A week ago, Elizabeth joined our family.
Elizabeth Ann was born on March 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm, weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz, and 20.5 inches long.
When we left for the hospital Sunday morning, I was convinced we would be back home within the hour. After all, I wasn't even having contractions. Elizabeth had not been moving as much as normal, and even though I really felt that she was fine, I didn't want to take any chances. We went to the hospital for a non-stress test, but my doctor felt that at 40 weeks (Sunday was actually my due date), already 4 cm at my last appointment (on Wednesday), and her not moving a lot- it was time for her to come.
I wanted to avoid getting pitocen, if at all possible. So our compromise was to break my water, with the understanding that if contractions didn't start on their own within a few hours, we would start the pitocen. The doctor broke my water at 10:50am. Contractions did start, but they were pretty weak and sporadic. Around noon a very small dose of pitocen was started, and contractions started coming fast and intense! I was only dilated to about a 5, and the nurse told us it would probably be several more hours.
Mom and Amy brought Jacob to the hospital for a quick visit before his nap. He was so sweet, and seemed excited that Elizabeth was going to come “out of Mommy's tummy” soon. However, when it was time for Mom to take him home, he pitched an absolute fit over leaving me. It broke my heart to hear him screaming down the hallway as Matthew carried him to the car.
Amy stayed with us at the hospital, and after a quick camera lesson to our newly appointed birth photographer, I decided it was time for the epidural. Getting the epidural with Jacob was the worst part, by far, of giving birth. I was really nervous about how it would go this time. I told the anesthesiologist that the doctor in France told me I had a deep epidural space, and prayed that knowing that ahead of time would make all the difference. A very unpleasant 30 minutes later, the epidural was in. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling any of the effects. The doctor decided he needed to try again. Ugh. If possible, the second time hurt more than the first, and about 20 minutes in, he was telling the nurse to go ahead and call the other anesthesiologist and have him come to the hospital to try for a third time! Fortunately, he was able to get it with the second try, and before long I couldn't feel anything. I had asked him to give me as low a dose as possible so I could still feel the contractions. I wanted to be able to know when and how to push when the time came. Not sure where the break down in communication happened, but I was completely numb from the waist down. The nurse checked me, and I was at 7 cm. It was around 5:00pm.
About an hour later, the nurse came back to check me. As soon as my legs were in the stirrups, she says to us, “Oh, look at that head full of dark hair!”. Excuse me? 45 minutes ago, I was a 7! You can see her hair?? She went to find our doctor, and I was in complete shock that our baby girl was about to be born!
The doctor came in the room at 6:10 pm. Our awesome doctor is a church friend and softball buddy of Matthew's. He came in and asked Matthew if he was going to help deliver. Before we knew it, the nurses were handing a gown and gloves to Matthew, and he was suiting up!
(This is my "I can't believe Matthew is about to help deliver this baby" face.)
I was told to start pushing, and about 5 pushes later, I saw her in Matthew's hands. Our sweet little baby girl was here! It was 6:15 pm. She was handed to me, and I had officially fallen in love for the third time in my life.
Elizabeth was taken to be cleaned off, weighed, measured, etc. I had her back several minutes later, and was able to nurse her for the first time less than 30 minutes after she was born. It all happened so fast!
I could not have asked for a better birth experience (well, except maybe for the 2 attempts at the epidural..). Matthew and I feel blessed beyond measure to have this sweet, perfect, little girl added to our family.
An extra special thanks to my sister for being with us and capturing these amazing images from Elizabeth's birth. Love you, Aunt Amy!!
For even more pictures, including pictures of Jacob meeting Elizabeth for the first time, here is a video.