02 June 2014

Eli's Birth Story

"Give your burden to the Lord, and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22

Hello! Long time, no read. The blog has been on the back burner for the past couple of weeks for very good reasons.

We finally were able to welcome Eli home. He is two weeks old today.
I figured that is as great a milestone as any to start sharing our adventures as a family of four.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

The Birth Story

Our little man was apparently a little too comfortable to want to join us on the outside. Those last few weeks, we tried everything I had read was supposed to help naturally encourage labor. I took long walks several times a week, spent time on the exercise ball, took Evening Primrose Oil supplements, drank Red Raspberry Leaf Tea daily, got a pedicure, ate seven whole pineapples, made a special trip for Eggplant Parmesan, and did married-people things. I did not consider castor oil until he was a week late and received a legitimate tip from a doula my mom knows in Nashville. When I looked up the recipe she recommended and found it was a popular suggestion from many other credible midwives and doulas, Hubs and I went that night to round up the ingredients. 

I drank the concoction at 10:30 pm. I woke up in labor at 1:30 am. By 3:30 am, we were rushing to the hospital.

I had originally intended to labor as naturally as possible. I thought, as I had heard from friends, that the pain would be more gradual than it was. I knew I was throwing my birth plan out the window and told Hubs I was getting an epidural before we even left our house. By then, the contractions were over a minute long and 2-3 minutes apart. They were so intense at home that I knew there was no way I would make it however many hours longer. After we were admitted and settled in a room, the nurses called the anesthesiologist. Around 5 am, I was 3 cm dilated and medicated. By 8 am, I was at 8-9 cm. At 10 am, they thought I was 10 cm, and we thought Eli would be here by lunchtime.

However, there was still a small part that Eli's head had not passed by yet. His little noggin was unable to get through the pelvic bone. If this had not progressed, they would have taken us straight in for a c-section. They continued to check periodically. I did every breathing technique I knew to encourage him down. Hubs and I held hands and prayed the boy down. At 5 pm, they told me Eli had progressed and that I could try for a vaginal delivery. I wept with relief. I spent the next two hours with Hubs and our nurse pushing with everything I had every couple of minutes. He continued to progress at first, but there were several risk factors involved (meconium, fibroids possibly hindering contraction, exhaustion of me and baby, GBS +), and the doctor on call came in to explain our options. She was thorough, clearly experienced, and kind. I was scared and so tired. I sobbed when she said we would be needing help. I remember telling myself that I was allowed to cry it out in the remainder of that break from contractions- less than one minute. Then I had to focus and do my part as best I could and pray it would be enough. Hubs said that's when things got really serious; he could see the determination in me and our doctor.

The room began to fill with nurses, techs, pediatricians, and doctors to assist the delivery that was not happening on its own. There were extra personnel in the hallway waiting in case our baby needed to be transferred to another Anchorage hospital if he went in distress after birth. All the lights flipped on, tables were wheeled in, surgical masks covered their faces. The doctor gave me one last chance to push through one last contraction before having to do an emergency c-section. This time, she would be assisting with forceps. The first push, I remember the sweet nurse on my left that had come on shift an hour and a half before counting and keeping me focused. The second push, I remember Hubs beside my head on my right. Next to him, was our nurse that had spent his whole shift taking care of us and had stayed an hour and a half late just to stand by us and see it through. And at the same time, I heard someone say the doctor had him. I closed my eyes really tight. The third push, I felt him being pulled. Everyone got a little louder, urging me to keep going. The last push, I knew he was here. It was the weirdest relief. I knew he was here, and I somehow knew he was going to be great, even though they worked very fast to send him off to be assessed. There was still an urgency in the room. I even heard them whisper that he wasn't crying. But I had a strange peace and was so proud of me, the doctor, and this little person I hadn't even seen yet.

Hubs was in a little bit of shock but soon headed over to where they were taking care of Eli. It didn't seem like very long before they decided everything was good with him and brought him to me. I held him and fed him while they spent about 45 minutes doing post-delivery work with me. Most the staff then began to filter out, except for the two nurses assigned to Eli and me. Once my epidural wore off and I could walk again, Hubs was shown how to bathe Eli while I took a shower before being moved to a perinatal unit. 

It was such a long, exhausting, rewarding day. There is something incredible about experiencing such a traumatic miracle with your best friend. We definitely learned a lot about each other. Poor Hubs learned more about me than he ever probably wanted to- ha! We are kind of still processing the whole thing, and the details are still a source of major discomfort. But the result is amazing. 

Eli is here. Totally worth it.
After the epidural and early in the day- obviously.
Not the most flattering look, but this was how most of the day went.
Proud pops. So glad all that mess is over!

I was able to take a few pictures of me with my baby boy once we were settled in to the perinatal room that night.
So in love with this precious head of hair!

Eli Andrew Woodard
May 20, 2014
6:52 pm
7lbs 15oz
21 3/4 inches

No comments:

Post a Comment