Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ames' Birth Story



Ames Landon Sandberg arrived right on his due date, November 16, 2013 at 8:40am. He weighed 9 lbs and was almost 22 inches long!

It all started the day before. I was determined to get him here as soon as possible so I had been cleaning our house all week, even on my hands and knees mopping our floor. That day I went on the longest walk I could handle and ate lots of pineapple J

Later that evening I started feeling some tightening, which I later realized were actually contractions, but not painful yet. Landon went to bed and I stayed up a couple more hours. By then I was starting to feel uncomfortable and thought this must be the start of it, but tried to go to bed anyway. About an hour or so later I woke up feeling consistent contractions. At that point I still didn’t know if they were for sure the real thing or not. It almost felt like I was just sick from what I had eaten for dinner because it was going through me like crazy. I think I went to the bathroom 4 or 5 times in 30 min. I tried to start timing contractions and they were already about 3-4 minutes apart. I figured this must be it and started to pack the last few things in my hospital bag and finally woke up Landon. We headed out at about 12:30am.

We got to the hospital and after I was admitted I changed into the clothes I had brought. I didn’t want to be hanging out everywhere as I was moving around and changing positions, so I decided to wear a sports bra and knit skirt rather than the hospital gown. I also didn’t want to be hooked up to the monitors or an IV, but they had to get an initial read on Ames to make sure he wasn’t under any stress. It ended up taking a really long time to get the read they needed, but I was finally able to get off the monitors after an hour or two and lay over the birth ball on the floor. I also turned on a playlist of my favorite music that I had put together so I would have something to focus on during each contraction.

Before I was able to get off the monitors and in the position that felt most comfortable, I had to be laying or sitting on the bed and for some reason I found that humming really loud created pressure and vibration in my head that I was able to focus on. It was probably the most annoying sound in the world, and I kept telling my nurse that I was sorry J But for some reason it really helped.

My labor progressed pretty fast. Earlier that week at my doctor’s appointment I was already dilated to a 3-4 and I hit a 5 about an hour after we got all settled in at the hospital. About every hour it seemed I had dilated one more centimeter.

Another “fun” detail is when they were trying to get a good read on Ames, they had me drink some apple juice to try and get him to wake up and be active. Well I tried to down it as fast as I could between contractions and ended up throwing all of it up.
Believe me, the last thing you want to do when you are in that kind of discomfort is throw up. Anyway…

About half way through, I had a switch in nurses. Both of my labor nurses were amazing. The first nurse was very nurturing. She did a great job of helping me get through the first part of my labor. The second nurse meant business. They both had such different personalities and methods of helping me get through, but they were both lifesavers in helping me have a natural birth.

Once I hit 7 centimeters my labor stalled a bit and they were also having to get another read on Ames so I was hooked up to the monitors and not wanting to move. I had found a comfortable position on the side of the bed where I was able to press down during each contraction, but my nurse pushed me to change positions so we could get this baby out and I got on all fours on the bed. About an hour later the doctor came in and broke my water. By 7:30 am everything was back on track. I started pushing at about 8:20 and 20 minutes later he was here! I wasn’t completely bawling like I thought I would when they laid him on my chest, but I was definitely sobbing and felt overjoyed that he was here.


I did have an episiotomy even though I didn’t want one, but because of his size, I decided to go ahead with it so I could get him here faster. It really didn’t end up being bad at all, even the healing process.

I can’t forget Landon in this story. He was awesome even with my moodiness. I had back labor on and off and he was awesome about putting pressure on my lower back and doing everything he could to keep me comfortable. When it was time to push he was right there cheering me on, and when he said he could see Ames’ head it gave me even more reason to push as hard as I could. Not to toot my own horn, but the doctor and nurse said I was a really good pusher J My nurse said my height was also in my favor.  I actually ruptured a blood vessel in my eye that took a week or two to heal.


(I am definitely not one of those women who look amazing after giving birth. I was sweaty, worn out, and proud of it :)) 

Everyone also talks about the change or transition that you feel in labor when the contractions get longer/stronger. I honestly can’t say when that really happened. Looking back, I can tell that they were worse by the end, but my mind was in such a delirious and foggy state, it sort of just blurred all into one while it was happening.

I was so glad I chose to and was able to have a natural birth. I will definitely choose to do it again if I can with our next child. It was amazing to experience it and I loved the feeling of accomplishment it gave me. Having a baby is a feat all on its own, so even mothers who don't or can't go natural, I still give you props. What an amazing thing it is to give birth to such a miracle.

My labor and recovery went as good as I could have ever planned. The first 2 weeks of having a newborn did not. I tell everyone I would rather give birth again than go through those first 2 weeks.

Ames had jaundice, which spiked really high by his first checkup so he had to be on bilirubin lights at home for 3 days. Jaundice makes babies really sleepy so he wasn’t nursing well and was losing weight. This made me an anxious wreck and I was so close to giving up on nursing. Luckily I had a lactation consultant come and help me, which made a world of difference. I also finally gave in and let Landon and one of our parents get up and feed him a bottle of my pumped milk.


Once I was getting a little more sleep and Ames was over the jaundice and nursing issues, it got much better. Those 2 weeks felt like an eternity when I was going through them. I had to force myself to eat, because I felt sick to my stomach all the time from anxiety. I also started to feel a distance from Ames. I wasn’t able to enjoy him and feel a bond with him like I had always imagined when I was pregnant. I honestly asked myself what I had gotten myself into.

Well by week 3 things started to turn around completely, and we are doing really well now. After going through that, I would tell every 1st time mom to try these 3 things:

1-    Take a breastfeeding class and meet with a lactation consultant. Even if you are lucky and don’t have any issues with breastfeeding, it’s good info to have under your belt.

2-    Buy a breastpump and use it!
I started pumping my milk once every night and storing it in the freezer. Because I had this stash I didn’t have to supplement when he was jaundice and wasn’t feeding well. I was able to use it until I got things back on track. After that was smoothed over, I continued to pump and build my stash in the freezer back up and then I finally let other people get up and feed him in the night so I could get a little sleep. Lets just say that sleep deprivation plus a hormonal rollercoaster were not good to me at all.

3-    Don’t try to do it all by yourself.
 I felt like a bad mom for having to rely on other people to help me care for Ames. If I couldn’t learn to do it on my own I would never learn to do it was my thinking. Well as you’ve probably heard, “it takes a village to raise a child.” It really is true. It’s ok and is best for your emotional health to have other people help care for your baby.
I also had some amazing spiritual experiences as I learned to rely more on my Heavenly Father to help me care for Ames. It really is true that you feel closer to Him than ever when you have a sweet little spirit that was just with Him. Like always, this trial was definitely to help me draw nearer to my Heavenly Father and gain a stronger testimony that He knows and loves me.









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