When Martín was born, a doctor got up onto my belly and pressed to make the baby come out. It has been over 24 hours since my water broke, and it is dangerous. Barroso wants to perform a Cesarean. But when he comes in and sees how I am handling the intense pain of the contractions, he asks, Do you really want to have a natural birth that badly? and he waits a while longer.
From the time they give me Oxytocin, the contractions are unleashed like a constant, painful torrent. No rest between one and the next. I don’t know how to position my body. The bones of my pelvis hurt like they are going to break. I remember the rhythm of my breathing in order to withstand the pain. I don’t let them give me anesthesia, I want to feel everything.
The third time they press on my belly, Martín comes out. The pediatrician takes him away to be examined. They don’t give him back to me for a long time. They only let me hold him a few minutes. We are taking him to
the nursery to stabilize his temperature, he says. And they lead me into a dark room, alone, to recover.
Then they take me up to the room where Val is waiting. He looks very tired. I don’t lie down, I call the nursery right away, I want to see Martín. I ask for a wheelchair. They bring him to us in a room. He is tightly wrapped in sheets. He sighs. We are so surprised. He won’t attach to my breast. He just sighs. They won’t let me take him with me to my room, so that I can get some rest. It is terrible to be without my baby and without my belly. The nurses can’t understand that I want to be with him. Rest, you have a lot of time ahead to be with him.
In the morning, when we go to see him, a voice on the interphone says, He’s in intensive therapy. I hold onto the wall to keep from collapsing. Then, the pediatri-cian says, He has early neonatal sepsis. They keep him there for three days. They only let us in twice a day for half an hour. He is in a room with other babies. They have him tied to many tubes and are giving him oxygen. I can’t carry him, only caress his leg. Going home without the baby is unreal, as if nothing had happened.
Twice a day, I visit a room where several women are connected to breast pumps. They give Martín the drops that come out of mine. On the third day, they let me pick him up and try to nurse. Afterward, he falls fast asleep, and on the next visit it takes him two hours to wake up. Val and I wait outside. The next morning, we take him home.
He could not have had early neonatal sepsis, because that doesn’t go away in three days. It was most likely only a preventive step, our pediatrician told us.