A Birth Story: Atticus

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“Looking back at it, labor and delivery wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be. I expected to be in pain, but it wasn’t completely unbearable. The medications helped and made it a pleasant experience. And the nursing staff at Lakes Regional is fantastic. Any time I pushed my call light, they were right there, kind and encouraging. Everyone made me feel so comfortable and helped me navigate brand new motherhood,” said Liz. “As wonderful as that experience was, however, it doesn’t compare to the joy we experience having Atticus home with us now and watching him change and grow each day.”

It was November 2021 and Liz and Tim Soper of Spirit Lake weren’t necessarily planning quite yet on getting pregnant. “We were open to it, though, like if it happens, it happens,” said Liz. “So when I found out I was pregnant the weekend after Thanksgiving, I was excited.”

 

The holiday season was a perfect time to give her husband the news as a Christmas gift. It was a perfect plan, but also too difficult to keep. “I ended up telling him I was pregnant about two weeks before Christmas, mainly because me not feeling well was getting harder to explain away,” said Liz. This was the first pregnancy on both sides of their families, and they were anxious to spread the news. She gave the pregnancy news as a gift to her mom for her birthday in January. Tim’s father also received the news in January, and sadly passed away unexpectedly that same week. Liz said, “We’re happy he knew he was going to be a grandpa.”

 

Each trimester brought new changes. The first trimester brought fatigue and morning sickness. “I was prescribed a medication that eased the morning sickness, fortunately,” said Liz. The second trimester was a breeze. The morning sickness went away, she regained her energy, and enjoyed all the first kicks, ultrasound pictures, and getting the baby bump.

 

The third trimester brought with it back pain and mild contractions, especially during the last two weeks of Liz’s pregnancy. The contractions didn’t progress, so after discussing with her physician, Dr. Mara Groom of Lakes Regional Family Medicine, it was decided induction would be a good option during her 39th week.

 

On Monday night, July 25, 2022, Liz was three centimeters dilated and arrived at Lakes Regional Healthcare to be induced. “They gave me Pitocin around 8:00 pm. The contractions were not pleasant, so they gave me pain medications to take the edge off,” she said. “That worked at first, but not after the second dose a few hours later. It hurt a lot, like very, very intense menstrual cramps.”

 

At 4:30 am, Liz received an epidural. The pain immediately vanished, and she was able to relax and rest. “Around 5:30 am the nurses asked if they could check my cervical dilation. My first nurse said she thought I may be completely dilated after she checked me but wanted the opinion of another nurse. As the other nurse was preparing to check me, I felt a pop and something warm. I kind of jumped a bit and said, ‘I think my water just broke,’” she said. “In the hour after my epidural, I went from five centimeters dilated to complete. I’m very thankful for the epidural because it would have been a longer process had I not gotten it. It helped physically and mentally and made the experience a lot better.”

 

After Dr. Groom arrived around 6:15 am, Liz started pushing and at 6:36 am, Atticus was born, weighing a healthy 8 pounds, 5 ounces.

 

“Looking back at it, labor and delivery wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be. I expected to be in pain, but it wasn’t completely unbearable. The medications helped and made it a pleasant experience. And the nursing staff at Lakes Regional is fantastic. Any time I pushed my call light, they were right there, kind and encouraging. Everyone made me feel so comfortable and helped me navigate brand new motherhood,” said Liz. “As wonderful as that experience was, however, it doesn’t compare to the joy we experience having Atticus home with us now and watching him change and grow each day.”

Dr. Groom

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