Tuesday, June 19, 2012

August's Birth Story: Part 6

Within a few minutes, new faces were pouring into the room.  I didn't look around much, but I caught a few glimpses of the new nurses.  I gathered that they were student nurses since one was being instructed on how to hold one of my legs up.  She was taking over for Lisa so that Lisa could assist my doctor and oversee the other nurses.

"Go ahead and count for her," Lisa told the new nurse.

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5....," she counted as I pushed.

"No, no, no!" Lisa interrupted.  "Like this...1...........2............3........."

Lisa's counting slowed to a deathly crawl.  Her 10 seconds stretched out to be at least 20.  I pushed with everything I had.  I didn't breathe.  Some nurses tell you to breathe, some tell you not to breathe.  Lisa said not to breathe during the push.  It seemed to be the most effective way to push, but it was really difficult and exhausting.

"Look at her stomach!  You can see him moving down!" I heard someone say.

I looked down.  I thought my stomach looked different, but I couldn't really tell.  I just wanted to go back to my own world.

After a few good pushes, I heard a familiar voice.  It was my doctor.  She flew into the room as she grabbed a pair of gloves from the dispenser.

"Are we ready to have a baby?" she asked.

I can't remember if I answered her.  I was in my game.  This was it.  I was ready.

"She knows when to push.  She can tell when she's having a contraction," Lisa told my doctor.

"Oh ok, great!  Well just push when you feel it coming," my doctor replied.

I waited a few seconds and then pushed down hard again.  The time I took pushing after my doctor came in seems like seconds to me.  Adam said I pushed for about 10 minutes while the doctor was there.  I remember thinking that I was about to not be pregnant anymore.  I thought back over my pregnancy and how I would miss it.  It was miserable at the end, but it was all about to be over.  I was about to begin a new chapter and meet this little boy I had been carrying around for the past 9 months.  I couldn't believe he was about to be here.  I couldn't believe...

"He has hair!  He's got lots of hair, baby!" Adam exclaimed.

I snapped back into the moment.  I felt a ton of pressure.  Each second I thought he was crowning, the pressure would get even more intense.

"Push! Push! .....6.....7....8....9," I heard Lisa shouting.

I quit thinking at this point.  I just gave it everything I had.  I thought my body was going to explode.  That's what it felt like.

Just when I thought I couldn't stand it any longer, I gave it one last good push.  I felt it.  I felt him.  I felt everything.  I knew when his head came out, when his shoulders came out, and I felt the rest of him come out.  Then I heard him.  I heard his cry.  I can't explain what it felt like when I heard that cry.  It wasn't a shrill cry, but a reassuring cry.  I knew that cry was what we were looking for.

Before I knew it, Adam had cut the cord, and August had been passed off to the nurse.  It was all very quick since they weren't sure how he was doing.

I looked down and saw a nurse carrying him across the room to the heat lamp.  I remember the way his body was laying as she carried him.  I remember how my heart stopped as I realized this was my son.  This was August.  I play that moment in my head over and over again all the time.  I can't relive that moment without tears coming to my eyes.  My heart gets that same feeling all over again when I think about it.  That dropping, burning feeling, like when you go off the first hill on a roller coaster. That is the distinct moment I remember seeing him for the first time.  It changed my whole world.

"Time of birth, 12:50 p.m.," I heard someone announce.

The next few minutes seemed like hours.  They took his footprints and his Apgar scores.  He scored an 8 the first time, and a 9 the second time.  I heard the nurses gasp when they took his footprints.

"He's got toddler feet!" one of the nurses announced.

I tried to get another glimpse of him in all of the hustle and bustle.  They had told me that he would have to go to the nursery for observation as soon as he was born.  The Magnesium Sulfate was in his system, so they had to make sure he would be ok.

"8 pounds, 20 inches!" another nurse shouted across the room.

I hadn't really paid attention to what my doctor was doing.  I heard a few words like "second degree tears.....lots of stitches....", but I wasn't paying much attention.  I tried my best to focus on August.  I later learned that I had torn in a star burst pattern, and that I required a lot of stitches.  I felt the placenta deliver. 

"Was that the placenta?  Can I see it?"  I asked the doctor.

"Sure!" she replied.

A nurse walked up next to my bed holding a bed pan with the placenta in it.  It looked funny.

"What's that all over it?" I asked.

"Those are calcium deposits.  Your placenta was calcified.  It was almost done."

"Really?" I asked.  "Wow."

My eyes lost track of August for a few seconds, and as I refocused I saw Adam walking toward me.  He was carrying something.  Adam couldn't get close because of the nurses assisting my doctor, but he held up the most beautiful, crying baby I had ever seen. The baby looked like someone I knew.  Someone who has passed away, but is so close to my heart.

"He looks like Paw-Paw!" I said.  Paw-Paw is my dad's dad.  He died when Adam and I started dating.  I was standing next to his bed when he passed away.

As I spoke, August looked at me.  He looked right at me and immediately quit crying.  He recognized my voice!  I couldn't believe it.  He was listening to me.

Just as quickly as I met him, they whisked him away.  They told me it would be two hours before I would get to see him again.  They would observe him, go ahead and do his PKU, and give him his first vaccine. 

The seconds ticked by as the doctor continued to stitch me up.  I was hurting pretty bad.

"Are you almost finished?" I asked the doctor as politely as I could.

"No, why?  Do you feel this?" she asked.

"Yes, I feel it."

"I wish you had said something," she acted shocked.  "I have a numbing shot, but I thought you were already numb.  Do you want the shot?"

"Yes, please!" I answered.  I didn't care about needles at this point.  I had been through every needle situation possible now.  What was a shot?

The shot finally kicked in, and I was getting eager to hold my son.  I missed him so much, and I wondered if he missed me too.  I felt like my heart had left the room with him.

I don't remember much about what happened during this time as I waited for August.  I was still on the Magnesium. But I know all I wanted to do was hold him and tell him everything would be alright.

At 1:50 p.m., only an hour after August was born, the door to my room opened.  "Knock knock!" I heard a nurse say.

I looked over and saw the nurse wheeling a crib toward my bed.  My heart stopped. I looked over to see a swaddled baby.  He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  The nurse picked him up and placed him in my arms.  He looked so peaceful.  My heart got that burning feeling all over again.  I couldn't believe this was our son.  He was ours.  He belonged to us. 

"Hi August, I'm your mommy," I whispered.  "I love you."

The following days were filled with a rollercoaster of events.  I had a difficult recovery due to the Magnesium Sulfate and stitches.  The Magnesium took away all strength from my muscles, and the stitches made it nearly impossible to walk.  My blood pressure refused to go down, so we had to stay longer than expected.  But looking back, I don't care.  It's amazing how I look back on everything with a longing to relive it.  When I was going through it, I was terrified, and I just wanted to go home.  Now that I am home, I want to do it all over again.  There are parts I could skip, but then it wouldn't be August's birth story.  That hospital room feels like home in a lot of ways, and the hospital staff feels like family to me. 

Even though I had a series of unexpected events, I saw God in every situation.  I prayed for weeks that God would allow August to come naturally.  I kept thinking that must be His will.  If I had told the doctor no, and refused to be induced, then the preeclampsia (that I didn't know I had) would have gotten much worse.  It was His will for me to be induced.  God did answer me, just not the way I thought He would. 

I also believe my labor nurse was a blessing from God.  The Sunday before my induction, my Sunday school class gathered around me to pray for the induction.  A lady in my class....named Lisa....prayed that God would give me the nurses and doctors I needed and that they would know what to do.  Lisa was the name of my amazing labor nurse.  Only God.

There are so many other little things that I could go on and on about.  It's so amazing to see how God uses His people to work.  He does amazing things.  We are so blessed to be August's parents.  God is good.



  1. He's SO beautiful!!! I've loved reading all the parts of his birth story. The moment you described first seeing him is SO very sweet. I am looking forward to meeting him one day and seeing you I hope soon! Love you!


  2. Yes, the exploding body feeling. I know that one! Thats the best way to explain it I think. I really loved this story. All birth stories are so different, but they all end with a beautiful baby, and thats the best part! You did a great job, giving birth is some hard work! Your descriptions are so spot on, and so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!!!!! August is adorable.

    (it will be interesting to compare baby #2's birth to this one!)

    1. Thank you! Your birth story with Gracie was amazing to read. I can't believe it happened that fast! I am really hoping Baby #2's story will be much different than this one. We will see!

  3. Hi Amanda,
    I stumbled on your blog almost by accident (I was looking for pictures of someone at 14 weeks, and your blog appeared). I just read August's birth story and I am blinking back tears of joy for you. I'm 11 weeks pregnant. Thank you for your honest birth story.


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