Today is my official due date for little Miss Eleanor, but it feels great to have her in my arms rather than my belly :)
I thought today I’d fill you in on Eleanor’s arrival. It all started on Wednesday the 12th…
That was an exciting day for our family. My sister who lives in Texas gave birth to her sweet baby girl, and my parents were down in Dallas to meet the new babe and help out taking care of my sister’s 3 year old daughter. With our quickly approaching due date, traveling to Texas was out of the question. After spending the afternoon at the pool with J, my sister called me around 4:15 and we chatted about labor, and I got all the details on my newest niece. I hung up the phone and about 15 minutes later, my contractions started.
I figured they were just Braxton Hicks, so I decided to head up to bed and try to sleep through them. I woke up around 5:30 with much stronger contractions and mounting pain in my back. I called for J to come upstairs. By about 6:00, we were diligently tracking each contraction with an iPhone app (more on that later). They were about 30 seconds long and 5 minutes apart.
I decided to ease the pain and pass some time by taking a bath in our jacuzzi tub. It felt great and was a good distraction from my back pain. I ended up hopping in the shower as well – just in case I had to head into the hospital (I didn’t want to meet my baby as a mess). I also quickly got to work cleaning up the house between contractions. I gathered laundry, cleaned the bathroom, finished some food prep, and straightened the living room while J scrambled to put together his paternity plan for work.
As my contractions grew longer and stronger, J became convinced this was the “real deal.” I wasn’t sold. I thought for sure I would go past my due date – there was no way I could be in labor at 38 weeks. He finally convinced me to call my doctor around 8:30 – I reported contractions lasting a minute, 3 minutes apart for an hour. She told me to stick it out at home for another couple of hours because she thought I’d “fizzle out.”
By now the pain of back labor was getting unbearable. With each contraction, J pressed a tennis ball as hard as he could into the small of my back trying to relieve some of the pressure. I took to walking in circles around the kitchen table with J coaching me through breathing. Our poor dog was so confused by this point. I think she thought I had gone off the deep end.
By 10:30, J convinced me to call the Dr. back. She gave me the green light to head to the hospital even though she still thought it was false labor. I was sure the Dr. was right, but we loaded up the car and headed in.
When I got settled in my room, the nurse checked me at 2cm effaced and 80% dilated. Not good news. I wasn’t nearly far enough along to be considered active labor. She gave me an hour to walk around the halls to see if any progress could be made. Unfortunately 1 hour later, we were in exactly the same position.
I was terrified of being sent home. I could not believe the immense pain of back labor. The nurse gave me the option of staying the night “just to see what happens.” I gladly took the offer. I settled in to sleep with some IV pain meds around 1:00am. At 2:00am everything changed – my water broke!
I was so relieved to finally be out of the “is this real labor” limbo. But along with a broken water was a TON more pressure on my back. I requested an epidural and finally had some relief by 3:00am. By 4:30am I was 8cm, and at 6:00am I was completely dilated and ready to go. The nurse had me do some trial pushes to see what progress I could make. I had the BEST epidural for pushing – I had control of my legs and I was aware of each contraction without the pain. I was able to use the leverage of my legs and push along with the strongest part of each contraction.
I made fast progress with pushing and by 7:00, my doctor was called. After she arrived, I gave 2 more pushes and at 7:17am our sweet baby was here. I couldn’t believe how fast delivery went! Seeing my baby girl for the first time was just amazing. They immediately placed her on my chest and she nestled right in.
I can’t even begin to explain the huge support that J offered me throughout the entire labor process. He was calm, collected, and kept me at ease. I’m so lucky to have had him by my side, and our daughter is just as lucky to have him as her father.
The whole experience was amazing. I’m almost a little sad that it’s all over. Don’t get me wrong – the pain wasn’t fun, but the anticipation of meeting our little girl was something really special. It’s amazing to look at her sweet face and think back on the crazy journey she and I have already been through!