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pregnancy, birth, birth story

The day I became a Mother; A Birth Story

by Deborah Cruz

Gabi is my second child. She was induced on May 21, 2007. I was 39 weeks and I felt like I was 42 weeks pregnant. The doctors were afraid that she would be too large for me to birth vaginally if she went to term so I gladly agreed to an induction. After my first time giving birth,I was agreeable to do just about anything to avoid an unintentional natural birth.

It’s impossible to give birth a second time without comparing it to the first time. The first time I gave birth was March 10, 2005, I had no idea what to expect. I lay there, induced, watching daytime talk shows. Quite honestly, I was a bit bored with the entire situation and then I was in a full-on panic in a fast and furious birthing mode that would leave me more than a little afraid to ever have another baby but I did.

The first time I gave birth, I was in labor for 10 hours and the anesthesiologist was delayed and I experienced my entire transition labor with no epidural. I do not recommend doing this, especially not if you are being induced. As a first time mother, I was sure I was dying, very painfully, I might add.

Finally, I received my epidural but by then it served no purpose other than to ease my ring of fire. It’s like giving you a band-aid for a gaping gunshot wound. Not helpful at all. Then my first child came into the world. An obscene amount of photos were taken and video was filmed. I pushed for 20 minutes and out my Bella came, with the cord wrapped snuggly around her neck. My husband missed his chance to cut the cord because he was busy making sure she was breathing and I was sobbing and laughing simultaneously. It was the epic culmination of meeting a miracle. Up until that moment, I had never experienced such authentic and all consuming joy as I did when I saw my daughter’s face for the very first time.


The second time I gave birth, everything was different with the exception of that familiar joy of meeting a breathing miracle. My doctor gave me her solemn vow to not let me endure another birth like my first. I appreciated that she promised to eliminate any tearing. I was terrified but I felt safe in her capable hands.

Again, I was induced but given the epidural at 4 centimeters to insure that I felt no pain this time. Unfortunately, it slowed my labor down to the pace of a snail. I lay there for hours and the baby could not drop. There was even talk of a c-section in case the baby was just too big for me to birth vaginally. At about 11 hours into my labor, I was looking forward to meeting my baby.

Our video camera broke that morning at the hospital. My brother-in-law drove in from another state to bring us his. I couldn’t have dealt with another thing going wrong. I was starving and exhausted. They turned up the Pitocin to its max. I was swollen and uncomfortable.

I was a mess and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, in a last ditch effort to avoid a c-section, the nurses rolled me onto my belly with one arm behind my back. It seemed crazy to me but finally, it was time to push. My baby was stuck.My mind was flooded with all the things that could go wrong and all I wanted was to hold my sweet baby girl in my arms.

A nurse had to lay across my stomach to help push my daughter into the world. 13 hours after we started our journey at 8:38 pm, Gabi came into the world, cord around her neck just like her sister and a head full of the blackest and curliest hair I’d ever seen. There was no tearing or stitches this time, only that same sobbing and laughing as I met my second miracle.


Both of my labor and deliveries were full with ups and downs and what ended up perfectly okay could have been disastrous had I not been in a sterile environment with top of the line medical equipment and top notch obstetrical staff. My daughters are my world and when I think of all that could have gone wrong, it scares me. I am thankful everyday for the hospitals and staff who helped bring my miracles into the world.

The State of the World’s Mothers (SOWM) report is Save the Children’s signature annual publication, which compiles global statistics on the health of mothers and children, and uses them to produce rankings of nations within three groupings corresponding to varying levels of economic development. We have produced the reports annually since the year 2000. Though the core report indices are the same every year, each year there is a new feature or story angle added to it. In 2013, the new feature is the Birth Day Risk Index — the index compares first-day death rates for babies in 186 countries to identify the safest and most dangerous places to be born.

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