Amelia's Birth Story

I finally have a few free minutes to write about Amelia's birth story. Her birth was much different than Silas' birth, in fact everything about this pregnancy and even delivery have been very different and at times extremely difficult. On the flip side, once Silas was born he had a lot of difficulties and complications with jaundice, low birth weight, and nursing, while Amelia has been incredibly easy going and a great nurser, in fact yesterday at her two week appointment she weighed in 2 ounces past her birth weight!

It all started the day before, Wednesday, were my doctor and perinatoligist (high risk OB, I had to go to them too because of the gestational diabetes) wanted to induce me because some of my sugar levels had risen. We already had an induction date scheduled for the next week, and honestly I didn't want to be induced. Having done my research of natural birth, been going through our Bradley Method for a second time, I knew that by being induced the odds were against me of having a natural birth. After a late afternoon phone conversation with my doctor I told her that I would talk to my husband that evening and give her a phone call the next morning. I knew she wanted to induce me the next day, but she agreed to wait and have me think about my options. I was pretty upset, and when Brett came home from work and we talked about it, we both decided that we wanted to wait a few days, and see what would happen over the weekend. If I didn't go into labor naturally, then we would agree to the early induction.

That night I woke up around 12:30am and just did not feel very well. Being a pregnant lady I was used to waking up several times a night needing to use the restroom or just uncomfortable. This was different, but I didn't really think much of it at the time so I was able to fall back asleep. About two hours later I woke up to a contraction, again I didn't think much of it because I had been having irregular Braxton Hicks contractions for months now. However this one was a little stronger and kept me awake. About 10 minutes later I felt another one. From the time I woke up until about 3:00am I laid in bed and timed them. I had about 4 contractions all about 10-12 minutes apart. I decided to get up, walk around, and have a snack to just to check to see if these were in fact "real contractions." For the next several hours, I paced the living room, watched TV, and tried to read as I timed my contractions. They were regular at 10 minutes apart. Finally at 6:00am I woke Brett up and told him that I was having contractions and he should call in to the office. I took a shower and got dressed, during this time my contractions stopped. I knew that this could happen in early labor as you start to get excited about being in labor. But we continued to do things around the house to get prepared. My mom came over around 8:00am, and then we sent Silas over to my mother-in-law's house. I called my doctor's office to let her know what was going on, but I knew that we couldn't do anything until the contractions were closer together at 5 minutes apart. So we waited. I walked around the house to get my contractions moving along again, which they started back up. We packed our bag, and got the car loaded, and I continued to walk around.

Around 11:30am, they were back to being regular about 8-10 minutes apart. We decided to go get some lunch, because I knew that I wouldn't be allowed to eat once I did make it to the hospital. The contractions were starting to come a little stronger, and a little more frequently at about 6-7 minutes. After lunch, Brett and I went to the Target which is right across the street from the hospital. We wanted to keep walking around, but didn't want to go all the way back home. While we were walking my contractions got very intense, some were right on top of each other, and at times I couldn't even walk I was just hunched over the shopping cart. Brett called back the Doctor and she told us to go on in to the hospital.

We got to the hospital, and got checked in to the maternity floor. The nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor and checked me. I was still just dilated to a 3 which is what I was about 2 days ago. Also during this time my contractions stopped again which was pretty frustrating. The nurse told me that she would monitor the heartbeat for about 30 minutes than have me walk around for an hour and then check my progress. The whole time while walking around I was have a few contractions that were hardly strong at all, and they were a little more than 10 minutes apart. I wasn't progressing at all. Finally my doctor came in and told me that I could go home and continue to labor, or I could have my water broken to get things moving. She assured me that since I was already having contractions I would probably not need to be put on pitocin, that the contractions would pick up on their own. Brett and I spent about 30 minutes talking about it, and after much frustration I decided to go ahead and have my water broken. I didn't want to go through the drama of going home only to have to come back again, plus I knew my doctor was recommending to break my water anyway.

At 5:00pm my doctor broke my water which was the strangest feeling, completely different than when my water broke naturally with Silas. I also has a sort of freak out moment because I knew there was no turning back now! I was allowed to continue walking for an hour, than had to be hooked up to the monitor for about 15 minutes. My contractions definitely picked up in frequency and intensity. Walking the halls really helped. I continued walking the halls until around 8:30pm, then after that I wanted to stay pretty close to our room. The next hour and half  my contractions were pretty much right on top of each other, and extremely painful. This was the part where I totally understand why women opt for pain meds, and in fact I told Brett that I didn't think I could do it anymore. Thankfully he was very encouraging and a great coach. At 9:45pm, the doctor on call came in to check me (my doctor's shift had ended so another doctor in her practice would be delivering me which I wasn't thrilled about but there was nothing I could do about that). I had only dilated to a 7. By this time my contractions were incredibly intense, and I had so much pressure to start wanting to push naturally. The doctor told me I could not start pushing because I wasn't fully dilated yet, but I don't think he understands what if feels like to have your body take control and start pushing naturally. The pain was so intense that I actually started to throw up, which in looking back now I think that is what helped fully dilated me because in about a 10 minute window I went from a 7 to fully dilated.

I was finally allowed to push, as if my body was going to wait any longer, and during one last final contraction with one push Amelia Josephine was born at 10:15pm. After almost 18 hours of labor my daughter finally came into this world. I also thought it was incredibly beautiful that she was born to my favorite song by my favorite artist. Sara Grove's "Add to the Beauty" was playing in the background.

Unlike Silas, Amelia took to nursing naturally and latched on as soon as she was placed on my chest. She remained there for the next hour, and has been a nursing pro ever since.

 I completely enjoyed the whole labor experience with Silas and I am glad that I had that experience first. Even though Amelia's birth wasn't quite as easy or what I had planned and envisioned, I'm still glad that I was able to have a second medication-free child birth. I can't say that I would be to eager to replicate that again though, but hopefully with time God will give me the strength to go through labor again if He so blesses us with another child.

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