I’m so excited to share this birth story with you all today! Today’s birth story is from Alexandra. Isn’t she just adorable?
I’ve never actually met in person, but from the interactions I’ve had with sweet Alexandra, we are going to be great friends! She is always positive and encouraging, and doesn’t her smile just make you want to hang out with her? But enough from me! You have got to read this story!
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
Hmmmm.. sweet, giving, thoughtful
How long have you and your husband been together?
Friends for six years, dating for five, married almost two
How many children do you have?
1 together and a stepson, age 15
How many children do/did you think you would like to have?
We have always talked about having one little girl
Tell us about when you first found out you were pregnant.
We had been trying a couple months. Suddenly, driving home from work one day, I asked my mom (who had EIGHT kids) if she ever knew she was pregnant before taking a test. She said her only big symptom was exhaustion. I suddenly realized I had been CRAZY tired the last few days, along with suddenly having a desperate need for a huge bowl of cereal halfway through the night as well as constant hunger all day long. I called a good friend of mine to ask her too and she encouraged me to take a test. I suddenly was so nervous, even though I’d taken several in the last few months. I think because in my heart, I knew it was going to be a positive. Jason was outside mowing and I was so nervous. I got the faintest line ever and sent her a picture. She called me instantly and said “YOU’RE PREGNANT!!!!” I hid it from Jason cause I was in so much shock. Then, before bed, I sent him a picture message while he was in the other room, which included pictures of baby shoes we had purchased, the test, and the due date. He replied “For real?” and came running in the bedroom. Then, he looked at the test and gently told me he didn’t think it was real cause the line was so faint. Well, I took about 12 test over the next few days and they kept getting darker and darker! We found out SUPER early, 3 weeks, 0 days and I called my mom the next day. We told pretty much everyone immediately cause we were so excited!
How did you pregnancy go?
In a word – HORRIBLE. I had mild hyperemesis gravidarum (what Princess Kate had). I threw up nonstop until well into my third trimester. I took Zofran daily until about 28 weeks. I threw up in the middle of the night, during dinner, while driving in rush hour traffic, while teaching… However, despite that, the baby remained super healthy. At six weeks, when my HCG levels should have been about 1,000-5,000 mine were 86,000 and 97,000. I began showing before six weeks!
Did you find out the gender before birth?
We did! Jason and I prayed for a daughter, not just a baby. I kind of felt bad about it but it’s true! We both wanted a little girl so badly. I remember being nervous to go to the ultrasound and calling my mom that morning crying that I didn’t want a boy. When the tech casually said “Oh, here are her kidneys…” Jason & I high fived one another!
Tell us your birth story:
I found out I was pregnant on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014. The second sentence out of my husband’s mouth was “She better not come on January 12th!”, as my original due date was January 13th. Why? Because that was the day of the first-ever college football National Championship game and he believed that his favorite team ever, the Ohio State Buckeyes, would be playing in it. I rolled my eyes and assumed they wouldn’t make it that far and the odds of our child’s birth and the game coming into conflict were quite slim. Seriously, his obsession with the team runs DEEP you guys.
Quick side note: My original due date was January 13th. Based on all of our ultrasounds (which they say are most accurate) it was January 6th. Based on my ovulation date, it was January 10th. So, she was born right around 40 weeks, if not a couple days late.
On Sunday, January 11, 2015 I noticed some very light leaking throughout the day. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, and at that point in pregnancy, you just never know! I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning on Monday so I figured I would just ask then.
That evening, around midnight, I was trying to go to sleep and suddenly got so sick. I ran off to the bathroom and had some diarrhea and violent vomiting. I wondered if that could be the beginning of labor but I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
I woke up at 3am to use the bathroom and when I sat up, I immediately felt a huge gush of fluid. I knew my water had broken! I went to the bathroom and tried to clean myself up. I noticed that it was a pea-green color and I knew immediately that there was meconium in my amniotic fluid and we would need to get to the hospital right away. I climbed back into bed (why? I’m not sure) and told Jason “I think your little girl wants to watch the Championship game with you today!” He thought I was kidding but then I told him my water broke and we needed to go to the hospital right away!
I wanted to wait until I was having contractions so I would be less likely to have interventions, but I wasn’t having any. We decided to leave immediately because of the meconium though. I ate a bowl of cereal and we packed the last few things into our bag and took the five-minute drive to the hospital.
They admitted me immediately upon learning about the meconium. I was hooked up to all of the monitors by 4:30am. Elliotte was being so wiggly; we kept losing her heartbeat! This was typical throughout the whole pregnancy whenever they tried to find her heart beat. I wanted to be able to walk around and such but they wanted me to stay in bed and hooked up to everything. The nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 3 and fully effaced, as I had been for several weeks now. She asked me on the 1-10 scale how painful my contractions were. I said “What contractions?!” and then she showed me on the monitor that I had been having 30 second contractions every 5-6 minutes. I literally had felt nothing!
At 7am, my doctor’s brother (they share a practice) popped in to check me. I was dilated to a 4 and having more consistent contractions. He mentioned doing an ultrasound to make sure she was in place but then said we probably didn’t need to worry about it (hint: foreshadowing!). He then recommended we start Pitocin so we could deliver her as soon as possible due to the meconium already being present. He described to me some of the potential complications of the meconium in my fluids and told us that we wouldn’t be able to see her right away after delivery and that she may need to spend a night in the NICU depending on her lung function. As nervous as I had been about the Pitocin beforehand, I felt completely at peace starting the drip and knowing that we would get to see our daughter right away.
Three hours later, around 10am, my contractions were stronger but I still only rated them a 2 on the pain scale. They were coming every 2 minutes consistently but only lasting 30-45 seconds.
At 1:15pm, they had increased my dosage of Pitocin steadily to level 12 (of 20). The contractions were definitely more intense but I was handling it so well. They were lasting about a minute by this point and still about two minutes apart. I also had one minor bout of vomiting around this time but got some Zofran and I was fine. By now, I was dilated to a 6.
At 3:45pm, my nurse decided to check me again. I kept seeing Jason checking the time and I knew he was anxious for her to be born so he wouldn’t miss the game! haha! By this point in the day, over the 12 hours of labor, this was only my fourth cervical check, which I was thankful for. They said I had a high cervix, so it was more invasive and painful for them to check me. I still was only rating my pain around a 5 on the 1-10 scale. I was feeling great and totally had it under control. She had a funny look on her face and this time around took much longer than the previous checks. Finally, without saying a word, she rushed out into the hallway and called for backup. We started to get a little worried. She came back in with three other nurses. She only told us that “Edna” was going to check me because she “had more experience”. The other nurses spread my legs so wide and were even sitting on one of them! Still, Jason and I didn’t know what was happening and I was still contracting away. The nurses were using words and phrases we weren’t familiar with. Finally, Edna said “She is sucking on my finger!” We thought that was odd but didn’t think much of it. Then, without saying anything to us, they started chattering to one another about which OR rooms were open and where my doctor was at the time and assigning tasks to one another to call him and contact the on-call doctor, pediatrician, anesthesiologist and such. I had a sinking feeling I would be having a c-section but I still didn’t know why.
Finally, they explained to us that Elliotte was coming out face first. Edna later told me that she had actually successfully turned Elliotte’s head the correct way but our little stubborn girl turned it right back! We were told that the soonest an operating room would be available was in 45 minutes. By this point, all of the momentum I had had mentally preparing for the delivery and handling the pain went out the window. I was still calm but I wasn’t focused at all. They turned off the Pitocin, but the contractions came on even stronger. They were nonstop. I was rolling around in pain and on the verge of crying with the peak of each one. Just as I thought I would get relief, another one would begin. I was so miserable. My nurse was so proud of me for not having any pain meds but she sensed I needed something. She tried to get the anesthesiologist to give me the spinal early, but he couldn’t without an available OR. He gave me a strong pain reliever instead I remember that helped a little bit. Finally, it was time to go to the OR.
As they wheeled me out of the room just before 5:00PM, I suddenly began having the urge to push. They were getting concerned so everything went into high gear. I was brought into an OR with about 20 people there to help the baby and me. I was miserable but still felt so calm. I remember them asking me to move myself onto the operating table and I shushed them and shook my head that I couldn’t move because I was in so much pain. I could hardly even talk by this point. I remember it almost being like a numb pain, as if it hurt SO much that it eventually was going numb. Finally, I got the spinal block and finally had some relief.
My doctor LOVES his job so much and finds all of the facets of the female body so amazing. I love that about him. He came into the operating room with a huge smile and was joking with us. He explained how rare a facial presentation was (1 in 800) and he thought it was cool to get to deliver one. He even did another check after I was numb just to get more experience with it and feel her face!
Within just a few minutes, Elliotte was delivered and they had whisked her to the warming table and were taking care of her. I heard someone say that they needed to call the respiration department and I knew I should be worried but I still felt so calm. I could see her out of the corner of my eye and saw them working on her but still didn’t hear her crying. They told me she wouldn’t cry right away due to the meconium. Finally they called Jason over to see her and he took some pictures and got to cut the remainder of the cord.
From there on, I remember very little about the next few minutes. I remember Jason took a picture of her on his phone and came over to show me. That was about it. I didn’t even remember the first time I held her, until weeks later when Jason told me they gave her to me and I held her on my chest while they rolled our bed back to our room.
We were all back in our room within half hour of leaving it. Elliotte had nothing wrong with her breathing or lungs, her APGARs were high, and she nursed perfectly within two seconds of me holding her. All of the nurses on our floor kept popping on to check on her because they couldn’t believe what a trooper she was and everyone was so impressed that I made it that far without an epidural. Her face was very swollen due to the fact that each contraction had her face slamming into my cervix and she didn’t have the amniotic fluid to help cushion the blows.
Her appearance made me nervous and sad but by the morning she looked wonderful! She had a black eye for a couple days but it’s gone away now. Jason got to hold his little girl and they watched the National Championship game together and got to see the Buckeyes win together!
The next morning, after the swelling had gone down:
I’m so glad that the first doctor that saw me declined the ultrasound because I am so grateful I got to experience labor. I would have been so sad if that had been taken away from me.
It wasn’t the way I expected our birth story to go at all, but I wouldn’t have changed it at all. I’m so thankful that Elliotte is here and we are all safe and healthy. I googled some info about her presentation and it could have been a very dangerous situation (which I didn’t know at the time) for both of us. I’m so thankful for God’s protection throughout the day and for the sweet baby girl that is forever a part of our lives now!
How perfect is that squishy little babe?? I may or may not cry my way through every birth story that you all send my way! I love them! Thanks so much for sharing, Alexandra!
If you have a birth story that you would like to share, feel free to email it to me at [email protected] The collection of birth stories I have compiled are in the tab at the top of the blog labeled ‘birth stories’.