« My first month... | Main | We all love to hate »

Adler's Birth Story

Me at 39 weeks / my last pregnant photo

Adler joined our family well before he was born. When we found out we were pregnant with him, both Eric and I were excited AND nervous. But over 9 months time, our love for him grew even though we had never met him before. It's amazing to look at him now and reflect on the fact that he's the one we were praying for and talking to during that time. 

The Saturday before Adler was born (January 10th), I slept most of the day - therefore making me skeptical of the "burst of energy" you supposedly get before having a baby :). My friend Julie and I made plans to meet for dinner with our husbands, labeling it as "possibly the last time we'd hang out without the baby." But in no way did I believe that would actually be true! The whole pregnancy, I had braced myself to go at least a week past our due date, as most first-time moms do. I did not want January 15th to be a day of disappointment, so my philosophy was simply to tell myself that sometime in the month of January, we would have a baby. 

On Sunday morning (January 11th), I woke up around 5:45am to go to the bathroom. When I went back to bed, something felt "different"...with the way he was positioned or his movements. The last few weeks of pregnancy, when I couldn't sleep, I would lay in bed and just focus on what it felt like to have Adler move around inside of me. I wanted to cherish those moments, because I knew I'd miss that part of pregnancy.

But this time, I felt like something inside of me said, "Don't fall back asleep." Not knowing why, but trusting my instinct, I laid in bed...and sure enough, not even 5 minutes later, my water broke. In my case, it was OBVIOUS that this is what had happened, so I shouted to Eric from the bathroom, "Babe, something is happening!" We spent the next hour at home, packing, showering...thankful it was the weekend and I didn't have to call Eric in a panic from work. We left the house around 7am - which meant the ONLY option for us eating breakfast on the way to the hospital was Hardees. Not exactly the best way to start a day full of hard work, but I convinced myself it was better than nothing!

When we arrived at the hospital, I knew we were in for a LONG day. I was only 1 cm dialated, and showing no signs that my labor was going to start on its own. We got settled in our room and started walking laps around our floor - with a small hope that maybe we could help the process start naturally. Eric googled pressure points to start labor, and we tried that too...which (may have - not sure if they get the credit or not!) produced mild contractions, but nothing really significant. 

Around 10am, the doctor on call visited us and recommended we start pitocin to induce labor. Initially, we were caught off guard at how early we'd have to make this decision, so we took some time to process it. But since NOTHING was progressing, we decided it was the right thing to do. 

My contractions started quickly, anywhere from 2-4 minutes apart. But they were manageable, and Eric and I played Uno, watched TV, and texted friends for the first couple hours. As they grew in intensity, we started experimenting with different coping techniques. Overall, I found it most helpful for Eric to count through them. He also put Aveda's tangerine oil on his hands, which smelled wonderful and provided a distraction from the pain (during my third trimester, I loved the way Eric smelled after he ate oranges, so this helped recreate that!). I also had Eric take the clock off the wall in the room - I didn't want to know how long I had been laboring, for fear of being discouraged.

At 7pm, they did a cervical check - and I was only 2 cm dialated! I was so disappointed and frustrated, as my contractions had grown to be pretty intense and every 2 minutes apart (and had grown even stronger after the cervical check). At that point, even though I wanted a natural birth, I decided to get an epidural. It was less about the pain, and more about being so tired (and still having a long way to go).

Looking back, I can see that I definitely made the right decision. After getting the epidural, my body went from 2 to 8 cm. in 4 hours. For me personally, my epidural did not make all of the pain "magically" go away. I could still feel when I was having contractions, but the pain was much less intense. Eric and I were both able to sleep some after finding out I was at 8 cm., at the suggestion of our fourth nurse (who happened to be our favorite, and present for Adler's entrance!). 

At that point, it was just a matter of waiting until Adler had decended enough to start pushing. When it was time, the room was suddenly filled with people. It was explained to us that since Adler was anticipated to be a "big" baby, there would be a few extra people "just in case." This was by far the WORST part of labor and delivery. Up until this point, I felt emotionally under control and really positive about my body's ability to give birth; but every time a person was introduced to me with the purpose of being there "for this reason," I started to get scared.

Back at our 36 week appointment, I had asked to not be told what his anticipated weight was. When the doctor saw that he was measuring well beyond 36 weeks, she felt like she had to tell me. I was glad my boy was healthy, but talking about all the possible complications in regards to having a big baby gave me anxiety. I didn't want to be reminded of it right before I started pushing. 

This anxiety caused me to be a little on edge when pushing. I craved the laboring experience, where it was just Eric and I working through contractions; because suddenly, 5 other people were telling me what to do, and it was incredibly overwhelming and overstimulating.

Nonetheless, after about an hour of pushing, Adler entered the world at 7:21am on January 12th - about 24 hours after we had arrived at the hospital (and 3 days before his due date!). Words can't describe what that moment felt like. He was, in fact, a "big" baby, at 9 lbs. 5 oz. and 21 inches long!

Meeting Adler James for the first time

Reader Comments (1)

This sounds SO much like my labor and delivery story with Hannah. I too got an epidural for the same reasons as so little was happening and then slept and progressed super quickly after. There's no shame in doing what needs to be done each time. I was able to have four non-medicated deliveries afterwards so you just never know. Thanks for sharing. I love birth stories! Congrats to you all!

Feb 11, 2015 at 6:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerra S

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>