Looking back at Christmas morning 2017 seems like a lifetime ago. That's the day we found out we were pregnant... And to think all along it was Addison James. Our sweet baby boy came into this world on September 14, 2018 with a bang. He weighed 6lb 15oz and was 19.75in long. He is pure perfection and I can't help but stare at him in disbelief that he's all ours. Our birth plan went nothing like we planned. It was the craziest day of our lives and I'm just so happy everything worked out. I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason and God put me where I needed to be. I wanted to share my story with you babes... A birth story - Addison James style.
I started having contractions Tuesday morning. I knew right away it was a different feeling, but at 40 weeks 5 days pregnant I didn't want to get my hopes up. The contractions were steady throughout the day, but dropped off at night and weren't too close together. Wednesday morning I felt them again. This time a bit stronger, however still not overly consistent or anything to have Kirby stay home from work for. Once Thursday came around, I knew things we progressing.
My contractions were slowly but surely becoming stronger and closer together. By the time evening hit Kirby and I looked at each other knowing we would have a baby in our arms soon. By far the craziest, scariest and most exciting feeling ever. My mucus plug had come out Wednesday evening, but my water still had not broke. I highly recommend laboring at home for as long as possible because it's a comforting location. We hung out in the bedroom once the contractions became really painful. We kept working through them together and it's a moment I will never forget.
Wanting to Get to the Birth Center
My contractions had been 4-6 minutes apart for an hour and at that point I had Kirby call the midwife. We had already been in contact with our doula (who is my best friend from high school) and kept her in the loop of everything. My midwife notified Kirby that we needed to keep laboring at home until the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart for an hour period. Woofta. I was scared and in so much pain. Labor is the most exhausting and unreal thing I have ever gone through in my life. It's really true when people say you will know when it's happening.
Around 2:30 am I felt lethargic and sooo tired. This next pat is so not glamours, but I want to share the whole story. I puked 3 times all over the bathroom floor. Like, all over. Once I started puking Kirby called the midwife again because at that point we had reached the timing she had noted. She immediately told us to come in and at 3am we were off to the birth center. No one talks about the car ride to the birth location. It is not fun being in labor in the car whatsoever. I highly recommend choosing somewhere 20 minutes or less from your home. I also recommend making a birth playlist because those songs are the things that kept me afloat in the car.
Once we arrived at the birth center it seemed like everything had progressed even more. The pains were constant and I felt like nothing I did could make me that comfortable. At least not for a long period, obviously. We checked my blood pressure and unfortunately it was high. I actually had high blood pressure at my 40 week appointment for the firs time in all of my pregnancy. So when it was high at this point my midwife recommend we send it in for testing along with my urine. From taking the tests and getting them back it was a 2 hour period of laboring.
I am so happy I was at the birth center for all of this. It was such a peaceful location with only Kirby, me, our doula and our midwife in the room. I was able to do my thing with walking around, getting on and off the bed, going to the bathroom, getting in the birthing tub and more. Again, it's moments I will never forget.
Sadly, when we got the tests back my midwife had to bring me the bad news. My blood pressure was high again and had a high protein level in my urine so they determined I was a candidate for preeclampsia. So with that, I needed to transfer to the hospital. Luckily, the birth center is right across the street from the hospital. That was partly why we choose it. However, when you're 8 centimeters dilated, a drive around the block seems like a lifetime.
Hospital Here We Come
The moments of transferring seemed to move so slow. I just felt so out of my body through the whole process. It was the worst when we arrived because I had to leave Kirby in order for him to park the car. I was luckily with two midwives who I knew and trusted. Getting wheeled through the hospital while in labor is something I hope I never need to go through again. Immediately when I arrived in the room I feel like 15 people were around me. Hooking me up to different machines, testing a million things and overall freaking me out. I was in so much pain and wasn't too sure of what was going on.
I was notified then that Addison's heart rate and movement had dropped. Nurses had me moving from my side, to my back, to me knees and so much more to see if we could make something happen. Nothing. At this point Kirby walked in and I think was in as much shock as me with the amount of people surrounding me. The doctor came over to me and looked at me... "We're going to have to move you into an emergency c-section". Whoa. I feel like this scene is stuck in my head forever. I was terrified for me, Addison and the unknown.
The biggest concern was Addison, obviously. Doctors weren't sure how long his heart rate and movement had been down and that wasn't good. Since I was rushed into surgery I wasn't given the option of just an epidural. I had to be put under which was again, really scary. Kirby wasn't allowed to come into the surgery room with me either. I was terrified, in the most pain of my life and had no idea really what to expect.
Once in the room, I was surrounded by even more people and everyone was moving so quickly. My midwife held my hand and played music in my ear for as long as she was able to. My oxygen mask was removed and the mask for with anesthesia was put on. The doctor was really sweet and just kept rubbing my head to help calm me down. My eyes felt as though they were as big as could be. I just remember asking, "Is my baby going to be okay?"
With an emergency c-section where anesthesia is in play it's really intense. The second the anesthesia hits me they have to make the incision because none of the anesthesia can hit the baby. I'm thankful for where I was and for all the doctors and nurses who helped in delivering Addison safely. However, to say this was 100% opposite than our natural birth plan is an understatement.
Since I was put under anesthesia, after birth was so different than I would have ever imagined. When I came to, I remember Kirby walking around the corner and the first thing I said was, " What did we have?!". He immediately said, "A boy", then I immediately said, "Addison James!". It was love at first sight. When he was put on my chest I just couldn't believe he was all ours. The moment I had waited so long for was here and the human we created was perfect.
Although all of that was good, I wasn't so with it. Aside from that very moment, Friday is a complete blur. I would come in and out of conversation until about 6 or 7pm at night. I didn't really know what was going on, where Addison was and what just happened. I am a no medicine kind of girl. Like, ever. So this was a really weird thing for me, for Kirby to see and for my parents to take in.
My Sweet Baby
Aside from my issues, little Addison had low blood sugar and was immediately taken to the speciality care unit after he had seen me. Thankfully low blood sugar is one of the easiest and least worrisome things, but that didn't make it any easier. The whole weekend was full of wins and loses + tears and smiles. We were hopeful to go home Monday, but Addison's sugar had dropped without the IV so we had to replace it again. I bawled my eyes out and just wanted my baby home and unhooked from 5+ wires. On top of that, my blood pressure was high again so I didn't even get discharged Monday. Woof. Looking back it's just insane how we are now home and healthier than ever.
Watching my newly born son get pricked every 3 hours was just the worst. Having to leave his side was even harder. I just still can't believe everything we went through as a family in the first 5 days. Our hospital stay seems like a lifetime ago, but we really just got home a week ago. Life is crazy with a newborn. It's so true how people say there is nothing like a child to put time into perspective.
In this whole situation I have decided to choose happiness overall. As you know, my motto is 'Happiness is a Mindset', and that's all I can continually tell myself when looking back. No, my birth plan did not work out like we had hoped. I didn't get to have those precious moments right after birth with my sweet baby boy. I wasn't given the choice of delivering vaginally and I don't even have memories of what happened in that moment he entered the world. How I view birth has completely changed through this experience.
I could sit here and feel cheated. If I wanted to, I could cry and be sad about how everything worked out. Each moment could be dwelled upon as a negative and questioned to God, "Why? Why did this happen?" How do so many other women get those moments I dreamed of and I didn't? However, my thought process is... What's the point?
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good" - Psalm 106:1
I have a healthy, happy and living baby boy in my arms. I got everything I truly wished for and more. Life never really works out how you planned it and I'm okay with that. Yes, I think of those moments from time to time and get a bit bummed. Then I turn my cheek and look at Addison. My goal in life was to have babies with the man of my dreams and I just achieved that. I started my little family and I couldn't be happier. Without twists and turns in your life plan there is no growth. Kirby and I have fallen more in love with each other through this whole process. Our bond is stronger than ever and I am so thankful for that. I don't think I could ever look back on anything that happened negatively because I wouldn't be right where I am today without it.