My Perfectly Imperfect Breastfeeding Journeys

This week is World Breastfeeding week and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my experiences and share them with you all.  Breastfeeding is wonderful.  I am truly fascinated by what our bodies can do for our babies in the womb and after delivery.  There are so many benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby.  It helps your uterus return to its normal size quicker and it saves a lot of time and money.  For baby, breast milk provides antibodies and nutrients that strengthen their immune system.  They tend to get sick less and it even protects against future health conditions such as obesity and types 1 and 2 diabetes.  These are just some of the wonderful things that breastfeeding does.

You’ve heard the saying, “breast is best” and you’ve most likely heard people say, “It’s the natural thing to do”.  They’re correct, breastfeeding is natural but it doesn’t come naturally to every woman.  In fact, what most people fail to realize is that although breastfeeding is natural it still takes practice for both mom and baby to learn to do so successfully.  It truly is a journey and no two journeys are alike.

First time mother!

I’ve had five unique experiences with breastfeeding. When we conceived our first son I was just 19 years old.  I never aspired to be a mom and unlike many women I know, I never took care of any babies.  The most I had done up until that point was watch my younger sister for a couple of hours until my parents got back home from work or grocery shopping. All I had to do was give her something to eat or drink and make sure she wasn’t doing anything “bad”. By the way, this was when she was ten so it wasn’t a very difficult task!  Anyways, since this was all new to me I remember rushing to our public library and taking out “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel.  I love reading and therefore I read as much as I could about what was going on in my body and everything else that was still yet to come.  My husband and I watched numerous documentaries on pregnancy and delivery.  We tried to prepare as much as possible.

My doctor spoke to us about breastfeeding and all of the benefits related to it.  She asked me what my plans would be for when I had the baby.  Will I be breastfeeding or giving formula? Breastfeeding seemed like the right way to go.  After all, isn’t that what women have breasts for?  She informed me about a breastfeeding class and I signed up for it.

The lactation consultant was very helpful.  She had brought a doll and showed us all the positions we could breastfeed in.  She taught us about colostrum and how our milk will be coming in a couple of days after we gave birth.  She assured us breastfeeding wasn’t painful and if it was we had to get baby off and relatch.  She told us that our nipples get darker and that, along with our scent, helps baby find the nipple. “Bring your nipple to his nose and that’ll make him open wide then bring him to you. It all seemed pretty basic, pretty natural.  I remember leaving that class feeling confident that I was making the right decision by breastfeeding and that I’d be successful at it.

The journey begins…

Fast forward to April of 2011, I had just given birth to my first son Michael.  He was born 9 days late and had meconium in his mouth.  They took him away to clean him up and suction it out of his mouth; they wanted to make sure he hadn’t ingested it.  It was due to this that we didn’t get to breastfeed and do skin to skin contact right away.  An hour later I tried to breastfeed and I felt like I was doing it correctly.  It was hard for me to open his mouth wide enough.  I felt my breasts and nipple were huge in comparison to his little mouth.  Did I mention that he was 10lbs at birth?  It was difficult for me to get in a comfortable position to breastfeed him.  I asked to see the lactation consultant and she assured me that I was doing it correctly.  “How do I know if he’s getting anything?  I can’t tell.”  She told me that as long as he was peeing and pooping it was fine.  “You will also be able to hear him swallow.”

Everything was fine and I was breastfeeding exclusively at the hospital.  Breastfeeding wasn’t extremely painful but it wasn’t very comfortable for me.  We were discharged on the third day and once we got home things changed.  I didn’t have nurses or the lactation consultant there to help me.  To make matters worse my milk had come in and it was a lot.  I was feeding on demand and baby wasn’t eating as much as I was producing.  On top of that, I didn’t have a breast pump.

My husband and I were on our own and at that time we didn’t realize how important it is to have a village supporting you.  My mother and grandmother came by to meet the baby and I recall telling them that my breasts were hurting.  I had read about becoming engorged but underestimated how painful it would be.  By the time I asked my mother and grandmother for help I had mastisis.  They advised me to take a warm shower, express milk by hand, and put the baby on my breasts as much as possible.  By then the pain was almost unbearable. “I don’t want him on my breast it’s too painful!” Even though we had agreed on exclusively breastfeeding, my husband turned to me and said, “Why don’t we just give him formula? It’s ok.”  It was in that moment that I broke.  I was crying hysterically. Aside from struggling with breastfeeding I was also struggling with a mild form of post-partum depression known as baby blues. I felt like such a failure.  I was crying from the physical pain but also from the thought of not being able to do something that my body was meant to do.

It took me a couple of days to feel better about giving him formula.  During that time we had purchased a breast pump and I began pumping for my baby. I didn’t know much about pumping but I would pump milk here and there during the day.  Eventually my milk dried up and after two months my son was being fed formula only.

My second attempt at breastfeeding took place in 2013.  I wanted to breastfeed so badly.  This time I had everything from a nursing bra to an electric pump.  I had brought my electric pump with me to the hospital because I didn’t want to get engorged like last time.  I wanted my breasts to be as empty as possible. 

With little Gabriel.

When my second son Gabriel was born I was able to have skin to skin contact right then and there.  I had read that the epidural sometimes makes it difficult to establish a good latch once baby is born and so I tried my best to not get one.  It was perfect, at least for a few hours.  When Gabriel was two days old the doctors moved him to the nursery because he had jaundice.  At the time, my hospital didn’t allow the UV lamp to be in our rooms and they would place them in the nursery instead.  Unfortunately, his jaundice hadn’t gotten better by the time I was ready to be discharged.  It was very difficult for me to have to leave him behind.  Luckily, we lived a couple of blocks away from the hospital so I would pump for him during the day and then take it to the hospital so he could drink breastmilk while I was away.  Two days later Gabriel was home with us but by then I was afraid he would not be able to latch on.  Sometimes he would and others he wouldn’t and so I pumped and supplemented with formula.  This time the decision was a little easier to make.  However, I wasn’t pumping as often as I should and his stomach was very sensitive to my diet so I stopped after 3 months.

My third pregnancy came as a big surprise to us.  I learned I was pregnant on November 2015.  Unfortunately, I began having complications in mid-December.  I began spotting and learned that I had a large subchorionic hematoma in my placenta, basically a large blood clot.  The doctors were very honest about my condition from the beginning.  “It can go both ways.  It may resolve on its own or it may get bigger and we would have to remove the baby.”  My doctor was very optimistic and she tried to keep my spirits high through everything I was going through.  Sadly, on March 2016 I had a spontaneous abortion.  My baby Malachi was 19 weeks old.  Needless to say, this event broke me and affected our family.  I thought the pain would be over once I accepted my loss.  However, I was wrong.  A couple of days after I experienced my loss my breasts became fuller.  It never crossed my mind that even though I didn’t have a baby my body carried one and it was tricked into believing that it had to produce milk for him.  I remember going online searching for what I should do and searching for someone else who had experienced something similar.  I tried cabbage compresses which surprisingly work very well! I also tried peppermint tea and candy which helped.  By the second day my milk had decreased and my breasts didn’t feel full.

With my fourth son I was determined to get it right!  In November of 2017, I took everything I had learned during these past years and put it to work.  My son had latched on beautifully.  It wasn’t painful and remember when I mentioned that breastfeeding helps your uterus go back to its normal size?  I felt that!  Every time he would be on my breast I felt as my uterus was contracting. How amazing is that? I was extremely happy to finally be able to breastfeed my child.  I nursed exclusively for 3 weeks and then I began to pump instead. Here’s why:

By the third week my son Casey, began cluster feeding.  He was going through a growth spurt and wanted to be on my breast all the time.  His sleep schedule was a bit off as well.  It was a tough decision to make but I knew that it was the right one in order to keep me sane.  He took the bottle well and I would nurse him from time to time.  At this time I was looking for ways to keep my supply up.  I came across a community of exclusive pumpers and learned that pumping is still breastfeeding.  There’s this misconception that if the child is not at your breast you aren’t breastfeeding but as long as your child is drinking breastmilk he/she is!  Nursing on the other hand is when your child is on your breast and not being bottle fed formula or breastmilk.  I’ve done both and honestly one is not better than the other.  It’s totally up to what you enjoy doing and what is easier for you both. I exclusively pumped for months. I would pump every 2 hours and yes it was very exhausting but also very rewarding. There were many times when I just wanted to give up but I always pushed through.  It helps to have a good support system and that is what I had in my husband throughout my pumping journey.  I was able to breastfeed Casey for 4 months.

All of my pictures with Casey show a little too much breast for me to post online lol. So here’s one of us at the hospital.
What I loved about pumping is that it became “me time”. Daddy was great at taking over and letting me relax while I pumped.

My baby Seanie was born on September 2019.  He didn’t latch on from the start.  By now I knew better than to give up right away.  I continued trying but I wasn’t hard on myself either. Fed is best.  All that mattered was that he was eating.  I nursed at the hospital and the first weeks at home.  Eventually I started pumping more and more for him.  In part because I had a large supply and I didn’t want to get engorged but also because I had toddler, Casey, to run after. Another reason was because, and I’m being super honest, I didn’t love having to nurse so many times in a day. I still nursed here and there and eventually only at night.  I had initially aimed to breastfeed for three months but I got to 7! I was beyond proud of myself.  It really was a huge accomplishment for me.

Casey ready to pump with momma.

It is important that we normalize breastfeeding.  I am glad that my sons were able to witness me doing so for their brothers.  Many times they would help me set up my pumping area and even Casey my then 1 year old would ask me, “Momma pump?”  I wanted to share my experience with breastfeeding because I think it is important to understand that there are many factors that go into whether a mom chooses to breastfeed or not.  Not only that but there are many ways to breastfeed your child even if you decide not to nurse. 

They say that nursing helps build a strong bond with your child and I don’t argue with that but honestly, I have as much of a strong bond with Michael who I breastfed for a week as I do with Seanie who was breastfed up until he was 7 months.  Yes there are so many benefits from breastfeeding and breastmilk is what our baby humans should be drinking because it is the natural thing to feed them but that doesn’t mean that you need to exclusively nurse.  There are so many other options out there.  My advice is to give it a try and try different methods of breastfeeding and ask for help.  There are so many supplements that can help you too so don’t get discouraged. Some enjoy pumping a lot more than nursing and that is okay because what matters is that your baby gets all the nutrients he/she can.  In the end you will know what the right choice is for you and your baby.  Don’t ever second guess it!

Three of my four healthy babies 💝.

I make milk. What’s your superpower?

UPDATE 08/08/20

Here are the products that I used while breastfeeding and that helped me tremendously. I added an asterisk next to all affiliate links. 🙂

Breast Pumps

I love Lansinoh products. I have been using them since my second pregnancy. My favorite pumps are their Signature Pro Double Electric Pump and their new Smartpump 2.0 Double Electric Breast Pump. I found them to be pretty similar but one big difference is that their newer pump is super quiet. I would use their Signature Pro Double Electric Pump at home and their Smartpump 2.0 Double Electric Breast Pump at work. I have never had a problem with their breast pumps.

Breast Pump Accessories

Lansinoh Simple Wishes® Hands-Free Pumping Bra was a life saver too! I loved the quality of the bra and that you could adjust it to create a better seal when pumping. I would also use their TheraPearl® 3-in-1 Breast Therapy by warming them in the microwave and placing them on my breasts before and during my pumping sessions. It really helped me produce more milk and I would also use them cold to relieve any discomfort from plugged ducts (Ugh!).

Breast Milk Storage

For years my favorite storage bags were Lansinoh storage bags. Eventually they began making storage bags that you could pump directly into. Unfortunately, there were a handful of times that they would leak. Luckily, I found Breast Milk Storage Bags by Nanobebe *. You really can feel the difference. They are made of extra thick plastic and have a double zipper to keep your liquid gold secure.

Breast Care

I would put some coconut oil after coming out of the shower but after every pumping session I made sure to use Lanolin Nipple Cream. Not so long ago, Lansinoh created their Organic Nipple Balm and that became my go to. It’s amazing and you can even use it on your lips like I do.

Nursing Pads

My two favorite nursing pads are the Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads by Lansinoh and Nanobebe Nursing Pads *

Baby Bottles

Since I was nursing I wanted to introduce a bottle with a nipple that wouldn’t cause nipple confusion. Lansinoh Breastfeeding Bottles with NaturalWave® Nipple (5 oz) were perfect. I was able to pump directly into the bottles. They never leaked and my babies never had colic or nipple confusion. Another great addition was Nanobebe Breastmilk Bottles *. I love that their bottles are the shaped like a breast! They are easy to clean and my husband and sons loved feeding our littlest one with it.

Supplements

Every one needs a little help from time to time. Things like stress from returning to work may start to affect your milk supply. I found Milky Mama products on Instagram and they worked well for me. The two products that I used to keep my stress levels down and keep my supply high were their Emergency Brownies and Pumping Queen which is an herbal supplement. Make sure you read the ingredients before purchasing!

I hope this was helpful and if there is anything else I might have missed feel free to message me. 🙂

Seven Wild Years

Seven years ago I gave birth to my second child. A little boy with a big personality and a wild imagination. This year we were supposed to celebrate his birthday in Orlando. We had a trip planned to go to Animal Kingdom but then COVID-19 happened. This would’ve been a great way to celebrate with his brothers and I know they were very upset that our plans had to change. I wanted to make his birthday special and fun for his brothers too. My husband and I wanted to surprise them and so I got on Pinterest to find some inspiration.

On Wednesday, I decided to throw a Safari themed birthday party. There are so many great decorations out there as this is a very popular theme. I ordered balloons to make a garland for the cake table.

There are so many beautiful balloon garlands on Pinterest!

Balloon garlands are in my opinion, beautiful. This one took me about an hour to make. I had my husband help me blow half of the balloons because I don’t have a balloon pump. I’m thinking of ordering this one for future parties. It’ll definitely make my life easier.

Seven Wild Years

Another idea I got from Pinterest was this Safari Number. I really wish I owned a Cricut Machine! I bought different shades of green card stock paper and gold animal cupcake toppers. I used the cardboard box in which my order arrived to cut out a number 7. Then I started drawing leaves to glue onto my safari number. Cutting out those leaves by hand was awful but in the end I was very happy with how it came out.

We received a box filled with Mickey Mouse. The kids loved them!
M&M’s for our Predator Challenge

I wanted to have fun activities for all the boys to do. This was a little tricky as their ages range from 2 to 9 but I found a few that were a success.

Science Buddies had various science projects for kids. One of them was the M&Ms Survival Challenge. All you need is a bag of M&M’s and some hungry predators. You can modify the game however you want. Each predator was given a Ziploc bag with one M&M. They each had one color assigned to them. This was to remind them, but mainly my 2 year old son, what color they were hunting for. We briefly talked about predators, prey, adaptation, camouflage, and survival. I explained to them that I had placed M&Ms in certain parts of the living room and that their job was to hunt for their specific colored M&M’s. They had 30 seconds to collect as many M&M’s as they could. Our toddler won because he had daddy’s help but the real winner was my nine year old lol. It was a close game though! What they loved most was eating their treat once the game was over.

I ordered our caterpillars and they arrived two days before his birthday!

I also saw a science project online that used live worms! I know the boys would’ve loved that but I get grossed out by worms so I decided to get caterpillars instead. What kid doesn’t love watching their caterpillars go through metamorphosis? The boys have been recording their daily observations. They are fascinated by how big they have grown in just a couple of days. For our next activity we made chromatography butterflies. Chromatography is the process of separating mixtures. This is similar to the Walking Water experiment.

Normally, we would use coffee filters to separate the various pigments in markers and see how each color was created. However, this time we used paper towels since I didn’t have any coffee filters.

All you need are washable markers and a round paper towel or coffee filter. The boys drew circles around the inner part of their paper towels. Afterwards, we folded the paper towel into a cone shape and placed the tip in water

We watched as the water traveled up the paper towels.

The water began to travel upwards. As the water reached the ink, it dissolved the dyes and they too began to travel up the paper towel with the water. That’s how you can see all the different colors that make up the ink.

We let our paper towels dry. The colors were so beautiful. You can use pipe cleaners to finish making your butterflies. The pipe cleaners will hold your butterflies together as you twist it around its body. The remaining portion of your pipe cleaner then become the antennae. We didn’t have pipe cleaners so we just twisted the middle of our paper towels. It still worked out pretty well!

After this we tried making jungle slime but failed miserably! I’m not great at making slime. Even though I followed the recipe it did not come out as we would’ve wanted it to. Good thing I had a fourth activity planned. ☺️

Handprint Giraffe

I remember painting hand print giraffes with my preschoolers one time and thought that would be something that the boys would enjoy doing. Dad helped our two year old.

At first, my two year old was fine with Dad helping but eventually he ended up doing his own thing. That made me love his painting even more.

As you can see, it’s not so much about the final art work but more about the process.

I painted glasses on my giraffe so that it could resemble me and the boys decided to do the same to theirs. They loved the idea of painting themselves as giraffes. My nine year old even painted a beard on his because he’s obsessed with growing facial hair like dad!

(Left to right) Baby Seanie, Mikey, Me, Gabi, and Casey

I love how everyone’s painting came out. I can’t wait to hang them up. I had my 9 month old put his handprint on canvas but I painted the face on his giraffe and his background. I plan on getting his handprint on another canvas and putting painters tape over it once it’s dry so that he could paint his own background.

Homemade Dominican cake with meringue frosting.

After we were done painting we sang Happy Birthday to the birthday boy and got ready to eat some cake. This year I baked his cake! It was my first time decorating a cake and although it didn’t come out as I had planned, I must say that I was very impressed with my work. Can’t wait to bake another cake. It isn’t easy but it’s a lot of fun.

The cake came out delicious and was gone within two days. My sons were very happy and very tired by the end of the night. I was very happy to be able to pull this off. Now we are just waiting for our caterpillars to build their chrysalis and then turn into beautiful butterflies! Here they are just 3 days after they arrived home.

Life should not only be lived. It should be celebrated!

Dino Eggs 🦖

Lately, my son Casey has been obsessed with  the “Baby T-Rex” song by @pinkfong.official. The music video starts with a purple spotted dinosaur egg which cracks and hatches.  Out comes a baby t-rex and well, it’s “Baby Shark” all over again except this time with a cute little dinosaur.

I’ve made dino eggs with my preschoolers once before and they really loved this activity. I wanted to see if my toddler would enjoy it as well. They are very simple to make. The best part is that he was able to help me from start to finish. I broke up this project into two parts which means we had something planned for the past two days .

What you will need:

– water

– 4lbs of baking soda

– vinegar

– food coloring or liquid water colors like we used

– miniature dinosaurs

– eye droppers

– mixing bowl

– small plastic cup for vinegar

– deep container for eggs

Optional materials: child lab coat and safety goggles to make your little one feel like a real scientist! (Casey wasn’t feeling the goggles and that’s fine. No need to make them uncomfortable!) I also added child friendly tongs to help strengthen his fine motor skills.

On day 1, Casey helped me make the baking soda paste. He loves helping me in the kitchen. Therefore, he was very excited and eager to help me once he saw me take out the mixing bowl and measuring cups. He poured our ingredients into the mixing bowl and mixed them with a plastic fork as he did not want to get his hands dirty. Some kids enjoy playing with the paste while others don’t. It’s up to them.

MAKING THE PASTE:

– We started out with 2 cups of baking soda mixed with 1 cup of water and a few drops of liquid watercolors. We used red and blue.
– Add water in small amounts. Mixture should be damp but not too wet and mushy.

Once we were happy with the consistency of our paste, we began to shape little  ‘eggs’  using both our hands. He really didn’t like this part so his older brother helped me instead. Luckily, we had some miniature dinosaurs for our activity. We covered each dinosaur with the baking soda paste. We were able to make 12 eggs but only 5 had dinosaurs inside. This still worked out as it was fun to guess which egg had a dinosaur in it. When we were done molding our eggs we placed them on a large plastic plate and put them in the freezer over night.

The next day we took our dino eggs out along with other ingredients. For the second part of this project you will need eye droppers and vinegar. Once we had all our ingredients we were ready to watch our dino eggs hatch!

As your child transfers the vinegar onto the egg using the eyedroppers they will hear a fizzling sound and watch as the bubbles start to form. Depending on their age you can explain to them what they are observing and why that chemical reaction is taking place.

We also counted our eggs and used many words such as “hatching”, “pour”, and “squeeze” to describe what we were doing as well as what we were observing.

My son loved playing with the baking soda, vinegar, and his baby Dino’s. Hope you’ll enjoy this activity as we did!  I’ve added the link of my favorite eyedroppers to use for this activity. Eye droppers

Seanie’s Birth Story

Throughout my pregnancy people would tell me that it would be much easier since it was not my first baby.  “Fourth baby?! You’re a pro!” However, I would argue that the exact opposite is true. I recall being scared of what labor would be like during my first pregnancy because it was something I’ve never experienced before. I’d mostly worry about how painful it would be. During my second pregnancy I found that I was even more afraid of the pain because I had already experienced it before. Later in life I learned that there is so much more than just labor to worry about during pregnancy.

In 2016 I was pregnant with what would have been our third son. A month after learning about this pregnancy I began to experience light spotting which eventually led to quite a few hemorrhages. We learned at a visit to the ER that I had a subchorionic hematoma which is a small bleed in the placenta. Most of the time these blood clots resolve on their own but mine grew bigger and eventually resulted in a miscarriage at 19 weeks. This was a very traumatic experience for me and it’s really one of those things that you don’t believe would ever happen to you. 

Sean is the youngest of four brothers. He is our second son born after we experienced our loss back in 2016.  My pregnancy was therefore considered high risk and closely monitored. I would go in for a sonogram every two weeks to make sure there were no blood clots in my placenta. These visits made me feel two different ways. On one hand, I was excited to see my baby but on the other I was afraid of what they may find. I tried to think positively during my pregnancy but every now and then fear will find its way back into my mind. 

Unfortunately, I found myself struggling with mixed emotions. We were excited to be expecting but we weren’t sure when it would be “safe” to announce it to our friends and family. Experiencing pregnancy loss taught me that although pregnancy is beautiful it can also be very terrifying as you are never sure of what to expect.  A few weeks into my second trimester I was able to relax more and enjoy my pregnancy to the fullest.

Taking it one day at a time.

After 35 weeks I was asked to come in for weekly sonograms. I made sure to pay attention to his movements and I was looking for any sign that would tell me he was ready to come out.  All of my son’s were late and I was too excited to meet our son that I started to try out some natural ways to induce my labor such as eating pineapple, long walks, and acupressure. I was administered pitocin once before with another pregnancy and I really wanted to go into labor on my own this time. 

Sure enough, my bump  had not even dropped by his his due date. On this day, I was sent for NST (non-stress testing) to make sure baby was moving and had enough fluid. I feared being induced or getting a c-section but luckily I was sent home as baby was fine in the womb. I decided to do more walking and a lot more nesting! 

I began to feel contractions at around 11pm four days after his due date and they were pretty regular. I managed to sleep through them and by the time I woke up to get my son’s ready for school I no longer had them. One of my biggest fears however, was being stuck in traffic on my way to the hospital while in labor so I asked my husband to drop me off at the hospital to get everything checked out. I had a feeling he was coming even though I wasn’t in labor just yet. By the time I was admitted into the hospital and hooked to the monitors I began to have contractions again. I was already 5cm dilated but my water had not ruptured.  The pain began to intensify and I began to grow more anxious.  I remember shivering and telling myself that this will soon be over. I began to feel more pressure and I asked if my water could be ruptured since it has never done so on its own before.   It all happened so quickly in comparison to my previous pregnancies. I was in labor for a little over 6 hours with my husband by my side. My body did all the work on its own. The pain was becoming more unbearable and when the nurse checked she told us that the baby was right there!  Minutes later, about four people came in the room to set everything up. It was time to deliver my baby. They had to rush as baby was already crowning. By my third push baby was out! The wait was over.

My husband and I couldn’t agree on a name for him. Two days after giving birth we finally compromised and picked out Sean, which is an Irish cognate of John, my husband’s name. We welcomed Sean Declan Fuentes into the world on September 25, 2019 at 6:34 pm. He was 9lbs and 21″ long.

Pregnancy and delivery can be scary and exciting at the same time. One thing for sure is it is all worth it in the end. I encourage you to revisit your pregnancy and birthing experience. Take the moment to relive it and write it down for yourself and for your child. Here’s a link to an article that helped guide me through the writing process.

After 35 weeks I was asked to come in for weekly sonograms. I made sure to pay attention to his movements and I was looking for any sign that would tell me he was ready to come out.  All of my son’s were late and I was too excited to meet our son that I started to try out some natural ways to induce my labor such as eating pineapple, long walks, and acupressure. I was administered pitocin once before with another pregnancy and I really wanted to go into labor on my own this time. 

Sure enough, my bump  had not even dropped by his his due date. On this day, I was sent for NST (non-stress testing) to make sure baby was moving and had enough fluid. I feared being induced or getting a c-section but luckily I was sent home as baby was fine in the womb. I decided to do more walking and a lot more nesting! 

I began to feel contractions at around 11pm four days after his due date and they were pretty regular. I managed to sleep through them and by the time I woke up to get my son’s ready for school I no longer had them. One of my biggest fears however, was being stuck in traffic on my way to the hospital while in labor so I asked my husband to drop me off at the hospital to get everything checked out. I had a feeling he was coming even though I wasn’t in labor just yet. By the time I was admitted into the hospital and hooked to the monitors I began to have contractions again. I was already 5cm dilated but my water had not ruptured.  The pain began to intensify and I began to grow more anxious.  I remember shivering and telling myself that this will soon be over. I began to feel more pressure and I asked if my water could be ruptured since it has never done so on its own before.   It all happened so quickly in comparison to my previous pregnancies. I was in labor for a little over 6 hours with my husband by my side. My body did all the work on its own. The pain was becoming more unbearable and when the nurse checked she told us that the baby was right there!  Minutes later, about four people came in the room to set everything up. It was time to deliver my baby. They had to rush as baby was already crowning. By my third push baby was out! The wait was over.

My husband and I couldn’t agree on a name for him. Two days after giving birth we finally compromised and picked out Sean, which is an Irish cognate of John, my husband’s name. We welcomed Sean Declan Fuentes into the world on September 25, 2019 at 6:34 pm. He was 9lbs and 21″ long.

Pregnancy and delivery can be scary and exciting at the same time. One thing for sure is it is all worth it in the end. I encourage you to revisit your pregnancy and birthing experience. Take the moment to relive it and write it down for yourself and for your child. Here’s a link to an article that helped guide me through the writing process.

How To Write a Birth Story

Seanie at 8 months old!