Henry Raphael's Birth Story

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Henry Raphael Herrera is here, and I'm proud to say we have survived the first week as a family of four! In honor of Throwback Thursday, let's take a trip back to September 21st, 2017, Henry's birth day...

Well, let's take it back just a liiittle bit before that. The day before my C-section, I spent the majority of the day cleaning up our apartment, mostly our bedroom. I wish I took a before-and-after shot, but trust me - it's much cleaner and much roomier. Later in the evening, Ralph's mom came over (she looked after Owen while we were at the hospital - thanks, Nana!), and I continued to clean till a little past midnight. I'm glad I did because I slept SO well.

The following morning, it was go time. Owen was still asleep when we left, and I had to fight back the tears when I said goodbye - I didn't want him wondering where we were once he woke up, but I had to remind myself that we'd be seeing him in about 6 hours, heh.

Last bump photo at 39 weeks.

I have to say...a scheduled C-section (vs an emergency C-section) is sooo nice. No waiting, no labor, no wondering when. Don't get me wrong - I would have LOVED to deliver both my babies vaginally, but it was not meant to be with Owen. I DID want to attempt a VBAC if I went into labor before my C-section date, but that didn't happen either.

Ready to go!

I was taken to the operating room first for my spinal block while Ralph waited outside. I wasn't bothered by the actual pain from getting the block as much as the feeling of restlessness from my legs once the anesthesia kicked in. I remembered hating the same feeling from the epidural on Owen's birth day (more so than the contractions).

Once I was numbed and prepped, Ralph joined me. A little while later, I felt the doctor pushing down on my belly and towards my pelvis, and I knew, at that moment, that she was pushing Henry out. I heard his cries, and Ralph and I just laughed and cried (well, I cried).

When Owen was born, I was so out of it in the operating room that I wasn't able to hold him until I went into recovery. This time, the nurse placed Henry right into my arms, and I fell in love all over again.

Ralph and Henry went ahead to recovery for skin-to-skin bonding while they closed me up. I cannot thank the surgery staff enough for taking care of me and making the surgery a thousand times better than the last one.

In the recovery unit.

We were taken to our room, and we immediately called our parents to head on over. First visitors were big brother Owen and Nana. To be honest, I wasn't sure how Owen was going to react...but he blew me away - he loves his baby brother so much, and my heart could not handle it.

Showing Henry his Pooh Bear.

Nana and her grandsons.

Shortly afterwards, our friend and family photographer Christina, her assistant Haileigh, and my mom arrived. Here are some photos that Christina took.

My friend's sister suggested that we give Owen a big brother gift when he visited Henry, so we got him a wooden clock puzzle - he's aaalll about clocks and puzzles right now. 

Missing my Dad (he was stuck at work).

With Haileigh!


Later in the afternoon, we were visited by my friend Jackie, Ralph's grandmother, sister, niece (though she was unable to actually be IN the room because they don't allow children under 12 unless they're siblings *sad face*), and my dad. During this time, I was SO nauseated that I didn't take any photos. I couldn't even keep down ice chips, and I was soooo thirsty.

Later in the evening, once everyone had gone, I was feeling better and began chugging my water and eating as much jello as I could get my hands on. At 11pm, I happily told my nurse that I passed gas because that meant that I could graduate to a regular diet. Since it was late, the only thing she could offer me was a turkey sandwich; and let me tell ya, it was the best sandwich I ever had in my life, hahahaha.

I'm not sure why, but I recovered a hell of a lot better and faster this time around. I didn't require much help from Ralph or the staff, and I was up and walking around the following morning. The next day, we went home.

Owen has been the absolute best. He has been so loving and gentle towards his baby brother, and I could not be more thankful and excited for their relationship to grow.

Unfortunately for Owen, he has been riddled with insect bites since our last heat wave (about 3 weeks ago). He had two nasty bites on his face (which are NOW only starting to disappear). And when he visited us at the hospital, we noticed that his eyes were super red and puffy - we thought it was possibly due to allergies because he also had the sniffles; but when we got home, his entire body broke out in a rash. 

I was sure that it was nothing serious, but because we just brought Henry home, we wanted to triple check to make sure it wasn't anything contagious. So that evening, Ralph went to urgent care, and the doctor said it was just allergies and for Owen to take Benadryl as needed.

The following day, we took Henry to the doctor's to check if he lost any more weight since coming home (he lost 8% of his birth weight while we were at the hospital); and thankfully, he did not.

Later in the evening, as I was getting Owen ready for bed, I noticed that his insect bite behind his left thigh was extremely swollen, like 2 inches wide. I knew right away that it was infected, and I just started bawling. Ralph took him to urgent care, and the doctor diagnosed him with cellulitis. He was given 10 days of antibiotics, which he is (thankfully) taking well. I'm also going to guess that his body rash/puffy eyes are due to an allergic reaction to the bite vs the weather.

Today, we are halfway through his antibiotics, and he was recently also prescribed hydrocortisone 2.5% cream for his itchy skin. The swelling on the bite HAS gone down, but the rash just won't let up. *Sigh* I just want him to get better already. :(

But other than that, we're all settling in as a family of four. And now, I'd like to take this time to thank Ralph for going above and beyond and taking care of 3 people - a wife status post C-section, a toddler with cellulitis, and a fresh babe...LOL...poor guy. I'm lucky and blessed to have him. Life is good. God is good.

Until next time!


  1. Awwwwww I didnt see this till now! Lil Henryyyyy <3 Owen is such a great big brother!!!! <3 <3 <3