Saturday, May 2, 2015

Ellia's Birth Story

Our sweet baby Ellia Summer Noel was born on April 26th at 8:24 am.  She weighed 6 lbs 11.8 oz and was 18.5 inches tall.  We are over the moon in love with this little lady already.  We are so excited that she decided to come almost 3 weeks early!   She must know that her mama always says "being early is being on time". ;)  What's even better about her birthday is that it's also my dad's birthday.  Needless to say, I don't think we'll ever be able to top this year's birthday gift. :)

Giving birth to Ellie is easily the most painful thing I have ever experienced.  I've heard so many people say that you'll forget about the pain once your baby arrives, but I'm pretty sure those memories are etched in my mind forever.  And I'm pretty sure the images are burned into Tyler's brain forever. ;) That's not to say it wasn't worth it; I would do it all over again for Ellie and her future sibling(s) in a heartbeat!  There's a page in her baby book for her birth story, so I thought I'd share it here, as well.  She came extremely fast, so it's short and sweet and goes a little something like this...

The day before she was born, I started having some very mild contractions.  They never quite fell into a regular pattern, so I waited all morning before they ended up stopping completely in the afternoon.   I ended up feeling more and more just sick, kind of like the flu, and called my doctor's office to see what they thought.  The doctor I talked to said she thought I might have a stomach bug that was going around, told me to get some rest and call back if my contractions came back regularly.  Note that my mom told me she thought I was in labor that afternoon (mom's are always right ;) ).  I went all night with no contractions, and woke up around 6:20 am on Sunday to a really sharp pain and got up out of bed.  Just as I was about to wake Tyler up to tell him, my water broke.  My doctor had told me that when (and if) my water broke, it could be anywhere from a trickle to a gush... let's just say there was no mistaking this and by the time we got to the hospital, it was still going and looked like I had completely peed my pants (again).  Any who... I spoke to the same doctor on call that I talked to the night before and she said to take my time getting to the hospital and plan to get there in about 2-3 hours.  Tyler & I got up, took quick showers, threw our bags in the car, kissed the kitties goodbye and were off.  I started having regular contractions and I thought we might as well just go to the hospital now even if it was going to be a little while (plus, I just like to be early).  We hit the road and I was still feeling pretty good.  I even took a few pictures on our ride in - had to capture the memories!

Daddy-to-be looking a little nervous on our way to the hospital. :)

When we got to the hospital, that's when things started to really pick up. I didn't feel like anyone was really taking me seriously when I told them how much pain I was in.  They did however keep commenting on the fact that I was sweating and "how hard I must be working".  Even when they asked on a scale of 1-10 how much pain I was in, and I responded "10" without hesitation, they just kept on asking questions and telling me I was "doing great".  Finally, one of the doctors came in and did a quick check - I was at 9 cm already. After basically getting an "oh shit" reaction from the nurses, they wheeled me off to the delivery room.  I had already made it very clear that I wanted an epidural, but by the time we got to the room, they said it was too late.  Between almost being ready to push, and Ellie's heart rate dropping, there wasn't enough time to get the anesthesiologist in there.  Because her heart rate kept dropping, they had me rolling from side to side, up on my hands and knees, any position to "loosen the cord if it's around her neck".  No, that wasn't nerve-wrecking at all...  Within just a few minutes of the doctor getting to the room, they said I was ready to push.  I pushed for about 10 minutes, maybe 4 contractions.   Tyler was awesome and super encouraging.  I kind of wanted to punch the nurses in the face who kept telling me to push harder (I mean hello, I don't really want to be doing this any longer than I have to, of course I'm pushing as hard as I can), but when Tyler told me she was almost there and could see her head, it seemed to be 100 times more effective in motivating me.   I'll never forget when they told me to look down as the doctor helped pull her out.  She immediately started crying, Tyler cut the cord and they put her on my chest for maybe a minute or two.  They took her to the other side of the room to take measurements and get her cleaned up while the doctor stitched me up.  It took about 45 minutes - the longest 45 minutes of my life - and I was just a little jealous that Tyler got to be with our baby girl (even though he did get peed on within about 5 minutes of holding her for the first time).  After I was all stitched up, they brought her over to me and I obviously cried like a baby.  It's so overwhelming to finally get to hold the little human that you've been growing in your belly for so long.  

So, with about 2 hours of "active labor", our sweet little girl had arrived.  I for sure never thought I'd have a natural birth, but I guess I can check that off my bucket list.  We were surprised to see how quickly she came, especially for a first time pregnancy, and so glad we decided to leave for the hospital when we did.  The nurses joked about me camping out at the hospital starting at 8 months with our next baby, just in case. ;)

A few things I've learned from this experience that I want to remember for next time:
-Approximately 100 people (okay, maybe 20) will see you naked in some way, shape or form during your time at the hospital, and you will probably care less.
-Try not to laugh too hard or sneeze; you'll feel like you're going to rip a stitch.
-Don't count on looking like Kate Middleton the day you deliver your baby.  I mean, how is that even real?
-Don't feel bad at all about taking any and all supplies from the hospital home with you (diapers, wipes, those nice disposable undies...).  Our nurse told us they have to throw everything away that doesn't get used (except linens, but we might have stolen a few of those as keepsakes anyway), which makes complete sense.
-Don't count on getting any sleep during your time at the hospital.  The time awake feeding the baby is the least annoying.  There will be people in and out of the room at all hours of the day and night, checking on you and the baby, so get used to the interruptions.
-Speaking of feeding, breastfeeding requires a lot of patience.  It's been an interesting experience but I think we are starting to get the hang of it around here!
-You will instantly love that little human from the first time you meet.
-You'll also probably fall in love with your husband all over again, seeing him with your newborn baby for the first time.
-No matter how much you complained about being pregnant, especially when you felt so big you couldn't sleep at night, or get out of bed, or breathe... you'll miss that baby bump from the second your baby is born. ;)

I'm so glad I took the weekly bump pictures.  It's pretty cool to look back and see the progress, and I know Ellie will love them one day, too.  These will definitely be going in her baby book.

 Welcome to our crazy family, sweet girl!  Mommy & daddy love you so much.

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