if you’ve been following me on instagram, then you’ve already heard the good news! my baby boy, adam urzua, was born on january 10 at 12:27am. since then, my life has revolved around this little dude and everything else has fallen by the wayside. i hate to get all cheesy, but he really has completely changed my life, and the happiness and excitement that i’ve felt since his arrival is really the greatest joy i have ever experienced. there are a lot of pregnancy cliches, but it really is true that when you first hold your baby, it’s love at first sight. and contrary to popular belief, bringing a newborn into your home for the first time is actually really fun! people kept warning me about all the sleep i’d lose, and how hard it would be. but none of that even enters into my mind. not when i’ve got this perfect baby boy in my arms. i should probably also point out that i’ve had a tremendous amount of help these past few weeks. my partner has been by my side almost every day, and my mom drove out from tucson to stay with us and help teach us the secrets of parenting a newborn. they’ve both been so helpful to me, especially while i go about the process of healing!
since i’m sure some of you are curious (at least i know i’m obsessed with hearing everyone’s birth stories), i thought i’d share a few details about adam’s entrance into the world. i didn’t have a “birth plan” per se, i had been warned against plotting out my ideal birth since there are so many unknown factors. so instead, i focused on trying to keep an open mind to whatever possibilities lay ahead. this, of course, was incredibly nerve wracking as i kept searching horror stories on google and scaring the hell out of myself. but i’ve also known so many women who have recently had really wonderful births. home births, water births, short labors, no drugs! so i just sorta hoped for the best and did my part to prepare for the birth as best as i could. i went to a masseuse, a chiropractor, and an acupuncturist. i took a planned childbirth class and practiced my breathing techniques during my frequent braxton hicks contractions and “false labor” scares. i drank tons of raspberry leaf tea and took evening primrose oil supplements and all of that holistic stuff.
then on january 9, around 9pm, i felt my first real, painful contraction. since our birthing class explained to us that the beginning of labor can last like 12 hours or more, i decided to ignore it since it wasn’t super painful and figured that i’d go to bed and wait until the pain kept me awake. then i’d have plenty of time to go about packing my hospital bag, showering, and getting ready for the big day. and finally, at 1:30am, i awoke to an incredibly painful contraction. like whoa, i had no idea contractions would be that painful kind of pain. i didn’t want to make the rookie mistake of getting all freaked out and heading to the hospital only to be sent back home for going in too early, so i tiptoed to the nursery and sat in the dark rocking myself in our new glider and breathing through the pain. i read that contractions tend to start about 20 minutes apart, so i figured i’d just chill out and see if i could get relaxed enough to go back to sleep. but the contractions seemed so intense and so frequent that i decided to start timing them, just out of curiosity. sure enough, they were coming every 3 – 5 minutes and lasting at least a minute each. i couldn’t walk or talk through the pain, and i was getting a little confused and nervous that it was all happening so fast. two hours later, i couldn’t take the pain. i woke up brendan and we talked in the short intervals between contractions for a few minutes before i completely panicked. the contractions were coming on top of one another and i started feeling all of this immense pressure. i sat on the edge of the bed while he frantically threw some of my stuff into the hospital bag and we ran to the car. my contractions were coming every 1 – 3 minutes apart on the ride there and i just kept doing my best to breathe. we arrived at the hospital and the triage nurses hooked me up to the monitor and started getting a little panicky when they saw that i was having some contractions as close at 30 seconds apart! someone came in to check my progress and low-and-behold, i was only 1cm dilated.
what the hell?! i was so frustrated and disappointed, and i was crying and getting a little panicky from the excruciating pain. i was trying to be polite, but i wasn’t getting any breaks between contractions and i needed help to just focus and breathe. no one told me that labor could start off this way! there was some confusion about what to do with me, they hooked me up to an i.v. hoping that some hydration would slow the contractions (it didn’t), and eventually decided to admit me because of the frequency and intensity of my contractions. as soon as i was admitted, i asked for the walking epidural. i knew the moment they told me my progress that there was no way i was going to make it without some relief. the contractions continued about 1 minute apart and everyone in the delivery room was hopeful and excited because i was continuing to smoothly progress at 1cm per hour. i was doing really well, even taking short walks, until one of my legs gave out beneath me. even though i was on the lowest dose of epidural, it was too strong for me and i was ordered to stay in the bed for the duration of my labor. but things were still moving along, so we continued to be hopeful.
then i hit 6cm. and the entire process came to a screeching halt. even though the contractions were still coming one minute apart, i failed to progress. hour after hour and still no progress. the timeline gets blurry here, but eventually my doctor convinced me that breaking my water might get baby boy to engage and move the labor forward. nope! then after a lot of conversation and much stalling on my part, they convinced me to try pitocin. it did not work. and finally after over 24 hours of labor, we were faced with the reality that no amount of changing positions or increases in pitocin were going to get that little guy to drop. i took the news like a champ, but the moment the doctor left the room, i was in tears. i was so terrified of a c-section. but my baby was in the posterior position and his little body was still hanging out way up high in my uterus with no signs of coming out. so around midnight, they wheeled me to the operating room and at 12:27am, adam was born via c-section. at the time, it was the most terrifying experience of my life. i was shaking so violently that i had to ask brendan to hold my arms down during the procedure. but the moment i laid eyes on my little boy, my entire body relaxed and everything was right in the world.
so there it was. many of my fears had become a reality. i desperately wanted to avoid being hooked up to a million machines and being bound to a hospital bed, and there i was, with every possible tube and drip and medication you could imagine. this after not even taking a single tylenol for the entire duration of my pregnancy. i was afraid of the baby being in the “wrong” position, of the baby being big (he was 9lbs 14oz and 22 1/2 inches long!!!), and i was terrified of a c-section. but, you know what? it all happened, and i survived. and now i have this strong, healthy, beautiful baby boy. it wasn’t the fairytale birth that i’d tried to visualize, but the outcome was even more wonderful than i could have imagined.
and here i am, a little over two weeks later, finally starting to feel human again and continuing to heal with my slumbering babe here beside me. he’s already grown so much in such a short amount of time, so i’m just doing my best to rest and repair, and i’m snapping pictures of his little face every chance i get so that i’ll have a document of this very special time.