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Amanda's Pregnancy Journal

Week 40
~ Birth Story!

Lilly Dawn - Born November 29, 2008 at 8:40 a.m., 8 lb. 7 oz., 21" Long
3 Hours and 20 Minutes of Labor

Lilly just bornThe last few weeks have been quite hectic, I am thankful that I have my six weeks of maternity leave to get used to this and not have to work more than I already am! I am so tired and strung out. And Lilly really is such a wonderful baby. She is never fussy; she only cries when she's hungry or wants to be held and wakes up only once or maybe twice a night. But even still, I feel so worn out. Gabe has almost been a nightmare in the behavior department. I hate to say it, but I'm starting to wonder what happened to my sweet boy; is it the fact that there's a new baby in the house or is it a natural four year old stage? I can't figure it out. He loves his sister though. He hasn't tried any funny stuff with her and says all day long "Lilly is so cute!" She is four weeks old today, and I can't believe it!! She was born the day after Gabe's birthday and weighed only one more once than him and was the same exact length, how ironic.

Well, on November 29th I woke up at 5:23 a.m. in the middle of a contraction, and I knew it was time. I don't know why we even bother wondering every waking moment if "Oh! Was that a contraction? Was this a contraction? Let me Google it and see," because you will know when you are in labor. I waited through a couple more, and they were 10 minutes apart. I woke up Hank and told him I was in labor, and he said "Make sure." He isn't the friendliest when woken up at 5 in the morning. I got in the shower to relieve some pain, was probably in there for a half an hour. Then I got out and timed them again, they were six minutes apart. I woke Hank up again and told him it was time, he had to get Gabe ready and we had to leave because we had to go to the hospital when they were five minutes apart. So Hank jumped out of bed and got Gabe up and started getting him ready, but when Gabe saw me having a contraction, he lost it. He ran to me and clung to my leg and started crying; I'm sure he was scared too. So, in those few minutes, my contractions dropped to three minutes apart. I am freaking out and trying to get everyone to hurry out the door and get Gabe to Dawn's.

Lilly on the scaleWe got to the hospital a little after 7:00, and at this point I wasn't really watching the time anymore. I timed a few on the way to the hospital, and they were still three minutes. Hank called the midwife and missed her call back because he dropped the phone and the battery fell out. Since the midwife couldn't send over my file, I was being asked a million questions while in active labor and answering them was the last thing I wanted to do. I vowed not to yell at the nurse and throw papers when asked to sign this time (like I did with Gabe), and I was a very good patient. When I was checked by the nurse, I was at six centimeters. They brought in the water tub and started filling it. It was very nice to be able to do what I wanted and move around. I had an IV base (which the nurse stabbed me in the knee with the IV needle on accident, I laughed in a contraction which is very hard to make a woman in labor do!) but no IV so I was free. The contractions were killer though. I don't remember them lasting very long time or anything too extreme, they were just very painful, of course.

When I first got in the tub, it felt a little weird because my center of gravity felt like it shifted. It took a couple of contractions to get used to. By this time, I was seven centimeters, and the contractions were getting more and more intense and she was moving down farther into position. Hank got on his bathing suit and was ready to get in, but I didn't want him to. So he stayed out of the tub the whole time. After a few contractions in the tub, I felt like I needed to push, but when I was checked I was only eight centimeters. I kept pushing a little anyway because I felt like I had to do something--there was so much pressure. The nurses and midwife kept telling me to stop, but I didn't listen. I was very uncooperative while in transition and my midwife even threatened to make me get out of the tub. I was apologizing the whole time, but I was having a hard time making my body follow directions.

Amanda with Lilly and GabeMy sister called around that time because she was on her way but was lost. She was only about fifteen minutes away and when she got to the hospital, Lilly was just about to be born. They had to make her wait in the waiting room because our room was too hectic and full. In a few minutes I was checked at eight cm, I went to 10 and was ready to push. The pushing was extremely painful, and the head crowning is indescribable! I can't even explain how that feels besides that I thought she was going to explode out of there, and I felt like my vulva was tearing open. But after only four pushes she was out! She was almost born in her bag of waters. It was too hard for the midwife to tell if they had broken or not while I was in water. But on my first real push, the tub filled with meconium, so we knew the waters had been intact. I needed to push her out fast, and good thing I did! She had only swallowed it and didn't inhale like Gabe did, so she wasn't rushed away to NICU and not breathing as with Gabe. I got to hold her right after she was born, Hank cut the cord while I was holding her--I saw everything and it was beautiful. I don't even think she cried. I did sneak a peek to make sure she was a girl. So after only three hours and 20 minutes, she was born! How great is a three hour labor?!

After I got out of the tub, delivered the placenta, was stitched up (I tore naturally about 1/2 an inch), and she was cleaned off, I got to breastfeed Lilly. She took to it right away and had the barracuda suck! My nipples were injured after her first feeding, so feeding was very painful for over a week. But I felt so great right after the birth--my head was clear, I felt alert, and I didn't have the shakes or anything. It was a completely different experience from Gabe's birth. I think the Stadol I had during Gabe's birth really made a difference in the outcome. Having no drugs this time made everything smoother for me, I believe.

Gabe and LillyLilly was so healthy and perfectly fine, I couldn't have hoped for more! I was so scared of NICU and complications again, but we were released the next day. I could probably have used one extra day before being shoved back into real life, but you can't go back in time. The only thing that happened after going home was that her umbilical cord didn't heal underneath when it fell off so I had to take her to the doctor for silver nitrate to be put in her belly button.

She was born with a full head of very dark brown hair and dark blue eyes. Hank and I were so surprised. Gabe was born with really blond hair, and Hank and I are both blond; I am a little strawberry though. We were so taken aback to see the dark brown hair. My mom and Hank's dad are the only ones in the family with brown hair. But now at four weeks her hair is a light brownish red and very pretty, her eyes are lightening up as well. I was hoping for pretty green eyes like her daddy and his family, but I will settle for pretty blue eyes like my family.

LillyAt two weeks post partum, I started getting serious and constant stomach and back pain. The first incident lasted about 5 hours and right when we decided to go to the hospital, it stopped. Then a couple days later it happened again and was a lot more painful so we decided to go to the hospital, or more like Hank ended up forcing me. We had to take Lilly with us because she was breastfeeding and I didn't have enough milk pumped to drop her off with Dawn. Turned out I had gall stones and needed my gall bladder removed. So I was admitted and it was the hardest decision I have made in a long time to purchase formula for Lilly because we had no other choice.

LillyI was in the hospital for five days. I had my gall bladder removed the next day (technically the same day since I got to the hospital after midnight). Then during my surgery they did an X-ray with contrast to make sure none of the gall stones came out, and sure enough a very big one did. So I had an endoscopy two days in a row because the first doctor couldn't get it out. When I woke up the second day (after the more experienced doctor took a try) he said it was the most difficult stone he ever dealt with, lucky me. It was lodged up by the pancreatic duct. They put stints in, but later that night and the next day, I was still in a lot of pain, so they ended up taking the stints out on my last day. So I was in the hospital for five days and put under anesthesia for four. I tried to pump as much as possible to keep my milk in, but there were too many times when I physically couldn't. So now I only nurse Lilly in the evenings. I think it will make it a lot less complicated when I go back to work anyway, and I am not regretting it so far.

It has been a pleasure writing my pregnancy journey for everyone to read. I found it very therapeutic and really helped me sort out a lot of issues. I am really happy I did it. Since Lilly is our last baby, I don't think I'll be back for a second round! But I will still be reading and feeling along with everyone else's journeys, and I wish everyone the best of luck with their pregnancies and births!

~ Amanda

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