My Birth Story with Alice
On August 30th, JJ and I walked into Honor Health Shea Hospital at 8am (OK 8:15am because I wanted a bagel) to induce labor and welcome a beautiful baby girl on this same day. Alice Jude Garcia arrived at 3:40pm shocking us all with her fair skin and light hair and looking just like big sister. We all fell in love all over again.
If you haven’t read my birth story from my delivery with Vivienne, feel free to read it here.
I didn’t tell many people that we were planning to induce our labor, let alone announce it to social media, as it was a decision we wanted to make and not second guess ourselves based on other people’s opinion. For those of you who may not know, we induced our labor for Vivienne’s birth as well.
The feedback? I’d do it again. I loved the fact that we were able to get a good night’s rest, plan for our sitter to watch Vivienne for the day and night and not have the fear of my water breaking randomly with no help close by (if it didn’t happen earlier). Since I was induced with Vivienne, I knew that my body would be able to handle it. I also want to say: don’t let anyone tell you the right way to have a baby. In the end, people are going to disagree on so many factors in childbirth… epidural vs. natural, home birth vs. hospital, vaccinating vs. not etc. etc. There will always be someone who may not agree with your decisions, so base them solely on you and the safety of your child. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing.
Once we checked in and signed a few documents, we were shown to our room on the second floor where Angie, our delivery nurse was waiting for us. I met Angie almost two years ago, as she was our nurse who delivered Vivienne, and also coincidentally grew up playing soccer with JJ. Since that day, we’ve become good friends and my goal was to have her with me to deliver Alice. I couldn’t have been more grateful that this was able to happen as Angie chose to change shifts and work the day we were coming in.
Shortly after arriving to our room, I received an IV (which was less painful than I remembered) and started Pitocin. I was dilated at about a 4-5 at this point and feeling comfortable yet decided to get an epidural sooner than later since there was no real reason to wait. I had zero pain, pinches, or negative feeling with receiving my epidural. The fact that they have your husband sit on the opposite side of the needle and the nurse hold you makes you feel like it could be way worse than it actually is. Literally, zero pressure or pain. 20 minutes later my water broke and the worst part of the entire birth experience was now- as I was laying down moving side to side and waiting for the epidural to kick in. I didn’t have the best reaction. I was in and out of feeling sick: gagging, sweating, turning pale, and feeling like I could fall asleep at any second. It was an awful feeling. Since this happened about 3x, Angie decided to stop my epidural and Pitocin to allow me to recover. After about 20 minutes of finally feeling better, I started to feel some contractions. It wasn’t anything shocking, but it scared me to think that my epidural was wearing off. Once I gave the OK, we started the Pitocin and epidural back up and put the peanut between my legs so I could continue to dilate. Like my birth with Vivienne, the peanut quickly made me dilate from 7 to 10 in a matter of 15-20 minutes. Now, I was told for the sign of pressure, which meant we could start pushing. Dr. Deka came in after I announced that I was feeling pressure, and she checked my cervix, stating that it wouldn’t be long until Alice was here. So here comes the pushing…
For those of you who have never had a baby before, pushing is such an incredible yet discouraging feeling. You push long and hard, yet don’t actually feel like anything is happening (or at least I didn’t). In one push, you actually push three times which is considered one. If I didn’t run out of breath during the last push in the first session, then I would have had Alice out in one push. During the second push session, Dr. Deka told me to reach down and grab Alice. PUSH… and after only 4 minutes total… she was out! Arriving at 3:40pm on Thursday afternoon at 7 pounds 4 oz and 20.5 inches long.
Alice was immediately put on my chest, and I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. She looked just like Vivienne, yet fair skin and blonde hair! I was in awe of her.
Immediately, the birth felt like such a surreal experience and that was the only word I could really use at the time. I didn’t cry, yet held back tears, and felt so blessed (and guilty) for having such an amazing birth experience. Literally my hair was down and I didn’t have an ounce of sweat on me as she laid on my chest. I felt guilty for this. Guilty that this was my story to share with you. Why did I feel so guilty? Lack of drama.
Photos by Jennica Macs of amaes_photography
Now, I am proud to share my story and experience with you because it’s MY story and no one else’s and important for you to know, especially as first-time moms, that there ARE positive experiences.
Due to Alice arriving so quickly, she had bruises all over her face and the nurses/doctors said she could be at a higher risk for jaundice. We stayed overnight, and JJ went home to Vivienne the next day. Alice and I spent the rest of the day lounging in bed and soaking each other in with the help from the nurses. Since we were gone all day and night the previous day, I really wanted JJ to be home with Vivienne. A few hours later, they arrived to the hospital. She immediately smiled at the sight and wanted to hold her. I instantly teared up. My two girls were meeting for the first time. These soon to be besties. Another surreal moment for me. After some photos and time spent holding Alice, Vivienne was more concerned about eating a snack and playing with my hospital bed, which I’d take over any sort of aggressive behavior any day. After 24 hours in the hospital, we received the confirmation that Alice had very low risk of jaundice and we could discharge that evening. It was home sweet home for us as a family of four!
Photos by Lauren Schumacher, The Lauren Style
More updates on Alice, Vivienne, and mamas recovery coming soon!