Dylan Sophia Eger
Born March 3rd, 2022 at 11:02pm
8 lbs 9oz and 20 inches long
We are so in love with our little bundle of joy!
My due date was March 1st and for weeks leading up to her due date I felt anxious and excited for her arrival. I had decided to work up until my due date to stay busy & keep making money, since my job doesn't offer paid maternity leave. It made me anxious thinking I might go into labor sooner and having to contact my managers, so I think looking back I should have stopped working two weeks before my due date.
My sisters and I were all 10 days early, but it's common for first time moms to deliver past their due date. I wanted her to be born in March so she could be a March Pisces baby, and to arrive during the week my sister Emma was visiting. Thankfully I got both! About a month before my due date I started to prepare for the big day. I wanted to make sure her nursery was ready, my hospital bag was packed, that I knew all the "signs" of labor starting and how to manage the contractions when they came. I also started to prepare my body for labor with red raspberry tea, figs, hip opener & pelvis exercises on a birthing (exercise) ball and went for walks that incorporated curb walking. My doctor did a cervical exam at 39 weeks and said I was 2 inches dilated and 80% effaced which made me excited the big day was near! However, both numbers can stay the same for awhile which is what happened to me, because I was the same amount at my 40 week exam. This time I asked if she could do a membrane sweep to help induce labor. 72 hours later my water broke and my birth story began...
It was 6:45am and I was laying in bed and thought some discharge had come out so I got up to pee and check, and just like the stories I had read online when I stood up more liquid ran down my leg. I took a couple steps and more came out. I was afraid to get my hopes up so I called my mom to ask her opinion, while I was on the phone more liquid came out. She said she thought my water broke and to call my doula and wake up Matt. 10 minutes later my contractions started and whoa! They were just as bad as everyone I'd ever asked had said. My doula arrived 45 minutes later and no matter what position I was in I could not reduce the pain. It felt unbearable and I wanted to get to the hospital because I was afraid of feeling even worse in the car and I knew it could take up to an hour before I could get an epidural.
The hospital I delivered at was Scripps La Jolla. Matt dropped me off to go park the truck, and I was greeted with friendliness by the front desk staff. A security guard immediately grabbed a wheel chair and took me to the nurses station in labor and delivery. Right away a nurse took me into a little room to admit me into the hospital and made sure the anesthesiologist was available to do my epidural. I lucked out because she happened to be walking by and let me get set up without doing the tests (blood work / covid) before giving me the epidural so I didn't have to wait longer. What a relief it was! I honestly don't know how people have intentional unmedicated births. For the next 12 hours I was able to "rest" and be present with Matt and the nurses who would move me around and check my vitals. I ate a granola bar over time, had a popsicle, and sipped water as I waited for my body to dilate to 10 cm.
Once I was fully dilated and they gave me the ok to start pushing is when the real work began. I ended up pushing for 3 hours, which according to the nurses is common for first time moms. The downside to the epidural was I didn't have the same mind-body connection that I normally would, but I didn't want to say that to the nurse because I was afraid they'd turn it off and then I'd be in worse pain. After an hour of pushing I felt like a failure, like "wow, I am really not good at this", but both Matt and the nurse kept encouraging me to keep going. Before labor I felt like I had only heard stories like "I pushed for 20 minutes" or "It only took 3 pushes"so I felt like I was a weak woman for taking longer. I guess the baby was "sunny side up" which also makes it harder to push the baby out. At about 2.5 hours the midwife and OB came in to exam my progress and determine if I would need a vacuum assist or c-section. Thankfully the OB said neither and I would meet my daughter soon. Sure enough, 30 minutes later after more hard work at 11:02pm Dylan Sophia arrived!
photography by Tiffany Allen photography
I guess when I pictured feeling my baby for the first time skin to skin that that's how it would feel. Instead when the doctors first placed her on top of me it felt like a creature or a doll with cool sticky skin. At the angle they placed her it was hard for me to get a good look at her face without feeling crossed eyed. Of course I felt joy and love, but I honestly just felt shocked that I did it. After pushing for so long, after feeling like I was pregnant for so long, and after wanting to be a mother for so long I was just shocked this was real, that she was real.
I had hired a doula because I thought it would be nice for Matt to have the support. I feel like we as a society just assume the mother's partner will be ok taking on these heavy emotions and holding a safe and supportive space during this very intense experience. I wanted Matt to feel empowered but also know it's ok to take a break and walk away for a moment if he needed. Since the hospital was only allowing one support person in the room we knew ahead of time the doula wouldn't be able to be there. Even though she couldn't be in the room during labor, delivery or recovery I was so happy I had found my doula Carrie. As a first time mom it was nice to have someone to talk to the months leading up to labor about what I was curious about and what I was feeling. Since I wasn't't a huge fan of my doctor's bedside manor, it was nice to have another resource to help prepare me for the big day.
One nickname I have for Matt is "my King". Throughout my pregnancy, and during labor and delivery that is how I would describe him. He is not a morning person, and he even joked the night before "If you go into labor could you maybe start around noon?" haha the universe said. He heard me on the phone that morning and took out his headphones and looked at me and knew. I told him my water broke, and without hesitation he got up and put our stuff in his truck and came back to support me with my contractions. When we left for the hospital he drove safely and did not seem stressed or panicked. He dropped me off to park and met me inside a few minutes later, right away being my advocate and support talking to the nurses about what I needed. For the next 12 hours he stayed by my side rubbing me, feeding me bites of a granola bar and giving me water. He was updating our family through texts and made sure the nurses were paying attention to my needs. I was REALLY scared to give birth but he kept calming me down with words of encouragement and love. When it came time to push he was holding my hand, lifting me up and coaching me through each push. We have a joke now that it was like a was in a boxing match and he was giving me water and spoon fulls of honey while encouraging me to keep fighting when I wanted to give up. When the baby was born he cut the cord and held his hand on our daughters back while she laid on my chest. In that moment we became united as a family of three bonded by unconditional love. When I look back on this day my eyes fill with tears thinking of all Matt did for me. I'm glad the doula wasn't there only because it showed us all we need is each other. I am so grateful that I have a partner as supportive as Matt, and Dylan is lucky to have him as her dad.
Since there were still restrictions at the hospital that limited it to one support person, the afternoon after my delivery Matt went home and my sister Emma came to stay with us at the hospital. Technically the hospital prefers patients not to "switch" support people, but no one ever said anything to make us feel like we did anything wrong. Once I was transferred to the recovery room it was a revolving door of nurses coming in and turning on lights to check me and the baby's levels and give me medicine. I had gotten a fever during labor, so they were giving me an antibiotic through an IV, as well as Tylenol and Motrin for the pain. I think it was good for Matt to go home and rest, because he was able to, and then when he picked us up from the hospital the next day he felt more alert and like himself.
It was special to have Emma with me at the hospital because when I was 12, I stayed with my mom the night Emma was born. She was also the perfect person to be there during the many interruptions of nurses coming in, and me being bedridden. Since she was a little girl she's always been great at helping others. So during this time where I needed someone to hand me water, help me out of bed or bring me something from my bag she didn't complain or make me feel bad. Like me, Emma has always loved kids and has experience babysitting. She was a natural with Dylan and it was very touching seeing how instant they loved each other. If I could have it my way, Emma would move to San Diego and be our nanny.
Dylan was born with borderline jaundice, which I guess pretty common in newborns. At the hospital they had started her on this bili light (blue light) phototherapy that is supposed to help break down the bilirubin in her blood. They tested her blood 3-4 times at the hospital to monitor her levels and then I had to rent one of these machines (see below) and have her on it for the next few days. It was annoying to have to keep her on this light as much as possible - moving it around the house where we were hanging out, but we learned indirect sunlight can also help so I started taking her out in the shade for 15-20 mins a couple times a day. It was also hard having to hold her and hear her cry as the pricked her heel to test her blood levels. Thankfully at her 2nd weight check (1 week old) appointment she had improved and we were able to stop the light therapy and blood testing. I am grateful she is healthy and happy, and that we did not have to keep her at the hospital.
Here's what I packed in my hospital bag vs. what I actually used:
- phone charger YES
- extension cord NO
- heating pad YES
- disposable undies with built in maxi pad NO hospital provided
- going home outfit for me and baby YES
- baby blanket YES for ride home, but hospital also provided them
- burp cloth NO
- flip flops (for shower) NO didn't shower lol
- slippers YES wore them to and from hospital
- night gown NO didn't want it to get dirty
- peri bottle & postpartum spray NO hospital provided
- essential oils & cotton balls (to put oils on vs skin in case you stop liking scent) NO hospital provided and used with their diffuser
- toothbrush, deodorant YES
- chapstick YES
- hairbrush NO lol didn't brush my hair
- regular underwear NO
- textured socks NO hospital provided
- trash bag for dirty clothes NO hospital provided
- pacifiers & holder NO too big for newborn
- front zip sports bras YES but only as part of going home outfit
- pillows & blankets NO forgot in truck & didn't want to get dirty
Dylan Sophia is our little dream come true. I prayed for her, wished for her, and spent many months manifesting her. Now that she is here with us we feel so blessed to hold her in our arms and love her more every day.
If you're a soon-to-be mom, or someone who's wanting to be a mother some day please feel free to email me any questions you might have. I am happy to share my experience and things I've learned along the way!