5.19.2016

Eleanor Joy

Welcome, Eleanor Joy!
Born April 4, 2016
7lbs 12oz
20 1/4in

Much to our surprise, our dark haired beauty arrived 4 days after her due date, throwing her momma off quite a bit! With Jack being 2 weeks early, I guess I expected something similar with Eleanor, and everyday I was pregnant after 38 weeks was mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging! I had severe morning sickness with this pregnancy until about 16 weeks.. throwing up all.day.long. And then late into my second trimester the whole family came down with an ugly stomach virus. And when my third trimester came around, I experienced such terrible restless leg syndrome that it wasn't uncommon for me to average 2-4 hours of sleep a night. It was a rough pregnancy to say the least! And although I started having contraction at 38 weeks, this little lady decided she was comfy as could be right where she was.
On Sunday night around 8:30 I started having mild contractions. This wasn't surprising since my contractions had been coming and going for the last two weeks. Sometimes they would last for hours --keeping me up all night -- only to completely disappear by morning. I always knew they weren't the real deal because they were never very painful and always irregular. But on this night, after about 2 hours, I noticed that they were coming closer together (about every 6 to 10 minutes.. but still irregular). Something in me just knew this really was it and I called my midwives. Unfortunately, the midwife on call was a fill in covering for another midwife who was on maternity leave... I had only meant this lady once and I know she wasn't up to speed on the details of my last delivery and how quickly Jack came for a first pregnancy. She asked me to wait a bit longer and call her back when the contractions were coming at a more regular interval...
I was actually pretty surprised she didn't tell me to go ahead and come in because I knew this baby was coming.. With my next contractions I got on my knees and prayed that God would let me know when the last possible minute I could leave for the birth center was so that I wouldn't have this baby in the car. Two hours later I called the midwife and informed her that as soon as my mother in law got to my house to watch Jack I would be heading to the birth center.

As Steven and I drove to Bellevue I thanked God that this little girl decided to come in the middle of the night so that traffic wasn't too intense! We have a bit of a commute to the birth center but were able to get there in just under an hour. I knew when I got into the car that I was already in transition. My contractions were coming every 3 minutes like clockwork and it took everything within me to relax through them. I started to feel a little bit panicky because everything seemed to be happening very quickly.

(Side Note: With both of my pregnancies I decided not to wake Steven while I labored at home because I figured his sleep was more important than helplessly watching me breathe through contractions. So when I woke him up at 2:30a and told him we had to go to the birth center NOW he totally thought I was kidding.. little did he know he'd be a daddy all over again in just 2 hours!)

We arrived at the birth center around 3:40 and basically after this it is really just a blur. Everything happened so fast!
Since I was Strep B+ they had to administer an antibiotic. I sat down trying to relax during the contractions (which were now coming what seemed to be one right after the other) while they tried to find a good vein for the antibiotic. I feel like this took a really long time, but then again my concept of time at this point was probably pretty warped. All I know is Eleanor arrived 50 minutes after I got to the birth center and less than 5 of those minutes were spent pushing. So I'm pretty sure I sat there for at least a half hour as they tried to give me the antibiotic (2 failed attempts.. now I do remember that clearly). Once the antibiotic was administered I quickly got into the tub. The midwife kept talking about how when I got comfortable in there they would leave and let me relax and have some space to labor... As soon as she was done uttering that sentence I informed them that my water just broke. They come over and checked the water to confirm (after first asking me if I was sure...) that my water did indeed break.

The contractions really were coming one right after the other at this point. I kept trying to relax in between them, but there really was no "in between." Almost immediately after my water broke I told them that I needed to push. Again, I'm not sure they believed me at first, but after checking they confirmed that I was fully dilated and could push. I was already feeling a little panicked since the car ride that this was happening all too quickly, but now I was honestly afraid. I asked if she was sure I could push but I really didn't have a choice, Eleanor was coming whether I pushed or not. All of the pushing this time around seemed to be involuntary as though I had no control over my body! Pains were coming so quickly I didn't have time to breathe and I just remember starting to cry. I also vaguely remember saying I can't do this and Steven reaching over and putting his hands on my back and telling me I was doing great. Minutes later the midwife said she could feel Eleanor's head.. and then all of a sudden she was here...

4:33am

I remember thinking she had the biggest eyes and so much DARK hair! Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
I didn't want to let her go but I finally decided Steven could hold her while I showered off real quick. I was shocked that everything had happened so quickly and praised God that He lead me to leave for the birth center when He did...50 minutes later and this little girl would have been born in the car!

After 2 hours of monitoring, the midwives sent us home (which I know many people think is crazy, but I love it). I was so happy to finally have my baby girl in my arms and be able to go home and rest in my own bed. I kept thinking she is so petite and perfect and DARK! What a surprise after having her very blonde brother...
Unfortunately, when I think back to Eleanor's birth the dominate emotion I remember most is fear. I feel as though the midwives didn't listen to me this time around.. not believing me when I told them I needed to come in the first time...or that my water broke...or that I needed to push! And all of this made me question my body and instincts as well. Also, just the speed of the labor was frighting for me (and knowing I was already in transition while en route to the birth center!). From start to finish, my labor was only 8 hours and less than 5 minutes were spent pushing! Actually, Eleanor came so quickly that she had some bruising on her head from the pressure. But she is a beautiful, healthy little girl and I had no complications with the delivery and am beyond thankful for that.

Welcome to the world, Eleanor! Your father, brother and I absolutely adore you!


All photos by ADN Designs.

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