Introducing Amelie Dawn – A Birth Story {Part 1}

Where to start?  How do you tell a birth story?  We’ve been supremely blessed with a good labor and delivery and a perfectly healthy and beautiful baby girl. So…

First, I’ll tell you what you really want to know.  Our precious bundle was born June 3rd at 11:09pm, weighing in at a perfect 6lbs 7ozs – pink and screaming.  She was finally given her name, Amelie Dawn Pitt, the morning of June 5th. How we decided on her name will be a different post.

For now, the story…

I had been taking it really easy the preceding weeks trying to avoid going into labor until my dad’s birthday which is June 4th.

On Sunday, June 3rd, two of my brothers and myself decided to take our dad out for a birthday dinner. I had spent the morning doing some light cleaning then spent some of the afternoon hanging out at my dad’s house. In the late afternoon we went to Walmart where he picked up a few things, then we met the boys for dinner.

We had a great time at Mariachi’s in Frederick.  There was lots of laughter and great conversation. I asked the staff to put a sombrero on my 56 year old father and sing happy birthday – ha!!  He played along nicely.

The food was great.  I wasn’t going to eat since in the last trimester I had a horrible case of “evening sickness” whenever I ate after 4pm.  But I figured if I woke up vomiting in the wee hours of the morning maybe I’d go into labor and have my baby girl on my dad’s birthday as I’d hoped.

Little did I know in just a few hours I’d be glad I ate dinner because I would need my strength.

After dinner I took my father home.  As we turned onto my father’s road I felt a strange, painless *pop* sensation.  Uh oh.  I didn’t say anything, just drove on.  A few seconds later my father made me laugh and I felt a gush between my legs.  Too much liquid to be urine, well if it was urine then I had problems I didn’t want to admit.  I still didn’t say anything.

As we pulled into my dad’s driveway I decided to go to the bathroom and see what was going on.  As soon as I got out of the car and stood up I started trickling.  “Dad, I think my water just broke.” You should have seen his face, priceless.

It was right about now that I noticed the water running down my leg was green – not clear or yellow – green. And I got scared.  You see, a week earlier, I had tested positive for Group B strep.  I had decided to refuse the routine antibiotics during labor for many reasons (which will also be another post) and had been doing homeopathic treatments at home.

But when I saw that green water all I could think was my baby might be in danger – the thought of her fighting group b strep plus a lung infection or worse from the meconium tainted water scared me to death – and all my homeopathic ideals flew out the window.  I decided right then to get the antibiotics.

I rushed to my father’s linen closet, grabbed a hand towel (trickling all the way) and went to the restroom.  When I sat down there was a big rush of water, but I still trickled, and it was still green.  So I shoved the hand towel between my legs, told my dad I was going to the hospital, jumped in the car and left.  As my father waved goodbye he smiled and shouted “Wait till midnight!”  Hoping he and his granddaughter would share a birthday.

I called my husband while driving home and asked him to grab the hospital bag, be ready to go as soon as I got there (it’s about a 15 minute drive from my house to my father’s) and explained my concern about the green water.  I then called the doctor on call and left a message letting her know that my water had broke, it was green and since I was also strep b positive I was coming right into the hospital.  She called me back and verified all the info.

I also called my mom – I had promised to call her as soon as anything happened since my labors go so fast.  And honestly, I was scared – you know that irrational fear for your child’s life kind of scared?  That was me on the inside even though I was calm on the outside.  I shared all this with my mom and she prayed with me over the phone. I leaned into that prayer.

Shortly thereafter I arrived home.  I kissed Bram goodbye, jumped into the passenger seat and Shane and I were on our way.  I snapped this shot on the drive – the last photo of me pregnant with our Amelie.

Want to read the rest?  Check out Part 2, Part 3 and The After!

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Bram’s Birth Story

Bram’s birth was an altogether different experience than Fox’s or Amelie’s birth.. While it was blessedly uneventful and safe, I was not prepared. Fox’s birth was calm, clean and rather manageable. Bram’s almost brought me to my knees. I don’t know if it was because I was now a ripe ol’ 28 rather than 17 or because I was 30 lbs overweight and out of shape before I got pregnant, but my second birth was more difficult.. However, he was very much worth it.

About a week before my due date I was sitting on the couch one Friday night. It was about 9PM on a muggy August night and I just could not keep my eyes open. This was odd because I was usually wired until 11PM. I figured something was going on, that my body was resting up for something, so I went to bed.

I woke up at 1AM on the dot. I had felt a *pop* with no pain, and felt a trickling sensation. For a second I thought I was peeing the bed. Still half asleep, I realized what was happening and ran to the bathroom. I sat down on the potty just in time for the big WHOOSH of my water breaking. So there was very little clean-up.

I woke up Hubby and told him what had happened. We both just kind of sat for a few minutes waiting to see if I was contracting. After having a few contractions I called my midwife. In the very few minutes it took her to call me back I thought I perceived my contractions getting stronger. Being that it had only been about 10-15 minutes since my water broke I thought I was imagining things.

She asked me a bunch of questions: How much liquid did I loose?-I don’t know because it went in the commode, but I’m sure my water broke. Am I contracting?-Yes  How bad?-They’re still mild.  Did I feel any pressure?-Yes.  She had just delivered another Mommy and was still at the hospital so told me to come on in.

Hubby and I woke up Fox and told him the baby was coming. He was ecstatic! It had been decided months before that, when I went into labor, Fox would go stay with one of the local grandparents. So we called Hubby’s mom (10 mins away)–there was no answer. We tried again–still no answer. We then tried my dad–no answer. We tried again–still no answer. Then we called my mom (30 mins away)–no answer. WHAT IS GOING ON?? We waited a about 10 minutes and did the round of calls again with no luck. We waited another 10 minutes and tried again-NO ONE ANSWERED THE PHONE.

It was now about 1:45-2:00AM-sh and it was obvious (to me) that this labor was progressing quickly. The contractions were getting more than uncomfortable and the pelvic pressure was getting bad. I said “forget it, Fox is coming with us because we have to go now.” So we jumped in the van and drove to the hospital, Hubby was trying to call the grandparents the whole way there with no luck.

The drive was eerily similar to the night Fox was born, black, foggy, the air was heavy with an impending storm. In the 25 minutes it took us to get to the hospital the contractions had gotten to the point where I could hardly breathe through them. I had told Hubby before we left that I had been given instructions to come on back to maternity when we got there but he still stopped at the information desk (Grr) where it took the guard forever to realize I was in labor and usher us back (double Grr). Seriously, how often does a very pregnant woman come into the hospital at 2:30 AM, sweating, breathing heavily and clutching her stomach. Einstein!

I was taken back to the laboring room while Hubby settled Fox in the waiting room, even though he technically wasn’t supposed to be left there alone. My midwife hooked me up to the machines to “get a readout” and told me I had to sit there for 20 minutes. I sat for about 3 minutes before I started to panic. When I am in pain I HAVE TO MOVE. I cannot sit still or I go nuts. And by my calculations I was in the beginning or middle of transitional (stage 3) labor. Not fun. So I started rocking to try to cope with the pain and pressure and was told I needed to be “as still as possible”. Yeah, right. I think my poor midwife got another 3 minutes out of me before I convinced her to “let” me up. I then took off walking down the hall.

Poor Hubby was had finally gotten hold of my dad and step-mother who were on their way, but since Fox was not supposed to be in the waiting room alone he had to run back and forth between me and Fox. When I went on my little walk Hubby was checking on Fox. I was not supposed to be walking alone, I turned around to see my nurse jogging up the hall trying to catch up to me-that’s how fast I was moving. I was all adrenalin. I got a serious contraction and stopped to breathe (hyperventilate) through it and she caught up to me. I had experienced tough contractions with Fox, those I could pretty much handle, with breathing and concentration. What caused me so much grief were three things I did not have with Fox’s labor.

The first was back labor: OH MY FREAKIN’ GOODNESS that hurt!

The second was the pelvic floor pressure: Not fun. At all. *shudder)

The third and worst was that I swear I could feel my cervix fighting the dilation. It felt like I had two hands in there pulling and ripping at my cervix to get it to dilate: I could have cried and screamed over that sensation. It was AWFUL, REALLY AWFUL, like, I want to block out the memory awful

So, as I stood out in the hall with the nurse, breathing and swaying through my contraction and trying not to scream I felt a *pop* in my cervix area and a short burst of blood streamed down my leg. Not a ton but not a little either. It was dripping all over the floor and, in between huffs and puffs, I turned to the nurse and said “Shit! Sorry for cursing. But shit!” She kindly told me not to worry about it, that she’s cleaned up worse and I went on walking, bleeding down the hall and laboring.

I went back to the laboring room and Hubby met me back there after checking on Fox. I was hit with another couple bring-me-to-my-knees tummy, back and cervical contractions, it was about this time that I felt like I was going to lose it.

My midwife told me she needed me to slow my breathing because I was hyperventilating…and I couldn’t take it…

I asked for an epidural. My exact, almost sobbing words were “I want an epidural, I can’t do this. This is SO much worse than Fox’s labor.” Hubby, who was holding my hand, looked at me and said (almost accusingly) “Fox’s labor lasted for days.”

I jerked my hand out of his and clenched my jaw to keep from cursing him. He’s lucky I didn’t hit him. I repeated my request for an epidural. My midwife told me that she was confused because, since I met her, I had stated that I wanted another natural, drug-free childbirth. She suggested I try Stadol.

For some reason I decided that if I wasn’t going to go “all the way” and have a blessed epidural I surely wasn’t wasting my time with Stadol. I was able to refocus.

I labored through a few more contractions on a birthing ball. This was nice. It felt like it applied counter pressure to my SORE cervix, but I soon got antsy, the pain overwhelmed me and felt like I needed to move. When I stood up the pressure was unreal. I told my midwife she needed to check me and began to climb up on the bed. I was up on my hands and knees, getting turned around when I realized this position helped IMMENSELY. The back labor and cervical pain and pressure was greatly reduced, I just swayed through the contraction. I think if I had tried this position earlier my labor would have been a bit more bearable.

I laid on my back, the midwife checked me and told me it was time to push. I felt so, so much pressure on my cervix and bowels. I told my midwife (again almost sobbing) that I needed to go to the bathroom and she told me I couldn’t get up, that if I needed to move my bowels then move them right there. Now you have no idea how frustrated and angry this made me. Going to the bathroom on the table is one of my biggest fears. Thankfully, I didn’t really need to go, it was just the pressure from the baby.

But I can tell you that pushing with Bram was altogether different than with Fox. Again, I don’t know if it was because I was out of shape or what. But with Fox, I felt like I could control my muscles and push only with the vaginal muscles, and with Bram there was no control, I felt like I had to bear down with everything.

But before I began pushing my midwife pulled out the bane of my existence-the birthing bar. Even though I had only been in labor about 2 hours my muscles were jelly. I wanted to squat vertically with my shoulders directly above my hips , like the lady in this first picture -I got up in that position a few times and I liked it. But my midwife kept telling me she wanted me to recline. So essentially I was holding on to the bar, my arms completely extended, leaning back at a 45 degree angle to the bed-this was not comfortable for me at all. My exhausted arms just couldn’t support all that weight. But I somehow managed to make it through.

This time the pain did not go away when I pushed, it stayed steady. I felt the lovely “ring of fire” sensation too. But all in all Bram was pushed out easily, it only took a handful of pushes. When he was born it was a really special moment.

Hubby and I had chosen not to find out the sex before birth and I had requested that Hubby be the one to tell me what the baby was. So I asked “What is it? What is it?” and Hubby said “I can’t see!” But then I saw his face light up and with a little laugh he said “It’s a boy!” I think we were both somewhat expecting a girl because I carried Bram a bit differently than Fox.

I again got to hold my new little bundle and after a few precious moments handed him to Daddy. Bram followed in his brother’s footsteps and promptly peed all over his Dad. It was another very beautiful moment. So after only 2 hours and 12 minutes, Littlest came into this world at 20 inches long and 7lbs 2.9 oz. at 3:12 AM.

I had a difficult time after Littlest’s birth. I was very unhappy with the way my labor went. I felt I had done a very poor job with keeping myself calm and together. I allowed the pain to overtake me. I was very ashamed I had asked for an epidural and I was very irritated with my midwife’s insistence upon the birthing position. I had gone to her looking for less medical intervention and felt like I got more. It was not how I had envisioned it.

I did a lot crying and stewing in the weeks that followed. Happily I’ve been able to make peace with my delivery, though it took some time. If I’m honest I have to admit that it has scared me a little. I would love to have more children, but I am apprehensive about what would come next and whether or not I could handle it. But no matter what, when I look into my boys’ eyes, I know it would be worth it.

 

 

 

Fox’s Birth Story

I love to read a good birth story.
Since Bram’s birthday is Tuesday I thought I would take the time to share my boys’ birth stories. I’ll share Fox’s today and Bram’s tomorrow. Here we go.
To give you a little background, I was 17 when I had Fox. Hubby (who was simply my boyfriend back then) and I couldn’t afford to get married, or buy a house so I was living with my parents. He was living with his grandparents. It wasn’t until Fox was 1 that we moved in together and 3 when his father and I got married.
I woke up early on a Wednesday morning in March, two weeks before my due date, around 3:30 AM, with contractions. They weren’t bad, just an “Oh” on the contraction Richter scale. But I was excited to have my first baby so I didn’t time the contractions or wait for them to increase in intensity. I immediately got up, took a shower, called Hubby and put on my make-up (uh-huh) while I waited for him to come get me.
Hubby picked me up and we made our way into the emergency room around 5AM. They hooked me up to the monitors and we waited. And waited. Nothing happened. My contractions became sporadic and less intense. So around noon they released me.
I was disappointed. I could hardly wait to hold my little boy. I went home and for all of Wednesday and Thursday my contractions came and went, intensified and waned. They weren’t terribly strong but weren’t weak enough for me to sleep through either. By Thursday evening I was exhausted, but couldn’t sleep. So I nested. I folded little baby outfits and rearranged stacks of diapers.
Finally around 11PM I realized my contractions had been coming rather regularly. I laid down and timed them. From 11PM to midnight they came steadily, 5 minutes apart. Again, I called Hubby, he came and picked me up and we drove to the hospital. It was pitch black outside, somewhat foggy and cold but it was humid-the air felt heavy, and a storm was rolling in.
This time the ride in was different, instead of being giddy with excitement, I was having to begin to concentrate on my breathing because the contractions were getting stronger. We arrived at the hospital a little after 2AM. Months before, during paperwork registration, I had requested a private room and thankfully got one. By the time Fox was born, labor and delivery was so overcrowded they were setting up cots in the waiting room for women to labor on. Not fun, I’d imagine.
My labor progressed steadily through the wee hours of the morning. I did a lot of pacing and walking. I tried the shower, but did not care for it because I felt the need to move. The nurses were pretty kind even though I was just another unwed teenage mother. I did get frustrated however because I had stated that I didn’t want any drugs and they kept offering an epidural. I got tired of saying “no thank you” while in labor.
Looking back, Fox was a very easy, quick labor and delivery. My contractions hurt, a LOT, but they were manageable given the scope of things. It is labor after all. I was able to keep calm and occasionally speak a sentence or two. I did a little bit of hyperventilating, but it was okay.
Given that I was 17, had no idea what I was doing and had never had a baby before. I didn’t always realize what my body was telling me. I remember the nurse asking me “Do you feel the urge to push?” I answered “No” then had another contraction, thought about it and said “Well, yeah, maybe.” LOL The nurse decided to check me and promptly said “What is that??”
Note to health care professionals: NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ASK A LABORING WOMAN “WHAT IS THAT??” SHE CAN’T SEE “IT” AND THOSE WORDS WILL SCARE THE TAR OUT OF HER!!
 
I was envisioning an alien-like being clawing it’s way out of my hoo-hoo. But apparently the bag of waters had not yet burst and was bulging. Knowing what I know now I would have requested Fox to be born in the caul, but I didn’t care about medical intervention then so I allowed the nurse to rupture my water. She had a heck of a time getting it to break, the little tool wouldn’t work so she ripped it with her gloved fingers. I was not prepared for the crazy sensation that followed. I actually heard the bag *pop* and the warmest, largest gush of water came flooding out of me. I was AMAZED by the amount of water. It was unreal.
The nurse called for the doctor (who took his sweet time arriving) and went about getting me in and on dry duds. I could feel ?Fox descending and knew it was time to push but the nurse was trying to have me wait for the doctor. Knowing that was only going to work for so long she told me to go ahead and push “a little”.
When I began pushing, it was amazing, ALL my pain DISAPPEARED. I felt no contraction, no pressure, nothing. It was glorious. I never even experienced that “ring of fire” sensation. Fox was out with only about 3 or 4 pushes. The doctor arrived in time to deliver his feet. They scooped my little man up and placed his warm, slimy, screaming self on my chest. I will never forget that sensation, the first weight of him on my chest. He was so warm. It was beautiful. Hubby was hovering and smiling from ear to ear over his little boy.
He was really wonderful during the whole delivery. He didn’t really know what to say, so he said nothing (which was probably safer). He just held my hand and breathed with me. He held my leg back when it was time to push and waited on me hand and foot, silently offering ice chips and cool wash cloths. I was so blessed.
After I had a few moments to cuddle Fox, who was long but tiny, I passed him off to his Daddy. Hubby cuddled his boy and told him how much he loved him and Fox thanked him by peeing all over him 🙂
So that was it. At 5:17 AM we welcomed Fox into the world. He was 21 inches long and 5lbs, 11.5 oz. My beautiful, first born. I love him so. Overall it was a lovely birth experience. If all deliveries were like that I would have 15 children by now. We didn’t have a camera then, so I have only a few photos of him in the hospital. But here are two.