the beginning & labor
Amelia's birth was so beautiful and special that it's honestly a little hard to write about. Birth feels like something so sacred that even trying to put the emotions into words is difficult. There's a few moments in my life that feel almost too special to describe...my wedding was one of them and her birth was another.
But I don't want to forget. I want to remember how amazing it all was, which is why I'm so glad my family was there to witness and document it for me. At first, I really wanted a midwife, but it was very difficult to find one covered by our insurance. So we opted to do a hospital birth with a doctor. We ended up loving our doctor and felt he was super kind and open to our needs and hopes.
Amelia's due date was March 19th, but they thought they could have gotten her due date wrong so they told me I could go to the 26th. We waited that whole week. It was such a rollercoaster of emotions waiting for her arrival. I was doing squats, yoga ball bounces, hip swivels, and all kinds of stuff to try and induce natural labor. :)
Finally, on the night of the 25th, I got a pregnancy massage and had a funny feeling that maybe it would trigger all the birth hormones.
Sure enough, at 1:15ish AM on March 26th, I woke up in a pool of water on the bed. I wasn't in labor at that point and was still feeling really good. I excitedly woke Ryan up and called my mom to tell her my water broke. We decided to wait until contractions kicked in to go in, so I packed my bag some more, watched New Girl, and anxiously waited in bed.
I fell asleep and then woke up in severe pain at 2:30 AM. It was odd, as I went from having no contractions to intense contractions about 5-6 minutes apart within an hour.
Ryan kept asking me to leave, but I wanted to wait as long as I could. Finally, I really couldn't talk through them and had to lay in a ball on the floor. At that point, I figured it was time to go in. :) It felt like my body was being squeezed by an outside force trying to turn my tummy inside out.
As we grabbed our stuff around 4:30 AM, I filmed the below video. We called my parents and texted friends to pray.
Laboring in the car is the absolute worst, and Ryan was awesome and would help me count down a minute from when the contraction started to keep me focused on the fact that the pain would end. We played Beyonce on the 20 minute car ride there and it rained outside. It felt scary and magical...and like we were on the precipice of everything.
We finally got to the hospital and when I got checked, the contractions got severely worse. I was only 1 cm dilated and was super discouraged because the contractions were so close together. I couldn't rest in between at all.
They moved me to the laboring rooms and I kept asking Ryan where my mom was. They asked me so many questions, and I couldn't even think straight so wanted her there to help me know what medical things they were trying to say.
Ryan was so sweet. He held my hand and let me squeeze it as hard as I could when a contraction came on. He even stayed in the bathroom with me when I needed to use it because I was so scared to be alone. I was so embarrassed, but he was the most kind and servant hearted husband ever.
Finally my parents arrived around 7 AM. Like superheroes, they charged in the room. :) They are birthing pros.
Because I was giving birth in a hospital, I wanted my mom there as a support, but to also act as my advocate in case any of the nurses pressured me to do anything I didn't want. She has had 5 kids and was amazing at rooting for me during the birth and making sure I knew what each nurse was doing. My dad, (the most compassionate dad of all time) rubbed my head and talked me through contractions with Ryan.
Finally, at about 6 hours in, I looked up at my mom and told her that I didn't think I could do it much longer. I was falling asleep between contractions and had started to shake and throw up. She knew that I wanted to try a natural birth with no epidural, but I told her prior that I knew my body. If I asked for it, it meant I really did want it.
So at 4 cm dilated, I decided that for my own peace, I needed rest. I couldn't even think straight and, from dealing with very intense anxiety in the past, I didn't want to bring my baby into an environment where I felt scared or unsure. I was so upset at myself for 'giving in,' but my mom was awesome at reminding me how brave I had been for over 6 hours and that my choices are up to me to decide. Getting the epidural didn't mean my body wasn't still powerful and incredible.
After the epidural, everything changed. There was still pain, but I could think again. I was so elated and ecstatic to feel good again that I was laughing and singing and over the moon.
I invited my whole family in the room with me, as I felt incredible and wanted all the people who were closest to me to remember the moment with me.
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3