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The Big Day…

I was NOT ready... all, lol. The morning my water broke, I was just waking up and felt just a little extra liquid. I just laid there because I knew once I got up the idea of bringing my daughter into this world was about to become a reality. After about 10 minutes, I got up and went to the bathroom. My honey was running around getting ready to host and chef at his friend's BBQ and well, I think it's safe to say that didn’t happen lol. Once I told him my water broke, we started to get ourselves together. I think I was in such shock that there was no room to panic. I was moving like a snail and for those who know me, know I am like the Tasmanian devil lol. I even washed my hair, shaved, and completely groomed myself. Like, who the hell does that??... me, Justine Astacio lol.

After I got myself together, we packed the car and we were off.

Honestly, at that point, I had nothing to prove.

Of course, I drove myself to the hospital. I just needed to have somewhat control of the situation because I clearly had no control over when the baby was coming. Anyway, we got to the hospital. I got checked out and they confirmed that my water broke, but I wasn’t dilating yet. So, they suggested that I walk around the hospital to assist with helping my cervix open up. With your cervix opening, contractions enter. While I was walking around, I was experiencing some contractions but they were manageable. So, I assumed that I was good and wouldn’t need an epidural. An hour later, those contractions came full swing and I thought I was going to die. Those shits felt like I was getting a tattoo on my organs. I quickly called the nurse and requested the epidural. Honestly, at that point, I had nothing to prove. As soon as I got it, I was relaxed and felt no more pain (shoutout to the epidural, the best drug ever!). Both the midwife and nurse were under the impression that it would be a while until it was time because I still wasn’t dilating. So, they told me to try and get some rest.

The epidural worked better than I anticipated.

The pain subsided and I managed to relax, but not long. Shortly after, I started to feel some throbbing in my lower lady area. Then, it felt like something was opening up (mind you, it was really late at night and everyone was knocked out at this point). So, I asked the nurse if that was normal and when she came to check on us, her facial expression said it all. She checked me, with her eyes wide open and quickly got the midwife. The midwife came into the room and said my body was so relaxed that it helped expedite the process. My baby girl was ready to be welcomed into this world and in her words, I was crowning.

Everyone jumped up, my mother and Karl (my honey).

It was just too real for me.

We were ready to go. Well, they were... I wasn’t. It was just too real for me. Anyway, the midwife said,

"When I ask you to push, push. So, my clever ass asked so,

"When you say, 'You need to push,' do you mean to push through my vagina or like I'm taking a shit?' She politely said,

"Like you are taking a shit." (BEST. ADVICE. EVER.) My little girl came out in 2 pushes (Where's my Olympic medal? lol). We welcome Khloe Grace Carter at 2:13 am on September 1st, 2018.

After that, of course, they hand your child to you and when they did that, my eyes got so big.

I guess I still couldn’t believe that I, Justine Astacio, was having a child. I held her close to me. Then it was time for her to get cleaned up and for me to rest for a quick second. When I say "a quick second", I mean that the nurse brought her back a couple of hours later. I felt DEAD. The best advice, a very experienced mom gave me, was to try to rest as much as you can in the hospital and ask the nurse to keep the baby for a little so you could rest because after that... it’s over.

And oh, was she right.

Reflection: This was the first day that my life no longer just belonged to me. I was definitely not mentally prepared for what was about to come. You hear stories, ask for advice, and may have younger siblings, but there is nothing like having your own and no one can prepare you for the hell that breaks loose. At the same time, though, this was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Shout out: Thank you to everyone who showed up to the hospital. Especially my dad, sister, and girlfriends who were all there once they heard I was in labor. It was in the middle of the night. I am truly grateful for all of you.

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