Saturday, September 6, 2014

Elsie’s birth story

Born 2:42 p.m., Thursday, August 14, 2014
10 lbs., 1 oz., 20 ¾ in. long
Elsie Eleanor, Named after two of her great-great-grandmothers

I had been having some short somewhat strong contractions off and on for a few days prior. Contractions started getting 15-20 min. apart Thurs. morning around 9 a.m., but very intense, like I needed to stop and moan through them. We called our neighbor Shirley to take care of the boys. (They kept asking me, “What’s wrong Mom?”) I called Susan, the midwife, to let her know what was happening, but I didn’t want to sound the alarm too soon. I thought maybe I was imagining things because in between contractions I felt fine. So I got things ready around the house (ya know, cooked some rice and folded laundry…), and finally packed a bag, “in case of transport”. (The checklist from Susan said to do that.) Turns out, I needed it!

I called the midwife about 11:45 a.m. and said contractions were 5-10 min. apart, so things might be getting more serious. Susan said that she had another mom in labor at her clinic so I needed to come there! The birth was not going to be a home birth, as previously planned. So, we got bags and food around, loaded up the van, and left by 12:30 p.m. The contractions slowed down a little in the van. We arrived by 1:15 p.m. and I was ushered into a bedroom. Susan checked me and I was almost dilated to 9 cm. I was so relieved to be almost done!

So I got down to the business of having a baby. Susan helped me get through contractions with warm packs on my back and rubbing my back and hips. By 2:15 p.m. I was fully dilated with bulging bag of water. It took me a few times to find a position I wanted to push in. First I was on a little birthing stool on the floor, then I was kneeling on the bed over a birthing ball. I tried pushing here and she broke my waters. Finally I was on my side and back and Susan’s helper and Susan and my husband helped to push on my feet because I really wanted to be standing. There’s just something that makes me feel stronger when I am standing. It took me a little while to tap into my “pushing muscles” but the baby slowly crowned and in about 15-20 minutes from the first push, out she came. (Jeff said Susan poured oil around the opening in the pushing process.) I had my eyes closed the whole time as I was trying to mentally focus on the task at hand. I remember Susan saying, “Megan, you need to relax and slow down.” I tried to relax my leg as best I could, as I could feel it was very tense and not opening up to let the baby come. But I’m not sure I didn’t very well… but it was shortly after she said that, that I said, “I can’t stop it, it’s coming.” And then the baby came out!

The cord was short, the baby could only be on my tummy. So they looked after my bleeding, gave me a shot of pitocin to help stop the bleeding. They seemed a bit concerned at the time. My glasses were off, so I asked if it was a boy—I thought the cord was the boy part, but Jeff said it was a girl! Susan said, “This is a big baby!”

Cord was clamped so I could hold baby on my chest. She was covered in lots of vernix. She came out crying and ready to eat, so I nursed her right away. Then she sucked her thumb for a while.
(After I had my baby, Susan went to help the other mother having her baby at the other side of the clinic. She had a boy and named him Jeffrey! So before we left we met Elsie’s “birthday twin”. It was a Mennonite couple having their first baby.)

After I’d had a chance to rest a while, and Susan’s helper Maggie had pushed on my uterus for a while (Ouch!), Susan weighed and measured Elsie. I was pretty surprised at the weight! She was a chubby baby with big cheeks, double chin and chubby legs! Her chest measured slightly bigger than her head, which isn’t the norm. Despite her size, I did not tear, nor did I have any skid marks! I was so pleased that bathroom visits did not hurt!

Another interesting tidbit… we changed names after we got to the clinic. There was a baby name book on the shelf in my room. We weren't going to use alliteration as we had with the other kids' names (Judah John, Andrew Allan, Enoch Edwin) but then decided to after all. We had the boy name picked out and I'm pretty sure we thought it was going to be a boy. After we found out it was a girl, we decided to change our original plan in favor of alliteration. 

We rested a while, then left at about 7pm to go home. We had forgotten a carseat in the rush to leave, but thankfully Susan had one we could borrow. Jeff picked up boys from Shirley’s after dropping me at home.

Boys were excited to see their new sister. Andrew said, “But it was supposed to be a boy!” But the boys are very sweet with Elsie and like to give her kisses on her head.

Brothers meet their sister

Baptism Day, August 24

Elsie with Susan at 2 week appointment