Isabella

n 1991, we were a busy Mormon family of four with two beautiful daughters, Krisztina 14 years old teenager and Julia, 7 years old, when we started talking about having another child. And again we joked about missing having a baby in the house and the more we said it the more real the idea became. I think joining the Mormon church and meeting families with numerous children was a factor too. I became pregnant in August of 1991. My parents just came for a six month visit from Romania and I was happy to have my mother with me during the first months of the pregnancy.
It was an easy pregnancy, as were the other two before. I felt good, no morning sickness at all.
Because I kept a journal ( part of the Mormon teaching was to keep a daily journal) I have a detailed timeline of this pregnancy.
When we decided to have another baby I went to see my gynecologist and had the IUD that I had inserted for birth control after Julia was born, removed. That was on March 5th, 1991.
In August I missed my period and I hoped that I was pregnant. I went to the doctor on September 19. The tests confirmed the pregnancy. I was overjoyed and could not wait to tell the girls and the family. The same night, after dinner, Arpad and I told the good news to Krisztina and Julia and my parents . They were all excited and the next day both Krisztina and Julia told the news to their friends and teachers at school. We were all happy and full of anticipation. On October 22, I saw the doctor for the prenatal care visit and with the help of a fetal Doppler I could hear for the first time my baby’s heartbeat. It was strong and within the normal range 147 beats per minute. Arpad was present too and he could hear it too. It was the most beautiful sound and it was a reassurance of the life that was forming inside me and made the baby more real. I started thinking of names for our new baby. David Samuel sounded good for a boy and Marie Anna for a girl. On December 1 I felt the baby moving for the first time. It was such a wonderful feeling to sense the first movement and I was full of anticipation for the next and the next movement. As with the first too pregnancies, resting my hands on my stomach and waiting for my baby to kick ,became my favourite past time . It was a joyful time of bonding with my developing baby.
On January 10, I had a dreamlike experience that felt very real. At six in the morning, I was awaken from sleep by a voice calling me: Mom. It was a girls voice and I immediately arouse from bed and went to Julia’s room to see why she was calling. She was asleep. I checked Krisztina’s room and she was sleeping as well. They were both sleeping and yet the voice I heard was very real and I heard it very close to me. At that moment I knew that the spirit of my unborn daughter visited me and made herself known to me. From that moment on, I knew without any doubt that the baby I was carrying was a girl. The February 14, ultrasound validated my conviction. The sound waves that were converted to images of my baby, on the monitor made her visible to us. The doctor checked the development and growth of the baby and also revealed us what I already knew. A baby girl .
The name Isabella came to my mind and it was decided that her name is Isabella.
My parents had to leave and return to Romania at the beginning of February. Only then I realized how much help my Mom was during the months she lived with us.
The month of March has passed and April came and the pregnancy was getting harder. I gained a lot of weight partly because of water retention. My shoes did not fit, I had difficulty sitting, bending even sleeping. On April 22 when I went for my weekly prenatal check up, I was sent to the hospital by my family doctor. The water retention was not a good sign and my blood pressure was high .
I was close to giving birth and it was dangerous to wait longer, he said . After the appointment I went home and from there Arpad took me to the hospital. I was placed in a birthing room and to my surprise I was attached to all kind of machines. I was given intravenously a hormone to induce the birth and other machines were monitoring my heart beat, the baby’s heart beat and the intensity of the contractions. It all started at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The nurse who was assigned to help me was very kind and patient. Arpad was there with me and it was harder on him, I think, to watch me suffer. As the hormone drops dripped into my veins, the contractions were becoming very strong. The nurse predicted that I will be ready to give birth by 10 o’clock. She offered to give me the epidural anaesthesia, but I declined saying that I gave birth twice and did not need anaesthesia. At around 8 pm I asked for an epidural anaesthesia. After it was administered in my spine I could not feel the pain of contractions anymore. 10 o’clock passed but there was no sign of her coming.
She finally arrived at 24 minutes after midnight. She was a perfect little girl and when I saw her and held her in my arms, I forgot about all the pain of giving birth. Arpad was present and witnessed the miracle of birth. Our Isabella arrived on April 23. She missed being born on Earth Day by 24 minutes and I was grateful for that. If she had been born on Earth day , I would have been using cloth diapers for her and not disposable ones. I promised Krisztina , who was an environmentalist from her teens, when I went in to give birth that I will not contribute to the landfill by using disposable diapers, if the baby was born on Earth Day.
She was weight and assessed, 1 minute after birth and 5 minutes after birth. She scored 9-10 on the AGPAR test. Her heart rate and respiratory rate were good, her colour was good and so was her muscle tone. When the nurse finished the assessment, she placed my baby on my chest for the first skin to skin contact. It was an amazing feeling to hold and touch and look at the tiny human who I carried for 9 months inside me. Feelings of gratitude and awe came over me as I held her close to me. She was a perfect little baby with big blue eyes that were very alert and seemed like she was looking at me with curiosity.
Recovering after giving birth took longer this time. My 40 years old body was slower to regain it’s shape but my baby was healthy and perfect and that made me happy. I wanted to start nursing her as soon as possible but her mouth was very small and could not latch on .
After two days we were discharged from the hospital and we took home our little baby Isabella. After weeks of trying we persevered and perfected the nursing which we continued for years to come. Our family has grown and I felt that my mission of carrying a child and giving birth was completed .

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