Amelia’s Birth Story

It finally happened! On April 25th and 12:45 PM, our little Amelia made her grand debut! Of course, it wasn’t nearly that simple. First, of course, was the fun, 39-week pregnancy, which was full of its own ups and downs (a lot of those during the first trimester, except those went down, then came back up, if you get what I’m saying), but was such an exciting time for J.D. and me. Around the end, J.D. was just getting so frustrated, he wanted to hold his little girl NOW! Well, now he’s got her!

Amelia’s original due date was April 30th, so I thought I had at least one more week to lounge around, finish binge-watching Lost, and clean the house. Thursday, April 28th, I had agreed to work the front desk for a piano sale on the U of U campus all day. I felt just fine all day, worst I felt was just getting a sore bum from sitting on a lightly padded folding chair for too long. Dinner that night consisted of French Toast lovingly made by my dear husband—I almost wish we’d gone with the Tuna Helper I had originally planned, but then the prospect of French Toast… Yummy! But that’s beside the point. I don’t remember what we did the rest of the evening, but we ended up going to bed around midnight, me falling asleep around 12:30 because hey, iPhone, I had some internet to do. Then, nary one hour later, I wake up, feeling very sore indeed, figured I just needed to pee, as I was at the point where that urge was usually a lot uncomfortable. So, off I go to the bathroom, do my business, and lay back down in bed. A few minutes later… Cramp! Hum, that’s interesting… Try to go back to sleep… About 10 minutes later… There it is again. So, I grudgingly pull out my handy iPhone and open up my handy contraction timer (which up to this point had only been used once before to measure what I don’t really think was really contractions, just gas), and start timing. All this while J.D. lay blissfully unaware of how exciting his morning was about to become. Lo and behold, they were coming about every 8 minutes, and all I could think was all the stuff that I had planned to do tomorrow and it was looking like I was not going to get to have my mom paint my toenails after all and that was a total bummer.

So, fast forward about two hours (sleeping between contractions, remaining about 8 minutes apart and 30-40 seconds long), I get up to go to the bathroom again, and, to sugar coat, pretty much confirmed that stuff was going down and things were getting real and I should probably wake up J.D. and call the midwife and change into something I wouldn’t mind throwing away or was easy to clean (which didn’t end up happening—I still have no idea when my water actually broke). So, I walk calmly into the bedroom (calmly because I felt like I was in some sort of crazy dream, so why panic) and tapped him on the shoulder, I think I said something like, “Hey, J.D., I think stuff is happening and we should probably go to the hospital soon.” But apparently I said it calmly enough that it didn’t panic him, but it definitely woke him up pretty quick! Up he went, and as I started having another contraction, we called the midwife, who informed us to head to labor and delivery once the contractions were five minutes apart, lasting for about 1 minute. Well, we skipped that and went straight to 3 minutes apart lasting for about 45 seconds just as soon as J.D. hung up with her. So, we let those go for about another 45 minutes while we finished throwing some things into the labor bag, brushed our teeth, put on some clothes, and continued timing the contractions (which stayed steady at 3 minutes apart).

We finally pulled up to the hospital around 4:00 AM, maybe 4:30, where we checked in and got all hooked up to the monitors in triage because I was only at a 2-3. Then I just had to sit there for what seemed like waaay too long to be stationary going through contractions. I think around 5:30 was when they finally took me off the monitors and let me walk around the halls in my stylish hospital gown while J.D. did an awesome job rubbing my back during the contractions.

When I couldn’t drag myself away from the hand rails on the wall between contractions was when we headed back to the triage room to get checked again (which consequently made me throw up any snacks I had tried to pack down before we went to the hospital). I had at least made some progress, going to a 3 or 4, so they gave us the option of going home or getting hooked up to the monitors again. I’m glad we decided to stay, because only an hour later of being monitored the screen turned yellow with the message “Admit Patient.” Dang was I glad, because there were some where the little line graph thingy didn’t even go back down to stasis, just dipped a little as a second contractions started right after the first one.

FINALLY we got our very own room. My WONDERFUL midwife came around, showed J.D. a FABULOUS counter-pressure technique to do while she filled up the Jacuzzi tub and the nurse put in my heplock (I had hoped I wouldn’t need one, but since I’d already thrown up and didn’t feel like I could keep anything else down they put it in so they could get some fluids in me). My midwife headed over to her clinic to re-arrange her schedule while I labored in the tub for I don’t know how long, but it was soooooo nice. Of course, I did throw up again, which sucked, but even with that, J.D. just stayed perfectly calm, bringing me another bag in case I threw up again. I cannot stress enough how great he was during the whole process. So, after what I think was an hour or two, I got out of the tub and labored for a while on a birthing ball, then my midwife got back and I labored for about a half hour in bed while hooked up the monitors and saline. Baby girl was doing great! I think at that point I was at about a 6. My parents showed up sometime during that monitoring stage, when my father and J.D. gave me a blessing and then we kicked my dad out and my mom hung around and acted as a support, finally went and got our labor bag out of the car (so much for all the labor stuff I packed)

So, after they took me off the monitors, we moved to a side-lying position and oh my word it was… Well, my midwife said sometimes the more painful the position is, the more progress we make, which we did—an hour later of doing that, I was at a 9 ½, 100% effaced, and just about ready to push.

I think the worst part was when I was feeling ready push (around 11 or so), but she told me to wait (hellooooo transition). She put me in a hands and knees position for this part, while I tried to keep my voice low low low, when all I wanted to do was sleeeeeeep (or push so I could go to sleep soon). Luckily, that only lasted two contractions, then we were ready to PUSH!

And, that was also apparently when my grandparents arrived at the hospital, because we hear a knock on the door, it opening, and then a “hello?” from my grandpa. Definitely a very inopportune moment, as there I was, getting ready to push in all my glory. Thank goodness for the curtain. J.D. darted away and shooed them out.

So, pushing. The first few pushing contractions I could only muster two pushes each, but then we started seeing the head and I was thinking, “Holy crap! This is happening! That’s a baby! Let’s do this thing!” so after maybe four of those, I started doing three pushes per contraction, and then things started moving MUCH faster. I could feel her moving down and down, and even turning and moving between contractions, and then 12:45 came around and my midwife told me to reach down and take my baby— There she was, beautiful, wide-eyed Amelia, immediately ready to suck on anything she could fit in her mouth, which at that moment was both her hand and her arm, NOISILY. We all sat and stared for what seemed like a perfect eternal moment, and once the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, they clamped it and J.D. was able to cut it. The staring continued. More staring, more hello’s; at some point my mother sneaked out so J.D. and I could have our moment. They let me keep holding and staring as long as I wanted; she was a great distraction from the pain of the stitches being sewn in, and as soon as my midwife was done with that, they took her and weighed her. The first thing she did when they took her was give out a perfect little squeak, sending smiles around the room. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 19 inches long. She was swiftly returned to me, and we got right down to the business of nursing. She caught on very quickly! Easy as pie.

So, 11 hours of drug-free labor and our magnificent little Amelia was here! She is bringing so much joy into our lives, and we feel so blessed to have been trusted by our Heavenly Father to raise one of His sweet daughters.

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