Amos Jerome Jr's Birth Story
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|Thu, 04-08-2010 - 7:22pm|
This is a very long story, so I won't be offended if you don't finish it - God bless anyone who does!
I kept waking up in the early morning of April 1, thinking I might be having contractions. I figured if I couldn’t really tell, then they probably were just pains from the baby moving, and went back to sleep each time. I finally got up for work around 7:00 am. As I drove to work, I kept having what I realize now were contractions – but at time, I thought they were just pressure pains, or maybe Braxton Hicks (I never had any Braxton Hicks – I guess not everyone does).
All day at work, I felt pain, but not really contractions. For those who don’t know, I work as a dog groomer at an animal hospital, so I am on my feet most of the day. When I would sit down, it was a real struggle to get back up – of course, I thought it was due to the 50 extra lbs I was carrying! By the end of my 8 hr shift, I had ice packs on the back of my neck and was taking breaks every 15 minutes. It was a struggle to finish my day, but I had to – I didn’t want to leave, and send dogs back to their owners ungroomed.
When I left work at 4:00, I decided to stop at WalMart to pick up a few things on my way home – I needed bigger flip flops for my swollen feet! When I got out of the car in the parking lot, I felt very damp between my legs, but didn’t really think much of it. It wasn’t a big gush, or anything like that, so I headed in to get the things I needed. When I finally got home (it took a long time to walk, excuse me, waddle, through WalMart!), I went to the bathroom. I was not only damp between my legs, but my scrubs were soaked through. I walked through WalMart like that!
I called Amos at work to let him know that I thought my water was leaking, but still wasn’t really having contractions. After that, I called my midwife. She said since I wasn’t having contractions, to take a shower, eat, walk a bit, and take a nap – to come in to the hospital either when my contractions were 5--6 minutes apart, or in the morning if I still wasn’t having contractions.
It was about 6:00 by then, and Amos was home, so he decided to cook supper while I took a shower. Imagine my surprise when I finally had a real contraction in the shower! And then another, and another, and another… When I got out, I realized I had had 4 contractions in 20 minutes, but they were fairly short – only about 30 seconds each. I sat down and ate, while Amos timed my contractions. By about 7:00, they were coming every 3-4 minutes, lasting about 30-45 seconds each. We called our midwife again, and she wasn’t too concerned since they were still short, but I hadn’t felt the baby move since the first one. She said to come on in to the hospital. (Baby was fine, by the way.) Luckily, we had loaded up the car the day before, so there were just a few more things to add and we were on our way.
We got to the hospital at about 8:00 and got all checked in, and settled in the labor and delivery room. After this, everything starts to run together. I was hooked up to the monitors, and my contractions were still coming every 3-4 minutes, lasting about 60 seconds. I was only dilated 4 cm, so I wanted to go home, but my blood pressure was elevated, so I had to stay. I labored in bed for a bit, while the contractions got stronger and stronger. Next, I decided to get in the tub. Amos and I stayed in there for a while, and it really did help ease the pain. I labored on the birthing ball for a bit, but had difficulty getting into a good position (I think at this point, it was due to the intensity of the contractions). The squatting bar was put on the bed, and I leaned up against it for a while. At some point, I was on my hands and knees in the bed, and that definitely helped some. Sitting on the toilet for a long time, leaning forward against Amos, helped as well, but eventually I had to get off, because I was dilated 10 cm and close to the pushing stage.
I got back on my hands and knees in the bed, and pushed for a while in this position. Eventually, the nurse and midwife put the squatting bar back on the bed, but I was so worn out that I couldn’t squat. I laid somewhat on the bed, with my feet pushing against the squatting bar, with Amos and the nurse holding me up. After pushing for what seemed like hours (Amos tells me I pushed for about an hour), Amos Jr. was born at 5:43 am on April 2, weighing 9 lbs, 8 oz, and 22 inches long. Thank goodness he was a week early! Immediately after he was born, he was placed on my belly for skin to skin contact while he was rubbed off. At this point, we didn’t know if we had a boy or girl – I didn’t think to ask, and Amos didn’t think to look! It really didn’t matter at all – we didn’t care. I had a second degree tear, and while I was getting stitched up, Amos Jr was getting cleaned up a little more, and weighed and measured. Then, we had our first breastfeeding.
Amos was the best coach I could ask for – there’s absolutely no way I could have done it without him. I know I didn’t mention him much through the labor description, but he was right there with me through everything. I think he probably saw more than he ever wanted to, but he handled it so well – even when I threw up in his face. There’s no doubt in my mind that he gave me the strength I needed to get through the delivery.
I was very surprised by how vocal I was – I had difficulty controlling it. Not that being vocal was a problem, but it made me hoarse, and used up precious energy. Our midwife kept telling me to take the energy I was spending on grunting/screaming (I can’t really think of a good description of the noises I was making) and use that energy to push with. Eventually, I got the hang of it, and it made a world of difference.