I wanted to write a little mommy post about the birth of my second beautiful daughter Ruth! I want to do this partly because I want to record the story of her birth, and partly because we had some 'fun' cultural experiences.

So, as many of you know, when I had Lily we had hoped to have a completely natural birth but in the end there were complications with Lily's heart rate and we ended up needing a c-section. I was sad about this, but of course so happy to have a healthy and beautiful daughter. I am grateful for the interventions we have available to us, and as the arrival of our second child grew near, we chose to have another c-section to hopefully prevent any complications that could arise during a vbac. I know there are risks to both, but having several people close to me have issues during their attempted vbacs caused us to be more leery of that option. It was just what we felt more comfortable with.

Anyways, several weeks after arriving in Chihuahua, we found a wonderful doctor at the best hospital in the city. He seems very well educated and we really enjoyed getting to know him throughout our visits. One of the things we noticed right away about our appointments with him was that he never seemed to be in any rush to get us out the door. In the u.s. we would have pretty quick appointments and if you were late for an appointment you may have to reschedule and possibly even pay for it as well. Not here. Our doctor would sit and chat with us for a while, tell us about Mexican culture, teach us some Spanish words, joke around with us and never seemed bothered that there were people in the waiting room. I don't know if this is normal Mexican behavior, but we had so much fun with it.

As we neared Ruthie's due date, the doctor set us a date for the c-section. It felt so strange to know the day that we would potentially have our daughter. With my first c-section, it all happened so fast that I did not have enough time to get scared about the surgery. It was scary as it happened, but not nearly as scary as knowing weeks in advance that your stomach would be cut open. Yuck. I did not want to think about it. There are so many things in life that I've felt I could not really mentally prepare myself for. I just had to do it. This was one of those things. I tried to get as much sleep as I could the night before the surgery, but ended up laying awake a lot of the night. We had to be at the hospital by 7am, so in the morning we got Lily up and dropped her off with my sister Beth and her family. They took great care of her and she had a blast hanging out with her cousins Jude and Iris for 3 days.

Our friend Hector met us at the hospital and helped us with our paperwork. With a scheduled c-section here in Mexico, we had to make a downpayment and then pay up front the day of. We were grateful for Hectors help with check in, since a lot of the medical terminology is new territory for us.

By 8 I was up in our room, getting prepped for surgery. It did not seem real that I was just an hour or so away from meeting my baby! We stumbled through a lot of medical questions in Spanish and then I was rolled down to the surgery room around 9am.

I was grateful that my anaesthesiologist and his assistant both spoke a decent amount of English. I was so scared about the spinal.  A few minutes after the anaesthesia was administered I started feeling a little nauseous and anxious. The doctors were asking me if I could still feel pokes at different spots on my arm and stomach, and I started getting very nervous because I could still feel everything. I was telling them I could feel it, and they seemed to still move forward so I started to panic! When I had Lily I did not feel a single thing, so I was freaked out that they were going to make the incision while I could still feel it! Before I knew what was happening I started having a full on panic attack. I have never had a panic attack before, I felt like I could not control myself. I was hyperventilating, crying and my blood pressure dropped really low. Don said later that my heart rate was over 200bpm. They gave me either oxygen or some kind of gas because after a few minutes of panicking I started calming down and felt like I might pass out. It was the weirdest feeling. The doctor explained that some people can still feel a little bit even with anaesthesia, but that I would not feel any pain. And it was true, in a little while our dear Ruthie was out and crying her face off.

This was our pediatrician.

Don was able to hold her and bring her over to me to see. The doctor had told us ahead of time that unless there was an emergency, the pediatrician could do all the necessary baby checks in the same room and not have to take her away. That message must not have been passed to the nurses and pediatrician though, because all of a sudden the baby was gone and Don followed along with her. In Mexico it is pretty weird for a mother to keep the baby with her after birth, especially after a c section. The nurses think that the mother should just rest and recuperate and they care for the baby in the nursery for sometimes 3 or 6 hours, and even longer sometimes. Well, as much as I want to be culturally appropriate... I definitely feel that it is best for my baby to be with me after delivery. I want to bond with my baby and nurse her as soon as possible. This was the first cultural collision that took place during our hospital stay. They kept me in the recovery room for probably 3 or so hours. I didn't know where Don was, or my baby. I kept trying to tell the nurses that I needed to nurse my baby and to bring her to me and they just kept telling me I needed to rest and that when I could lift my legs they would take me to my room. I was so stressed out by this... I almost had another panic attack. After what seemed like forever, they rolled me to my room. When I got to my room I discovered that they had not even allowed the baby to be with Don for those 3 hours. I was angry and emotional and ready to have my baby back.

Cultural collision number 2. Don had given specific instruction not to give Ruthie a bottle, that I was going to breast feed. 3 hours is a long time to wait to nurse a newborn though.. Don watched through the nursery window for a long time and then took a break for a few minutes, only to find them giving her a bottle of chamomile tea when he came back. Apparently this is also very culturally normal, but I had no idea! I did not want her belly full of chamomile tea! Don told them to stop and they did, but by the time I did get to nurse her she did not seem interested because her belly was full with tea.

The nurses were hesitant to bring her to our room, and Don had to ask like 3 or 4 times for them to finally bring her. After that the doctor gave them instruction to leave her with us from then on.

There were a handful of other events that took place during our hospital stay, including finding out that I have only one functioning ovary and getting an unexpected "tummy tuck", but those were the most stressful to me. I'm sure we seemed totally insane to the nurses, which wasn't our intention.. but we definitely learned a lot of culture during our stay in the hospital. I am just glad the whole ordeal is over and we have a healthy baby girl.

I don't regret having Ruthie here, we were in good hands at the hospital and I can choose to move past the cultural things that bothered me. It's not wrong, it's just different. The only scar I left the hospital with is on my abdomen. :)

So, we happily would like to introduce the newest member or our family! Ruth Evelyn Chubb!  Ruth is after Don's great grandmother who is still living! It means friend, companion and vision of beauty. We are excited to see a friendship develop between Ruth and her big sister Lily.  Evelyn is just a name we liked and means hazelnut. :P

Lily meeting her sister for the first time!

Our great doctor in the blue, and our pediatrician in the green. 

Popular Posts