This is the story of how Sadie Brielle came into this world. I tried to be very detailed so that I wouldn’t forget a thing about her entrance. This is a story of birth, so there are some mentions of blood, cervical dilation, and other medical words. Please be advised. 😉
I had been having some mild contractions and cramping on and off for weeks prior to Sadie’s birth. I woke up Thursday morning February 8th, 2018 and felt extra crampy. I started having some early signs of labor like more frequent cramps and Braxton-hicks contractions, along with some blood-tinged discharge. I started drinking raspberry leaf tea (pure raspberry leaf tea is recommended in the second trimester and on to prep your uterus for labor. It is said to strengthen your uterus and make contractions stronger and more effective when labor starts) around 37 weeks, which I think helped get my body primed for labor. I also rush-shipped some clary sage (another tool that helps prepare your body for labor. It’s also great for other menstrual ailments. Let me know if you’re interested in learning more about essential oils!) essential oil that arrived on Wednesday. When I began to see early signs of labor I started rubbing clary sage oil all over my belly and on the bottom of my feet. I also poured a few drops in the shower that morning. I let Tom know what was going on, but I told him that it could still be a few days to a few weeks before active labor started.
I didn’t just want to sit around all day, so I loaded up the kids and went over to my dear friend Ashley’s house. Ashely and I chatted while the kids played and then the kids and I picked up Culvers for a special treat for lunch. Warren refused to take a nap (he’s been napping inconsistently for weeks, so this was no surprise), so I was unable to get any rest during the day. I spent some time playing with the kids, snuggling them, and bouncing on a yoga ball. Tom got home around 5:00 PM and made some BLT’s for dinner. I took a bath with some Epsom salt and lavender essential oil. Of course, both kiddos climbed right in with me, so the bath wasn’t very relaxing. I was also having some intense sciatic nerve pain that kept making me kick my right leg out while in the tub. We got the kids to bed around 7:00 PM and I made some banana milkshakes for me and Tom. We enjoyed those while we watched Neftlix.
I was feeling extra tired and a bit off/uneasy, so we decided to get ready for bed around 9:30 PM. We both got into bed and I tried to get comfortable. I was lying on my left side trying to relax on my pregnancy pillow when I heard/felt a loud pop. It actually seemed like the baby had punched a hole right through my uterus. It was so weird. I sat for a minute and then thought I better try and go to the bathroom. I got out of bed and started to feel like I was going to start peeing. I just barely made it to toilet when my water broke, right around 10 PM. It was a ton of fluid and it just kept coming out. My water has never broken like this on it’s own before. I have only had high leaks with my other pregnancies. I called out of the bathroom to Tom asking him if he could hear that. He said he could and I told him that it was not pee he was hearing. I just sat there for awhile letting it come out when the real contractions started fast and strong.
We called my mom to watch the kids. Of course she didn’t answer her phone (she was having problems with it and it never even rang on her end) so we had to call my dad. He picked up and we told my parents what was going on. My mom came over and we packed our things for the hospital. It was a bit crazy since I hadn’t packed yet. I figured I would pack after my upcoming 38 week appointment that was scheduled for Friday at 9:00 AM with Dr. Weiss. I wanted to know if I was dilated at all before I worried about packing. I like to pack while in early labor to give myself something to do.
I called the hospital to let them know we would be in within an hour. I planned to labor at home for as long as possible, but with this being my third baby, my water never having broken on it’s own before, and how fast and strong the contractions were, Tom convinced me that we should get to the hospital sooner rather than later, just in case. The car ride to the hospital was fun since I was contracting so frequently.
When we got to the hospital, the security guard took us right up to our room, room 304, the same room that I delivered Lorelei in 2 years ago. I refused the wheelchair of course because sitting down made my contractions worse at that point. I kind of half laughed to myself while the security guard was taking us up to our room because he was walking so fast that I could barely keep up. I think he was nervous that I was going to deliver in the elevator or something.
When we got to our room we got settled in and hooked up to the fetal heartrate and contraction monitor. It was around 10:45 PM. My contractions were still coming on strong and consistent about every 2-5 minutes. I didn’t want to get in bed because that made the contractions worse. I was doing a good job breathing through the contractions and tolerating them at this point. Tiffany, one of the nurses, tried to check my dilation but was unable to determine how far dilated I was since the baby appeared to be high in my pelvis at this point. I was kind of discouraged, but I tried to stay positive. Tom did a great job helping me stay positive.
I asked to wait to have an IV placed until the doctor could assess me. Tom and I both just kept praying that I was dilated and progressing well. I wanted to be at least 4-5 cm and considered in active labor before I got to the hospital, so we were praying for that. I wanted to have a natural delivery without medication or intervention, so the further dilated I could be the better. Dr. Vo-Hill finally got to our room around 1:30 AM and determined that I was dilated to 6 cm (woo hoo!), about 80% effaced (the thinning of the cervix), and baby was in a -3 station (babies typically need to be at a 0 station or more to start pushing effectively). I said “thank you Jesus!” because we were so happy that God had answered our prayers.
Tiffany worked on getting my IV placed. It only took 2 pokes, which was nice. The doctor, nurse, and Tom and myself figured that I would probably progress relatively quickly, considering how strong and frequent contractions were. I spent some time doing squats, walking around the room, and trying different positions on the bed. I did try sitting on the hospital birthing ball, but baby’s heartrate increased when I did that, so I decided to stay away from the ball just in case. I continued to rub clary sage oil on my belly and feet and tried to take small sips of water. I was worried about getting nauseous and vomiting, so I didn’t want to eat or drink much.
Contractions continued to get stronger and more frequent and I was really feeling them in my back. This most likely meant that baby was facing with her face up instead of down. Ideally, babies should be face down, or occiput anterior, when they are delivered. Dr. Vo-Hill checked me again around 4:00 AM and determined that I was 8 cm dilated. I was hoping to be further progressed by that point, so I was a bit disappointed.
I kept getting more uncomfortable and needed to make noises and hum during my contractions from that point on. Around 5:00 AM I was pretty certain I was completely dilated with how I was feeling and how uncomfortable contractions were. Dr. Vo-Hill checked me and determined that I was still only 8 cm. I was very discouraged and exhausted at that point. I didn’t know how much more I could take. Dr. Vo-Hill tried to manually dilate my cervix a bit more and got gowned and gloved up to delivery the baby. She thought I might be able to push through the last lip of my cervix causing me to completely dilate. Unfortunately, it was too uncomfortable for me to handle.
I broke down at that point and just started crying. I was spent and didn’t know how much more I could take. Dr. Vo-Hill suggested trying some narcotic IV pain relief medication. I didn’t want to take any of that because it can cause you to feel completely out of it, or even worse, nauseated. The choice now was to decide if I could manage on my own or if I wanted to go with an epidural. I ended up deciding on the epidural, even though I was disappointed and upset with myself for deciding to get one. Like I said before, I really wanted a completely natural and medication free delivery.
It was around 5:30 AM that the nurses called for the epidural. I was having a hard time at this point. Lot’s of crying and difficulty managing contractions. I kept asking how long it would be before anesthesia would arrive and do my epidural. I started to get frustrated that they were taking so long and cried to Tom to just take the pain away and make it stop. Up until this point, I had avoided the use of the word “pain.” I had read that it was better to look at contractions as intense or as rushes instead of pain. I broke down and started using “pain” since I was going to get an epidural. It was no longer important to me to try to manage them on my own.
Anesthesia finally arrived almost 45 minutes after the nurses had called. I got in bed and tried to remain calm and still for the epidural placement. This is no easy task when you are contracting every 2-3 minutes and can no longer tolerate the contractions when sitting still. The certified nurse anesthetist got the epidural in relatively easily and gave me a test dose of medication. If the epidural catheter is placed in the wrong spot it can cause some symptoms like ringing in the ears, a racing heart, or a funny taste in your mouth. I started to get a crazy racing heart and the CRNA said that she saw blood in the catheter and had hit an epidural vein. She would need to start over.
After that incident things did not get any better. She had a very difficult time placing the epidural. She had to numb me 2 or 3 more times with lidocaine and had to keep re-poking me with the epidural needle in different places. We think she poked me around 5 or 6 times with the epidural needle. She finally got it in and I started to feel some relief on my left side. With epidurals there is never any guarantee that they will work or that they will work well on both sides. I was definitely nervous that the epidural wasn’t going to work on both sides with how my legs were feeling.
My left leg quickly went completely numb, while my right leg remained to have some feeling. I was fairly comfortable so I told Tom to try and get some rest. At this point it was around 8:00 AM so I decided to call and see if my sisters wanted to come for the delivery. Both of my sisters were able to come. Dr. Weiss took over for Dr. Vo-Hill and Julie took over for Tiffany as our nurse. Julie was Lorelei’s delivery nurse as well. I joked to Dr. Weiss that I would have to cancel my appointment with him at 9:00 AM.
I started to get anxious about my leg. I just couldn’t stop focusing on how numb it was and how I couldn’t move it. It made me anxious. That’s right around the time that I started to feel contractions in my back on my right side again. Tom woke up from his nap and Dr. Weiss came back in to see how I was progressing. He determined that baby was occiput posterior (or sunnyside up with her face facing up instead of down). He said that baby would need to turn before I would deliver her.
I began to feel a lot of pressure and was feeling every contraction on my right side. That was the side that baby was pushing on more and the side that my cervix still needed to dilate on. At the end of delivery we determined that I was stuck at 8 cm for around 7 hours. That is just insane to me.
I broke down and was crying again. I was just so fed up with how long things were taking and how uncomfortable I was. I gave myself a bolus dose of the epidural medication. Finally, it was time to start pushing. My sister Lauren asked me if she could catch the baby half-joking. I said I would ask Dr. Weiss and we would see what he said. He told her that she could certainly catch the baby and he seemed excited that she asked.
Lauren got to put on a gown and gloves and sit on the stool to prepare to catch the baby. Dr. Weiss instructed her the entire time. Julie held my “dead” numb leg and Tom helped support my other leg. Annie decided to take pictures since she didn’t want to be at the foot of my bed. She didn’t want to see anything since she witnessed Lorelei’s birth, which was rather traumatic due to the complication of shoulder dystocia.
Julie stared a small drip of Pitocin to help my uterus with pushing since I had a history of shoulder dystocia with Lorelei’s birth. I pushed for maybe 15 minutes. 3 rounds of 3 pushes and our baby was born. I yelled out that we had a girl. I was honestly shocked. I was certain we were having a boy. I think Tom was shocked too. We could tell that she was a big baby.
She didn’t want to cry right away and was a bit blue. I stimulated the top of her head and her feet to try and get her to cry, but it didn’t help. The nurses took her to get a little bit of oxygen and she started perking up. They weighed her and found that she weighed 8#10 oz and measured 20 inches long. She was our biggest baby yet.
I did have a small tear, but it wasn’t as bad as the tearing I had with my other babies, surprisingly. I got a few stitches while I waited to hold my new princess.
They brought her over to me and she was able to nurse on her own really well. She is definitely my best nurser of all of our babies by far. It took us a long time to come up with her name. We had a few girl names picked out, but we both were so sure we were going to have a boy that we didn’t really focus on girls’ names. Tom liked the name Elodie (one of the names that I had put on the list). He was really pushing for Elodie, but I decided that I didn’t want that name because I didn’t want it to be shortened to Ellie. We know so many babies who have some form of the name Ellie. Even our neighbor’s daughter is named Ellie. It’s a beautiful name, but it is too popular for me. I wanted the name Agnes. There’s a story behind that name that I will have to share some time. Tom wasn’t a fan of that either. He said he would do Elodie Agnes, but not Agnes as a first name.
I then remembered that I had randomly thought of the name Sadie a few weeks ago. We looked up what it means and found out that it is a form of the name Sarah and it means princess. We agreed on that name. It took me a little bit to make it official since I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a trending name or in the top 50 names. I don’t like really popular names. I didn’t want her to have a name that a handful of other girls in her class someday would also have.
My sister Annie was with us at this point and she was reading off names as well. We still needed to figure out a middle name. I was pushing for Agnes, but both Tom and Annie said that Sadie Agnes didn’t flow well. Annie was pushing for Ainslee, since it’s close to Annie. Eventually we settled on Brielle (one of the names that was originally on our list).
This is how we came to meet our newest little girl, Sadie Brielle, on Friday February 9th, 2018 after 13.5 hours of active labor, weighing 8#10oz and measuring 20 inches long. This was my roughest and most exhausting labor yet. I have a feeling our little girl is going to be a strong and beautiful soul who is full of spunk, determination, and courage. Welcome to the world Sadie B. We love you and we still can’t believe you are ours, let alone a girl. Thank you God for this precious and perfect gift.