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A swift delivery: The birth of Arya Marilyn Epidural

A swift delivery: The birth of Arya Marilyn

"I pushed three times with every contraction and only had to suffer through five of them—I wanted to get my baby out so badly!"

I asked to be induced early throughout my pregnancy … this was my third child, and my son had been 9 pounds, 13 ounces at 41 weeks. But every time I went to the doctor, I was told that they could not induce me because the baby had not dropped yet. Bummer! Finally, I was to be induced at just over 40 weeks, on June 25.

That morning, we woke up and got Jasmine (4-and-a-half) and Octavian (2-and-a-half) ready to go to my parents’ house. They were all packed, and everyone was dressed … then I got a call from the hospital—they didn’t have enough room for me. I am not a crier, but I’ll admit it: I cried. I was just so ready to meet my third baby! But we made the best of the day, and I got to spend time with my family.

I went in the next day, on June 26. My older sister, Hilary, had taken Jasmine for a sleepover with her three daughters the night before, and we dropped Octavian off at my parents’ house at 6:30 a.m. We got to the hospital at 7 a.m., and the doctor checked me at 8:30 a.m. I was still only at 3 cm, and the baby was high—and broke my water. They started me on Pitocin, and my contractions began at two or three minutes apart, but I hardly felt them.

I seemed to be dilating at about 1 centimeter per hour. I watched TV (“Sex and the City”) and listened to music. I asked for an epidural at noon and got it quickly, and I explained to the anesthesiologist how bad my last epidural was—I had felt everything for hours with my (huge) son because my epidural wore off. Then I had a ringing in my ears, so they wouldn’t give me any more! He assured me that this time would be better and that he could give me more or fix the epidural needle if it did wear off.

My contractions weren’t too bad, more like bad menstrual cramps. But when I sat up to get the epidural, they were awful … I blame gravity! This time my epidural worked (hooray!), but it made me very cold and shaky—I kept shivering. I went from too hot to very cold and nauseous, which was a gross feeling … but better than being in a ton of pain.

The nurse checked me at 2:30 p.m. I was 6 cm dilated. At 3:05 p.m., I hit the button for an epidural increase as I was feeling considerable vaginal and rectal pressure … but it didn’t help, so I called the nurse. She came in and said that she was going to ask the doctor to check me at 3:30 p.m., but the doctor walked in right behind her and said, “Don’t you see the deceleration of the baby’s heart rate when she contracts?” She checked me, and I was at 10 cm! I had my husband, Nick, turn off the TV and his computer game. They put oxygen on me, and I was ready to go!

Every time I felt the pressure, the doctor told me to push. She told me I would have to push hard because the baby’s heart rate was going down. I pushed three times with every contraction and only had to suffer through five of them—I wanted to get my baby out so badly! I knew that if I pushed hard enough, the baby would come out, and it would all be over.

aryaI had my eyes closed when she came out … I could feel them pull out her body. I heard Nick say, “Is that a girl?” Then the doctor said yes. We were both surprised she was a girl … somehow we had both expected it to be a boy! But our daughter was born at 3:19 p.m.

We named her Arya Marilyn. We thought Arya was a beautiful name (and such a strong female character in the “Game of Thrones” series). My grandmother, Marilyn, passed away in October 2014, the same month that Arya was conceived, and we wanted to honor her.

Arya was making funny noises after she came out, had a fever of 100.8 degrees and had labored breathing. I was told that she was struggling to breathe a bit because, like C-section babies, she came out so quickly that fluid didn’t get squeezed out. Her face was also very bruised because she came out so swiftly, and she’d had the cord (loosely) around her neck at one point, which was what caused her heart rate to slow down.

I had them weigh Arya right away, and then they let me do skin-to-skin contact with her. We did that for around an hour—she definitely calmed down with me holding her, and I fed her the first bottle. Nick didn’t hold her until we were in the recovery room.

I did not shed a tear (for the third time)! I was glad that everything happened quickly, as I had been worried that I would be dealing with that pressure for hours, which would have been awful. We were also able to eat dinner in my recovery room. Yay! I love the hospital food and ordering my “room service.”

My sister, Emily, came to visit because she was leaving for vacation the next morning, and Nick left to be with the older children before they went to bed. This was easily my best labor, and I was looking forward to relaxing at the hospital—just me and my baby. I thought of the two-night hospital stay as a mini vacation! I got to order food, have the TV remote to myself and just get acquainted with this new little person who was in my belly for so long! Also, knowing that Arya and I were being taken care of by qualified professionals gave me a lot of peace of mind.

Now that we have Arya, our family is complete!

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Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to birthstory@pnmag.com. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!