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Monday, January 31, 2011

Elise's Birth Story

Now that my little sweetheart is a week old, here's the story of how she (finally!) was born after 17 and a half hours.

At my dr's appointment Friday I was dilated 3cm. With each of the boys I went into labor between 3 and 4, so while I didn't know when, I had a feeling it wouldn't be too long.

Saturday night I went to a movie with my sister, when I got home I had a horrible upset stomach, and was pretty sure labor was coming soon, but was not having any contractions. Completely different from how things happened with either of the boys, but again, I felt like we were getting closer.

Sunday I woke up pretty confident that today was the day, and given my history of fast labors told Anthony I would rather he stay home with me than go to help his dad with his aunt's basement.

By the afternoon contractions had started, but were nothing too strong or out of the ordinary. 

By 1 contractions were 3 minutes apart, but not strong. At 4:30 they were 2 minutes apart and getting strong. I was confident we would have a baby by 8pm that night. She definitely had other plans.

I called my mom and had her come over so we wouldn't feel rushed to leave when we knew it was time. Around 8 not much was really changing, but I had been in labor for so long compared to the boys (6.5 and 5.5 hours) that I thought we should go to the hospital.
Anthony and I drove around on some bumpy roads hoping to give things a little jump start.

When we got to the hospital the contractions had really slowed down, the nurse hesitantly checked me and said they might send me home. I was only 4cm dilated. We walked the halls for an hour, and I hoped things were speeding up enough to make some progress. After and hour of walking I had dilated to 5. Still not super thrilled with how slow things were going, but they admitted me and we got a room.

After that things slowed WAY down. Contractions were back to 2 minutes apart, but by 11 I was only at 6cm. At 1am I was at 7. Nothing I did seemed to make them get any stronger or more productive and Anthony and I were starting to get really tired. We thought for sure we would have had a baby by then. So around 2:30 (still 7cm) we decided to try and rest a while. Anthony fell asleep, I tried to rest as much as I could between contractions.

Right around 4:20 while Anthony was still sleeping I started thinking about the fact that today was the March for Life in Washington DC and how ironic on a day where thousands of people were gathering to celebrate life I was getting ready to bring life into the world. I wrote a blog post about it just before my water was broken, (see previous post)

My dr showed up at 4:30am to check me again, still 7, so he broke my water. Up until this point, labor was long and annoying, but really pretty pleasant. Anthony and I were joking around, watching movies, surfing the web. This changed really really fast.

Contractions got very intense, and it became obvious that the baby was posterior. After an hour I was still at 7, and the baby would not turn while contractions continued to get stronger. I could no longer focus on anything but just making it through each contraction and hoping she would turn or I would at least start making some progress.

By 6 I had had enough, I was at 8cm and the baby was still posterior. I told the nurse who was helping us that I would not wear the monitor even for a few minutes to check the baby because it was too uncomfortable. I could not get even remotely *comfortable* no matter what position I was in. Nothing felt good. I was just ready to be done. At 6:20 I asked if an epidural might help because I was so tense I felt I was keeping myself from dilating. The nurse said maybe, but felt that even though I was at 8 I was really close and it might not even kick in by the time the baby turned. I'm really glad she talked me out of it.

at 6:30 I was laying on my side and I suddenly HAD to push. She had just checked me about 5 minutes before still at 8, but I knew this baby was coming now. She knew right away and called to wake up the dr from the on call room. I was starting to get nervous trying to wait for the dr and other nurses to come into the room, I really couldn't have waited much longer. Everyone rushed in and 6 pushes later at 6:37am Elise was finally born.

They put her on my chest right away and cleaned her up while she laid on me clinging to my neck. They weighed her quickly and then I was able to nurse her before the did any other assessments or measurements. She is absolutely perfect, and so alert. She makes the sweetest sounds while she sleeps just like Nathan did as a baby which keep me up listening to her as though she is singing.

It was by far my easiest and hardest labor all rolled into one giant marathon, but it was worth every second.

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