Ellie’s Birth Story

Elizabeth Rose (aka Ellie)

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This is the goober that made me a mom. At the end of a pretty comfortable pregnancy, this kiddo was determined to never come out. We waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and…you get the idea. I was seeing a CNM (certified nurse midwife) for my obstetric care, and she started seeing me three times a week once I hit my due date. When the baby still didn’t come, we decided to start a slow induction at 42 weeks.

We went to the hospital on Thursday night, and the nurses checked me in, took my vitals, and inserted the hep-lock (which I really didn’t want, but oh well). I gave them my birth plan, which outlined essentially that Jesse and I wanted as intervention-free of a birth as possible. That was already getting thrown out the window as they started me on cytotec to soften my cervix around 8 pm that night. That got some contractions going, and I labored most of Friday on my own. My mom and dad arrived Friday morning to keep us company at the hospital while we were waiting on this kid to be born.

When I still was only dilated to 3 cm on Friday night, my midwife was concerned that the labor would end up going too long, so she advised starting pitocin the next morning. We got a little bit of sleep that night (although who can sleep in the hospital? Seriously. So many beebs and machines and nurses coming in at 2 am to check your blood pressure), and they hooked me up to pitocin starting around 5 am Saturday morning.

HOLY. HELL. PITOCIN IS THE DEVIL. Seriously. These contractions were awful. I couldn’t get comfortable no matter what I did. Sit on the ball? No. Labor in the tub? No. Hands and knees? No. Left side lying? No. The only thing that helped was walking between contractions, then leaning over something and having Jesse apply counterpressure to my hips and/or sacrum. I was determined to go medicine-free, but I ended up deciding to take something to help me relax.

I took Nubain, and wow, is that stuff awesome. I totally get why people get high now. I was finally able to relax between the contractions and progress some. During the time that I was totally high, my midwife came in to talk to my husband. She was concerned about how exhausted I was. She was convinced that I’d labor into the night, get an epidural, and end in a csection.

After the Nubain wore off, I asked for a second dose because the first had worked so well. That was a mistake on mutliple levels. The nurse had warned me that it wouldn’t be as effective the second time. She was right. It didn’t do anything the second time. Also, about five minutes after she administered it to me, my water broke. About ten minutes later, I was feeling pushy, which terrified me because last I had known, I was only dilated 7 cm (you need to be at 10 cm dilated before you should push). I was fighting my body, which hurt a lot. It was awful.

I begged my nurse to check me again, and when she did, I was so happy when she said I just had a little lip of cervix, and I should push on my next contraction. THANK GOODNESS. My midwife walked into the room right around then, and things moved very quickly. About thirty minutes later, my daughter (!!) was born. We did not find out the sex during pregnancy, and we were convinced we were having a baby with a penis. Surprise!!!

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Immediately after she was born. The pictures don’t do justice to her color. 

However, Ellie was totally blue, limp, not moving, and not breathing. Because I had that second dose of Nubain so close to when she was born, she was totally doped up. My midwife quickly milked the cord, clamped, cut it, and handed Ellie off to the team of nurses waiting for her. They administered Narcan (a literal lifesaver, y’all), and did some other stuff. Her Apgar score at birth was 1/10 (she only had a heart beat). However, by the time they were wheeling her out of the room around 5 minutes later, she was pink and crying – her Apgar had gone up to a 7.

I was totally high – both from the medicine and the ecstasy of not having had a csection. I had torn really badly and lost a lot of blood, though. It took a good 45 minutes for my midwife to stitch me up. I finally got to go see Ellie around an hour after she was born. They titrated her oxygen to make sure she was ok. I didn’t get to hold her until she was several hours old.

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Under the oxygen tank. She was so strong that she kept pushing it off of her, and they had to tape it down. That’s my girl!

Ellie’s birth was pretty traumatizing for me. I had a difficult time developing attachment to her. We also really struggled with breastfeeding for the first three weeks. I knew that next time around, I wanted things to be different, if they could be.

Now, she’s a thriving, smart, hilarious three year old. She tries my patience every day. She makes me laugh every day. She’s an awesome kid, and we love her so much.

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Playing with a handmade giant bubble wand at the Nelsonville Music Festival
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