Tristan River Birth Story

Our little guy turns one year old today and they aren’t kidding when they say time flies! Obviously River has no idea that today is any different than yesterday, but Adam and I reflected on how the original birthday unfolded because that day forever changed our lives and identities.

I was going to write up my entire birth story, but I tend to get a bit sappy so I thought I’d just go over some of the highlights.

September 21, 2016

  • I wake up and use the restroom. Nothing unusual for a very pregnant woman. My water breaks. There are four weeks left until my due date. It’s around 5 a.m.
  • I want to inform Adam that something has happened, but my internal dialogue is a full on clash of the titans between denial and logic. The only thing that comes out of my mouth is, “There is water.” Adam frantically responds, “Your water just broke?!?!?” He’s freaking out and I’m panicked. In my panic, denial takes the lead and I try to convince Adam that perhaps I’ve simply peed my pants.
  • “NIKKI. WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU PEED YOUR PANTS?” I, in fact, have not ever peed my pants beyond infancy and am without rebuttal.
  • Adam alerts the family that I’m in labor. I begin my morning routine of getting ready for work. I get in the shower. I am not convinced that labor is happening.
  • In the shower, I begin having cramps. I communicate this to Adam and he’s pacing and pulling his hair out (probably not, but that’s how I remember it) and he calms down enough to say, “Sweetheart. You’re 9 months pregnant, and I think those are contractions.” I’m not convinced but oblige him by timing the pain.
  • I do a horrible job. I “forget” to hit the button so there is no record of what’s going on with my body. Adam is livid but trying to handle me like a delicate flower. He sweetly tries to convince me that our baby is coming. I brush him off.
  • My cramps start to really hurt. I then wonder if they are, perhaps, contractions.
  • I realize they are contractions.
  • I want to go to the hospital.
  • Contractions get REAL and everything gets hazy on the drive to the hospital and my admittance into labor and delivery.
  • I am alerted out of my haze when some hospital worker is telling us that it’s a popular day to give birth and there are NO rooms available. Do you know how it feels to be in labor and be told that there are ZERO labor and delivery rooms? It feels like rage.
  • A nurse pushes me into the waiting room where a lady is watching TV and waiting on her daughter? niece? some family member? who was lucky enough to birth her baby in a room.  The nurse tells me she’ll alert us once something come available. I want to be horrified, but I am in too much pain.
  • The lady in the waiting room tries to make small talk and I am IN LABOR AND NOT WANTING TO TALK TO ANYONE UNLESS YOU’RE GOING TO RELIEVE THE PAIN COURSING THROUGH MY BODY. PLEASE DON’T TALK TO ME OR TOUCH ME, I’M CONTRACTING, ADAM! “During the class, you said you wanted physical touch to calm you down, right?” I CHANGED MY MIND.
  • A bed in a holding room opens up and I’m taken in so the nurses and midwife can do an assessment. I am already 5cm dilated. At this point, they know that I will not be able to give birth in a delivery  room, but are hopeful that perhaps a triage room will open up.
  • I’m in an out at this point because the pain is extreme, and I would tear down the building to get my epidural. At some point, a triage room opens up and they roll my bed through the halls into the room. The lights are blinding and making me nauseous, I can’t see straight and it feels as though they are rolling me across the rugged-er side of the Andes. We trek ahead for miles.
  • Once we’re in the triage room and it’s become very clear to me that I will throw up soon, the pain pushing my nausea to its limit. I alert the nurse I need to throw up, and she responds frantically, “Hold on!” DID SHE JUST TELL ME TO HOLD ON? She explains she’s not familiar with the triage room as she scrambles to find a basin, a container, an ANYTHING.
  • She finds a tub just in time. Jesus and I forgive her for asking me to hold my vomit.
  • They give me some kind of something through an IV so that I’ll stop throwing up from the pain. I instantly fall asleep.
  • Someone wakes me up for the epidural. After that, I’m flyin’ high.
  • “Do you feel the urge to push?” a nurse asks me. “I feel the urge to poop. Is that the same thing?” I ask in my uninhibited, drug-induced state. Looking back, I can feel Adam’s horror at such a candid question.
  • I push for 45 minutes (Adam was the BEST coach through it all) and then our little bundle of joy arrives. His cry is the most beautiful sound I’ve heard in life, and his face looks shockingly like Adam’s.
  • After we’ve swooned and coddled our little bundle, Adam hands me my phone to text my parents and sister. I already have a flood of “congratulations!” texts from hours earlier. I ask Adam about it, and he responds, “I got bored while you were sleeping and I went ahead and updated Facebook so I wouldn’t have to do it later.”
  • Insert eye roll.
  • Fast forward to later, a nurse congratulates me on my quick labor and healthy baby boy. She also makes a joke that there was another woman who came even closer than I did to giving birth in the hallway. NOT FUNNY. TOO SOON.

And there you have it, folks. The abridged version of my delivery day.

Tristan River, you are your mama’s and daddy’s world. We admire who you are and we are already so proud of you. You bring  joy into the lives of so many people, and we will love you forever and always.

Pekara, Bakery, Chocolate Cake, Champaign, Illinois


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