Welcome to the world, our precious Maya Rose

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What a whirlwind past couple days. I’ve written as much as I can remember down on a notepad so I can hopefully fill this post in after the fact.  It all started at 6:40A on 13-Dec, when Sarita called me into the bathroom because she thought her water had broke

Maya lays asleep on my chest in the dark as I type out this post on my phone. My arms barely can hold the phone, but I desperately want to record these memories as I already, 36 hours in the making, feel them fading.

In retrospect there is actually a funnier start to the whole thing. First, my mom’s new husband Roy, a pilot, religiously follows the weather reports and mentioned that the moon was full on Friday night. My parents had come to visit Cincinnati to help with some last minute chores and pick up some furniture. We’d heard that full moons tend to start more pregnancies (no idea if anything scientific to that). Second, in the middle of the night I woke up and tried to hand Sarita a full glass of water. I’d sworn she called out to me “water please!… Water please.” She later in the morning told me she was having a dream about her water breaking.

Sarita was mostly pre-packed, but I needed to grab a few things before we made our way into the cold dawn, and down a fairly empty Saturday morning Madison Ave to Good Sam. Admitting took about 30 minutes during which I had to sit in a waiting room anxiously watching some bad western on AMC. Another family arrived in the waiting room, a father and four soon-to-be grandparents, and provided a short but welcom distraction as they got settled and shared stories of this time for them when they were their Son and daughter.

Maya just gave a cute yawn, mom got up and is rocking her now. It’s 12:15A.

So about thirty minutes after we arrived, Sarita had been processed and I was invited back to see her. By now she and her belly were hooked up to several machines monitoring mom’s and baby’s vitals. Sarita explained that the nurse confirmed her water had broken, she was 2cm dilated, and we were having a baby today. It was suddenly real – for me at least – this moment we had dreamt about the past 8 months, prepared for in weeks of classes, and joked about just a couple hours earlier. It was happening.

The nusre inserted a few more needles, one a HEP-lock for an IV and later potosin, and a second to draw some blood, and we were on our way to the Labor and Delivery room (L&D for short).

The L&D Room is posh. You’re there basically for the entire process until about 1-2 hours after birth.  We chilled and watched some television between contractions.  At about 11AM they were getting a bit stronger and the nurse said Sarita was at 6cm.  That’s great progress (from 2cm to 6cm in ~3.5 hours).  Since it was going so quickly they recommended she get the epidural now if she wanted it – she said “sure” even though the pain at this point was bearable.

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For the next few hours we watched popped in Pirates of the Carribean and made a few phone calls to family.  By ~1:30 the nurse said she was at 10cm and it was time to push.  At that point, the posh room transformed into a clean room the likes of which you would expect at Ikea.  Another nurse came in with a portable table and began methodically aligning a series of forceps, hemastats, scissors, gauze, etc.  The whole thing was incredibly precise and efficient.

The OB came in to calm us down for the process and explain she would check in about every 15 minutes (apparently the initial pushing must be something rather administrative).  We had a great nurse, Kelli who helped me learn a rhythm for counting during the contractions and so we began…

The pushing took only about 1hr 15min (I didn’t count in my head, but because they were so regularly timed, I would say it took about 25 contractions); by about 30 minutes I could see the top of the baby’s head (and a curl of black hair).  With each push more and more came and the excitement built to meet our child.  It was incredibly suspensful not knowing if the person coming out would be a boy or girl – I vascillated many times between what I ‘wanted’ but in the end I just wanted to meet this little person.

At 3:11PM Maya emerged, her little fist pushed up underneath her chin probably making her extra hard to push out.  The rush of emotions was like a tidal wave. Ecstasy, that we had a baby Girl – exactly what I wanted. Relief, that she cried right away and all the little scores the nurses and doctor were tossing around were good. Pride, that my wife was so incredibly brave. Fear, that I had no idea what was next.

The background discussion of the nurses and doctor were kind of blocked out in that movie-cacoon-like silence and the only three people in the room were Sarita, I, and our Baby Girl, the latter still nameless.  Then like a crack of the whip, everything sped back up.  The doctor was asking me if I wanted to cut the cord. To my own surprise, the word that came out of my mouth was “yes”.

Then, like I was opening a bank or something, mom and Baby were two separate people.  The nurses were whisking Baby away to a warmer and beckoning me to follow.  They weighed her: 7lbs, 1.2oz.  Counted her fingers: 10. Toes: 10. Something to do with number of vessels in the umbilical cord: 3. Checking her color and other factors in the APGAR score: 9 at 1min and 9 at 5min.  Suctioning out mucus from her nose and mouth, and then watching her breathing.  I completely missed the fact that Sarita was delivering the afterbirth – we later laughed how far that distance was in those few minutes (I was in the same room, just 10 feet away but neither of us knew what the other was doing).

We spent the next 90 minutes or so just staring at our Baby Girl and frantically searching through our list of names for one we thought we liked.  We went over and over the list; names we thought were so adorable when we selected them.  Not a single one fit.

Around 5PM the nurses came to move us the post-pardum room.  En route to said room, we selected Maya Rose. Maya was not on our original list, but from some website was adjacent to a name we liked.  The meanings of Maya are so diverse (1) (2) (3).  Rose is significant as the beginning of my grandmother’s names (Rose and Rosemary), my Mom’s middle name, Sarita’s middle name ‘Flor’ and her mother’s first name ‘Flora’ which both mean flower.  Maya Rose Zilch – our new beauty.

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In the PP room Maya’s length and head circumfrence were measured: 18.5in and 13.8in respectively.  She received her first bath at the hands of some wonderful nurses and donned the pink cap you see at the top of this post which was knit by hospital volunteers.  The next several hours were a whirlwind of vitals checks, crash courses in feeding and diapering, and fits of crying.  At 8PM, Dad changed his first diaper; mom got the next one.

The morning of the second greeted us with a beautiful sunrise.  That light gave us some new energy after very little sleep overnight.  Sarita and I both took showers which felt like the best showers of our lives.

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The second day was filled with more feeding, vitals checks, and crying, plus visits from the new grandparents:

Maya passed her hearing test and we just spent the day together as a family. Now it’s the second night with just about as little sleep as the previous.  Can’t wait to get Maya home and us back to our own beds.


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