3.30.2011

AMELIA'S BIRTH

Warning: This post will acknowledge the existence of things like poop and toilets.  I'm just warning you.

I'm having a hard time writing Amelia's birth story.  I keep trying to think of a way to make it heartwarming or sweet, but it really wasn't.  The pregnancy was long (42 weeks!), but the labor was crazy fast.  So before I delve into the nitty-gritty ugly details, let's pause and look at a picture of this sweet baby girl at 1 day old.



I love having a girl.  Ahhhh.

So... here are the events of March 22, 2011 -


1:00 p.m.. - My midwife, Justine, strips my membranes.  She warns that I will feel some cramping as a result.  She was right.  The cramping is immediate and without a start or stop.  However, it isn't anything that I can't tolerate, so I just continue about business as usual.

5:30 p.m. - I notice that the cramping isn't going away. I call Justine and she tells me that it isn't real labor until the contractions are each a minute long.

7:00 p.m. - The cramping begins to feel more like contractions, but they aren't lasting very long.  I time them during dinner (using my fancy iPhone contraction timing app!) and when we finish eating, I notice that they are consistently 4-5 minutes apart, but not a minute long, so I blow it off as cramping from the membrane stripping.

8:00 p.m. - My mom and Erik look at my contraction log and say, "You're going to have this baby!"  I yell, "No, I'm not.  You guys are stupid. Stop bothering me."  I go into my room to be alone.  They are really irritating me.

8:03 p.m. - Erik texts Justine:

"I don't think its full blown labor yet, but Cristin has been having shallow short contractions for the last hour.  She thinks they have stopped but judging by her irritability, I think she could easily be in full labor a little bit later tonight."

8:15 p.m. - Erik checks on me.  I'm sitting on my big birth ball and watching 30 Rock.   I adamantly tell him that the contractions have stopped, so please stop bothering me.


8:45 p.m. -  Erik comes into our room and threatens to call Justine if I don't. Reluctantly, I call Justine to tell her that Erik is freaking out, but I am fine.  She tells me to lay down.  She says that if the cramping doesn't go away, to call her back.  I lay on my bed and after about 10 minutes, the "cramping" becomes really intense.  In the meantime, Erik starts setting up the Aquadoula (the tub), but I tell him not to fill it with water yet because I'm not sure if this is the real thing.

9:36 p.m. - Erik texts Justine:

"I'm setting up the tub, but not filling it yet, just in case, ya know, the power of positive thinking."

9:45 p.m. - I call Justine to tell her that I think I might be in labor.  She says she will come to check.

9:50 p.m. - I start screaming at my Mom and Erik to fill up the tub now.  They are trying everything they can to do it, but there isn't any hot water left.  Erik starts bringing candles in the room and I tell him he's stupid.

10:00 p.m. - I'm sitting on the edge of my bed, screaming that I want to get into the tub now and moaning about how Justine hasn't arrived yet.  (No, I was not handling the pain well.  Which isn't shocking since I failed to think about pain management for this labor.  I got cocky because I had done this twice before and it came back to bite me.  I was a screaming mess and a big jerk.)

10:20 p.m.. - Justine arrives.  She checks me and I am dilated to a 9.  I am happy for about 2 minutes after hearing that, and then I start screaming again.  My mom starts boiling water on the stove to add to the cold water in the tub.

10:35 p.m. - The tub is barely full or warm, but I don't care because I want to get into the water so badly.  I strip off my clothes and jump into the tub anyway.  The cold water is horrific.

10:45 p.m. - My water breaks and I poop.  In the tub. (This is a little secret about childbirth that women don't like to talk about.  We poop while we have babies.  It is extremely disgusting, but so is childbirth.  It is gross, bloody, and yes, almost always, there is poop.)  I feel like I have to go some more so everyone tells me to get out of the tub and go sit on the toilet, because who wants to float around in a tub of your own poop?  Not me!

10:50 p.m. - Erik helps me over to the toilet.  Immediately, I realize that this isn't poop.  I manage to grunt, "I think that's the head."  The baby flies out of me.  Somehow, she does not fall in the toilet.  (Thank you, Justine.)  I can't believe I am sitting on the toilet and holding a baby.  All I can say is, "Wow.  That was funny."

So, what do you know? I ended up having a birth on the toilet kind of like all those ladies on I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant after all!




This is Amelia moments after her birth.  Although, according to my early ultrasound, she was 2 weeks late, nothing appeared "past due."  She weighed 8 lbs 6 oz., and was 21" long.  My placenta didn't look like it was falling apart either.  I'm really grateful for a midwife and doctor who helped me to feel confident about carrying a baby 2 weeks past my due date, despite all the people telling me that it was crazy dangerous to continue being pregnant.


This birth was different in that it was the first time my mom was able to attend the birth of a grandchild.  When asked if it was a spiritual experience, she responded, "No, childbirth is kind of gross.  Glad I don't have to go through that again."  It probably didn't help that I was clutching on to her arm and screaming into her ear.  Sorry, Mom.  I really was a big jerk.

Although Amelia's birth wasn't heartwarming and sweet, it did reaffirm my love for home birth.  My heart swells when I think about how fortunate I was to not have to get in a car and drive to a hospital while in labor.  I received (and continue to receive) excellent care. (With the exception of the visits with my back-up doctor, all the midwifery visits were in my home!)  For a low risk mother, I can not think of a better option for child birth than having a baby at home.  It's definitely been a leap of faith, because child birth is scary no matter what, but I feel so blessed to have been able to do this twice now at home.

I may not be adventurous or athletic, but the sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to have had three children completely naturally is indescribable.  I don't write this story out so that people will say, "Wow, you're amazing," because I believe that all mothers are amazing regardless of how their children enter this world, but instead to explain the reasons for choosing to do the things the way I do.

Besides, I have a feeling that childbirth was the easy part.  Raising 3 little kids... that's going to be scary!

32 comments:

  1. A big huge congrats- and very well written. I can't believe you can write like that after just having a baby. I was so sleep deprived!

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  2. She is Darling... Well written recap of events.. I don't envy anyone's experiences of having babies because it's a painful, uncomfortable experience no matter how you do it. haha.. but glad you both are doing well and how fun that you got to be in the comforts of your own home...

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  3. Congrats! I'm happy you were able to have her your way, even if it isn't my way. Brandon and I listened to a podcast the other day of someone's unassisted, VBAC at home story and we were screaming at the computer the whole time. So I'm glad that you added the phrase "low risk." Oh, and we love her name. It's on the list of 12 girl names if we ever have another kid, let alone a girl. :)

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  4. Good story. So funny! And I'm so happy she didn't fall in the toilet! Now please post more pictures of Amelia with Luke and Charlie!

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  5. You are amazing! Now please post more NEW pictures of her!

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  6. Dying about the I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant scenario playing out on the toilet. Congrats you guys - she's seriously sooo darling. Can't wait for more pictures as she changes over the next weeks. Glad everything went well!

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  7. That was a great story!!! A little girl! I can't wait to hear about her. Congratulations on another home birth and your sweet baby!

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  8. Hahaha! I am so relieved that someone in the family besides me gets crazy in labor! Finally! Now it can be me, you and else (crazy yelling birthers) vs kirsten and ditte ( quiet, regal birthing champions). :) jk. I'm so glad you are happy with your home birth again, great job, it really does sound lovely! Sure love you guys, can't WAIT to hopefully see you and meet her this summer!

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  9. awesome story. I even made Rob read it :) You're awesome. I would love to have a home birth...I love hearing your stories. Amelia is beautiful!

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  10. Congratulations Cristin. Amelia is beautiful. I am amazed at the way you are able to put this story in to words. You make me laugh out loud. But at the same time you have changed my perspective on home births and I respect your courage. You almost make me want to try it. But we'll leave it at almost.

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  11. By the way, the anonymous RPR editor is Megan Moats Rogers...didn't realize I was signed in under that email.

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  12. i have been so proud of myself for not writing commenting or bugging you asking when the little one has or will arrive...so proud...I can't believe you got yourself a girl - and your momma is such a good sport...
    a self-proclaimed childbirthing jerk hilarious...isn't it great how we think we know what will happen during labor cause we've done it before - and then it throws us completely for a loop - you go from psycho to "oh look a baby- huh".
    Good luck - you'll do great!

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  13. Incredible!!! I was laughing out loud...I even made Joe listen to me read it as I tried to read it out loud a 2nd time. She is absolutely beautiful! Congrats!

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  14. Cristin, you're amazing and this was pretty funny awful, but I kind of hope you're blog isn't available when Amelia gets to be a senstive tween.

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  15. Congrats! Enjoy your baby girl. Good job, Cristin!!!

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  16. Congrats on another successful home birth! You do have me cracking up over your personal version of I Didnt Know I was Pregnant! Yay for a quick labor! I love that with your home births, you really are able to let things happen naturally and on your body's own timing!

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  17. Love hearing the story again. You make me smile. And Erik, way to read your wife and know she was closer than she thought she was. You guys are a great team. Enjoy that baby girl, along with your boys.
    It was so nice to come out last Friday and spend the day and evening with you. Can't wait to see you again.

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  18. What an awesome story! So glad that you were to catch Amelia before falling into the toilet. I'm very jealous of your super short labor. She is adorable. Congrats! Girls are so much fun!

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  19. It's okay that you were screaming and freaking out. I was like that when I was having Clark--partly because, like you, I was a little cocky (c'mon--after you've given birth to a 10 pound baby naturally, anything else is a piece of cake, right? Or not), so I didn't practice the relaxation techniques, and the other part, which applies in your case, as well, is that when you have such fast labors, it's like 10 hours worth of labor squeezed into two hours of intensity, and boy, is it intense.
    Even though this isn't why you wrote the blog, I'll say it anyways: You are amazing. I'm so impressed--Amelia is beautiful, you look gorgeous, especially for having just given birth, and I absolutely loved the birth story. Every single part.
    And way to go keeping her in there for 42 weeks!! You're my hero.

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  20. Cristin,
    That was a good story and I can't wait to see my new granddaughter. It's funny how you are just like your mother.. you both like having your kids born at home.

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  21. congratulations .. she is beautiful! :)

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  22. My goodness, she is one CUTE newborn!! Congrats! Wish you lived closer so I could come over to take newborn pictures. :)

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  23. I have tears from laughing! You have a way with words. Congratst on your sweet little girl!! And a safe -albeit crazy delivery.

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  24. Crazy! And thank you for sharing your home birth stories without being preachy about it. I so believe in people doing what works for them! Congratulations on the beautiful baby girl!

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  25. Wow!! I love reading birth stories. It seemed like the worst part was getting into a cold tub. Congrats to you guys. She is beautiful. So glad you got a girl. If you need any princess advice, let us know.

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  26. Wow, thanks for sharing a real life birth story. I'm so happy for you and your family! Big congratulations, and I hope you are settling into a new routine by now. I'm amazed at how similiar your homebirth experience was to mine. I had a poopy water tub too! Best wishes and love for you and family!

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  27. Congrats! I love having two boys and a little girl :) Perhaps our children will meet each other some day...maybe I could talk your family into being our tour guides when we finally take them to Disneyland :) Glad you and Amelia are doing well!!

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  28. Congratulations on the baby! I'm just a random reader, but I've always enjoyed your posts! Keep them coming!

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  29. Yeah, I pooped too, with every baby. The good/bad part is, no one ever told me I did that until my seventh (and final) baby! (I may've not had any more, had I known after the first one! jk)

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  30. ...Oh, and congrats! She is absolutely beautiful!

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  31. it was fun to read the whole story here after talking to you on Sunday. Cute little one you have there (and Charlie and Luke too!)

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  32. Congrats! (A little late! :) She is beautiful! Good Job!

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