Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I Had a Baby: part one

I assume most people know I had my baby, but perhaps you don't know the full story! I like to hear/read birth stories, and maybe others out there do as well. This is for those people and anyone else interested. This will be long mind you and I don't usually like reading super long blog posts, so I'll try and keep it as trim as possible. 

I posted last when I was 37 weeks along (on a Saturday). I mentioned in that post that I had had some minor contractions/pressure. On Sunday night, I had quite a few more contractions and they woke me up. However, they were spread out and inconsistent, but they were painful. I did not really want to have my baby that week as I still had a lot to get done and I still had three weeks left! So on Monday, I decided to take it easy. I did not do my usual yoga, or go on a walk, and tried not to do too much. It did not work. My body wanted to go into labor. I had contractions intermittently throughout the day; sometimes with hours in between and sometimes closer together. Around dinner time, my contractions were 15 minutes apart and then progressed to 10 minutes apart and finally to 7. I thought that perhaps this was the real deal! However, when I laid down to go to sleep, the contractions slowed down and were every 20 minutes and then every 30 minutes. I did continue to have them throughout the night and they did wake me up as they were semi painful. 

The next day was Tuesday and Tyler very conveniently never works on Tuesdays. I called my mom in the morning and told her what was going on. We thought maybe it was false labor. I had a doctors appointment already scheduled for that afternoon, which was perfect so I could get checked out and ask my midwife what was going on. I continued to have contractions during the day, but they were about every 20-30 minutes. We decided to run a few errands and pick up a few things we really needed if the baby did decide to make her appearance this week. As we were shopping, the contractions did get a little closer together and a bit more painful, but still not bad at all. In the afternoon, we headed up to the doctors appointment (Elanor was at the Pitchers house). My midwife checked me and said I was dilated to a 3! She thought I could have the baby tonight or in the next few days. She was also concerned because my belly was measuring really small, partly because the baby had dropped, but she wanted me to get an ultrasound to make sure everything was fine (especially check and see if my amniotic fluid was low). She was also concerned because I had a little protein in my urine and slightly elevated blood pressure (still not outside the norm, but was outside my norm). So, we headed up to the hospital for the ultrasound and everything looked fine. The ultrasound tech estimated the baby being around 5 lbs 6 oz or something like that (they are not super accurate). I then went and had my blood drawn for some tests. By this time, my contractions were definitely closer together, maybe every 8-10 minutes.

The doctors appointment and then the ultrasound and tests took quite a long time, so we did not get home until about 5 or 5:30. Once home, I decided to start getting my stuff packed to take to the hospital. Tyler started making me some food and cleaning the house as much as possible. Elanor was home with us briefly as I wanted to see her before we had to inevitably leave. She was a bit concerned as I was now no longer able to talk through my contractions very well. They progressed very quickly at this point and went from 7 minutes apart to 5 to 4 in just 45 minutes or so. They also got very painful. For some reason, the best way for me to handle the contractions was to be on my hands and knees. I'm not sure why and I'm glad I labored at home for awhile so I felt more comfortable.  It was obvious now that I was going to have this baby tonight. So, Tyler packed Elanor a bag for the night and took her back to the Pitcher's house. Tyler wanted to keep cleaning, but by this time my contractions were almost 2 minutes apart and I just felt like we should go to the hospital right then. We had called our family and let them know and my mom got in the car and started driving the 11 hours to Salt Lake as soon as I told her I was in labor. She's pretty great!

We left for the hospital around 6:30 pm and realized on our way up that we had forgot the camera. So, we called the Pitchers to have them bring it up. We had to walk in through the Emergency Room and they wheeled me up to an area where they first check you and make sure you're in labor before admitting you to labor and delivery. They made me sit on a bed, hooked me up to check my blood pressure (which was super high), and asked me questions. My contractions were very painful and it was really hard to sit in a bed and not move while having a contraction. Tyler put pressure on my lower back during a contraction, which helped quite a bit. I had to get an IV put in unfortunately, as I had tested positive for having Strep B (a common bacteria that women sometimes have and sometimes don't, but it can be harmful to the baby). They had an MA do it and she was nice but for some reason could not get an IV in my very large and obvious veins. I got a few bruises from her. So, she called in a nurse and she did it in one try. I rather wish the nurse had done it to begin with as it took about a half hour for the MA to mess up a few times. All the while I am having painful contractions during all the poking. It was not so bad, mostly just a bit annoying.

They checked me and said I was dilated to a 5. We waited for a bit and all the while I felt like these contractions were getting more intense. I did not have an epidural with Elanor's birth and did not want one for this one either. My labor with Elanor was so long and I kept thinking was it this painful only a few hours in with Elanor? Did I really have another 8 hours to go? They finally decided to admit me to labor and delivery (I'm guessing we were there for 45 minutes to an hour) and wheeled me over to a room. The MA asked me if I wanted a birthing ball and my contractions were happening so fast at this point, it was hard for me to talk. Tyler said sure and then she wanted to know what size and he said it did not matter. Our nurse came in and said something and I stood up. All of a sudden, I felt the intense desire to push. I told them I needed to push. They told me I shouldn't and to get up on the bed so they could check my dilation. I told her I could not move. I leaned on Tyler and he helped me stay up. I could feel the baby in the birth canal but could not speak well enough at the time to say anything. I had a contraction and could not stop myself from pushing. The nurse yelled for someone to get a doctor. There were not doctors close by, but there was a Resident. The Resident came in and told me I did not need to move and she could check me where I was standing. She looked down there and said something about the baby coming. I had another contraction and pushed and out came my baby in a flood of water (my water broke as the baby came out--best and easiest way to do it by the way)!

{Mind you, this all happened in a matter of maybe 5 minutes from when I stood up, to when our baby was born.}

The Resident caught her, they said something about the cord being short and needing to cut it and Tyler did.  My baby was screaming (she clearly had a good set of lungs), but was so tiny! They quickly got me on the bed and handed me my baby. She calmed down as she lay on my chest. They covered us in warm blankets and Tyler and I had a lovely moment to look at our new baby. I held my baby and nursed her and cuddled for quite a long time. Tyler let our family know she was born and also called Becky and had her bring Elanor up. Our baby was born at 7:57, so it was not all that late for Elanor.  Elanor was up there by 8:30 and it was wonderful for her to be there so soon after and meet her new sister, which at this point still did not have a name! After Elanor left, we had her weighed and measured. She was so tiny at 4 lbs 13 oz! They measure babies in the hospital from head to toe, instead of heel, so she was 18.9 inches, though really she was 18.5 inches from head to heel.

I was a bit concerned about why she was so small and the Resident told me that I had Preeclampsia. It has several symptoms, but the only ones I had were the protein in my urine and the high blood pressure (it was apparently super high while I was in labor). Preeclampsia is cured when the baby is born, but it can be really dangerous and they induce you if you have it. My body went into labor all on its own early, which was so much better than being induced. The nurse kept saying that my body knew just what to do. The reason our baby was so small was because of the Preeclampsia. It does something where the blood flow between the mom, the placenta and the baby is not very good, so the baby does not get as much food as it should. It only happens near the end of the pregnancy and my body going into labor was exactly what it needed to do for both me and my baby to be safe. I feel really grateful and blessed that it happened this way. Plus, this labor was really easy! Sure the contractions were painful, but it was only really intense for two hours. I also only pushed twice! Granted, she was so small, so that made it easier. I also think that having my water break as the baby came out made it so much easier. So, for anyone out there, don't let the doctor/midwife break your water, let it come on its own!

Once I was cleared as being stable, they moved us over to the postpartum rooms. Once there, there was still a lot to go over and nurses to meet, and vitals to check, etc., but when Tyler and I had quiet moment, we had time to think about names. We had a few names we liked, and a middle name (either Julia or Juliet depending on which first name we went with). I asked Tyler what he was thinking and he said he felt Alice was right. I had been thinking the same thing. We decided on Alice Juliet. It just fit.

So here she is,
Alice Juliet Laurent
born on March 31st, 2015 at 7:57 pm weighing 4 lbs. 13 oz., and 18.5 inches long:
So small!

And there is quite a bit more to the story, as Alice had to stay in the hospital for five days, IVs, twilight rooms, etc. However, this is already plenty long, so more on that later!


  1. Elizabeth, please keep an eye on your blood pressure for a while. Pre-eclampsia can cause problems for quite some time after birth. I'm not an expert, but I am familiar with the condition. Three times familiar.

  2. That is lovely! What a miracle. I love birth stories, too. That Elanor is cute to the max. She's going to be a great sister. Congratulations to you and Tyler!

  3. Oh so sweet!! I just love birth stories. Can't wait to meet her.