Thursday, July 21, 2011

Two to Three

Early on in our relationship, Matt and I discussed kids and were glad to find out that we both very much wanted to be parents. So, after about a year of marriage, we decided to not prevent anything. If I got pregnant, so be it. We were both into or approaching our 30's after all. I'm glad we started trying when we did, because it did take about a year and a teensy bit of medical help for us to get pregnant.

Of course we didn't realize it, but God's timing was great (imagine that)! A mere few week before we found out we were pregnant, we found out we were moving to Arkansas, which would allow me to fulfill my dream of staying home with our babies. It would have been MUCH more difficult to afford that living in Miami. When we found out we were pregnant, we could not have been more excited! The first day we saw that faint pink line on a pregnancy test, I was nervous that it was too good to be true, but even then I couldn't help myself from telling people. The next day the line was even darker, and we knew this must be for real!

I actually loved being pregnant. Of course there were inconveniences, but I was daily overwhelmed by the miracle taking place in my body. As our little "Sprout" started to grow, we moved to Arkansas. I didn't even look for a job because I knew as soon as Sprout was born, I wanted to stay home. I did some volunteer work and in hindsight could have started more hobbies or something, but I did have quite a bit more time on my hands, which allowed me to do lots of reading and research for our upcoming childbirth and preparations for a baby.

During this process, a friend recommended the film, "The Business of Being Born", and most of what I was thinking and planning completely and totally changed. I felt like blinders were taken off my eyes, and I decided I wanted a natural childbirth if at all possible.  I know that sometimes c-sections are life saving (I nor my mom would be here if it wasn't for c-sections), and I in no way judge anyone who had been induced or gotten an epidural. Sometimes that is the best choice, and I completely understand that. But based on my research and personal background, I felt that if it was at all possible, I wanted to have a natural delivery. Matt got on board, and we enrolled in Bradley Method childbirth classes. The training we received in these classes gave us the necessary preparedness to make it through labor and childbirth without medical interventions.

Before we knew it, it was January and the birth of our baby girl was quickly approaching, and my "white-coat syndrome" was acting up like crazy. I have irrational issues with doctors that causes my blood pressure to get too high. Doctors do not like this when you are pregnant. Several times I had to be monitored for several hours before being released to go home, and then one day I was showing multiple signs of pre-eclampsia. Therefore, I was admitted and told I was being induced. Knowing that pre-eclampsia is potentially very dangerous, we felt this was the best decision. We called all our family and settled in for the night. After a dose of cytotec and overnight monitoring, everything cleared up and the doctor (rudely) told us we could either start pitocin and proceed  with induction or go home. Though all our family was in town, we felt the best (though extremely difficult) decision was to go home and avoid an unnecessary induction.

Everyone except my mom had to leave before our little lady arrived, which broke my heart, but I still feel it was the right decision for us. I had contractions off and on for a week, and I went to bed on my 30th birthday and now past my due date wondering if she was ever going to come out. That very night though I started waking up throughout the night with contractions that felt different than anything had so far, but I kept trying to relax as much as possible and sleep in between them. As the next day (Friday) wore on, contractions continued getting stronger and closer together. After they had been about 3 min apart and lasting 60-90 sec, we decided to go to the hospital. Once we arrived, we were a little disappointed because I was only 1+ cm dilated, but the doctor in the ER thought that once I started dilating, I would progress quickly. She recommended we stay another hour and see what happened.

During that time, we did a lot of walking. My water ended up breaking, contractions were still strong and regular, and we were admitted. After several more hours of labor that was getting rather intense, I was checked and still had not made much progress. It was difficult to not be discouraged, but things suddenly changed.

Within an hour, I started feeling like I needed to push. The nurse came and said I was very nearly fully dilated and could start trying to push if I wanted. I pushed through a few contractions, and it actually felt good to be pushing. Soon the doctor came in though, and she was worried that baby girl was still a bit too high. Her concern was that if I continued to push it could cause me to swell, which would make pushing her out much more difficult. So, she asked me to try to NOT push for as long as I could. That period of time was the absolute hardest time of all of labor. I had no idea that could be so difficult, but we made it through. Matt was absolutely AMAZING through everything. I don't know how I would have made it with out him. I'm sure I would have been begging for drugs without such a great coach.

Anyway, when I couldn't take it any longer, we called the nurse back in, she said I was completely dilated and the baby had moved down quite a bit... so I started pushing and continued to push for almost 3 1/2 hours, which was exhausting but well worth it when she finally came out... "sunny side up" at 2:33 a.m on January 22. Seeing that little person who had been inside me for so long, was indescribable. I was immediately smitten and learned a whole new love I never knew I had.

When Lil' Lady A first arrived, I only got to touch her a moment because there was meconium in her mouth and the cord was around her neck twice so she was quite blue. The pediatrician was initially very concerned and took her away, but brought her back as quickly as they felt comfortable. They were all quite impressed with how quickly she transitioned, turned very pink and perked up. Since then she has been the picture of a healthy baby and has brought immeasurable joy into our lives.

I'm often asked if I'll go the natural route again... if at all possible, I absolutely will. It is the most difficult thing I have physically ever done but also the most amazing.

First family photo

Nana was there for it all too


  1. Love your blog Alicia! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Alicia,

    Kayla (born the same day) was face up too!! I wanted to have a natural childbirth but that back labor (when I already have back problems) was unbearable...I was having the hardest time breathing through it and I had gotten about 15 minutes of sleep! I can't believe our birth stories are so similar and on the same day! :)


  3. That IS kinda crazy, Melissa. Honestly, a part of me cannot believe I didn't get an epidural :)