Ultrasound image of Olivia

Birth Story: “I was so excited to hold her.”

Amanda married her high school sweetheart, Jorden. When they got pregnant, they were so excited to start their family. Below is their story.

We had been trying to get pregnant for a while. After dealing with heartburn and nausea for a few weeks, my husband Jorden suggested I take a pregnancy test. For some reason I just didn’t think it would be positive. I took the test anyway, but then I was too nervous to watch it. I left the test in the bathroom and went to sit next to him on the couch while we waited for the results.

Once some time had passed, I asked if he could go look at it. He came back with this big smile on his face. The test was positive. We were finally pregnant, and we were thrilled!

At about 8 weeks in I was starting to feel pregnant, which was really exciting. But, my nausea was also getting more intense. At one of my check-ups, I found out that I had actually lost six pounds. I felt so terrible about it, I started crying right there in front of the nurse. She was really sweet to me. She reassured me that baby was going to be just fine. After that, I started taking Zofran and that helped a lot.

I gained the weight I was supposed to and it was smooth sailing from there. I started to get contractions as our due date got closer. We were so looking forward to meeting our baby girl in person. Then, our due date came and went. It was starting to look like baby was going to need some help coming into the world.

Choosing a c-section

About a week after our scheduled due date, we went to St. Luke’s to make sure everything was okay. During that appointment, they did a 3D ultrasound. It was the first time we were able to see our baby’s delicate little features. It made us even more excited to meet her. We left that day knowing that if things didn’t start to move along, our labor would be induced. A few days later, that’s exactly what happened.

I went in on a Sunday evening and they started giving me medications to help soften and dilate my cervix. I only progressed from 1 cm to 2 cm. They put a Foley catheter bulb in and that didn’t really help things along much either. The next day I was started on Pitocin. They kept increasing my dosage for about a day, but she just did not want to come out. I was frustrated that things weren’t progressing.

At 4 pm on Tuesday, Dr. Sebastian (who has since retired) came to check in on me. He told me we could keep increasing my Pitocin dosage, or I could deliver via c-section. At that point, I was just so ready to be done. I told him that I wanted to do a c-section. It was such a relief to know that we would finally be moving forward.

Into the operating room

couple in the delivery room

As our nurses started to get us ready, I realized I didn’t really know what was ahead. My husband and I had both just thought the birth was going to go the way it did in the movies: Labor quickly, baby comes the normal way and everything just goes according to plan. I’m so thankful our nurses did such a good job talking us through everything. My husband put on some scrubs and they brought us down to the operating room.

Pretty soon, we found out that I was really sensitive to the anesthetics. We had barely begun the surgery and I started to get sleepy. Keeping my eyes open was almost impossible. Feeling that groggy made me nervous at first, but my anesthesia team helped me through it. The nurse anesthetist held my hand and told me everything was going to be okay. He let me know that what I was experiencing was a totally normal reaction and that put me at ease.

Overall, they kept me really comfortable. I could feel some touching and pressure, but I didn’t feel any pain. Pretty soon I heard my doctor say, “Baby is going to be here soon!” I took a deep breath. I was so excited to finally see her.

Welcome to the world, Olivia

Newborn Olivia

Suddenly I could breathe a little bit easier and I knew she wasn’t in me anymore. They held her up, I caught a quick glimpse and it was love at first sight! Since I was so sleepy, I wasn’t able to hold her right away, but my husband did. I closed my eyes and he told me all about her, what she looked like and what she was doing. That moment was so special. I’m so thankful I had him there with me to do that.

Once my medications wore off, I was so excited to hold her. It was such an amazing experience. I felt like I had been waiting such a long time to meet this tiny person, and it was so wonderful to finally have her in my arms.

As I healed up, our nurses were really good about checking in on us. It’s one of those things where I don’t remember exactly what they said and did, but I do remember how they made us feel. I knew we were in good hands and that they cared about us. I did not have the labor and delivery I was expecting, but the staff did such an amazing job of helping us feel safe and comfortable that it was a really great experience.

This is how Amanda remembers the day Olivia was born. To hear what Olivia remembers, watch her story below. View More Stories »


St. Luke’s Birthing Center is located in Duluth, MN, with St. Luke’s clinics in the surrounding region, including Superior, WI. To schedule a tour of St. Luke’s Birthing Center, call 218.249.5605.


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