It was my goal to get to full term and we made it to 39 weeks 1 day! So here goes my story.
I woke up the morning of July 26th feeling kinda yucky. It was a bit of nausea and I just knew labor was coming soon. I just sort of lounged around all day waiting. Around noon I took a bath to try and relax enough to get things going and thats when my actual contractions started. I puttered around the rest of the afternoon just waiting on them to get stronger, they were close together, and felt like they were doing something but it was an extremely tolerable “pain.” We went to the hospital around 7:30 when they were 3 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. Not exactly perfect but I knew labor was kinda going on. We get there and because the baby had a super accelerated heart rate for a few minutes we stayed. I was 4 cm and a little more than 75% effaced. Since my plan was a natural childbirth, my nurse monitored us for a while and then let us get up and walk. I walked and walked and walked!! I literally walked all night with just 20 minutes of monitoring every hour. Nothing really happened, the contractions did not get stronger or get to a point where I felt like was in labor. At 8:30 on July 27th I was 5 cm and 90% effaced and still really comfortable so my doctor broke my water. That was pretty exciting because I knew that labor was for real under way. When she broke my water, it felt like a gallon of water came out, so it was obvious my water was preventing me from feeling the labor contractions. I wasn’t allowed to get up any more because her head didn’t move to 0 station and until the head gets there, there is a fear of cord prolapse. So I was stuck in bed. The first half hour was fine not a big difference other than I felt the contractions. Suddenly, everything got really intense!! I tried moving into a comfortable position and instead felt an intense amount of pressure. A nurse ran in to check me and told me I was at 7cm. Then I went into transition. I lost complete control because transition was so intense!! Unfortunately, my transition was the longest part of my labor that I was aware of, unlike the normal textbook labor where early labor is the longest. During contractions, which were suddenly coming on top of each other, I was doing my best to remember to breathe!! I heard other women on the labor and delivery floor just huffing puffing and moaning during their contractions and now I am so confused how they were able to do that! It was intense! My husband became upset because once contractions started getting intense, I smacked his hand away and just refused any help he tried to offer. Sorry honey!! I remember desperately wishing I could get in the tub, but that’s not an option here. After a while I asked for the Stadol, because I knew I needed a break. When my nurse brought it in, she checked me, told me I was 8 cm and I couldn’t have the Stadol anymore and my only option for relief was the epidural. I said no at that moment. I kept going for it, trying to work through it, but I could not catch my breath. Between every contraction, I had intense shaking/shivering and nausea until my contraction reached it’s peak, so even though I had no pain once the contraction was gone, I had no break either! After another bit, I asked that they start the fluids needed in case I asked for the epidural. Shortly after that I asked for the epidural. I got my epidural sometime around 12:30. That was sooooo hard!!! I could not stay still (thank you shivering/shaking) and I am amazed the doctor was able to get everything in the right place! The supposed worst part is the numbing shot and I didn’t feel that what so ever. I definitely felt the catheter being placed though. Once everything was in place, my shivering/shaking, nausea and contraction pain, went away, not slowly but not super fast either. Amazingly, I had what everyone calls the perfect epidural. Major props to the doctor! I could move everything including my toes!! I could still feel pressure but probably not as much as I should have. Once everything was placed, I was checked again and I was at 9, well really I just had a rim left and could have pushed through it but it was decided I just needed to let my body relax and move her down more on my own. I’m not exactly sure what time but I believe it was around 1:30 when my nurse came to check on me again and we were setting up to do a practice push when baby girl’s heart rate suddenly dropped down to 60. Things moved very quickly after that. An internal monitor was placed on her head, I was given an oxygen mask, and I was told to roll from side to side. My doctor came in and everything quickly was set up and pushing started. I meant to have them turn the epidural down so I could push better but there really wasn’t time. Shortly after pushing started my doctor commented that baby was sunny side up. Everyone kept saying I was pushing really well. Christopher just sat by my side for a little bit then one of the nurses got him involved and he was an excellent encourager. Shortly after this, my doctor said oh look at her turning! But, I was suddenly finding it hard to push. I told my doctor no when she asked if I wanted an episiotomy, but I did tear right after that. After she crowned, they said her hand was up by her head, so no wonder!! Another push and she was out!! We didn’t get to really delay cord clamping because I needed to be sewn up, but she was put straight on my chest and stayed there for a bit. She was a bit swollen, sleepy, and didn’t get all the fluid out of her lungs because pushing was so short, so nursing did not happen during that 1st hour. She weighed 6lbs 15oz and was 19in long. I was shocked because I had expected her to be on the lower side of 6 pounds. After I got a really good look at her, I decided her name was definitely Amarah (pronounced uh mar ah) Leigh Buteau. It means God’s grace from the meadow and Christopher picked the entire name out. Our other name was Nylah Grace after my great grandmother Olkiewicz (her’s was spelled Nila though) and that means cloud or champion of grace. Amarah just fit our little girl so much better. I was up and walking just fine not too long after my epidural was removed. It had pretty much worn off while I was getting sewn up. I think because my time with the epidural was so short, I really didn’t get any of the bad symptoms associated with the it.
Our hospital stay was wonderful. Here’s a tip, definitely be kind to your nurses, let them know you are flexible and understand what practices they have to do and ask kindly about the things you don’t want them to do, do fill out the paperwork especially the baby tracking sheet when they ask, and bring them food. Maybe we were just lucky and got all the wonderful nurses on the right days, or maybe it was how we treated them, either way they were amazing! The food sucked but oh well. We were allowed to stay in our labor and delivery room until they were able to put us in a nice big double bed room even though there were small room available, which was super sweet of them and put the postpartum nurses out a bit because they had to travel further to get to me.
I had tons of breastfeeding help. Once Amarah woke up, she started doing a little dance instead of latching even though everything was lined up and right there. A nipple shield was recommended and has helped some. It is definitely easy to see why women give up and go to formula because breastfeeding is hard. Even if your latch is right, it still hurts! I am sore and engorged all the time. I was pumping after every feeding to try and help get off the nipple shield but I had to stop because there is no more room in our freezer for milk, I ran out of storage bags in less than a week, and the pumping was not helping me heal any. I am slowly starting to heal and hope to start weaning off the shield on my left side (my right still has a way to go.) That will be a bit hard because she loves the shield and doesn’t have to open her tiny mouth very wide to get milk. My other fear with weaning off the shield is I might have a bit of an overactive let down and your supposed to use the shield to help. Even with the shield, she still ends up choking/coughing on both sides and she rarely takes both breasts. She hates all the pacifiers we have, which is funny because the nipple shield is very similar to a pacifier, it just delivers milk.
She is growing and gaining beautifully!! At her 2 week check up she weighed 7lbs 4.25oz and was 20 7/8 in long. Hopefully she will really fit in her new born clothes soon (for newborn some of those clothes are so big!)
Things turned out a bid differently than we had expected. My perfect natural delivery didn’t happen, once we got home I contemplated exclusively pumping because I was so sore from breastfeeding, and room sharing just wasn’t enough and Christopher insisted on co-sleeping (woohoo!) We did get Amarah dedicated, Christopher hasn’t pushed any more to get her ears pierced, and I don’t really feel bad at all for getting the epidural. Amarah will willingly sit in the swing or bouncer when she is awake, but wants to be held when she is sleeping. At night sleep is exactly what I expected with a newborn, sometimes we get 3-4 hours, sometimes we don’t. She gives me plenty of opportunity to nap during the day as long as we cuddle together. She loves cuddling with her daddy as much as he loves to have her in his arms. She is a wonderfully baby! We are so lucky that she is only fussy when she is getting her diaper changed, is hungry, or just wants someone to cuddle with.
She is such a beautiful blessing. I thank God every day for this miracle and I can’t believe how blessed we are!!
Amarah and Daddy
First time holding our sweet girl
Opened her eyes for her daddy
Thank you Dr. Aguayo for being such an amazing doctor!!
Daddy’s finger is the only pacifier she will take