Dar a Luz – Having a baby in Costa Rica part 2

You’ve been asking for a part 2, so here it is (and sorry it’s 8 months late, but the baby is a bit of a time-sucker LOL!)

As a preface, at my last prenatal appointment at 37 weeks, my doctor informed me that the baby was breech. He had not flipped into position yet. I was a little shocked because I could swear that I felt his feet kicking me in my ribs at night. So I did everything possible on my own to try to get him to flip. I did handstands in the swimming pool, I did inversions off my couch. I played music for him down there, and put an led flashlight in my underwear. I thought I might have to have a c-section, which I really didn’t want until…

2 Weeks before I was due…
I felt the baby move around a LOT, I presume he finally decided to get into the proper position, and it kicked off some contractions.

They weren’t very strong and I assumed it was Toni Braxton Hixxy contractions (as James calls them lol ) or false labour. But when I woke up later in the night with more painful contractions coming regularly every 10 minutes, I knew it was time. I let James sleep awhile until at 3AM my water broke. I woke him up, called my mom and my doctor (with whom I was supposed to have an appointment later that day) and made a plan to get on the road to San Jose where the hospital is, about 1.5 hours away from Jacó.

We didn’t actually get on the road until 5AM, because my mom took forever then had to go back home for her purse (!) and by this time the contractions had sped up to every 3 minutes, lasting 1 minute… I was more than a bit freaked that I would be having this baby in the car. This was not how I expected it to go – they say your first baby usually is a long labour, but not in my case!

So we jumped in the car and BOOTED it along the twisting mountain roads, my mom driving like a demon, sometimes doing 160 km in an 80km zone. My mom is a really good driver, and the scary ride sort of distracted me from the pain. Also there weren’t many people on the roads since it was so early. I saw the most beautiful sunrise and in between the contractions when the pain let up I felt elated and euphoric (!!!) probably from the oxytocin my body was producing. Of course that only lasted a minute lol and my contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes by the time we reached the hospital – I was in “transition” in the car – and the sent me right into the delivery room as I was fully dialated to 10cm! Ready to push!

James put on scrubs that were too small with little booties over his flip flops, making me laugh as I was wheeled into the bright delivery room. With some amazing support and no drugs at all I was able to give birth to a healthy 7lb baby boy 45 mins later – and we named him Desmond because James has always loved the name, Charles after my mom’s dad who I was very close to.We hadn’t decided on a name before we got to the hospital, but they made James fill out some paperwork, and that was the name he put down, figuring we could change it later…but I agreed it was the right name 🙂

He has a lot of James’ features – dirty blond hair, blue eyes, chin, fingers. He has my nose, forehead and toes. He had a full head of hair, and is pretty perfect in every way. He scored a perfect 10/10 on his Apgar tests!

I got to hold him and breastfeed him a while before they brought me pancakes and bacon for breakfast – I was starving! We stayed in the hospital for that whole day and night and checked out at noon the next day. Our private room at CIMA was so nice, it had WiFi, flatscreen tv and free international calling so I tried to talk to as many people as I could in between nursing, gazing at our beautiful baby and napping.

The nurses there were so attentive and sweet. They made sure I was comfortable and that the baby was healthy and happy. I was really happy to have Dr. Johanning there as well as my Spanish went out the window when I was in labour, and he spoke good English to me and was very reassuring and encouraging while I was pushing.

All around it was an amazing, beautiful experience. I’m so thankful that Desmond decided to turn around, that he came 2 weeks early, and that my labour was so short and fairly easy. It was not at all as bad as I thought it would be. And I’m so happy to be a mom!!! Desmond is a really good baby. James is incredible with him. We are so so so lucky!