. . . for Lauren and Lauren: Addilyn's Birth Story

August 8, 2013

Addilyn's Birth Story

As hard as labor was and as happy as I was that it was over, there is a part of me that is sad it's over.  It becomes such a blur (which is a good thing for forgetting the pain) but sad because it was the biggest day of our lives and I wish I could relive the moment I met Addilyn for the first time, as so much of it has already blended together in my mind.  I've gone back into this post many times to read it and write more, and each time get all teary eyed, still having a hard time grasping that this was my birth story for my baby.  

Our delivery and even hospital stay wasn't what I pictured or thought it would be, but I can only imagine very few people's are, as there is so much you can't control.  I said many times after she was born that I never want to go through labor again, as it was so hard.  I think I am pretty tough and it was definitely harder than I imagined it to be.  But I am surprised and thankful how quickly my mind and body is starting to forget how hard and painful it was, but of course unbelievably worth it.  

I had convinced myself that I was going to go passed my due date and even that I was going to have to be induced, which is so silly because I was told over and over anything can change in a day.  I had gone to the dr. on Tuesday and like all my appointments before wasn't dilated, effaced and baby wasn't even that low.  The dr. said he would bet on seeing me next week to talk about what to do now that I'd be passed my due date. 
(Only this happy after the epidural)

So Saturday morning when I woke up with contractions at 5:30 I didn't think that was "it."  After an hour of walking around, cleaning up the kitchen and stopping every 5 to 10 minutes with a contraction I woke up Chris and told him we should start timing them.  So we did.  For a really, really long time.  I had contractions 5 minutes, then 8, then 3 then 10 and on for hours.  I called my dr. around 9, who told me I could go to the hospital or I could wait it out awhile longer.  I was so nervous I'd get to the hospital and they'd tell me I wasn't even dilated and send me home. 

Around 4 we called our good friend Dawn (who just quit her job as a nurse at our hospital) and asked her what we should do.  She told us to wait it out a little longer, that we'd rather be home than at the hospital if I wasn't close to labor.  So more waiting and lots more contractions.  We tried to watch tv but every 5 minutes or so I'd have to stand up and deal with increasingly more painful contractions.  I started having bad back labor and around 7:30 could not handle it anymore at home.  I was convinced we'd get to the hospital and I'd be at least 5 cm and ready for her to come!

We drove to the hospital, checked in and the nurse checked and I was only 1 cm, 80% effaced.  I was so disappointed.  The dr. said I could go home or walk around for two hours and check again.  To no surprise I started crying quite hard.  I did NOT want to go home.  I couldn't believe I was still far from having a baby and was in this much pain.   More tears came because I felt like I must be so weak if I was this uncomfortable and not far into labor and couldn't imagine what the rest of it was going to be like.  But at this point I had been having consistent contractions for 14 hours.  When they made me lay down my legs were so shaky and I was exhausted.  We decided to stay and walked up and down the hallway, stopping every three minutes for a contraction.  Many tears of exhaustion, fear, pain and nerves continued.  

They checked again around 10:00 and I was maybe 2 cm dilated and 90%.  More tears.  (Notice a pattern?  It only continues.)  The dr. said he could break my water or we could keep waiting.  When he told me I could be in labor like I was for 36 hours I could not handle that thought so we decided to break my water.  Soon after that he gave me pitocin, since my contractions weren't effective enough to dilate me further and I got an epidural soon after.  Again, I felt like a wuss since I wasn't far along, but was okay with not trying to tough it out as I was SO exhausted.  I was terrified of the epidural as my whole body was super shaky and I was having contractions every 2 to 3 minutes.  But it went fine and I am SO thankful I did it.  

From about midnight to five in the morning I felt quite relaxed.  I couldn't sleep because I couldn't stop staring at her heart rate on the machine, knowing that we were going to met our daughter the next morning.  It was hard to believe that this was really happening.  
Thankfully I pretty quickly progressed to 10cm by 6:00 the next morning.  Around 5:30 we called our friend Dawn again and she came to the hospital to be in the room with us for the delivery.  This was the biggest blessing, as she is someone we trust, who knows us and was such a great encouragement during labor. 

Before I started pushing the dr. told us that our baby's head was the wrong way, facing up and he was going to try to turn it.  I started pushing and he tried to turn her head.  After about 20 minutes of no luck he left for awhile and came back and tried again.  This time he turned my epidural down, since I was not pushing effectively enough.  Within 20 minutes I started to feel just about everything. 

After an hour or so of pushing he got her head almost facing down but not quite.  Which is part of the reason I ended up pushing so long, because the biggest part of her head was having a hard time getting passed my pelvic bone.  I kept pushing and pushing for what seemed like forever.  I remember Dawn saying that most first time moms push between one to three hours.  At this point it had been two hours and I remember thinking, okay the most I'd go is one more hour, I can do this.  
All my pushing and she wasn't making too much progress with moving lower.  They had me try lots of different positions to push.  I started feeling really nauseous and threw up a few times.  During this point I couldn't imagine anything more painful.  I even told Chris I'd rather run a marathon than try to push a baby out without an epidural, which was pretty non existent at this point.  

It was close to three hours and I knew we weren't super close to her coming out.  The dr. came back in and told me that I couldn't push much longer.  I wouldn't be able to do it much longer, the baby wouldn't be able to handle it well and it clearly wasn't working.  He said I could have a c-section or he could try to assist her out with a vacuum.  Yep, lots more tears here.  I couldn't imagine having a c-section at this point, after all this work and pushing.  After asking lots of questions about the vacuum we decided to try that.  I was so worried that it wasn't going to work.  Part of me felt like she was going to stay in there forever.

They prepared the room for her to come and got ready.  After he put in the vacuum we waited for the next contraction and I could start to feel her moving.  I was so relived that it was working.  I remember Chris telling me he could see her head and he fought back his tears.  It was such an overwhelming feeling to know that I was minutes away from meeting my daughter.  
A few more pushes and she was here.  I was so happy she was finally out and I felt so proud and relived that she was able to come without having to have a c-section.  (My feelings of wussiness quickly went away after pushing for over 3 1/2 hours.) 
Right away I knew something wasn't right because they didn't bring her to me and Chris didn't get to cut the cord.  It all happened so quickly and within two minutes there were four more nurses/doctors in the room.  The dr. told me that they were afraid she swallowed meconium and needed to clear it out before they let her breathe/cry.  This has happened to a few of my friends so I wasn't too worried.  But after a few minutes and I still didn't hear her cry I was getting really scared. 
I'd hear a tiny little noise and then nothing.  I couldn't see what was happening because there were so many people around her. Dawn kept telling me she was okay but I just wanted to hear her cry.  After ten minutes someone told me that she was having a hard time breathing and wasn't doing it regularly.  They had the neonatal specialist in there and lots of nurses rubbing her and trying to get her to breathe. I heard a few nurses talking about her APGAR score and saying it was a four, which I knew was terrible.  It was maybe ten minutes or so before I finally heard a bigger cry and knew she was okay.  I just wanted to see her and hold her.  Chris kept walking back and forth between me and her.  I finally got a glimpse of her when they weighed her and couldn't believe she was 8 pounds 13 ounces.  I was sure we'd have a small baby, as Chris and I were both really little and short, which we were surprised she was 21 inches long. 

After about 20 minutes I got to hold my sweet baby girl, Addilyn Jane. I couldn't believe that she was mine.  Even writing it, it doesn't seem real that it all even happened.  I had pictured this moment in my mind so many times.  Our miracle was here and I was a mom. The number of emotions that fill your heart and body in that moment is hard to believe.  I was tender, full of joy, exhausted, in pain, happy, relieved, and couldn't believe I was holding my baby girl.  I held her for the next half hour, staring at her precious face, trying to grasp what all just happened.  
Chris was amazing the entire time.  He was encouraging, reassuring, supportive and so excited to meet her.  I could write a whole post about how amazing he was, as well as how everyone at the hospital loved him, and thought he was wonderful.  

Soon after they gave me some pretty strong pain medicine as my body was in quite shock after pushing for over three and half hours.  Once that kicked in, I felt really out of it.  My parents came in to meet her and I could barely keep my eyes open and can't say how exhausted I felt. 
I'm so thankful for that first afternoon, evening and night we had because the next morning is when we found out that Addilyn had jaundice and I didn't get to hold her much after that, except to breastfeed.  As tired as I was I couldn't sleep as all I wanted to do was stare at our baby girl.  We had brought the book, "On the night you were born" to the hospital for visitors to sign and Chris sat on my bed as I held Addilyn and he read it to her.  We both could not stop crying.  We were a family of three and had our baby was really here and was really ours.  
There's never been a greater time in my life when I truly felt that there is a God that does miracles, as it it so hard to believe that this baby starting as a tiny, tiny spec that we could only see powerfully magnified.  And that she grew inside me for nine months and is now a healthy baby girl.  


Kerrie Williams said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

oh Katie I just loved reading this! I laughed when you said Chris was excited about a whole post about how great he is ;) love it.

Ginny MyNewFavoriteOutfit said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Thanks for sharing this Katie. It is crazy how quickly you forget the pain once you get to hold your little one. I love the book you read to her too, definitely one of my favorites to read to Grant as well.

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Wow! Yours is an incredible story, Katie!! I remember having back labor with my first...the pain was terrible. Also, had to "walk around" the hospital with O and remember being in tears because the progress was so slow. Most of the rest is fuzzy now, thankfully. Thanks for sharing your story. So happy that you have your beautiful, healthy baby girl!!

Sara Hinton said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I'm crying. What a beautiful story. To God be the glory!!

Simply LKJ said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Aww...brings back memories of our first! A lot of similarities ;-)

Vicki Garrett said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I love this. :) I am so sorry you had some worries but you are so right, once it's all over, it's almost hard to remember the pain and the worry. Addilyn is such a beautiful little girl and I am so incredibly happy for your little family of 3!

still being [molly] said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

what a beautiful and amazing birth story, katie!! you are so strong! you are an amaaaazing mama. thank you for sharing this. God is so good.

Amanda said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

bahh! Gave me chills and tears.. this whole post is beautiful and has God's love written all over it! It gives me hope and excitement. You were born to be a mama and I'm so thankful to see your story unfold.. it's perfect and all happened in God's time. Thank you for being such a beautiful example to me of patience and hope. LOVE YOU!

Amanda said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

oh! and P.S. you look absolutely beautiful holding your baby girl!

CM | My Life, Laughs, and Love said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

the most beautifully written account of her birth, Katie! I can't wait until she reads this someday; so special I was in tears! Happy motherhood and fatherhood to you and Chris many times over!!!!!!

brittany t said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

awhh!! katie what a beautiful birth story of your baby girl!! It was so sweet, tender and amazing. The gift of life is such a miracle from GOd. He has blessed you and Chris forever :) you & your little family are so precious! I am so happy for you all! You are a wonderful woman of God and can tell how strong you really were through labor, even through the tears!

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Wow, I have tears in my eyes Katie. And now after reading this I'm feeling incredibly foolish for being a wuss about my C-section (I really did think I was dying though!)

Jodi said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Wow what an amazing birth story! I can't even imagine how scary it was when you were waiting to hear her cry. I'm so glad she is ok!! She is so pretty!!

Jen B said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I'm tearing up! I love birth stories and I am convinced that nothing is quite as special and miraculous as the birth of your first child. I want to re-live that day over and over and over again! Well maybe not the pain but certainly the emotions- there is nothing like it! Congratulations again!

Terri Lynn Grothe said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Beautiful birth story, it is so amazing to know she is here, i followed you thru your pregnancy. Congrats on a beautiful baby girl and i love love her name

Lindsay @ Pursuit of Pink said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I'm tears reading this...thank you for posting. I love reading everyone's birth stories. You are not a wuss, you are so strong!!! Go girl for pushing for as long as you did. Addilyn is so beautiful and she has an amazing mama who did something some amazing to bring her into this world. I'm so happy for you Katie. Motherhood is such a wonderful thing as I am learning myself. Excited to get to experience this at the same time as you.

Denise said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Enjoyed this post very much.

Rachel Lloyd said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

That is an amazing story and you are an amazing person. She is a gorgeous baby. Congratulations!

Housel said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Awh oh my goodness... This was so beautiful to read. I too was in tears. I am 13 weeks now, and the thought of the epidural scares me so much. I have been very back and forth between if I want it or not.

Helene in Between said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

oh Katie, this brought tears to my eyes. she is so beautiful and your family is so amazing.

Erika said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I love reading birth stories:) You're right - they never quite go as expected (at least in my experience). But they are all so beautiful in that a healthy baby is the end result!! Congrats again on your beautiful little girl.

P. said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Oh, what a beautiful baby! Babies are true angels sent to bless our lives with the knowledge that God is good. :)

Ana Paula
{Visit me at Mommyhood, PhD}

Allison said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Oh Katie...I just loved reading Addilyn's birth story. So sweet and worth all the craziness. :) Thanks for sharing it!

Laura Swallow said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Congratulations! I know how you feel about it all blurring together. I'm glad to not really remember the trauma of it, but I do miss being able to cement those first moments in my mind. My husband and I were so absorbed in holding our new baby that neither of us even remember if she cried right afterwards. It really is an amazing experience though. Thank God that he makes it so easy on the memory so that we can choose to have more babies. Congrats again! She is beautiful! =]

Megan C said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Such a beautiful birth story. Although it was hard and a tough labor, it just shows how great birth can be and how amazing seeing your child for the first time is. I can't wait to meet our baby!!

Chrissy + Nate said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

What a gorgeous story and a treasured memory! I am so so SO happy for you both that you finally have your baby girl :)

Amanda said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is such a beautiful story! I read every word. Congratulations! You are DEFINITELY not a wuss :)

maria said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is so beautiful Katie! You are a warrior!
Did Addilyn have a mark on her head from the vacuum? Micha did, and had a pretty sensitive head in the first week. Poor little guy!
So happy she's here!

two birds said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

this sounds a little like my henry story...and you are right, you quickly forget how hard it was because it is all so worth it! she is beautiful!!!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I cried reading your story..it was so touching. I am so happy for you and Chris. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly {Sparkles and Shoes} said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

What a great story, thank you so for sharing!

Sparkles and Shoes

TheTinyHeart said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

What a beautiful birth story! So happy for the two of you!

The Tiny Heart
Rad Market Giveaway!

Laura said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Tears! This was so beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your birth story Katie, it was just amazing. I'm so glad that God DOES display His power and grace and that He gives us miracles. Addilyn is truly a miracle and a gift from God! So happy for you and Chris!

Kristen said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Crying my eyes out. Life truly is a miracle. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

Brianne Bracco said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Tears in my eyes...the whole time I read this. Tears for your exhaustion and your tears and just simpithizing with the fact that you were working so hard to meet your beautiful daughter. Then it was happy tears. Tears that she was finally in your arms and you snuggled her all day and night. Then I had to share your story with husband haha :) You are amazing my friend.

Savanna said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I am glad it all worked out for you. It is a beautiful story. Addilyn is beautiful. Congrats!

Always Maylee said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Wow what an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Addilyn is beautiful and perfect!

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Desiree Macke said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

It's so amazing what our bodies can do, and how fast we can recover. What a birth story, and such a strong momma!
We still read "On the Night You Were Born" every night before bed, and it still brings tears to my eyes.

Courtney B said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

You are super woman!! I pushed for a half hour and I wanted to kill someone! There is nothing harder than pushing a baby out! You're amazing!
I'm am still so happy for your family of 3! It's the best feeling in the world knowing that she is yours forever :)

Kassi Mortensen said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Every birth story is beautiful and unique, and I loved getting to read yours! It sounds like it was really scary there for a bit, but glad it all worked out ok! And you rock for having to push that long!!! I think I only pushed for like 30 minutes or so.

lauren jean allece said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is so beautiful, Katie! I'm definitely crying reading how much love you have for your sweet girl and for your incredible Chris :) God is so good, and His miracles are so much better than anything we could ever imagine! Congratulations again to your perfect little family!

Pisceanchick said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Oh my gosh! Way to go! That sounded like you were a fighter. I teared up when you said Chris read her the story. Congrats.

Kristin said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is such a sweet story! Such a long labor though, but absolutely ALL worth it, I'm sure :) So happy for you and Chris!

J and A said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is beautiful. I loved reading this. This is so special to have. You did GREAT mama. Wow. So worth it. Makes me so excited!! And a little scared! ha ha

Shannon Hearts said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

So sweet! What a beautiful blessing and I love that you documented the experience. XO.

Janna Renee said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is probably the first birth story that I have read all the way through. Seriously. It's riveting and I'm so proud of you! She is gorgeous, and you are such a strong momma for going through all that for her ;)

Anonymous said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Beautiful <3 xx

Jennifer said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Loved this. Your photos are amazing. She is gorgeous.

Jessica said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Beautiful story!! thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Katie - I cried while reading this! What a beautiful story and a wonderful documentation of that day! She is gorgeous and you look radiant!
Congratulations on your amazing family of 3 - you guys deserve the very best!

Jelli said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

When I had my little boy 2 weeks ago, the nurse promised me she'd lay him on my chest immediately after he popped out. I was pretty concerned after they whisked him to a table to clean him up and do who knows what right after he was born as I lay there begging to hold him. Thankfully, he was okay, and for whatever reason the nurse just didn't give him to me. So glad your little girl was A-okay too!

Lauren ONeill said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I am BEYOND terrified of having a baby. There is no way I'm ready for that. Your story is beautiful and you are so strong for having gone through it. And now, you are awarded with the best present ever. She is truly adorable and you both look so happy! :)


Elegance and Mommyhood said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I just read your baby story and tears came down my eyes as I got reminded of Vivian's birth just 7 months ago. You can read My Baby Story on my page linked below and I would love to see what you think as we have now shared this same experience and have both become first-time moms in 2013.


I wish you & Addilyn a Lifetime of Joy, Love & Happiness!! =)

Cody Doll said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Awe. I think this is the sweetest best birthing story I have ever read. I don't think you are week at all. I am sure you know this. It's hard to believe you were up for so long and pushed so long. Someone wanted to see her baby *hinthint*. haha.

Very Very cute story!!