Meet Mandie. And her adorable son Owen.
I first met Mandie back in 2005 when we both went on missions trips to Biloxi, MS to help with Hurricane Katrina relief. My church sent a team from Scranton, PA, and Mandie’s church sent a team from Wisconsin. Our teams worked together all week.
Mandie and I.
The whole team… (I’m the famine victim looking chick with the super slicked back hair sitting on top of the sign second to right, and Mandie is directly below me in the middle, next to my brother). Also, these pictures make it look like it was always foggy in Mississippi…not sure what is going on with that, but it wasn’t always foggy.
I actually have not seen Mandie since that trip…and that is just one reason why I love social media! It’s crazy that it’s been almost 10 years since I have seen this lady, and our lives have involved school, marriage, children, and many ups and downs in between!
Mandie graciously offered to share her birth story with us today! Enjoy!
What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?
Friendly, maternal, and stubborn.
How long have you and your husband/significant other been together?
My hubby and I have been married for a little over 2 years, We were married 11 months after we started dating.
How many children do you have?
We have 1 child, Owen (5.5 months) and #2 on the way.
How many children do/did you think you would like to have?
My husband and I want a big family, we don’t have a specific #. However many God blesses us with? We also have a heart for adoption. So maybe we’ll be the crazy people with 10+ kids.
Tell us about when you first found out you were pregnant:
The first month we started “not trying” to prevent anymore, we got pregnant. I was surprised it happened so fast and didn’t even think a test would be positive if I was pregnant. But it was! We were overjoyed and freaked out at the same time.
How did your pregnancy go?
My pregnancy went well for the baby. He was healthy 100% of the time. I have issues with nausea and vomiting, back pain, rib pain, and just felt miserable the whole time. (This time is going much better)
Did you find out the gender beforehand?
We found out Owen was a boy and had a gender reveal party where we sprayed blue silly string to reveal the gender.
Can you share your birth story with us?
Owen Curtis: His Birth
Tuesday; March 4, 2014; 11:04 am
38 weeks and 4 days pregnant.
6 pds, 11 oz, 20 in long
The 3+ weeks leading up to labor were full of constant painful contractions, bruised ribs from my little ninja, and 5 false alarms at the hospital. I wanted this baby OUT!
When I woke up at 4am on Monday, the 3rd of March for my third bathroom trip of the night I noticed “watery discharge” when I used the bathroom. It was barely there, and wasn’t anything unusual for me. I continued to see it and have my normal contractions until my 10am appointment with my OB. I casually mentioned it to her and she did the litmus test and a slide to see if it was my water breaking. She came back to tell us the news that we were getting sent upstairs to labor and delivery and that it was time to get things moving with pitocin since I had been 1cm for 3 weeks with constant contractions and now with my water breaking as well.
I wanted to do labor naturally and not be induced, but at this point, I wanted him OUT! I didn’t care how but NOW!
My husband, Andrew, went home to get our suitcases since I figured it was the 6th false alarm and didn’t even bother. By the time he got back I had been on pitocin for nearly an hour and was already starting to have more painful contractions.
At this point I was still happy and wanted to do all I could to move labor along. We walked the halls, bounced on the exercise ball, and watched the movie Juno.
As all of this went on for hours as they kept turning the pitocin up more and more and things got too intense to walk. My contractions literally had like 10 seconds max to catch my breath between them and I was in the worst pain of my life. I was convinced we had to be close, as it had been 6 hours on the pitocin and had the nurse check me.
To my dismay I was still only 1cm. I was so mad. I moved to the jacuzzi tub with the waterproof monitors and they cranked up the pitocin even more. It brought very temporary relief but then I was back to the unbearable pain. Back in the bed I was starting to think about that epideral I swore I wouldn’t get. But being 11pm I asked the nurse to check me again…..still 1cm.
She suggested very kindly that if I wanted to avoid a C-section that I could get the epideral and they could turn the pitocin up extremely high and we could hope things would move along without having to go the C-section route. I finally agreed after 12+ hours of the worst pain I had ever experienced to get the epideral.
After the anesthesiologist came I remember just saying, THANK GOD! This is the best thing in my life. Why do people NOT get an epideral? The pain was 100% gone! I even got some sleep. The medicine did cause A LOT of vomiting and nausea, but who cared after the contractions were painless. At 4 am the nurse said I was 6cm and I cheered with joy and caught a few more Zzzz’s before it was time.
At 7:30am on the 4th of March my OB came to check on me before she went to the office to see where things were at and I was just hitting 10cm, still with ZERO pain besides nausea. It was time to start pushing. As my nurse coached me on how to push when I was having contractions I began the process. Other nurses set up the things needed for the actual labor.
I pushed for 3 hours straight and was FINALLY getting somewhere when my OB came upstairs to check again and Owen was right there. A few more pushes and her and Andrew delivered Owen, taking him straight to the warmer to get measurements as my doctor took care of 3 internal tears and 2 hemorrhages. They put me on oxygen because of all the extreme blood loss and dizziness.
By then Owen was on my chest and we were working on nursing, but I barely remember having him or him nursing because of the blood loss. After 35 hours of labor I had my perfect son, and felt awful that I didn’t have the giddy exciting feeling everyone talks about the first time you hold your baby. I was too out of it.
As things moved on and everything was cleaned up. They finally got me up to head to the shower and bathroom. As I was moving that way I started to pass out and they got me to the toilet to sit down and pulled the string in the bathroom to call for help. Suddenly I was swarmed with nurses and staff getting me in a wheelchair and back to bed, and on oxygen again. They kept giving me tons of iron supplements and eventually checked my levels and said if it didn’t get better by morning I’d need a transfusion (luckily it didn’t come to that).
By this point I was enjoying being a Mom more and was so glad to be holding my baby. My family came to visit and the rest of time was spent bonding with baby and learning to nurse.
And it was all worth it, because with Owen being nearly 6 months I am 16 weeks pregnant with baby #2.
Can you share one piece of mothering advice with us?
hmmmm, enjoy every stage and new milestone because it really does go by too fast.
Thank you so much for sharing, Mandie! I absolutely love hearing these birth stories, and I love how each person’s story is different!
Other birth stories:
If you are interested in sharing your birth story, please shoot me an email! I’d love to hear it, and share it if you would like!