Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Eliza's Birth Story

It all started on the 6th of February, 2014, 10 days after my due date. My sister was coming from out of town to come and visit our new baby that was due almost 2 weeks previous. She planned her trip to give us enough time to be sure that the baby would already be here. Apparently our Little Miss had different ideas about when she would come. So on the 6th I decided to start some of those labor starters that everyone tells you about since I was determined to have no interventions. I started the day with a few rounds on the breast pump as suggested by my OB. I did that and bounced on the birthing ball. Mind you I was still feeling a little under the weather from my yucky cold. In the afternoon I was feeling a little better and the weather outside was nice so Liam and I went on a looong walk. We walked 4 miles down around the cow farms that are just south of our home. It was a lot of fun and we saw lots of cool things. I was really surprised that Liam went the whole way and wasn't tired. I held up pretty well...until we got home. My hips were sooo stiff. I ended the day with some "spicy" food. I am not a spicy food person at all, but I decided to suck it up and ordered some spicy orange chicken from China Blossom which is just around the corner from our house. It had a chili pepper next to it on the menu so I expected it to be hot, but it wasn't very hot at all, so I dipped it in the spicy Chinese mustard and then Frank's hot sauce once that was gone. I went to bed late that night with the yucky chills and then woke up an hour later with a fever of 101.5. I decided I had better call the doctor to see if I needed to go in since my fever was kind of high and I know fevers when you are pregnant aren't good for the baby. The doctor said just to rest up and take some Tylenol to get my fever down which I did. I got back to bed about 2 am. When Tony got home from work about 5 or 5:30 a.m. I was awake again and starting to feel mild contractions about 9-10 minutes apart. I really didn't think anything of it because I was convinced that I would be pregnant forever. I went back to bed for as long as I could. The contractions were uncomfortable while I was laying down so I decided to get up for the day while Tony went to sleep. I had the whole quiet house to myself for a while until Liam woke up about 8:30 or 9. I sat on the birthing ball and straightened my hair because as the time went on the contractions started to get a little closer and I wanted to look presentable for pictures. I found that if I could do something during the contractions to distract myself they were easier to handle. I labored all by myself during the morning and tried to time the contractions. By about 9 or so my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, but only lasting about 40 seconds. I told my mom that she was on call. I didn't want to go to the hospital until I was sure it was time. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible and really be able to enjoy the experience. I was determined to have an all natural birth and so I wanted to avoid the hospital as long as possible. I was somewhat uncomfortable down below so I decided to get in the bath tub which helped a lot. With each contraction I would pour water over my belly and count the cupfuls to distract my mind which helped a lot. I had an appointment at 1 p.m. for an ultrasound and to be hooked up to a monitor to check on the baby since I was so "overdue." I called to ask my doctor if she still wanted me to go in and she did if I hadn't checked into the hospital. About 11:45 a.m. I woke up Tony to ask him about it and see what he thought. I did not want to be stuck to a monitor through any contractions so we decided to cancel the appointment anyway. Looking back I don't know why I ever even considered going to the appointment.
About 12:30 or so, my dad came by and picked Liam up on his way home from work. He also brought some fruit and milk which is all I wanted to eat. Thank goodness he came when he did. I was so unsure when to start making arrangements.
 I sat in the bathtub while Tony timed contractions. I totally understand why people do water births. Ahhhh it felt so good. I just wished I had a big deep tub that would've covered me in water. For some reason, I decided to get out of the water and the contractions picked up. They were about 4 minutes apart, but still only lasting about 45-50 seconds. Once I was out the water I really needed Tony to massage my lower back really hard. The contractions were different than I expected. I expected to feel the contractions over my whole belly, but it only hurt down below my belly button, the upper part only felt tight like a Braxton Hicks. After 2 close contractions in the bathroom I noticed a small amount of blood dripping so we decided to start getting ready to go.Things started to really pick up and I felt myself starting to slide emotionally. We had already called my mom and sister to come over, but decided to have them just head to the hospital. I thought our bag was ready to go, but kept thinking of things we needed. I sat in the car as Tony loaded it up and realized that I couldn't handle the contractions myself all the way to the hospital, so we called my mom to come to our house to drive us. By the time my mom and sister got to our house, I was kind of in a panic. The contractions were hard. We laid Liam's seat down in the car and headed out as my sister followed us in my mom's truck. Part way through the drive, I decided to get on my hands and knees on the car floor and Tony would massage like crazy on my lower back. I got snappy if he let up even the slightest during a contraction. Things were very intense and I said that I needed an epidural and I was ready to give up. I couldn't do it anymore. From the natural birth books that we have read, the point when you are ready to give up is usually about the point when you are almost done. Wow was that true. We finally pulled up to the hospital after multiple hard contractions in the car. Ugh. I hope I never have to have contractions in the car again. Well anyway, my mom pulled up to the maternity door of the hospital and Tony and I headed up to triage check in. My mom said it was the most stressful drive of her life.
Thank goodness, I had pre-registered. They just verified who I was and my insurance and sent me back. They gave me a gown and a sample cup and sent us into the bathroom to change. I got my clothes off and a big contraction hit and I had the uncontrollable urge to push. Tony opened the door and said "uhh she's pushing!" A bunch of nurses came in and told me to stop pushing. Ha I had no control over it. My body was pushing! Once the contraction was over they sent me right to a bed and told me to get in. I said no way. I was not going to lay in a bed and have another contraction. I finally got in on my knees with my arms over the back of the folded up bed. A nurse checked me and announced that I was a +3 station and that I was complete and there was a baby right there ready to come out. I had another strong contraction in which I was pushing and they kept telling me they couldn't have a baby in there and to stop pushing. I couldn't stop pushing; my body was doing it's thing. They tossed a sheet over me and a nurse sat on the end of the bed pretty much holding the baby in and they wheeled us away into a room along with about 8-10 nurses. I guess I caused quite the commotion on the labor and delivery floor. :)  Once we made it in the room, I had a nurse under me with a monitor looking for the baby's heart beat and another team behind me waiting to catch. My mom and sister finally made it in. I don't think they realized that I was having the baby right then and there only minutes after pulling up. I was a little worried because I had group b strep which I was supposed to get an IV for, the nurse said it was too late for that and that they would just monitor the baby once she arrived. One or two contractions later my water popped and the nurse announced that she could see the head, but by the time Tony looked to see, her whole body was out! She came so quickly! It was amazing to look behind me and see a beautiful, slightly gray little baby laying in between my knees. There was a little bit of meconium and she took a second to start breathing so they took her to the warmer and got her suctioned out and brought her right back to me. It was awesome to see my husband watching over our sweet girl in the warmer trying to hold back his emotions. It was a sweet moment. I then got the moment I had always dreamed of; bare skin, bare baby all lovely and beautiful. 100% natural! I had a 2nd degree tear that took a while to get sewn up. That part took longer than the delivery. Just a note, I never did see my actual OB. It all happened so fast I just got the OB that was there. The time span from when we got to the hospital to the time she was born was maybe 10-15 minutes.

Everything happened so quickly that we didn't even have our bags with my camera or anything in it, so once she arrived, Tracy ran down to the car to get our things. Little Miss came out hungry so after a good snuggle with me and Tony, I put her to my breast and she latched right on like a pro and ate for a good long time. We had an awesome nurse named Molly that gave us a lot of space before even asking about anything. After she had nursed and we had all had some snuggles, she was weighed and measured. She was born at 3:54 p.m. and weighed 8 pounds and 1.8 ounces just barely smaller than Liam (he was 8 pounds 2 ounces). She was 19 inches long. Our nurse asked about all of the newborn procedures since we hadn't even gotten our birth plan out. I was sort of expecting to have to be a little stubborn about the things we did and didn't want done, but our nurse was awesome and asked about everything.
I got dressed and ready to move down to the postpartum floor just as Liam arrived with Papa. He was so cute! He was a little quiet and nervous, but was just so happy to see both of us. He said she was so cute and gave her a kiss. He was a little unsure because she was crying; she wanted to still be eating. He was able to be my escort as we were wheeled downstairs. Proud brother coming through! Once we got to our room we had some good family time before more visitors came.

Grandma and Papa fawned over the new baby as Liam and I spent some time together. Tracy brought the girls to meet their new cousin and they all fought over who got to hold her first. Love was in no shortage! Liam had a sleep over at Grandma and Papa's with his cousins that night. The first night was long because she wanted to eat pretty much the whole night. On Saturday, we had a lot of visitors. Tony's dad and brother Douglas came, but not his mom since she had just had surgery. Hannah and Sarah came then Tracy and the girls came again. My brother Doug and his wife Alyson came too. My parents and Ben and Shanae had gone to tour the Gilbert Temple that day and Tracy's family joined them too. Liam stayed with us while everyone went to the temple. Liam was bored at the hospital so I took him to walk the halls. Once everyone was done at the temple they came to visit us. Oh boy was it crazy when everyone was there. On Sunday, Tina's family came to visit on their way back into town from their snow trip. We were kept for a full 48 hours after her birth just to make sure she didn't spike a fever or show any signs of Group B Strep which she didn't.
Proud brother

Getting her foot prints

Takes a whole team to get her dressed after her first bath.

Family of Four

Daddy's girl

Tiny toes. She has such long toes.

I love it when baby's sleep in the "surrender" position

Going home

We are all home!

On Valentine's Day we made her name official. I went back and forth a thousand times as to what her name should be. I couldn't decide what was best and was really struggling emotionally about it all and all the adjustments. Her name is Eliza Taylor Mills. Eliza is short for Elizabeth which is my middle name and Taylor is after one of our favorite places in the world, the Taylor river/canyon/reservoir in Colorado where I spent every summer growing up and we have vacationed together a few times since we've been married. Taylor is also Tony's grandmother's maiden name.


Jenny Ann said...

Love your story. She is just precious!
And I commend you on a natural birth and laboring so long at home. You're one tough mama!

The Down Under Dulls said...

bawling!!! congrats on your all natural birth Erin! so happy for you! she is just gorgeous! what a great birth story!! I can't wait to meet her!

Beckums said...

amazing!!! I loved reading your story, thank you so much for sharing! I totally bawled my eyes out...there is just something so special about the birth of a sweet new baby :) Congratulations Erin, and way too go on the all natural birth, you are a rockstar!!

Beckums said...
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