Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Story of Eloise Jane

Our sweet baby Eloise Jane is here!

She arrived on Friday, July 22nd at 11:04pm after 11 hours of labor. She weighed in at 7lbs 4oz, and measured 19 3/4 inches (though I think the hospital measured incorrectly- because yesterday at our 4 day old doctor appointment she measured 20 3/4!).

Here is her birth story.

Weather forecast the day Eloise joined the world 

We had an induction set for 7am Friday July 22nd. My parents- Iyla's Mimi and Grampy- arrived the day prior to get settled in toward caring for Iyla. I hardly slept at all the night before the induction- so much going through my mind! Perhaps my body was already prepping me toward the sleepless newborn period ahead.

 Last belly shots taken the morning of our induction at 39 weeks, 3 days

When we arrived at the hospital, we were told there weren't any rooms available and that it would be up to a 2 hour delay. Apparently there were a lot of babies being born that day! So BC and I settled into the waiting room, where I treated myself to a 2nd breakfast (egg, cheese, & bacon croissant)- knowing that once the induction got started I wouldn't be allowed to eat any more solid food.

Finally around 9am we were officially admitted and given a room. The nurse put my IV in and started the Penicillin toward treating the Group B Strep. That medicine definitely HURT on the way into my arm; with each subsequent round I'd get throughout the day I'd again have the pain, necessitating ice packs on top of the IV. I was told I'd need at least 30 minutes of Penicillin in my system before the Pitocin could begin.

Hospital board in our room- #12 

Right before they started the Pitocin my midwife did a vaginal check, and it was confirmed that I was 4cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby was at a -2 station. They then started the Pitocin at 11:55am- a very low lose of 1.5 to gently get my contractions started and my body warmed up toward labor.

At 12:30 I got an epidural, which was uncomfortable and somewhat painful to get. I could feel the needle going into my spine and working its way up and down. I have NO memory of this pain with Iyla's epidural, likely due to the fact that I was already in painful active labor. Similar to Iyla's this was a "perfect" epidural in that I could still completely move the bottom half of my body; I could feel my legs and feet, and could feel the pressure of each contraction.

At 1:15 my water was broken and the Pitocin was upped to 3. At this time my cervix had progressed to a 70% effacement and I was still at 4cm dilation. Shortly thereafter at 2pm they opted to reduce the Pitocin dose, as my contractions- which were coming very regularly- were lasting too long in each wave.

At 2:30 they started a 2nd round of Penicillin. I was sipping water and apple juice and overall just resting the best I could as the contractions beeped by on the monitor.

By 3:45 I started feeling a big uptick in overall pressure, to the point where it started getting painful. When I was rechecked at 4pm I was now 5 cm dilated, 90% effaced, and baby had moved down slightly to a -1 station.

As my swearing intensified with each contraction, the nurse ordered a refresh on my epidural from the anesthesiologist. It took a little while to settle in, but I knew the moment it did because the pain subsided and along with that came nausea and vomiting. This vomiting would continue on and off for the rest of my labor.

At 5:40pm I was checked and was at 8cm, 90% effaced, 0 station with a "big bloody show!" (as exclaimed by the nurse attending). The nurse and my doctor decided to have me sit upright for awhile and labor that way, which actually felt really great to my body (I'd been flat on my back all day, going from side to side, and had a pretty mean crick in my neck). A 3rd round of Penicillin was begun.

Why yes, I did take a "I'm about to meet my baby girl" selfie! 

I was still feeling the contractions much more than I had with Iyla's labor, and was really trying to relax and breathe through them (though I was also swearing quite a bit!). I pushed my epidural "freshen" button a few times and was then able to get into a really Zen meditative state- eyes closed, just breathing in and out rhythmically and trying to visualize baby moving down.

At 8:50 we began an initial round of pushing, lasting around 20-25 minutes. When that didn't result in obvious progress my doctor asked me if I preferred pushing or laboring (I had no idea!) then said her gut was to stop the pushing and let me labor for awhile longer to see if I could help further visualize and move baby down. They kept my feet up in stirrups, and my doctor "bound" my belly- tying a sheet snug above where baby was to help encourage her descent from the outside pressure.

At this point I asked BC to play some music. Nick Drake was put on, and as the music played I swayed and shimmied my hips to the rhythm. We would DANCE this baby out! We spoke to the baby, trying to entice her by letting her know that the music sounded so much better here on the outside.

Around 10:40 my doctor returned and we decided to try pushing again. Within 4-5 pushes that little head crowned, and as I sat with the most intense pressure ever my doctor and the nurse got everything prepped for delivery. When I got the green light to push again it took 3-4 more rounds before baby was officially born- arriving at 11:04pm. She came out with the cord wrapped 2 times tightly around her neck, which my doctor immediately loosened toward delayed cord clamping. I had a 2nd degree tear that was stitched up, and as with Iyla's birth, had some pretty awful and painful hemorrhoids emerge.

Baby girl had some great lungs on her from the get-go, though calmed quickly when laid on my chest for initial skin to skin. I was flat on my back so couldn't really prop her up- but the sweetest thing ever was that she kept craning her neck to try to get a good look at me... trying to see just who this lady was who'd been carrying her all these months! She also latched onto my breast her very first try with a strong latch and has continued to be a champion nurser ever since.

You can see her trying to look up at me here. So sweet! 

After about an hour of skin to skin baby was taken to be weighed & measured, then BC went with her to the nursery for her first bath. She received an 8/9 on her Apgar Score and continued to be extremely alert throughout those initial hours.

The intense waves of nausea and vomiting persisted even after baby was out, so at 2:40am I finally caved and asked the nurse to get me anti nausea medication. We'd been avoiding it up until then because it is known to constipate (and having an epidural is already constipating!)- but man oh man do I wish I would have taken it from the get-go. It worked fast and I was finally able to hold down sips of water and juice again.

Baby girl returned from the nursery with BC around 2:45am, and we were told we'd be staying the rest of the night in the delivery room, as due to all the births that day there weren't yet any postpartum rooms available.

It wasn't until the next morning that we finally settled once and for all on her name...sweet baby Eloise Jane! We took to calling her Lady Eloise pretty early on, and it's a nickname that has stuck and definitely fits her. The name Eloise has several meanings, which include "healthy," "warrior," and "sun." She is definitely our little warrior girl after all it took to bring her here! Her middle name Jane is a nod to my beloved maternal grandmother Nani, whose name was Betty Jane.

Here are a few precious photos of Eloise's first hours of life. We are absolutely smitten, and so incredibly grateful that she had a safe, healthy arrival into this world.

Welcome to the family, sweet girl! 
You are so incredibly loved.


  1. Congratulations! She is beautiful. Can't wait till she meets her big sister.

  2. How wonderful! Welcome to the planet, Eloise!

  3. Congratulations! She's beautiful. Your selfie is pretty great too.

  4. Congratulations again mama!!!