It’s very hard to believe that my baby girl is almost three weeks old! I feel like I just gave birth to her. The nine months went by so quickly. Well, except the last month. It seemed to last forever. At the beginning of my pregnancy I weighed 114 pounds, by the end of it, I weighed 128 pounds. I gained a total of 24 pounds. The first seven months I gained 11 pounds, I gained 13 pounds in the last two months. The last month was definitely the hardest. I had trouble sleeping, couldn’t work out anymore, not even walk, was always low on energy, and would have massive back pain just driving to and from work.
My doctor scheduled me for an induction. On January 18, I got to the hospital a little bit after midnight. The nurse decided to check how far along I was. When I got there, I was only 1 cm dilated. However, I was having contractions that were less than 5 minutes apart. I didn’t realize since at that time, they were not painful. Not going to lie, I was definitely nervous. I had heard that being induced might lead to longer labor or even an emergency c section.
My mom and I were debating whether I should stay at the hospital and be induced or go home and wait for my baby to come naturally. Since I was already having contractions, we decided to stay. At 3 am, the nurse finally induced me. I had originally wanted to have an all-natural birth, but 3 hours into my labor, the contractions were becoming too painful for me and I decided I wanted the pain reliever and the epidural. Besides my mom, two of my sisters were also there with me. I took my tablet and was watching Netflix to pass the time.
My boyfriend and his mom went to visit me. They were unable to stay when I gave birth because the hospital only allowed two people to be present. Of course I chose my mom to be there and I also chose my sister. I wanted my boyfriend to be there, but he said he didn’t like the sight of blood.
My doctor got there a few hours after I did. He broke my water, but I didn’t realize that’s what he had done. I remember telling my mom that I thought I had peed on myself. The nurse was like no, he broke your water. When I moved into the second part of labor, aka the delivering baby part, I had no idea what to do. I should’ve taken classes, but I didn’t. Luckily, my mom was there to help and motivate me. There were a few moments when I felt like I couldn’t keep going, but my mom pushed me to keep going. The doctor ended up making a small tear (episiotomy) and having to use a vacuum in order for the baby to come out. Even though I couldn’t feel it because of the epidural, it kind of freaked me out seeing so much blood and seeing the doctor stitch me up.
When Selena Taylor was born, she was 18.5 inches and weigh 7 lbs., 5oz. I started crying as soon as she was born. I am not a very emotional person and I rarely cry, but that day I was so overwhelmed with emotion. Even my sister was shocked to see me crying. It was one of the happiest days of my life, seeing my little baby girl being born. My mom was the one who cut my baby’s cord. Since she is her first grandbaby, I thought she should have the honors.
After having the baby, I remember I was shaking so much. It kind of freaked me out, but apparently, that was normal. I also ended up throwing up a while after delivering the baby. I think my body was trying to get rid of the medicine in my body. One of the most embarrassing things that happened was when I went to the bathroom for the first time, one of the nurses went with me and showed me how to use the bottle to clean myself. I felt so awkward.
My sister spent the night with me at the hospital. I was really grateful. If she had not been there, I wouldn’t have been able to get any sleep at all. I think I went 30 hours without sleeping. At one point, I was a little dizzy. I only had to stay one day because there were no complications. I’m so glad because the hospital food was awful! The only meal that tasted good was my first meal after having the baby and that was only because I was starving by that point. Even though the room was super cold, I kept waking up in the middle of the night sweating. It kind of freaked me out, but apparently, that’s normal. My family went to visit me both days. One of the funniest moments was when my sister Ayanna, who is 4 years old and at that point was the baby of the family, took a look at the baby and started crying. Later on, she was looking at the baby and saying that the baby took her spot from her. I would take my sister everywhere with me, it’s almost as if she was my actual daughter and I guess she got used to that.
This might sound vain, but I am really happy that I managed to get through the pregnancy without getting stretch marks or without my hands and feet getting swollen. However, in the first week of recovery, my calves did get swollen but they eventually went back to normal. During the first week, I was taking ibuprofen every day, so I didn’t really feel the pain of having to get stitches. My sister and mom helped me a lot with the baby. Feeding her, watching her while I took naps.
The second week somehow felt even harder than the first week. I felt pretty sick most of the week, but luckily my mom and sister were able to help me take care of my baby. On Thursday, I had decided that I needed to take care of myself because otherwise, I couldn’t be there for my baby girl. I went to urgent care, but it was closed. So I went to another one and though they were still open for two more hours, they were no longer accepting patients, so I had to go home.
The next day, I had to take Selena Taylor to the drs for her two week checkup. The doctor said she was very healthy. I was so glad to hear that because I was nervous that since I am not breastfeeding, I thought she would be too thin or not in good health. After her dr apt, I took her home, dropped her off with my sister, and went to another urgent car. They were unable to help me, so they sent me to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena instead. I went to the emergency room. I waited about two hours to be seen. There were so many people there. Once I got admitted, I was there another four hours. It was so tiring and I missed my baby girl. While I was there, I watched a documentary on Ted Bundy. I am glad I went because they were able to help me feel much better and gave me medicine. I had spent all week being miserable and now I was finally better. I only wish I had gone sooner instead of waiting so long.
I always said I wouldn’t become the mom who is constantly posting pictures of her kids. However, that is exactly what I have become. I can’t help myself, I just want to share my little bundle of joy with the world. My camera roll on my phone is basically 80% pictures of Selena Taylor.
I never really thought of myself as one day being a mom. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was in shock and nervous/scared etc. The day I gave birth to my baby girl was one of the happiest days of my life. It’s such a cliché, but it’s so true. Now I can’t imagine my life without her. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard sometimes waking up constantly to feed her and change her diapers in the middle of the night. Changing her diapers when she poops is the worst! But she brings so much joy to me and my family.
Some of the things that I missed most while being pregnant were eating food like hot dogs, deli meat, and esquite (corn in a cup with mayo, butter, cotija cheese, and sometimes hot Cheetos crumbs). I also missed going on roller coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm and working out and especially running. Some people continued running and working out while pregnant, but running became difficult for me in the 7th month and I stopped working out in the 8th month. I just did not have the energy for it.
In case anyone was wondering, I picked the name Selena after the most famous Selena in history. Selena the Mexican American singer who died at a young age in the early 1990’s. I grew up listening to her music and to this day, she is one of my favorite singers. I also liked that the name Selena is derived from the Greek goddess Selena and I have always had an interest in studying Greek mythology. I’ve always like the name Taylor as well, though I did have some concerns choosing that as her middle name because of Taylor Swift. But I like how the two names sounded together. My two other choices were Samantha and Anastasia but my boyfriend didn’t like either name. Oh, well, maybe baby number two can have one of those names.
That’s my birth story and the first three weeks of recovery. I only have about nine weeks left of maternity leave and I plan to enjoy all this time I have with my baby girl.