Birth Story Part 2

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, My Pregnancy

Before reading Part II, please read Birth Story Part I

(…) We called the nurse to do a cervical check.

I’m 3.5 cm 50% effaced!

No progress! Twelve hours of intense frequent contractions did absolutely nothing!

My first thought was “Thats it! I want an epidural!”  I was too tired and sleepy to fight any longer. And as if by command, before we were even able to discuss it or tell the nurse, my contractions started spacing out. They were coming 4-5 min apart. It was like my body’s way of telling me to relax.
In retrospect, I can see that I wasn’t able to effectively relax during contractions (even though I thought I was). Instead my body had to work really hard against my tension (hence no progress and super strong frequent contractions) which is exactly what I was trying to avoid by doing hypnobabies but obviously it didn’t work for me.
I think if my body was given a chance to rest, the contractions would have picked up again but I was so exhausted and sleepy at that moment, I didn’t feel I had the energy to wait and see even through spaced out contractions, so we requested an epidural. Cynthia administered the IV drip, and after they made us watch this silly 70s video, my anesthesiologist came in and took care of the rest. The procedure was painless and I felt relief almost instantly. Aaaaaahhhhh! It’s easy to become an epidural convert when the relief is so immediate.

Later, when I was going through the photos taken during labor, I found this photo immediately followed by the one below it.


{It’s like a commercial for medicated birth}

The first thing I tried doing was SLEEP! Oh the glorious gods of slumber! It was great! I didn’t really get to sleep for a long period of time but just resting for an hour made all the difference.

Soon the nurse shift changed and a new nurse, named Jackie came in. She was actually  a hypnobabies trainer. She was a goofy woman and luckily now that I had an epidural, I didn’t mind joking around.

She talked to me about getting some Pitocin to get the labor going since an epidural slowed it down a bit more as well. I suggested we wait an hour or so and then see. Realistically, with enough time my labor would have picked up on its own but none of us wanted to sit around and wait till that happened. We wanted Lexi and we wanted her now. {Funny how impatience can get the best of us}

We figured if in a few hours it doesn’t pick up, we’ll be ok with a low dose of Pitocin. I wouldn’t have wanted to have Pitocin to start the labor, because it would sabotage my chances of  laboring without pain relief but since I was already hooked on an epidural, it didn’t really matter much, as long as it was administered wisely.

My OB came in to talk to me in about an hour and I repeated what I had told the nurse. That “generally” we don’t mind starting a pit drip, but we’d like to wait an hour to see what my body does on its own.

I have to mention that at the hospital my nice sweet OB was more bossy and strict. It wasn’t a bad change, per se, but I did feel like i had less say in the matter than before. So after an hour of lack luster contractions we went ahead with the first low dose of Pitocin.


Contractions picked up quickly and were coming regularly. The goal was to up the dose every 20 min until they come every 2-3 min apart again. As far as I remember we upped the dose 3 times.
Pitocin was first administered at 10am and I was fully dilated by 2pm. The whole time I just hung out on my phone, not feeling a thing waiting for the drugs to do their job.

Around 2 pm- 2:15 pm we were ready to push. Her head was right there. After every push it would come out and then get sucked back in. We like to say that the first thing that was born was a curl of dark hair! Before we saw Alexis, we saw her curl for a few contractions.

It was really frustrating to push while numb. I felt helpless and ineffective. BUT it WAS painless. I clearly remember thinking (and still do) that while the pushing with an epidural was frustrating, I was not sure I wanted to experience it without, seeing all the stretching my OB was doing there- Yikes! Speaking of stretching, I won’t go into gory details, but it appeared that my OB was in a hurry and wanted to speed up things a bit ( he had to make a call to his office saying he’d be there in 30 minutes) and used his hands “freely”. My husband believes it was one of the reasons why I got 1 tear ( 1st degree). In the end, we decided that we didn’t mind, because him stretching me out meant less pressure on Lexi’s head and since I didn’t have a painful recovery, it was all for the best.

After about 30 minutes of pushing her head came out and it looked sooooo little! Before she was even pulled out completely, she started crying. She was so alert the whole time. She was immediately placed on my chest where they sucked liquid from her nose and mouth and Andrew started drying her off. I didn’t want to post more graffic photos on here, but there are 2 photos in particular that don’t show anything per se, but are pretty cool since it was the exact moment of Alexis being put on my chest with the cord still attached. The photos are blurry and bad quality but they mean the world to me. You can see them here:  Photo  Photo 2

Then he wrapped her in one of our Bambino Land organic blankets and put a hat on her. I just remember her looking soooo scared and helpless. And there was so much love for her in that instant. Like I said before we didn’t feel overwhelming love, we felt this calm deep feeling of knowing we’ve always loved her- like a “duh” feeling. She was soooo sweet and adorable and scared and she needed us to keep her warm and safe and comfortable. She just lay there on my chest frantically sucking her fist. It almost makes me cry just thinking about how scared she must have been.

 

{Organic Hat and Recieving Blanket is by Bambino Land}

The rest was a bit of a blur. I breastfed her- she latched onto my boobs like a Hoover vacuum and killed my nipples that first time.

After some bonding time when everyone left us alone, the baby nurse came in to weigh her and do routine procedures.

We were so wrapped up in this little girl we had been waiting for for so long that we didn’t even bother to ask her measurements.

After a while I got put into a wheelchair and with my baby in my arms wheeled up to the recovery floor.


It was almost unreal to have this tiny being in my hands- the one who spent 9 months inside me, submerged in water, upside down, with food and oxygen delivered to her, perfect temperature, no outside influence. It’s her little feet that stretched across my abdomen, her butt that stuck out whenever we touched it.

I spent the whole post partum time at the hospital wearing a designer hospital gown by dearjohnnies. I didn’t feel comfortable putting my own clothes on, because anything loose would feel too bulky under the covers and let’s admit it, pictures wouldn’t have turned out half as good if I wore the hospital provided one. Once again, just like Pretty Pushers gown, you can read about dearjohnnies and win a gown for yourself here.

Those first days before my milk came in on day 2 Alexis ate every 2 hours and slept sporadically (mostly stayed awake and alert) and pooped 1 and 2 diapers a day (which was exactly what I read and everyone tried to tell me was wrong). The next day Andrew drove home to pick up my mom, who stayed with us at the hospital for the day. She even held Alexis in her arms for a few hours just so that we could both get some sleep.

We both didn’t sleep at night because Alexis wouldn’t, so we weren’t even up to having visitors at the hospital – we were so exhausted from days of no sleep that started before delivery. To add insult to injury, medical personnel for some reason thought it was a good idea to keep coming in at night, turning lights full on and cheerfully and loudly announce that it’s time for them to take Alexis temperature right as we FINALLY put her to sleep.

One night this doctor comes in (after we had spent hours shushing and rocking her and finally got her to sleep) and insists on turning the brightest lights in the room and waking up Alexis because she needs a full body exam since “it’s been 24 hours”. It made no sense to me….  After he wakes her up and undresses her, he looks at the name tag and non-challantly announces that he’s got the wrong person. Lol I was ready to kill him right there and then.

{Swaddle in both pictures is by Bambino Land, purple onesie is by Best Baby Organics}

Originally, we were hoping not to introduce a pacifier until breastfeeding is established, but this girl LOVED and NEEDED to suck, so we gave in. It’s funny now because she spits every single one of them out.

Whenever they needed to take her somewhere to test her hearing or anything else, Andrew went with them. We never let her out of our sight and never let her be without at least one of us.

On day two We got cleared by both OB and ped to go home. By then I felt relatively good and had almost no bleeding. My body was still sore and it was a bit hard to get up but in the excitement of going home that got completely overlooked. I took a shower, brushed my hair, put some make up on and got into my going home dress, put my favorite cupcake footie on Alexis and felt like a new person, a new family, going home.

We only took a few shots on the way home and I would have really liked to have had Alexis out of the car seat, but they wouldn’t let us out that way. I still looked about 6 months pregnant going home (Thank you Boob Design dress for not making it obvious!), but by 2nd week I was back to “visibly” semi-flat stomach.

I loved driving home in the backseat with Lexi holding my thumb, only 2 days old and so adorable.

All in all, I consider my labor experience to be great, despite not doing it med-free and ending up with Pitocin. I got to labor for 10 hours without medication, I experienced the relief of an epidural without any side effects that sometimes follow it, I would totally do it again and pretty much with the same plan of action: try to get through it without pain relief, but in the end get an epidural if it’s too much to handle.

My next post will be Reflections on Birth Experience, where I’ll try to write my feelings and thoughts about the process, Hypnobabies, my hospital bag, the epidural and so on.

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Comments (90)

  • Sonya

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    AHHHHH!!!! Amazing story! Beautiful pictures! I still can’t believe she’s finally here :D

    Reply

  • Heidi

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    As far as I’m concerned, epidurals are a gift straight from heaven. I thought I wanted to do med-free until I labored for hours with virtually no progress.

    Reply

  • Tory

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    Hi! I love your blog and am a new follower. I love reading Birth Stories and yours is so wonderful! What a beautiful gift from God!! By the way, I just have to say, you truly look fabulous in all your pictures. Even the ones where you don’t look like you’re feeling all that well (duh! Contractions!)…

    Take Care!

    Reply

  • Jenna

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    Elena I could not help but think of how similar our birth experiences were as I was reading your birth story. I too had hoped for an intervention free delivery with my midwife (but was always open to an epidural if needed), but nature stepped in and I ended up having an induction. When you wrote about the fatigue, and the lack of progress with your labour, I experienced those same things. I remember breaking down and sobbing after I asked for the epidural. In the end though everything works out for the best. We each have beautiful little girls! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    Reply

  • Ana

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    Thanks for sharing this amazing history. Im so afraid of labor that I think I wont be able to have a child a day. Once more time thanks for sharing : )

    Reply

  • Brielle F.

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    The love you have for your daughter just flows through your words. It made me cry a little, in a happy way! We’re getting ready to start TTC and I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I always appreciate when people don’t gloss over the hard parts of labor too, I think it helps some people prepare for what might happen. I love your blog!
    Have a great day!

    Reply

  • Kristi

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    Beautiful post, Elena! Thank you for sharing your birth story with us. Each one is unique and special in their own way.

    Reply

  • Elena C.

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    Awwwww! I loved it, some parts brought tears to my eyes, as if I’ve been through all of it myself.
    It’s definitely an emotional process and you get reborn together with your child :)

    Reply

  • Dana

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    Love this post. I am a young student who looks forward to motherhood, and as a result, I read a ton of mommy blogs to satiate my curiosity. However, I often see mommy bloggers denounce “conventional,” hospital-assisted births. I wholeheartedly disagree with this mindset. Although I am not old enough to start having kids, I can say that my mother had me in a hospital with an epidural and pitocin. I am SO grateful that she had a safe, healthy delivery. In fact, I had a terrible case of jaundice when I was born, and being in a hospital may have saved my life. So I applaud you, with all my heart. Thank you for sharing your story with such passion! It’s definitely inspired me and I hope it will inspire others to be more accepting of all kinds of birthing methods.

    Reply

  • Ashley

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    I’m a little confused on why you didn’t like the idea of giving your child gripe water for reflux, but having an epidural didn’t bother you at all.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      One changes her whole digestive environment to that of an adult by introducing anything other than breastmilk, another barely gets to the baby. Mind you, I did do both. It’s done if it needs to be done.

      Reply

  • Julie

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    Beautiful birth story Elena! Congratulations :)

    Reply

    • Kaaren

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      What a great labor and delivery! Thanks for sharing. My L&D was actually very similar! My labor started with my water breaking though, so my doctor wanted to use pitocin to help me deliver within a certain amount of time. I got the epidural before I would let them start the pitocin (I was also experiencing pretty unbearable labor by then). The epi was wonderful, just as you describe! I actually felt a ton of pressure (almost to the point of pain) once fully dilated and while pushing though, so I didn’t have any trouble pushing while numb. In retrospect, I think this was a good thing (I pushed for only 10 mins!), but I gotta say, your completely pain-free experience after the epi sounds even better, lol! Lexi is perfection. Congrats, again!

      Reply

  • Mara Carlin

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    Hi – First time commenter, but I have been reading your blog since right before you gave birth. I think being able to deviate from your birth plan, that you worked so hard for, shows so much about your charater. Enjoy every minute it goes so fast. My baby is going to be a year next month :( with my first I was so worried about everything that I was not able to enjoy him, The second time I cherished every second I could.

    Thank you for sharing your story, I am addicted to your blog. Alexis is adorable!

    Reply

  • Lara

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    Haha, wow, for all the buildup I thought it would be way crazier or something unique would have happened! She’s very cute. Congrats!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Hahaha nope just the good old epi with pit :)
      Btw there was no build up. I wrote this as a seemless story and at the end cut it into 2 parts :) its just the place of splitting it up was very “intriguing” :)

      Reply

      • Lara

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        Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean that to sound mean! I just meant leaving us hanging from part 1. I couldn’t wait to read the rest! The buildup was from MY excitement. haha

        Reply

  • heather

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    Elena, would you mind telling me where the red/pink striped hoodie thing is from? It’s very cute and looks comfy. Thanks.

    Reply

  • Jenny

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    Love the ending :) congrats. My daughter’s both loved the pacifier in the hospital and that was it…never really took it again! She is a beautiful baby and she has such loving parents.

    Reply

  • Jessica Kohlrenken

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    Hi and congrats to both of you! I’m a new follower and your blog is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful story. Alexis is absolutely gorgeous and she’ so lucky to have such an amazing mother. I’m sure she will one day look back at this and be so grateful that you documented her whole birth. My husband and I are at the beginning stages of planning for a baby and I have to admit I’m a bit terrified. Your blog has helped tremendously though. Thanks again and I can’t wait to read the rest!

    Reply

  • Caitlin Mallery

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    You have done really well, balancing your desires and needs, and also with handling Alexis as an individual baby, not by the book. I did most of my labor in the water and found that to be very helpful for working through contractions. For me, pain was not the issue, just sheer exhaustion. We had hoped that my husband could catch the baby (he is an EMT), but I was so wear at that point, he basically had to support me while the midwife took care of the rest. My midwife has a ton of amazing tricks to help prevent tearing and in the end I had one little tear, but that was because my son’s head(15 in) was much larger than the average baby(12 in). By the way, where do you get all your maternity and nursing bras? That is one thing I wish to do different with this pregnancy. They sound great!

    Reply

  • Laura

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    I am so happy for you and your little family! Reading over others’ birth stories only makes me miss my own, and have baby fever worse than I already do!

    It is refreshing, I will say, to see someone who was so set on having a pain-free birth be okay with getting the meds. I’m not saying I’m GLAD you had to do that, but I feel like so many people would just put it off to say they did it. Perhaps that’s my perception and isn’t really the truth, but it was semi-refreshing to see that you not only were okay with it, but if you had to do it again, you wouldn’t fight it. I am glad you had a pain-free delivery! I ended up having to have a scheduled c-section because my son was breech, and we found out at 38 weeks, so, I know nothing about the experience of a vaginal delivery, but I heard pain-free is pretty great. ;)

    Congrats again!

    Reply

    • Kylie

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      So what if people do it to say they did it? Having made it through a difficult induction med-free is an important part of me now. It pushes me up the next hill on a long run. I remember it with great pride and use it in hard times to remind myself of my own strength. Birth is a very personal thing, and no sane person would go through that just to feel superior to someone else.

      Reply

      • Megan

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        I see what you are saying Kylie (and I do not disagree with your sentiment).. But, yes, some people will do it to feel superior to others! Have you heard of the forums on mothering.com?

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        • Kylie

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          Like I said…sane person. ;)

          Reply

  • Rachel

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    Beautiful story! I have to admit that when I read your birth plan I ended up feeling really bad about my epidural birth. I had a 24 hour labor and labored for 17 hours before I was just so exhausted and asked for the epidural. My epidural only worked on one side of my body but within 2 hours I went from 3 cm to 10 cm so it was what my body needed to progress. I was glad that I got the epidural and I feel like if I have another baby I will try for a natural birth but definitely be open to an epidural again. My birth plan with my daughter was do whatever you have to to get my daughter out safely. We had a great hospital that let me walk and walk and walk and only monitored me every 45 minutes for 20 minutes and then let me keep walking. Enjoy every minute with your beautiful daughter. My baby turned 1 a week ago! It is amazing how fast it goes.

    Reply

  • elle i

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    im SO glad u got the epidural! i experienced it before any pain started as i had a section..anddd holy smoly that stuff is strong! i was immediately numb..i felt as if someone shot adrenaline through my entire body.
    AMEN for dr bonica the apparent creator of the epidural. AMEN for healthy happy babies too! thanks for sharing

    Reply

  • Rockie

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    Loved it! I’m trying to get my mind to deal with labor, but I’m scared to death. Of so many things, this was a good birth story! And not as scary as some others. :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I wouldn’t be afraid. It’s not scary at all and doesn’t have to be painful with availability of epidurals. I found for me 2 things changed labor from scary to normal: exposing myself to videos and stories and info about birth and getting pregnant. Once you love your baby you’ll face anything including labor.

      Reply

  • Adge

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    Wow 12 hours of labor and no progress? I can’t imagine how frustrating that was for you! I’m glad you got to try to do it without the epi though. I don’t think anyone could blame you for getting one after laboring for 12 hours naturally and getting no where. I wanted to try to do it med free also but I had to be induced and the pit was too much for me to handle. Be glad you didn’t have to experience pit contractions!

    Out of curiosity, who was taking pictures? Your husband?

    Reply

    • Deanna

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      try 20 hours and no progress….at all (with my 1st). I ended up having a section because the Dr said “I can leave you like this for a month and nothings going to happen” I never effaced, never dialated….nothing (and that was WITH an induction….with no pain meds)…I ended up with an epi after 18 hours because they turned up the pitocin as much as they could…..and the contractions hurt after that.

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      • Caitlyn

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        It is so frustrating to be in labor so long with no progress. I had been in labor for 65 hours over 3 days before I finally said ‘I can’t take this anymore’. When they gave me the epi I had only dilated to a 4, and with the pitocin I dilated the remaining 6cm in less than an hour. Sometimes it needs to be done so that mama can relax properly and the body can do what needs to be done. That being said, I have to admit that getting the epi felt like I had ‘failed’ with my natural birth. This time around I plan to try again, and hopefully I can have a **much** shorter natural birth… I figure if I can go 65 hours in labor with no drugs, I can get through a ‘normal’ labor with no drugs too.

        Reply

  • Jessica

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    Yay for you and your little one! I loved hearing your story! Question : you said they had you watch a video before you got your epidural? Was it a video about the epidural? I have not heard of the epidural video…

    Reply

      • Jessica

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        Really? I have never heard of that…huh. Kinda glad I didn’t have to watch that:) mind you they mighta thought me a lost cause…I was a little…hmm..in too much pain to watch anything:) again, glad things went so well for you:)

        Reply

      • Megan

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        Mandatory epidural video- I bet that is pointless! Like anyone can watch them while in enough pain to want an epidural!

        Reply

  • Sedge | noob-dad

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    Oh gosh, I get to go through all this in 3 weeks from now. I have a feeling the long period of time in the hospital is going to be the worst; I have to sleep on a stiff little couch while the wife gets pillows and whatnot.

    Congrats on the baby! Hope all is healthy!

    Reply

    • Julie

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      I bet you’ll feel right at home on the couch.

      Reply

      • Sedge | noob-dad

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        No, actually the wife and I have a healthy communicative relationship, different from those in which the woman has no means of outlet other than yelling/screaming and demanding her partner sleep on the couch. I pity women who are too uneducated to properly talk with their partners and would rather just shut a door, not ending an argument with closure. It seems those types of women are also the ones who choose to make snide remarks on the internet without a care for tact or class. To each their own, I suppose, even at the cost of decency.

        Reply

        • Julie

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          I was making a joke because I thought you were. Weren’t you?

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          • Jamie

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            Hah hah, Julie.

            Reply

    • Adge

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      The wife also will have just been through a painful and exhausting labor and delivery. I would advise you not to complain about the couch while she’s resting on her pillows.

      Reply

  • Corissa

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    I was so back and forth on my birthing plan. I’ve finally decided that I want to attempt to do it all naturally, but I am going to still be open to an epidural like you were! Thank you for sharing your story!

    Reply

  • C

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    Such a beautiful birth story. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply

  • Anna

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    Can’t say much, cause I got tears in my eyes…
    SO glad you’re happy with your labor and that you didn´t get frustrated with getting meds! Tks again for sharing.

    Reply

  • Megan

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    Isn’t it funny how quickly birth plans change? Even with a horrible experience (medically speaking) I still wouldn’t have changed it for anything because it got me my kiddo. I can’t wait to do it again! :)
    I love the pictures, I wish I had taken more.
    Your love for her is so evident through your words.
    Quick question. I just ordered an adan + anais organic swaddle cloth. Have you tried those? Do you like the bambino land one better? V still loves being swaddled, and has grown to hate her halo swaddler (weird) so I’ve been using the crappy rough flannel hospital blankets because it’s the only thing big enough.
    Hope you’re doing well! I’ve been missing you posting, and get so excited to see your posts when they pop up!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      It’s funny you ask because I have determined I like Bambino swaddles better because they are less stretchy. A&A are just too stretchy so it’s impossible to get a tight enough swaddle for Alexis not to break out of it. Bambino has enough stretch to it but not too much so we can get it really tight.

      Reply

  • Angela

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    I absolutely love your blog and your daughter is absolutely beautiful! Our birth stories are very similar, and I am about to do it again In 2 months time with baby girl #2!! Quick question for you as I can imagine Alexis is keeping you busy! I want to order the boob design dress you have on and was wondering what size you ordered? We look to be about the same size and I just don’t want to order strictly based on boob sizs as I am not a big person but do seem to have bigger boobs lol

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Thank you, Angela.
      The Boob Design dress is a Small, but you might order Medium if you truly think you have a bigger chest. My cup size is a large C right now, just FYI and a small is just right, can’t be any tighter.

      Reply

  • Tina B

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    Thanks for sharing – BTW the “blurry” pictures are the most special ones! No posing – just drinking in the moment you became a mother! Congrats!

    Reply

  • CaitlinsmommyDelaneyDelaney

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    ThaNk you so much for an honest birth story. You, Andrew and your daughter look so happy to be united.i am so happy for all of you!

    Reply

  • Mommato2beautifulboys

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    Aw she’s a little cutie, that’s for sure! And good job momma- the whole point of labor and delivery is to get the baby here- which you did wonderfully! =) Just wanted to let you know, that one reason the doctor was probably in such a “rush” to get you going, so to speak, is to keep the baby out of distress. The longer labor lingers on (the lackluster contractions and also the pushing without progress) the more chance the baby has to have significant distress. They just really have no way of knowing if she’s got the cord wrapped around her neck or is stuck on the pelvic bone, or any number of things. Her only way of communicating distress would be through the heart monitor, and by that time, it can turn into a true emergency quick. So don’t take his demenour towards you too personally. Remember, nurses are there to care FOR you, doctors are there to care ABOUT you. =)

    Reply

  • Teresa

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    Wow this is almost word for word the same as my birth story – right down to the hospital staff barging in at all hours of the night to give the baby a checkup, haha. Like you I went in armed with hypnobirthing techniques and ended up with IV, pitocin and epidural but ultimately a beautiful healthy baby. I dwelled on it for weeks after and I wish now I could have had a better attitude (like you) about it. What a beautiful daughter, thanks for sharing :)

    Reply

  • Melissa

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    Such beautiful pictures!!! Next time around, I’m getting a cute hospital gown! I felt so disgusting in recovery and we barely took any pictures (which I regret now) of all of us as a new family. Thanks fir sharing your great story! :-)

    Reply

  • Megan

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    Thanks for sharing your story! Not to nitpick, but your dr doing perineal massage probably caused you to *only* have a 1st degree. It stretches the tissue so it doesn’t tear as much! And I haven’t read all the comments so sorry if this has already been addressed!

    Reply

  • Rachel

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    I loved reading the rest of your story! Even though it didn’t go according to plan you couldn’t have had a better labor/delivery and recovery (which I’m jealous of your recovery, ha ha!! I had terrible tears and was swollen and painful down there for quite a while, not to mention developing a contact rash that burned horribly and left welts from I think the witch hazel. Ugh!).
    Josh and I were the same way in the hospital. We never let Lillian leave our arms or our sight, but if she had to for some reason Josh was right there with her. :) I’m so curious of Alexis’s stats now! I feel really robbed with Lillian’s because we’re almost 100% certain they measured her wrong. :( She was 7lb 4 oz which seems right, but then they said she was only 18 3/4 inches long which we don’t agree with. Both Josh and I were 21″ long at birth and in the 7 lb range. Lillian was just as lean and long as we were, and plus, at her next dr checkup she was 23 1/4 inches long…that is waaay too much to grow in just two months!! So we feel like they made a mistake and that saddens us that we’ll never know exactly how long she was at birth. We’re guessing it was closer to 21 inches.

    Reply

      • Rachel

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        I know! :( Thanks for posting her stats! Lillian’s apgar was also 9/9 :) Interestingly we brought it up to our pediatrician yesterday (the length discrepancy) at our 9 mo well baby visit and he also stated it had to be an error on the hospital’s part. Boo! :(

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Yeah I read that in your post! Can’t wait till they do her blood test at 12 months. I’m curious if being on breastmilk alone can be fine when it comes to iron and vit D levels. Cuz I don’t want to supplement.

          Reply

  • Jenna H.

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    I loved reading your birth story! Thanks for posting it. She is a beautiful baby girl. How are things going with nursing? Is she spacing her nursing sessions out at all?

    Reply

  • Allie

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    Hey!

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now; I’m just now getting around to posting. I wanted to say that I loved hearing your birth story! You did an amazing job telling it, and it’s wonderful to hear that you were able to roll with punches and do what needed to be done to bring your beautiful daughter into the world. So many people (particularly people who strive for natural birth) have feelings of regret and remorse for giving in to medicated labor, as if they failed somehow. It’s relieving to see someone who accepted that, yes, the epidural and pitocin weren’t part of the plan, but they were needed in the moment and helped bring another beautiful, healthy child into the world—and that’s all that matters.

    As a sidenote, I started browsing Boob Design’s website through hearing about it on your blog, and I have to say, I’m in love! My 8-month-old is still going strong breastfeeding, and I think a Boob Design dress is going to be the perfect addition to my wardrobe this summer. I don’t suppose I could talk you into hosting another giveaway from them? ;)

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      • Allie

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        That would be awesome! Thanks for looking into it!

        Either way, though, I’m totally getting one of those adorable dresses for Mother’s Day. :)

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  • Natalia Johnson

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    I have always thought the best birth plans are FLEXIBLE! Things change on a dime, and the most important thing is a healthy newborn baby and a healthy mom. Anyone who opts for a med free birth and ends up with one, more power to them, but I for one LOVED my epi. It allowed me to refocus and renergize for pushing. Sometimes our bodies need a little help, and that is one of the bonuses of living in an era of modern medicine, is we have that option!! Your baby is beautiful, congratulations, and love the picture of you and your husband holding the car seat between the two of you. Oh, and the before and after of the epi, I LOL’ed. Don’t ever feel bad for opting for it, there are no medals handed out either way. Every birth story is amazing, yours included.

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  • momof3girls

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    So pretty much the entire birth plan went out the window, huh!!! But, in the end, you got exactly what you wanted – a healthy baby! Congratulations!!!

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Not really. I got what was most important for me. I was never against an epidural, or an IV, or even pit if needed. I was against administering those things routinely without giving me the opportunity to labor naturally. I got that much to my surprise. And then my body dictated what it needed.
      Also the birth plan that had to do with Alexis ( baby plan) was what I REALLY cared about and that worked out great, so I am happy either way

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      • momof3girls

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        I guess my point was that you thought long and hard about it and put a lot of effort into it but, in the end, you had the same experience as someone who may have not thought about it for a single second and went into the hospital blindly. I had 3 labors, 3 vaginal deliveries w/ pitocin and epidural and my only plan was healthy baby, healthy mama…and I got it x3. Not a critical statement, just an observation.

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Yes but I had no way of knowing how it would turn out. It could have just as well been different. I feel preparations are never a wasted effort.

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  • crystal

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    Elena, I was just wondering. Did you suffer from any post partum baby blues? I’ve been struggling with it on and off throughout my pregnancy and am a little scared to see how I will be post partum. If you did have PP baby blues, what did you do to get it under control? How long did it last?
    TIA

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Crystal,
      I didn’t have pp blues and I wasnt hormonal during pregnancy, however that doesn’t mean that the difficulty of the first weeks didn’t get to me. I would get quite frustrated and upset. It was hard, scary and so much was unknown (why does my baby cry? Why doesn’t she sleep? Why does she eat every 30 min?). I had the toughest time with breastfeeding and would get really upset when Alexis wouldn’t be able to latch on properly and just killed my nipples every time. I was in a lot of pain.
      Also I’d get caught up being upset at the fact that I had to feed every 30 min and she wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on me. In the end what really helped me with all of this is realizing that her behavior is normal, that’s what she needs and that nothing is as important as taking care of her needs so everything else will wait while I feed her, sleep with her, entertain her.
      I stopped stressing out about what wasn’t getting done and concentrated on being with Alexis.
      Hope this helps!

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      • Jenny

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        Elena,
        First of all, congratulations on your beautiful baby girl! Your birth story was lovely and so much fun to read. Second, I like your comment about not stressing and just being with your baby. I wish I would have done that more when my daughter was born. I also wish we would have controlled the visiting hours in the hospital better. I’m sure you are getting a ton of advice but the best piece I got was to remember that everything is a phase and will pass. This helped me seize the precious moments, as well as look forward to no longer having to carry towels around for the waterfall spit ups. The days are long but the years are short. Welcome to the wonderful world of motherhood. Ps-will you blog how you got your pre baby bod back? I need tips! :)

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I will totally blog about my work outs and eating but as of now I definitely don’t have my pre baby body back. Not even close. And what’s worse is that I haven’t started a good work out routine. I’m still figuring out time management.

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  • Leeka B.

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    She reminds me SO much of Gabriella it is crazy!!!! I should forward you some newborn pictures of her so you will see. At first my mom pointed that out to me and now I can totally see a little Gabby there! :) Plus – a dark lock was the first thing we saw as well! :))) HUGS! Thanks for sharing your story!

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  • Kathy G.

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    Elena, thank you for sharing your birth story! I was Googling and happened to find your blog randomly just days after meeting you and your husband in person (I bought your baby swing that was for sale). And then I look through the photos you posted and we have the SAME OB. Seems like you had a good experience! I hope mine is similar (wanting the same things and ultimate outcome but prepared for whatever happens).

    Question: I’m scared of pitocin for the same reasons and DON’T want to end up with a C-section… did you feel like the OB and everyone else was on the same page, and that ultimately pitocin helped to get things going in the right direction? Should I not be as scared/worried about it if they tell me I need it?

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      OMG that is the RANDOMEST thing ever! How cool is that? :)
      Now I understand what you meant when you said that you trust your OB and that he won’t push you for a C-section! Will you say hi to him to me, even though he probably won’t remember :)

      I felt he was really good an the nurses were amazing. They let us do whatever we wanted, but the truth was my labor was going on for hours and it was really intense and then it sort of stalled, so we just tried for a tiny bit of pitocin and it picked it up immediately and I was ready within 2(???) hours, I can’t remember the specifics now, but I am sure I wrote that in the birth story. They monitored me and the baby the whole time, and i could sleeeeeeeep (ah! which is the biggest reason why i went for epidural is because I wanted to sleep soooo bad). I would imagine if there was anything that was cause for alarm they would get me off pitocin before a C section is necessary.

      So of course shoot for totally natural, but your labor will probably dictate a lot of what happens. And have good support there too. Whatever happens, you’ll have the baby :) Dr Thompson is amazing and i doubt he’d ever steer you wrong!

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      • Kathy G.

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        I’m sure he will totally remember you! :) Great advice, thank you.

        I’m obsessed with your blog, it’s so helpful as I’m getting ready to pack my hospital bag and really focused on learning as much as possible about the birth/delivery. This is giving me a lot of confidence and reassurance.

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  • Autumn H.

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    Oh my gosh; you’re the first person that has made me feel like it’s okay to have an epidural!! Well, that’s a tad melodramatic, but; really! Thank you for blogging your experiences. :)

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      It’s ok to do anything! It’s your experience! You can do your best laboring without and then have it because you choose so. Or have a C-section because that’s what you want. No one should ever make you feel like it’s not ok to make your own decisions.

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  • Gladys A.

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    Hi Elena!

    Can you tell me what brand that red car seat is on the photo? Its is so adorable!!

    Thanks and Warm Regards!

    Reply

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