October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Sebastian!!!

Our Beautiful Baby Boy Has Arrived!
Sebastian Lawrence Schwartz was born at 2303 (11:03pm) on October 1st (so punctual of him to arrive on his due date) at Naval Medical Portsmouth. He weighed in at a healthy 8lbs and 130z. and was 21 inches long. Exactly the same as his Uncle Josh was 29 years ago.

Birth Story:

The day before, I started feeling contractions that were pretty mild and were very sporadic, I'm assuming these were the Braxton-Hicks contractions that most women feel for a while during their last trimesters. Around 0300 on Oct. 1st, however, I awoke to contractions that were a bit stronger. I could tell they were different, although they were still somewhat mild. So, I went and grabbed the laptop and put it on my endtable so I could chart how far apart the contractions were and in the case that they were actual labor contractions get some more sleep before the big event.

By morning, it was obvious that the contractions were not going to go away as those the previous day had done. They were still pretty abnormal for the better part of the day however. Andy stayed home from school and plugged all the contractions into an excel spreadsheet to try and see if there was a pattern...I can show this to anyone who is curious as to how sporadic true labor contractions can actually be...

Well, I spent the day breathing through the contractions, and making sure I had enough to eat and drink to keep myself fueled up. With the contractions falling anywhere from 5 to 13 minutes apart, I figured I was in for a long wait. However, around 1530 (3:30pm) the contractions all of a sudden started coming consistently 4 to 5 and a couple of times fewer than 4 minutes apart. Not wanting to risk it, we quickly loaded the remaining things we needed into the truck, and headed out to the hospital.

When we checked into the hospital, the staff were pretty skeptical about my being ready for admission because I was able to talk through my contractions. I'm not sure if all the exercises I did to prepare for the big day turned me into an atypical case, but for whatever reason, I was able to accomplish this feat of talking through contractions. They were all as surprised as I was to find out that I was dialated to 7cm and 80% effaced.

We earned ourselves a room! Yay! So, after first getting stabbed several times without getting a successful IV, I had to wait for an actual doctor to do it right before getting into our room. Once there we were visited by all sorts of people making us listen to all sorts of disclaimers and sign release forms or try and talk us into all manner of things from epidurals to pitocin, etc. etc....I still don't understand why they thought I needed pitocin with the way my contractions were coming. In any case, my room became the focus of a lot of attention, as I was choosing an all natural birth. Suddenly every resident, intern and nurse had to make an appearance and get in on the scoop...I didn't realize how rare natural birth is anymore.

After a few minutes on the birthing ball, my water broke. I was disappointed to see that there was meconium in the water, because this meant I wouldn't be allowed the instant bonding time after delivery I wanted, but Sebastian's health is more important, and we will have plenty of time to bond. Shortly after my water broke the contractions picked up their punch, and thankfully my mother arrived to help Andy encourage me through the nightmare of transition labor. I had a fever that was making things kind of awful. At this point my deep breathing wasn't enough to keep me fully focused and relaxed, and their relaxation techniques were what got me through it.

After what seemed like hours of transition...I finally was fully dialated and effaced enough to push. Thank the Lord! And then....cue the entire hospital training staff! It was insane how many people showed up to get front row seats to the natural birth. Right next door I could hear someone else in the same state screaming just as loud as me...it was pretty unreal. I somehow managed to rip my IV out during this process.  A pity since it was my last vein that the nurses hadn't bruised and exploded. But soon enough it was over and I could see my gorgeous Sebastian being welcomed by his Grandma Harper and his dad.

Happy Birthday Sebastian!

After what seemed like an eternity of delivering the placenta, getting stitches...not so easy when you don't have an epidural...I finally got to hold him and welcome him. We even got a chance to breastfeed a bit before he was given a bath and placed out of reach in the warmer. The experience was amazing and I wouldn't have had it any other way! All the doctors were amazed at how alert Sebastian was (he came out of the womb crying). His apgar was a 9 and he looked just perfect! We're so proud of him!

Now, after a day and a half in the hospital, we are finally home. Ready to relax and settle in to our new life as a family of three. We are so blessed!

On the way to Labor and Delivery!

Sitting on the Birthing Ball...



  1. Amanda and Andy (& Sebastian!!) CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you so much for sharing this whole journey. It's been amazing to watch, and even though I'm so far away I feel that I've been a part of it. I'm so proud of you for doing it the natural way-- you're awesome! Enjoy this special time with your little one.

  2. I followed this link to your story from babycenter. Congratulations on your perfect little boy! I am planning to go natural as well, and it it amazing how rare we are these days. I've gotten so many funny looks and comments as we've told people. I was due on Saturday (the 3rd) and I'm still holding out for our little man to make his appearance. It's so hard to be patient after the due date! Thanks for your encouraging story. It makes me feel as though I can do it! Blessings on you and your family.

  3. Thank you, dear Amanda, for all that you have written. You are so generous to share with all of us your thoughts and experiences. I am truly a blessed Granny.

  4. What long fingers he has! A piano player, or a cello player.

  5. What a sweet story! You go, Superwoman! I had an epidural with Milo, but had Rowen naturally. MUCH different, and A LOT more hard work! So proud of you!! What a beautiful boy!

  6. Great Grandma and Grandpa are so pleased to have another great grandchild, and a boy! how wonderful. We wish you only the very best, know you are both glad the waitings all over.
    Love you three. Love carole & jay