Monday, September 2, 2013

Eleanor's birth story

Because I really have no idea where to begin with sharing what it's like to now have a daughter - a tiny little thing that now lives in our house with us - I thought I would start by sharing her birth story because that's a little more factual and easier to wrap our heads around at this point.

To begin, I will say that while a lot of the process was exactly what I expected, a lot of it wasn't, too. For example, I packed a hospital bag sometime a couple days before I hit 40 weeks and I included a deck of cards, a book, and asked Chris to bring movies and the computer in case we got bored during labor. I never opened my hospital bag until about 30 minutes before we left the hospital just to find some clothes to change into. I also thought I'd be really annoyed about being put on a clear liquid diet, but I didn't eat and hardly drank anything the whole time anyway.

Her story: On her "due" date, I had my 40 week appointment. The doctor said I was almost 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I was scheduled to work that night so after that appointment I went home, ate lunch, and went to sleep. Around 4pm after about an hour and a half of sleep, I woke up having contractions and couldn't fall back asleep so decided to get up and get ready for work early. We had dinner when Chris got home from work and then I left for work. The contractions still hadn't subsided by our shift change huddle, so I let the charge nurse know that I may be in labor and that he should probably check to see if there was anyone on call in the event I had to leave. 

Around 8pm I had started passing meds and realized that I was definitely in labor so I flagged down the charge nurse and told him to go ahead and call someone because I wasn't going to make it through the shift. I called Chris to let him know and he said to keep him updated once I went downstairs and got checked. Then I called the on call doctor to let her know I thought I was in labor. She said to come on down and be triaged so around 10pm, after the on call nurse came in and I gave her report, I headed downstairs to L&D. Chris was still waiting to hear back from me but by the time I got downstairs, I thought there was no way I'd be able to drive home even if they didn't admit me yet so I told him to come anyway.

When I got to triage, the L&D nurse put me on the monitor and checked me. I was 4 cm and my contractions were 2-4 minutes apart. She said the doctor may want me to walk around a bit before admitting me. I looked at Chris and said there was no way I was walking right now and then, true to form for this pregnancy, promptly threw up (gross I know, but I had been so nauseous this pregnancy that it didn't even phase me). When the doctor came in, she said they were going to go ahead and admit me now because she wanted to give me a liter of fluid since my labs came back looking a bit dehydrated. My nurse came back and started my admission documentation and when I told her I wanted to go ahead and try to get through without an epidural, she gave me the corner room with the labor tub in it despite looking a bit skeptical since I was already in a lot of pain. That being said, I was also laying on a super uncomfortable stretcher in the triage room at the time so I wasn't handling it very well. We walked to the corner room and as of around 11pm I was officially admitted.

Once in our room, my nurse started my IV and ran in a fluid bolus while I signed paperwork. I was getting very uncomfortable at this point so listening and signing all these forms was getting difficult. The nurse attempted to wait between contractions but eventually just started handing over the forms so I could sign them. She saline-locked my IV and I got in the labor tub after we finished up all the paperwork until the nurse asked me to get back in bed to monitor my contractions and the baby's heart rate again (apparently they only like you to be off the monitor for about 30 minutes or so at a time). She checked me again when back in bed and I was already at 6 cm. After staying on the monitor for a bit, I got back in the labor tub so I could try to relax between contractions again while my nurse got everything set up for our eventual delivery. After another 30 minutes-ish I went back to the bed to be monitored again and was at 9 cm. I really couldn't believe it. We had only been admitted for about 4 hours and the nurse was already telling me to let her know when I needed to push. Meanwhile in another room, there was another mom delivering her second baby also at about 9 cm, also going natural (no pitocin, no epidural or pain meds) so my nurse and her nurse were lobbying for the doctor on call to deliver their patient first. Luckily for me, I won. We started pushing at 3:45ish and since my water hadn't broken yet, the doctor broke my water. Eleanor Jean was born about a half hour later at 4:19 am weighing 7 pounds, 1.8 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches long. The doctor handed Chris a pair of scissors and he stepped up and cut her cord despite saying all along that he was not going to do it :)

Chris' mom and my mom and sister had driven down through the night arriving at 2 am and 3 am respectively so Chris was able to go out to the waiting room and tell them we had a daughter and they had a granddaughter/niece! We enjoyed showing her off. My dad drove down to meet her that morning and we thankfully were able to leave the hospital 24 hours early after a little bit of negotiating with the pediatrician. We had stayed one night and gotten terrible sleep due to my vitals, her vitals, her waking up to be fed, and other random interruptions. She took all her tests like a champ (metabolic screening, hearing screen, her vitamin K shot) so we were comfortable taking her home early so we could all get some rest.

Overall I was in labor a little over 12 hours and was very glad I waited to go to the hospital until I had to...otherwise I probably would have felt a little stir-crazy. I am also thrilled that things went so smoothly and that Chris and I were able to stay (relatively) relaxed through the process. Chris was awesome and super supportive and little Eleanor has so far been a pretty chill baby, only crying when she needs food or a diaper change.

And now, more hospital pictures and leaving the hospital pictures:
(I obviously did not take any of these pictures - they were taken by a combination of my mom, Chris' mom, Lauren, Ashley, and Chris.).


maggie said...

So glad you had what seems to have been a smooth labor and delivery and you both are happy and healthy :)

Patty said...

So privileged to have been there for the blessed event! And God certainly blessed you with the best delivery and best baby!!

jennie said...

what a praise that everything went smoothly and little Eleanor is happy and healthy! After your pregnancy- you deserve it!!

Dorothy said...

What a very special night! So very glad Lauren and I made it to the hospital before she arrived. I was so glad to peek in and see you managing so well before you started pushing, so wonderful to see Chris come out and say, "it's a girl!" with his arms up in the air, so wonderfully sweet to hold little Eleanor just an hour or so after she was born. I am filled with joy!

Aunt Paula said...

What a blessing! Loved hearing her story.