|ME as a baby, getting a tight squeeze from my Mamoo|
|My Mamoo and L|
|Baby L getting a tight Mamoo squeeze|
|L and Mamoo|
I'm sure it's, as my brother says, "bad theology," but it makes me happy to think that maybe during those five days between her death and my daughter's birth she was up in heaven just squeezing and rocking E.
This is the last photo I took of my Mamoo. We had all gathered in her room to sing happy Birthday to my grandfather so she wouldn't have to miss out on the celebrating. She loved parties! That's my grandfather holding her hand and my 2 yr old L next to the Birthday cake.
For obvious reasons, the days leading up to Ella's birth were very emotional for me. My grandmother had such a positive influence in my life and, as much as I knew that Gods timing was perfect, I was pretty heartbroken that E was not born soon enough to meet her. Depending on the ultrasound, I was just 2-4 days away from my due date. I really wanted to be able to place my little baby girl in her arms, (wrapped in one of the blankets she had made, of course), but that photo opportunity never came.
|You'd cry a lot too if you looked like this!|
When I went to bed on Friday night, I knew that if I didn't go into labor my brother would head back to Virginia and he wouldn't get to meet my daughter for several months. So on Friday night I took a bath in our huge garden tub. I cried, I prayed, and for the first time in weeks I gave up. I completely surrendered. I told God that his timing was perfect... and I believed it. I got out of the bath tub at 10pm and by midnight I was having some weak contractions. To encourage them, I went downstairs in the dark and walked... and prayed... and walked... and prayed. As long as I was walking, the contractions continued, but when they weren't getting any stronger I decided to rest. I went to bed around 2am and woke up that morning with some more weak contractions.
I honestly have very little memory of that morning. I walked around in the house, had some breakfast, and my contractions gradually increased in intensity. I talked to my older brother on the phone and begged him to stay in town. As if the week wasn't packed with enough already, my youngest brother's high school graduation was that morning, so the family made plans to go to his graduation and then meet (hopefully) at the hospital afterward.
|My Two Brothers|
After we checked in, we met my fantastic nurse Susan (who resembled Susan Boyle). She was so confident in my ability to have another natural birth. Twice, an anesthesiologist tried to come into the room to talk to me about an epidural and she told him my plan for a natural birth. The midwife on-call arrived a few minutes later and I was shocked, and pleasantly surprised, to discover it was THE SAME midwife that had delivered L. She's only on-call the last weekend of the month, but apparently that's when I like to have kiddos. ;)
I was 6cm when we arrived. I had really intense back labor (again), but with an intact water, my pain was not AS intense (as with L's labor). Of course it was some of the worst pain I'd ever felt in my life, but I don't remember feeling like my entire body was contracting. As my labor progressed, I did a lot of standing in the shower with constant pressure on my back (from either my husband or the shower bar). I am honestly not sure how people labor without water. As I stood in the shower, my pain continued to increase. Around 3pm, I asked for my mama. My husband called her and they were on their way from the graduation.
When my mama and dad arrived, around 3:30, I was still standing in the shower. My mom was in her Sunday dress and high heels, but that didn't stop her from taking over for Will and pressing on my back. At 4pm I was 8cm. I got out of the shower and my midwife offered to break my water. I was starting to get impatient and the contractions were one right after another. My fabulous nurse was rotating icy cold wash clothes on my back and forehead, but I felt like I might need an epidural if I had to withstand the contractions for much longer. I looked over at the nurses preparing the newborn area and went ahead and agreed to the midwife's request. Within about 5 minutes of having my water broken I was 10cm and ready to push.
I really only pushed a few times before my daughter's head was out. I remember being so proud of myself because my son had had complications and he had to be delivered by a vacuum. BUT THEN... I saw the face of my midwife change from elation to fear. My daughter's shoulder was stuck on my hip. She paged for help, and within seconds there were nurses all over the room. My nurse turned me onto my side and literally pushed so hard onto my abdomen near my hip that I later had a bruise. I could hear the heart rate slow on the monitor and my mom said Es face was turning blue. I could also see that the midwife was literally pulling with all of her might. It was likely just a matter of seconds, but it was long enough for me to know that it was serious. My daughter was born, at 4:32pm, the midwife cut the cord, and they immediately rushed her over to the baby bucket.
|E, 8lbs 11oz and|
|Finally holding my healthy baby girl in my arms|
**TMI, scroll down to the pictures and avoid the text if you're not interested in reading about vaginal birth complications.** Unfortunately, in those last frantic moments to deliver E, I was torn significantly. I was in entirely too much pain to really even hold her for long and I had to pass her on to my husband and mom. The repair required close to 100 stitches (literally). The pain was intense and I had a very hard time focusing on anything else. They gave me shots of all kinds of local anesthetics, but I've never wanted an epidural so badly. I'm sure it was awkward for my dad, but he held my hand during the entire repair to allow my mom and husband to hold and take care of E.
|L, meeting his baby sister for the first time|
|Me and my sweet baby girl|
If you're interested in Birth Stories: Here's L's Birth Story and here's O's Birth Story too.