Ella’s Birth Story

Well, it has been a minute since I have taken time to write a blog post. During my 3rd trimester, I decided to take a step back and really try to enjoy and soak in the last few months of my pregnancy. This meant stepping away from Her Healthy Kitchen for a short period of time. I am so glad I did this, but happy and excited to get back to blogging with little bit different twist and perspective than I originally had.

Having Ella has truly been our greatest gift yet. Becoming a mom and adding another member to our family has been extremely rewarding, but has not been without its challenges and hurdles as well. Nothing can prepare you for the whirlwind of emotions, changes (both physically and mentally), and adjustments that you go through as a new mom. Adjusting to this new life has had its share joyful tears and feelings of love and warmth towards our little girl but has also compiled tears of frustration, fear, and anxiety in creating the safest and happiest space for Ella as we could. While I hope to share more on all of this later, this post is going to focus more on Ella’s birth story and everything that came with that special day!

Our Decision:

Ella was born the morning of June 22nd at 7lbs 5oz via c-section. Ella was in a frank breech position, which means both her feet and her head were upright with her bum sitting at my cervix. She was in this position for quite a long time leading to an early conversation around what we wanted to do if she did not move on her own. My girl definitely got her moms stubborn personality because she did not move leaving me with the decision of whether or not I wanted to try an external cephalic version (ECV) or schedule a cesarian section for delivery. While you’d think this would be an easy, stress-free decision…baby girl would arrive safely either way… this was one of the hardest decisions I have every had to make in my life.

I am a planner, and this was not in my plan.

After a lot of discussions with Jeff, I decided to schedule the c-section and leave my precious little girl right where she was comfortable. Since I first found out I was pregnant I had embraced the thought that God gives you what you can handle and will create a path thats best for baby and mom. Trying an ECV went against that concept for me, and having never been a risk taker I wanted to minimize any and all risk in Ella’s delivery.

Birth:

The morning of Ella’s birth was actually fairly calm. We woke up about 2 hours before we needed to leave for the hospital. I wanted to have time to wake up, shower, and get myself ready for the day. As silly as it sounds doing simple things like straightening my hair and putting on a little bit of make-up help me feel normal and more at ease then waking up 10 minutes before we walked out the door. Jeff took Eddie for a run since we knew this was the last time we would see hime for a few days. I tried to prevent myself from getting hangry by staying busy in the house (I was not allowed to eat or drink anything before the surgery).

We packed our things in the car (another post on what I packed for the hospital/what I’d recommend bringing and/or leaving at home to come later!) and headed out for the last time as a family of 2. To be honest I can’t remember anything about that car ride. I was so focused on what was to come and trying to keep myself calm that the 25 minute ride could have very well been an hour and I would have never known.

We parked our car in the only shade spot we could find and debated whether or not we needed to bring the car seat into the hospital or wait until later (oh the first of many contemplations of being a parent!). We decided to leave it in the car, and I soaked in the last few minutes of being able to walk on my own into the lobby and up to the second floor of the hospital. As we entered with our billion items, a new dad got onto the elevator with us and I thought to myself, he looks happy and calm… we can do this! We checked in at the front desk and were taken immediately back to a small room where I felt like I signed my life away in paperwork. Jeff was calm and already taking pictures. While I normally want to document every moment, this was one time I didn’t even think to take out my phone, so I’m thankful that he did!

A nurse came and led us back into my pre-op room which was spacious, very clean, and right around the corner from the OR. Our nurse started going through her check list of questions (I couldn’t tell you what half of them were now) and another came in to place an IV and start fluids. Needless to say, after not drinking anything since 12AM in the Arizona heat (it was about 9:30 at this time) I was very dehydrated and was ecstatic to get fluids. I’ve never felt so hydrated after 1L quickly dripped in. They did a quick ultrasound to assure baby girl was still head up (of course she was), and we started the waiting process. My OB came in to pay us a visit, confident as ever, energetic, and ready to go.

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My nerves started to kick in waiting for our visit from the anesthesiologist, and you know what happens with nerves… bathroom! Thank goodness for this because my next easy “bathroom trip” would not be for a day or too.

The anesthesiologist came by just a few minutes later and was very friendly. Even though I knew more than I probably should about what was to come, it helped calms my nerves hearing him reinforce the simplicity of what was about to happen. Jeff was still calm as a cucumber in his blue scrubs and hair net; I was looking at the clock about every 3 minutes waiting for the next person to knock on our door. Jeff continued to snap away pictures and update family and friends on where we were.

Just a little after 11AM, we had a knock on the door and were told it’s time to go! I looked around the halls anxiously as we rolled away, keeping Jeff in site as we came to a stop outside of a cold room with glaring lights and a skinny little table right in the center. Jeff gave me a kiss, and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. My OB’s assistant offered me a few words of encouragement as she wheeled me into the room. I knew that I would see Jeff again in just a few minutes once they were ready to start. Despite being nervous and scared, knowing we would see our little girl in less then 15 minutes was a surreal feeling. I was excited to finally see her and know that she was ok, healthy, and here in the world with us.

I received a spinal block {For those who asked, a spinal is used instead of an epidural during a c-section. A spinal block is a 1 time injection and prevents the sensation of pain for about 2 hours. There is no catheter in place like an epidural.} My nurse was right, I didn’t feel a thing during the injection (I didn’t even know he was doing it actually) and my legs went numb almost immediately. The curtain went up as they started to prep my body, and Jeff entered the room. He looked at me with an encouraging smile and started our music. He had created a country playlist for me per my request! I kept my eyes locked on him and waited to hear any indication that she had arrived. My anesthesiologist told us she was almost here about 2 songs later and before we had time to breathe we heard a cry. He took Jeffs phone and took a few pictures for us. Jeff got up once it was time and peaked around while they quickly wiped her and wrapped her in a blanket. He looked back at me and simply said, “she’s perfect”.

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Ella’s nurse brought her around the curtain for me to see and I was so happy to see my beautiful baby girl screaming and crying just waiting for us to hold her. Once they had all of her measurements, Ella’s nurse handed her off to Jeff so we could snuggle her for the remainder of the time until they were ready for us to leave the OR. Ella was 7lbs 5oz, 20 1/4 inches, with a 14cm head circumference.

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After all the nerves and anticipation in a matter of 8 minutes we got to see our baby girl and about 40 minutes later we were rolling out of the OR, our lives forever changed in the happiest of ways!

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4 Weeks Later…

Ella is any absolute joy. She has the most beautiful, big eyes and loves to smile and giggle at her mom, dad, and fluffy puppy which she’s taken a liking to. She is a wonderful eater and although she can get fussy at times, she overall is a happy and content baby. She is now just under 9lbs. She loves to snuggle on her dad and also loves bath time! She’s a dancer and can escape out of just about any swaddle which left mom in a panic the first few nights at home after the hospital. We are so happy to have this little girl in our lives, and cannot wait to watch her grown and continue to develop her own personality!

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Photo by Christina J Photography

 

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