Amos’s Birth Story

Birth stories are always fun and sometimes laughable, in a not so good way, let me tell you my original plan. I wanted to give birth to Amos at the hospital in their Birth Place. It was a simple room that allowed you to have a home birth like experience with the help of a doctor if needed. It seemed like the best option, and I really wanted a natural birth with no epidural. Heh, didn’t happen.

                Turns out you have to register for this place and you have to go into labor naturally. I tried to register and called a million people with no results, not that it mattered in the end anyway. I settled for the labor and delivery unit since I wasn’t ready to have a home birth.

                There is that saying, “you make plans and God laughs.” Well in the case of giving birth to my son all of my plans went out the window. Instead of a natural delivery in a non-hospital setting; I was going to be induced, I would be in labor and deliver for a long time, and the epidural part? Well, you’ll see.

Being Induced

                My due date, August 29th came and went with no signs of labor, every appointment I went to I was told that I wasn’t dilated at all. I was beginning to get discouraged as I really didn’t want to be induced but after a long week of feeling ill and being emotionally vulnerable, and I mean literally crying every time I heard someone else’s baby cry, my doctor asked me about my feelings on induction.

                It was Friday, September 4th and I had just done another stress test, at this point I was refusing cervical exams because they seemed pointless, and I was done being pregnant. I agreed to be induced and we set up an appointment for Sunday at 5:00pm. With my limited knowledge of induced births I thought I would have a baby by Monday morning. I was wrong, so very wrong.

                Sunday came and Kurtis and I started out the day with a mini baby moon. We went to church, a walk by the lake, and a fancy healthy dinner. When five o’clock arrived we were at the hospital getting checked in, which if I ever do this again I will be arriving 15 minutes early, check in takes forever.

First meal at the hospital

                Once I was in my room and comfortably settled in my hospital bed (they are not comfortable) They got some monitors on me to track the baby’s heart and any contractions I might be having. Turns out I was having contractions, but they were so tiny and inconsistent I didn’t notice. They also put my IV in in case it was needed and because I would eventually be needed for the Pitocin.

                I was given a pill to start out with which was supposed to soften my cervix. I had to take it every two hours which meant that I didn’t get much sleep that night even though they did give me something to make me sleepy. Morning came and I got another cervical exam and there was no progress.

                We moved on to the next method which was this little tissue looking thing that gets tucked up next to your cervix and sits there for twelve hours. At this point I am having these weird contractions which were caused by previous medication but weren’t getting me anywhere, didn’t mean they weren’t painful though.

Things start to go a bit wrong

                After a couple of hours of having the second medication my contractions started to get really painful. I didn’t want an epidural and I was doing my best to breathe and tried to distract myself with a movie and talking to Kurtis but my contractions were beginning to get difficult to deal with.

                On top of that I had this burning sensation around my cervix which was getting steadily worse. I told the nurse and she reassured me that a little burning was normal because it was a foreign object and my body might reject it. I wish now that I had told her just how bad it was instead of sucking it up like I did.

His first diaper and little hospital hat!

                I should explain that because I was being induced, I had to be constantly hooked up to the baby monitors which meant I couldn’t walk around plus with the medication I had in I also couldn’t walk around. I was stuck lying down or sitting which makes getting through contractions a lot harder, at least it was for me.  

                All of the nurses who helped me where super sweet and went out of their way to try and make me comfortable. The one who was on the day shift brought me a rocking chair to sit in so I could have some movement to help the contractions. It was very much appreciated and made the pain easier to deal with.

                 Also, I was one of those pregnant woman where holding still in general was just uncomfortable, my hips hurt, my legs hurt, everything hurt. It was really nice to have that rocking chair. Nine hours into the twelve hours that the medication was supposed to be in my contractions started to become unbearable plus the constant burning between my legs.

                We were nearly 24 hours into this whole process and I was exhausted having almost no sleep and being in pain all day. I was at the end of my rope and all I wanted to do was lie in bed holding on to the railing and cry. Eventually I was crying hysterically and begging them to do something and trying to explain how bad the burning was.

                The nurse talked to the doctor, and they decided it was time for it to come out. And I can honestly say that nothing, absolutely nothing has ever hurt as much as it did for them to take out that thing and check my cervix. I was screaming in pain and yelling at them to stop and I don’t blame them at all now but I was so mad in the moment.

                Turns out I was allergic to this medication which there was really no way for anyone to have known. Everything down there was inflamed so anytime they touched me it caused excruciating pain. They did eventually manage to check my cervix after getting the medication out and I have never heard such disappointing news, I hadn’t dilated at all.

Deciding on an epidural

                I’m pretty sure I cried when they told me I had made no progress. I was so tired, and I just wanted my baby and it honestly felt like at that point I would never get to hold him. The nurses were extremely apologetic.

My sympathy popsicle

 At this point I was strongly encouraged to get an epidural. The doctor and the nurses explained that I was nearly 24 hours into this whole process, exhausted, and because of the allergic reaction It might be more painful than usual. I said I would think about it.

First though they had me get up and walk around and I was offered a hot bath to help my body relax. The walk was great and the bath was even better. A few hours later I was finally free of that awful burning sensation.

                The doctor decided to give me until 3:00 am to start Pitocin so that I could get some rest. I went to bed around 11:00 and got a shot of this cool pain medication that worked wonders and was supposed to last two hours. It wasn’t long before it kicked in and I was asleep. I didn’t move until I was woken up by the nurse coming to start my Pitocin. It was the best three and half hours of sleep I have ever gotten.

                Kurtis at this point was also exhausted and he slept for a good long while as well, longer than I got to sleep but that was fine by me since at least one of us needed some sanity when the time came to actually push.

                By now it was early, really early, Tuesday morning and they had started to give me a very low dose of Pitocin. Every hour they would come in and increase the amount of Pitocin I was getting which also meant that every hour my contractions were getting worse.

                Later in the morning the doctor came in, this time it was my personal doctor, and checked my cervix. I was really nervous because I knew it was going to hurt and I didn’t want to be disappointed, however, she told me I was three centimeters! She also offered to break my water and I accepted.

                I started to get excited because I felt like my baby was coming soon, which is also weird because it wasn’t like a normal feeling there was just this part of me that knew today was the day. I still had a ways to go though and I didn’t make much progress in the next few hours either.

 Also my contractions were weird and instead of the usual rise and fall they were on top of each other so that before one actually tapered off another one started. It was really uncomfortable plus my ribs started to really hurt so I gave in and accepted the epidural.

Progress at Last

Getting an epidural is an interesting process. They have you lean over a pillow so that your back is curved while you are sitting with your legs crossed. The anesthesiologist then inserts an IV into your spine which they inject lovely numbing fluid into. The first fluid feels weird because it is cold. After a bit I finally got some relief from the pain.

I was able to doze off and rest a few times and not to long after getting the epidural they checked my cervix and I was 7 centimeter dilated!! I was thrilled, my body was finally able to relax and do what it was supposed to do to get the baby moving.

Around 1:30 they checked me again and Amos’s head was in the birth canal! At this point I wanted to cry in excitement, I was so close to meeting my son for the first time. They had me do a few practice pushes to see If I would need to stop the epidural or not. I was told I was really good at it and strong so they didn’t see a need for me to not have the epidural, however I felt weird pushing when I couldn’t feel and decided to go without.

They started to slowly lower the dose of the epidural which wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be and they had stopped increasing my Pitocin so the pain, though pretty intense, was level and I knew what to expect. Sometime after 2:00pm they had me start pushing.

It was a little weird to start out with, though I think the one who was most grossed out was Kurtis. I didn’t have any epidural at this point either so I could feel everything which was helpful to me at least. I made good progress and about an hour into it Amos’s head was visible.

Then things got a little bit harder which is understandable because you are tired and you begin to experience this rather uncomfortable stretching feeling. At this point I had pretty much shut everyone out and I was just praying, not so much because of the pain but because I was super nauseous and I really didn’t want to throw up. I also just kept telling myself, you can do this, over and over.

Amos is born

A little less than an hour later I was told to make this push count and at 4:42 pm on September 8th Amos John was born. He was put on my chest and if I’m being perfectly honest my first thought was thank God it’s over and then I fell so totally in love with my little man.

The first of many snuggles with my baby

Kurtis cried and I got emotional but I actually didn’t cry much to my surprise. It took him a moment to find his voice but he did and was giving it his all in the most adorable little baby cry that just melted my heart. I got to hold him for an hour before they took him to be weighed and measured.

After they had checked him out he was diapered and swaddled and given to his dad who got to hold him for the first time, and then I cried a little because it was just so wonderful. I have never been so happy and tired and in pain all at the same time.

First time in Dads arms

We spent the next few hours just holding him and loving him and telling him how excited we were to meet him and the poor little guy just slept. I feel like not enough people realize that being born is exhausting and they do need there rest afterwards. They were working so hard you know?

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