I had my pregnancy pictures
taken on Saturday September 15th at 39 weeks, 1 day. I thought I had at least another week to go since (up until Ellyse!) I had never delivered early. So after a busy afternoon at the mall, and a VERY busy week getting ready for my daycare site visit/inspection, we decided we weren't going to do anything on Saturday evening. Charlie and I did go out to Blockbuster and when we got home at about 7:00, I noticed that the contractions were feeling different from the ones that I had for the previous month. I text messaged my doula friend, Dee, at about 9:30 letting her know that she SHOULD NOT GET EXCITED, but contractions were about 20 minutes apart and we were going to bed. I slept for about two hours, and when I finally got out of bed at close to midnight, I thought that this was probably really "IT."
There really wasn't anything to do or get ready. The house was already clean and organized. I checked my email and tried to watch TV. Charlie was still sleeping during all of this even though I kept telling him he needed to get the cameras and video camera ready. I don't think he realized it was going to happen so fast. I started to get very cranky as the contractions intensified, and he continued to sleep. Some company would be nice. Contractions started coming closer together, 4-6 minutes apart, but some were coming right after another...and that started to scare me.
I got into the bath at about 2:15am. Contractions immediately slowed down, giving me a break and a chance to calm down. I had never been in a tub during any of my previous six births because I never was really drawn to it (although I always do spend a lot of time in the shower!), but HOLY COW the bath made contractions more bearable!!! Then the doula part of me started thinking that the contractions slowed down so much and I was worried that I got in the tub too early and now I wasn't in labor anymore. Oh geez! After one more strong contraction, I instantly realized that I was indeed still in labor!
I had to decide whether or not to call Dee. I still wasn't sure how long this was going to last, and I didn't want to call too soon (I hate calling people in the middle of the night!) and have her come over too early. But I decided to call her...I needed her there in case the babies (2 1/2 and 15 months) woke up because of my loud birthing noises.
I got out of the bathtub and went straight into the shower (in our master bedroom.) I started feeling pressure, and I knew I had to go to the bathroom. Woohoo! Baby was making its way down! So I took care of some bathroom business and then started to get really scared. Contractions were intense!
I had Charlie lay a huge bath towel on the floor between the shower and the toilet since I was going back and forth--I would stand in the shower between contractions and sit on the toilet during the contractions. It seemed that each time I stood up, it would make another contraction start. This was all happening too fast.
I heard Dee arrive but I was having a contraction so we couldn't let her in. After it was done and Charlie let Dee in, I think the two of them got cameras and the video camera ready in the bedroom. I knew the baby was going to be born soon. I put the waterproof mat on the floor, in the same exact place where Caden was born 2 1/2 years earlier. That time the mat wasn't there! I asked Dee to turn off the lights and light the candles. Quickly, damnit!!
I asked Charlie to feel for a head, to which he replied, "it feels like a shoulder." WHAT??? Don't say that! So I checked and it was just a squishy head. I asked (okay, demanded) a hot compress (disposable diaper filled with HOT water)...QUICKLY!!!! to put on my perineum, a trick I learned with my first homebirth with a midwife. It feels sooooo good and got me focused on what had to be done...push the baby out! If any of you know me, or have read my previous birth stories, I really dislike pushing. But this one was different, or else I have finally learned how to get it done. All I have to do is let go.
I asked Charlie if he wanted to see his baby. He said he was ready. I was standing (on the floor this time!), holding myself up, one hand on the dresser, the other on the footboard and my feet completely off the floor and pushed the head out. Ah, relief! I leaned over Charlie's shoulder and he couldn't see the baby. He asked Dee to help hold me up, but I don't think there wasn't enough room. Charlie was able to catch as I pushed the rest of the baby out and sat down on the floor. 3:33 AM.
Woohoo! It's over! That was a fast one! Then I realized I had to check to see if the baby was a boy or girl. I glanced and saw swollen-ness and thought to myself "how cool is that, my fifth boy!" I told Charlie "look! Look!" and he replied, "you gave me my baby girl!"
It's a girl?
I asked Dee to turn on the light and checked again, and she REALLY is a baby girl!!!!!! Trust me, I have checked several times over the last few days...and she is still a girl!
I inspected her for a few minutes...she seemed smaller than my other babies. The placenta came within minutes, and that was smaller than my others, too.
Charlie held her for a few minutes before we put her on the bed and clamped the cord. I cleaned up the towels and blankets and got into bed. I asked for breakfast and Dee thankfully ran to Denny's for me.
I called work to let them know the news. We took some pictures and at about 5:30, decided to get some sleep before the babies woke up.
Caden woke up first at about 7:00. He pranced into our bedroom and started climbing into our bed. Charlie said "be careful -- we have a surprise for you up here." Caden found her laying between me and Charlie and said "aaaaawwww, I LIKE her!" So sweet! Donovan woke up a little later and just wanted to poke her face. Silly boy!
We went to church at 10:15, much to the surprise of most of the people attending that day. The baby received a special birthday blessing.
We went out to lunch, and I stopped by my work to show her off.
The older boys got home later and were surprised to finally have a SISTER!
It took us a few days to finally name her. We were trying to incorporate any form of "Elle" - for my middle name (Ellen,) Charlie's oldest sister's middle name (Ellen,) and Charlie's mother, Elsie. I don't know how we finally came up with it, but Ellyse came out of nowhere (we had never considered it before), and Quinn for my fifth baby.
And finally, measurements were taken at Kaiser the day after she was born. 7 lbs, 12 oz and 20 inches long. I think I got cheated out of the 8 oz of meconium she had already pooped out! I also checked in with my doctor the next day. He laughed at my request to do Charlie's vasectomy right there on the spot!