Addison Jane arrived on October 1 at 7:30pm. She was 10 pounds 0.4 ounces and 21 inches long at birth! Her arrival was a bit traumatic but we’ve all recovered at this point.
Here is her story, but it’s full of birth details that some people may not want to read…
For the two weeks leading up to my due date, I was having contractions pretty regularly. Addie had also moved down, which was great, but it was also causing her to put pressure on nerves in my hip joints. I was increasingly uncomfortable every day. My doctor, while giving me more space than I ever expected she would, was getting nervous about the size of the baby. I was due on Friday September 24. On Tuesday Sept. 28, I had a check-up and my doctor asked to schedule an induction. At that point I was 3cm and 80% effaced. Although Addie looked great on the non-stress test and I wasn’t showing any warning signs of issues, I was just huge. Women get big bellies when they’re pregnant, I know. But I was really big. Dr. B was concerned about the baby getting stuck during birth. So induction was scheduled for Thursday morning at 7am.
That night, I had contractions for hours. My mom came up to stay with us a night early, just in case I was going into labor on my own. Around 11 that night, I decided to lay down and rest. My contractions stopped. Throughout the day Wednesday, I contracted on and off. I was just hoping it was helping me dilate a bit more.
Early Thursday morning, we went to the hospital for the induction. And we waited. Finally my doctor came out and told us the hospital was full of laboring women and short on nurses. We were sent home and told they’d call to let us know when to come back. It was disappointing and deflating. I was ready to meet my baby. So we went home and rested. When we heard back from them, we were told to come back the next morning. Two of the four laboring women in the hospital had wound up with c-sections and the nursing staff was still short.
At 3:11am Friday morning, I woke up feeling funny. I rolled over and tried to sleep. Finally at 3:40am, I got up to use the bathroom and my water broke. I was so excited because I was sure this meant my labor would go faster. If my body was pushing forward, it must be ready to deliver the baby! We headed into the hospital and got hooked up to the monitors. My contractions were averaging 5-7 minutes apart but not super painful yet. My doctor checked me around 7 am and I was “maybe a 4.” That was a bit deflating as I’d assumed that with all the contracting I had been doing since she checked me Tuesday afternoon, my dilation would have been further along. We walked (we being me, Josh and our wonderful friend Sandy), we timed, I rolled on the birth ball, we tried to keep each other distracted. The doctor checked me again around Noon.
I was at 5cm. 5 hours of contractions and I’d only dilated 1 more cm. My doctor told me she would check me again in a couple of hours. If I hadn’t made any more progress, we would have to start discussing pitocin. My water had broken nearly 12 hours earlier and she didn’t want to risk infection. At around 2:30, she checked me again. I hadn’t dilated any further. It was time to start pitocin. Now the decision had to be made on an epidural. I had done pitocin without an epidural before and knew my body didn’t respond well to it. As much as I try to relax through contractions, my body reacted to the pain by tensing. Tense body = no dilation. After many tears and much discussion, I decided to get an epidural. After weeks of contractions and hours of active labor, I was tired. So very tired. And I didn’t feel condemned or like a failure. I felt like I was doing what needed to be done so I could birth this baby.
The epidural was in (and relatively painless compared to the contractions) and turned on at 4:15pm. The pitocin was started at 4:30. I was so comfortable and sure of my decision, I was nearly giddy. The doctor checked me at 6pm and I was a stretchy 8cm. The doctor said she could stretch me to a 10 easily. I cried with relief. By 7pm, I felt pressure and everyone scurried to prep for me to deliver. Around this time I started vomiting as well. I started pushing at 7:15. Addie was born at 7:30pm on the dot.
That’s when everything started.
Doctor put Addie right up onto my belly and I noticed right away that there were globs of yellowish mucus on her face. And she was gray. All the nurses were rubbing her with blankets and talking to her and suctioning her nose and mouth. But she was gray. After maybe 30 seconds, the doctor whipped Addie off my belly and took her to the other side of the room to start working on her. A nurse leapt over my bed to go with the baby.
I heard things like
” heart rate steady”
“page ER doctor STAT”
And I just could lay there and pray. Josh held my hand, standing next to me praying the whole time. I kept asking if she was alright. I asked Sandy to go pray over Addie, as close as they would let her get. She went and prayed. I heard the loudspeaker through the hospital calling the ER doctor to OB. For me. For my baby. It was around that time that Sandy turned and looked back at me. I was hemmoraging. I won’t go into detail about the amount of blood but it was bad. Sandy has been to countless births and she knew that there was something wrong. By the time the ER doctor got up to us, it had been 6 minutes. I had been laying there hemmoraging for 6 minutes. Thankfully, the ER doctor that night was an OB doctor as well. She started to work on me. I was shaking and vomiting pretty uncontrollably at this point. My doctor came over and told me that Addie had a chunk of mucus in her lungs. They cleared it but her respirations were not yet regular and her O2 levels were low. They were taking her to the nursery to put her in an oxygen tent and run tests to check for more clogs. Josh went with Addie.
Once I was fixed up, I was still dizzy and nausous. I couldn’t really move without vomiting. I was around 8pm at this point. I posted on my Facebook for prayer. Addie was still in the oxygen tent. I heard x-ray being paged STAT to OB. Mostly I just laid there and prayed. Every time a nurse came in, I asked for more details. Her respirations were getting more regular. Her oxygen level was improving. Her chest x-ray was clear. It was looking alright now. I was going crazy since any movement still caused me to vomit. By around 9, the nurses had brought me a wheelchair so I could go to the nurery and be with Addie. I still was feeling queasy so I ate some lemon ice, hoping the sugar would help me. It did help. My epidural was taken out. I waited. Some where in here, they took my temp and it was 101.9. More meds. Infection talk. Ugh.
By 9:30, they had finally wheeled Addison back to me. She was pink and beautiful. She still wasn’t crying a lot but she was breathing. After a quick visit from one of our pastors and a good friend (their husbands – how on earth did they get there so fast?!), Addie nursed and fell asleep. My fever slowly came down and by Saturday morning it was 99.8. We stayed in the hospital until Sunday late morning to be sure Addie could hold a steady body temp and I took several rounds of antibiotics through my IV.
It was the longest two hours of my life. We realize now how much we take for granted. I never even considered that there could be complications with birth after such a normal pregnancy.
We’re all home and comfy now. Thank God.