Friday, December 20, 2013

He's Here!

Well Tuesday is supposedly the day.

Since only 5% of women actually give birth on their due date though we are not holding our breath.

And that is how far I got on Sunday afternoon when I started writing this post. Surprising everyone, Amos actually came before his due date! 

But let's start at the beginning shall we?

Friday after school I had a midwife appointment. Everything was looking good so I didn't get checked or anything. Figured if I was 0cm or 3cm it didn't really matter. Little man was going to come when he was ready.
Friday night I came home exhausted, passed out on the couch at 6:30, woke up at 8 and went to bed! Fun Friday night!

Saturday though Dan and I had a great day. We spent the morning looking at all the glorious snow we had gotten the night before.

Winter wonderland!

Luckily we didn't have to go anywhere or do anything, so we spent a lazy Saturday morning around the house. Saturday night we decided to go bowling with some friends since we heard it was a good way to start labor.

Bowling was fun for everyone no matter what their age...

Or size!

Not to give away the ending, but this is the last picture of me pregnant! Here I am at 39 weeks and 5 days

We also ate some spicy Thai food and stayed up late with friends playing board games. It was a great night! 

Sunday morning I woke up and went to church for my last Sunday directing the children's choir until February. It went really well and Dan and I met as usual at Einstein afterwards to get brunch. We sat around and talked and tried to decide what we wanted to do with our day. We decided against going to a movie and went to the grocery store instead (glad we did!)

When we got home I still felt exhausted so I went and took a 2 hour nap. I woke up to what I thought was really bad back pain. 

I kept trying to get comfortable but the pain was intense so I got up and walked out to the living room. That's when I noticed that the back pain seemed to be coming and going. 

I had downloaded an app to keep track of contractions when the time came, but I thought for sure this was just the product of me being huge and uncomfortable and I didn't want to use the app if I wasn't in labor, so I held off.

After awhile though of trying to still get comfortable and having Dan rub my lower back we decided to see if there was a pattern to the back pain.

Looking back now I am glad I kept track. I can now easily tell you that the first contraction I took note of was at 5:04pm and it lasted a minute and half. 

That was the thing too. The contractions seemed to last a lot longer than what I thought they would be. Averaging around 2 minutes but the time in between was so sporadic at first that we didn't believe it was "real" labor. And all the pain was in my back! I didn't feel anything on my belly.

So this continued awhile and we decided to call our doula. A doula is a labor coach and ours had been at the birth of 2 of our closet friends so we knew she would be great for us too. She gave Dan some advice and we tried doing a few different positions to see if the contractions would stop or get more intense. At one point I got in our tub and looked up to see this looking back at me: 
My boys.

As the night wore on though the contractions didn't stop.They were still pretty sporadic in  spacing however so we just weren't sure what was going on.

We skyped my parents for a quick chat just in case they would worry if they didn't get their weekly Sunday night phone call from us. Dan distracted them as I worked through a contraction while on the phone with them. 

About 9 o'clock though things started to really get intense and we wanted to get some advice so we asked our doula to come over. Before she could even get there though I had 5 contractions in a row at 2 minutes apart. That freaked Dan out a bit since we knew I needed to get some antibiotics by IV before the baby was born.

So Dan threw me (Ha!) and all our hospital bags in the car and off we went to the hospital. We called our doula on the way there as well as some girlfriends of mine. Everyone met us at the hospital and we had our "posse" as we called it the rest of the night. 

I actually have some pictures of the labor that my friend Tara was kind enough to take. I have kept out any "icky" photos or anything too intense due to not wanting my Dad to faint when he reads my blog, so no worries there. 

When we first got there they wanted to check me and see how far along I was before they would give me antibiotics. I was dealing with some pretty intense back labor (I now know, didn't at the time) so laying down was the worst thing ever.
Dan was there every step

We decided beforehand that unless they were going to send me back home I didn't want to know how far along I was. I felt it was too much of a mind game that I didn't want to deal with, so I just didn't want to know. 

The nurse was able to tell Dan and our doula though that I was 5 cm along and I could officially get admitted to the hospital! 

They put me in a Jacuzzi tub next since I wanted to labor in the tub as much as possible. They were able to give me my IV there as well. The tub helped tremendously with dealing with the pain. I would hold on to Dan during a contraction as tightly as I could while our doula pressed tennis balls as hard as she could into my back to give me some counter pressure. 

Holding on for dear life

I swear I just was banging on the walls from pain not checking out my manicure

Cool towels on forehead were a must. My hair was fabulous. Obs.

After being in the tub for awhile. I was starting to get the urge to push. The midwife decided to move me  to a room and start to get things ready. The walk from the jacuzzi room to the room I would give birth in was probably the longest of my life.

My hips ached so bad with each step and I was wrapped in towels and surrounded by my friends and Dan as we shuffled our way to the room. I hadn't opened my eyes for a good hour or two and I was definitely beyond the point of caring what I looked liked. 
Dan said it took about 7 minutes for us to walk 30 feet to the room, which I almost believe. We got in the room and I tried every position I could think of from our birth classes to try and find some relief. By the end though I just got up on the bed in a side lying position.

Dan again being amazing

After maybe an hour or two laboring on the bed I started to be encouraged by our midwife to push if I felt like it. I did, so I did.

Pushing was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I was tired and sleeping in between contractions. I tried a lot of different positions looking for anything that would help me get the kid out. I was told he was stuck on my tailbone and when he was born he had his hand right next to his face. Both of those things made pushing extra hard. I was also just pretty exhausted by this point. I knew the only way I was going to get to sleep was if I pushed the kid out as quickly as possible. So I focused in and pushed him out in less than 2 hours. 

I felt such relief when they handed him to me.

My Favorite pic.

Dan was also super excited to meet our son

Born in the dead of the night

Already had a hat

Even though I wasn't really aware of them most of the birth, I was so glad to look up after Amos was born and be surrounded by the people I love. So thank you very much to my birth posse for being with me and Dan through the whole night!

Ridiculously happy

I have really been enjoying looking at this face everyday and realizing he is ours. That no one is going to come take him home and thank me for babysitting. It is also so cool to think that there is a little bit of Dan and a little bit of me in this little guy.

Amos Orin Hartman
Born at 3:17am
7lbs 8oz 20 inches long

Looking back on it, I am surprised at 3 things I guess. 1. That each contraction was completely different. Some had double peaks, some were short, some seemed to last forever, but each one was unique. 2. That I kept my modesty (mostly) but really wasn't even aware of anyone or anything around me except Dan. I focused on his voice and his coaching and ignored everything else. 3. How it wasn't necessarily easier than I thought it would be, but it was doable and not half as scary as I thought it would be.

We are adjusting well to parent life. Yes, there is less sleep, yes there is a more freak out moments when you have to count how many diapers you have changed that day and how much he has eaten. But in the end I think we are rocking it.

We are excited to see this little guy grow!

More to follow....?


  1. Congratulations, Julia and Dan!! What a beautiful story and a beautiful baby! He looks perfect. So happy for you!!! :)

  2. <3 This post made me really teary--I am so happy for you three! Congratulations again!