Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adalyn's birth story.

Adalyn Reese
8lbs 1 oz
20 1/2 in

I'm writing this from the hospital bed, because I feel myself already forgetting everything that happened. In fact, I know it's slipping from my mind because it takes me and Mark to remember the events accurately. So I thought I'd better get this down before it became one big blur :]

So my water broke at 5:30am on Wednesday morning - the day before her scheduled induction. I felt a small gush of fluid, and my eyes popped open. I was sure of what it was, so I looked over in bed and realized that Mark had already left! I reached for my phone, and then a huge gush came out. I called him and thankfully he was downstairs and hadn't actually left the house yet. Whew! After calling my midwife, showering, and packing the last-minute items, we headed out the door to the hospital.

We arrived, got checked, and I was still only a finger-tip dilated and 80% effaced. Not what I wanted to hear, but okay. They started me on Cytotec. I would have had Cervidil if I had to have been induced. But, since I was on a time crunch (risk of infection due to water breaking), they went with that. I started contracting fairly regularly, but the pain was totally tolerable, and I walked the hallways with Mark. After my two hours of Cytotec was "up," I got re-checked and was still only a finger-tip dilated. You have got to be kidding me. So then I got an enema.

Which, let me say, sucked. Really bad. That brought on pretty hard contractions. By that time, I was breathing heavy through them. Not talking. Doing the baby dance with Mark. Swaying. Moaning. It was rough. I hated that blasted birthing ball. I hated being on my hands and knees. I just wanted to stand and lean on Mark through every contraction. This went on for about 4 hours [so I was contracting for a total of 6 hours] and got re-checked. I was a 1-2cm. OMG! Gah!

At this point, two of my midwives suggested I be put on pitocin since I had to deliver within 24 hours because of infection risks. I was really holding it together, but I was dying inside. It wouldn't have been so bad if the contractions were making me dilate. But they weren't. I was having contractions every 2 minutes, and they were doing NOTHING. So Pitocin it was. And they jacked me full of fluid, and then I was restricted to that stupid bed.

And then I made the decision to get an epidural, and I cried. A lot. I seriously felt like a failure, and that my birthing "plan" was out the window. It just wasn't what we wanted. But whatever. We got the epidural, and then I felt like I was on cloud 9. Contractions were booming! And I didn't feel a thing. Within 3 hours, I felt like I had to poop - so I knew her head was RIGHT there. I asked to be checked, and I was at a 9, +1 station. Hooray! Obviously, pit worked its wonders.

Somewhere during all of this, my blood pressure started going all over the place, and I would get dizzy and feel weak. In fact, my blood pressure is still kinda iffy, but it's alright. Also, by this point, I was STARVING and my stomach was growling insanely loud. I was getting so nauseous from hunger that I began throwing up... and didn't stop until she was born.

But back to the story:

Around 7, I was able to do a few practice pushes. I was doing so so so well with those, because I could oddly feel everything "down there." I made her move down a lot and was feeling wonderful about it. At 8, my midwife walked in and things got going. And when I say they "got going," I mean that they suddenly took a dive for the worst. All of a sudden, I got a fever of 101. Not good. I was feeling nauseous, but I was still able to push. I started out semi-on my back [not really.. It was more like sitting?] and my WONDERFUL husband and photographer, Lindsay, held back my legs. I made lots and lots of progress. We then switched to the sideline position and, again, great progress. And then we noticed that our sweet daughter pooped inside me.


During all of this, I'd stop and puke a little, and then went back to pushing. We did hands and knees pushing, squatting, and my all time favorite: two people holding up my legs, and Mark holding a sheet and pulling against me so that I would pull a sheet and push at the same time. Hard to explain, but it worked wonders. Meanwhile, our baby's heart rate started to skyrocket and she wasn't looking too hot. Around 9, my sister and mom walked in, and that was great!

And by this point, I could feel everything. I felt the ring of fire, I felt myself tear, I felt her move down [and scoot back up every time I'd take a breath of air between pushes..] and it was horrible. But I worked with my body and pushed effectively. Eventually, she was getting pretty stuck. She was sunny side up with the cord around her neck, and she just wasn't budging. My midwife eventually gave me "one more push" before she called the doctor in to use forceps or the vacuum, because my baby was in serious distress with a high heart rate and meconium.

So that was all it took, and I pushed her out!

And then they whisked her over to the station of nurses and the hospital pediatrician on call and I watched my baby be pumped for 5 minutes. They put tubes down her throat and nose and sucked everything out. They wiggled her and jostled her and put an oxygen mask on her. For 5 minutes we all just stared at her, and I was freaking out inside. Well, "freaking out" is an understatement. It was pretty horrific, but eventually she did cry, and Mark was able to bring her to me. I only got to spend a little while with her, because she had to go to the nursery and be completely checked out [for like 4 hours..] and get a TON of blood work and tests run because of the meconium.


Long story short: Today she is fine and dandy. All her blood work and tests came back absolutely normal, and she's great! We pretty much had to teach ourselves to breastfeed, because they handed her to me at 3am and it was just me, Mark, and our daughter. The football hold is our favorite, and she's doing fantastic. She hasn't left my sight all day long, which is exactly what we want. Right now she's laying in her bassinet and rooting, so that's my call!

I really feel like I'm leaving out major details of our birth story. I'll have Mark read it in the morning and see if I forgot anything. It was absolutely the most traumatic experience ever and I hate that her life got such a rough start. But, thankfully, she's healthy and okay! And that's all that matters, ultimately. I didn't get the natural birth I wanted.. mostly due to my water breaking and me just not progressing at ALL, despite everything I tried. We're okay with it. At first, I wasn't. But when I look at our daughter, wiggling around in her Miracle Blanket, I just don't really care about all the interventions anymore :]

We're totally in love with her :]

PS. Our friend and birth photographer, Lindsay, blogged about Adalyn's birth HERE

^there's the link. in case you want it.

I forgot to mention how awesomely amazing my husband was during birth. He seriously kept me alive. Words can't even describe it and he shocked every single person in the room. I've never in my life seen a doula work better than him. I'm pretty sure he should take up a second job as a doula ;] I'll blog about THAT some other time. But he's truly amazing and I'm insanely in love with the father of my child.


  1. I've been waiting for this all day lol! No matter how the birth went you are not a failure because you brought that precious baby into this world:) I know so many things can go wrong and I know all about being terrified while they recussitate your baby(happened with jakk) so glad she's doing great...she's beautiful...and the pics of your little family are priceless:) mark looks so proud:)

  2. Wow Shannon!
    I'm sorry you didn't get the exact birthing method you wished for, but in the end, you came out with one heckuva beautiful child.
    We were all thinking of you yesterday and Mom says 'You rock girl!' I came out face up too and Mom says the back labor made her want to put her head through the wall...
    I'm in awe of what the female body can do and I can't wait to see more pictures of Pretty Addie at home with Mommy and Daddy!

  3. Oh my goodness!! Sounds like you two had quite the rough day. But, I'm glad both of you are doing well. Plus, she's a cutie!!

  4. I know exactly how you feel about things not going how you wanted them to....if you need someone to talk to about any of it, please don't hesitate! Your story is beautiful and I am so glad that she is doing well. I can see God's faithfulness throughout the whole process. Isn't it just like meeting your daughter for the first time to remind you of all the important things?

  5. What a beautiful birth story. :) Adalyn is precious and it doesn't matter how she came into this world....she's here! Enjoy your time as a new family of three!

  6. Congratulations! Adalyn is beautiful! :D

  7. Yay! I've been checking every day for the past few days and she is now here! She is absolutely beautiful. And you, momma, are NO failure at all.

  8. Wow. Shannon as I read that tears started streaming down my face. How wonderful and precious. Things don't always turn out the way we plan (we know this all too well in the past little bit)but they always turn out the way God planned. Such a beautiful daughter and I pray my husband will be just like Mark when our little miracle is born in April! Love ya!

  9. such a precious story. I love this, I love you and I love your precious Adalyn. :)

  10. Oh my goodness! Congratulations!! She's SO CUTE! I had a very similar birth story to yours the first time around...water breaking first, meconum, epidural, etc. I hope the moment you laid eyes on her is forever burned in your memory. Enjoy these days, they pass by quickly and will one day be the "best days of your life". Trust me ;)

  11. Congratulations, Shannon; she is absolutely gorgeous. You and Mark created quite the little bundle. God's blessings!!!!!

  12. Congrats Shannon! She is an absolute angel! Sorry to hear things were so rough, but thank heavens your both alright! ;) Can't wait to hear more about little Adalyn!

  13. Oh she's so beautiful Shannon, those eyes are gorgeous!

    I'm so sorry you didn't get the birth you wanted but as you say she's here and she's perfect in every way, so it doesn't really matter. Don't beat yourself up over having the epidural, no-one knows how they're going to feel when the big day arrives.

    Congratulations Shannon, I can't wait to read all about your life as a mom.

  14. So glad the Cox's are well and healthy. :) Way to go, getting this up so soon! Super mommy!!! ;)

  15. Sounds almost identical to my first baby's birth. Meconium, vomiting, epidural, same birth weight, and length. My baby girl will be 10 in January. Congrats she's super beautiful!

  16. You are Woman! I Hear you Roar! You're so strong! I'm glad you put every little detail in there. She's precious and your story about your husband made me get teary! I'm happy for you!