Um, yea, I know… it was a year ago. I’ve been a little busy apparently! So, in honor of Eliana’s 1st birthday, I thought I’d finally finish the blog post about her birth that I started almost a year ago. But before I do, just a quick jump to the present day. Having Eliana in my life, has been such a joy. It’s been the best thing that has happened to me. I love being a Mom, and I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made to go ahead and do this on my own. It’s not easy, but it’s SO worth it. I feel so lucky and blessed that I went forward with it, and have such a gift in my life. Here’s a pic of her from her birthday party the other day.
And, here goes the birth blog post…
I had a baby! My baby girl, finally named Eliana Rose, was born on May 6th at 2:02pm at 7 pounds 15 ounces, 19 1/2″ long. She’s the love of my life. Now I finally AM Me-Plus-Baby. I can’t believe she’s mine! She’s beautiful, and such a miracle. At her Jewish baby naming ceremony last week, here’s what I said about her name:
Up until the Doctor said “It’s a girl!”, I was really convinced I was having a baby boy. I had my short list of boy names picked out, but I had been struggling with the girl names. In the hospital I had 3 days to decide on a name, and I wanted something that had Jewish or Hebrew origins, and was as beautiful as my new baby girl. The name Eliana had been on my list for a while, but when I realized that it meant “G-d has answered me”, it had extra special meaning to me. As a single woman, and as an older woman, getting pregnant is not necessarily an easy task. She is such a gift to me, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life. I went through a lot to make my dream of having a baby come true. So, the name Eliana, “G-d has answered me” seemed perfectly fitting for my miracle of a baby girl.
So, here’s the birth story in the speed version: water broke, got induced, was hyper-sensitive to pitocin so dilated quickly, baby didn’t fit through pelvis, had a C-section. And, here’s the more detailed version
My water broke at 6pm (on Sunday 5/5) while I was at my parent’s house. Even though I thought it was funny when other people told me they thought they were peeing when their water broke, I thought the exact same thing! I stood in a pool of water in the kitchen, convinced that I was just peeing Once my mother convinced me that I wasn’t, I called the doctor, and she said to just hang tight until I started having contractions. A couple hours later, I called back and spoke to the new doctor on call, and this time, she told me to come in right away to get checked, and that I’d probably be back home in a couple hours.
When I got to the hospital, I realized that the water had meconium in it, which apparently means you can’t leave the hospital. So I was there for the duration. Since I was going to be there a while until I started having contractions, once I got settled in the room, my Dad left to go home.
At 1am, the nurse said that since I hadn’t started having any contractions, that they were going to start inducing me. It would take 12-24 hours to get fully dilated after starting the pitocin. So I texted my Mom and friend Fawn and told them that it was going to be a while.
After a couple of hours, I started having some pain that felt like period cramps. It was getting really bad, so I called for the nurse. She was surprised I was feeling any pain because the monitor wasn’t showing any contractions. And she kept saying, “are you really feeling pain??”. She made me feel like I had no tolerance for pain! I was also feeling sick, so got sick in the bathroom a few times. I asked for an epidural, and the nurse said it was a bit early because I wasn’t even having contractions (according to her, but this whole thing was just ridiculous). But, that we could do narcotics. I couldn’t remember why, but know that I had decided I didn’t want to have narcotics. But given the pain I was in, I decided to go ahead with it.
Needless to say, the narcotics didn’t end up helping at all. So finally, they decided to do the epidural. Meanwhile, I was still by myself a the hospital because they said it was going to be a while for me to progress, and I didn’t want my Mom and Fawn to come too early, and then sit around and wait forever. It was hard to go through this alone, and I regretted not calling them earlier.
At some point around 6am, the Doctor came to check my dilation, and I was 9cm dilated. Apparently that was really fast, as the hospital staff kept talking about how fast it was since my last check (BTW, the dilation checks hurt like hell!). They said I should tell my Mom and Fawn to start making their way to the hospital. I texted them and let them know to come, but not rush. Then the nurse checked me again only a bit later, and I was already at 10cm, so I started texting my Mom and Fawn to hurry up because it was really getting close!
They got there around 7ish, so all was well!
Since I decided I wanted to “labor down” (meaning that I only would start pushing when I feel the need to push, not necessarily just because I’m 10cm dilated), then it was back to waiting again until I felt the need to push! Well, we waited and waited… just chit chatting and sleeping on and off for a couple of hours. Finally, the nurse told me it was time to push because it had been a long time.
Right then, I heard a woman screaming bloody murder in the next room. The nurse said that was an example of someone not having an epidural! I immediately asked Fawn to turn my music louder! I didn’t want to hear the noise!
Pushing was not bad at all! Seriously, I’m not kidding. I barely even knew I was having contractions! The nurse either had to tell me, or I’d say, “I think I’m having a contraction.” Apparently the epidural worked well! It wasn’t at all like what I saw in the movies, with women screaming, and the room being really hectic. It was just me, Fawn, my Mom and a nurse. I’d push for a couple minutes, and then we’d just sit there an talk until the next contraction. It was all very peaceful.
After a while of pushing, all of a sudden, extra people came in the room, and my Mom and Fawn floated into the background. They told me to get on my hands and knees and to stop pushing. Apparently I was having too many contractions, so the baby’s heartbeat started to drop, so they needed me to stop. That was a really scary moment. But after a while of waiting, I went back to pushing.
Finally, they told me that the baby just wasn’t progressing down the birth canal any more. The baby’s head and shoulders were just too big to fit through my pelvis, so more pushing wasn’t doing any good. The recommended a C-section. That was really upsetting to me… not only because I wanted to give birth vaginally, but because I was scared of how the recovery would be as a single mom trying to take care of her. But, it just didn’t seem like I had a choice at that point. My theory was that the pitocin pushed me along so fast, that my body didn’t have time to catch up, and open enough for the baby to go through. Too much intervention
So, they prepped me for surgery, and off we went! I was only allowed one person with me, so my Mom came. I was awake the whole time — I couldn’t see what was happening but I could hear. I remember at one point, I was being pushed and pulled, and
asked “what are they doing?”, and they said “we’re pulling the baby out!” I couldn’t believe it, because I didn’t even know they had made an incision yet. And, then next thing I know, they had her out, and the Doctor said “It’s a girl!”. Wow! 2:02pm.
My Mom got to hold her first, and then she handed her to me, and I was looking at my little baby. Such a miracle. So happy. No words.