Friday, April 26, 2013

Part Two: What Do We Do With the Umbilical Cord?...My Father-in-Law Enters the Bathroom!

People have asked me about Part Two of our delivery story. Well, it's taken us a little while to write and we needed to focus on burial preparations the last few days. Sections of Part Two are a little bit of a blur to me as I sort of slightly passed out after seeing my whole placenta! Part Two is a bit humorous, gross and rated PG-13!

With tears, "Rick, the baby is here, the baby is out... I did it!"

This next two paragraph's are in Rick's he runs into the bathroom with Smart Water and Gatorade at around 6:20 pm...
[Rick] This part is also a bit of a blur for me, at least the first few minutes as I enter the bathroom and first see my baby.  I ran in screaming, "What? The baby is out? The baby is here?...Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh!" I saw a tiny baby, about 4 inches long dangling from the umbilical cord that was still attached to Nelly.  She was semi-standing up in about a foot and a half of water while hunched over with her legs apart. She told me her water broke and she realized she had delivered our baby.  I was in awe of our baby's tiny body. I was so anxious waiting for the baby to come out over the past 30 days and not knowing when it would happen that I never actually thought about how I might feel during the moment. My parents and a Catholic co-worker of mine, reminded me to try to pray for peace and acceptance of God's will and give Him that anxiety...easier said than done...I need to work on praying for that Grace and acceptance knowing He'll always be with me even during tribulation.  As tears were flowing my raw emotions were happy and sad...happy Nelly had delivered our baby and our baby was in one piece, happy Nelly had done it and seemed physically OK...but still I was sad at the same time because our baby was not alive on earth, even though I knew his soul was alive and well in heaven with God.

We looked and briefly admired our baby and thought it might be a boy as we squinted to see around his waist.  Nelly quickly started shouting orders...get me gloves, Google what to do next, empty the water from the tub, get me something to drink, call the Doctor!  I tried to act as fast as possible and do everything at once.  The next 10-15 minutes seemed like an eternity as I was searching the internet on one iPhone, texting a Doctor on another, and trying to reach the OB on the house phone.  I gave Nelly gloves and put some on myself...not sure why...but we thought having gloves on was more sanitary and might be better for handling our baby.  Nelly then cradled our baby in her hand as she continued to squat while bending over.  At the moment I didn't even realize that my father had delivered his share of babies during his residency (around 500 babies, albeit 30 years ago in Chicago at Cook County Hospital) and was probably the closest and most qualified person to quickly come help!

Back to Me...
[Nelly] "Rick the baby is out! What do I do? What do I do with the cord? I think the other end of the cord is still inside of me. Do I pull it? Do we cut it? From where do I pull it? Or where do we cut it? Call Dr. Naumes (our Naturopathic Doctor)!" No answer... "Text Dr. Naumes! Get me gloves to hold my baby. What did Dr. Naumes text back?" Don't pull the cord... "Call Nikki (our friend who is a newly certified Doula)!" I am not sure... "Um! Call your Dad (Dr. Macias, a Pediatric Geneticist)!"

Rick accidentally picks up my cell phone and calls, Mom's Cell from the recent call log. Well, that would be my Mom and he asks for his Dad. Then it hits him he called the wrong Mom and says the "baby is out! got to go, bye!" This sent my Mom into a frenzy as she wanted to know what was going on with me, her daughter. So my Mom called my Mother-in-law who did not have any details. My Mom got very concerned and understandably so as her sister hemorrhaged to death after childbirth decades ago in Colombia and my neighbor who had an earlier natural missed miscarriage in December (2012) hemorrhaged to the point where her husband had to call 911 and rush her to the hospital.

Rick grabs his phone and gets a hold of his Mom, who is in the car with Sofia, while his Dad is walking around the Shops at Preston Hollow with a fresh coffee from Starbucks. Luckily they did not go out to eat as we suggested, but simply to get a snack/ drink just a mile down the road.  My Mother-in-law gets his attention and tells Dr. Macias that they have to go NOW, back to the house, "Ricky" needs him.

In-Laws are Back at Our House

My in-laws arrive about 6:30 pm and my Father-in-law, Dr. Macias, comes into our bathroom while my Mother-in-law took Sofia outside to was chilly but sunny and Sofia loves playing outside. Right before Rick's Dad came into the bathroom I told Rick to, "cover my boobs!" I had sat down on the ledge of the tub with my legs apart while still holding our baby.  I needed to have some sense of modesty around my Father-in-law. I already was a bit weird-ed out of him being around my "pee pee" area but we needed help so I quickly got over it! We didn't know exactly how to handle the umbilical cord as my OB definitely did not provide us with a plan even-though in prior weeks we specifically asked him about the umbilical cord! He actually told us it would probably just fall off. Fall off? My ass! Our baby's cord was so strong and totally attached to him and my placenta.

At this point, Rick and I were both teary eyed as we just saw our baby! Rick gave his Dad some of our blue medical gloves and then Dr. Macias slowly helped me hand over our baby to him. I didn't want to let go but I was following the Doctor's orders. He slowly pulled trying to get as much out as possible and disconnected the umbilical cord from my placenta which was still inside of me! Awkward but necessary. He then asked Rick for a white towel in which to lay our baby.

Dr. Macias examined our baby and said he looks like a BOY!  Rick and I thought he was a boy from when I was holding him in my hand...Dr. Macias confirmed. Rick started to cry. I cried. God added a little surprise and excitement to our situation by giving us a SON! Dr. Macias then examined our baby boy and his umbilical cord. He said everything looked "normal," his eyes were aligned, and he had 10 tiny little fingers and toes. Perhaps there was some sort of internal issue in our son's body, we still don't know the cause of death (even after having testing done on both of us during our 30 day wait).

I then told my Father-in-law a bunch of random thoughts like, "Thank God you are a Doctor. Did you ever think you'd be helping us with this when Rick and I got married five years ago? This is one heck of a story." My Father-in-law said, "well, you did it all...I really didn't do anything."  One thought I kept to myself at the time was I can't believe my Father-in-law just saw my "vajayjay" and that I am butt naked from the waste down right now in front of him (my upper body was still covered by a towel). LMAO! I wonder how many Daughter-in-laws have been in my position? LOL! I am rolling as I type this... I guess God added a touch of humor to this whole situation. ;) In all seriousness though, thank God he was there otherwise we would have been back to calling our OB (who actually had a back-up OB answering calls this particular weekend) and waiting for a call back and then Googling what to do with the cord. Plus I think Rick was comforted by his presence. We also needed Dr. Macias for this next part, brace yourself!

Rick and his Dad placed our son in a glass bowl (that Rick ran out to get from the kitchen) filled with lukewarm water and well, our son was just precious. My Father-in-law washed off his gloves a little and then you know me, I started asking a bunch of questions like, "where's all the blood I read about? where's my placenta? where's the sack? how come I am not really bleeding?" My Father-in-law said something to the effect of, yeah if that doesn't all come out we will have to go to the hospital. Well, there was no way I wanted to go to the hospital and have a D&C (Dilation & Curettage) after playing amazon jungle woman/ mama bear in my bathroom.

Another Push

So, I asked, "what should I do?" My Father-in-law said to push as he jokingly did a push move. I asked him if he was serious and he said to try. So I got into a squat/ pushing position and pushed out my whole entire placenta! Oh My Gosh! That thing was huge and nearly hit my foot as I was still sitting on the ledge of our jacuzzi tub, leaning against the wall, with my legs in the tub. I was so grossed out and unprepared for its size and for it being in one whole piece. Most the stories I read on natural missed miscarriages had the placenta coming out in pieces over time. I thought to myself that looks like an organ, that looks like the liver my Dad may need, that looks like a piece of steak, I look like a bloody cow. Ahahahah!

Seeing my placenta in whole next to my foot on the floor of the tub next to the drain was just too much for me. I start ordering Rick to get a bucket to place it in, clean up the blood, wash the tub, etc.  Then suddenly things starting getting blurry, I was hot, then cold, then sweating rain drops all over my body, especially my face. Rick was in the tub in front of me wiping up blood splatter. I started saying, "Rick I can't really see you. It's blurry. I am hot. I feel sleepy." My head tilted to the right and my Father-in-law grabbed my left arm and held me up as I felt like I was about to pass out. My Father-in-law, who was standing next to me outside of the tub, said something about taking it easy, relaxing, drink some Gatorade, breath, etc. etc...he told Rick to get another towel with cold water. I was in la la land and said a quick confession in my head as I didn't know if I was about to take a little nap or possibly die.

After a few seconds, I was back. I thought I had passed out a little but my Father-in-law explained to me that I had what they call a mini "anxiety attack." That is so not what I had thought an anxiety attack was but apparently there are different kinds. I had the kind that has blurry vision, head tilting to the right and left arm/ hand curling towards the body. Blah, but passing out is common after a natural missed miscarriage. After that I felt weak, drained and exhausted so I "rested" in the squatting position on the ledge of my tub with by bare butt sitting on the cold hard marble and leaning my naked back against the wall with my front still covered for about an hour. Rick and I talked to his Dad for a while as Rick continued to clean up the blood because I did not want to see it as it made me queasy. Rick then wiped down my legs and both him and his Dad checked to see if more was coming out.  At the moment, around 7:30 pm, it seemed there was a "break" in the action so Dr.Macias left the bathroom to let me rest...and then just Rick and I talked, and talked. My perineum later paid the price for all this "resting" on a hard marble surface in a semi-squatting position while talking.


After half an hour or so, I felt just enough strength to get up with Rick's help and go sit on the toilet for a little bit to pass small clots of blood and perhaps some tissue.  However, after some more water / Gatorade I felt awake and was now on this unbelievable high. I called my Mom and she couldn't believe our story. I called Nikki, our Doula friend, and some of what she said was, "You know what this means? You just had a natural home-birth. You can have a natural home-birth (referring to the future)." Wow! I did it! And aside from a couple of snags i.e. "What do we do with the umbilical cord?" and the 2-3 minute " blurry nap" it wasn't so bad. The oxytocin was really kicking in at this point. To the point where Rick and I got in the shower kissed and hugged. We did it! We gave our son a proper delivery! We so didn't kiss and hug in the shower after having Sofia at Dallas Presbyterian. No, for some reason after the epidural and painkillers with Sofia, I cried alone in the shower and ugh, it was just awful. This oxytocin high after delivering our son was like a gift from God to us for being patient during the storm and trusting His natural design.

Late Night Dinner

I finally got dressed and put a pad on to go lay down in bed around 9 pm. My in-laws had gotten us a late dinner from  Eatzi's. While eating my salmon caeser salad, fruit and creme brulee I was on the phone with my Maid-of-Honor, Monica, who is a new nurse, and well we talked for a long time. She couldn't believe our story and the emotional high I was on at the time. I think I sold her on a natural water-birth. ;)

Bed Time

Although Rick and I were in bed  later that night we could not fall asleep. Our adrenaline was so high and we were just too excited to sleep so we talked and prayed one really long prayer of gratitude. We were so grateful that everything happened naturally and without any major complications like hemorrhaging, fever or infection. We were also thankful that we had the most appropriate Grandparent in the bathroom when we got stuck. Now we realize that it was for the best that things didn't happen during Week 1 when my Mom was here, can you imagine how hard it would have been for her to see me go through what I went through? Or Week 2 when I had a cold or Week 3 when my body wasn't ready/ dilating...instead it was at the end of week 4 when Rick's Dad was at our house and he hadn't been to our house since September! Rick even initially said he didn't need to come if he was tired, but he said he wanted to come and Rick's mom insisted he come (Thank God!). This all happened totally in God's timing and not ours...

And oh yeah, if we are ever blessed to be pregnant again and carry another child to term we are so going to look into a natural water birth but at a hospital with an OB. ;)


  1. Thanks for completing the story. Very interesting.. Lots of emotion and chaos going around. I had hear the placenta is big and bloody. Reggie saw it at my c -section. I was out of it, but can you think that I had TWO placentas! No wonder my stomach cant' get right. I hope you received our card. Hope to see you soon!

  2. Yes, thank you for your card. And you just reminded me that I need to wear my "cinch." ;)