Amelia arrived safely into this world on a Tuesday evening after a quick and natural labor. She is a happy healthy baby, joining her 3 older sisters into our growing family.

BIRTH STORY
I was ready to no longer be pregnant. We tried to schedule an induction on Tuesday morning. My OB, Dr. F., knew I wanted to have a natural labor, so we agreed on no pitocin, just to break my bag of waters. I was already 4 cm dilated, so it was bound to be a quick labor. However, Monday night, Labor and Delivery from the hospital called and canceled my induction, they were just too full. Even though I knew it was a possibility, I was really bummed. I was ready to meet this little girl, and even tho I was only 39 weeks, it was the longest I had been pregnant with any of my kids. So Tuesday morning, I called my OB and made an appointment to just get checked out. He checked my dilation again, and I had progressed to 5cm, so I had made some progress since my last appointment 5 days before. I also asked him to strip my membranes, hoping that would help things start on their own. After doing that, he told me, “Okay, see you tonight.” I certainly hoped so.

The rest of the day I tried to just keep busy. I went with Grace and Emily (my two little ones), and my sister-in-law Diana and her little girl, Aubree to McDonalds to let the kids play. I was feeling crampy by then, but that happened the last time I was checked, so I tried not to get my hopes up. That afternoon, the cramps had not really let up, and I noticed I was having semi-regular contractions, so I started timing them. Some were 5 minutes apart, some 8 minutes apart. Some lasted almost a minute, some just 20 seconds. But they weren’t stopping. I called Matt, and told him to go ahead and come home from work, just in case.

Around 3:30, I called my OB’s office to talk to the nurse practicioner, to see if she thought I should come in. We lived about 30 minutes away from the hospital, and it was getting close to rush hour, so she said I should come just in case. They weren’t painful at all, and still only semi-regular, so I wasn’t sure if they were the “real thing”. I decided to waste some more time, and try to eat supper, before going, just to make sure the contractions wouldn’t stop. I also called and left a message with my doula to give her a heads up.

Around 5PM, right before I went to eat, I got up from the couch, and a small gush of fluid ran down my leg. I told Matt, either I just peed myself, or my water just broke. Walking to the bathroom, it became very apparent my water had broken. I tried to eat a few bites of spagetti before leaving, but the contractions were starting to pick up, and since we live a good bit away from the hospital, we decided to go ahead and leave. I called my doula again, and left a message with my OB that it was for sure the “real thing”.

The drive to the hospital was luckly uneventful for rush hour. I closed my eyes and listened to my Hypnobabies hypnosis scripts on my ipod, which was extremely helpful. We arrived to the hospital around 5:45, the contractions at that point were only a couple minutes apart, and while I couldn’t walk while having one, they were still very manageable. We checked in at the admit desk, and they took us fairly quickly to one of the l&d rooms. I changed into the hospital gown (at that point my pants were soaked), and laid down in bed for monitoring. It was about 6PM at that point.

My birth plan called for a hep-lock and intermittent monitoring, and they were very respectful of that. My wonderful OB, Dr. F., walked in while they were placing the hep-lock, and reminded them. He checked my dilation again, and I was about 6 cm and completely effaced. My OB then sat down in the room, and worked on a chart, just waiting and watching.

After the 20 minutes of monitoring was over, I moved to the birth ball and listened to my scripts on my ipod, completely zoning out to what was going on around me. My wonderful husband Matt, and doula Lydia, massaged and put pressure on my lower back during contractions, which were at that point, pretty much constant. I concentrated on relaxation using my hypnosis, and while the contractions were very intense, I still felt very much in control of what was going on.

After a while, I felt what I thought was a huge muscle cramp in my lower abdomin, and started to lose concentration somewhat. At that point, not much thought process was going on in my head, but I decided to move back to the bed and stretch out to relieve the “cramp”. Dr. F. checked me again, and I was completely dilated, and the baby was about halfway down in my pelvis (which was probably the cause of my “cramp”). He asked me how I would like to push, and I didn’t care, so they started breaking down the bed and put up the stirrups. At that point, I told them, “She’s coming!”, and after a couple pushes, she was out. I don’t remember a “ring of fire” or any real pain from her coming out, just relief that the “cramp” stopped. Matt cut her cord, and they handed her to me. At 7:27Pm, only 2.5 hours after my water broke, she was born.

She was very alert right away. I held her for a while, then let them take her to wrap up and weigh while I was cleaned up. She was 8 lbs 4 ozs, about 1/2 a pound bigger than Grace and Emily, and 2oz smaller than Kiersten. They gave her back to me, and she took to nursing right away. Actually, I couldn’t get her to unlatch to take a pic with the nurse, so I just told them to take it anyway 🙂 We hung out in the l&d room for a couple hours afterwards, letting Amelia nurse and checking her out.

My thoughts about the birth:
It went definitely like I wanted it to. Hypnobabies worked wonderfully for me, even though parts were definitely uncomfortable, it gave me the tools to stay in control of my body, and make it through the rough parts. I would definitely recommend Hypnobabies to anyone wanting a natural childbirth.
Looking back, I probably should have headed to the hospital earlier. Getting through the admissions process and getting the hep-loc placed, etc, would have been much easier before the contractions got so intense.
Having a very supportive husband and a wonderful doula also helped immensely, I recommend getting a doula to everyone.
Also, anyone that lives in the DFW area, Dr. Fogwell is an awesome OB. He completely supported everything on my birth plan, and just hung out in my room while I was laboring.

My birth plan:
We got a lot of positive feedback on our birth plan. I can’t take complete credit for it, as I swiped some of the wording from the Hypnobabies yahoo forum I belonged to. Here is the link to the birth plan if you are interested.

Special Thanks to:
Above all, to my wonderful husband, Matt, the loving father to my children, for all his support. To my mom, who came down to stay with us a few days early just to make me feel better, for taking photos during the labor and birth, and for all her help taking care of the girls while I was in the hospital and during my recovery. To my sister-in-law Diana, for all her help taking care of the girls during my labor and the couple days afterwards. To my wonderful sister, Nicole, for all her support, all the time! To my doula, Lydia, for her moral support during my pregnancy, and support during my labor. To my wonderful OB, Dr. Fogwell, who has caught 3 of my 4 babies. I can’t say enough wonderful things about him. And of course, to the hospital staff, for their support of my ideal birth.

MEETING THE BIG SISTERS
Kiersten, Grace, and Emily came up to the hospital Wednesday afternoon to meet their new baby sister. They all were very excited, taking turms holding her. Emily was especially facinated, looking at her tiny hands and ears, and rubbing her head. Grace held her for a while, and curled up next to me in bed. Kiersten, of course, loved holding her, being the experienced big sister she already is. The girls sported their new “Biggest Sister” (Kiersten), “Bigger Sister” (Grace), and “Big Sister” (Emily) T-shirts.

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