Lizzy’s Birth Day

{This is the story of Lizzy’s birth. I kept it pretty PG but don’t read if you don’t want details.}

May 2016. I was dilated and having plenty of “practice contractions” and my Dr said there was a good chance baby could come early. May 17th, her due date, came and went. The Friday after her due date Jeff and I went in to checkup on the little stubborn girl. We were both still healthy and happy, well I was tired and pretty done with being pregnant. Baby seemed pretty content right where she was.img_8053

My doctor talked with us about our options for the next week. She was on rotation at the hospital so we ran the “risk” of getting another doctor when Lizzy decided to come. We decided to schedule an induction for the following Monday (week 41) so that if the baby didn’t come on her own over the weekend at least I would be comfortable with my own doctor. Looking back I am happy with the choice we made to induce but, though I love my doctor, I think I will pick a doctor that doesn’t work hospital rotations so I can try to wait for natural labor longer.

Monday morning came and I was awoken by a phone call from the hospital wondering where I was. The nurse had written down and given me the time 6pm instead of 6am! It was about 7:30 at this point. We did our best to relax and get ready calmly and we were mostly successful. I had a short breakdown of nerves which Jeff expertly and lovingly calmed. We called and updated the soon-to-be grandparents and our photographer, showered, grabbed the go bag and drove to Riverbend Hospital.img_0107

We checked in about 9:30. The room was bright with natural light, facing the clock tower, quiet, and all the nerves I had before leaving the house faded.I changed in to that oh so cute hospital gown and was given a wireless monitor around my belly for baby. The nurse checked my progress before giving me pitocin. I was dialiated to 4cm and 60% effaced. The nurse, Elana with a beautiful Russian accent, was surprised at my own natural progress and that I was already gently contracting and said she wouldn’t be surprised if we had a baby by dinner time. I guess she didn’t know the stubbornness that runs in this family.img_0068-copy

I was given an IV of pitocin at about 10am and then monitored for a half hour in bed. Lizzy was head down but facing the wrong way with her face toward my back. My mom arrived with snacks and a little later a doctor came in and broke my water.  That is just about the weirdest feeling but then pregnancy is full of those.

The Lord had given me a verse the night before that I repeated to myself throughout the next 14 hours. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Then I got up and moved around as my contractions started getting stronger. I was pretty determined to not have an epidural as I have a fear of needles. I spent the first 6 hours in the bath tub. No music, low light, just thinking and talking with Jeff and my mom between contractions. This time period flew by. The nurses were great, checking in on me every so often but generally leaving us alone and monitoring from the hall.

Eventually I wanted to know how far we’d gotten along so I got out of the tub. It was about 5 pm. I was getting tired but I was still able to talk ad laugh between contractions. I was slowly making progress but was 100% effaced.

Jeff and I started walking the halls at this point. He pushed my IV around while I hung on to him and then the wall when contractions hit. Betsey, my dear friend and our photographer, found us walking around and stuck with us the whole night.img_0037

After walking around I was so tired. I tried siting on an exercise ball with my head on the bed for a while. That didn’t last too long because I just wanted so badly to sleep. My doctor came on shift at the hospital at 6pm and she came to check in on me. I felt a measure of peace knowing she was now in the building. Sherine came in around then, I remember her rubbing my feet and taking turns next to me with Jeff and my mom.img_0070

Around 7 I felt like I was really in battle. I’d never felt so much pain in my life. I was quiet and determined though. I kept telling myself it was only temporary and repeating my verse.img_0050

By 9pm I couldn’t take it anymore. I had mom on one side and Jeff on the other holding my hands and trying to get me to relax after contractions. My hands were shaking with weariness, I was crying, and could barely make my voice into a whisper. I remember sitting on the toilet to relieve myself one last time and telling Jeff i needed the epidural. I felt shame in that for a while, like somehow I’d failed or wasn’t strong enough. All lies I told myself.img_0103-copy

Jeff communicated my need to the nurse and they sent for the anesthesiologist. He took almost an hour to get to my room due to a couple emergency surgeries. Afterwards I could still tell when a contraction was happening but I could  finally rest and gather my energy before pushing. I even managed to sleep for twenty minutes or so. While I rested Jeff and our parents hung out and waited.img_0110-copy

Around midnight my doctor came in check everything. She let me know not to be worried but she was closely monitoring baby’s heart rate.

At 1am it was time to push. The dads left.  She was born 16 minutes later.

During the first set of pushes baby’s heart rate dropped dramatically. Between contractions my doctor explained what was happening and said a c-section might be needed if we couldn’t push her out quickly. As the contraction came on I pushed with my whole being. Baby’s heart rate was scary low. When I  wasn’t pushing she was fine.

My doctor said one more try and we need to get her out. I whispered “Whatever needs to happen to keep her safe.”

One long contraction. Three pushes. Baby’s cord was pinched.

I was strangely calm as nurses swirled around me. I grabbed Jeff’s hand and filled with excitement and relief to finally have this baby. I remember seeing Jeff grinning at his mom as he put on the scrubs.

I was wheeled in to a bright cold room. Since I already had the epidural in things were moving quickly which was good for baby. The anesthesiologist had a really calming voice as he explained that they were going to try to completely numb my lower half. But after a few quick tries I could still feel. He explained that they were going to put me under and because of that Jeff had to stay just outside but he could see me. I remember the sweet nurse stood by my head reassuring me she would take care of my baby and bring her to Jeff. I felt relief seeing my doctor’s familiar face as she prepped for my surgery.

While I was asleep Elizabeth Anne was born on May 24th at 1:16am healthily crying, 7lbs 4oz and 20ins. Jeff got first snuggles and held her skin to skin until I was stitched up and wheeled into recovery.

The first thing I remember was hearing her cry, reaching out and trying so hard to open my eyes as Jeff laid her on my chest. The next few hours we stared at and snuggled Lizzy. She latched right away, praise God.img_0283

Our families stuck around until we were transferred to the mother and baby ward and they finally got to hold Lizzy before leaving at 5am.

We brought her home a few days later. We are so blessed to have a healthy happy little girl and so grateful to all the help we’ve gotten in the first few weeks and over the last five months. img_0380-copy

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Welcome to the world Lil’ Lizzy; Mommy and Daddy love you.

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