Four years ago I wrote a blog post about having our second child while living in Puebla, Mexico. That blog no longer exists and since we just celebrated his 4th birthday, I thought it would be fun to share it here as a flashback.
He’s here! Yes, in case you haven’t heard, Pax Elias Staton arrived on March 11 at 10:20am.
Now that it is a few days later (and the c-section pain has subsided), I thought I should sit down and share more details about that day, not that it is too terribly exciting, but I thought maybe some of you would be interested to know what it was like to deliver in Puebla.
Well, let’s just say we headed to the hospital with a fair amount of anxiety and nerves. I’ve never had surgery before (not counting wisdom teeth) and that alone was enough to put me on edge. When we arrived we had to fill out paperwork…more paperwork. The first difficulty we had is with our names. In Mexico, you have your first and middle name, then a last name and then either your maiden name or your mother’s maiden name. So, most people have 4 names. We have 3. And that confuses everyone. Our names don’t fit the forms the right way and of course, Paige is the least Spanish name in the world, so they don’t understand if it is my first or last name. Once we got done with paperwork, they took me to the pre-op area and sent Tyler off (by himself) to find our room.
Pre-op was pretty normal – put on the hospital gown, check your blood pressure, etc. Except here they have you give them all of the same information you just filled out on the forms. Now, I am not fluent in Spanish yet and really have to focus when being asked questions. It was very difficult to answer questions in my broken Spanish while they are poking and proding. At one point, I broke down and cried. There were so many questions and I was trying my hardest, but I just got overwhelmed and cried. They were asking my height (not a difficult question), but they wanted it in centimeters. I don’t know what 5’3″ is in centimeters…and I tried to say that. But they just kept asking, “How tall are you?” Eventually the nurse accepted my teary answer of “I don’t know.”Next, they took me into the operating room and began to administer the anesthesia for the surgery. At this point, I still had not seen Tyler and was getting a little worried. I would ask a nurse and she would say that someone was finding him. We found out that it is very uncommon for the husband to be in the room during a c-section here, so we were lucky that it was allowed. They also allowed us to have an interpreter in the room (another missionary) to help translate for me in case I had any problems or questions. The surgery experience is a little bit of a blur – the meds made me so tired I just had to focus on keeping my eyes open. It’s definitely an interesting experience to be awake and know that you are being operated on.Probably the craziest thing that happened during the whole surgery was that the lead surgeon answered a call on his cell phone while he was operating.His phone rang and one of the assistants answered it for him. They said it was urgent and put the phone to his ear. He balanced the phone on his shoulder while keeping both hands still busy performing surgery! It was crazy. No one else in the room seemed to think there was anything unusual about it.
The reason we had to have a c-section was because in an ultrasound they found that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Pax’s neck and the doctor felt that this was the safest means of delivery. It was a good thing we opted for the c-section, because the cord was wrapped twice around his neck and once around his armpit. It would have been near impossible for him to be delivered naturally.
Thankfully, he came out perfectly…7 lbs, 20 inches long and screaming his lungs off.Of of my least favorite things about delivering in Mexico was the length of time that they keep the baby after the delivery. Even if there are no complications, they take the baby to an incubator in the nursery for 3-4 hours. Those are really long hours when you are waiting to meet your new little one. They kept Pax for 5 and it felt like an eternity.
We’ve experienced some difficulties with the language barrier since we moved here, but overall, I’ve been able to communicate in most situations. The hospital was by far the hardest, however, because I was medicated and very tired. When a nurse would come in the middle of the night and ask me a question I had a very hard time waking up enough to understand what she was saying. It also got a little difficult when they needed to take the baby to the nursery and I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t bring him when I wanted him. A few times, the language barrier brought me to frustrated tears, but the experience was mostly a good one. They took very good care of me – the nurses were extremely kind and very competent. The hospital was very clean and the security around the babies was tight.
One funny thing about this hospital is that you cannot bring flowers in the rooms. Zander brought me flowers the first day and they would not allow them because of people’s allergies. The ironic thing is that you do not have to have a car seat to take the baby home…no flowers because we wouldn’t want someone to sneeze, but it’s ok for the baby to ride home on your lap! Sometimes…the logic here is beyond me.
I am so grateful for such a great experience – I know that God definitely had his hand on me and on Pax. We had such a great team of doctors and I have recovered very quickly. After 3 weeks, I am feeling great – almost back to normal. Thank you so much for all of your prayers, we definitely felt them that day and wish you could all be here to meet Pax, he’s an amazing, sweet, perfect little guy!