15 October 2014

Amelia's Birth Story

All photos by Erin Nicastro Photography

August 27, 2014 Your Birth Story

I woke up Wednesday morning watching John get dressed and ready for work...I knew then (6am), that this was the big day, I could feel the cramp like pains of the beginning of labor.   But with so much false labor that week, I decided not to say anything and John went off to the city like any normal day.  By 7:30 a.m. after my shower they were every 10 minutes.  I called John because I knew he needed to head home.  I knew he wanted to be apart of it.  He had just walked into his office when I called.  So he had to make a few phone calls, send out emails canceling some appointments and head back to port authority for a trip back to NJ.

By this time I had called my doula, my mom and my mother in law.  My mother in law came to help with the kids and pick up Julia for the day.  My mom came to babysit the boys.  My doula came to be with me until John arrived.  Roe (my doula) had a great idea to go to the doctor's office just to be sure this was "it" even though we all knew, but since we knew Dr. Giovine was in the office we thought it was a good idea for him to see me and to start the ball rolling.  I still wasn't in any pain just dealing with the contractions as they came.  Swaying, walking, talking, and getting ready for the hospital stay.  Packing the car, taking pics of the kids with their cute shirts on and making pb and j sandwiches for a snack for the car ride.

Mark, Micah, and Julia

I felt better once John was home because I knew my team mate was with me.  It was exciting that baby day was finally here and a week before my due date...I knew I wasn't going to have a September baby!  We drove to Little Silver with excitement and anticipation.

Dr. G saw me around 11am and I was indeed in labor and at about 3cm and 80 percent effaced.  All that walking the past 3 days at the park really did help!  I was doing about 2 miles each day to speed the birth process along.  He suggested we go to the board walk for a bit and then go to the hospital.  But since it was 90 degrees we decided to head to the Monmouth Mall to walk and eat lunch and perhaps shop before heading to the hospital?

It was fun to go to a new place to walk around and be in the comfort of the mall.  But by 1:30 my contractions were getting more intense and I didn't want people staring at me every time I had to stop to deal with them.  We got in our cars and headed to the hospital.  My contractions got more intense on the drive and John started to speed a bit and go over some bumps which made the contractions worse.

Then we heard sirens...

A police officer was pulling us over...GRRRRREEEEAAATTTTT!  This was all we needed! I just wanted to be at the hospital, John was driving like a lunatic, and we were going to get a ticket for speeding...awesome.  Well, I did what any pregnant woman would do during labor and stress, I started to cry...the cop took forever to get out of the car...and when he approached our vehicle he looked inside John's volvo like he had drugs inside...it was crazy!  He comes the window and John goes, "Officer, my wife......." and then I interrupted and said, "I'm in labor!" and burst into tears.  The cop switched into Dad gear and said, "Don't worry, I will escort you to the hospital...follow me!"  In that moment, I wanted to hug him!

Amelia, you were our first police escort to the hospital...it was pretty cool!  He dropped us off at the Emergency exit and got a stretcher for me and everyone took over and I just concentrated on the contractions as they came.  Once we got upstairs to labor and delivery we were put in a room and Dr. Burke was there to check me.  I was now 5 cm.  Things calmed down a bit and my contractions did too.

We decided to walk the labor halls to keep things going.  The nurse said that once I got to 6 cm I would have to get out of the birthing tub so I decided not to labor in the tub this time.  I figured, what would the point be to set the whole thing up only to be told I couldn't be in it.  Plus I just wanted to hurry up and push this baby out so we walked and walked in hopes that I could progress soon.

The contractions got very painful around 4pm.  I was having very bad posterior labor.  Which meant the baby's head probably wasn't exactly in the right place but leaning on my pelvis in a way that made the contractions unbearable and when they checked me I was only 6cm...it was all too reminiscent of my labor with Micah.  Micah was 9.2 lbs and his labor was 12 hours and extremely painful, it was also posterior pain.  I was in agony for the last 4-5 hours and I promised myself this time if my labor was stuck again at 6cm I would not be in agony for hours.

I got an epidural at 5:45 p.m.  The only problem was it didn't work.  It didn't numb anything until 8 p.m.  So from 6pm to 8 p.m. I was stuck in a hospital bed in the worst pain I've ever experienced.  And I have a very high tolerance for pain.  But that pain was unholy.  In those moments I just did the best I could.  I was thankful for my sweet nurse, roe, and john who encouraged me, but I was really angry that I got this epidural hoping it would help and it did nothing.

At 8 p.m. my legs and pelvic area went numb.  It was the weirdest feeling ever.  I didn't feel any contractions for the rest of the time.  It was so scary at first because all my other labors I was completely in control since I wasn't medicated, and now I had to trust the nurse to tell me everything was ok.  My biggest fear was how will I know when to push?  She assured me I would be fine.

By 10 p.m. I was tired of waiting.  I called the doctor in and told her I was ready to push.  She checked me and I was, lo and behold, at 10 cm.  And that was the easiest part of this labor.  For the next 45 minutes I pushed and all the while Dr. Chang, she took over after Dr. Burke left, kept telling me, "Your baby has so much hair!"  And I kept thinking...get. her. out!

At 10:49 p.m. Amelia Susanna was born.  She looked tiny to me, but she was 9.6 lbs and 19 1/2 inches long.  She weighed a few more ounces than Micah and I think most of her weight was in those sweet cheeks of hers.  And just like the doctor said she had a head full of dark hair!

I really loved my nurse that took care of me towards the last half of my 9 hour labor.  She gave me such great advice (because we told most of the people who worked with us that we would be moving on Friday) about enjoying Amelia and not doing too much or being stressed about the house.

The only part (besides the labor) I would have changed about Amelia's birth story is that John could've stayed longer.  After Amelia was born he needed to go straight home to check on the kids and my mom (all were asleep of course) and hold down the fort, besides he was exhausted too.  I was honestly so awake and didn't really sleep Wednesday at all.  I was on such an adrenaline high from the birth.  I stayed in the hospital until Friday afternoon.  I left our home on Joyce street on Wednesday without knowing I'd never go back there...and when John picked me up on Friday we drove straight to our attorney's office to sign the papers for our new home.  It was the busiest week of our lives.

God worked out every detail.  He surrounded us with love and support from our family and friends and our doula Roe, and blessed us with another healthy baby with a fairly uneventful birth.  Even though the epidural didn't work from 6pm til 8pm, at least I got some relief before the pushing.  I was scared about getting the epidural but thankful that after I had it I was able to push Mia out and walk around since it started to wear off soon after she was born.

Amelia Susanna McInerney...we love you!

Our final piece to our family!  It amazes me how much you look like Julia.  You two are the perfect bookends surrounding our handsome boys.


06 October 2014

Happy Harvest

Happy Harvest

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior    are children born in one’s youth.Blessed is the man    whose quiver is full of them.  -Psalm 127:3-5
Well, we knew we were lucky to be Julia, Mark, Micah, and Amelia's parents...but sometimes in the grind of it all we can forget that these sweet little pumpkins are a gift from God.

Sometimes I forget how badly I prayed to get pregnant with Julia.

And I forget how badly I wanted a son after I found out I was pregnant with Mark.

I forget how much I longed for a third child when we finally were surprised with Micah's pregnancy.

And I seem to forget how much I begged God for a sister for Julia, and another daughter for me because I missed ribbons, and ruffles, and shopping the pink aisle at Babies R Us.

God has given us 4 gifts, 4 blessings, and no matter how loud, and wild, and silly, they can be...we are thankful they were born.

This harvest seems extra full and extra happy this year.

02 October 2014

Listening to God speak

1 Samuel 3

A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

I have been out of the habit of reading the Bible every morning and I really have missed it.  It has been so chaotic and busy these last 5 weeks and I am so happy to finally, finally able to get back into a routine and schedule.  I used to be able to read at the kitchen table while the kids ate breakfast.  The new norm now is I break out my lap top and read online whenever I get a few seconds with hands free.

A few nights ago I started to read 1 Samuel because I remembered how awesome God answered Hannah's prayer by giving her a son after being barren for so long.  She wanted a child so badly.  I look at my life these past 11 years and see how God was preparing John and I all along for this family of 4 little ones.

*God was faithful to provide us both with careers we loved
*God was gracious to allow us to travel before the kids came
*God was merciful to bless us with 3 amazing homes...each one meeting our current needs of the time
*God was loving to allow me to stay at home and raise our children while relying on one income

I love this particular chapter in 1 Samuel because Samuel heard God's voice in the night and thought Eli was calling him.  Each time he got up to ask Eli what he wanted.  Finally the third time, Eli realized that Samuel was probably hearing God's voice and didn't know it.  So Samuel goes back to bed hears God's voice and quickly responds...."Speak for your servant is listening."

I love that he knew he was God's servant.  First of all, I can clutter my own mind with so much "stuff" (my to do lists, my worries, my wants, my needs, my concerns) that I can barely hear the quiet voice of God calling me.  Can anyone else relate?  I get so busy in "survival mode" that I forget my true purpose as God's servant.  I forget all that He has done for me.  I worry about things that I should know God will handle.  

Samuel was young, and obedient and quick to listen to God's voice.  He knew who he belonged to.  He knew what his purpose was, and he was so ready and willing to do whatever God wanted him to do.

I want to be like that.

So today, I give God my day.  I open up my ears for his voice.  I want to be quick to listen and quick to respond.  

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