Antonios Savvas Damalos
Friday, September 21st, 2018 our sweet boy Antonios Savvas Damalos was born at 7:14 pm weighing in at exactly 7 lbs. 14 oz and 20.5 in. long. I am so emotional just typing this because that was, and will forever be, the most amazing day of our lives. It was the day that changed our lives for the best, the day Savva and I became parents, and the day the most amazing gift God could ever give to us was born.
Antoni is now three weeks and three days old and I feel like the world has paused. The past few weeks have been a blur because we are just so high on love! All our time has been spent soaking up his smell, snuggles, cries, touch and all of his love. There have been smooth days, as well as the longest nights, but every single second is worth having him to hold.
Our due date was September 17th, but Antoni decided to come a little later – he was running on Greek time. As we approached closer to our due date I had a feeling he was going to be late. However, I was always stressed about having to be induced. My obstetrician would only let me go 7 days late, and would then induce me. I personally only heard negative stories about inductions and just wanted to avoid it if possible.
We went to the doctor on Wednesday September 19th for a sonogram to make sure I had enough fluid for Antoni, as well as to check up on him since I was now two days late. They scheduled an induction for me on Sunday September 23rd, which I really hoped we wouldn’t have to do. But, we would do whatever need be done to deliver Antoni safely.
There are many different things people tell you to eat and do to help induce labor, and one thing I heard was to eat fresh, raw pineapple! Apparently, pineapple contains a type of proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, that helps soften the cervix and induce labor. I ate half of a pineapple on Sunday and that night I lost my mucus plug! So, Wednesday night I ate even more pineapple haha! Thursday I had so much energy, I cleaned all day – I just couldn’t stop! I apparently I had a “nesting” burst of energy because that night my water broke! My body knew he was coming soon and wanted me to be ready!
Labor & Delivery
Sav and I were sitting at home eating dinner when my water “broke”…more like trickled out…and I kept having to change my underwear, It was super anti-climatic. Complete opposite of what I expected, or from what the movies make you think is going to happen! I also didn’t know if it was my water at first, so I kept calling my mom and sister who told me they were pretty sure it was! Finally I called the doctor’s office and they told me to head to the hospital!
Getting everything together started to make things feel real! I remember Savva was so nervous, running all over the place trying to get dressed. He made himself a coffee and accidentally poured it all over his hand instead of in the coffee mug! On the way to the hospital I was getting very light contractions every 8 minutes.
We arrived at the hospital around 11:30 pm and they tested to see if my water really did break. It did, so they moved me into a delivery room. Both of our parents, my sister and nephew were all there. Throughout the night my contractors continued and were getting progressively stronger, but I still felt good and I was able to handle them. I could sleep on and off throughout the night, but then around 8 am Friday morning they started to get really bad. I always wanted to have a natural, none medicated birth. I had planned to not get the epidural, but all that went out the window once those contractions really hit home!
Around this point, I was 4 cm dilated and the contractions were coming every minute for about 60 seconds and were extremely painful. I remember I kept trying to just fight off the contractions. I won’t forget Savva kept telling me “babe you’re doing so good.” I didn’t say a word I just looked at him with a look on my face like, “I could kill you right now!” haha
The nurse told me that if I took the epidural it could help my body relax and that I could possibly dilate quicker. I had been in labor for almost 10 hours at this point, and hearing that really struck a cord, anything that could help get this little man out. On top of it, I was in some serious pain and wasn’t getting a break because my contractions were back to back. I then decided to take the epidural, within an hour I dilated from a 4 to a 9!
After that I felt so relaxed and could actually enjoy the experience. For that reason, I was really glad I decided to take the epidural. Around Friday afternoon, a good amount of both of our families were there just hanging out waiting for Antoni to make his appearance. Since I took the epidural, I could hang out with everyone and enjoy the time. The nurses called our room “My big fat Greek delivery room” because we had so many people in there haha. I always had this stigma towards epidurals, I always wanted to feel what a natural birth truly felt like. After my experience, I realized that every birth is different no matter what any one else has ever experienced. Whether you have a natural birth or caesarean, go to a birthing center, decide to take an epidural or not – we are all strong, capable and amazing women. To each is own and each and every single experience is so personal.
I would say I was about 17 hours in labor at this point, and the nurse came in and adjusted my hospital bed so that I could sit up and gravity could help bring Antoni more into my birth canal. It’s funny how you expect your labor to be, and how it actually is! It just felt like a waiting game – just hanging out with our family all day. The nurse kept telling me when you feel like you have to go number two let me know lol but I never got that feeling. So finally around 20 hours of labor, the doctor came in and said “okay it’s time to push” and I thought to myself “oh shit”! I was really nervous about pushing. I was hoping I would do it the right way, because apparently you can push wrong, and I was nervous It was going to take me a really long time to push. I had my husband, my mom, mother in law, and sister stay in the room.
Right when I was getting ready to push, the nurse on duty ended up being someone I know- my best friend’s cousin – which was perfect timing! She held one leg and Savva held the other, and from start to finish I pushed for about 20 minutes and then Antonios Savvas Damalos made his appearance! They placed him directly on me right when he came out. It was the absolute best feeling in the entire world. You forget everything, all the pain goes out the window and you just want to give the world to this little bundle of love! I remember looking at Savva and I could just feel how in love he was with him. After I did skin on skin, I handed him over to Savva to do skin on skin. Seeing the man I love hold our child was the sweetest feeling.
We had to stay in the hospital for a couple of days, which was actually really helpful. Sunday night we headed home, little did we know we were coming home to fireworks. If you know my father in law, you know he loves a good firework show! It was such a surreal feeling bringing him home, especially after all our family left and it was just the three of us. I remember laying in bed with Savva and Antoni and Savva looked over at me and said to me, “this is all I’ve ever wanted.” I feel like there are very few moments in life you never forget and that will forever be one for me.
We are so excited to watch him grow and gain his personality. He is already such a happy little man, smiling all the time. I have a feeling he will get plenty of love around here, we are so ready to begin life with you, Antoni mou.