with me to the delivery room, but basically as soon as we'd gotten into the room, they asked him to go back down to do registration and payment--we had to give our credit card info and deposit right away. I wished that he hadn't had to leave me right away, but during that time they let me go and change into a hospital gown and take off my shoes and get on the bed so that they could check for baby's heart on the monitors. 

I had purposely worn my flip-flops to the hospital, I remember grabbing them and thinking that I didn't want to risk wearing good shoes to the hospital. This also turned out to be a very wise idea. Because...I ended up leaving the hospital shoe-less. The last time I saw my flip-flops was in the delivery room. Somehow they didn't ever get packed in the bag when we moved to the recovery room...and that's how I ended up walking into my apartment complex in stocking feet the next day.

The contractions were probably about 2 minutes apart at this time, Angel returned very quickly from registering and giving our payment info. We'd never wanted an epidural, but once Angel was back in the room, he asked the midwife what other, less invasive pain relief options there were. They gave me some gas to breathe and the midwife told Angel, "Umm...there's not really enough time for any other pain relief to work anyways."

They had called my doctor to come, but after that, they left Angel and I alone in the room for a little while, which I appreciated. I found using the gas during contractions to be somewhat "entertaining" in a way...it gave me something to focus on, attempting to actually breathe in the gas from the tube and such, so I think the distraction it provided was the major benefit. Angel was very helpful during this time and focused on me and gave me ice cubes to suck on whenever I asked for them--whenever any medical person noticed that I was eating ice cubes, they were very shocked. In this culture, ice is the last thing you would give a person at a time like this, so this was one of those situations where we were behaving a bit like "crazy Americans." One of the nurses told me later that she was surprised with how "strong" Americans are that they can have ice during times like these. Safe to say, I'm glad we brought our own ice because I think the nurses would have been reluctant to give in to such a request. I felt very clear-minded the whole time both before and after Cyrus was born...possibly even more clear minded than Angel, who you'll find out, forgot our anniversary as is the norm. But more on that later.

When my doctor arrived, it was "go time." I've described this labor in my mind as "fast and furious" because it went so much more quickly and intensely than anyone prepares you for. But the pushing stage was by far the longest and most difficult part. Angel remembers the doctor saying "Five more pushes and he'll be here!" and thinking that there's no way, because this was the part that felt like it wouldn't end, but in reality the doctor's estimate at that point was not far off. 

Cyrus was born 5 hours and 14 minutes after the first contraction that I woke up with. My most distinct memory was how as soon as he was born they handed him to me, and I remember that he didn't have much of the white coating at all and that he was very purple, and I was just saying, "My baby, My baby!"

He was indeed purple, and crying just a little, so after only a minute or two they took him from me to suction him thoroughly, and brought him back a couple minutes later, very red and crying loudly. They still didn't let me keep him for long though, maybe 15-20 minutes or so until they took him off to the nursery because he was breathing fast and they wanted to check his oxygen. 

When they took my baby away I felt pretty forlorn and very much "frozen," like unable to move. Angel was extremely antsy, he did not like having the baby away from us at all and they didn't really tell us what was going on or why they'd taken him at first. Angel got called out of the room to answer questions for Cyrus's birth certificate. He came back in the room to ask me when we got married because he wanted to be sure, and then his next question for me was what the race of the baby was, because two ethnicities were apparently too confusing, so we just had to pick one. Then Angel worked on texting my family, who we knew were eagerly awaiting updates, plus family in the USA who also wanted to be first in on the big news.

It felt like forever before they brought Cyrus back to us, and it probably was over an hour, and they let us stay together for a while in the delivery room. We were moved into a recovery room sometime between noon and one. We'd requested to take care of the baby ourselves in the room instead of letting him to to the nursery, and in order to do that, you are required to have a private room. They didn't have a private room available at first, but put us in a double room that didn't have anyone else staying in it until they were able to move us into an actual private room.

My family came to visit and stayed the rest of the afternoon, bringing us snacks and food. I felt basically no appetite, but I knew I needed to keep eating at least small amounts of food and drink. The homemade salty popcorn and bottles of Sprite that my family brought from home were just perfect. 


My mom stayed overnight in the room to help us take care of the baby, and I was surprised that the nurses left us very much alone the entire night. Between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., the only time anyone came in was when Angel rang the call bell to ask for more pain meds for me. Earlier in the evening, a nurse had expressed surprise at how involved Angel was in all of the delivery and medical processes and how he wasn't scared of anything about this baby being born, she said "Asian dads are not like that." I laughed, thinking to myself that it's not so much that he's American, because plenty of American dads wouldn't be comfortable with these things either and would not be so actively involved. It's that he's Angel, and he's a registered nurse. Our little secret. The same nurse asked us if we were an arranged marriage or a love marriage, which I think is the first time we've ever gotten that particular question about our relationship.

We were discharged from the hospital the next afternoon, and made it home around 4:45 pm. My family had bought cute blue helium balloons, and snacks, and "Happy birthday" banners, and had made welcome home signs, so the homecoming felt very special indeed!

29 comments :

  1. HAPPY BIRTH DAY, CYRUS!! Your name is so beautiful, and you are just adorable!!
    Tô Mummy and Daddy, congratulations!! Prayers as you transition into parenthood! Xoxo

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  2. Welcome Cyrus - we've all been waiting for your arrival! Congratulations to your family and I'm so glad the delivery went as well as expected

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  3. He is absolutely beautiful, Rachel! I am so happy for your sweet family. O hope your recovery goes well and Cyrus makes himself right at home. :)

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  4. Congratulations! Sounds like you went through the whole experience like a seasoned pro!

    Suzanne

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  5. I love this story so much! So thankful for your healthy baby and delivery.

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  6. Congratulations! It sounds like it went so well. Praise God for a healthy baby and a good delivery. I'm happy for you.

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  7. Yay!!!!! Congratulations!!!! This is such a great story-I'm glad that it went quickly and uneventfully. That is SO COOL that they pretty much left y'all alone overnight. Getting woken up every hour or two for the two nights they made me stay in the hospital with my first was not fun, so it's great you didn't have to go through that :)

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  8. What a wonderful story!! Congratulations to you and Angel!

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  9. Congratulations! I love the "You're so strong because you can have ice" comment. Um, how about you're so strong because you are pushing A HUMAN out of your body?

    Phillip tried to leave my ugly pajamas in the delivery room so they'd get lost last time we had a baby, but I noticed and made someone go back and get them.

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  10. I love reading birth stories. I hope you recover quickly. It sounds like you have lots of support.

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  11. I'm so happy for you all! I'm thankful Cyrus is here and am glad he had a good birth day.

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  12. Congrats!! Thanks for sharing your birth story, glad Cyrus came without complications. My husband was definitely involved for the birth of our son. To me, he is 1/2 of making the baby happen, of course he should be involved, lol!! I know not all cultures are like that though. Glad you are enjoying your precious son. :)

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  13. Yay he is HERE!!! And hooray for a quick and uneventful birth :) Did I miss it...how much did he weigh? He looks like such a great size!! Congratulations, Rachel and Angel!!

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  14. Yayyyy!!! Congratulations!!!! I found Cyrus' birth story sooo fascinating with all of the cultural differences!

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  15. Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you!!! Thanks for sharing your story!

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  16. Congrats! It feels like you've been waiting for this little guy forever!

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  17. beautiful birth story-- so fast! Rebekah was 3 hours from start to finish, Reuben was 14. You are a rockstar.

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  18. Congrats you two, he's wonderful! This was the most fascinating birth story I've read - I loved all the culturally different perspective details.

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  19. Congratulations! I'm so glad Cyrus is here safe and well. I hope you're all settling in at home well :)

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  20. Congratulations! He's beautiful! Enjoy every moment--they grow up so fast!

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  21. Congratulations, and praise the Lord. :-) International births can be so interesting. My mom had by brother next to me in age in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and she herself was born in Tanzania. :-)

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  22. I am so so happy for you! Glad everything went well. That's so interesting about the ice! And good thinking on the flip flops! :) He is absolutely beautiful!

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  23. AHHHHHHHHHH FELICITATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy for you and Angel and baby Cyrus. Also what a great birth story. <3

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  24. This is literally the best birth story I've ever read! I'm SO happy for your sweet family!!! Cyrus is just perfect!

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  25. Aww, I loved reading this! I'm so sorry that they had to take him twice so early on, but I'm glad that he was okay! Congratulations on your precious little one! And hooray for such a quick labor and delivery! You did so great, Rachel! You three make a beautiful family!

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  26. Welcome to the world, sweet little Cyrus! You lucked out to get such an amazing Mamma and Daddy! So happy for you both xX

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  27. Welcome to Cyrus! Congratulations to you both!

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  28. What a special moment for you guys!! Congratulations! Practically no complications and a bunch of humorous moments to laugh about later on- I love it! So sweet that Angel (and your mom) were on stand-by and 100% ready to do whatever you needed. Glad everything went well and you're home and happy with baby!!

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  29. Congratulations! That is so exciting! :) Welcome to the world, Cyrus!

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