In July 2014, I decided to begin my MBA at Grand Canyon University. A few weeks later, we suddenly lost my mami unexpectedly. As a family we didn’t know what to do or how to heal from such a tragic loss. The only thing that helped us move forward was her unconditional love her family, her children and her hard work. Indigena was born in her memory.
Come September, I was pregnant yet again and surprised Brian with a positive pregnancy test on our birthday (yes, we are bday twins) September 23! I called the doctors office right away and they got us in the same day. Within a few days I was sent off to a “high risk” specialist and was put on two forms of insulin through the duration of the pregnancy.
A few weeks later we had our appointment to confirm the pregnancy with an ultrasound and determine gestational age. Luckily, I felt that this pregnancy was going to be different. I was at a better place health wise and emotionally needed this baby to help heal from the loss of my mami.
As the weeks went by, everything was going great! Baby was growing, I was more physically able to do more. I was able to pray and continue doing danza. I was able to enjoy the pregnancy with little to no complications. I had been a low-carb vegan up until the second trimester where I was told that I needed to eat more carbs and eat more animal protein.
Come week 35 we were told to expect a repeat cesarean, unless I went into labor naturally. We asked about a VBAC (vaginal delivery after cesarean) and were given a list of risks. When Brian heard that there was a slight possibility of death... he immediately said no! Having experienced Yolehua's birth, I just wanted Quizani and I to be safe but I still had small hope for a vaginal delivery. A few weeks later Quizani was in a breech position and with the help of our rebozos and CoMadritas, we were able to flip her into the ideal birthing position.
At 39 weeks, May 29th, 2015 we checked in at the hospital and were eager to meet our #2! We had prepared for being at the hospital for a good 3-4 days. Yolehua had just turned 2 and was staying with her tias while we were at the hospital.
I already knew I needed an epidural and was ready for the procedure. While I was prepped, Brian was taken so he can get prepped as well. Soon I was in the OR and they were ready to begin cutting. Brian had yet to arrive in the OR. The drs began and at 9:30 am, Quizani was born. I laid there alone, the cord had been cut and I was waiting for Brian to come in. Baby was already crying and they brought her over to meet me. That’s when Brian was allowed into the OR and quickly was handed the baby and was rushed to recovery. He had missed her birth!! The surgeons didn’t wait and were quick to stitch me back up.
Once in recovery, Brian was having skin to skin time with Quizani and singing to her. As soon as I was able, I began nursing her and luckily had my milk come in right away!! I was so excited to be feeding my baby this time around!
The nurses had me up and walking right away which was great when it came to recovery. Yolehua was able to meet her sister a few hours later and was already a little momma. After a day or so we noticed Quizani breathing different and she was taken to the NICU for observation. This made us nervous! We were scared and didn’t know what to expect.
Since I was mobile, I was able to go down to the NICU for her feedings and to spend time with her. I was healing well and released on day 4. We asked if we can stay another night and the hospital said yes since Quizani was in the NICU. She stayed another 2-3 days and Brian and I stayed at my sisters house down the street to be close to Quizani. I would pump at night and Brian would deliver the milk to the NICU. Finally, she was cleared to come home and we couldn’t be more excited!!
Once we were home, I had a hard time feeding Quizani with Yolehua around. She had meltdowns every time!! I couldn’t handle it and would cry with her. Not having this experience before, I didn’t think of alternatives but rather just stopped nursing. This was heart breaking for me but I didn’t know what else to do. It seemed like the only option at the time with a 2 year old and a newborn.
A week later, I had these extreme headaches. After a visit to the ER, I was diagnosed with preeclampsia after birth. My blood pressure was through the roof and was put on a low dose medication for the following two weeks.
After a few weeks, Brian and I decided to leave the girls for the first time with my sisters for the weekend. My postpartum blues hit me hard that weekend and a felt the need to reach out. I felt, again, alone but mainly because my mami was no longer with us. How did our ancestors have multiple children?!? How did my mom birth 9 and raise 7?!? How can we help one another heal?!?
I wrote a message to a variety of women in ceremonia that I felt close to. Within days, my call had been heard and the support of the Cihuapactli Collective was born. At the beginning, it was mainly a place to share space, drink some cafe and just be among CoMadritas. We have grown so much since then and I am extremely thankful for the close relations that have blossomed from this one call that was answered.
After three months, Quizani began gaining weight and became a little chunker!! I began loosing huge amounts of hair and needed to use bandanas to hide it. I self diagnosed myself with scalp psoriasis and began using my home mixtures of coconut oil and essential oils to help my scalp. A drs visit later confirmed my diagnosis.
Quizani’s birth itself was easier on my body and it took a few months to adjust to having two chiquitas and being a graduate student. We love our girls and were happy with our experience at this hospital this time around.