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12.17.2017

Unexpected: Aidan's Birth Story (Part 2)

After consulting with my ob-gyn, we decided that I would be induced on Saturday right on the Week 34 mark, since I had nearly no amniotic fluid left and the risk of an infection would outweigh the benefits of keeping him inside me once we went past the date. 

On Wednesday night, after two nights in the hospital, my sense of calm had given way to restlessness and I had to get up to use the toilet every hour. By the time morning broke, I had zero sleep and was completely exhausted. While I felt the pressure on my pelvis intensifying, the monitor never picked up any contractions, which was confusing. The doctor suspected I could have a urinary tract infection and ordered a urine test as well as a bowel ultrasound to see if something was amiss, but both tests came back negative.


The pressure built up to such an unbearable point by early evening that my initial whimpers had progressed to loud moaning every 10-15 minutes as I leaned over the hospital bed, not knowing what I was experiencing and unable to find a way to alleviate the pain. The best description I can think of is if you imagine someone pumping air into your bladder until it is at full capacity and not letting up.

The nurse who came on the evening shift became concerned about the distress I was in.

"What would you say your pain level is on a scale of 1 to 10?" she asked. 

I looked at her and replied, "I don't know... a 6?" as tears streamed down my face, realizing how arbitrary the number was since I had no idea what a 10 was supposed to feel like. 

"No, you're not," she said emphatically, "You're a 9.5!" 

She ran to page the doctor on call and the next thing I knew I was in a wheelchair on my way to Labor & Delivery. When they sat me down, my entire body started shaking uncontrollably and soon I was sobbing. 

"I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm crying," I apologized to the nurse, embarrassed by my lack of self-control. 

"Honey, you're about to have a baby, your body is in shock!" 

An entire team of people busied themselves to get set up, and what appeared like chaos was actually a carefully choreographed routine that they had performed many times over. You can only imagine my relief when the anesthesiologist introduced himself and asked if I wanted an epidural. While I had been on the fence about using pain medication, my response was an immediate "Yes!".

Once the epidural set in, a colossal wave of relief washed over me and for the first time in more than 24 hours I was finally able to relax. It was already late Thursday night at that point, and the nurse assigned to us kept telling me to sleep so that I'd have energy to push the baby out later, but I was too excited and couldn't stop talking (hah!).

The monitor had started picking up contractions by then but once again we were playing the waiting game until I was dilated enough. I had Andrew put HGTV on and we watched a ballerina search for her perfect apartment in Paris on House Hunters International, and as she danced her way through the episode I momentarily forgot that I was lying in a hospital bed about to have a baby ripped out of me.

As it turned out, my ob-gyn whom we adored was off duty that night and we were assigned to Dr. R, an older, no-nonsense type whom we had met briefly at the clinic and found intimidating. In the delivery room, however, she proved to be a comforting presence who made everything seem easy.

"Do you mind if we have a medical student come in to observe?" she asked. "Poor kid's been here all day and he hasn't seen a thing!"

If there's one thing I learnt after my stay in the hospital and being constantly examined, it was that nothing was sacred. I got used to frequently being in some state of undress, and the idea of inviting an uninvolved stranger to peer between my legs did not faze me as much as you think it would.

Although I had a button to control the amount of epidural to receive, Dr. R told me not to use it because she wanted me to feel enough to be able to push when the time came. "It's going to feel like you want to poop, and when that happens you let us know." 

When it was time, it was the strangest sensation, because there was no fluid protecting him and I felt every move he made- his arms, his legs, his head. With Dr. R in charge and her assistant and a wide-eyed student holding my legs up, I began to push and push and PUSH. Again, I had no idea what to expect, so I just kept pushing whenever I was told to for the next two hours. There may have been some farting and pooping involved in between, but such is the nature of childbirth!

Just when I thought I had run out of steam, the top of his head emerged. Eventually Dr. R's assistant reached inside me to gently pull him out of me, and he came out kicking and screaming, clean as a whistle. 

And so it was that at 1:29 a.m. on Friday morning, one day before I was supposed to be induced, our miracle baby son Aidan made his entrance into the world, all 18.5 inches, 5 lbs 4 oz of him with a full head of hair. He was, and still is, the most beautiful thing we had ever seen, and we are so grateful that God has entrusted him in our hands.

2 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! Congratulations Tricia and Andrew; we love Aidan already! Can't wait to meet this little man! xoxo

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  2. Thank you for sharing your birth story! God has a plan for everything <3 Congratulations on your sweet new baby!

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