Bits of Sweetness: Adrian Lee: A Birth Story

Adrian Lee: A Birth Story

This story has been 7 months in the making. Whoa. Did I really just say seven months?! I am still in denial about our sweet baby being that old now.

This pregnancy was so different from Andrew's. So much so that I thought for sure we were having a girl! I had totally different cravings, different symptoms, and just felt like it was a girl, but wrong I was! And much to Andrew's delight, we discovered that it was, indeed, a boy, just like he had predicted!

I'll admit, I really really wanted a girl, because the thought of having one of each was pretty special. But, just like with Andrew, once we found out it was a boy, we started thinking of him with his little name, and it just suddenly felt that more special.

I had no idea what to expect with labor for this pregnancy. Andrew was nine days late and there weren't hardly any braxton hicks. Once labor started, we began an adventure, a long 21-hour one. With all the different symptoms this time around, I had a hunch this time might be different. Howso though, I had no idea.I think I was preparing myself for anything.

With Andrew, I wanted to labor as long as I could and then have an epidural if needed. It was a memorable birth with him at the hospital with a great doctor. Sometimes I wonder how things might have gone had we decided different (say, deciding to hold off the pitocin) but hindsight is hindsight and the past can't be changed no matter how much we wish it could be. It makes it difficult to enjoy the beauty that is found in the past, even if found amidst some hard moments.  I knew I wanted Adrian's birth to be different. I wanted to be all natural, with a midwife and have a water birth. I wanted to labor at home as much as I could first though because of how long we'd been at the hospital with Andrew.  I didn't know what to expect but did know one thing- I was so incredibly nervous about how it would all go. My confidence level was nil because at a birth center,  it's a little bit different (which, believe me, is a good thing!) Come to find though, we mamas know way more than we think we do! I did know that I wanted my confidence back, wherever it might be! My sweet mother in law love came up with a great idea- why not get a doula. Well of course. No idea why I hadn't thought of that sooner. (She would, after all, know that it was a great idea since she used to be on the certification board of DONA! She was a fantastic doula too from what I've heard!) It was a lifesaver of an idea. I felt relief start to flood in. Then of course came the process of finding one. Do you know how hard it is to conduct doula interviews? There is so much riding on the line! I mean, will their personality be a good fit for yours? Will they end up actually be a help or more of a pain during the birth (no pun intended).  In the end, God answered so many prayers providing our good friend Jill to be our doula. Almost all my anxiety was gone. It's a relief to have someone you know and trust to take part in such a big life event.

I read up on several resources this time around to prepare for the birth. No birth classes for us.
My favorite thing though were some verses I wrote out for labor.

My due date was September 10, which happened to be a good friend's birthday and another's anniversary. Also just two days before our own anniversary on the 12th.
I know it sounds silly but I wanted Adrian to have his own day. 
(Well ok, honestly, and us too.)

With Andrew, especially being so overdue, we were more than ready.
This time around though I just did not feel ready at all.
Part of it was having last minute things like school exams and photoshoots
to finish up. But partly too, I just wasn't quite ready for our entire
world to change. We were so comfortable with us three.
And at the same time we already loved this new little babe so much.
That probably sounds so bad though :-/
Especially since I know how many, many have gone through the loss 
of a child or have endured the pain of a negative pregnancy test over and over.
It sounds so selfish to say I just didn't feel ready yet.
But as they say, ready or not...!

38 weeks

One little thing I had prayed for (ok, big to me)
was that we would be able to take Andrew to his first day of Pre K. 
So silly, I know. I mean, I know-it was just Pre K.
But to me, it was a huge deal to get to be a part 
of his first school-related experience.
Except that, his first day of Pre K was September 10th.
September 10th was our due date.

Call me crazy, but three days before my due date 
I booked a Pampered Chef party.
Hey, I mean Andrew was 9 days late sooo....
why not make the most of the dreaded prolonged last days.

The day before the party, Josh and I were out shopping for it.
I had some cramping and braxton hicks but what else was new?
This time around I had braxton hicks super early on from just barely walking.
Plus, it was irregular. So shopping we went. At granny speed.
Except the Costco membership needed to be renewed so
we couldn't get anything. I was a little flustered because the party was the next day
and I didn't want to go shopping alone being that pregnant.
I had this gut feeling that we should just hold off on getting anything for it.
Everything was still really irregular but I just had this feeling.
Oh, I also had a doctor's appointment. I was 80% effaced but just 2 cm dilated.

That night was Andrew's Pre K open house. We all went and he absolutely loved it.


I was still having irregular cramping but enough to make me wonder because
it had been all day. My sweet hubby couldn't help but brag
to the other Pre K parents that I might be in labor right then!
Um, thanks. But not? :)

That night, I just had this urgent feeling to get our bags packed and everything ready.
I was in bed by 8:40, feeling the enormity of what was yet to come.
Still, no regular contractions,but I noticed they were starting to get a little stronger.
Around 11:30, I awoke to much stronger contractions.
I could hardly contain my excitement. I stayed in bed, 
sent a text to our doula and started to prepare myself mentally.
Nothing too strong yet. I got a contraction app though to start noting them.

Around 1 am, things got real. Not started to. No, boom there they were!
As soon as they got regular, they were strong (about a minute long) 
and just a few minutes apart. I wanted it dark and cool. 
It helped a lot to focus and make it through them as they got stronger.
At one point, hot water on my back sounded amazing.
I may or may not have chewed Josh out for not having the water temp
just perfect in .3 seconds. Oops. But I mean, I was in active labor.
Things started to pick up even more so I decided to call our midwife 
and let our doula know. This was about 2:30 am. 
Contractions were about a minute long and 3 1/2-4 minutes apart. 
The midwife recommended laboring as long as I felt comfortable. 
Finally at 3:15 I called back in because these things were no joke.
I wanted my tub! By now they were just 3 minutes apart.
We had a couple different plans for Andrew depending on the time.
Thankfully our friends & next-door-neighbors were home
so Josh just carried him over. 
Getting to the birth center was fun. Every single bump Josh heard it from me.
Dude, when you're in labor, close to transition, bumps aren't funny!
We finally made it. I had a friend who was going to take pictures of the birth,
but I changed my mind about that pretty fast, being in such intense labor.
I am such an introvert when it comes to dealing with pain. 
If you are trying to cheer me on or document it, I just might hurt you!
I thrive from quiet. 

We got to the birth center at 6 am.
They got the tub ready and I reluctantly let them check me.
I was already in transition at 6 cm.
I labored through one or two transactions and then our doula got there. 
Relief! I got into the tub and totally relaxed from the hot water.
It was amazing. I focused on completely going limp during each contraction.
The dark room, music, and cold wet washcloth were amazing.
It wasn't long before I was begging to be done.
Anything to be done with the contractions right on top of the other.
But little did I realize that he was just a few minutes away! 
I was ready to push. Although, funny enough, I didn't feel any urge to.
I asked if I could, and sure enough, I was way ready. 
The best part of labor was this- pushing him out and not knowing 
how much farther we had to go. I was in tears saying, 
"I just want his head to be out!!" 
My midwife and Josh laughed and exclaimed, "HE IS OUT!!!"
And oh the flood of joy.

 Adrian Lee
Born on September 7, 2012 
at 7:11 am
7 lbs 1 oz.
19 inches long


"Adrian, we are brothers forever!!!"

One of the best moments of the day?
Andrew meeting his baby brother.
He had no idea we'd gone to the birth center.
When we came back around 9:40 that morning (yes, short stay birth center!)
Josh went to get Andrew, who still had no idea.
I love the video of it.

Happy family of *four!!*

And here we are now, seven months later and I really would not trade us for anything.
I love our little family dearly. Who knew four would be so perfectly wonderful?
Imperfect moments and all.

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