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A Birth Story: Avi Orion

photo: JLM Creative Photography

The Reno Moms Blog is proud to feature the birth story of Jamie S., a labor and delivery nurse. Jamie reflects on how things don’t always go as planned, but they can still turn out absolutely perfect. 

4/28/14: It’s day 3. We’re home. Breastfeeding is established and exhaustion is setting in.

I’ve been thinking a lot, in the wee hours between sleep and feeding, how different the same thing can be. Every labor is different, I should know this. Still, I kind of expected it to be the same; maybe abbreviated… Instead of 24 hours it would be 8. I figured I would be sure it was labor this time.

Cue Tuesday: contractions all day, some painful, some tight. Then repeat on Wednesday. On Thursday we saw our midwife. I was 4cm. I asked her to sweep my membranes and see if we could get things going. It had worked the first time… This time it didn’t seem to do a thing. We spent the next few hours running some errands. The contractions would come, and stop. They were irregular. I called my sister and she decided to call in sick to work.

We ate some food… Last time I know we had broccoli with cheese sauce, this time I have no idea. At 7:05pm my water broke, but it didn’t continue leaking so I wasn’t completely sure, I could’ve peed myself and I certainly didn’t want to go to the hospital because I peed myself… Then at 7:30pm there was another gush. I made my sister smell to make sure it wasn’t pee. My poor sister.

I was fairly disappointed in the broken water, I had wanted it intact. The thing about making plans for labor is that generally they don’t work out. If you have a very specific and rigid plan for your birth something will most likely happen to change things, I find flexibility is key. In this case, my water broke, but the contractions were still the same. I called my midwife, the plan was stay home until the contractions kicked in.

So, I sat around. I chatted with my sister, wandered about the house, and leaked. Around 9pm? Adam and I attempted going for a walk. In the cold wind. We circled the block, freezing. The contractions did not change. Sometime after 10 I was ready to just go in, Pitocin be damned! If I needed Pitocin anyway it was best to get it over with so I didn’t end up classified “prolonged rupture of membranes” and have to stay in the hospital 48 hours for observation. I texted my midwife. Isaac was not pleased with our departure since the grandparents who were staying with him aren’t as familiar to him. When my sister offered to stay to put him to bed he calmed down.

We arrived at the hospital sometime around 11, got checked in and admitted. I got an amazing nurse. I was certain I had gotten nowhere, the contractions seemed so worthless. When she checked me I was 6! Insane. Baby looked great on the monitor so we went walking (benefit of a midwife!). The contractions got stronger, and radiated down my thighs. I was still fine. We were talking and laughing between them.

IMG_2388The change was sudden. They were painful and close. I was 8-9. Transition. I cried, I yelled, and was embarrassed between contractions. I felt like I couldn’t move. I was the patient whose door you close. They got me onto my hand and knees, I wanted to push, but not yet. “Breath,” my sister reminded me. They held my legs. When it was time to push no one counted. 25 minutes into pushing she had me pant, he was crowning. Finally.

Avi Orion made his debut at 2:37am on April 25th. He cried immediately and came straight up onto my chest. In that moment I knew what I had missed the first time. I got to hold his brand new gooeyness and feel every moment as he acclimated. His tiny body was snuggled against my skin. He never left me. We breastfed before he was half an hour old. It was one of those perfect fleeting points in time. Together, my husband and I said thanks for our little boys’ safe arrival and that moment. Then again, we said thanks with Isaac when he met Avi the first time. Shehecheyanu is a Jewish blessing, said in Hebrew:

“We thank You, Spirit of all things, for giving us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this season.”


I am thankful everyday for both of my boys’ births, for my husband and sister, my nurses, and the amazing women who caught my little guys.

photo: JLM Creative Photography



About Jamie Schnell

Jamie Schnell
Jamie Schnell is an RN and full-time mommy to three boys. Her husband, Adam, keeps track of all the stuff that she can never remember where she had it last, and she loves his geeky-wonderfulness. He is definitely the best daddy. Jamie has a BA in English to accompany her BS in Nursing, and recently completed her Master's in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner track. Jamie loves reading, writing, crafting anything and everything, green beans, having little parties to celebrate life, coffee, camping, cooking, spa days, Cheetoes, naps, and just being outside.

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