Part II – Birth Story: An Early Arrival

Aldric Birth Story
When It All [Unknowingly] Began –

I was at my 36 week doctor appointment. My blood pressure was in the high-normal range. And the doctor was helping me sit up after checking the baby’s heart rate which was healthy and strong as ever.

As I was sitting up, my back twinged with pain. I asked the doctor if lower back pain and pressure was normal at this stage of pregnancy. He said it was. So, I shrugged it off, assuming I must’ve just sat up too quickly in my uncomfortably pregnant state of being.

The doctor proceeded to surprise me by saying we should start thinking about an induced labor happening at 38- or 39-weeks. Basically, with my gestational diabetes and my blood pressure being a bit unpredictable, it’d be best to play it safe. That way we would have a better chance at keeping everything under control to prevent any further — more severe — complications from arising.

It was hard to disagree with my doctor’s logic. After all, a healthy baby and a healthy mama are the end goal of every pregnancy. So, if it meant an induced labor a few weeks early, then so be it! Unfortunately, that knowledge didn’t keep me from feeling apprehensive. “Only two or three weeks away?!,”  I thought. (Ha – not even close, joke was on me!)

As we left the doctor’s office, I remember looking across the street and seeing the hospital. I couldn’t help but wonder what was in store for my future…

Aldric Birth Story 3

A Tough Decision –

My brain was churning all the way home from the doctor’s office. Honestly, I never thought I’d carry the baby to 40 weeks. I always thought this baby would come early. But to think that versus hear that from a doctor are two completely different things!

So, the whole drive home I was obsessing over how I was supposed to pick a birth date for my baby. It felt so unnatural – and came with so much pressure! I called my mom, not letting her in on the news, asking her to send me a picture of the birthday calendar…you know, so I could “update it with the new birthdays in the family.” (A likely story!)

Anyway, that night was pretty typical, nothing out of the ordinary. I was feeling uncomfortably pregnant, but that’d started up the week before. So, nothing new there…

We went to bed at our normal time, midnight. And I remember just restlessly laying in bed, mulling over how I was supposed to pick a birth date. Finally, after about 30 minutes of getting nowhere on my own, I said a prayer: “God, please just let this baby come whenever he or she needs to.”

And wouldn’t you know it…

Aldric Birth Story 6

A Sleepless Night –

Just a few minutes later, as I was finally drifting off to sleep, my water broke. I was a little taken aback and dumbfounded to say the least! (Like…really, God, really?! I didn’t mean ASAP!)

The gurgling sound and gushing fluid had sent my heart racing. My eyes immediately popped open in shock, but the rest of my body seemed to have become paralyzed by fear and uncertainty.

In a previous post, Pregnancy: A Roller Coaster, you might remember I was extremely anxious to make it to the full-term milestone. Unfortunately, at 36 weeks 3 days, I didn’t quite make it there. However, thirty-seven weeks is considered early full-term, so as far as premie babies go, thirty-six weeks is as good as it gets! (Hallelujah!)

(I’ve done a little research since, and if I had to take a stab at diagnosing what happened…I’d say it was a Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM). As for why, that’s less clear.)

Aldric Birth Story 2

Quiet Panic & Serene Chaos –

The thirty minute drive from our home to the hospital felt very surreal. The sky was pitch black and filled with stars, and the roads were empty. For the majority of the drive I was in a quiet panic. So many thoughts were running through my head that it was basically just white noise. There was, however, one thought that kept surfacing:

“Wow, so this is it, one of the biggest moments of my life — it’s finally happening, and it’s happening right now.”

If you’re a daydreamer like me, you’ve often wondered how your life story will turn out. In this case, it meant I’d played out a ton of labor and delivery scenarios in my head. So, when the time came for one of those scenarios to play out, it felt like time itself started to slow down. Every minute was being taken in, savored and remembered it for all it was worth.

Except, the funny thing is…time doesn’t slow down. If anything, when things get interesting, time seems to speed up. Which in turn makes everything feel so fleeting and hard to grasp.

And that’s what my labor experience felt like — a time paradox; a serene chaos, if you will. Somehow, all at once, time inched and flew by…

Once we arrived, we got out of the car, and stared up a the hospital…wondering what scenario was about to unfold, who we’d meet, and what life was going to be like once we returned to the car to head home. We kissed one last time and held hands as we walked into the Emergency Room.

Aldric Birth Story 7

To Epidural or Not To Epidural –

Early on in my pregnancy, I had decided not to make a birth plan. There were just too many possible scenarios to consider, and if I’d learned anything from pregnancy it was that there was no telling what would happen! So, I decided to just go with the flow and accept whatever was coming my way.

Well, 10 hours of labor, and 2 hours of pushing later…here is a list of the three most surprising things that came my way during labor:

1) A Painful IV Placement –

My veins decided to hide from the nurses as they tried to hook me up to an IV. Believe it or not, I got stabbed so many times and had so many veins blow, that getting the IV put in was one of the most painful parts of my labor. (Weird, huh!) My forearms were covered in bruises, and the location on my wrist where they finally succeeded kept catching and hurting anytime I had to use my arm…which was way more than I had anticipated!

When I first got settled into my L&D room, they checked and I was already 7cm. So, that was good news, because my pain was minimal and I’d already made it seven-tenths of the way there! But then after a few more hours, I was stuck at 8cm. And I was tired from a sleepless night, anxious about how long labor would take, and nervous that I’d be too exhausted to handle pushing when the time came.

So, when the nurse asked if I wanted an epidural…I said, “Sure.”

2) A Painful Fetal Position –

Having to get into the fetal position for the epidural to be administered was surprisingly another one of the most painful parts of my labor. Getting the epidural itself, not so painful; getting into the fetal position, extremely painful. (Who knew?) But perhaps it wasn’t the position so much so as the fact that right afterwards, when they checked, I was 10cm and fully dilated. Yikes!

So, when the nurses told me it was time to start pushing I was pretty nervous.

3) A Painful Withdrawal –

Did you know, an epidural can work too well, and slow down labor? Because I did not! Needless to say, when they told me they stopped my epidural, I was pretty horrified. (Not cool, doc!) Luckily, once they stopped the epidural, my contractions picked up pretty quickly. So, in the end, I felt less pain than I could have…but more than I wanted.

Regardless, it wasn’t long after that before we met our sweet BABY BOY!

Aldric Birth Story 4

Our Sweet Baby Boy –

Besides lacking a few things…like eyelashes, eyebrows, and the added poundage, our baby boy came into this world healthy as can be. All those mental and physical growing pains from pregnancy were put to rest once he was freshly born and nestled onto my chest. Talk about a much needed sigh of relief!

And, obviously, I can’t leave you hanging after the Getting Settled: Baby + Home post. So, without further ado — meet our son, Aldric. Isn’t he perfect?!

We love his name and think it fits him perfectly. Here’s why:

1. Damon and I both have unique names, so it seems only fitting that our child does as well. So, once our name list was dwindled down to our two favorites — Aldric and Oliver — we chose the less common of the two. And thank God we did, because there have already been three other baby boys named Oliver who have appeared in our local newspaper!

2. Broken down, the meaning of his name is “old ruler” which we think is something great to live up to. Plus, it’s a name that will grow with him, as it sounds powerful, strong, and manly.

3. I had to find a name that could be shortened to a nickname that I love equally as much. So, when Damon told me Aldric and Oliver start out with the same sound, and could both be shortened to Ali / Ollie — I was hooked! I love the nickname Ali, I think it has such a boyish charm.

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Aldric Birth Story 5

Looking back, my labor experience was painful, yet beautiful. It was truly a pivotal and bittersweet moment of my life. Bitter because it was a too-soon conclusion to my first pregnancy. Oh-so sweet, because it allowed me to meet Aldric — the baby boy who forever made me a mother.

I’d do it all again in a heartbeat — Aldric is our biggest blessing and our greatest joy!


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Continue by reading, Part III – Motherhood: All the Feels.

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