My sweet little Sadie Kate is here. She’s been here a little over a two months and I have adored everything about her. Poopy diapers schmoopy diapers, have you ever seen how adorable a teensy weensy newborn diaper is? I hold back from “oohing” and “ahhing” every time I change her! Since I went about sharing the story of Hadley’s arrival into the world, I am happy to share the birth story of Sadie Kate. I will say as a disclaimer, this is probably one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, but it is a story that I can now look back on and feel empowered, thankful and blessed.
Friday, December 19th…Aaron, Hadley and I made a quick to trip to the mall for Christmas presents, and then we met my in-laws for pizza. Upon leaving, we all gathered and they prayed for me…that the baby would come that night. I had peace about going into labor whenever I would, because no matter what I was scheduled to be induced on Monday, the 22nd. I was not thrilled at the idea of being induced, but my doctor assured me that second time pregnancies have very smooth inductions. Well, that obviously never happened! 🙂
Every night I was still pregnant, I would re-clean the house, as I had this feeling I would go into labor in the middle of the night. That night, I opted to go to bed at an unusually late 11:45, and sure enough, right when I put my head on my pillow…contractions. Not the weak little guys that I thought were taunting me since Thanksgiving, but the real deal. I started timing them, and in the passing hour I had contractions every six minutes. I 100% knew I was in labor, so I gently tapped Aaron to wake him up. Sure enough, he shot straight up and looked out the window, ready to go downstairs and maul anyone that was trespassing. “Nope, it’s just me, your super-pregnant wife…in labor,” definitely said with laughter. Two of my mama friends had just sent me a text in our ongoing group-text, and so I asked them what they’d do if they were in labor. “A shower, a meal, and a picture of the bump for one last time.” Consider it done! Into the shower I hopped, blow-dried my hair, put on fresh makeup, and even some velcro rollers. Judge all you want, but it’s at least a nice sentiment going into childbirth feeling a little nice, right? Downstairs I went, pondering what would be the best thing to make that’d fill me up and give me energy, and the winner was…oatmeal! By now, it was about 2am, and Aaron was anxious to have his dad come (to watch Hadley, as that is the luxury of baby #1 is being able to go to the hospital whenever you want, but once your nest starts to fill, you have to have someone willing to come any time of the night to watch your other babies…thank goodness for an always-happy father-in-law!) My contractions began playing tricks on me and they’d either be 9 minutes apart and 1 intense minute, or 4 minutes apart and a piece of cake. I called the hospital and they suggested coming when they were 3-5 minutes apart.
By 4:30am, Aaron made the executive decision it was time to go. I could’ve held out longer, but they were in the 4 minute range, so I obliged. By 5am we were checked in and I was in triage. I was only measuring a 3, so my nurse gave me an extra gown to cover my backside, some skid-proof socks, and instructed me to walk laps around the labor and delivery ward for 40 minutes. I was a little frustrated, as I knew I was going to have her, but because of the lack of dilating and the lack of my water breaking, Aaron and I hit the walking trail. *I should add that I am one who does not express pain unless it is absolutely killing me…torture status. I do not like screaming, crying, or being loud, it makes me feel worse, so I am someone who likes to be quiet and breathe things out. 40 minutes later, I head back to triage, where she checks me with a shocked look on her face. She said something along the lines of, “Wow, you’re a 6, which I really wasn’t expecting, I actually thought I was going to send you home. I saw you walking and you didn’t even look uncomfortable.” Who knows when they are in labor? This one right here. 🙂
By 6:15am, I head to my birthing room, optimistic of what’s to come. It was incredibly peaceful and quiet in the hospital, opposite of the night I had Hadley, which the nurses had nicknamed, “Laborgeddon.” One nurse wasn’t even supposed to help me but ended up wanting to help by putting my iv in. I would say the iv is my least favorite part of going to the hospital (until what’s to come,) and sure enough, my lovely, big, “earthworm” rolling veins failed me, and she missed…badly. I hold back tears, and she left, a little frustrated at my veins. My nurse attempts it on the other side, and she gets it perfectly. She says I am already at a 7, and asks if I’d like my epidural. I wasn’t in as much pain as I felt I’d need for an epidural, but my worst fear my whole pregnancy was that my epidural would not work, or my labor would go too quickly to be able to get an epidural, so I said yes. I had such a positive experience with my epidural during Hadley’s birth and at this point I was ready to feel a little more comfortable.
It was getting close to 7am, when the anesthesiologist came in…and I got a little nervous. I just wanted to make sure the epidural worked just like it did with Hadley, so I stayed as calm and motionless as possible. As it was being administered, it felt as if most of it was on my left side. I let them know that it felt like a one-sided epidural, but I also know that you need to give it a little time to work. Upon his shift ending, I got a new nurse and a new anesthesiologist. My new nurse’s name was Sarah, and she was simply lovely.
Sarah and I talked for a little bit, and I told her I didn’t think my epidural was really working, that I could still feel a lot. She needed to check me as well as put in a catheter, to which when she did both of those things I showed a lot of pain. She felt so bad, and immediately sent for the new anesthesiologist, as she said I shouldn’t feel any pain from either of those two things. My new anesthesiologist was a very kind woman, who showed a lot of empathy and concern in making me feel as comfortable as possible. She and Sarah talked about the possibility of re-administering the epidural if need be, but she was going to attempt a bolus of the epidural solution first. After she did this, I did feel more relief, and was thankful, as it was now passing 8am, and I hadn’t had an ounce of sleep, on top of being in labor all night long. She and I spent time talking to each other, we talked about our families, our pets, and she told me that she has four yorkies—my mom overheard this, and they instantly became friends.
With each passing minute, I started to feel everything all over again. I still handled myself quietly, but my mom began to notice how uncomfortable I was during each contraction. She would calmly tell me how good of a job I did with each one, and would tell everyone to be quiet. It was pretty amazing actually, she brought me a lot of comfort and peace—Aaron is always comforting to me, but there’s something about my your mom there, as she knows what the pain I am feeling is like and can really put herself in my shoes. It was around 8:30 that the pain and exhaustion I was feeling became best friends, and I quietly started to cry. Sarah immediately notices, and calls for the anesthesiologist again. While we waited, she checked me…I was at a 9! I then cried more, as aside from the numb legs (the worst part of the epidural) I felt every ounce of pain that was taking place in my body. I was scared and tired…the exhaustion was overwhelming as was every contraction that came, I would involuntarily close my eyes to try to sleep but get immediately woken up by another one getting ready to happen. The doctor came in and expressed how sorry she was that the epidural didn’t take, and the last thing she could do for me was give me morphine. “But I need the epidural to work. I don’t know how to do a natural childbirth. I can’t do this.” Those are the things I said through my crying. She gave me the morphine…and it didn’t do a single thing. I still can’t believe it. In fact, I felt worse after getting it. The doctor on call came in and assured me I will do an amazing job, to where I say, “But no, my epidural isn’t working…I have to have the epidural.” And then I cried my little quiet sad tears again. She began the process of breaking my water with a gigantic looking knitting needle, to which my body said, “Nope” and my water broke on its own. She left to see another patient, and Sarah began prepping me to get ready for pushing. My friends who had natural childbirths informed me of the urgency to push…that it is an uncontrollable feeling that you absolutely must push. I felt this. I know this. I believe this. I told Sarah that I didn’t want to be prepped and I asked if the doctor could come back, that I felt the need to push…now! She brought her back in and thankfully they got everything set up right away. With Aaron to my left, my mom to my right, and the bright lights above me, I couldn’t do anything but close my eyes, cry and breathe.
I pushed for what felt like five minutes or less. It was the most intense feeling I could ever imagine. Aaron and my mom would gently cheer for me with the progress I made, telling me what they could see. A mirror was offered to me, but I was already sad and scared enough, I didn’t want to see. What was going through my mind while pushing out my baby: I just want my baby to be safe and on my chest, I can’t believe I am feeling all of this, I can’t believe how different this labor is than Hadley’s, I hope I am okay after this is all over, I am so tired. After two intense pushes to get her shoulders and body out, my baby was placed on my chest at 10:44am. A full head of hair, and chubby cheeks, in all my delirious glory I believe this first thing I said was, “I am sorry I was such a big baby during all of this!” My newest baby took a jump in weight and was a healthy 8lbs4oz and 20.25 inches long, compared to Hadley’s 7lbs and 20 inches long. This time around I got to experience the “golden hour” of uninterrupted skin-to-skin snuggling, which is one of the most heavenly things after just having a baby.
To this day I cannot believe that I delivered my baby naturally (minus all the drugs that did not work.) The first day I scared Aaron by telling him I couldn’t go through that again, that I was traumatized from that experience, but of course thankful that Sadie and I were perfectly fine. The doctor who delivered Sadie visited with me and said the kindest things about how well I did. She told me that I would most likely recover even better than I did with my first birth, because with feeling the magnitude of every contraction, I didn’t over-exert my body. She also encouraged me to look into having a start-to-finish natural birth if I have a third, because I now know what I am capable of doing. 🙂
I worried how I could possibly love my new baby as much as Hadley. To that worry, I can now laugh. I believe our hearts have the ability to hold love for every baby, loved one or friend, that comes into our lives, and I am so thankful it does. I absolutely adore our new baby Sadie, she is a perfect fit into our family. She quickly got her own narrative voice I make for every member of our family, including the dog, she has a theme song, and even more important, her big sister is her biggest fan. Whenever Hadley goes up to Sadie, she uses a high-pitched baby voice and says, “Awwww, baby.” <3 I am thankful for the experience I had in bringing her into the world, it showed me what my body is capable of doing, and how worth it all my precious baby is.