Thursday, March 20, 2008

She's here!

Elly Christina was born 3/19/08, at 11:14 p.m., weighing 7 lbs. 10 oz. and 21 inches long. :o)

On the 18th, just before I went to bed, I started noticing some early labor signs. I knew Elly would be born soon, probably in the next couple of days. That night, I tried to sleep, but wasn't all too successful. I was excited to finally be having this baby, and I was having contractions just strong enough and frequently enough to not really be able to sleep. Wednesday morning, the contractions started getting more regular, about 7-10 minutes apart. I called my midwife, Chris, and told her I hoped she had gotten some good rest, because we were likely going to be having a baby sometime Wednesday night. Unfortunately, as the morning went on, my contractions started getting further apart. By noon, they had all but stopped. That was a bit frustrating. I ended up taking my birthing ball outside with me and sat on it all afternoon while the kids all played (and I chatted with my friends). By 4ish, contractions started picking up again. Nice and strong, and about 5-7 minutes apart. I called Chris a little after 6:30 p.m., and told her this was definitely it. She arrived at our apartment around 8 p.m. I asked her to check me, just to get an idea of where I was at. I had initially planned on not having any exams, but I felt the need to know. As I had suspected, I was about 4-5 cm, and Elly was still pretty high up (no surprises there). So I got moving. I spent some time sitting on the birthing ball, some time leaning over it, some time walking around the kitchen, all in hopes of getting that little girl to start moving down. The contractions were definitely getting more intense, and I had to really focus to get through them. I did get nice breaks between, though, during which Chris, Dave and I just chatted. Around 9:30 p.m., things started picking up more. I started feeling lots of pressure during contractions, and started getting quite vocal (though not loud yet). Around 9:45 p.m., my friend Karin arrived. The four of us hung out for another hour or so, and things were getting increasingly more intense. I started experiencing some contractions with double peaks, which took a lot of effort to get through. Fortunately, I did still get some breaks, too. I don't know how I would have coped otherwise. During this whole time, I started feeling more and more "pushy", especially during the peaks of the contractions. I could tell we were getting close. We had the bedroom all set up and ready, but I was not moving out of the living room. By 11ish, I was draped over my birthing ball, hanging on for dear life. I could feel Elly starting to move down, and contractions came right on top of each other. I could tell I needed to start pushing, but something inside of me just kind of panicked. I declared that I was done, I was not pushing this baby out, and I was leaving! Kind of funny, thinking about it now. Chris encouraged me to lean back into contractions, instead of trying to run away from them. It took everything I could give to resist my urge to escape, and keep working with my body. But I did it! I made a conscious effort to try and focus my pushing. I could tell Elly was getting very close to being born, and started getting that lovely burning sensation. At some point, my water broke, and her head started emerging. I reached down to feel it, since I remembered that had helped a ton during Kaylee's birth. It was amazing to feel her coming out, before I knew it her head was all the way there. Just a few seconds later, her body started sliding out, and I brought her up on my belly. I loved the immediate relief of all the pressure! I just sat there in awe, looking at little Elly, and in total disbelief that I had just birthed this miracle. Overall, it really only was the last 15 minutes or so that were really intense, and where I got to the point where I just wanted to quit. It sure seemed like an eternity. But it was all so worth it! After Elly was born, I got to hold her, and she was so awake and alert. We waited for the placenta to come out, which didn't take long at all. Then Dave went to take Kaylee back to bed (she had woken up just before Elly was born), and I attempted to cut the cord. Chris had to finish it for me, since left handed cord cutting was apparently challenging for me. :p Tyler, who had also woken up just before the birth, and had decided to watch it, hung out next to me for a little while, and he was so excited about his new sister! I eventually sent him back to bed, too. During this time, I had also managed to let Elly latch on, and she was nursing beautifully. After some time, Chris took her to do the newborn exam, which Elly passed perfectly. Then she nursed some more. Dave eventually came back out of the kids' bedroom, and I handed Elly over to him so I could get in the shower. Sometime between 1:30 and 2 a.m., Elly and I were all settled in bed, and Chris and Karin left. We even got some sleep that night, which was nice. After the kids woke up the next morning, they came in to see us, and we all hung out for a while. They all just totally adore their new little sister. Kaylee was hesitant at first, but now she can't get enough of her. Hopefully it'll stay that way. I've been just amazed at what an alert baby Elly is. She was awake for a couple of hours after birth, and then a couple of hours this morning, just looking around and taking in the world. She loves to nurse, and is a real natural at it. We're all completely in love! :o)

My three March babies!

21 comments:

Kermit~the~Frog said...

Congratulations, Doreen!

She's beautiful. Enjoy your babymoon!

Jenn said...

Oh, congratulations! What a wonderful story! :)

ennbenn said...

Doreen,

I don't know if you remember me, I'm Karin's sister, Nicole. We met at B's Birthday party last year. I lurk over at Karin's friends blogs every once in a while. Congratulations!! I loved hearing your birth story. I've got 5 weeks till D-day with our little boy, and I love hearing other people who have wonderful successful births. It's nice to know that there are others who don't feel that it needs to be such a scary thing. I tell people that I am going to have my child without an epidural and they look at me like I have cheese on my face ;) Thank you for sharing such an amazing personal and spiritual experience!!

Jeannie said...

Wow! Congratulations! She is just beautiful!

Thanks for sharing your birth story!

KarateMommy said...

Hooray!! Congratulations! You are so The Woman! ;) I'm so happy for you that everyhitng went well. And I'm glad you had such great support. What a wonderful story, and now you have it "documented" in your blog to forever remind of this wonderful experience! So happy for you and the whole Woffinden clan. Congratulations again! Be sure to post more pics of your little angel pronto!! :)

Canda said...

Congrats!!! You guys do good work.

Amy said...

Congratulations Doreen!! Next time I'm over there, I'll have to stop by and see you guys.

Emily said...

Congratulations! Her name is so precious!

Good job, mom!

Melissa said...

Yay!!! Congratulations! I loved reading her birth story and her name is beautiful!

Karin said...

You did such a great job last night! She is beautiful just like everyone says and I actually got to see the real thing, not just a photo. :-) Thank you for the honor of being at your birth and seeing how our bodies are designed to birth. If things get hairy over there, or you just want a rest, just give me a call and I'll come and gather some big kidlets. :-)

Kelley said...

So cool! Congratulations! Home birth rocks! Your daughter is beautiful, and I am delighted for you.

Keith and Nicci said...

Our internet hasn't been working for the past two days, so I came up to Keith's school to check it, and I had no idea Elli was here! Congrats!

Keith and Nicci said...

I mean Elly!

Saskia said...

Das ist ja'n Ding!! Da hast du mal so mir nichts, dir nichts daheim ein Baby auf die Welt gebracht! Unseren allerherzlichsten Glückwunsch! Der Name ist übrigens wunderschön...

3in3mom said...

YEAH! Congrats! What a wonderful story! You are amazing. . . what a wonderful story. I'm so pleased you got your home birth.

Love, Chalice and family

Tyler said...

Yeah! She is just beautiful! I am so happy for you guys and glad that everything seems to be working out great. -Tyler

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm impressed that you could get it online so quickly. (I'm sure that's one nice advantage to not being in the hospital.) It's so exciting. You inspire me. I look forward to reading more birth books. Maybe my next one will be at home too. -Andrea

chicagosapp said...

Did you do any hypnobabies this time, or just go with the flow? I am amazed you have already posted the story and pictures! What a strong woman! Congratulations, she is a darling.
Lajuana

Cluff Bunch said...

Woffinden Family-
Congratulations on the birth of little Elly. What an accomplishment this was for you, and something you've looked forward to doing for a long time. Thanks for sharing your story...it's inspiring! She's beautiful and we can't wait to see more of her!

Doreen said...

Thanks to all of you for "joining" me on this journey. It was a wild and crazy ride, and I loved every minute of it (well, except for those few I just wanted to leave, hehe). :o)

L - I kind of went through my hypnobabies program, and listened to my scripts to help me prepare, but when the time came, I didn't feel like using it. It felt more natural this time to just go along for the ride. It was definitely a lot more intense than Kaylee's birth, and if we have any more kids, I'll probably be more diligent with the hypnobabies, hehe.

Leia said...

Congratulations Doreen! Elly is beautiful. Your story gave me chills - that is my dream birth....I cannot wait to watch this little one grow up! Enjoy these first sweet weeks! :)

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Hey, congrats! You posted a comment on my birth story so I came by to return the favor. :) Homebirth is a trip, isn't it?!

Enjoy your babymoon!! :)