Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sophia Annitza Potter

Our beautiful little girl was born three weeks ago on May 20th at 7:07am. I want to write the birth story because it was an amazing experience and while I was pregnant I loved reading people's birth stories so I thought I should share mine and Sophia's.

I had bein bon bed rest with Sophi since week 29 with preterm labor and as scary and as not fun as that was I do think it helped my body to prepare for labor before hand a little more than normal. By 36 weeks when I got off bed rest I was almost 100 percent effaced and 1 cm dilated. Mark and I began walking 2-3 miles a day to help get me back in shape and help my body to prepare even more for labor. I knew I wanted to go natural and have no drugs if at all possible, so I also wanted to be in the best shape possible because I knew it would be a lot of physical work. By 38 weeks I was over 2 cm dilated and having really hard contractions once or twice a day and while we walked. My doctor kept telling me that the baby could come any day but we kept waiting...and walking. At exactly 39 weeks I had my membranes stripped at my dr. appointment. This was the Wednesday before she was born. I had a ton of cramping and contractions for the 24 hours following this and felt pretty sick in general. Thursday morning I lost my mucus plug and could tell that things were changing but still I had no idea if that meant she would be here in two days or ten. Thursday night we went to my in-laws house to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday. We also went on one last walk before ending the night. Mark and I went to bed at 11pm andi slept a solid three hours ( which hadn't happened in months because of my over active bladder).

I woke up at 2 am Friday morning and knew immediately that our baby was coming. I hadn't yet had a contraction so I have no idea how I knew this, but something felt different. I walked around for 15 minutes just to see what would happen and I immediately started having contractions that were five minutes apart lasting about 45 seconds. They were very different than anything I had felt up to that point and they hurt! I knew it was time. I woke Mark up and we slowly got things together and decided to just go ahead and go to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital at about 3:15am and at that point the contractions were 3 to 4 minutes apart. At this point things become a little foggy for me because the pain was getting pretty bad. They put me in triage and asked a million questions that I barely remember. All I remember is focusing on each contraction and being thankful the break in between. When she checked me she said I was dilated to 4 cm. and fully effaced. She then said, "So, you will be staying to have your baby." Even though at that point I was pretty sure that would be the case I still remember feeling so excited at that moment and with my fist in the air, I was thinking FINALLY! But that excitement came in went in about 30 seconds as another contraction settled in and I realized that meant I was in for the long haul. The moved me into labor and delivery and Mark and I settled in for what I thought would be at least 6-8 hours.

The contractions were very intense at this point and I think I told Mark multiple times, "I CANNOT do this." I kept thinking there is no way. The contractions were only about 2 minutes apart and were lasting almost a minute so the break in between felt like nothing. At this point Mark started praying me through each contraction and coaching me on breathing. These two things together were what got me through. I leaned on God for strength and Mark held my hand and talked me through each one. I have never felt anything quite like labor contractions. I knew I had to focus on working with my body and not against it and that's what I did one contractions at a time. I was making it slowly but surely but then all of the sudden things changed. I had a ton of pressure and was in even more pain. I had Mark call our nurse and she came and checked me and I was at 7 cm, with a bulging bag of waters! I couldn't believe it. She immediately went to call my Dr. and tell her to hurry over. She said that if my water broke I would be ready to push. Knowing that I had progressed so fast gave me strength to keep going. It was 6am at this point, only four hours since I had woken up at home.

At 6:30 I knew I couldn't wait any longer, I had to push, but my Dr. wasn't there yet. I kept asking if she was here and saying that I needed to push, so my nurse called the resident OB to stand by just in case my Dr. didn't make it. I really, really wanted my Dr. to deliver my baby so we were so relieved when minutes later, in walked Dr. Sloop at 6:30am. She was still in her street clothes and decided that she didn't have time to change. They never broke my bed down to a delivery table, she just sat on the edge and broke my water and then coached me through pushing. It was so hard but I was so thankful at the same time that I could feel everything. At 7:07 our baby was born. It felt like an eternity as I looked from my Dr. to Mark waiting to find out if it was a boy or a girl. It was a girl, I was shocked. I thought for sure it was a boy but I was so excited.

She was 6lbs 10oz. and 21 inches long. So tiny! Which I'm sure had to do with my crazy 5 hour delivery. I never expected it to be so short! I am so thankful I was able to go without any drugs, although I have no idea if I would have made it had the delivery been a lot longer. I felt amazing afterwards. First I wanted breakfast and then I wanted to walk to our room in the family unit but they wouldn't let me.

It was all an amazing experience that I will never forget. I couldn't have done it without Mark, he was awesome and coached me through every step of the way. I am so thankful for our little Sophia.

The next post I will talk a little more about what it has been like since we came home.

**Sorry if this is more descriptive than some would have liked. I just really wanted the whole story there for those who, like me, like all the details**

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