Aria’s Birth Story

18 Jan

The day I had waited so long for had finally arrived. It was Saturday August 18th. I was 39 weeks and 4 days along, and I was feeling very uncomfortable. I hadn’t slept very well that night due to pregnancy induced carpel tunnel, which kept me awake with pain and numbness in my hands and arms. It was 7:45 in the morning. My husband and I had planned on getting up early that day anyway to go check out a couple of yard sales to look for bikes (Joel had recently started flipping 70s and 80s road bikes), and then go to the state fair for a bit. I was dilated only 1cm at my doctor appointment that week and I was hoping the walking would help move things along (little did I know just how quickly it would help move things along!). Knowing our little girl could come along anytime, I had hoped to get more rest, but I was wide awake. So we got up, got ready, and headed out to enjoy the day.

As we scouted out yard sales I started to feel a bit off, and began experiencing more Braxton Hicks contractions. They didn’t hurt and were sporadic, but much more noticeable. After we found a great bike for Joel to work on, we headed towards the fair. I was super happy we got to spend that time together, and take in all of the sights and sounds (and flavors!). After about 3 hours of walking (with plenty of rest time), we headed to the car. I had started noticing the contractions a bit more throughout the day and was feeling a bit exhausted. We were ready to go home and take an afternoon nap.

On the way home, I actually started to feel pain with the contractions and they started to be closer and closer together. We started to time them and they were about 6-7 minutes apart. We got home and I drank some water and attempted to rest to see if they were going to slack off. They only got worse. I was breathing through them and they started to be about 3-5 minutes apart. I was partially in denial because I hadn’t made it to my due date yet, and since she is my first and everyone seems to want to tell you first babies tend to come later, I expected her to be late. My husband went ahead and called the doctor and she let us know we could go ahead and head to the hospital if we felt we needed to, or we could wait a bit if we felt they weren’t too intense yet. I was in a pretty good amount of pain so we decided to put the dogs up, grab the hospital bag, and head to the hospital. We arrived at 4:30pm and they got us into a room. I was so worried they would say I hadn’t made much progress and send me back home.

They came in to check me, and I was 4cm dilated with a bulging bag of water. I was so surprised! They told me I was staying, and a couple of nurses came in to admit me and get my blood drawn and IV started. The IV was difficult to get in, but they finally did, and got me settled into my bed. I was in a lot of pain, was breathing through contractions, and didn’t want anyone to touch me or talk to me. I definitely wanted to get an epidural so they put the order in to get me one as soon as possible. The anesthesiologist came pretty quickly, but the placement of the epidural was definitely not fun. It took 4 tries for them to get it in. It was honestly more uncomfortable than painful really. I had to stay hunched over, sweating, and experiencing painful contractions while he tried to get it into the correct spot. Finally he was able to get it in place, and after a few minutes, I was comfortable and able to relax a bit. The nurse came back to put my catheter in, which I couldn’t feel at all. They came to check me again and I was 5cm, with the bag of water still bulging. After a while my doctor made it in and let me know if I hadn’t progressed past the 5cm shortly they would go ahead and break my water. The next time they came to check, I was still at 5cm so they went ahead and broke my water and started a low dose of pitocin. At that time they found out that our little one had had a bowel movement in the womb. This surprised them because she had shown no signs of distress. They started me on fluids to flush out the womb. A short while later they came to turn down the pitocin because the contractions were too close together, though I didn’t feel any of them. It was around 11:00pm when they came in to check me again. I was hoping for progress but nearly passed out when they told me I was 10cm and ready to go. They let me labor down for about an hour, hoping that I would spend less time and energy pushing.

Around 12:00am August 19th we started pushing. They asked if I wanted a mirror and at first I wasn’t so sure. That kind of stuff freaks me out a bit, but I went ahead with it and was so happy I did. At this point during labor I could feel the contractions start so I could start pushing, but it wasn’t too painful. The mirror was so helpful because I could see progress and watch her get closer and closer to making her entrance. It was fascinating and rewarding to watch! We pushed for about 40 minutes with great progress when the nurse called my doctor. We had gotten extremely close and we had to wait for my doctor and the NICU doctor (who had to be present due to her passing the bowel movement in the womb) to arrive. My nurse told me that because they were thinking she was going to be a bigger baby, and thought it might be too tight of a fit through my pelvis, that my doctor was thinking I would end up in a c-section. I was glad I got to prove her wrong! I had to hold off and not push through the contractions while we waited, and it was so difficult. My husband would help me breathe through them as I resisted the urge to push. After what seemed like forever both my OB and the NICU doctor arrived and got covered up and ready to go.

I pushed 4 more times and Aria Scarlett entered the world at 1:05am. They placed her on my chest and I was in awe looking down on her. She had a lot of hair and was just too beautiful for words to describe. She started screaming and crying loudly, and I looked at my husband’s face and his eyes were so big! They had him cut the umbilical cord and then quickly passed her to the doctors so they could suction her mouth and nose in case any meconium had been swallowed. They ended up also suctioning out her stomach so she was not a happy girl. She weighed in at 7 pounds 3 ounces, way less than the doctors had been guessing, and 19.5 inches long. While they worked on her, my OB delivered the placenta and proceeded to stitch me up. She said I had torn, not a horrible tear, but an awkward jagged cut. After I was sewn up and they put some gauze, or “packing” as they called it, inside me , and they were done cleaning Aria up, they passed her on to me for some skin to skin. They were worried because she was breathing rapidly for awhile and it took her a bit to warm up, but she did and thankfully did not have to be sent up to the NICU for monitoring. After an hour or so they took her upstairs to be bathed and checked out and I was wheeled up to my room, where not too long later they brought her back to us.

It was absolutely the most amazing and exhausting day of my life. Though there were a couple of bumps along the way, such as the epidural placement and having to wait to push, I feel so blessed I was able to bring her into this world as I’d hoped, vaginally and when she decided it was time to come. It’s amazing how quickly you can fall in love with someone, and how deep that love can be. It’s hard to put into words. After my Dad passing away suddenly in 2011, Aria brought us joy when we needed it the most, and I

cannot wait to watch her grow.

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