Push It Real Good!!!

One day old, welcome to the world baby girl!!!

One day old, welcome to the world baby girl!!!

On November 20th, 2014 I was admitted to the hospital to begin the process of birthing my child. I managed to maintain an undetectable viral load for my entire pregnancy which was the first of four steps to ensuring my baby would not contract HIV from me. The second step in preventing perinatal transmission was for me to arrive at the hospital as early as possible to be given the drug AZT through an IV. This step made me nervous because AZT has always been considered a harsh, toxic drug that did more harm than good. I did my research and I prayed and I put my trust in the medical professionals.
The day turned to night and the night turned to morning without me noticing. I don’t know how long I was actually in labor. I feel like the whole process was only about a half an hour. On November 21th 2014 at almost 3pm I felt a sudden wave of sickness like I was going to throw up but my stomach was empty since I wasn’t allowed to eat (my last meal as a pregnant woman was a spicy chicken sandwich and fries from a fast food restaurant called Jack In The Box). The nurse came in to the room and asked me to flip from laying on one side to the other about 4 times. Next thing I know a doctor came in my room to talk to me about a possible C-section because my daughters heart rate dropped and they wanted to get her out as soon as possible. I closed my eyes and asked Jesus to fix it. When I opened my eyes my room was full of stranger, my bed grew stirrups and I was being asked if I felt like trying to push. 10 minutes and 3 pushes later I heard tiny whimpers and my mom saying “oh my God granny loves you, Your such a beautiful girl!”
I got to hold my baby for a few minutes and they took her away to the NICU. That caused such a panic because I thought something was wrong. The hospital I delivered at was a “Baby Friendly” hospital and separating a new born from its mother wasn’t something they did unless they had to. Seconds after they took her away the doctor explained that it was standard procedure due to the fact that she was going to be started on AZT as the third step to protecting her from contracting the virus from me. I knew she was going to need a low dose of AZT twice daily for the first 6 weeks of her life so I once again said a little prayer and put my trust in the process that had been tried and tested many years before. Step 4 was for me to formula feed her and resist the natural desire to breast feed. I spent as much time in the NICU just holding my baby and crying tears of joy as they would allow me to. I sang to her and told her all about her home and her pets and her family and everything that was waiting for her on the other side of those hospital walls. On November 24th at about 6pm I strapped my baby into her car seat and secured her in the backseat of my friends car. I sat next to her and watched her sleep for the whole ride home. That was the start of the rest of my life!

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