BIRTH OF ADDISON LEIGH || TAMPA NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER

So, here goes… my first blog post on the new website. Needless to say, I am a bit nervous because this post is a personal one. This post is about the birth of my little lady, my last babe to make their appearance (unless God has other plans) in a not so timely manner. It is bitter sweet, and exciting all at the same time. So, are you ready to go on my birth journey with me?

Before I go totally into the birth, let me tell you, I was having some serious prodromal labor six weeks or so before I actually went into labor. Prodromal labor is “a type of labor that happens prior to the onset of full active labor. It is often considered a type of “false-labor,” but this is a misnomer, because doctors and midwives will explain that the contractions are real but they start and stop. So basically, it is real labor in terms of pain, contractions, and regularity but it comes and goes. Prodromal labor often starts and stops at the same time each day or at regular intervals. Many moms (even experienced moms) often end up calling their birth team or going to the hospital thinking it is real labor. It can last days, weeks or even a month or more, often starting and stopping at the same time each day (or night).”  

I had prodromal labor every night from about midnight until 4am every SINGLE night!!! I couldn’t sleep, and I would get up at 2am and soak in the tub which didn’t help. I had gone to my midwifes office to be checked out because I hadn’t felt the baby move in a while, nor did I feel right. I told her all about my contractions, and baby was good. You would think that with this being my fourth time, I would be a pro!! Anyway, everything was good. Baby was good, mom was good… everything was good. 

Moving forward a month, I was just done. I was done being pregnant, I was done with the prodromal crap, I WAS DONE! I remember asking my husband if I would know the real contractions from the prodromal ones because I had been having them every night and just wasn’t sure I remembered what they felt like. That morning around 6am I felt them (or so I thought)… real contractions. ACTUAL CONTRACTIONS!!! I started to time them without waking August. They started out strong happening every five to eight minutes lasting a minute long. After timing 4 contractions, I woke up August and said I am in labor. I called the midwife and she said come in around 10 and we will check you and decide where to go from there. I called our friends down the street who were going to take the girls since Isaac was attending the birth. She arrived and contractions were hitting full force. It was time to go. I got my huggies, and kisses from my beauties and told them when I got back home, they would have a new sibling. And away we went.

When we arrived my blood pressure was checked along with my pulse ox. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I was in a birthing center 🙂 to have my fourth babe. I was on the birthing ball and during that time received penicillin (due to being strep B positive). I was checked (not knowing, but able to guess by faces being made, I had arrived at 6cm dilated). 

I almost immediately (as soon as they filled it up) jumped into the birthing tub to relax and use the water to spread my hips for my contractions. With this baby, I prayed so hard for hip labor and not back labor because with my son and my third child I had intense back labor that would not let up. I also have bulging discs in my lower back and when the muscles contract, they do not release making my back labor all that much worse. So prayers continued… and boy did I have hip labor. But August was there to squeeze my hips and to push on my back when needed. I labored in the tub for a couple of hours while Isaac was my photographer. The cutest little photographer I have ever seen ;). I asked him if I was too loud and he told me no, but that he was bored and he didn’t expect labor to take this long. hahaha. At this point, I had been in labor for only four hours!

Labor with this one was going by so quickly. However, the midwife asked me if I would labor on the toilet. (I had to use it anyway, so why not). I remember asking, “Only through four contractions right?” She told me yes. I used the bathroom. and had August come into the bathroom to be with me. (I did have a doula, a wonderful woman who was there for me no matter what, but when going through three other births just you and your husband, you get used to just you and your husband.) I sat on the toilet and pushed through five contractions I believe. It was an awkward position to contract in, but my hips were open and baby was moving. Once those five were over, we headed to the bed where she checked me. She them rubbed primrose oil on me to soften the cervix. It hurt like HELL!!! She then asked if she wanted me to break my water. I was great until that moment, and in that moment through that one question, I entered full blown panic mode. With my last birth, my water broke when I was 9cm and it was so excruciating (I know, you will say but aren’t you already in labor… well that was the one major incident that happened at my last birth that had a lasting impression and I was so scared to have it happen again.) My doula, my husband, the midwife all tried to calm me down. That took a bit of time. I was so scared and so not ready for my water to break. I wanted it to break on its own and didn’t want anyone to do it for me. My body knew what to do!

After my meltdown, I had two more contractions on the bed, my doula pushing on my legs because the pain was so bad in my hips. (Again, I prayed for hip labor, and He sure did deliver in that area of labor.) Once those 2 contractions were done, I was able to get back into the tub and from that moment on, everything moved so fast. My water broke about 20 minutes after getting into the tub, and then about 20 minutes after that I was pushing… pushing with everything I had left. After the second push, I had to stop. I needed oxygen because my baby’s heart rate dropped and I need the oxygen to raise it back up. The look in my midwives eyes told me everything I needed to know… MY BABY NEEDED TO COME OUT!!! I pushed again and I don’t remember stopping. I think someone said stop and take a breath and I said I can’t. Baby needed to come out and after six pushes, she was in my arms. (I was in denial about her being a girl the whole pregnancy). But there SHE was. Up and into my arms screaming that beautiful newborn cry. That fresh cry straight from the womb. The cry every new mom wants and dies to hear. There she was, our beautiful baby girl, who was nameless. August and I struggled for months to pick a name for her. Especially since we were both in denial about her being a girl. Three hours at the birthing center and still no name. We were asked if we wanted to go home and think about it and we said no, and then all of a sudden, big brother who was present for the whole birth, who helped with her checkup, was walking around the birthing tub and said “What about Addison”… we looked at each other and said “Yup, that’s her name… Addison Leigh” (Leigh, and name we picked out the night before).

So there she was, in her car seat, heading home. Our beautiful Addison Leigh.

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Addison Leigh born on 12/8/2018 at 12:52pm. Weighing in at 8 pounds 13 ounces and standing 20.5 inches long.

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 BIRTH OF ADDISON LEIGH || TAMPA NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER

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