I was trying to come up with a way to describe Miss Ellie's birth...I suppose one could say Kate's was a marathon, Gabby and Nate's were sprints, but Ellie's was an obstacle course.
I woke up at about 12:20 thinking maybe my water had broken. I went to the bathroom to confirm it--thankful not to have caused a soaking bed. I brushed my teeth and grabbed a hair tie before waking Justin. I quickly dressed and woke the children. Generally it takes quite a lot to wake Gabby, but I just went in and called them twice. The kids put on their sandals and we made our way to the van, picking up the computer and Justin's insulin on the way.
Once we got on our way I called the doula (we hired a local doul to watch the children at the hospital until my parents could drive in from out of town to get them), the midwives' call service, and my parents so everyone would know what was going on. We had some drizzle on the way in, but clear roads. We got the very best parking spot in the garage--maybe 5 spots in from the entrance (which is directly across from the ER. We passed through the security point and waited awhile for a nurse to come and get us.
The doula kept the kids talking and distracted. I was so glad we found her, so we could focus on baby. They started calling Gabby, Gate. So the kids were Kate, Gate, Nate, and the baby was Late.
Thankfully labor was moving quite a bit slower than our last two babies. We spent about a half hour in triage while we got a quick assessment to show I really was in labor and got my IV port placed, which took several tries and hurt quite a bit the entire time it was in and for a couple of days after. Then we moved to labor and delivery. At some point my parents arrived and took the three big kids home to sleep in their beds for what was left of the night.
In the mean time we were seeing heart rate decels for the baby on the monitor during the intermittent monitoring, so I had to be on the monitor continuously. Unfortunately after two hours my feet were getting tired, but every time I tried to sit the monitor would loose her. We couldn't find a happy medium where I could stand during contractions and sit between. Before long though the decels were lasting longer and the midwife went to consult with a doctor.
To improve the baby's heart rate I was ordered to bed on my side, with an oxygen mask, IV fluids, and an amniotic lavage. It was miserably painful to labor that way, and I was scared for her. Perhaps thankfully, I don't have full memory of this time. I remember crying in fear for her and not being able to see what was going on because of my position (all the monitors and nurses were behind me) and hearing very little because of the oxygen. I also remember telling them I didn't like lying in the stupid bed. And if you happened to be down the hall--sorry I know I was loud.
Finally it was time to push. Again, everything was hazy because I couldn't hear or see (I was flat on my back--I evidently asked for that, but can't remember that either). At the end though I clearly heard, "Call the docs!" and Justin being told to pull the emergency cord. Almost immediately thereafter the little gal was on my stomach, but I was so confused--I didn't know if something was wrong with her or with me. I asked what was wrong and was told that everything was fine. Evidently her shoulder was caught, but I was able to push her out before the emergency team arrived to help.
It was definitely the hardest delivery for me. I am so thankful that she was born safely despite all the difficulties. The hospital pediatrician checked her shoulders closely and they are fine. We were able to do a discharge the next day and rest at home in my own bed, which is so nice after two nights of very little sleep.
She is beautiful and lovely. She's been sleeping well at night between feedings. Her brother and sisters adore her.
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