Addie Jo’s Birth Story
One of the most miraculous things you can experience in life is bringing a child, your very own child, into this world. From that first pregnancy test, to the first cry, to their first steps; it’s one beautiful and continuous journey. A journey full of excitement, exhaustion, laughter, and tears. I am so excited to kick off our Birth Story Series with the wonderful tale of the pregnancies and births of my two beautiful angels. Today I will be sharing the story of my pregnancy and the birth of my first daughter.
I had been married almost two months when I saw those two pink lines appear on the pregnancy test. I had woken up, felt a little off and decided to take a test. I should include that it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to feel “different” and take a pregnancy test. I REALLY wanted to get pregnant right away so I had taken lots of pregnancy tests since we got married. Anyways, this specific morning I peed on the stick, waited and went back in the bathroom. I couldn’t believe it! It was actually positive! I stared at for awhile and then called Brady (my husband). I used the pregnancy calculator and I based off my period I was due May 1st (my actual due date ended up being May 9th), making me about 6 weeks along. We were beyond thrilled to be pregnant and me being my overly optimistic self was giddy that I didn’t have morning sickness. A couple days later I woke up and the morning sickness had arrived. It was awful! Wake up - puke, go to work - puke, come home - puke. Up until about 16 weeks I battled morning sickness, making everyone in my life a little queasy with my constant gagging and vomiting. Once my nausea and vomiting subsided I thoroughly enjoyed the next couple weeks.
Unfortunately at 29 weeks I went into preterm labor. I spent the next couple weeks in and out of the hospital getting put on meds to try stop the labor. Despite the medications I was receiving I continued to contract constantly. Other moms told me I was just experiencing Braxton Hicks, but trust me.. they were NOT measly Braxton Hicks! I was seeing multiple doctors and each had their own reasoning for the constant contracting. Around 34 weeks I started itching. Not just the normal pregnancy itching like my doctor and friends were telling me it was, but kept me up all night clawing at myself in the shower type of itching. For weeks I was miserable, itching and contracting and begging my doctor to induce me. Nothing was done until May 3rd, when my mom picked me up from my house and I was complaining to her about my night of sitting on the bathroom floor just clawing my hands and feet til they were almost bleeding. This seriously concerned my mom, so once we got to her house she did a little googling and made me call the OB office and tell them my symptoms. They immediately had me come in and did bloodwork and there it was, ICP - Intrahepatic Choleostasis of Pregnancy. My liver and gallbladder were shutting down and no longer processing the bile in my body, therefore putting it into my bloodstream and sending it into my tiny unborn baby. With ICP the chances of having a stillborn are increased especially the further along in the pregnancy you are. I was trying extremely hard not to panic that my sweet baby was going to die before she was born, I had just learned of this disease and there was barely any information available for me to read about what was happening to me. Thankfully that very same day I was induced. I left the hospital and called my husband, Brady. We met at home, grabbed my bags and then rode to the hospital together. I clearly remember that drive, we were both so excited that we were suddenly on our way to bring a new member into our little family! We got to the hospital around 4 pm on May 3rd and they started me on Pitocin. Our nurse asked if we had a name picked out and we kind of looked at each other and then told her we liked the name Addie. She wrote it in HUGE letters across a white board in the room. Once she left we kind of chuckled and said, “well, hopefully she looks like an Addie!”
As they continued to up my dosage my contractions continued to worsen in my back but were still extremely irregular and never taking a break. Through the night I rarely saw my nurse and Brady got to spend hours massaging my back to try relieve some of the pain. Finally at 7 am at they had the shift change, our new nurse came on and she was a rockstar! She came in and introduced herself and immediately began working me into different positions to help with the back labor pain. I was so exhausted already from being up all night in pain that I was giddy with the attention and help I was receiving. They checked me and the pitocin had hardly done anything. When I had came into the hospital I had been dilated to about a 3 and was only at a 4 after hours of pitocin. Addie wasn’t engaged so they were nervous to break my water incase of a prolapsed cord (where the cord comes out before baby and then gets pinched off when baby comes down). My doctor decided to go for it and the resident doctor broke my water. It wasn’t the huge endless gush that they had explained it to be though. There was the first initial gush, then it kind of dwindled down to nothing. My contractions got a little worse, but nothing seemed to really be happening. Around 1 pm my OB doctor, Kathy, came back in to check me. While she was checking me she realized there was a second bag of water! She broke it with her fingers and this one was the insane flood of liquid that just kept coming! My nurse told me that a reason for having two bags of water could have been that I was actually pregnant with twins and I lost the other one before it was very old. After they broke my water the back pain was getting so intense we decided to have me try get in the bath to relieve the pain. Brady helped me in and about two seconds after I was in I was scrambling to get out screeching in pain! The SERIOUS contractions were here! Brady hurriedly got me out and back to the bed and called the nurse. They came and called the anesthesiologist to come give me my epidural. We discovered that with my irritable uterus my contractions weren’t taking a break and so when one would finally end another one was starting. I laid on the bed with one nurse trying to keep addies heart on the monitor, and trying to help me hold still an breathe through the constant contractions, and Brady holding my hand. The epidural went in fabulously and I couldn’t believe it when the pain disappeared. I fell asleep within mere minutes of receiving the epidural and slept for about an hour. I woke up with the sun shining on my face, my body pain free, and cozy warm in the bed. Kathy came in and checked me and I was at a 9.5. My anxious father who had been driving around the hospital came in and visited with Brady and I for a bit and then left again once we were getting ready to push. All the nurses, the resident doctor, and my OB doctor came in and started preparing the room. I was so nervous yet so thrilled to be so close to bringing the little human I had been growing for months into this world! My epidural had begun to wear off and I was advised to not push the button as the more feeling I had the easier it would be to push.
Around 3:40 pm I was told to start pushing! My doctor kept warning me that first babies may take a lot longer than we would like, so I was mentally trying to prepare myself for hours more of laboring. As I was pushing we began to lose Addies heart beat. Since I was constantly contracting we would just push every third contraction and in between I was put on oxygen and had to try relax to help take some of the stress off my little Addie. After about a half hour of pushing Kathy yelled, “I see hair! So much dark hair!” She begged me to feel the top of her, which I profusely refused to do as I was quite terrified with all that was happening, so she grabbed my hand and placed it on the top of addies head. My heart stopped. I couldn’t believe what I was actually feeling, a tiny little head, MY babies tiny little head. Just as Kathy had hoped that gave me the extra encouragement I needed for those last couple pushes! As Addie was about to come out Kathy explained how she had just read an article about putting your legs completely straight for the last couple pushes and it would supposedly reduce the chance of hearing, she asked if I would be willing to try. I more than willingly agreed as the idea of not tearing was right up my alley. A couple more pushes and they put my legs straight.
At 4:19 pm on May 4th 2017, out she came with a nice loud cry, my heart raced at a million beats per minute as they placed her on my chest. A chubby, healthy, beautiful, dark haired baby girl. I couldn’t believe she was ours. I just stared at her, laughing and crying at the same time. Right away she moved down and tried to start eating. She had her tiny hand wrapped around her daddy’s finger. My heart had never felt so much love. We continued to beam down at our sweet angel, unaware of the fact that I happened to be hemorrhaging. After the doctors got the bleeding slowed and Brady had taken Addie I got up to try use the restroom. I was helped into the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and seriously vomited my guts out. I had lost too much blood and was extremely nauseated. We were moved to our postpartum room and there we began our new lives with our beautiful baby girl! Little did we know 17 months later we would be in the exact same hospital doing it all over again to bring another baby girl into our family. You can read more about that tomorrow!
And here’s our Addie Jo now! A wonderful big sister!🖤