project baby {eloise’s birth story}

{warning: this is likely an overly long post for a lot of readers, but I wanted to share details for those who have asked & also to have a record to share with eloise one day. feel free to skip down to the pictures, or skip this post completely!}

I had come up with a birth plan {well, preferences}, but honestly I knew much of what was to come of labor was out of my control. plus, the birth plan never made it into the hospital bag. fail…

on sunday morning {august 10, 2014} I was up to use the bathroom around 12:30 am & as I was getting back into bed, I felt what I thought was a contraction. I really wasn’t sure what to expect with real {not braxton hicks} contractions, but this one felt so different. I laid back down & tried to get back to sleep, noting the time & wishing it was later in the morning since I had only been asleep for about 2 hours. I didn’t want to wake up aaron if I was just in early labor. about 2 hours later I was pretty convinced I was in active labor {no early labor for this lady!}.

when I first woke up aaron, he asked me “have you had that baby yet?” in reference to this hilarious website, to which I responded “I think I am in labor!” that woke him up pretty quickly! aaron called our doula around 2:45 am to let her know that I was having contractions. she suggested that I get into the bath to see if my contractions would slow down enough for me to get some sleep. {wishful thinking!} shortly thereafter, I got in a warm bath. while the water did help ease the intensity of the contractions, it didn’t slow things down. not even close. aaron was timing my contractions using the full term app & my contractions were 4 to 5 minutes apart & 1 minute long. he updated our doula since this is the contraction pattern that normally indicates when you should start heading to the hospital {known as 5-1-1or 5 minutes between contractions, 1 minute long, for 1 hour}. I labored in bed until 4:15 am when aaron called the doula back & asked her to join us. at that point my contractions were variable in duration & spacing.

our doula arrived around 5:15 am & my contractions were 2 to 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 to 2 minutes. thankfully I was able to rest between contractions. around 5:50 am I was ready for aaron to page our midwife & update her on my status. I didn’t want to go to the hospital too early, but wanted to make sure she knew what was going on & also making sure we didn’t have a home birth! at that point aaron left to make himself some breakfast since our doula was able to stay with me. I remember being a bit jealous that he was eating, but also kicking him & his breakfast out of our bedroom since I couldn’t stand the smell of scrambled eggs!

at 6:10 am our midwife calls & aaron lets her know my updated status. she asks if I would like to come to the hospital & I say “yes.” apparently I also tell aaron & our doula that I don’t want to have another contraction. {again, wishful thinking!} by 6:20 we are out the door & in the car headed to the hospital. the trip was no fun – not only did I have to labor in the front seat of the car, but I was sick en route, meaning I no longer had any food in my belly to get me thru the remainder of my labor.

we arrived at the hospital around 6:50 am, parked, & got into the elevator. I had my eyes closed to get me thru the contractions, & aaron & our doula got me to triage. we were checked in & given a room where I was able to lie down. I don’t remember much of this process except for when a nurse came in with a consent form I needed to sign while I was in the middle of a contraction… the lawyer in me was overridden by the laboring part of me. around 6:50 am my midwife arrives in the triage room & checks my progress – 5 cm dilated & the baby is low!

by 7:40 am we are wheeled up to our birthing suite, & meet our labor & delivery nurse Jearit. at 8 am my mom arrives which I don’t even realize since I am doing my best to rest between each contraction. by 8:30 am I am feeling a lot of pressure & decide to try laboring in the tub. much like before, the tub didn’t slow down my contractions but made the intensity much less so. initially when I got into the tub I had a heparin lock on my left arm just in case I needed an IV, but it prevented me from putting my hand & arm into the water. since I am pretty small, this made things really awkward & uncomfortable. I had the nurse remove the hep-lock which made things so much better!

at 9 am my midwife checked my progress & I was 8 cm dilated! I was doing pretty well at that point & glad to hear I was progressing. aaron had started naming my contractions {much like meteorologists name hurricanes} & this particular one was Phil. around that time I also felt a gush & my bag of waters had broken. by 9:45 am the baby was still doing well & I was feeling the need to push. I had also just gotten thru a contraction by the name of Raul {apparently my husband liked spanish names that morning}.

at 10:05 am I was complete & began to push. over the next 2 hours I continued to push & change positions {sides, back, on the toilet}. I remember feeling so, so exhausted when I first started pushing & for the first hour or so. I wasn’t really able to distinguish the timing of my contractions, so I was pushing at somewhat random times. about an hour or so into pushing my nurse begins to watch my contractions & tell me the best time to push. around noon or reached down to feel the baby’s head crowning – at that point it was all adrenaline & I was so ready to meet this baby.

at 12:20 pm baby lower was born! I was able to reach down & pull her up onto my chest for skin-to-skin, though her umbilical cord was a bit short, so she ended up needing to be down on my belly until the cord was cut. aaron was the first to know the baby’s gender & announced “it’s a girl!” at that point, he let me share that her name would be Eloise Grace. the cord was clamped & aaron cut the cord after some delay. I needed a shot of Pitocin to help with hemorrhaging, but the pain was so minor relatively speaking, plus I was mesmerized by my daughter at that point!

eloise scored two 9s on her apgar & by 12:50 pm was latching & feeding for the first time. she also got some skin-to-skin time with aaron, & cuddles from my mom – her grammie.

at that point we were all starving & aaron ordered jimmy john’s sandwiches which were delivered to the room! {no worries, the curtain in front of our room’s door was closed when the delivery was made.} we hung out in the birthing suite for a few hours while we waited for a post-partem room to open up. there were lots of babies born that weekend given the super moon & all of the rooms were full! although we were both ready for a nap, it was really great to have some quiet time with our new little family.

12 hours after my first contraction, eloise was here & we are overjoyed! I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of aaron, my mom, our doula, & midwives – thank you so much! even though these things never go quite to plan, this was pretty darn close & I will never, ever forget this experience!


thank you aaron for giving me the gift of a daughter & thank you eloise for making me a mama!


5 thoughts on “project baby {eloise’s birth story}

  1. What a precious experience and story! Also, I love your comment about the treatment consent forms because each time I’ve had to sign one in labor, I’ve muttered, “my damn profession.”

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