From my journal… Elle’s Birth Story (revised, as it was originally written to our Elle, telling her of her birth!)
July 14, 2015 – Tuesday
At 5 days past my due date we decided it was time to have a girls date at the mall, eat Chick-fil-a and walk…walk…walk…walk! I think I walked about 10 miles, well not exactly but it sure felt like it. I came back home to rest while my mom and Bern’s mom went to the airport to pick up Grampa from Maine! We had a big family dinner together and enjoyed the evening visiting.
As we settled into bed, Bern and I were laying there talking about the anticipation of –any moment now! Our other topic of discussion was our options of inducing as I had a doctors appointment the following day. I wanted us both to be at peace with the options and what we chose.
As always when I would lay down the baby would move quite a bit more…yet this time the “kick” sure felt different…then there was another “kick”…this time my water had broken! It was happening. It was time. What we had been waiting for for 9 months was finally coming to pass. Up until this point I had no contractions…once my water broke the contractions came quickly. We started timing them and they were consistently every 2 minutes. They weren’t terribly strong but they were consistent. I walked around the room working through the contractions and they slowed down quite a bit after about an hour. So I decided to lay down and see if we could get some rest. I of course could not sleep, Bern of course could! Which was good because I knew it might be a long day ahead of us!
July 15, 2015 – Wednesday
Around 1:30 am on Wednesday morning we decided to load up and go to the hospital. I didn’t know if we were going too soon…yet I just didn’t know how long to wait. Oh the struggles of a first time mama! As we loaded up and were driving I knew my contractions would slow down because of the stress of it all. Naturally they did. I called my mom and told her we were going on in and we’d touch base once we got settled in a room. It wasn’t long after we were admitted that that Yay-Yay and Grammie were on their way down to join in the party!
My contractions began to get steady once again and I worked through them for quite a few hours. Well what seemed like many hours was only a few! As the nurses switched “duty” my second round of nurses barreled in and I kind of lost my concentration. I wasn’t thrilled with their bed side manners and it really threw me off. I was trying to wait as long as I could on the epidural to get as far as I possibly could on my own. I didn’t have them check me often as I didn’t want to get my hopes up and wanted to push through the contractions! My goal was to wait until my doctor came in…but that kept getting pushed as he had emergency surgeries he had then had his typical day in the office. I caved and gave into the epidural, I had had enough! I stayed strong as long as I could…and poor Bern was trying to stay strong for me and with me…when I broke down, he broke down. Once the nurses checked me I had made it to 5cm….the bad part is I knew once I got the epidural my contractions would slow down…and that they did.
The good part was I was able to rest. Bern was able to rest. Our freezing-cold moms were able to rest! I finally saw our doctor around 3pm and he told me rest and then if the contractions didn’t increase we would have to visit the idea of pitocin. That which I didn’t exactly want but looking back I should have gotten it sooner and jump started the contractions after the epidural. Oh well, the nurses tried to talk me into it but I wasn’t giving in! You learn, right?
As you may or may not know, during an epidural it works off of gravity so they have to keep you slightly shifted every so often on the bed. One time, mid afternoon I asked to be shifted and they did…once they did the babies heart beat monitor-lost the beat. They searched for the heart beat and couldn’t find it and when they did find it the babies heart beat was dropping. SCARY. I tried to stay calm and of all times Bern had decided to go out and take a walk just to get outside and breathe…I couldn’t wait to see his face come back through the door. I made myself stay calm as they put the oxygen mask on me and I really can’t tell you every single thought that raced through my head. The nurses weren’t talking me through anything they were busy trying to get a heart beat and so I didn’t ask questions…I just could only think- was I dying or the baby or us both? The worse case scenario was screaming through my head. They shifted me several times and got me back into a position that the babies heart rate came back. I knew the doctors had us in their best interest and would do anything if need be. It was still just scary and my thoughts raced back to my sisters sweet Isabella who was still born…my mind went to the worse case scenario and I think that’s natural.
Thankfully, our nurse staff was swapping out shifts again and I loved loved loved our new nurse. I knew she’d be the one helping with delivery and I loved her. She was like a mama to me and was so kind, gentle and talked me through everything. She and our doctor both reassured me that everything that had just happened, happens every day. You know, I never did google anything about this…I really didn’t want to know. (All I know is I am so thankful that the Lord gave us a healthy baby through all of this.)
When my doctor checked me again around 6pm he said I was full 10cm!!!!!! Yay! But that he said the baby was still a little high so he wanted to give it another hour or so and let the contractions help the baby drop down further into position. He said that would mean less pushing and I was good with that! So we rested for an hour or so because we knew the work was ahead.
At 7pm the nurse checked me and said the baby had dropped down so we were going to get ready to push! As they began to prep me the babies heart rate dropped again, so they shifted me and placed the oxygen back on me. At this point I couldn’t wait to get this baby out of me and know all was ok. Bern and I stopped and prayed and wanted to trust the Lord through this. the nurse prepped us and talked me through pushing…she did a little trial run with me and said I was definitely ready. The doctor came in and prepped and before you know it, it was full blown pushing time. I remember clearly him telling the nurse to put the epidural down, basically, I had no epidural during the pushing. I FELT EVERYTHING! Yet I really am grateful for that because it helped me push harder and quicker! I’d do it again this way!!!!!
Through the hard part of pushing, Bern didn’t leave my side and I had my Mom and sister right there holding up my legs and helping in anyway…with our Grammie on the sidelines, who I know was cheering me on, but let me tell you I didn’t know what was going on in that room besides I was pushing with all that I had. Everyone kept telling me how good I was doing and we were making good progress. I didn’t believe them, I was in my zone and I remember saying “y’all are just saying that, I can’t do this anymore”. Yet mentally I knew I had to keep going and I did. With 45 minutes only I pushed this baby out…with what seemed like hours I had pushed. So much work but so incredible…It was the hardest thing but we did it! During the pushing and delivery my doctor wanted to make a deal with me. I said no…I wasn’t making deals!!! He talked me into what I said I would NEVER do…and that is he pulled a mirror up so I could see what was going on. I know…I know…that freaks some of you out, but let me tell you, talk about motivation when I’d push and see that babies head crowning…oh my word…because of the previous events…I just wanted that baby out! Also with the previous events I know the doctor knew the cord was most likely around the babies neck and boy was he ever ready to get that cord when you were coming out. My sister said he was like a pro getting that cord from the babies neck…Bern got to cut the cord and they whisked the baby off to get fluids out of it’s lungs and check the baby…even though I wanted immediate skin to skin they needed to do this and I was ok with that…
I could hear the babies cry…and I had tears of joy for a noisy baby. I have been at my sisters birth where it was silent…a silent birth is a sad birth…a noisy birth is a joyful birth. I finally asked…IS IT A BOY OR A GIRL?!?!?! We wanted Bern to be the one to announce it and he could barely get it out from tears…I was like COME ON TELL ME! It was a girl…our sweet Elle (pronounced L-E) had joined our family!
Once the nurses were finished they brought her to me and laid her on my chest, skin-to-skin and she immediately started nursing and latched on. I was speechless and Bern was by my side the entire time and he too was speechless, all we could do was cry. We welcomed this bundle of joy into our family at 8:38pm that night…we were so happy! Weighing 7.4 lbs and measuring 19″ long you were a little bundle of joy and fiesty-ness!!
Once we got settled into a room, late that night, we slept decently but I couldn’t help but keep peeking in on her in the bassinet next to me in the room…what an incredible experience.
The most incredible experience was over…and one of the most incredible experiences had just begun!!!! I am so very grateful to have experienced the birth and be a mom…it’s actually very hard to put it all down in words! It’s such an emotional time that sometimes that doesn’t exactly portray into words strongly enough. So this in a nutshell is the welcoming of our little one a year ago today.
So today we celebrate a year. A year of ups and downs, hard times and happy times, easy times and joyful times, times of tears and fear, times of doubt and determination…all though it the Lord has been with us and I firmly believe it takes a “village” to raise a little one…I couldn’t have made it through this year without a steady husband, faithful family and friends. That in and of itself would have to be a separate blog post!!! Until then…Happy Birthday to our sweet Elle!
Picture Credit goes to my sister who kept my camera in her hands! I’m forever grateful for these!
Hi I’m Erin a Southern mama from South Mississippi, owner and chief editor of Sixth Bloom a blog helping mom-tographers capture their kiddos and life, talking all things home, parenting and how we navigate through life. You will find me living life to the fullest with my mister (aka husband) and our new little one year old, Miss Elle, in our 500+ sq foot cottage as we build our dream house on our two acres! We are blessed beyond measure, love to travel, involved in ministry at our church and in between all of that I run three successful businesses!