Eleanor was born at 4:48pm on 5/2/08. She weighs 7lbs even and is 18.5 inches long. Here's our story!
I started noticing regular contractions Thursday evening. I was working but they were coming every 9-10 minutes. I was able to talk through them but thought it was a good sign that they seemed pretty regular. By the time I got off of work at 9, they were a little stronger but still comfortable. I called my midwife at 10 just to let her know that I was possibly in early labor. We both agreed that it was too early to know if it was going to be the real thing. She told me to take a shower and try to get some rest.
I laid down but wasn't able to sleep well. The contractions were strong but very manageable and kept up at 10 minutes apart all night long. I think I got 2 or 3 stretches of 45 minutes of sleep throughout the night. Steve stayed home from work to help with Oliver and I got up around 8. I decided to do some walking to see if that might help. At first it seemed like it was slowing down to be up and moving around. But around 10 I decided to bake and they started coming more regularly and I would have to stop and breathe through each one. I timed them from 11am-12pm and they were coming every 5 minutes. I called my midwife and she decided it was time to come out and check on me. I also called my close friend Mel so that she could come over for the birth and to help with Oliver.
My midwife arrived at 1pm and I was 3-4 cm dilated and in "active" labor. She told Steve and I to take a walk. We left right after Mel got here at 2pm. We only walked about 1/2 a mile but I must have had 10 contractions. We would just stop and I would lean on Steve. I was really starting to feel them in my back. When we got back to the house I was really having to concentrate on each one. Louisa, my midwife's assistant put a heating pad on my back and that was really nice! It looked like it might be awhile so my midwife suggested she check me once more and if I was still 3-4cm, they could come back in a little while so that everyone wasn't just hanging out. Well, she checked me and I was 6-7cm already! Woo hoo!
I decided to stay in the bed at that point since it took the pressure off of my back, which was a welcome change. Things definitely got more intense at this point. I was making low, moaning sounds through each contraction and was thinking about when I should get in the tub. We had decided I'd get in after the next contraction. Well, the next contraction was really powerful and I felt a strong urge to push with it. It was definitely time for the tub!
It felt so nice to get in there. It was the perfect temperature and had so much room. It was also nice to be able to float. However, those comfortable sensations were quickly taken over by the most intense feelings I have ever felt. By this point I was making very loud noises through the pushing contractions and could feel her moving down. I stayed on my back for about 10 minutes and then we decided that being on my knees and leaning forward might be better since my back was hurting so much. I continued to push her down with each contraction and soon they could see the head. Steve kept asking me if I wanted a cold washcloth on my neck or different music or what I needed, but I just kept saying "I don't know. I want to hold my baby." I remember asking several times "It's going to be soon right?" And it was soon. It was about 20-25 minutes of pushing total and I felt her crowning and pushed her out. I could feel her little body wriggling underneath me as my midwife's assistant unwrapped the cord from around her neck and placed her in my arms. It was beyond incredible. It was weird to go from a place of being really uncomfortable and screaming to feeling absolutely high and in love.
Steve didn't want to cut the cord and neither did I, so Mel did it. That was neat. She had brought Oliver in just a few seconds after Ella was placed in my arms. Apparently when Ella cried he asked if she had a "boo boo."
I got out of the tub and delivered the placenta. Eleanor breastfed soon after that. I did tear a little but my midwife recommended just taking it really easy instead of doing any stitches. She said that they usually heal better on their own as long as you really relax. Since my parents get here tomorrow, I knew I would have the ability to just hang out for a couple of weeks. She had her hand up by her head when she came out which is probably why I tore this time. Steve said she must have had a question to ask
We're all doing great. I think Oliver is very perplexed by what is going on. I don't blame him! I'm so glad Mel was able to be here to take care of him and be a part of the birth.