Corey and I welcomed the most perfect little girl into our family a little over a month ago and we couldn’t be more in love with her. Adelaide Mae is the best baby we could ask for and is a perfect fit for our family. We’re finally getting into the groove of this whole ‘parenting’ thing, so I thought I’d start this blog up again.
I don’t want to forget the details of her first few months or of being pregnant (during a pandemic, no less), so I thought I’d start recording some stuff here. Where better to start than with her birth?
I love hearing about people’s birth stories and I’d like to be able to show Laidy a post about hers someday. Just a warning – if you’re not a fan of birth-related things, this post might not be for you!
I had a pretty easy pregnancy (aside from a few small issues like an unknown heart defect that I was apparently born with) — or at least it was easy up until the day before my due date.
My due date was Wednesday, September 16 and I was pretty convinced that I would be going over by a few days or a week. Laidy didn’t seem to be in any rush to make her appearance and I wasn’t really in a rush to evict her. I had had a few days and nights of “pre-labor” or prodromal labor the week before my due date, but things never progressed past mild contractions.
I had planned to go through the first day or so of labor at home and then go to the hospital once things progressed and got painful. I didn’t really have a detailed birth plan or anything, but I had assumed I would have a decent amount of time at home between the start of labor and needing to leave for the hospital.
It never crossed my mind that things might happen VERY differently.
I had my 40 week midwife appointment in the late afternoon of Tuesday, September 15 and everything looked pretty typical. Real labor hadn’t started yet but she told me she didn’t think it was far off. She did a membrane strip (about as fun as it sounds) to see if it would help things progress a bit — membrane strips aren’t guaranteed to start labor, but they can speed things up if the woman is close to going into labor on her own.
I went home feeling normal and assumed that the membrane strip didn’t take. I’m still not entirely sure it did “take,” but things definitely started moving along. I had a few weird pains that evening and felt like the baby was moving down, but I didn’t really think much of it. We went about our night like any other, making enchiladas and hanging out at the house.
Then around midnight (maybe before? This is really when time started to blur — and it still is blurring in these newborn days ha!) I started having some major, major, major back pain. I don’t have much of a pain tolerance, so again I didn’t think too much of it. I complained a bit (Corey and my mom would probably say I complained a lot), but assumed it was just some weird labor pains.
Then things escalated quickly. I started getting sick and couldn’t hold anything down, not even the smallest sip of water.
Not wanting to get dehydrated, I called Labor and Delivery and they told us to come in. We got to the hospital around 1:30am and they checked us into a tiny little triage room while they tried to figure out what was going on.
The midwife and doctor on the floor finally settled on kidney issues since the pain was directly on my right kidney and because I couldn’t seem to filter even water through my system. The words “kidney stones” were thrown around — how bad of timing would it be to get a kidney stone on your due date?! — and they hooked me up to an IV of fluid to try to keep me from getting dehydrated. I had an ultrasound done a few hours later which ruled out kidney stones, but did show that my kidney wasn’t really functioning and was pretty enlarged.
Apparently when I had felt the baby moving down a few hours earlier, she had moved into a position that sort of pinched a valve that connected by right kidney to my bladder. She really was running out of room!
They were pretty optimistic that as soon as I had the baby, the pain would be gone. It was just getting to that point that was a bit difficult.
Labor and Delivery was unfortunately full on Wednesday morning, so we were told that I could either give birth in our tiny little triage room or go home with some anti-nausea and pain pills and try to wait it out. So we decided to try our luck at home.
The only issue was that I couldn’t even keep the anti-nausea medicine down, let alone the pain medicine. And the pain was no joke. If I didn’t try to drink or eat anything, I didn’t have any pain. But as soon as I had even just a sip of water, my body rejected it and the pain was intense. One thing I had never anticipated was going through labor feeling like I was dying of thirst. I last about 5 hours before I woke Corey up and we headed back to Labor and Delivery.
We got SO LUCKY when we arrived, and the luck just kept coming. We passed multiple women who had just checked out of Labor and Delivery with their babies, so we were able to get a normal room — it even had a window!
I was induced with Pitocin Wednesday afternoon around 5 and was put on a continuous IV of fluids since I still couldn’t drink anything. We had a fantastic nurse who told me to get the epidural as soon as possible since we hoped that it would take the pain away and allow me to drink something.
I didn’t know that epidurals could be “good” or “bad,” but I guess I had what was considered a fantastic epidural — or at least that’s what the nurses kept saying. I couldn’t feel my legs at all and most importantly I couldn’t feel any kidney pain! I was finally able to drink liquids (I still couldn’t eat because I had been induced) and let me tell you, I about drank my body weight in water and apple juice.
Things moved pretty quickly from there. I could still feel a little bit of pain through the epidural during my bigger contractions, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting. And at that point, I was so thankful that my kidney pain was finally gone that I don’t think I would’ve minded any contraction pain very much at all.
Everything was great until my midwife had to break my water. They unfortunately saw meconium in the amniotic fluid, which was something I had already been worried about. It’s not always an issue when there’s meconium, but it can be — which was enough to stress us out a bit.
We were told that as long as the baby cried soon after being born, we wouldn’t have anything to worry about. They also said we’d have to have the NICU team in the room for her birth just in case.
This took an already-stressful situation and made it even more stressful. At that point, I just wanted to speed things up as much as possible so Adelaide could be evaluated and so we could know that she was safe.
My body must’ve responded well to this anxiety, because things really started moving. I had been pretty nervous for delivery since I didn’t know what to expect, but delivery was FUN. We had a nice little team of my midwife, my nurse, a pediatric nurse, and a student nurse. Things were really relaxed and we all laughed and joked between contractions. I sort of just let go of any nervousness and decided to let my body do what it already knew how to do.
I was thriving. Corey was a nervous wreck.
My midwife thought we’d have a few hours before Laidy would make her appearance, but I only had to push for a little less than an hour. She actually came so fast that the pediatric team didn’t make it to my room on time. They opened the door right after Laidy was born, heard her LOUD screams, said she was fine, and left.
The whole thing was completely painless.
Hearing those baby cries was like music to my ears. We were SO relieved that she was perfectly healthy and that we didn’t have to worry about emergency treatment or a NICU stay.
Laidy was over 9 lbs and 21 inches long.
It’s no wonder she was pinching that kidney valve — she was A LOT bigger than expected and was probably getting pretty cramped in there!
We were so excited and immediately in love with Laidy as soon as we saw her. Corey was able to cut her cord and we got to do the ‘golden hour’ of snuggle time that I had been looking forward to.
Things still weren’t exactly smooth sailing, though.
I noticed within 5 minutes or so that Laidy had a pretty severe tongue tie. I was born with one, too, and it looks like I passed it down to her. This unfortunately meant that she couldn’t latch, so the poor thing had to be spoon- and syringe-fed colostrum for the first few days. She had her tongue tie clipped about 24 hours after she was born, and it healed up well!
She also had to be tested for diabetes periodically for 24 hours because of her size. It’s so sad to watch your little baby have her foot pricked over and over again. But thankfully all of her tests came back fine and we were given the green light to take her home 2 days later!
COVID made it so that Adelaide’s welcome home party wasn’t quite what we had expected when I found out I was pregnant, but she did get to meet my parents and the pets! My parents are of course in love with her — the pets are still a little unsure.
All in all, pregnancy and childbirth were great experiences for me. I know how lucky I am to have had such a smooth experience, and we got the best gift out of it. We are having SO MUCH FUN with Laidy and I can’t wait to keep updating this blog with our journeys as a family of 3!