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!