Monday, September 5, 2011

The Arrival of Aidan

Let's start with Thursday night since this is when the contractions really began, I just wasn't sure how real they were or if they were just stronger Braxton Hicks(BH) contractions.  Keep in mind that most nights during the week, I get 6 hours of sleep, which was normal pre pregnancy.

I went to bed near 9:30 PM on Thursday, and I had difficulty getting comfortable.  It seemed the weight of my stomach was too much for my lower back to handle, so I tossed and turned several times trying to support my stomach and find comfort for my back.  Occasionally, I had short contractions, again, the thought was those contractions were BH.  I feel asleep but woke up at 11 PM and had difficulty getting comfortable - lower back pain still persisted.  When I was still awake at midnight, I took a tylenol thinking it would help the pain.  I tried to sit in the recliner in the living room to fall asleep since I tend to take naps there, but I couldn't get comfortable.  I probably didn't fall back asleep until 1AM and continued to wake up every 30 minutes.  Finally at 2:50 AM, I gave up and got out of bed to get ready for work.  I probably slept a good two hours, the rest of the time was tossing and turning.  Oh, I was also had the urge to use the bathroom a lot, which all pregnancy long I had been able to sleep through the night without needing to pee.  In the last week, I had to get up once during the night, but not 5 to 6 times like I did Thursday.

I ate breakfast, relaxed, and got ready for work.  Lower back had minor discomfort, but nothing I couldn't withstand.  Contractions were sporadic, I might have felt one the entire time I was getting ready for work.  So off to work I went! 

At work, I did have some occasional contractions, and I definitely walked a lot slower than I normally do.  I felt like there was more pelvic pressure, and since it was Friday before a holiday weekend, I decided a slower walking pace was okay.  I just needed to get through one last day, so why speed walk to the printer?

After leaving work at 1PM, I went home and took a long Epsom salt bath.  I noticed I started to doze off in the bath, so I decided it was a good time to take a nap.  My lower back pain was gone, so I went to sleep right away.  At some point, AJ called me - I don't remember hearing the phone, but I did realize at some point that I was talking on the phone.  He needed me to get up and help him, so that was the end of my nap.  I would guesstimate that I slept for 1.5 hours at the most.

After helping AJ, I went home to wait on him.  Once he got home, he made some grilled salmon for dinner - yum!  I was feeling contractions on and off, again, not timeable so I didn't think too much of it.  AJ did make a comment that I was waddling more, and I did feel more pelvic pressure.  We watched the first half of the TCU Baylor game before deciding to call it a night at 10 PM.

My lower back pain had come back, but it was minor compared to what it was Thursday and Friday morning.  However, when I tried to sleep, I couldn't.  I was feeling contractions, but my lower back was hurting.  So I tried to sleep in the recliner, then the half couch (since it could support my back on one side).  No such luck.  Since the bath helped earlier in the day, I made myself another warm bath and took a book with me.  I should note that when I was sitting in the recliner, I started to time the contractions.   They were 5 to 8 minutes apart lasting maybe 30 seconds.  I continued to time them in the bath tub.  The bath did give my back relief and I felt I could almost sleep in the tub...

When the back pain disappeared, pain in my quads appeared!  It was weird to feel the pain in my legs, however, it seemed minor so I ignored it.  I got out of the bath hoping that I could go to sleep since my back pain had subsided.  I tried laying down in the bed around 1AM.  I never feel asleep as the back pain returned and the contractions continued.  Now the contractions were 5 minutes apart, but still lasting just 30 seconds.  I finally gave up trying to sleep at 2AM.  Since I had received a Clemson blanket for Aidan in the mail on Thursday, I decided I would wash it in case he decided to show up on Saturday.  I had thrown the blanket in the wash earlier Friday afternoon, but I couldn't dry it because AJ had clothes still in the dryer.  Since his clothes were wrinkled, I went ahead and ran the dryer.  In the meantime, I decided to surf the internet while timing contractions.  Contractions were now less than 5 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds.  After I finished AJ's laundry, it was about 3AM.  I told myself I would wait until 4AM to wake AJ because if this was the real deal, I wanted him well rested.

Once the Clemson blanket was dry, I packed it in the hospital bag.  At this point, I had only had 3.5 to 4 hours of good sleep since waking up at 3:15 on Thursday morning - it was now Saturday.  Contractions were occasionally 3 minutes apart lasting from 40 to 60 seconds.  I was trying to walk around the house during each contraction, but the pain in my legs had me wondering if I would fall over from my legs giving out.  The pain in my abdominal from the contractions were manageable - I could walk, rub my belly, and breathe in and out to make the pain go away.  What I couldn't manage was the quads' pain - my legs would tense up, and I would get a charlie horse.  So I sat on the couch to work through the contractions - the lower back pain came back and the leg pain still persisted.  I couldn't get my legs to relax during contractions, and I noticed my whole body would become tense because of it.  I was still able to breath through the contractions, but I was at the point that I couldn't take the pain much mores, especially if my legs continued to hurt as they did.  So I woke AJ up at 3:45 AM and told him I thought it was the real deal, and we needed to go to the hospital. 

AJ quickly jumped out of bed and started getting ready.  I changed from my penguin pajamas to my Clemson pajamas - hey, it was Saturday, I couldn't be seen without orange on!  We fed the dogs, who were wondering what the heck was going on, then I went outside while AJ put the dogs out.  They knew something was up with me, so I had to leave AJ to tend to them or else, we would have never gotten them outside with more of a struggle.  On my way out, I did grab a stick of Monterrey jack cheese because I knew I would want something on my stomach since the last time I ate was 6PM on Friday, and if you know me, I eat a lot of small meals.

We arrived at the hospital at 4:30 AM.  We went to the main entrance - locked; we knew how to get to L&D from the main entrance so we were going the route we knew.  We walked around the other side of the hospital, while I'm stopping for contractions.  I knew we could go to Registration and be able to go to L&D - nope, it was locked.  So we walked back to the Emergency Department entrance - unlocked of course!  The walk wasn't very far, it was just comical because AJ is trying to hurry along, and I have to stop for contractions.  The ED called up to L&D, fetched a wheel chair, and then brought us up to the L&D where we started the registration process. 

I was officially admitted to the hospital at 5:30 AM - I was 3-4 cm dilated, so it wasn't false labor!  I was so happy - I was afraid it was going to be false labor and I was going home to somehow find the strength to manage the contractions if they continued.  I should mention, at some point in the short ride to the hospital, I told AJ there was no way I was going to manage the leg pain without an epidural.  I never anticipated the pain being in my legs - abs and back I knew how to manage.  In addition, that lack of energy was also an issue - barely any food consumed and hardly any sleep; I knew I would need energy in order to push.  I did continue to manage the contractions on my own while lying in the hospital bed.  The nurses did start an IV to give me fluids, but that was it. Around 8:00 AM when I was 6 cm dilated, I elected to get the epidural.  By 8:30AM, the epidural was in place, the nurse turned me on my side (said it help bring the baby down the birth canal), and I fell asleep!  I slept for an hour, then was turned on my right side.  The one hour power nap made me feel rejuvenated, which is good because I would need that energy!  At 10:30 AM, the first epidural was starting to wear off, I was still 6 cm dilated, however, my water just broke.  The gave me a second, smaller dose in the epidural.  By 11:40 AM, the nurse said I was 10 cm dilated, and she and another nurse prepared the room for delivery.  At 11:50 AM, the doctor came in the room, and I was ready to push.

The OB on call was not my doctor - though that didn't matter to me.  AJ did like that the OB doctor was female (mine is male).  The doctor was quite the cheerleader - AJ said she had one in the air as she was cheering me on to push or give her that last little bit of energy that I had.  Pushing only took 20 minutes and was it a work out!  I was definitely sweating and breathing hard, but it was amazing.  On the last push, the doctor told AJ to hold my head up so I could.  One last final push, and Aidan made his debut!  The doctor put Aidan on my stomach as the nurses cleaned him up.  His little hand grabbed my finger, and I was able to stroke his head.  AJ cut the cord - the doctor gave him no choice, basically handed him the scissors and said "come here, dad."  AJ was hesitant, it was just the manner the doctor went about things - again, she was an awesome cheer leader.

One of the nurses took Aidan over to clean him up and weigh him.  AJ took some pictures and watched the little guy while the other nurse tended to me and the doctor stitched me up.  We found out that Aidan weighed 8lb 9 oz - big baby!  The doctor said all the healthy eating I was doing fed Aidan well and allowed him to grow so big and healthy.  No wonder I had 2nd and 3rd degree tears!  In addition, I broke a blood vessel in my eye and had several red dots show up on my neck - I guess the technical term is herniated the vessel.

The other nurse eventually brought Aidan over and his was placed on my chest - the doctor said make sure I had a distraction!  The nurses had to massage my stomach/fundus to help my body deliver the placenta.  I could definitely feel the pain at this point, but I just took deep breaths and oogled Aidan to get past it.  They eventually finish what they are doing and the doctor was able to stop my bleeding from the tears and get stitches placed. 

I was able to breastfeed Aidan - he latched on and nursed very well.  After nursing was finished, all of visitors came back to the room to meet him.  Guess it's only fair since we woke everyone up at 5:30 AM to let them know today was the day!  After everyone was able to meet Aidan, he was taken to the nursery to get measured, cleaned up, and have some tests conducted.  Everyone left to go watch Aidan in the nursery and to head on home.  Aidan measured 21.5" with a head circumference of 13.5".

Unfortunately, I started to run a fever and had extreme chills.  My temperature was 99.7 degrees F, and I could not get warm!  The nurse brought me several warm blankets and eventually, I was able to lie in bed without shaking.  I was also given lots of water, thank goodness! because I was thirsty.  The fever eventually did pass and I was able to grab another 1 hour power nap before Aidan came back.  I was also able to order some grub from the cafeteria - I had scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast, and I scarfed it down!  The food was great and not just because I was hungry. So far, it's been a great experience and I look forward to the future with Aidan on the outside.

I should also mention that the doctor and the nurses mentioned how calm AJ and I were through the whole process.  I'm not one to scream and shout through pain, I usually internalize and work through it, which is why I thought I could manage the pain without anything.  Even before I had the epidural, I quietly worked through the pain - just breathing in and out with my eyes closed.  I would try and imagine myself elsewhere - like at previous vacation or meeting Aidan.  AJ is also a quiet, calm type of person.  I think the staff really enjoyed not having a loud Saturday morning - did I mention I was the only one on the L&D floor?  There was a C-Section elsewhere, but I was the only one going through active labor.  I should also mention that the staff was absolutely wonderful; they definitely made the birthing experience great.

Here's a post partum photo of my eye. It doesn't hurt or bother me, just looks freaky, especially the first time I saw it in the mirror.  I also had a lot of small bursts on my neck, chest, and above my eye.  It'll heal up soon, just crazy what the pushing process can do!


  1. I have been waiting for this birth story. So excited for you, AJ, and Baby Aidan. I have a feeling I am going to have the quad pain too for a couple reasons. Please keep us updated. I need to add you on Facebook so we can talk about raising these Sept. babies in the near future.

  2. Good job, Mama! Sounds like he was a lot of work but I bet he was sure worth it, huh? Way to go! Welcome to the world, little one! So glad you chose to come at a time when your Papa could be there!