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Jameson’s Birth Story- Anne Arundel Medical Center
On July 4th at 3:53 AM I just so happened to wake up to go to the bathroom. As I hopped back in bed I decided to check my phone only to see that Sherlin’s water broke and she was admitted to the hospital.
After dreaming up this little man for quite some time, Jameson was ready to make his entrance. He was about to “make history” as mama fought and won to have a VBAC for this little warrior.
Shortly after 8 AM, Sherlin began receiving Pitocin. Because her water had already broke, her midwife decided that she wasn’t going to be doing frequent exams in order to avoid the risk of infection. I made the call to head out to the hospital a little after 11 AM for fear of not knowing just how far along she was.
I arrived at the hospital at noon to find one tired mama- hooked up to IVs and belly monitors, and one tired, starving papa.
Mama started with a low dose of Pitocin and with each check-in from the nurse, the Pitocin was gradually increased and mama changed her positions. Sadly, because Jameson needed to have his heart continually monitored, mama wasn’t allowed to get up and walk around very much.
By 5:30 PM Mama was experiencing contractions that were about 2-3 minutes apart. Baby Jameson was taking his sweet time. Meanwhile, Mama and Papa were frantically counting the hours because they were told that Jameson needed to make his arrival within 24 hours of water breaking or a c-section had to be done.
A little after 7:30 PM, the midwife came in to check on mama. She was only at about 3-4 cm dilated and her contractions were still about every 2-3 minutes. The midwife eased their fears by letting them know 24 hours wasn’t a magic number and that could still have their VBAC.
Mama was beyond exhausted- both physically and mentally- but continued to breathe through each contraction.
Shortly after, 2 out of her 4 children came to visit her in the hospital. They talked about the birth of their brother and hoped that they would get to see his arrival. They even squatted with mama to help her get Jameson out.
At 10 PM, there was still no baby and they had to say their good-byes for the evening.
Mama felt defeated and was beyond frustrated with her lack of progression. She called in the Doula to help her with some techniques to bring this baby earthside, but sadly her contractions completely stopped.
At around 1 AM, the midwife made the decision to stop the Pitocin to give her body a break. Her body had become so adjusted to the Pitocin that it no longer was working.
Mama was then able to get a hot shower, walk the hall and take some short cap naps. Meanwhile, I went home to get some rest.
Shortly after 5 AM on July 5th, mama was put back on Pitocin.
Around 3:30 PM, another midwife came by to check on mama and did a membrane sweep along with breaking her fore bag. Contractions started up again and I made my way back into her room to keep documenting her story.
Around 6:30 PM contractions began to get more intense. Mama contemplated getting an epidural.
Her Doula showed up and began coaching her through each and every contraction. She went from the bed to the ball to the bathroom and back onto the birthing ball.
At about 7:30 PM, her midwife checked on her and she was 7 cm dilated. Her initial reaction was “why aren’t I further along.” She sighed at the thought of laboring for any longer.
There were countless times that Sherlin yelled out “I can’t do this” and yet she kept pushing through each contraction. Her Doula reminded her of her birth plan and motivated her to keep pushing through.
Shortly at 9:30 PM she yelled that it was time to push. The swarm of professionals came storing through the doors- NICU team, nurses, etc.
Dad gloved up. He was supposed to catch baby Jameson but because of mama’s position, it made it hard to do so.
With just a few pushes, Jameson made his entrance earthside at 9:46 PM. Mama immediately grabbed hold of him and begged him to cry. You see, Jameson was born with a slight heart defect so mama was anxious to hear that first little cry. Jameson had other plans because he was quiet and content being earthside. Barely made a peep.
Jameson was briefly rushed off to be examined by the NICU team. He passed and was handed right back over to mama.
After a little over 43 hours of labor, Mama and Papa finally welcomed Jameson Bonnie Orion Larsen on July 5th at 8:46 PM.
I’m so honored to have been a part of documenting their birth story.
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Melanie Amparo Photography
Annapolis, MD Birth Photography