I LOVE BIRTH STORIES! And how cool is this one? Enjoy!
To read our interview with this amazing mom, click here
The day you were born, Eliza, was exciting to say the least! If you make all of your entrances the way you did that day, then your life will never be dull!!
Just a day before you were born, we had gone in for an ultrasound, and the tech said you looked perfectly comfortable where you were. She didn’t seem to think you were on the move at all. Some $500 we spent!
The next morning, I woke up early as usual. I’d been having trouble sleeping at all for the last few weeks, let alone sleeping in. I knew immediately that I didn’t feel quite right – my stomach felt a little off, and my back hurt. I had skipped my daily Pilates routine for a couple days though, which was what had been helping the most to keep my back happy. I’d eaten about a pound of cherries the day before, which could have accounted for the ‘off’ stomach. I decided that maybe after a good round of Pilates, and perhaps some time in the bathroom, I’d feel good as new.
The plan for the day was me to spend the day at my parent’s house about and hour and a half away. After my self-prescribed Pilates and time on the toilet, I realized that the feelings weren’t going away. I called my dad a little before 8 am to tell him I didn’t think our plans were going to happen, and that maybe I should just to stay put for the day. That ended up being a really good judgment call.
It occurred to me that if in fact it was ‘the day,’ that perhaps I should get a jump-start on things and pack my bag for the hospital while I could still think straight and/or move. I had a few giddy “this might be the day!!” exchanges with your mom who was over the moon with just the thought of getting to finally meet you! Then, I sat around on the couch for a while, started some laundry, downloaded a contraction timer app on my phone…ate some more snacks…sat on the porch swing…went back inside… back outside…NOTHING.
I think I knew that if I didn’t get up and do something, I would keep going nowhere. Your mom needed a few things from Walmart for a birthday party, so you and I tagged along. We got to Walmart around 1 pm and wandered around. I had to stop here and there to breath through a contraction, which was strangely reassuring (they were starting to get a little stronger!). We ran in to Hope Graves – the nurse who had done a brief maternity ward tour and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants birth class just 3 days earlier. When we told her that we were walking and breathing, she just laughed – I don’t think she believed us!
We stopped to talk to your Grandma. I glanced at the clock while talking to her, I had one contraction and it said 1:26. Four minutes later, I had another one… and I knew. I knew this was it. I told them “I think I’m having a baby today!”, and then started crying. It was so overwhelming all at once, that the day we had been waiting for and looking forward to for nine months – more than that really if you count all the time for the IVF cycle – had FINALLY come!!!
After a few hugs and some more crying, we headed back to your house. At this point the contractions were strong but still very manageable, so I thought it would be a while before we needed to go to the hospital. Kelly and your mom came to help. I went into the kitchen, both Kelly and your mom looked at me and in that moment they both knew. Kelly looked at me from across the counter and said, “You look terrible. Doesn’t she look terrible Lianne??” Your mom said, “She does!” And they were both so incredibly excited about it, I couldn’t help but laugh!
I half-crawled (boy those contractions were stronger) around the room getting the few last things I wanted to take to the hospital. The worst contraction yet hit, and I remembered to start the contraction timer on my phone. Seconds ticked by, the next one hit, I stopped the timer…3 minutes. 3 minutes. You were not wasting ANY time. Just at that moment your mom had come back up, and saw the number on the timer.
“Oh”, she said quietly.
“I just told Kelly that she could go home”, she said.
“Maybe you can ask her to stay?”, I said.
We should have been on our way to the hospital 20 minutes ago!! If I had pushed on some of those contractions, you would have been born right then. I didn’t tell your mom that. Pushing didn’t seem like a good idea at the time, so I didn’t.
We made it down to the car, and I had the longest 5-minute ride of my life. Leaning forward during the contractions was the best way to manage the intensity of them, and having to sit and be buckled was absolute torture. In between the torture though, there was the excitement of “this is it – this is really it!!!!!” – I don’t think your mom could have stopped grinning if she had tried!
We finally made it to the ER, and your mom ran in to get a wheelchair. While she was gone, I had the hardest contraction yet – I literally thought you were going to be born right there in the car. I was hot, sweaty, panicky, and claustrophobic, and I just about lost it. Your mom came back just in time.
The poor nurse who was wheeling me in must have thought I was the grouchiest person ever. I tersely answered her questions about how far along I was, how long contractions had been going on, etc, giving hardly more than a word (or even a grunt) in response. My thoughts were: Breathe. Just breathe. For heavens sake let me out of this chair so I can lean forward!!
I almost lost it again during a contraction that hit in the elevator. Sitting was definitely not my friend.
As soon as we got in to a delivery room, I spilled out of the wheelchair and leaned over the bed, groaning as another contraction hit. Man, these things hurt!!!!!
The nurse asked me to go into the bathroom and change into a gown. I started to get up, then stopped short because another contraction started. Your mom came back in – she somehow helped me get changed, and against all odds hoisted me onto the bed as per the blissfully ignorant nurse’s request.
They told your mom to go get scrubs on, while one of the nurses asked if I wanted any pain meds. What kind of question was that? OF COURSE, but was I was too far progressed? So I said, “I don’t know?”
She felt to see how far dilated I was and jumped back. “Oh, I’m sorry sweetie – we don’t have time for pain meds! You’re all the way there!’
Ya think??????? This was not really news to me, but apparently she was not expecting it AT ALL. She ran out the door yelling, “Call Dr. Crawford! She’s fully dilated, and the head’s right there!” Your mom came in, asked me if I needed ice chips, ran to get some when I said yes, the nurses were scurrying around trying to get the bed converted/ready for delivery. They kept trying to tell me to ‘scooch up on the bed’, and I kept trying to tell them that I couldn’t. Contractions were coming one right after another, and it was all I could do to breathe, let alone “scooch.”
Dr Crawford blew through the door, throwing on scrubs, telling me “Don’t push yet!” Ha.
Your mom was right by my head, holding my hand and stroking my hair, telling me I was doing awesome, and to do whatever I needed to do. I could see in her eyes she was pleading for just a few more minutes because someone very important was still not there yet.
Yep. Your dad, who I’m sure broke several laws in his attempt to get there, still hadn’t made it. One nurse was by the door, watching down the hall for him. I’m not exactly sure at what point he snuck around behind the nurses and the doctor and landed by your mom’s side.
About three pushes later I heard someone say, “there’s the head!” And then “there’s the shoulders!!!” And I appreciated the play by play because it meant that it was almost over. The most intense 30 minutes of my life were about to come to an end.
2:57. Joy. Pure joy is what I felt the minute you were born. The look on your mom and dad’s faces as they saw you for the first time. The excitement. The disbelief, that the moment had finally come. You were home. Even though it would be another day before you left the hospital, you were already home, cradled in their arms.
The hours after you were born were surreal, to say the least. The nurses and doctor had all gone to tend to another woman in labor, and had just left us all in the room by ourselves. It was like we were the only four people in the world that knew you were here. They snuggled you, just staring at your beautiful little face. We kept saying over and over, “I can’t believe that just happened!”
It took forever to get a hold of one of your Grandmas…so we waited. In the calm, peace, and quiet after the whirlwind storm that was your birth, we waited.
Eventually phone calls were made, messages received, congratulations given, excitement shared. Visitors came, and one by one you started to meet the members of your family. I will always remember those few quiet hours that we had and treasure that time. It’s infrequent that the world stops for even a minute to take notice of anything, but that day it stopped for hours to take note of you!