Elaina Rachelle was born January 31, 2013
8 LBS 20 inches long
Born at 3:09AM at home with the women of Sage-Femme Midwifery Kelly McDerrmott, and Carrie Gordon attending, with Kristen (last name?) assisting
A little video of Noel introducing Elaina
*** CAUTION this is a birth story. It is personal and graphic. Read at your own discretion ******
Elaina definitely took her time to come into the world. We watched my estimated due date of January 21 come and go with little sign she intended to come any time soon. I have never gone long past my due date, so of course I was trying to just remind myself that everything was OK - I needed to just be patient. Then finally early on Tuesday January 29 I started to have signs that she would soon make her appearance. With the boys, once I saw these signs they were born about 12 hours later so you can imagine my excitement. Chrissy offered to come down. Unfortunately the signs started to subside and the birth waves (contractions) all but stopped. Eric and I went to my scheduled appointment with my midwife. Everything looked and sounded good. She said she would expect to hear from me any time.
We went back home and packed up the children to go with Chrissy, anticipating everything would pick back up later in the day. It was a lovely afternoon. We watched the rest of season 3 of Downton Abbey (thank you Amazon instant video). Things had stayed very mild and lipidy-lip so we decided to order out at our favorite restaurant Carrabbas and walk around Target since it was very cold outside. Walking Target was good - got a couple good contractions, but still nothing that kept going. So we picked up our food and headed home. Course on the way home we noted how nice it was to lay around and watch movies during the day (!) and eat in front of the television (!) and were making jokes about Chrissy adopting the kids when I got a huge contraction but I was laughing and saying "owww!" at the same time. Guess she didn't find it very funny :o) So we got home, finished the rest of the season (which the ending made me very mad btw) and ate a yummy dinner. Turns out they totally messed up my order - forgetting my sides and the chicken on my pannini. So we called and the manager told us next time we were in, dinner was on the house. Now that is customer service! But nothing was happening, so we went to bed.
The next morning I woke up and didn't quite know what to do with myself. I ate breakfast, got showered and dressed, put on make up (gasp), talked to Chrissy on the phone, wrote in my journal talked to Sarah on the phone... I waited until almost 9 to wake up Eric because a little voice kept saying, let him sleep, he will need his rest. I had talked to my chiropractor about seeing her in the morning so I hurried him out of bed and out the door to her office. She gave me a great adjustment. I told her the birth waves hadn't felt quite right - they radiated more in my back and left hip then down the middle. Turns out my hip and sacrum were out of whack and baby's head was tilted sideways. So she adjusted me and gently moved baby's head to be straight down (isn't that so amazing? she so amazes me). The weather was incredibly warm (50 degrees!) so she had Eric and I take a walk and see how things were feeling. Immediately I started to get mild birth waves and they felt right on! Although not crampy, the tightening was in the right spot. She checked to make sure I held the adjustment and we went on our way home thinking labor would kick in any second....
We got home and ate lunch. I didn't feel anything. Not a single birth wave. I felt discouraged. So I laid down on the bed made up in the back room and nodded off for a short nap, listening to my Hypnobabies Birthing Affirmations track. When I woke up I decided to walk. So I walked and walked and walked and walked. Gratefully we have a large park behind our house so I did laps around it and down our street. Nothing. Went home wondering if I should have Chrissy bring the kids home. At this rate, maybe it would still be another week.
In speaking with Chrissy we decided if nothing happened by tomorrow morning, we would meet for the kids. So we settled down to watch some more movies (I had to watch the season finale of Downton one more time for closure) while I bounced on my birth ball. Eric nodded off in the recliner. I had a good cry at the end of Downton, and then I felt one.... "Ouu, that was a good one," I thought. It was around 4:30. I decided to take a hot bath to relax. Eric showed the apartment and then went out to pick up dinner from Carrabbas (being on the house, we both got steak AND dessert :o) heehee). He came home and I didn't really feel hungry. I had a couple good birth waves so I said I thought it would be good to start keeping track of how often they were coming because their strength was pretty consistent. We ate and watched Brian Regan (I am amazed I didn't choke for laughing). We noted they were coming every 8 to 12 minutes. Hum.. So at 7pm we called our midwife Kelly and told her. I was surprised that she said, "we'll be right over." I thought to myself, "but I'm probably going to go lay down and they are going to go away..." so I said, "Well, you don't have to come over yet..." She paused and asked if I was sure. I was all, "yea, I am not sure they are going to keep going yet." She said Ok but said to call her the MINUTE I changed my mind or had one that in her words made me say, "I signed up for this again?!" I agreed.
I went and crawled into bed expecting them to go away. They didn't. And it wasn't but 10 minutes before they started to be stronger and I said to Eric, "Yea call Kelly and tell her maybe send Carrie over just in case..." It was just after 7:30pm when Carrie showed up, followed shortly by Kristen and Kelly. I was groggy and sleepy and just wanted to stay curled up in bed. They let me be, got all their equipment out, and hung out in the dinning room, peeking in on me periodically. Kelly curled up on the couch to nap - I think she knew we were in for a long night.
I don't know how long I stayed in bed, probably until 9, but it got the the point where is was no longer comfortable to be in bed so I got on my birth ball and leaned over my bed. Carrie and Kristen did an assessment listening to baby's heart beat through a birth wave and taking my pulse. All sounded good. Just the waiting game, taking assessments here and there. Eric made cookies. I labor slowly and gently. My birth waves are often strong and long, but far apart. So it wasn't until 11:30pm when I started to have to stand and move. I prayed the baby would come before midnight so I could go to bed. Ha. I hoped but... When I started to do the birth opera with each birth wave, Kelly came to see how I was doing. She knew I was getting closer. Eric, Carrie, and Kristen started to fill the pool with water and we turned up the heat in the house.
I decided to get in the water when it was ready. But then everything kind of slowed down. Now if it was 1 in the afternoon that wouldn't have mattered, but being 1am (ish) I was like, the heck with this! So I got out. I started to feel the bag of water making for a lot of pressure. Kelly checked me and stretched my cervix - it didn't feel great, but it was to help move things along. It did. She said I just had to break my water and we'd have a baby in half hour. It was around 2AM at this point. I wondered around trying to find somewhere comfortable to bear down to try and get the water to break (looking back this was funny to me as Carrie and Kristen hauled all the equipment around behind me - patiently going back and forth where ever I went). But I really am not great at breaking my water. So after a few attempts, I asked her to do it. I hate spending all my energy trying to break my water when I knew I needed all my energy very soon. She broke my water. I got back into the pool. Oh boy they certainly were stronger now! But still pretty spread out. After a while the need to bear down got really strong. I was draped over the edge of the pool. Kelly told me I could stay there until I felt her coming down and I would have to turn around so she could catch her. I turned around and oh no that just didn't feel good. So I decided to get out and head to the bathroom. I had heard many woman feel most comfortable in their bathrooms and at this point I was all about getting the baby OUT. I hate hate hate pushing. So I sat and had a good contraction but was miffed that I didn't feel any progress - I may hate pushing but I know how to do it. So Kelly checked me and I still had a lip of cervix left (urgh this happens every time). So she had me put my legs on her knees and she would hold it out of the way so the head could come down. This sucked. Not to mention I hate having my knees up while pushing. So I asked if we could head back to the back room, so I could sit on the birth stool leaning against Eric for support while she held back the lip. I tried to push her past the cervix twice while expressing how intensely I hate this part and how much it sucks and is wholly unfair (and telling my patient husband who was trying to be reassuring to shut up). After the two tries with out success I was moody and mad so I announced I was going to go pee and stomped off to the bathroom.
With the door closed (I thought I was by myself but Eric was actually with me - isn't that funny? Although after he mentioned it I do remember saying, never ever am I doing this ever again - quote me) I sat and sighed, relaxing for just a moment trying to be positive as I thought about what felt like the longest road ever still in front of me - when I got a birth wave that didn't even build - it just hit me and it didn't hurt, it felt... Awesome actually. Like everything working perfectly together. I stood up and was bearing down in one action without even thinking about it and what do you know - I felt her slip down! It was the strangest feeling - I have always had to push them down, a little at a time (aka the longest road ever). "Kelly I'm having a baby!" I yelled. The door flew open, the heater turned on, and out slid little miss with one push, pausing briefly to untangle the cord which was around her neck 3 times and wrapped all around her body (it was 30 inches long! The average is 20) and calm me down. I was pretty shocked and my legs were trembling. And there she was. In all her perfectness. Eric was there to help catch and brought her to my chest. It was awesome. 3:09 AM. The first thing I noticed was all her dark hair! Then after a moment, Eric checked - a girl. We were over the moon - our longed for little girl! Laughing and kissing her - so happy. We then moved back to the back room where a bed was made. Elaina and I sat skin to skin covered in warm towels and blankets, she nursed immediately, and Eric held my water bottle so I could get drinks as I needed. After a little while, I passed her off to Eric while I ate. Then Kelly helped me into a nice warm shower and fresh clothes, and we tucked into our own clean bed while Carrie gave Elaina the head to toe assessment and Kelly cleaned up the house. They stayed with us until 6am and then left us all to sleep. What a night. What an experience.