Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ellie's Birth Story

I'm so happy to announce that Ellie Nova is here!

My mom was on her way down from New York on Friday, the same day I started labor. She had been driving since Thursday afternoon and I sent her a message saying that I had woken up with cramps at about three in the morning. She told me it might be early labor, but I shrugged it off thinking it was probably nothing since I have had cramps during the night in the past. Later that day we went to my last prenatal appointment. The doctor told me I would deliver anytime now, maybe even that night. Right after the appointment I had a feeling that my mom was right and it was going to be soon. Only a couple of hours later I started to feel uncomfortable pressure that came and went every 15 minutes. I was apprehensive about telling Joe how I was feeling. I think I didn't want to scare him. I also didn't want to scare myself, which means if I told Joe how I felt it would make it real and I would start to get anxious. I also didn't want to be one of the people that ended up going to the hospital too soon and getting sent home.

The thing about contractions is that no one really tells you what they are supposed to feel like. They tell you what Braxton Hicks feels like (which never happened to me) and they tell you not to get overly excited about early labor. They say not to go to the hospital too early and to ignore the mild contractions. Between you and me, what the heck is a mild contraction? I had never done this before and quite frankly I heard that labor HURTS, so "mild" seems like a relative term here. When I started to feel pressure come and go I didn't know what it was. It came quickly and soon it was coming every 10 minutes, but it didn't hurt. I looked through all my books and googled everything about early labor and prelabor, but I swear that by the time I had read enough about it to determine that I was actually feeling contractions I was already in full blown labor! 

Around 10 PM I started timing the contractions on my iPhone. They were already about 5 minutes apart and 30 seconds long. I really wanted my mom to make it in time, but I had already told her it was okay to take a break and stay at a hotel. Honestly I thought labor for a first time mom was supposed to last a long time and I would be okay until the next morning. Turns out I was wrong! My mom was about a four hour drive away and at 1:30 in the morning I sent her a screenshot of the contraction timer. She immediately got up and started driving. At this point I was barely getting a break in between contractions and I was having a really hard time. I'm pretty sure all the neighbors could tell I was in labor!

When I think about how long the labor lasted before we went to the hospital it seems like a really short time. I would think that being in pain would make time go by very slow but it really seemed to fly by. Joe was holding my hand and rubbing my back (when I would let him.) Let me tell you, the best thing when you are in labor is a hot bath! My contractions really shortened in length after I got into the hot water. I tried out the birth ball but it didn't help that much. I really preferred laying on my side and spent the last hour or so before leaving for the hospital laying in bed. I don't know why, but I kept timing the contractions up until 5 AM, even though it was pretty obvious it was time to go to the hospital. I think it was just a good distraction for me to tell Joe to start and stop the timer.

We headed to the hospital at 5 in the morning and my mom showed up at 6, just before I was given the epidural. I had been going back and forth deciding whether or not to get pain medication, but after the labor I went through at home I was ready for some sleep! I was concerned the shot in my spine would be painful but I didn't feel a thing. The relief was amazing and I was able to get some energy to push once the time came. 

The pushing was the most exciting part. Joe had fallen asleep and when we woke him to let him know it was time to push he came to my bed and started to cry. It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. He rubbed my shoulders and counted to ten as I pushed. A couple times he had a hard time counting all the way because he was getting choked up. Thank goodness for the epidural because I wouldn't have been able to push so strongly if I hadn't gotten it. The only problem was my legs were like huge heavy logs and the nurses kept telling me to hold them up. Dead weight is really heavy! After about ten pushes Ellie was born. It was a pretty crazy feeling to feel her head and her body pulled from me. It was even crazier to hear her cry and have her put in my arms. She was all gooey and wiggly. I was amazed at her face. I had been wondering what she would look like for so long that it was surreal to finally look at her.

Ellie is a tiny little baby and weighed 6 lbs 4 oz and 19 inches long. For some reason one of the nurses asked me if I had been smoking during my pregnancy because she is so small... I didn't know if I should be offended or sad since it appears this is a common occurrence.   ...and no, I didn't smoke. 

This past week has been truly amazing. We have had some rough nights and some easy nights. Even when I'm so exhausted that I involuntarily doze off while feeding her I still don't want to stop snuggling her. Joe absolutely adores her and it melts my heart to see how proud he is to be a papa.  

I love this little baby girl! 


erica @ to the sea said...

How exciting! Congrats!! Enjoy your newborn. I can't wait for mine to get here!

Lenny said...

You baby and her birth story are equally amazing =)

Jennifer said...


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