Elijah's birth story (detailed)

10:14 AM

Because I'm already starting to forget some of the details I figured now was a good time to hash out Elijah's birth story here. I say hash out because I still can't believe what actually happened in Labor and Delivery room number 3 that night/morning.

Thursday July 11, 2013 4:30pm
Kaleb and I went to our last appointment with Dr. Coronado (my OBGYN). It was our last because she was leaving the next day to go on vacation with her family. I had asked earlier that week to be induced so that she could deliver Elijah. I know how crazy selfish that sounds but I absolutely adore my doctor and to be with her for 9 months and not have her deliver him made me heartbroken. However, she had called me Wednesday and told me she could not induce me because my cervix was closed at the last appointment. Inducing a closed cervix can end in C section which is not what either of us wanted for Elijah or myself. I wanted a natural vaginal delivery and she wanted that for me as well. We left the matter at that. I hung up the phone satisfied that this must be in God's plan so I didn't question it. At our appointment the next day my blood pressure was really high and they found protein in my urine. These are both signs of Preeclampsia. With my due date being 2 days away she told me she didn't want to let me sit for a week with high blood pressure anyway because it could be dangerous for Elijah and I so it was time to be induced. How weird, I thought. I had wanted to be induced and now I was going to be but not at all the way I wanted it. I immediately began to cry as Coronado tried to explained that we were going downstairs to Labor and Delivery. She asked if she could pray over us (this is why I love her, folks). She prayed for no C section, a natural vaginal delivery (because that's what I wanted), and that we could all be together for this experience since her plane left for Florida the next morning.

-5:00 pm
I was given Cytotec to help soften my cervix which was still closed. 4 hours later I was checked to see if I made progress and I was still closed. Coronado came in and forced my cervix open which was still barely a 1 and then broke my water. I thought things would begin to progress on their own after that since that was what I had always heard from other mama's who got their water broken. Between 5pm and 9pm sweet friends came to pray over us and others flooded our phones with text messages saying they were praying as well. I can't tell you how many people were praying for us that night. God moves especially when 2 or more are gathered in His name. This became so much more evident during my labor.

I was given more Cytotec to see if it would dilate me more and I was told that they would start me on Pitocin at 2 am. I was getting nauseous so I was given Phenergan to help ease it which also made me sleepy so I figured I could take the next 4 hours and pass out before everything got intense but I could only fall asleep between contractions which were probably a minute a part, maybe more. That's when things began to blur together.

July 12, 2013 2am
I was given pitocin and told they would increase it every 20 minutes. I was checked first and was at a 2. I lost all hope of making it without medicine at this point because I knew how bad contractions were going to get. Kaleb called Evelyn (our doula) and told her to come at 2 am because I was going to need her help to work through contractions. Well needless to say things got intense faster than what I was prepared for. I kept feeling so much pressure in my pelvis and every time I was checked the nurse kept telling me how low Elijah's head was. Coronado had even mentioned things going really fast once I did start to dilate because of how low his head was. This was encouraging and confusing all at the same time. I couldn't understand why my cervix wasn't opening if his head was as low as everyone kept saying. Contractions almost immediately began to get stronger. I tried bouncing on the birthing ball right before the Pitocin was given but with his head being so low it just caused more pain instead of eased it. I climbed back into bed just in time for everything to hurt. About 10 minutes after Pitocin started I threw up over the side of the bed. I remember opening my eyes long enough to see that it was green. I kept wondering why my throw up would be green. I closed my eyes as the nurse gave me more Phenergan to ease my stomach. It finally started working just as contractions grew. I had to stay on my side because of my high blood pressure. I didn't want to stay in the bed. My birth plan was to labor in the tub and to get up and move but I could barely open my eyes. That's what I remember the most about labor-my eyes staying closed majority of the time. I tried desperately to open them so I could see Kaleb's face. I always felt better when our eyes met. He pulled up a chair next to the bed and just watched me labor. He tried to touch me, offering me comfort through his strong hand but I couldn't handle it. Nothing made me feel better and everything made it worse. I wanted so badly to tell him how much I loved him for trying to help but I couldn't vocalize anything at this point. The only thing I could communicate was when I needed more ice chips and even then I could only touch my mouth and then point to the cup. He knew. And I loved him for that. I moaned and yelled through contractions. I tried hard to focus on my breathing like I researched so much about but the harder I tried the more it hurt. I remember hearing Evelyn tell me to do whatever my body wanted. That felt great to hear. All pressure was off to keep my cool and I gave in, I gave in hard. My body wanted to claw at everything with each contraction. I clawed at my own hands, my pillow, the bed railing, and even my hair. I didn't expect this at all.

-4:20am ish
I was checked again and had only made it to a 4. This was more than discouraging. Looking back after it all I know now when I was in transition and this was that point. I couldn't stop screaming with each contraction. I felt bad for the people in the Labor and Delivery wing. I tried to control myself and just go back to yelling but screaming was all that was coming out of my mouth. The coolest moment was hearing these lyrics as another awful contraction hit-"There will be an end to these trouble but until that day comes, still I will praise You." Out of all of the songs that passed through the Pandora playlist on my Jesus Culture station these were the only words I heard. I praised God in my heart and braced myself for another one. I heard Kaleb tell Evelyn that he didn't know how she could do this all the time-watch people go through this much pain. I wasn't sure what her response was but I thought the same thing for Kaleb. I didn't know how he had made it that far without completely breaking. If it were me I wouldn't be able to watch him writhe in pain the way I was. Suddenly, everything changed.

-4:45am ish
I was done. I was giving in and getting the epidural. The anesthesiologist had been woken up and made it up to the hospital right when I felt the pressure get worse. During the last contraction before I pushed I had screamed so hard that it felt like Elijah had moved even more down. It was a really weird feeling but that was when the pressure increased beyond what it had been the whole time. I told the nurse I couldn't sit still for the epidural. She was telling me I had to and I told her there was too much pressure. She checked me and said I was at a 10. I went from a 4 to a 10 in about 30 minutes. It was Jesus. I was on the verge of giving in and He moved quickly. I love that about the Lord. He knew my desire was to deliver my baby naturally. I had prayed over the last 9 months for it, others had prayed for me, and it was happening. The nurse who had been such a sweetheart and so silly the whole time turned serious and I knew it was time. She looked me in the eye and asked me if I wanted to push without the epidural. I didn't hesitate. As I said yes to pushing I flipped on my back and jammed one leg into the nurses side and the other leg was being held by Evelyn. I strained to hear Kaleb's voice, trying desperately to hear where he was. Right when I started pushing I heard Evelyn or the nurse (I can't remember which one) tell Kaleb to sit down or to go outside. I knew he must be having a hard time. I just wanted him to be the one holding my leg. I wanted to open my eyes and see him but couldn't. After about 20 minutes of pushing someone asked me if I wanted to touch my baby's head. I kept thinking that it was impossible for him to be that close to being out. I reached down and touched his head and couldn't believe how squishy it was. That gave me the boost I needed to finish the race. A couple of more pushes and he was on my stomach. This perfect, purple, crying bundle of love was finally in my arms. I touched his hand as nurses ran around getting things for him and Evelyn rubbed some of the vernex and other fun stuff off him. I couldn't cry. I just kept taking in breaths and saying "my baby, my baby." I think I was still in shock that it was all finally over and this sweet little guy who had grown in me for 9 months was finally in my arms. Kaleb cut the cord like a champ!

Elijah's birth was a mixture of what I wanted and didn't want but overall it was perfect and I'm so happy that I did it without medication. It makes everything else in my life feel different. Right now, breastfeeding seems to be much harder than I expected but I just keep reminding myself that if I didn't give up during his birth then I can't give up with feeding him the best way there is. New parent life is an adventure but I have the best man to share in this journey with. He wasn't very present for the actual delivery because of how sick he got watching me BUT he has been amazing when it comes to me breastfeeding Elijah. He helps me calm down when I get frustrated and encourages me by staying with me and talking to me when Elijah does feed. I have an amazing husband, a precious son, and a MIGHTY God.

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