Awhile ago I had asked some very special women to please send me one of their birth stories. I wanted to share their special day with others and hope that it would get Amanda even more excited for her little girl's coming arrival. Do to the tragic loss our family has suffered this week I wasn't sure if this post would be appropriate, but after much thought I have decided to go ahead and post them. We have had so much pain these last few days that I'm hoping that when others read this that they can remember just how special babies are.
My mom has chosen to write Amanda's story since this post was first thought of for her, her story is the first I'm publishing. Mom wanted you all to know that it is long and somethings aren't pretty but it is how she was feeling the day Amanda was born. Since it is long her story will be the only one I post today I understand that many of you are very busy keep on looking at my blog I have so many wonderful stories I want to share.
Amanda's Birth Story
My oldest was born when I was 19 only 10 ½ months after we were married. When Crystal was four months old I learned, much to my surprise, that I was pregnant with baby number two! Someone told me you couldn't get pregnant when you were nursing. I was 20 years old with a 13 month old and a newborn baby. Two beautiful and yet very different little girls. One olive skinned, with brown hair and big brown eyes the other ivory skinned, crystal clear blue eyes and blond hair. One liked dolls the other hated them. One was clean the other messy. They were opposites in every way and wonderful but they kept me so very busy!
I waited a little while before venturing to have number three. But when the spirit started whispering to me that it was time I was excited. I was so sad every month that didn't result in a pregnancy. I had conceived so quickly with the first two so three whole months seemed an eternity. I was two weeks late and so excited to go to the clinic and take the pregnancy test and so sad when that test was negative. I remember driving home from the clinic with silent tears streaming down my face. There was always next month. When another week had gone by and I still hadn't started I mustered up the guts and drove back to the clinic for another test. They seemed a little irritated with me when I asked to be tested again. They grilled me about the dates of my last menstrual period and after some discussion they decided I needed tested again. My heart jumped for joy when this time the results were positive!
I kept waiting for the horrible morning sickness that I'd had with the first two but it never came. I didn't have a single queasy moment the entire pregnancy! It was truly an answer to my prayers. Then one night when I was about 12 weeks along I awakened to a terrible shooting pain in my lower back. I tried to wake Teele but found I couldn't move. Teele being the hard sleeper he was didn't wake up to my shouts for help either. I lay there for hours unable to move so I prayed. About the time the sun came up I slowly started to regain some feeling in my legs. Dr. Garver said I had a kidney infection and some sciatic (sp) nerve problems but that the baby was fine. Other than that the pregnancy was wonderful!
Teele loved his little girls but he longed for a son. While a boy would be nice I really loved little girls and wouldn't mind a third one. He asked me the entire pregnancy, “Well what do you think it is?” With the other two I was positive they were girls but this one had me stumped.
I was due with Amanda July 13th on my 23rd birthday. My first baby was overdue and my second was three weeks early I really wanted this one to be born on the 13th! I was born on my grandma Jordan's birthday so that would have been three generations born on the 13th of July. The night before my due date I took some castor oil with no luck. The morning of the 13th I stood at the kitchen sink and drank what was left of the bottle. I went to bed that night without a single contraction, other than those annoying braxton hicks, but thankful I had suffered no ill side effects from the castor oil.
The Pioneer Day rodeo weekend came and I was 11 days overdue. I packed up the camper and my little girls and we rodeoed for three days. I was miserable! Did I mention I was miserable? The comfortable bed in the camper was over the hood of the truck but I was so bulky (sounds better than fat) I couldn't get up there without a boost from Teele. I knew I would not be able to wake that guy up to give me a boost every 30 minutes all night long so I slept in the bed that was made when the kitchen table was laid down. Again I was miserable! The table bed was low to the ground and very hard and just as I would fall asleep it was time to make another trip to the bathroom. We were camped at the rodeo grounds in Springerville so I would literally fall out of bed. Put on a robe and shoes. Roll out of the camper and waddle to the out house by the grand stands. Only to repeat the process all night long! We went to rodeo's in Show Low, Taylor and finally Pinetop. That last day I was so hot, tired and miserable that I just laid down under a pine tree near the outhouses and slept with people and horses walking all around me and I didn't care! I was past the point of embarrassment! Teele later told me that people kept telling him to, “Get her home she looks miserable!”
At my last Dr's appointment Dr. Garver told me, “Make an appointment for next week and if your still pregnant plan on being induced.” That's what every over due woman loves to hear come out of their Dr.'s mouth! NEXT WEEK? Are you kidding me? Get it out! Get it out right NOW! But instead fat, hot, miserable, shy me said nothing.
The night before my “next” appointment Teele asked the TWO questions I had grown to hate hearing the minute he got home from work. “What no baby?” and “What do you think it is?” If poking out eyes weren't such a permanent thing I would have done it. But I went to bed that night knowing I would be holding my baby this time tomorrow! In the middle of the night I woke up and saw a spirit standing at the foot of my bed. It simply said, “Today you will have a daughter and her name shall be Amanda LaNae.” Then it was gone. I just laid there wondering if I had been pregnant too long and just lost my mind all together or if I had really just been visited by one of Heavenly Father's angels/messengers. I was afraid to say anything but decided I would tell Teele he was having a daughter. He asked how I knew and I told him my story. We hadn't decided on a name at all because we didn't know what we were having. I had never heard the name “LaNae” before and that was what finally convinced me that I had really been visited by an angel.
My appointment was at 3pm and Teele was going with me. I started feeling the contractions early that morning but didn't mention them to Teele. Doy told us we had to go butcher a beef at the ranch in Heber first. We arrived at the cabin, in Heber, about 6:30am. Teele, Larry Gibson and I cut, ground meat, wrapped and labeled an entire beef and finished just in time to drive to my appointment in ShowLow. I had stood in the heat all day bent over a table working my rear off. By noon my contractions were 3 minutes apart and very strong. I hadn't eaten all day and now I was hot, sunburned, tired, starving and my back was killing me. Teele stopped at Circle K to eat a hot dog. Past experience kept me from eating but his hot dog sure smelled good!
When Dr. Garver checked me he said, “Your in active labor.” I replied yes I have been all day. He said he would be back in a little while to break my water and handed Teele a pencil and paper with instructions to time my contractions. When Dr. Garver left the room Teele asked why I hadn't told him I was in labor and I said, “Because your dad would have been mad at me if we didn't get the beef butchered.” Dr. Garver came back later and broke my water then instructed us to meet him at the hospital.
We left and Teele said he wanted to stop at Sonic and eat. So he sat there eating a steak burger and fries and again it smelled really good! I was so hungry and finally decided to have him go into the grocery store and buy me some Jello or some pudding thinking that would not be so hard on my stomach. He went into the store and I sat in the truck in terrible pain. Then I felt another huge gush of water. I continued to sit and wait for Teele when he finally emerged about an hour later I was very mad to say the least. He proceeded to tell me about all the people he ran into that he hadn't seen in a while and how nice it was to get to chat with them! Are you kidding me? Really you've been “chatting”. GET OUT! Get out of the truck and get my suit case I'm not walking into the hospital looking like I wet my pants. He drives me to some lake near the hospital and I change clothes in the truck and cover the seat with the grocery sack.
We make it to the hospital and I'm sitting there waiting for a contraction to pass when I feel another gush of water! Great I'm out of clothes. Teele tried to get me to go in and I refused. Nobody was going to see me like this and with every contraction there was another gush of water. I had him go inside the ER and scope out the area. He came back and told me the coast was clear I could tell he was lying so I sat there. A really bad contraction hit and I new it was either sit there and give birth in the truck or swallow my pride and walk in. We made it to the nurses desk and when we told her who we were she gets on the speaker and says, “Dr. Garver we have found your patient!” Now I'm really embarrassed. If I had known my arrival was going to be announced over the loud speaker I would have given birth in the truck with Chatty Kathy. She takes me to my room and instructs me to get into a gown. I go into the bathroom to change. I could hear Dr. Garver and Teele talking and I start to freak out. I've changed my mind, this hurts too bad, I'm not coming out of this bathroom for love nor money!
I hear knocks on the door. “Honey are you okay?” No answer. More knocking then, “Liz are you okay?” Then Dr. Garver say's “Mrs. Reidhead talk to us!” I finally answer, “I'm fine. You guys go away I've decided not to have this baby. I've changed my mind.” There is a long silence then Dr. Garver say's, “Dear we will get the keys and unlock the door so you might as well come on out.” So I open the door and make my way to the bed. I have my lovely check and I'm told it won't be long. I remember Teele sitting there watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie on TV while I lay there writhing in pain. That's got to be the most frustrating thing, I'm sitting there singing “I am A Child of God” over and over, to myself of course, just trying to get through the pain and hubby is kicked back watching TV. Let's see, he's eaten TWICE, had some nice chats with old friends and now he's watching a movie! That's when I lost it. I demanded he turn off the TV and pretend to be helpful, interested or at the very least concerned. That's when he went for the nurse, “I think it might be time. She gets angry just before she delivers and she's angry.” Sure enough it's time to go to the delivery room. I was pushing when Teele said, “Don't look now but you have company.” I glare at him and say, “What some more old friends to chat with?” I look over at the door and and it's my mother-in-law, Leone, and three of my sister-in-laws, Helen, Paula and Tamra.
My sister-in-law, Tamra, was almost due with her third baby, Tara Lee, and we had the same Dr. so Dr. Garver said, “You could pull up a table and we can deliver both of you while I'm at it.” Tamra said something along the lines of how she wished she could and how tired she was of being pregnant. I felt bad for her.
Then the Dr. told me to stop pushing the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck. She had three full wraps around her neck and her little head looked so blue. As soon as those were removed and one last push I was the mother of my third baby girl! During the course of the delivery Leone had made her way to the end of the delivery table and was chatting away with old Dr. Garver while he was stitching me up. He delivered the last of Leone's babies years before so they were old friends. I thought, “Geez what's up with you guys and all the chatting!” Hello I'm getting stitches here.
My little Angel came into the world at 9:55pm, 15 days over due, and weighed 7lbs 1oz. Even though daddy wanted a boy after he saw them working frantically to get the cord untangled from her neck he said he was so relieved he didn't care what it was. Amanda was nothing like her sisters. She slept all night since the day she was born. Was a complete mommy's girl. She didn't like anyone else holding her but me.
After everybody went home my blood pressure dropped and I wasn't allowed out of bed and I wasn't allowed to have the baby in my room. That was hard because I loved that time when I was all alone and could just sit, hold, inspect, talk to and love on my baby.
Teele came to get me that morning and I was home by 10:00am with my barely 12 hour old baby. That was hard because I had a mandatory 3 day stay with Crystal and an extended 4 day stay with Jessica. So 12 hours was very hard! She cried that first night home because my milk hadn't come in yet. I finally got her to drink a little formula but the next night there was plenty of milk. She ate her fill and slept through the night. I remember waking up at 3am and running to the bassinet terrified because she had been asleep for 5 hours! But she was sound asleep! Mommy desperately needed to nurse so I fed her and she slept through the entire feeding and didn't wake up until after 7am! I was so happy! It was like that every night with Amanda. She still treasures her sleep. The girl would konk out at 7 and sleep 12 hours. She is still like that...the girl does love her sleep.
Amanda was my blond headed brown eyed baby. A perfect mix of her two older sisters. She has been a wonderful daughter to raise. Never really giving me any troubles and I'm so excited she is going to have a little angel of her own! I can hardly wait.