She was born on my birthday (now our birthday), November 4, and weighed 7lbs, 8 oz, was 20.5 inches long, and had a full head of dark hair!
I woke up at 4:30 am with an unmistakable contraction. They got stronger and progressively closer together. At 8 am they were 3-5 minutes apart and we left for the hospital, where we met our doula.
Long story short (no time to post the whole story right now with full detail), I made it through the entire 14-hour labor without any drugs. Apparently my stoic attitude was the talk of the nurse's station, but really I found that making any noise or moving too much made the contractions hurt more! By the end I couldn't stand to have anyone touch me during a contraction either. I made it to 7cms without too much trouble, but transition was definitely tough. Pushing was the hardest part. The contractions were excruciating and very close together. I waited for a while for the "urge to push" but after being convinced by my doula to try pushing anyway, I found that pushing was the only thing that made the contractions bearable. Since I hated it so much I guess I was really efficient - I pushed her from 0 station to all the way out in less than 30 minutes. Unfortunately towards the end I got a little out of control and did end up tearing a bit in both directions. The doctor barely got in the room and they didn't have time to bring out the ceiling mirrors or anything.
All in all, I had a great hospital birth. The nurses were incredibly respectful of my birth plan throughout. One of the best parts is that we had a couple hours of quiet time to bond with our beautiful daughter after the birth before being moved to our recovery room. Having a doula was absolutely the best decision I could have made with respect to the birth experience. The support she gave was simple but essential.
Elena took to nursing with no problems and has been a very easy baby, except that she is up every hour from midnight to 4am (so far). I'm really happy to be home and devoting every minute to her!