June 25, 2011

Amelia's Birth Story

This is quite possibly the longest and most graphic post I've ever written.
Boys and squeamish persons beware. 
There MAY be a little TMI going on here. 
Don't say I didn't warn you.     

     I have been reading a lot of birth stories out there in the blogosphere and decided that it is an excellent idea to document how it all went down.  I would love to have a record of what I can remember, sort of a journal post because let's face it, I suck at journaling and this blog is the closest thing I've got to having one.  And facing facts, after three kids my memory is shot!   So not only for me, but for my sweet Amelia. I would love for my beautiful daughter to be able to some day read how she came into this world and all the surrounding things that happened that day.  Another reason I'm putting this out there is I want to share my experiences with other women.  Its sort of a bonding experience to be able read and commiserate with someone else's birth story.  
     I admit I love reading birth stories and crying remembering how I felt when I gave birth and laughing at the mishaps and just feeling a general camaraderie with other women out there, some of which I've never even met.  Giving birth is such an empowering experience and I just want to share how special and joyful that day was for me.  
     So if it's too much information, please feel free to skip the words and just look at the adorable pictures!  And if you're the judging type, feel free to judge away.  I may not do things the way everyone else does, but that's what makes my experience so special.  I feel like I need to give you a little back story here, just so you can understand how special this little baby is to us.
     I have been waiting for this sweet baby girl to come for way longer than 9 months.  Before I had kids, when I imagined having a baby I always assumed my first would be a little girl.  When we found out Izacc was a boy, I was a little surprised, but I was totally good either way because of our struggle to get pregnant in the first place.  
     When I became pregnant with Ian, I was sure it had to be a girl this time.  When we found out he was a boy, I was pretty upset.  Not because I didn't want another boy necessarily, but the dream I had of having a daughter felt like it was slipping away.  Having one boy was one thing, but two boys, oh my.  I have three brothers, Thom has three brothers, the prospect of me actually getting a little girl seemed nearly impossible.                  
     I was depressed for a few weeks, even though I knew how happy and thankful I should have been.  I felt guilty and ungrateful because there were so many women out there who couldn't even get pregnant and here I was sad about the fact that not only was I able to get pregnant twice, but that it was yet another boy.  I knew better but I couldn't shake the fact that I wanted to paint little toenails and go shopping and talk about boys and be the mother of the bride someday, and you just can't do that with little boys.  
     I finally broke down to Thom and we talked about it.  I felt so ashamed, but as soon as I got it out and off my chest I felt much better.  And Thom was so good about listening to me and helping me feel like my feelings were valid and not judging me.  And that was that, thankfully, I was over it and excited to have a little boy.  And when he was born he was the cutest thing. (and still is)  I couldn't imagine our lives without him.  All the sadness and silliness seemed so trivial and ridiculous.
     Still, when the time came to try again, I wanted to feel somewhat in control.  I got baby hungry really early, as in as soon as Ian turned 1, I was ready for another one.  So I bought a book and decided to try the best I could to make conditions perfect for having a girl.   Many prayers were sent heavenward over this one because when it all comes down to it, I'm pretty sure you get what you're meant to have at the time you need it.  I went to the Dr to discuss our options as far as fertility.  You see, we tried for 2 years before we got pregnant with Izacc, and 1 year of trying with Ian, as well as months and months of clomid with both, so I knew we were in for the long haul with this one.  In fact, the Dr and I joked about the fact that maybe the secret to getting a girl was doing it without the help of clomid. 
     The book suggested that you chart you daily basal temperature for two months before you start trying in order to gain a better knowledge of when you ovulate.  Well, I didn't even have the chance to see if the book's method worked. 

     We found out I was pregnant 2 days after I got my wisdom teeth out in October.  

     Izacc actually told me I was pregnant long before that.  He told me there was a baby girl in my tummy and her name was Tinkerbell.  Creepy kid.
     I was a nervous wreck.  Not only had I had oral surgery and taken painkillers and was still drinking caffeine, but I wanted a daughter so much.  And aside from that, I was worried that I had damaged my innocent baby.  I couldn't let myself get excited, even though Izacc was certain I was having a baby girl.

     I am certain I won't be able to describe the joy I felt the day we found out the peanut in my tummy was actually a girl.  It was surreal and as over the moon I was about it, I was still apprehensive.  The Dr told us to keep the tags on everything, you know, just in case, and I had a couple friends who thought they were having girls and then, uh, they turned out to be boys.  I mean I knew it was a girl in there, but in the back of my mind there was always this little "what if", so I was hesitant to get too excited at all, which made the duration of the pregnancy seem to drag on and on and on.  Needless to say I could not wait to meet this little person.
     I felt more ready to have this baby than I did with my other two.  I had been sewing up a storm and had a lot of fun projects conquered.  We got the nursery completely finished.  My house was clean.  I had meals in the freezer and cupboards to last well over a week.  Most everything on my to-do list was finished.  And I even had a little time to enjoy myself.  I was ready.
     On Thursday the 9th, my boys and I went on an ice cream date with my friend, Steph, to celebrate my last Thursday being pregnant.  It was nice to relax (as much as I could with my two boys) and enjoy the evening.  
     On Friday the 10th, I took it easy all morning.  I blogged, I sat around in my underwear, I tidied up the house.  I even cleaned the bathroom!!  Thom took the afternoon off and build his father's day present, a new fancy shmancy grill, and I was able to run a few errands ALONE as the boys stayed at home with Dad.  We sat out in the sun, had snacks, I read my Nook and basically soaked up the peaceful day.  Later we made some Navajo tacos and scones and had a perfect outside picnic with Reese and Steph.
   Let me stop here and lay out the "plan".  Stephanie had so graciously agreed to watch my boys for me when I went into labor.  How sweet of her, right?!  I know.  The only problem was that, as you may or may not know, babies come into this world when they darn well please.  And Steph and Reese did have lives of their own, people to see, places to go, etc.  And such was the case that weekend.  They were heading to Utah on the 11th and planned to return on the 13th.  And so my goal was to keep little miss up in there, at least until they got back, which I didn't think was going to be a problem seeing as how my other two came a few days past their due dates.  No prob.
     So as we said our good-byes that night, there may or may not have been a threat and warning made to my unborn child to STAY PUT until the 13th.  And Steph made Thom promise that no matter the time or day, that he would call her and let her know when I was in labor.  I then cleaned up dinner, bathed the boys, talked to my mom on the phone, watched a little Ghost Adventures and went to bed.
     I woke up at 4 am and had to pee.  So I used the bathroom, in the dark, because I hate turning on the light and practically blinding myself at 4 in the morning.  And when I went to pull up my underpants I noticed they were soaked!  Uh did I seriously just pee my pants?!  So I immediately turned on the light to inspect. They were not a funny color, in fact, the only way I knew they were wet was because they were freezing cold!  I did happen to glance in the potty and the contents were pink and I thought, "Huh, that's weird."  
     So I went back to my room and inspected the bed.  It was dry as a bone.  What the what?!  I put a towel down, just in case, and with a new pair of underoos I got back into bed.  AND I couldn't sleep.  Had my water broken?  Had I just peed me pants?!  It's 4 am!  Why can't I sleep?!?  So I watched a couple episodes of Glee, as everyone does when they can't sleep, am I right!?  Right.  And then I started having contractions.  Mild as they were, they were contractions none the less.
     About 5:45 Izacc woke up screaming for Daddy.  Thom got up and went and talked to him.  He had a bad dream that we all went camping and he didn't get to go.  He was pretty upset.  As Thom came back into the room, my contractions were coming about every 5 minutes, and there was a little gush of fluid.  And I knew.  I told Thom that we were having a baby.  
     We sat and tried to make a game plan.  Since Steph was leaving, we had to think of who we could call.  I hadn't talked to anyone else about watching the boys, but since it was Saturday I knew people wouldn't be working.  Thom decided he had better go shower, seeing as how he smelled like a campfire.  (The night before, when he got his grill all put together, he fired it up so he could season the racks.)
     While Thom was in the shower, I called my mom and told her the news.  She had plans of traveling to Idaho Falls that morning to get a drug test for her new job.  I apologized for being a plan ruiner.  Izacc could hear me and called for me to come talk to him.  Here is how our discussion went.
     "Mom, are we going somewhere?"
     "Well, I think Mommy's going to the hospital.  I think the baby is going to come today!"
     "What am I doing?  I've got to get up and get going!  I can't just keep fooling around! I've got to get a move on!" And he literally jumped out of bed.  On the way down his ladder, he started gently talking to Ian saying "Ian!  The baby's coming!!  Don't you want to meet the baby?!  Get up Ian!  Mommy is going to have the baby!"  To which Ian replied "NO!" and covered his head with his blanket.
     Izacc and I went to the living room and we were talking about who should come and watch them today.  He asked if Reese and Steph could come and I told him they might not be able to because they were going out of town.  He suggested Bronwyn, Skye, and Becca.  Then he asked me "Wait.  Who has Mike?"  I told him Christine was married to Mike, but they lived as far away as Gramma so they wouldn't be able to come.  
     Now since I had been up and moving, my contractions had slowed way down.  Everyone had told me that the more kids you have, the shorter your labor is.  I was pretty sure that I was going to sneeze and this baby was going to come shooting out.  But since my contractions were slowing, I knew we had a little while.  So I hopped in the shower and shaved my legs and washed my hair and soaked in the warm water.  Then I got out and did my makeup and dried and fixed my hair.
     While I was showering, Thom called the hospital for me and they told him to get me there asap.  Thom then called Steph and told her what was going on.  From what I understand, she asked him if they should cancel their plans.  He told her he couldn't ask her to do that.  She said she'd talk to Reese and call him back.  Maybe 2 minutes later she called back and said they'd be right over.  And when they got there, Steph did the sweetest thing.  She went through my last minute list of things to take and gathered it all for me.  (She had been instructed by my husband a few weeks earlier to make sure I got my bag packed, which she did very efficiently, might I add)
     So dressed and ready I emerged from the bathroom to find my friends there and my bag ready to go.  I was so touched and felt so bad for ruining their day and at the same time was so thankful that they had decided to help us out.  My boys both adore them and I knew I wouldn't have to worry about meltdowns and if they'd be able to handle them both.  We were leaving them in the best hands and it was a huge weight off my shoulders.
     I looked down at my feet and noticed how craptastic my nails looked.  We couldn't have that! So I sat down with my polish remover and, much to the annoyance of my sweet husband, proceeded to clean off my nails.  Hey!   I mean I was going to be basically staring at my feet the whole day and I couldn't be bothered with a homeless person looking pedicure!
   Bag ready, babysitters ready, toenails clean, hair and makeup done, dressed and ready to go, I decided I'd better go say goodbye to Ian.  We went to wake him up and found him still asleep with the blanket over his head.  We woke him and and told him we were going to the hospital to have the baby.  He said "okay" and went and hugged Steph.  They went downstairs where Izacc was already watching cartoons.  We slipped out the door unnoticed.
     I told Thom I needed a picture of me before baby but the camera was already packed up. So he pulled out his trusty rusty phone and took these gems.
I was talking to my Dad. I called to let them know we were heading to the hospital. He told me my mom was already on her way.  The last time I had a baby, I called my mom when we went to the hospital and she didn't get there in time.  So this time, she had a bag ready and was out the door when she got the call.

     As we drove to the hospital,the thought occurred to me that I may be a tad hungry and perhaps we should swing by McDonalds for some breakfast.  But that thought quickly vanished with the next contraction.  Then I realized I hadn't said goodbye to Izacc, which made me super sad.  What the heck kind of mother was I?!  Jeesh!
     We got to the hospital and it was like a ghost town.  It was Saturday morning after all, but man!  There was no one around.  As we walked down the long corridor towards Labor and Delivery, the dam finally burst and there was seriously, erm, water everywhere!  I.WAS.MORTIFIED!  Oh man. I had put on a pad after my shower, so imagine the mess had I NOT been wearing one!  Thom went and found someone to get a wheelchair, but by the time they got one I had waddled my way to meet them.  And as soon as I sat down, again with the gushing.  Holy moly, needless to say they didn't have to check to make sure my water had broken.
     We got into the delivery room, I got changed and into bed, all hooked up on the monitors and IVs and there we sat.  I tested positive for GBS so I had to get my antibiotic for that, and then the nurse, who was an angel might I add, checked me to see how dilated I was... drum roll...I was at a 3.  Wow. I had a long way to go.
     My nurse then told me that all the Drs were out of town except for one.  Boo.  She asked me if I'd ever met the Dr that was there, I said no.  She said, "He is a really super nice guy.  He's about 80. but he's really nice."  I laughed, she laughed, and then she goes, "I'm serious."  Ha ha ha, I loved her.  
     Thom and I sat there, just kind of enjoying the quiet.  Little Girl was having a blast in there, her heartbeat kept at a steady 165, so that was fun to listen to.  We laughed and talked and basically enjoyed being together.  It was a really sweet moment for us.
     About that time the Dr came in.  My nurse was right, he was fo sho older.  He reminded me of the family Dr I had gone to growing up.  We exchanged pleasantries and he checked to see if I had dilated any more.  Uh big fat no.  So he told me that if I hadn't made any progress by noon he was going to start me on Pitocin.  Boo.  So I prayed I would get a move in down south because the one thing I did NOT want was to have Pitocin.
     The nurse then brought us breakfast, which was a total surprise. I was excited about any form of food and she said, "Well,don't get too excited, it's still hospital food."  I guess when she was listening to my heartbeat she heard my stomach growl, so she ordered us breakfast.  Did I mention that I loved her?!  She was with me all that day and then all day the next day, and she kept me sane and laughing.
     After breakfast, I was getting bored and tired.  My contractions had all but stopped, I was having one about every 15-20 minutes.  I decided to take a little snooze.  I had been up for a while and it was getting to me.  I slept for about an hour Thom said and then the Dr came back in.  He checked me again and said he wanted to deliver this baby before midnight and wanted to start the Pit then.  My angel nurse to the rescue.  She suggested we go for a walk first and then start the pit.  The Dr was cool with that and so the nurse brought me a robe, pad, and the "sexy panties".  Oh yes.
     And we walked and walked and walked.  And my contractions got bigger and better.   And more painful.  And more consistent.  And we kept on walking.  And we ran into the Dr, who told us he was going home to watch golf and see what took longer, the golf game or my delivery.  
     I was tired of walking the halls and the contractions were getting pretty bad and I kinda just wanted to sit down.  So we went back to my room.  As we passed the Nurses Station, my nurse was there and asked how it was going.  I told her we were definitely moving and she asked if I was ready for the Pit.  I made a sad face and said no.  She told me I could refuse it.  I basically wanted to kiss her.  She explained that I really didn't have to take it and she could call the Dr and tell him I had refused it.  I said okay and headed to  our room.

Yeah I'm playing peek-a-boo.  Deal with it!
     I used the bathroom for the 400th time (dang IV) and while I was in there I heard my mom.  She had made it!  So we talked for a little while and as I sat in the bed, my contractions stopped.  Grrr.  So we sat there for about an hour so the nurse could get our stats again and we got random updates from Steph about the kids.  And I tried to watch TV, which on a Saturday afternoon is absolute CRAP!  I found some SNL skit with Will Ferrell in an American flag speedo and I was done with TV.  We then decided that there was more walking to be done.
    So out we went again.  Let me tell you, by that time I was glad it was Saturday and there was no one around.  It's one thing to be having contractions and dealing with those, but to do it in the hallway of a hospital in front of complete strangers, well, it's a bit too much.  We walked and walked and I got mad at Thom for trying to take a picture of me mid contraction, and we walked and walked and I was really hurting.  I knew we had to be close...right?!
     Well, we were semi-right.  We had really gotten things moving, but we still had a while.  When I got back to the room the nurse came in and checked me and I was at a 7.  Seriously baby?!  A 7???  Where was this third baby theory?  I thought for sure it was time.  Alas, I was left to labor on.
     By this time, I'd been going for about 10 hours and I was done.  I was so tired and frustrated and really just wanted to be holding this baby in my arms.  And my confidence was shot.  Let me explain something.  I have my babies as naturally as I possibly can.  I was induced with Izacc, but I've never had an epidural.  And it's not because I feel like I am somehow superior for doing it naturally.  The reason I do it naturally is that I am terrified of getting an epidural.  I've heard so many horror stories about how it partially worked or they missed and lost a bunch of spinal fluid or it wore off by the time it was time to push, etc.  And I like to feel how hard I'm pushing and be in control of my body and the AMAZING feeling when the baby's head is out and then body and suddenly all the pain is GONE!  Gone.  And I love how pink and healthy the baby is when it comes out.  And I like being able to get up to use the bathroom and still having control of my body and not having to sit in bed with a catheter.  Not to say that having an epidural is bad.  I know that it totally works for some people.  Heck, it works for a lot of people.  Natural childbirth is definitely not right for everyone.  But it works for me.  And I choose to do it that way, and hard as it may be. 
     The reason my confidence was shaken was earlier in the day my brother and I were texting and he was trying to convince me to have an epidural this time.  He said that I was crazy and that doing it without one was like getting a tooth worked on without Novocaine.  So when the going got tough, I doubted myself and wondered if I should just give in and get it.  But I held strong and toughed it out and made it through and I am oh so glad it did, it was 100% worth it.
     Okay, anyway, back to the story.  I was having major contractions and I wanted to be pushing and they were telling me I wasn't anywhere near dilated enough.  So I got into my "labor mode" which entails me closing my eyes and completely ignoring everyone and everything around me and breathing very slowly in and out.  And in and out.  And during contractions breathing veeeery slowly and deeply and in between contractions resting and praying.  A lot.  Boy oh boy did I pray a lot that day.  I for sure needed the extra help and strength.  I couldn't be distracted or else the next contraction would waylay me.  I had to focus on resting and keeping it all under control.
     And then my Dad got there. And everyone was sort of talking, except for me.  And I kept breathing and ignoring everyone.  Thom was so good and would give me ice and let me squeeze the shiz out of his poor hand during contractions. And the room got very quiet.  It was just me sounding like a big choo choo train.  I became very aware of my contractions at this point and noticed I was having two different kinds.  One was super painful with a lot of pressure and the other was a bit milder with almost no pressure at all.  I'm sure there is some medical reason and terminology for this, but I have no idea what.  It was really neat to be able to feel what was going on with my body and be aware of the awesome job it was doing.  
     I had my mom on one side holding my hand and wiping my face with a cool washcloth and Thom on the other side, feeding me ice and letting me mangle his hand and getting me chapstick.  Mom said at one point she looked over and Thom's fingers were purple, although he'll swear I didn't hurt him at all.  Oh and Dad standing against the wall, and at one point I think he ducked behind the curtain by the door, as to shield himself from the gore of it all.
     They came in again, checked me, I was at a 9.  I labored some more and finally got to the point that I HAD to push or get something for the pain because I couldn't take it anymore.  My mom went and got the nurse, who got the Dr.  And the big show was about to start.  I could hear them prepping the room and the busyness of people moving stuff around and such, but I was still in the "zone" and kept my eyes closed.  
     The Dr did something amazing in my opinion, and told the nurses that I didn't need to put my feet up in the stirrups.  They didn't drop the bed or raise me up to the ceiling and make me scoot over to the very edge.  They put a big plastic sheet of sorts under by booty and let me sit straight up, right there on the bed.  And the Dr had Thom helping me push my back forward and that was it.  I pushed once and was apparently arching my back instead of leaning forward.  The Dr told me not to do that, I pushed again and everyone kept telling me how close I was.  I got what felt like a giant reprieve between contractions, which in reality was maybe 30 seconds, but it was what I needed to gear up to go again.  I said another prayer, pushed and out came my beautiful baby's head...and then body.  And I watched her come out.  And the first words out of my mouth were "She's really a girl!!!"

     She laid there on the bed and Thom cut the cord and they gave her to me and I cried.  I cried tears of relief and tears of joy and tears of exhaustion and tears of frustration.  I couldn't believe she was here, she was FINALLY here and oh my gosh how I loved her.  And at this point, my Mom and Dad were in tears and the nurses were in tears.  I kept thanking everyone for helping me and apologizing for who knows what. 

      After much debating and back and forth, we finally settled on the name Amelia Elaine.  Amelia being a name I've loved ever since high school, and Elaine after my Grandma, Marilyn Elaine Crapo.
     She was 8 lbs, 10 oz.  My biggest baby yet.  Also special side note, I was 8 lbs 10 oz when I was born as well. 
She was born at 4:23 pm.  A little over 12 hours of labor.  My longest labor yet. 
Not 100% whats happening in this picture but I must say I'm lookin' pretty good... 
And with that, I had a daughter.  A beautiful brand new daughter. 
A daughter I'd waited years for. 
My biggest baby, my longest, hardest delivery, and oh so very worth it. 
     The rest of the day was a blur.  They took her away to bathe her and monitor her for a while.  I ate and got moved over to my room.  And then my boys and Reese and Steph came over and met the new baby.  AND it was love at first sight for everyone.

She is his little mini me, she looks so much like he did when he was born. 

Our little family is finally complete.

     She's amazing, she's beautiful.  She brings a peace to our home that's been missing.  We all speak a little quieter, we're all nicer to each other.  I honestly don't know what we ever did without her.  In fact, it's hard to remember what it was like before she got here, it seems like she's been here forever, when it's really only been a mere days.  I love her and am so very thankful that she's joined our family.  Her brothers adore her and I can't wait to watch them grow up together.
     So that's that.  How our little Amelia Elaine came into this world.  It was an amazingly long and hard day and I wouldn't have changed any of it.   


Stephy said...

That was an amazing story. I loved reading it. Thank you for sharing. We were so blessed to be able to play with your boys all day; we love them so much!!! We love you all. You look so beautiful in all of those pictures & so does Amelia!!

Aubri said...

My dr did the same thing-not dropping the bed or using stirrups and I loved it. I was expecting the other and so I was caught off guard a little but it was nice.
Congrats on your beautiful little girl!

PONCIANO said...

I LOVE birthing stories! I go into about the same zone as you when having my babies. I glad she is here and healthy!

Jess said...

Thanks for sharing! I love your story, and Amelia is beautiful! Well worth the wait. Muah!!

Melissa said...

What an amazing story! You had me crying there at the end, too!

{leah} said...

What a great story!!! I'm so happy you got your little girl!!