Alvin’s Birth Story
My due date was January 22nd but I was pretty sure he was coming before then. I felt like I was much bigger throughout this pregnancy plus I was so uncomfortable for such a long time I thought there was just no way my body was going to make it to the 22nd. We decided to have a family contest about when the baby would come and the prize was the person who was the closest got to name the baby. Initially both Ivy and Oskar said they wanted to name him Santa Claus but at some point Oskar changed his mind and wanted to name him Frederick. Ivy guessed the 5th of January, I guessed the 12th, Joel guessed the 15th, and Oskar guessed the 25th. I laughed at the thought of not having the baby until the 25th, it was just absurd.
The 22nd was a Sunday and the prior Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment. At that appointment my doctor checked me and let me know that I was dilated to a 3. When I went into the hospital with Ivy’s birth I was at a 2 so it was nice to know I was already farther along than that.
My due date came and went and there was no baby. I was very surprised as well as disapointed. I was so uncomfortable I just didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. Mom had come up the previous Friday to be here when the time came. But day after day the time didn’t come. I had braxton hicks pretty consistently for weeks but I did feel like they were coming stronger around and after my due date. On Monday Oskar took me on a walk at the park. He rode his bike and I walked as fast and as bumpily as I could. I kept asking him if he was ready to go home and he kept telling me we should do one more lap so the baby will come out.
On the morning of Tuesday the 24th I had another doctor’s appointment at 11:15. Before my appointment I had a few contractions, hard enough for me to feel like today was going to be the day. Since I had the appointment it was nice to be able to get checked by the doctor and have a sense of what was going to happen without having to go into the hospital yet. She checked me and said I was at a 3.5, not a big jump from a week earlier. She asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes, which I didn’t because it sounded really painful, but had her do anyway because I was getting desperate. Once she was done she said I was now dilated to a 4 and would probably have the baby in the next 24 hours.
After leaving the doctor’s office I had Joel take us by Burgerville to get a chocolate hazelnut shake because I was sure the baby was coming soon and I needed some strength. We got my treat and went home, which was about 20 minutes away, at about 12:00 and then the contractions started coming stronger. Mom decided to take Oskar and Ivy to Keri’s house for the night so they could go to Mari’s concert, so I had to get all of their things ready to go and switch the car seats into her car. So I kept moving and taking care of things all while the contractions kept getting stronger. I felt like I needed to go to the hospital but Mom told me to try and stay at home as long as possible.
They were finally ready to leave to go to Keri’s at around 2:00 and by then I was really ready to go to the hospital. I wasn’t timing the contractions but they felt like they were coming faster than every five minutes and were strong enough to make me want to change my mind about having a baby. They left for Keri’s and before we could leave for the hospital Joel wanted to take out all the trash and close the windows which I was really impatient with him about. I just wanted to go to the hospital.
Finally at 2:30 we left for the hospital and I endured the most painful 20 minute drive of my life. We got to the hospital, got checked in, and they took us to the triage room. In the triage room I started asking for an epidural. I was crying from the pain and wanted to get some drugs. But the lady was as slow as molasses. She had me change out of my clothes and checked me to discover that I was dilated to a 7. I was really feeling it now and kept asking her when I was going to get an epidural. She said they had to take my blood and so some other things before I could have one. As I was standing in the triage room nearly butt naked because I was so focused on the contractions I wasn’t able to get my gown on, my water broke and gushed out like a giant water balloon was popped from deep within, and got all over the floor and my shoes. At this point I was a little out of my mind. I had to keep my hair in front of my face and shut my eyes tight to deal with the pain and I’m sure I looked like a feral creature.
They somehow got me onto the bed and checked me again, this time I was on my hands and knees, not able to move into a laying position, and I was dilated to an 8.5. I kept asking and asking for an epidural but they kept putting me off which was making me real mad. They wheeled me into the room, me clutching Joel’s hands too hard the entire time. In the room I didn’t see what was going on because I was still focused under my hair with my eyes shut tight praying over and over for God to please help me but it felt like chaos. People kept coming in and asking me questions, which I wasn’t really answering, and introducing themselves to me. The anesthesiologist was nowhere to be found but they finally did get an IV in and take some blood, both of which I was not conscious to because that pain meant nothing compared to the contractions I was feeling. I kept telling Joel and everybody else in the room that I couldn’t do it and I needed an epidural. They told me that yes, I could do it but I really did 100% feel that I could not do it, it just wasn’t an option. I felt the urge to push a few times but the people in the room, whoever they were, told me not to.
Eventually the anesthesiologist got his act together and gave me the epidural, who knows how far I was dilated when I finally got it, probably to a 10 and probably could have started pushing. But I got the epidural and those glorious drugs worked within minutes. The pain lessened and I turned back into a human being. Pretty soon after getting the drugs I started pushing. The doctor and the nurse were really great. They were positive and upbeat and very patient. The doctor thought it would only take 20 minutes to push but it ended up taking an hour and 15.
At 5:30 PM the big guy was born at 9 lbs. 6 oz., 20 ¾ inches long, and a head measuring 14 inches. Joel was right there the whole time being very helpful, I could not have done it without him, and his hands may never recover from the squeezing they got from me. Before he came out but when his head was visible they asked if I wanted a mirror or to reach down and touch his head. No way. I never want to see what’s going on down there and I can wait to touch until he comes all the way out. They took baby boy out and plopped him right on my chest, he was covered in blood and goo, and was purple but started crying and kept crying which helped him turn the right color. He started nursing almost immediately and nursed for about two hours straight. He passed all his tests and we stayed in the hospital just one night before we named him Alvin Wilson Ackerman and brought him home.
Mom brought the kids to see him the next morning after he was born and they, Ivy especially, were completely enamored. She kept kissing him and talking about baby brother. Oskar was excited too but he was also pleased to just sit and play on the ipad. Ivy still can’t leave him alone and wants to be next to him kissing him all the time.