Just the facts:
Elijah Ova Free
(middle name pronounce "Oh-Vee" - inherited from his Papaw and his great grandfather Pap)
born at Clark Memorial Hospital via c-section due to Frank Breech presentation
at 6:56 pm on June 5, 2008
Weight: 10 lbs and 14 oz Length: 23 inches
Birth Story (if you have time!
It's been an eventful week. On Saturday May 31, officially three days past due, we received a notice that the new owners of our building were giving everyone on a month to month basis or who's lease was up notice to vacate so they could flip the apartments into condos. By some miracle, the one place we had liked and applied for we got, the lease for a small house with a big backyard was signed the following day. Beginning Sunday night friends and family helped pack, haul and unpack our lives.
My contractions began on Wednesday during the afternoon, thanks to weeks of pre-labor and my father constantly wanting me to go to the hospital I'd became quite good at hiding any discomfort. I felt they were different but I did not want to get my hopes or anyone else's up. Not that I was hoping to be in labor, Judah, our five year old, had come down with a temperature of 101 and I was watching him closely for signs of chicken pox - which his best friend had recently caught a mild case of.
At midnight, I began timing them. They were about five minutes apart and becoming increasingly intense. I labored at home until 3am while my husband moved box after box into the basement trying to just have an open space for me to be. When I was having trouble talking through them, we called my parents who were staying at our old apartment for the night to come and what our son Judah while we went to the hospital.
From 3:30am to 8am, we walked the hallways as the contractions became stronger and harder to manage. When I was monitored the pains were actually peaking off the chart but the baby was doing beautifully, barely phased by even the most severe labor pains. At 8, my midwife Jessie came in and checked me. I had made zero progress since we arrived. We were scheduled for a BBP (an ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid level) at the office for 9:30, it would take a long time for us to get a u/s at the hospital so we were released.
I felt good as we ate our Waffle House breakfast, as if I'd been pardoned. I had just came into the hospital too early, now I was sure that I could spend my time laboring in the comfort of my own home.
In this mood I entered the ultrasound room at my OB's office. As soon as the wand touched the bottom of my stomach I announced, "That is a butt." It was a view I knew well from my first son's last ultrasound. Just like his older brother, this babe had went from head down to bottom down in a matter of days. At 41 weeks, no one would try an external version. My chiropractor was not hopeful about the Webster technique when I called and my doc was concerned that since I was in labor, the baby wouldn't be able to continue to bounce back from my severe contractions.
We went home and were told to check in to the hospital for a repeat section at 4 which would be preformed at 6pm. We contacted everyone who needed to know, my parents left us alone with Judah for the afternoon. Jon and Judah played a game of basketball in the backyard and then we all snuggled down together for a much needed nap.
When it was time to leave for the hospital, I did my best to work through all the feelings of failure running through my mind. I banished thoughts of my body "not being made for birth" and tried to simply welcome the fact that I would soon hold my new son in my arms.
The waiting really is the hardest part. Especially when you're waiting for a major surgery and you are told you cannot eat or drink ANYTHING until after the procedure. Oh, and throw in some earth shattering contractions- which I now knew were not accomplishing anything - and well I was just sitting pretty.
Once we were in the operating room, I could relax. The spinal epidural took away the contractions, my midwife was there assisting the OB and her voice from the other side of the curtain put my mind at ease. My husband stroked my hair at my head. My midwife did a play by play. "Okay here's the butt. … and it's doing what it's made to do." (Yep taking a dump on the way out) "Belly, shoulders, head- he's out. And he's huge!"
Jon hopped up as they were wiping him off, laughing he said, "From the back he looks just like a baby hippo!" He laughed again as the newborn hat they put on him slowly popped off his sizeable noggin (just like his brother).
I was sewn up and only thirty minutes later I was nursing my newborn in recovery as I received visitors of my choice. My first choice of course was Judah who welcomed his little brother with a gentle pat, then came family and my friend Nicole who had prepared to act as doula. As I am being checked out my midwife runs into triage saying, "Crystal! He is 10 pounds and 14 ounces! 23 inches long!"
After an hour I was being wheeled down to a post partum room with my new son in my arms. My hospital stay was the opposite of my experience with my first child. I was off the IV and catheter the very next morning. I had a regular diet and freedom of movement. My pain medication left me alert while comfortable and I was released 48 hours later. I saw my midwife and OB twice each after the birth (with the last birth, my OB disappeared promptly after the delivery) and I was treated wonderfully by the staff.
Now at five days old, Elijah is nursing like a champ and being snuggled by his entire family. His nickname is "Elijah Robot" and he enjoys looking at us in a suspicious manner, sleeping, boobs and filling his cloth diapers.