30-day Challenge

Day 21 of 30 – My Favorite Photo Ever

In 2 months, Elian will turn two years old. It’s been an amazing journey for both Ellen and I these past couple of years raising him. He’s given us incredible joy everyday and having him really makes everything we went through to have him worth it..

I still remember everything about that day he was born. It started the day before when we were scheduled to go to the hospital to prepare for Ellen to go into labor. We met with two of our best friends Camille and Maite in Morganfields in Uptown Mall for a celebratory dinner. We feasted on a huge platter of ribs, sausages, and so much more. We got to St. Lukes BGC at 730pm where they checked Ellen in. After an hour, they said she was starting to go into labor but that it might take a while since she wasn’t fully dilated yet.

In a couple of hours, the contractions were becoming too painful for her already so she was given an epidural dose to manage the pain. However, we didn’t expect that her labor will take more than a full day as things dragged on to the next day and night. There were several times when we were talking about maybe having the baby delivered caesarean especially from both of our moms who were worried that the pain might be unbearable for her already. Throughout the 9 months though, Ellen made it clear that she wanted to deliver the baby naturally and it was my duty when she went into labor to remind her of this. The only way she would be ok with caesarean was if the baby was in any danger which at that point was not the case. So for 25 hours I kept reminding her of this and she gamely managed through the pain.

Finally around 830pm Dr. Aguilar said it was go time and they wheeled Ellen to the operating room. I was very nervous, I didn’t know what to expect, my head was spinning. They suited me up and I was led to the operating room where they told me that taking videos is not allowed but pictures are ok. I took a couple of selfies while waiting. For the next half hour Ellen was pushing, while a couple of nurses were practically on top of her helping her push. It must have been about a dozen times that Doc tried pulling but wasn’t able to get Elian out. Ellen was just focused on pushing while I kept encouraging her even if I was anxious as hell. Then I secretly turned on the video once Doc said the baby was finally coming out. I wasn’t missing having a video for sure lol.

When Doc finally pulled him out and plopped Elian on Ellen’s tummy though, he wasn’t moving for about 5 seconds but it definitely felt like an eternity for both of us. I remember we both asked repeatedly, “Doc is he ok? Is he ok?”. Finally he let out a loud cry which was beautiful music to our ears. Tears were flowing from my eyes as I kissed Ellen. It was such a beautiful moment to see our baby being born and I’m so thankful to witness everything including how strong and brave my wife is. For someone who has a low pain threshold to endure everything she endured before and during the actual delivery. I will be eternally grateful to her.

I cut the cord while one nurse was telling me to look at the camera while another was telling me to look at the cord so the photos on my phone captured how confused I was at that moment as I kept looking back and forth lol. They cleaned him up, warmed him up, weighed him, and wrapped him up. The nurse carried him out with me to show our family. Before we reached our family, the nurse turned to me and asked if I would want to hold my baby. I was like FUCK YEAH OF COURSE! I thought she’d never ask lol.

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So this photo (taken by my sister-in-law Ella. Thank you forever for capturing this perfect moment Ate!) is that exact moment I first held Elian in my arms, after all the pain and disappointments, after the joy of finding out Ellen was pregnant when we least expected it, after all the anxiousness and fear carried over from the previous miscarriage, after Ellen’s 25 hour labor, after everything, finally here he was, a beautiful miracle, our beautiful miracle. Ellen is a mother, and I, a father.

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