Aiden Alexander Dias

Saturday, November 21, 2015

So after more than 3 months of enjoying our time with our son, and navigating through this experience that is so new to us, I am finally getting around to sharing our birth story!

It was Thursday, August 6th, I was 40 weeks, and 4 days pregnant, and very much ready to welcome the little one into the world. After a day out with Anthony (lunch followed by ice cream at the Long Beach Marina) to help get my mind off being so achy and exhausted, I started having noticeable, albeit faint, contractions later on that evening. They were very mild and accompanied by slight cramping. At the time, I thought they were just more Braxton Hicks contractions.

However, the next morning the cramping was getting progressively worse, so I started wondering if this was actually the start of early labor. I told Anthony that I thought it might finally be happening, and started timing the contractions around noon - at that time, they were 7 minutes apart. As the space in between each got shorter with every passing hour, when I got to about 5 minutes in between them, I told Anthony, "It's go time!"

We grabbed our bags, dropped off Riley at her boarding center, called our families to give them a heads up, and made the 40 minute (traffic-filled, or course) drive to the hospital...all the while, I was trying to just breath deeply through the pain of each contraction, which I was managing pretty well.

When we got to the hospital at about 3:30pm, they told me I was about 3 cm dilated, and that I had the option of being admitted then, or coming back. I dreaded the thought of having to brave traffic all over again, and told them if I didn't get admitted then, I didn't think I was going to make it back lol. So they set me up in a private delivery room, where we settled in, and were coming to the realization that in just a few short hours, our lives were going to be changed forever. We called my mom again to let her know what was going on, who said she was already on her way from Santa Barbara, and we got to meet the nurses who were going to be taking care of us.

I had decided beforehand that I was going to try to do without pain medication for as long as I could stand it. With Anthony by my side holding my hand, and my mom joining us in the delivery room, we all talked, listened to music, and watched the monitor. I could see how big each contraction was as I felt it well up inside me, and then subside. I tried grounding exercises, and breathing deeply through each one as the pain peaked to take my mind off it, and Anthony had put on some oldies in the background. I found it easier to manage by trying not to focus on how bad the next one was going to hurt, but rather, on how pleasant the pain-free moments were after one had passed. And Anthony and my mom would take turns by my bedside, massaging and soothing me. I never ended up screaming or crying, I just tried to stay in this calm, repetitious zone of breathing and focusing on anything else but the pain.

Around 8:30pm, I had made it to 5 cm dilated before I gave in and told our nurse Alice, "Okay, I think I need that epidural now." She grabbed the anesthesiologist, who was very quick in putting the needle in, and once everything was in place and the drip was going, it was seriously instant relief. And in my opinion, deciding to get an epidural was probably the best. decision. ever.

Several hours later, one of the doctors on staff ended up having to break my water bag for me since it hadn't done so on its own, and we waited around for a couple more hours to see if this would give baby the little nudge he needed to progress down the birth canal. At about 2:15am, I was able to start pushing. The medicine made it so that I didn't feel any pain at all during this time, just pressure. Baby was slowly, sloooowly making his way down, but ended up getting stuck at my pelvic bone for a while. Once he made it through though, his head was finally able to make it out. Long story short, I pushed for about 3 hours before our little lion man made his official grand entrance, at 5:14am on August 8th, weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 19 inches long. We named him Aiden.

Anthony cut the umbilical cord and then Aiden was promptly handed to the pediatrician who was to make sure everything was okay with him since he was stuck inside for so long, and after confirming he looked great, I got to hold my son for the first time. It was awesome being encouraged to do skin to skin, and he took to the breast like a champ. My mom left Anthony and I to enjoy him for the rest of the night, or morning rather, and we were both kind of just in a daze from it all, and so in awe of this tiny new being that we were finally able to hold in our arms. It was now completely real.

During the rest of our stay at the hospital, both families were able to come visit and meet him. There was a blur of people constantly filtering in and out of our room, and it made my head spin just how much love and happiness we were surrounded by!

He is now 15 weeks old, and we are so in love with him!

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