Amelia and Stella: A Birth Story

May 25, 2010.

The birth of our daughters Amelia Grace and Stella Natalia was one of the most excruciatingly magical times of my entire existence. There is nothing quite like meeting the heavenly little creation you've carried around and dreamed and hoped and planned for quite like this, and for us it was times two!

7:45am, the morning started out like any other... me waking up to go to the bathroom for the umteenth time. When I sat up in bed at about 7:45 I realized my water had just broke or I had lost total control of my bladder!! A quick call to my doctor confirmed it was likely my water and thank goodness I had an appt. with her that morning because I was not looking forward to a 30 minute drive to the hospital to be "checked" and dismissed if it wasn't that!

9:00am, I arrived at my doctor's office and was taken back right away & it was true... my water broke! (Did you know only 10-15% of women break their water naturally?) My doc informed me that today, May 25, 2010 was the day we would hold our little ones and then she promptly sent me to the hospital.

11am, I am admitted and they begin the paperwork, bloodwork, and strap on the heart monitors for each baby. Amelia was easy to find as she was already in position to be birthed first, but Stella was a little trickster and moved around a lot, thus making it incredibly difficult for our nurse to monitor the heart beat... she probably came in every half hour if not more to check and readjust!

1pm, they began Pitocin on IV to get these contractions moving and they sure did!! My contractions were pretty close together and painful. Shortly after I met with the Anesthesiologist (sp?) who was from New Zealand and pretty much amazing! He explained to me that my platelets had dropped very low (55,000 & the normal range is 120-170,000) & I need to weigh the risks of having an epidural which are that I could have a hematoma. If that were to happen before I delivered then I would be rushed into immediate C-Section and then would need back surgery! If I didn't do the epidural and was in labor and had to have an immediate C-section for 1 or both of the babies then I would be put under general anesthesia and the side effects would be food in my stomach going into my lungs. After praying over both options Alan and I decided to opt for the epidural. I think it was around 3 or 4pm that I received the epidural.

A few hours passed and I was blessed to not only have Alan by my side but also my mom, dad, stepmom Liz, stepbrother Gavyn, J.D., and best friend Nikki there. They helped pass the time and made it a very memorable experience.

6:30pm, our Nurse, which let me just say, our Nurse Pam was AMAZING! I don't know how I could have labored without her. She really was such a wonderful strong woman who took care of Alan and I! So, Nurse Pam comes in just before 6:30pm and tells me she going to see how dialated I am, so we send the crew out to the waiting room and turns out I am 9cm... next thing I know Nurse Pam and Alan each have a leg and we begin laboring in the room until my doctor arrives, which was at about 7:25pm.

Let me take a moment and say something about our doctor. Rebecca Hererro is an amazing woman of God with 3 boys of her own. She's been my doctor for over 2 years, but a friend for many. She is a Christian and goes to South Hills and several years ago, she along with her husband (also a doctor) and three boys came to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip with G.O. and treated close to 1000 people in the rural impoverished community of Hato del Yaque. She has a big heart! When Alan and I found out we were pregnant, she called me in the Dominican Republic to congratulate us and also to remind us of the precious gifts we would be receiving were from our Father and no other. We were blessed to have her walk alongside of us during this journey.

(I wish I had a good picture of Rebecca that I could post... they are all of her delivering the babies... none of which I will post :)

Back to labor day, she did a quick cervical check and we were off to the OR room. Twins have to be born in the OR in case of possible C-Section. Alan, my mom, Dr. Hererro, Nurse Pam (who stayed on after her shift ended to see us through) along with 7 other nurses, "baby catchers," and professionals joined us for the delivery. By time we reached the OR, my epidural began to wear off and I was in a lot of pain. They turned up my epidural which lessens the contractions so they turned up my Pitocin as well. Alan and my mom were getting suited up for delivery!

Moments before we began to labor Rebecca asked me if I was ready and when I said yes, I watched as she moved forward, placed her hands over my belly and prayed to our Heavenly Father for strength and for Him to use her to deliver our babies. It is a moment I will relive forever. We pushed for what seemed like eternity. Dr. Herrero, my mom, and Alan counted out my contractions, and before I knew it, I felt an intense release of pressure and seconds later heard the tiny squeal of a baby. The baby catcher took Amelia away immediately so I could continue to push.

Amelia Grace Perez
Born May 25, 2010 at 7:49pm
5lbs. 4oz
17.5 inches

Typically twins are born within 20 minutes or so of eachother, but Stella was far from coming out. After some manipulating by Hererro, heavy laboring for about 40 minutes, and the help of a vacuum suction baby Stella arrived! With Stella she was put directly on me for me to hold. We stared in amazement at each other and then she too was wisked away.

Stella Natalia Perez
Born May 25, 2010 at 9pm
5lbs. 4oz.
19 inches

We were told both babies were in excellent condition and would be going to the wellbaby clinic with Daddy while I went to Triage. Lying still under warm blankets, shaking from losing so much blood, Doctor Herrero came in to congratulate me and share some news about Amelia. She said she had clubbed feet. I had no idea what this meant, but I believe my face may have conveyed some sort of shock because Rebecca proceeded to tell me that it was completely fixable and we'd be seeing the pediatrician the next day. A strange peace washed over me then, our children had arrived, we were parents, and no matter how clubbed their feet might have been, they were precious to us in every sense of the word. I longed to be reunited with them and their daddy!

Moments later we were wheeled to our room along with our babies where our family had gathered along with more family and visitors. Once inside the room the babies were put in my arms and along with Alan we looked at them in total awe and thanfulness to God for what He has done and what joy He has given us.

What a long, hard, and incredibly life-altering day. This one will go down in the books! I can't describe the feeling of being a parent but I will try as I continue to write about our girls.

Thank you for all your sweet prayers along this journey. I say this often but I don't know anyother way to communicate how truly humbled we are that the God of this Universe would bless us in this way.

Stella Natalia

Amelia Grace