This is part 2 of Adeline’s birth story. (Click here for Part 1)
I checked into triage again, only to find out that I was at 5cm and 70% effaced- and it was almost 19 hours since active labor began. We got moved up to our labor & delivery room at Bethesda North and things started to go downhill. I struggled through contractions for the next few hours, it’s really all a blur. I wasn’t handling the labor well. I couldn’t relax my body to let the contractions do the work they were supposed to do. My body was exhausted, and the contractions were absolutely overpowering. At 5pm Daniel and I started to talk about getting an epidural and at 6pm, we started the process of getting one placed. I mentioned in my “birth preferences” post that I wanted to do this birth completely natural. I am astounded of how my body made it through 22+ hours of labor before I decided to get the epidural. I am SO happy that we made the decision to get the epidural, it made the rest of my labor and delivery experience SO positive.
Anyways, the epidural was placed, I was at 7cm and 90% effaced and I “labored” and even got in a few short naps. I am so very thankful that I didn’t beat myself up over getting an epidural. I knew going into labor that my end goal was a healthy baby and I hoped that would also be healthy at the end of he day. 7cm-10cm is the “transition” stage of labor, a notoriously difficult part of labor where the body prepares to bring baby into the world. I was so weak and mentally exhausted before the epidural, and again, I’m so thankful that I got a chance to gain back some strength and energy for bringing sweet Adeline into the world.
My epidural was started around 6pm, my water was broken around 11pm and I was at 9cm and 90%. At 1am I was fully dilated to 10cm and it was time to meet baby! My doctor, Dr. Wall was fantastic. He came about an hour before we started pushing and was just such a calming presence. He kept the lights in the room low (no huge, glaring exam light) and we tured on an Enya CD. I invited my mom, Daniel’s mom and his sister Becky to stay for the delivery. Daniel’s entire family had come up earlier on Sunday, but things were moving slowly and most had to get back to Louisville for work the following day. I’m so glad I got to share the experience of Adeline’s arrival with Trish and Becky and my Mom!
Anyways, we started pushing at 1am, I had a little bit of feeling in a nickel-sized area, so I could feel when a contraction was happening. During each contraction, I sucked in a huge breath, pushed for 10 seconds and immediately repeated twice more. I tried my best to give good, strong pushes. Time seemed to FLY by! My contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart during the pushing stage, so I had a lot of rest in between. Daniel, Trish and my mom took turns supporting one of my legs (you can’t feel/move your legs with an epidural) and I ended up pushing for a little over 1 hour. There was one big push followed by some smaller “grunting” pushes and our sweet Adeline entered the world at 2:14am on Monday, October 1, 2012.
Dr. Wall immediately placed Adeline on my chest, and she actually had the cord wrapped around her neck two times. It was really frightening at first to see my baby with a weird purple color, but once that cord was off of her neck, she pinked up right away. She cried for a few minutes but after we started talking to her, she calmed down and opened her eyes to explore her new world.
I did have a tear, but Dr. Wall did a marvelous job stitching me up and my healing is going well. Then it was time to deliver the placenta, the life source for our little girl. Dr. Wall left the umbilical cord attached tot he placenta until he was finished stitching, so baby got all of her precious cord blood. He delivered the placenta, and Daniel cut the umbilical cord.
Our little girl was fully in our world now, and I was in awe. Actually, I was probably in a bit of shock because I never cried at her birth (my “first tears” happened the next day). We passed our sweet girl around and stayed in the Labor and Delivery room for 2 hours before being moved down to Recovery. I was able to nurse Adeline in the delivery room, and I am thankful that we established the breastfeeding connection early. She has done FANTASTIC with eating, and I know that part of that is probably because we got started pretty early on in the game!
Daniel and I let Adeline go to the nursery on the first night, we were both exhausted. Those 3 hours of sleep were the most glorious zzzz’s I’ve ever gotten. Later Monday morning, we decided on her name.
Adeline Alexandria Cooper
“Noble defender of men”
6lbs, 11.2oz, 19.5 inches long
I’ll try to get a post up on how we chose her name!
So, in short, labor was long (8pm on Saturday till 1am on Monday), pushing was a fantastic experience (1.5 hours) and choosing to get an epidural was absolutely the best decision for me.
Recovery is going great- Adeline’s bilirubin levels were elevated when we left the hospital (on Tuesday afternoon), and they were high at her first pediatrician appointment the following day. We’re feeding her as much as possible and she’s making poo like a champ. We’re praying that everything gets back down to a good level, and miss Adeline is acting exactly as she should.
I’m feeling better and better each day. Today (day 4 post partum), I have minimal swelling and my stitches are healing nicely. We took Adeline to the dog park last night so Silas could burn off some energy and I walk at what seems like a snail’s pace. I’m just planning on slowly (VERY slowly) returning to more “normal” activities. Taking care of a baby takes a lot out of you! I plan on doing a monthly “Post Partum” update, we’ll see how that actually goes though! I’m just really proud of my body for feeling so great just a few days after her birth, and I’m still shocked at how much milk I am making!!! God has designed us in a wonderful way!
Okay, well I think I wrote enough for this post. We are so thrilled for Adeline to be in our lives, and thank you for letting me share her story of how she came into our world.