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Amanda's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story
~ Meet Quinn Lily!

Amanda and QuinnSo this is how is how it all began . . .

Flashback to the Thursday before baby's arrival... I went to my regular OB check-up. I once again had no impending signs or symptoms of labor. The doctor decided not to check the cervix this week but took a throat swab to check for strep.

Friday evening I am getting ready for a date with my husband and have a strange, out-of-the-blue vomiting episode. I get sick out of the blue, puke, then instantly feel better. I think to myself that is rather odd but think no further. I go on my dinner/movie date with my husband. On the way to the movies we swing by the pharmacy to pick up my antibiotics to start because I did indeed have strep throat.

Saturday rolls around and I'm feeling pretty good. I rush around town getting things done. I went to the hair salon, went to the mall, cooked dinner. I even decided against napping since I had so much energy that day. I get a call from the photographer that she'll take maternity pictures tomorrow since the weather forecast FINALLY cleared up . . . woohoo! I am so excited! I spend the evening in front of the mirror trying on different outfits for the pictures and admiring my big pregnant belly. I even have our outfits color coordinated for the family and hanging up in the closet for tomorrow (nerdy . . . I know).

I eat the most ridiculous round of snacks before I go to bed. We're talking the range from chocolate hazelnut buttered toast to hot, peppered beef jerky (disgusting . . . I know). I head to bed about midnight.

A mere 30 minutes goes by and I am feeling very strange. I am tossing and turning to no end and just can't find a comfortable position in bed. I get up to go to the bathroom again . . . and again . . . and again. After I go, I notice bloody show on the TP. I grab my "What to Expect When Expecting" from the nightstand and read that if you see bloody show most likely you will deliver within the next 24-48 hours. Seriously? This has all caught me off guard. My husband is getting annoyed. Then a little light switch goes on in the back of my head . . . okay this all feels vaguely familiar, I have experienced this before (I was induced last pregnancy so I had never gone into labor naturally). I start to get more regular contractions. Through my husband's sleep induced haziness he really doesn't want to believe me. He starts to get almost annoyed/angry with me which in turn only makes me that much more angry and annoyed with him. I had previously packed a bag for the hospital and my husband is rummaging through it asking questions like "do you really need this there?" which annoys me to the full extent! We are desperately trying to re-pack bags and charge our array of electronics (ipod, video camera, camera, etc.). I am also starting to slowly freak out, "who's going to watch Owen at 3am?" The other worry that popped into my head (ridiculous . . . I know)- "oh no! I'm going to miss my belly (maternity) pictures that I was so looking forward to!" This will most likely be my last pregnancy so I was kind of bummed about this but also super excited--"I think I get to meet my daughter soon!"

family!By this time it is approximately 2:30 am and I decide to ring the hospital re: my situation. The on call charge nurse tells me I should come in to get checked out. At this time I decide to get into a warm bath at home to ward off the increasingly strong contractions as my husband gets the car packed. The warm bath water was incredibly soothing. I stay in for about 30 minutes. I am on my cell phone calling a friend (Owen's godmother) and Owen's babysitter. My girlfriend picks up the 3 am call. "Thank God!" I am thinking to myself. And also thankfully, it was Sunday morning so she didn't have to go to work that day! She was able to make her way over to our house so we didn't have to wake up Owen. At this point the contractions are stronger and closer together. We decide it's time to go.

We drive the 12 minutes to the hospital. I feel fine when the contractions are off but when they were on I really wasn't able to move or speak. My husband says, "Where should we park?" I firmly reply, "Drop me off at the front emergency doors dummy!" I get sent upstairs to be examined. At my first check I was dilated 2 cm. They wanted to make sure my labor was progressing before they transferred me to a room. By this time my contractions were getting heavier. I found the hands and knees position to usually be the best to get through a heavier contraction.

About an hour later I was transferred to my own room where the contractions were getting extremely strong and close together. Here they hooked me up to the IV and drew many vials of blood. Honestly this part of labor is mostly a big blur for me (good thing). I was really in "the zone" if you will. I was trying to remember breathing techniques from labor class from two years ago. I think there was a lot of "hee hee hoos". But there were some contractions where I know I was screaming at a level that could've broken down walls. I was trying to keep my cool and focus but I was really struggling through some of those. That was some serious pain.

This is about the time I opted for an epidural. It feels like it took forever for the anesthesiologist to arrive. I think at this time when I was checked I was around 5-6 cm dilated. I believe it was sometime around 5 or 6 am (truly not sure). It took some time for the epidural to kick in. After I got the epidural I was still experiencing quite a lot of pain with each contraction. The nurse even called the doctor back to up the dosage. Once the epidural medication kicked in I honestly felt amazing. I felt completely at ease and almost a feeling of floating on water. After a full day of no sleep (I had about a half an hour since I had laid down to bed for the night when the labor began) I listened to soft music (George Winston piano) on my ipod and drifted off to sleep. My husband also took a nap on the bed beside me. I remember texting my family of my progress when I drifted out of sleep. My parents were just waking up Alaska time so as you can imagine were quite shocked of the news (as were we . . . I was 100% convinced she was NOT coming early!) But pleasantly surprised if you will. And so anxious/excited to meet her! The nurses woke me up after some time and appraised me of my situation; I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push my baby into the world! I couldn't believe it . . . I was so excited! The doctors and nurses came in for the delivery. I think I pushed a maximum of 3-5 times and she came right out--almost scarily easily!

QuinnMy beautiful daughter Quinn Lily arrived into this world at 8:15 am on a Sunday morning May 22, 2011. This was one of those moments in life you could re-play a thousand times in your head and never grow tired of it. I felt very much at ease (not sure if I was just that incredibly tired or that the delivery itself was so quick and easy). She was quite smaller than we expected (5 lbs, 11 oz.) which was almost 3 lbs. smaller than my son was at delivery! She was quiet and blue when she came out which concerned me some but the doctor and nurses assured me that most Denver babies are indeed born blue (perhaps an altitude thing?). She was placed on my belly where I was able to admire her while my placenta was being delivered.

We nursed within the first hour and she latched on like a pro! The breastfeeding has continued to be easy-peasy with her and quite relaxing/enjoyable. The next few days in the hospital were kind of a blur with nurses, doctors, and visitors coming in and out. It was hard to be away from my son during that time but also it was nice to have the one-on-one time with Quinn. Everyone was also shocked by how tiny she was! She also developed jaundice due to our blood type incompatibility (which Owen and I also experienced). She had some phototherapy in the hospital and we were also sent home with a bilirubin-blanket which she used for the first few days. It's all cleared up now and she is pink and healthy and simply perfect!

I definitely have to say that I am enjoying the newborn phase much more this time around. Not that I didn't love this time with my son. I think it's just the fact that being a first time parent is so daunting and intimidating. Now I feel somewhat "seasoned" and I feel more confident about what I'm doing. Also helps that she is just as sweet and easy as little babies come. The biggest adjustment has been with my 23 month old son. He's taken the break in ranks the hardest. He stills wants to be held by me and gets upset when baby's in my arms and has my attention. He's gotten pretty angry with me and has been throwing some pretty wild temper tantrums. Definitely the hardest work right now is working with his actions and emotions. We're all working through it. But he does love to give Quinn kisses (all the time) and each day he is getting more adjusted and cool with the whole sister situation. He'll be a great big brother. It's such an amazing thing to be a mother of two. Definitely the workload itself has increased but as they say your love doesn't divide it multiplies! It's so beautiful to admire the two beautiful babies I've brought into this world. I'm so in love . . .

Quinn LilySpeaking of babies . . . this will most likely be my last pregnancy journal. There is not the complete impossibility of another but for now we're very much content as a family of 4. I already kind of get jealous when I see pregnant bellies--it's kind of sad in a way that those moments have already passed by. But now I can look forward to all the memories of the future watching my beautiful little babies grow.

Writing this entry also brings me back to my pregnancy loss and as difficult and heart wrenching as it was to endure, I can't help but be forever grateful for the best gift that could ever come from it and that is my beautiful daughter sleeping right beside me. I really think our angel baby sent her down from heaven (I'm sure all parents think this of their daughters but apparently I'm biased too). Life without Quinn would be unimaginable.

Thanks to everyone out there who's followed my story, I hope you've enjoyed the journey with me. Thanks also to the staff at StorkNet for allowing me to share my story and also to Maribeth who was incredibly supportive through my pregnancy loss and pregnancy after loss. I will never forget your kindness.

Quinn Lily
May 22, 2011 at 8:15 am
5 lbs, 11 oz.


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