Sharing Elijah’s birth story today before our next little one arrives! I had written this down a couple months after he was born but never shared. It was long and emotional, and almost more emotional as this next one approaches.
Elijah William Rice was due to be born September 28th. Well that day came, we went to the gym and then to work that night.. The next thing we knew it was the 29th, 30th, October 4th, etc. and I still had a baby in my belly. This little guy was apparently way too comfy! They did some extra tests and just like he had for the previous ultrasounds our little sleeper napped all the way through which of course freaked out the OBs who wanted to induce that second. Thankfully, our midwife was amazing and trusted mom’s instincts and just ordered more tests a few days later, and scheduled us to induce at the two week mark, Daniel’s birthday. Well after more tests and pressure and waiting October 11th was here and so to the hospital we went with all of our bags and supplies for our natural as could be for an induction Hypnobirth. We had read he book, taken five weeks of classes and tons of practice.
They started the induction with a gel to get my cervix ready. This was a twelve hour process with occasional monitoring and us trying to relax as much as possible. Twelve hours past and not much happened in the way of labor. Next trick – a balloon to open things up mechanically. I started to have contractions and within a couple hours the balloons job was complete and out it came. 5 cm down five to go. Half way there right? This labor stuff is easy. I was handling things pretty well with only some minor discomfort. About six hours later I was at a six. A measly one more cm. But I was still doing totally fine at this point. I wasn’t in a rush and was able to relax and breath through contractions just fine. We had breakfast – again thank goodness for our wonderful midwife because the nurses didn’t want to let me eat – and started a long day of labor and walking the halls of the hospital. By 8 pm that night I was around 7-8 cm and getting really tired. They started the pitocin at that point thinking it would only take a tiny bit to get over the hump. Wrong. That just made things too intense and me too tired and stressed.
At around ten I wound up with fentanyl and then the epidural. I was hitting transition and had been in the hospital for way too many hours to even try to relax or cope on my own.
Through this whole process Elijah had been pretty picky about my positioning, and I was on and off oxygen and only laying in certain ways, but with the pitocin and labor getting intense it got even worse. Those last few hours were full of me shaking uncontrollably, and nurses shifting me around to make him happy. Somehow I was able to get a little bit of sleep after the epidural and before I knew it I was fully dilated.
Elijah’s heart rate however kept dropping too low during contractions and wasn’t coming back up quick enough after so they prepared us for a vacuum assisted birth or the chance of a c section if he wasn’t responding well to pushing. Although I was so set on working with the midwives, an OB had to take over at this point to use the vacuum. I hadn’t had as good of experience with the OB’s there so I was a little uneasy, but he had such a calm confidence in my being able to do it which was very reassuring. They also turned my epidural off at this point, so I would be more efficient in pushing. The risk of him not being okay and having a c section were all the motivation I needed. My feeling came back and with was 30 hard minutes of pushing out came our sweet boy. Unfortunately there was meconium present so he went straight to the NICU nurses who were standing by in our room to suction everything out and make sure he was doing okay – which he was. It seemed like forever until I was able to hold my baby, but everything was forgotten once they placed that sweet boy in my arms. There really is no happier feeling in the whole world. Everyone says it, but until I experienced it for myself I couldn’t begin to understand that feeling. He was absolutely perfect, and even though the birth did not go as planned everything in that moment felt perfect and amazing. Elijah was born 7 lbs 13 oz, 20 in, and a with full head of hair.