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On June 1, 1992, at 6:00 am, Maria Elena Sagastizado was born at home with Fito, Tony, Douglas, Matthew, Benjamin, and Grandma present.

I went into labor about 1 am. I couldn’t get comfortable and just tossed and turned from about 11 pm – 1 am. So then I decided to get up and do some work.

I called Ruth, the midwife, to let her know that I possibly might be in labor. I had been having quite a bit of false labor so I wasn’t certain if this was real yet. I folded clothes, washed dishes, and cleaned up the house.

May 31 was Sunday and, I had gone visiting after church, and nothing had been done at home.

At 2 am, I called Ruth again to tell her to come. There still wasn’t anything definite but it just felt like this was the real thing.

Fito couldn’t sleep so he got up and helped me finish getting the house clean. We moved the children out of the bedroom into another room and prepared the bed and supplies.

Then I ate, after which I and Fito took a shower. I let the hot water pour over my tummy while Fito massaged my back – what relief, as now things were for real. Ruth and her sister Jonnie arrived while Fito and I were bathing.

I went to the room were Ruth checked me. I was a nine. Fito called Grandma who almost got lost on the way (HA) She drove past our turn – off and had to find a place to turn around.

Grandma arrived about 5:20 am and we had moved to the exercise room – Thinking that to push on the waterbed be too difficult.

At about 5:30 am I started to push. I was expecting to push 2 – 3 times and then to have my baby here. But life has a way of surprising you. I was going to push slower this time so that Fito could catch the baby, but after about 10 – 15 minutes of getting nowhere Fito went around the back of me to help hold me and my legs.

I just couldn’t seem to get into the right position. Something just didn’t seem correct. The baby felt the same, as the heartbeat would slow down just a little bit more than it should. Finally practically on my side – Maria’s head appeared – with the cord wrapped around her neck 4 times – Ruth unwrapped it as I finished.

They told me it was a girl, but I wouldn’t believe them- not after four boys. I had to see for myself…and I kept staring…wow! Finally, a girl!

As Ruth was helping with the head the first thing she said was “What long eyelashes!”

She has the longest eyelashes and long black hair. She’s seven weeks old now and is chubby with rosy cheeks, pretty pink lips, and what a smile. She’s been an excellent nurser.

She sleeps through the night (11pm – 5am) and during the day (11am – 3 or 4pm). She’s extremely alert and even after 1 week would follow a voice or look for one. She smells like a soft, sweet, new baby.

We have so many clothes and we dress her up. The boys adore her. When people come to see her they inform them that they’re supposed to wash their hands – Matthew has a fit when someone teasingly suggests that they’ll keep Maria.

Fito’s mother’s name is Elena and he has a sister named Maria Elena whose birthday also is June 1. I always said she wouldn’t use the name Maria as he also has a niece named Maria – but after she was born she just seemed to be a Maria – so that’s the way it was. Also we wanted to use a Bible name and as there are three Marias’ – I guess it will do.

We blessed her in a dress that I found in a sack of stuff to be thrown away. It had rust stains all over it. Finally after 3-4 tries and days of soaking we got it clean. It’s an old dress that hangs down with embroidery and lace. There’s an undergarment and bonnet – when it’s on a hanger it’s about two feet long. It is beautiful.

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