Elijah's Birth Story
4:30a.m.: I decided at this time, I would wake up Keith. I gently woke him up and let him know that I had been having contractions. He was excited as well, but he didn't freak out like I thought he would. He acted calmly, and asked me how far they were apart. I let him know they were running less than a minute long and about 6 minutes apart. He was happy with that answer and went back to sleep. I was relieved that he wanted to go back to bed to get some rest. I decided to lay down too and try to rest in between contractions. I was able to fall asleep for about 5 minutes at a time in between, it really made me feel rested enough to start the day.
6:30a.m.: Keith woke up from his work alarm. We talked about whether he should go into work for a while, and we decided to call the doctor to see what she had to say. We spoke to a different doctor who told us it sounded like we were going to have a baby today! He gave us his advice, that we should go ahead and head to the hospital. We took our time, finishing the overnight bag. We made sure we had everything, and headed downstairs. Keith woke up Jami and Mom to let them know we were heading out. He said they both shot out of bed like kids on Christmas morning. They ran downstairs to see us off.
7:40-7:50a.m.: The drive to the hospital wasn't too bad. I noticed the contractions felt a little worse in the car seat, but other than that, it went smoothly. We arrived about 10 minutes too early to enter the hospital through the main doors, so we had to go to the E.R. We were the only ones there, so it was basically like walking through the front door anyway.
Forgive me for not noticing the time after that. I was a little preoccupied. ;)
We headed to the triage room. They basically monitored the baby's reaction to my contractions and did an internal exam to see if I was progressing. I has just gone to the doctor the day before and was only 1 cm, so it was very good news to hear that I was now 3cm! We "passed" the tests and they decided to go ahead and admit us to labor and delivery. Keith started to spread the word.
We got situated in our room and Keith moved the van and got our bags and brought them up. For the next hour or so, we walked the hallways. Keith carried two phones and my water. It was rather funny to watch him juggle everything, trying to help me and communicate with everyone at the same time.
I was checked twice while I was walking. I don't really remember if I progressed during that time or not, but they decided it was time to break my water since it didn't seem to want to break on it's own. That was a very odd feeling!
The doctors let us know that there was meconium in the fluid. It scared me a little, since there is a possibility of the baby swallowing the meconium, and getting sick. They hooked me up to a tube which essentially worked on flushing me out with clean fluid to try to get rid of it. Although I was tethered to that and the internal monitor, I was still able to stand, move, and sit on the birthing ball if I chose to. I could also go to the bathroom as much as I wanted too. I was relieved to know that I could move around since it definitely helped with the contractions. I seriously felt like the pain of the contractions were double while laying on the bed, either on my back or side.
This stage lasted a very long time. Somewhere in between, the doctor suggested pitocin. I declined and tried to progress on my own.
About 5:30p.m.: The nurse checked me and I had progressed to 5c.m. At the time I felt like that was good progress! I was happy that I wasn't sitting in one place. It was also comforting to know that I was at least half way there.
6:00p.m.: The doctor came in to talk to me about pitocin. I was not excited about it. We discussed the subject for a while. Keith was awesome, because he made me feel like I wasn't alone in my feelings. He asked good questions, and talked me through the answers level headed. After going back and forth, we finally decided to go ahead and try the pitocin. The doctor told us that I might progress so slowly, that I would be too tired to push when the time came. I agreed as long as we started at the smallest dose possible, and that if I wanted, we could go off it at any time. I was severely disappointed at the time, that I had decided to do it. I cried a lot. I felt defeated. But Keith was there to make me feel better, and of course the contractions were there to distract me from my decision.
Almost instantaneously, the pitocin sent my body into overdrive. The contractions were extreme with almost no time in between. I spent most of the time on the birthing ball with Keith holding me steady.
7:00p.m. They checked me again and I had only progressed to 6c.m. I was absolutely devastated. After going through with the pitocin, and not progressing any faster, I was ready to give up. I started to think about how hard it had been and how I didn't think I could do that for another 4 hours. I started to tell Keith that I thought I was going to have to get an epidural. It killed me to ask for it, but I seriously thought I wasn't going to be able to make it. I was petrified that I wasn't going to have the energy to push. I felt exhausted already. Keith held strong, and told me no! Every time I begged and pleaded, he looked crushed, but held strong. He did such a good job.
7:30p.m. We had already had 3 nurses by this time. Each one was very good and supportive. At this time, another nurse was taking over. She suggested that I move to my hands and knees to try a different position. After being on my hands and knees for about 10 minutes, I felt intense pressure in my lower back. I let the nurse know and she did an internal exam. I was 9 1/2c.m.!
That was what I needed to hear. The recent progress, mixed with the new position, made the rest of labor fast and much easier than the last hour and a half. I was ready to push.
The nurse called the doctor, and what seemed like 20 more nurses, plus a midwife, came streaming in. The nurse allowed me to lay on my side to start pushing because I told her earlier that being on my back was uncomfortable. This was music to my ears.
I have to say the urge to push was possibly one of the coolest feelings I have ever experienced. It meant I was near the end of the constant pain, that I was going to meet my new family member, and on top of that, I could feel everything! I was so ecstatic that I had made it without an epidural because I wanted to experience the birth. It was an amazing, comforting feeling each time my body felt like pushing. Keith was so confused about why I was smiling in between each push. I was able to completely relax, and I had so much to be thankful for.
Keith's demeanor changed as well. As soon as I started pushing, I could see the excitement in his face. He was relieved as well, and I could see the emotion hit him.
When Elijah was born, he was instantly swept away to the heated station because of the meconium. He cried on his own. It was an awesome sound. Keith burst into tears. I was emotional too, although I didn't cry. I was so overwhelmed with watching him from across the room, I think I forgot to cry. I had to assure Keith that I was just as happy as he was.
It was a long time before I got to hold him. He had to be completely cleaned over and out to make sure the meconium was gone. By the time he was clean, I was already being worked on so I had to wait. Keith got to hold him and brought him close to me. It was a sweet moment.
When the doctor was done with me, I was able to finally hold him. It was more than amazing. Skin to skin, we bonded. We had absolutely no problem breastfeeding for the first time. It was as if we had been working on it for weeks. I was able to spend time with Keith and Eli for as long as I liked before we transferred rooms and invited everyone in. This calming time was just what we needed after a crazy day. It was worth every second. Keith and I couldn't be happier.
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