Thursday March 26th 2015 will be a day I will always hold dear to my heart. This was when our beautiful baby girl finally graced us with her presence at 39 weeks and 5 days.
I finished working at exactly 39 weeks. My OB GYN kept reminding me that most first time babies come after their due dates; so I was fully expecting this. I was on my first week of maternity leave and I had so much I wanted to do and organize before baby girl made her appearance. That didn’t happen!!! Wednesday morning March 25th started like any other day. I slept in and went to run my errands. Around 1 pm I finished and went to Century City Mall, Bloomingdales was having a Friends and Family sale. I can’t resist a good sale. I pulled up in the parking lot and started to feel cramping. It felt like period cramps and lasted for a few minutes. I freaked out for a second and quickly looked these symptoms up. The internet stated this was a symptom of pre-labor. Since I had not felt any Braxton hicks I assumed this was something like that. I shook it off and entered the mall.
At 2:15 an associate in Bloomingdales was helping me out when all of a sudden a gush of water started flowing down my pants. Eeeeekk….either I’m starting to not have control of my bladder or my water just broke. I didn’t want to be rude and just bolt out of the store so I quickly excused myself with another associate asking for the washroom. When I got in, there was a full house with quite the line. OF COURSE!!! How was it full on a Wednesday in the middle of the day…don’t people work? In my head I wanted to scream and yell telling them all to get out of my way my water broke and I’m about to look like I had an accident in my pants. Instead I stayed very calm, pulled my shirt down to make sure I hid my wet pants and waited in line. When it was finally my turn I had another gush of water and I noticed the mucus plug in the toilet. I was confident, this was my water breaking.
I knew it was time to go home and finish packing my hospital bag. (This was another item on my to-do list!!). Waiting for the elevator to the parking lot seemed like an eternity. A mom with her toddler was also waiting and asked me when I was due. That was the moment it hit me…..I’m in labor. I told her that my water just broke and I could see in her face she was more anxious than I. In a panicked voice she asked if I called my OB or my husband etc… I calmly said no. I was waiting to get out of the mall and into the privacy of my car before I made a big deal of anything. By the time the elevator came an entire army was waiting for it. Everyone telling me their experiences with birth and congratulating me. In my head all I was thinking was “I’m having a baby!!!”.
When I got into the car I called my husbands’ cell immediately….no answer. I tried his clinic and immediately the receptionist asked if I was in labor. He came to the phone frantic. When I told him my water broke he was definitely in shock and panic mode. We both called Labor and delivery at the UCLA hospital waiting to hear if we should go in. He dropped everything and came rushing to meet me at home. I quickly started to pack my bag (of course leave it to me to not have it ready weeks before). Water kept flowing….I felt like a leaking faucet. I knew I still had time before baby girl was going to arrive since I was not feeling any contractions. My husband on the other hand was on high alert and stressed. I realized that until I was at the hospital he was not going to be calm. So much for your significant other being the calming force.
We arrived to the Ronald Reagan UCLA hospital and I was admitted. I couldn’t believe baby Pi-Henderson was coming. They confirmed my water broke and checked my dilation. Since I wasn’t experiencing contractions or dilating they wanted to induce me. I elected to wait a while to see if it would occur naturally before they gave me the pitocin. In the middle of the night my contractions started and I couldn’t sleep. They were painful, but nothing I couldn’t handle. When they checked my dilation I was only 1 cm dilated. This was nothing and my water broke over 16 hrs ago. It was time to proceed with the pitocin and epidural. I was the most nervous for the epidural but thankfully everything went smoothly. I no longer felt the contractions and could finally sleep a little. It was taking me forever to dilate everyone thought baby wouldn’t come until Friday. In a matter of a couple hours I went from 3 cm dilated to 10 cm. Everyone was shocked and it was go time! Time to convert the room into a delivery room. I was so calm for this entire process until the moment they told me it was time to deliver. My emotions were on overload and I started to shake out of anxiety and excitement….I was going to be holding my baby girl in just a few hours.
Active labor lasted for just under an hour. With the epidural I felt no pain. I did feel slight pressure at times, this is helpful because it lets you know when to push. It was such an amazing experience and I had my husband right by my side to help me through the entire process. It’s such a miraculous event, words can’t express how empowered you feel while going through labor. I watched as my little angel made her entry in the world with a mirror the entire time. I never thought I wanted to see any of it but its crazy how your viewpoint changes. Carlota Pi-Henderson was born Thursday March 26th at 10:48pm. 7 lbs 0.9 ounces 20 1/4 inches long.
My world had officially changed and I was a mom to a little angel. As soon as they placed her on my chest my husband and I fell in love instantly. Both of us had tears running down our faces as we gazed at our little princess. Our family of 3 (our dog Pinxo included) had become 4. Carlota stopped crying as soon as she was placed on my chest….she looked into my eyes and smiled. This is a moment I will cherish forever.