Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Accidental Southerner Birth Story from Amy Leonard

The famous Fuel Pizza in NC. Image by Upside Up.

of Ian was born at 34 weeks in North Carolina while I was on a business trip. Talk about circumstances you never even dreamed of factoring into your birth plan. We were living in Washington DC and I was working for the Agency for International Development, Global Health Bureau. My pregnancy had been totally healthy, easy even — I had no reason to suspect a little four hour trip south would result in the premature, out-of-state birth of my first baby.

I left for NC on a Sunday night. At 5am Monday morning my water broke. I woke up my boss and she decided that we should rush to the closest hospital. I wasn’t having contractions so I thought that was a little rash but what did I know about having babies? Then I called my husband and told him he should get in the car and drive down as quickly as possible (he stands by his statement that 5am phone calls are never good).

I arrived at the closest hospital (a birthing center) at 6, checked in, and then cried for a very long time. I might have cried until Curt finally showed up several hours later. I spent the next 36 hours on bed rest and with several doses of a drug to stop the labor. In all of my research, reading, and dreaming of the perfect birth, it was probably the only drug I had never thought to read up on. Finally the doctors decided that they couldn’t stave off the labor any longer — five hours later Ian was born naturally, with a midwife and without complication. The birth actually happened exactly as planned — just 6 weeks early and in the wrong state.

I held Ian for a few precious minutes before they whisked him away to the NICU for a two week stay. The first couple of days were the most difficult because we couldn’t hold him — but each day he seemed to progress and grow; out of the incubator, off the oxygen, off the feeding tube…. Curt and I moved out of the hospital and into a hotel across the street. I nursed him every three hours during the day and pumped every three hours at night. And then we all went home.
Since then, Ian has never shown any side effects of his premature birth and I have come to recognize all the little miracles that were part of his unpredictable beginning.

In fact, I would say that he is still a bit unpredictable. And one of the most lovable accidental southerners you will ever meet.

From Amy of Ian Marcus.


Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I'll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I'd love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to
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Blogger luke and pamela said...

what a beautiful story! i know these stories are posted on wednesday "for the duration of your pregnancy", but i look forward to them so much each week! i hope you'll continue posting them much longer. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:08:00 PM EST  
Anonymous tiny twig said...

i have to know how fuel pizza fits into this story...because it is literally right down the street from my house! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jeremy, Holly, and Haven said...

love fuel, love charlotte, love preemie babies! all three are in my grasp.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:20:00 PM EST  
Blogger Design Mom said...

Luke and Pamela - Thanks for the feedback. I look forward to the stories too.

Tiny Twig - Sorry for the confusion. I just needed a photo representing North Carolina (where Amy's baby was "accidentally" born) and I saw the Fuel pic on Upside Up and grabbed it. Lucky you that you live by Fuel Pizza.

Jeremy, Holly, and Haven - I'm a Charlotte fan as well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger Krystle said...

Such a sweet birth story! It must be fun to tell considering everything went well! I loved it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 10:10:00 AM EST  
Blogger visionquester said...

That must have been extraordinarily difficult being so far away from home. Sounds like you have a great boss though!

Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 12:09:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Dottie from said...

I love love love these stories, Design Mom. I've sent your blog to every pregnant woman I know to let read about these experiences.

Thanks so much for posting!

Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 12:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger adriennep said...

Amy, you're famous! I've never heard Ian's whole crazy birth story before and it is insane. You are very tough. Well written!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 1:32:00 AM EST  

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