Saturday, June 02, 2012

Elliot Marie Alexander

We are so excited to announce the birth of our little honeybear: Elliot Marie Alexander.
Words can't describe the feelings and excitement and complete joy we felt when Elliot was born, but I'll still try.

At our last appointment, on May 22nd, we had a sonogram to check the amniotic fluid levels and development. The ultrasound tech couldn't get a consistent 30-second interval of the baby breathing/practicing breathing, so we had to do a non-stress test. Our first and only, but still, 20 minutes of a bit of nervousness.

After all was confirmed everything was A-OK, we scheduled an induction for Monday, May 28th, Memorial Day - 8am. Okay! Go time!

Saturday we went on a date, enjoyed the last few meals as a family of two, and just hung out.

{ I should note that I'm a total procrastinator, but I'm chalking it up to just me being laid-back: I didn't pack a hospital bag ahead of time. }

That night {May 26th} the hospital called me and said they don't really do this, but they'd like to move my induction date up. Um...what? They could get me in tomorrow and not 36 hours from now. After my brain registered what was being said, I asked what time they'd like me to be there. 6:30 in the morning. As in, 8 hours from now. As in, I'm going to have a baby tomorrow!

As soon as I hung up I told Ryan  {he'd been in the other room doing something else} and we kicked it into high gear; I loaded the dishwasher, tossed clothes in the washing machine/dryer, packed a bag, vacuumed, etc.

I got into bed around 1am and couldn't get to sleep. It was like I was 9 years old and it was the day before my birthday! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT that my brain couldn't calm down. {I wasn't going to tell anyone that night, but I texted my oldest sister and let her in on our secret! Told her 'mum's the word'}

We got up, showered, ate, and left the house at 6:23am. We parked, unloaded our crud, took this last picture of our family of 2, and walked into Labor & Delivery at 6:29am. It's very convenient to live a mere 2 miles from the hospital.

The nurse got my IV line in, they checked me again {still dilated to a 3 and 70% effaced} and got pitocin started around 7am. My awesome doctor came in {another reason to be induced - she was leaving the practice on May 31st and this was her last weekend on call. She'd been on this journey with us for over 3 years and I wanted her to be the one to deliver our little miracle.}

Everything was hunky-dory for a couple of hours. Ryan and I watched a few tv episodes, I tried getting a little sleep, and so forth. Around 10am I sent Ryan home to check on the dog, see if the fencing guys needed anything {oh, yeah, they were finishing our fence today!} and grab food. Of course, this is when the contractions started getting to the point where I wanted pain meds. The nurse just gave me a short-lasting drug..can't remember the name at the moment..and said it might make me a little sleepy and woozy. Uh, yeah, it made me sleepier but also very weepy. I sat in bed and cried for 30 minutes. If I thought about anything baby-related, tears of gratitude and joy would spring from my eyes. It was uncontrollable. I also texted my family and Ryan texted his {his parents were in Scotland at the time} and they told us to keep them up to date on the progress.

Ryan got back around 10:45am and we watched a few more episodes of a TV show we'd brought with us and then I started having a TON of painful contractions. I was huffing and puffing through them, trying to breathe through the pain. I tried pressure points, relaxing and so forth. At noon I was getting to the point where the contractions were making things really uncomfortable but I trudged on. By 1pm, I was asking for an epidural.

The epidural wasn't administered until 2pm. Had I known it would take an hour and I'd be writhing in pain for that hour, I would have asked for it earlier. I think if I wasn't on pitocin, I would have been fine. The contractions were tolerable except for the fact that they were non-stop and I didn't have a break between the pain. They took over my whole body and I didn't want to move. If I moved, I inevitably made it worse, which would elicit a swear word. There were a few doozies. The nurse wanted to check me before my epidural but I told her if she touched me I wouldn't be able to be nice to her. She obliged.

The anesthesiologist got the line in {it didn't hurt AT ALL!} and my left side started relaxing but I could still feel contractions on my right side. He gave me two options (his name was Dr. Friesen and was very nice): he could redo the line or he could just up the meds, possibly making my left side more numb for longer than my right side. Up the drugs, por favor! It was weird feeling the pain in half of my uterus but not the other. I'd have rather felt none, but, you know...there was a baby in there wanting to get out!
The baby's heartrate dropped significantly after they gave me the epidural, which, I didn't realize until afterward. In a matter of a minute, the nurse had Ryan push the call button/emergency button behind my bed and 3 other nurses came into the room. They put an oxygen mask on me, put an internal fetal monitor on the baby, and made sure the baby's heartbeat became stable in a short time. Ryan later told me he was a bit freaked out on the inside when that happened. I, on the other hand, was cracking jokes and oblivious to the situation.
The nurse checked me as soon as the epidural took effect on both sides. I was at a 6/7! Huzzah! Dr. Minderman came in and checked me, too, confirmed I was at a 6/7 and said they'd do another check in twenty minutes (standard procedure). The fetal monitor beeped so they adjusted that, and while the nurse was in my bid-nass, checked me again and said I was closer to a 7/8 not a 6/7. Sweet! It was probably about 3pm at this point and only 5 minutes after Dr. Minderman left. She'd be back in about 15 minutes, mind you.
Those 15 minutes flew by. I called my mom and dad, let them know where I was at, texted my sister (the majority of my family was at my mom and dad's house for Memorial Day weekend) and before I knew it, I was being checked again. NINE! WHAT?! A 6 to a 9 in about 20 minutes. My nurse made a few calls, told me a few people would be coming in to get things ready and ask me a few questions and gave me a run-down of what to expect in the next 30-45 minutes. Oh, and it was almost time to push.
After the nursery nurse prepped the warmer and incubator, checked the scale, turned everything on where it needed to be, another nurse came in and prepped Dr. Minderman's tools and prepped me the rest of the way. Giving birth is so undignified, by the way. Be prepared to leave all modesty by the wayside. You'll pick it up again in the hallway from the delivery room to post-partum/recovery room.
My nurse came back in, had me push a bit to get things going (I think it's to stretch you more?) and then actually told me to stop so she could run and get Dr. Minderman because it was go-time!

After 3 sets of pushes and about 45 minutes, we had a sweet little baby! We could hear the crying and I could see a sweet little face before I knew if I had a son or a daughter. After what seemed like an eternity (in reality it was probably 20 seconds) I asked if it was a boy or a girl and Dr. Minderman turned the little pinkish-blue bundle around, moved the umbilical cord, and I looked at Ryan and exclaimed, 'We have a girl!"
{okay, now that I'm thinking about it, I could have said, we have a daughter. I was drugged. Things are a bit hazy now} and we both had tears in our eyes. Mine were streaming from my eyes down the rest of my face.
7 lbs, 20.5 inches, born at 4:33pm on May 27th

I held her and kissed her and kissed her again and called her Gemma. It didn't feel right. I quickly said, no, she's Elliot Marie. Since Ryan and I had been disagreeing on names/spellings during the last few hours, I looked to him for approval and he said I could name her whatever I wanted and that Elliot was perfect.
They weighed her, measured her, and cleaned her off and bundled her up. I asked to have her so I could have her on my chest and see if she'd nurse right away. Of course, perfect as she is, she did.
I felt a twinge of guilt that I was hogging her so I gave her to Ryan for a few minutes so I could call my family and let them know they had a new granddaughter/niece. Finding out this way was awesome. I highly recommend waiting! The anticipation makes your meeting that much sweeter!
Here's her first picture with her daddy. Isn't he the handsomest new dad! One VERY proud papa!

They took her to the nursery to run the standard newborn tests, daddy went with, and I got some rest and was cleaned up and put back together. Because I progressed so quickly from a 6 to a 9, there were quite a few stitches needed. Yikes. That's the awful part of childbirth that no one tells you about. I feel like someone should have warned me!
But look at this sweet face. This was Monday in the hospital.

We texted our friends and then made a public announcement: Today seemed like a good day to have a baby, so I did. Happy Birthday, little girl.
My good, sweet friend, Alicia, was almost just as happy as we were and asked if she could come to the hospital that night and offered to take some pictures. OF COURSE! This girl is amazing, by the way. She's like my right arm when I need something done. She came to the hospital around 10pm and took a few pictures of our sweetest little bundle.
And then, because she's fabulous (I warned you, right?) she came back the next day armed with a glue gun and supplies to make my little sweetheart some headbands. We can't have a little girl without a few headbands, now can we? No, we cannot.

Exhausted and happy, we all slept a little sweeter and perhaps a little less that night. Family and friends came to the hospital the next night and met our little Elliot. 
After finally experiencing childbirth and the hospital stay, I know I should visit my friends who have babies during the day. We were a little bored, even with the tv shows and movies we brought to watch.
My parents drove from Arizona and arrived late Monday night and met their newest grandbaby and doted on her accordingly.

We loved our stay at the hospital and milked it for all it was worth. The most expensive and most pampered 'hotel' I'll ever stay at. We were sad to leave, actually. What no one tells you is that the euphoria wears off enough as the need for sleep overcomes your body JUST as they send you home with a new little baby who needs you and your body is still in shock and recovering from a major trauma! But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Life is perfect.

1 comment:

Laura said...

she is beautiful and i'm so glad she got her safe & sound!

she's very lucky to have you as a mother!