Saturday, December 22, 2012

Birth Story

It's that time... to document my labor and delivery story. 
Now where to start? How about at 36 weeks pregnant...

(36 weeks 3 days)

My doctor said they check the babies position around 36 weeks. I had a feeling for quite awhile that my babies head was up and not down like it should be. Therefore, in a breech position. I could feel a hard round spot on my upper belly and I felt all the movement down below. I was never kicked in the ribs. At my 36 week appointment my doctor said she wasn't convinced the head was down. She did a quick ultrasound to confirm this. While it was kind of disappointing, I was not surprised at all because I just had that feeling.

While I know people might view breech deliveries differently, the options I had to personally choose between were a scheduled c-section or an external version. Both would take place at 39 weeks. I felt that having an external version was an option that would give the baby a chance to turn and deliver naturally. For us, it was worth a try.

I was really hoping to have my sister at the delivery and upon learning that we would have the baby at 39 weeks, we rescheduled my sister's flight to come a few days earlier to be here in time for the birth. Of course there was always the chance she wouldn't make it at all, because you can't always control when that baby is ready to come. 
(37 weeks 3 days)

On December 6th, I was 38 weeks pregnant and trying to get a lot done before I was going to have my baby. I actually had a dentist appointment on this day that I cancelled a few days prior. I also normally went to water aerobics in the morning, but decided not to go. I had plans to make frozen dinner meals and later in the day finish making swaddle blankets with my neighbor. I spent quite a few hours during the day preparing the frozen dinner meals so when the baby came I didn't have to cook for a few nights. James and I had gone to the store the night before and I completed 6 out of the 10 meals before I needed to clean up and head over to my neighbors.

This is where it gets exciting...I grabbed a wet paper towel and squatted (because you can't bend over at 9 months pregnant) to wipe the floor and POP/GUSH, my water broke (2:20pm). Thankfully I was in the kitchen on wood floors and not on the carpeted area. Haha. I'm not even sure I knew what to  feel or think. I knew I didn't have my hospital bag all put together yet, since I thought I had a week left. It was happening though, I knew I would be having my baby! I also hadn't eaten any lunch yet (which was probably because my subconscious knew I was going to have a baby that day), so I tried to eat a PB sandwich before I was forbidden to eat at the hospital. I think I ate a 1/4 of it.

I called James at work and told him my water broke and he caught the bus and came right home. I must say, there have been many times in the past that I wanted to "cry wolf" and tell him my water broke just to see what he would do, but I'm sure glad I never did because he knew right away I was serious. 

When James got home he found me in the bathroom getting ready. Since I had time, I wanted to look decent and cute as possible before heading to the hospital. About 30 mins after my water broke I could tell the contractions were starting. We didn't leave the house until an hour and a half later and by then my contractions were getting stronger and I wasn't able to really talk through them anymore. Contractions were different than what I expected too. I thought it would be like a painful braxton hick, but it was more of a really strong menstrual cramp. 

We arrived to the hospital and checked in and I told the nurses the baby was breech and one of the nurses said, "See you in c-section then." I looked at James and rolled my eyes. Since my water broke on it's own we weren't sure of our options with trying to turn her. The other nurse that was assigned to me said that without the water there wasn't enough buoyancy to turn the baby, but she of course would still ask the Dr. They couldn't get a hold of my Dr. but the Dr. on call that night came in and told me that it just wasn't safe to try and turn her and c-section would be the best option. 

I guess I should mention that that whole "getting ready thing" was a joke because I cried A LOT. I cried because I was in pain, I cried because of the news (I really wanted to try and avoid having a c-section), I cried because I was scared...I just cried! And therefore, didn't look cute anymore. 

Before we knew it, I was being taken back into surgery and James was escorted in later. It all happened quite quickly which was nice because I didn't have enough time to get too anxious about everything and I was quickly relieved of the contractions which were only getting stronger. 

After James came into the room the Dr. said he could see the feet and when James looked, he saw her whole body out, but her little head required a few tugs. She was actually crying while still in me. Then her head came out and she was lifted up so I could see her. All I kept saying was "She is so little." And of course, I was crying. After she was checked out they brought her over to me and I got to look at her and kiss her. James followed her to the recovery room while they finished up with me. I kept asking the anesthesiologist how much longer it would be and she said probably 20 min, but I think it ended up being 10 min. Then I was taken to recovery where they monitored me for a few hours and I got to hold and nurse my baby before we were taken to postpartum.

James and I had two names picked out for our baby girl, but we hadn't officially decided on either. When I was in the recovery room I asked James what he thought and he immediately said Ellie Rae. So that was it, Ellie Rae was born on December 6th at 6:10pm. She weighed 6lbs 14oz and was 18in. long. She was two weeks early, healthy, beautiful, and her birthday is far enough away from Christmas that I was happy. 

My sister sadly didn't get to make it for the delivery, but she is here now loving on baby Ellie and keeping me company. 

While I didn't want to have a c-section, it turned out alright. It was a special experience and my recovery wasn't as bad as I expected. 

We hired a birth photographer to be at the birth as well. And I knew having a c-section would mean she wouldn't get to get as many shots, but she captured some special moments for us and for that I'm grateful. James also did a great job getting the pictures the photographer wasn't able to capture. I was proud! 


  1. amazing how everything can change so quickly! glad she came out healthy and happy!

  2. Awesome! I love this. :D So glad you got to experience the excitement of your water breaking too. It's gross...but I've only had that happen with one baby of mine (Nate) and it was definitely fun just "knowing" it's baby day. All other times I went into labor I was like, mehhh, idk!!! haha. Anyway, great job. You're gorgeous, Ellie is gorgeous...and I think her name fits so well. <333 Love you!

  3. I love your story and got a little too excited to see that you finally posted it. I was able to keep my composure through the beginning with a couple "aww, cute!" "sweet" and so on....until the picture where the doctor held Ellie over the cover so you could see her for the first time...and that was where I lost it, especially when you were giving her a kiss in the next picture...and then James holding her. I blame the baby (in my belly) but you know me too well to know that I am just emotional ALL the time. I am SOOO happy for you and that was why there were tears. Such a beautiful experience to become a Mom and Dad and to have a child to hold in your arms. Gah....I am so happy! Love you all.

  4. Been there, got the c-section I wasn't planning on. It's all good in the end. Beautiful pictures and beautiful baby!

  5. Melissa and James, I am so proud of you! Ellie is a beautiful baby girl! I already love her! Can't wait to see you all! Hopefully soon! Like Dawna,(above), I got a little too excited to see the new post! Miss you and love you!

  6. Such amazing and beautiful pictures. Loved reading the story- totally know and understand the frustration about having to have a c-section unexpected :( so glad she was healthy and perfect though. So happy and excited for this new chapter in your lives!