15

Mar

Presenting Amelie Gladys Marshall

She’s finally here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today marks her 10th day of life this side of the womb. I was going to write something on her 1 week birthday but things got too hectic.

I wanted to show you the beautiful announcement my hubby made and tell you the story of how Amelie came to be part of the greater Chicago population.

Her first name means “industrious, striving; work; rival; laborious; eager”

Her middle name is after her sweet grandmother who passed away last summer. She was a vivacious and passionate Cuban who lived the last 35+ years in Birmingham, Alabama. One day I will tell you the little bit about her story that I know. She was an amazing woman.

Her last name…is ours. No need to explain.

SO the story of how Amelie came on her time, not ours:

Amelie was due on March 6th. I had a feeling that day would come and go and we wouldn’t be seeing her until sometime this week. How wrong I was, how wrong I was.

Sunday, March 5th, Naphtali and I got up to go to church. I had an incredibly rough night the night before and was really wondering if we should but I decided, as our little girl was due any time now and I wouldn’t be in church for a couple weeks, we should make the effort. So we went to church, and decided to go out to lunch with our normal group of friends afterwards. We hung out until about 3pm when I was completely tuckered. We wrenched ourselves away and head home. I was super ready to just curl up with the TV and some hot chocolate. Then we realized we still had a couple things that needed to get done so I started working on some pictures for her room and Naph worked on the beautiful announcement you see above.

At around 8pm I was completely tired of looking at a screen. I didn’t want to turn the TV on…because of the screen thing, I didn’t want to work on her room because it would remind me of the pictures I still needed to finish and I didn’t want to just sit around. I was anxious to get some hard work done. How little I knew! I decided to scrub our kitchen floor. Now mind you, I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time but have had other projects that took precedence. So I grabbed my Murphy’s Oil, a big bowl and some warm water and got to it. I got about a 5′x3′ area done before I really felt tired. Naph saw what I was doing and was completely floored (No pun intended). He asked what the heck I was doing and that I was going to go into labor. I laughed at him and said, “No no,babe. This is for when you want to turn your baby, but our little girl is all ready so I’m just relaxing my back, getting some pressure relieved and getting some work done that I’ve wanted for a while.”

How little I knew.

How right he was.

After about 30 minutes of cleaning we both agreed to just dish out some leftovers and watch TV. We also wanted to brainstorm what we would do the next night as it would be our very last night to ourselves. Tuesday his parents were coming in and, like I said, we weren’t expecting baby girl to come until a week later.

At about 10:15pm, when the episode of Lost was finally done I decided I had to go to the bathroom. I had to pace myself because it took so long to get up, so long to get to the bathroom. But as I got off the couch I felt a distinct “pop.” When I finally squatted a gush of water made its way out. I knew it was my water breaking but I didn’t want to believe it. We had a plan. She was going to come three or four or seven days late. I quickly asked Naph to grab my phone and I called my sister. I explained to her my symptoms and she freaked out! She confirmed through her own expertise and the help of the internet that I had indeed, broken my water!

Well this was not at all part of the plan. In fact I hadn’t even created a plan for this because it was just not something I figured would happen to me. So I called my doctor and she said she wanted me in asap. I talked her about wanting to labor at home and she suggested that I count my contractions until 1am, and then we would go from there. She said that because my water broke I needed to have the baby out with in 16 hours or we would risk infection. We called at one and my contractions were 8 minutes apart at 30 seconds to the peak. We were not moving very quickly. Doc said I needed to get in as soon as I could. By the time we would get the paper work done and finish thru triage we’d not have much longer until true labor began…or so we were told. So she told us to be in by 2:30am.

We left at 3am.

He looked like this:

I looked like this:

I was pretty terrified. This wasn’t suppose to happen so early! Family was coming the next day and my mom and dad weren’t going to arrive until a week later.

So I made us take our time getting out of the apartment realizing that this would be our last time leaving as just the two of us and the next time we crossed our threshold we’d have a new life, a new responsibility, a new world to add to ours. We would never be the same.

We got to the hospital, parked the car and walked over to the Triage section. We got our own room where they measured, tested and verified that we were actually truly expecting a new arrival very shortly.

We were soon transfered up to our labor and delivery room where the rest of time would be spent until sweet Amelie graced us with her presence.

I had previously expressed my desire to not have any medication and to go as natural as possible, but again, with a water breakage the doctor was apprehensive to let me go too long especially if I wasn’t as dilated as would have been advised by this point. I was having contractions every 4-5 minutes but they still weren’t lasting long enough to really give us hope that she would be making her arrival on her own time.

We started the petocin at 5:30 am. Within half an hour my contractions went from a mild 4-5 minutes to an arduous 2-3 minutes. This went on for 5 hours with increasing pain to the point where I couldn’t catch my breath no matter what training I had undergone. At one point I just started crying (actually more like hyperventilating and weeping) and couldn’t stop. I was trying to control myself, do the relaxation, and focus on her adorable little dress I brought as a focal point, but I just couldn’t. The pain was too much.

Our doc had said at 7am that baby probably wouldn’t be ready to make her arrival until about 6pm that night so we needed to strap ourselves in for a long haul. I was quite bummed about this.. But by 10am the petocin was controlling the situation, my body was shaking it was hurting so much and I couldn’t imagine going with this pain for another 6-7 hours. After much doubting, screaming and crying I finally decided to get an epidural. It was the absolute last thing I wanted, but I also wanted to be awake and upbeat when I finally met her and at this point I was miserable company and our situation was not what we had expected…isn’t that always the case?

The anesthesiologists came in and Naph had to leave for 30 minutes. This was the hardest part of the entire day. Not having my husband, having incredibly hard contractions that were causing me to yell from the pit of my stomach in pain, and sharp, hot pain going into my back. I was at the lowest of the low. I felt that I had failed at what I wanted and now I was going to be all woozy and half alive when Amelie made her appearance.

But, oh my word! It felt so good.

Within about 20 minutes the pain was subsiding. No more pains that felt like someone was cutting open my insides. Still, instead of my pain reducing to a 0-1 on the 10 scale I was still at about a 4-1/2. Apparently my contractions had sped up so much that we were really cruising along. The nurse told me that it was possible that my contractions, being so strong, were out weighing the medication and I could hit this little button that would give me another dose every ten minutes. I tell you what, I was looking at that clock, and had that button in my hand ready for a good push. They said that for some people the epidural really slows you down, but for others it really speeds things up because your body is finally allowed to relax.

Well they decided to finally check how far along I was after the epi and found that I was 5-1/2 cm along. Making good progress and hoping that the next 6 hours would go quickly and efficiently. I called my mommy and let her know where we were at and then took time to focus on getting through these next contractions, praying that I wouldn’t be too drugged when she decided to make her arrival.

At 12:30pm a sweet nurse came in to just change my IV and asked me how I was feeling. I was, by now, a 2-1/2 on the pain scale and she asked if anyone had checked how far along I was. I said no, and she decided to just go ahead and check me out. She was so great, she has been doing this for over 23 years and was the most hilarious woman ever. She checked me out and I heard a gasp.

“You’re over 9-1/2cm!”

It had been just two hours and I was practically ready to push.

She asked if I had felt any pushing contractions yet, which I hadn’t. Two contractions later, there they were. I remember that pressure very vividly.

She decided to get all the delivery stuff ready and called in the troops. By 1pm our team was in place, Naph was holding my left leg and Candice, a sweet nurse, was holding my right. My doc, who is 6 months pregnant herself was in full control and coaching me on perfectly.

Each set of contractions came on stronger and stronger. They brought me a mirror once her head was down enough to see it and I could feel her. It was amazing.

Naph was standing over me and I kept asking him if he was ok. I knew that we weren’t sure if he’d want to see her arrival or not. He kept telling me to stop worrying about him and just focus.

By 2pm I was on my last set of contractions and she made her arrival. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it felt so good. Naph was giving me a play by play of her arrival and within seconds she was on my chest crying her cute little head off. I started bawling, I couldn’t believe it. The rush of emotions was something I wasn’t prepared for. Naph and I just looked at each other, with tears in our eyes, and couldn’t believe these 9 long months were over.

Naph went to grab the camera but the Doc told him to stop, get back over to me and make some memories. Then she clamped Amelie’s little umbilical cord and had Naph cut.

“You have now made her her own person, Dad. Congrats!” Doc said with pride.

I think that is Naph’s favorite part of the story.

Candice, the nurse, took Amelie to do her little weigh-in and clean her up at the Giraffe station which was located in our room so she was never far from us.

I got her back within minutes and the breastfeeding training began. They stuck with me for an hour getting me comfy with the process and allowing for us to bond.

The great thing about this big hospital is that they believe in the old ways. Skin to skin is the most important to them. Everything they teach you to do with your baby involves skin to skin contact so that you two bond well from the very first second.

I have to say, for all the naysaying about epidurals, for me it was a fantastic experience. I realize everyone is different, and that this wasn’t even in our initial plan. And I think that because we had her so quickly after the drugs had been administered that it didn’t make as huge of an impact as others have experienced. Because I felt everything, I remember everything and I experienced every emotion so tangibly and so vividly that never once did I feel clouded by drugs. I even had the terrible contractions for over 5 hours. In fact, the nurse that was there when I got the epi said that administered petocin is the hardest thing a body can go through and for me to last 5 hours on it was remarkable. Generally it feels like a normal contraction x6. Which I can totally understand because the contractions I had for the first 5 hours were hard but I could see myself going all the way.

And you could say that, that last bit when we were transferred to our recovery room was when I felt the groggiest but by that time I had been up for close to 20 hours with no sleep. So I’m going to attribute that to exhaustion and not drugs.

So Amelie came into this world on her own time, in her own way, reminding us that we aren’t in the business of making plans that stick but in plans that should be fluid and flexible. I believe she will be our constant, living, breathing reminder of letting go and letting God.

By 5 pm we were in our own recovery room overlooking the lake. I ordered a big ol’ lasagna and salad and scarfed it down in a few minutes.

The nurses filled me in on info that I needed about Amelie’s care and taking care of myself and then I got the blessed pain relief medication for a slight tear I got during birth. It was time to just sleep, stare at my darling and cry with my hubby over this gorgeous baby we were given.

For the next two days we just took her in, changed her diaper, learned her cries, talked with the lactation consultant and prepared ourselves for the trip home where reality would soon set in.

Our little girl is so gorgeous and calm. This might not last forever but we are thankful for it.

God is good, all the time. All the time God is good.

Lovies.

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