Celebrating Ellie’s Half year of life, I decided to share with our readers my birth story. It made me smile thinking about it today and I am so happy at how far Ellie, me and my husband have come as individuals and a little family. Ellie has definitely brought on a new joy in my life I have never known before. I look at her and I still wonder, “are you really my daughter?” Part of me still feels like a single girl and then I look at Ellie and I am reminded that I am a mom! It’s a crazy feeling.
Let me begin by saying that this story is LONG. I suggest you grab a cup of coffee or some nice hot tea. If you choose to read it in it’s entirety, please be warned there are some ugly crying pictures and a picture of a baby right outta the womb! I am warning you…
This day was such a blur to me that days had gone by where I forgot certain things that had happened. I had to text Fabe a few days later to ask her if I had breastfed Ellie for the first time in the delivery room or postpartum room. Everything was a blur to me, but I can honestly say that it was the best day of my life. I still can’t believe it happened that way.
So as many of you know, I had been planning on having a natural birth. I didn’t know what was going to happen the day of. I was ready and open to have interventions if I needed it in the end. Many people had asked me what my pain tolerance was and I never knew how to respond. Who knows how painful childbirth will be and you will be able to bear it? For me, I just kept thinking that my body was made to do this and I kept telling myself I was strong and that baby and I must work together to make things happen.
Everyday my prayer was : Easy, quick and comfortable birth and you know what? God answers prayers. Here we go.
Ellie was born on a Saturday. The Thursday and Friday before was definitely a waiting game. Friday night I couldn’t sleep. Was not sleepy at all and I found that to be so weird. I wrote myself a little note on my phone Friday night. Here it is:
“I feel like baby Ellie is going to come out tonight or tomorrow. It’s 220 am. I’m not tired. I can’t breathe that well and she’s been moving around sooooo much like something is going on. I’ve had contractions on and off all day and I really feel like she’s doing something. I’ve had these “this is it feeling!” before but tonight it feels a little different to me. I am ready. I am strong. Ellie and I will work as a team to bring her out into the world and I can’t wait to meet her. I know my life will be completely change once she’s in my life. It’s been such an amazing 9 months. Today I was home all day resting and washing Ellie’s clothes. At night my husband picked me up and we went to dinner with our friends. My husband then took me to 21 choices in Pasadena for a last minute ice cream run. He is the best and has taken me to every ice cream craving I have wanted. I think tonight was the last one. I decided not to tell anyone about my contractions or weird feelings of her moving. I don’t want anyone to be waiting so ill just silently feel these things until its go time.”
So. I finally fell asleep after writing that and it’s Saturday morning. I wake up to the same contraction feeling that I had felt before (they were not painful at all and very sporadic), but I also felt the pain in my back like a period cramp. I knew it was different and told my mom I think it’s today. She smiled at me and told me she didn’t think so. I had my friend’s baby’s 1st birthday party that morning in Pasadena and my husband suggested that maybe we shouldn’t go since I was feeling contractions. I told him I would be fine and that it would be good for me to just be out and not focused on my contractions. The books that I read Natural Hospital Birth said that if I am in early labor to ignore it and go about your day! I can’t pinpoint exactly when my labor started but I guess it was that morning at 9AM.
We get to the birthday party and everyone at the party is asking me when I am going to have my baby. I reply, ” I think today!” to everyone and they all look at me like I am crazy and laugh. I told them I was feeling contractions and they just laughed. Throughout the party the contractions were bearable. I would be okay and as soon as I felt a contraction Fabe said my face expression would change and I would become very serious, but I thought that it was just minor and no big deal. I was dealing with them and it was not painful. At 2:30PM the birthday party ends and I head over to the bathroom. In the bathroom I feel THE contraction. One that I had not felt before and I do my yoga breathing through the contraction. As soon as it is over I run outside looking for my husband. I don’t see him and ask Fabe where he is and she tells me she doesn’t know. I know that another contraction is coming soon and I run out of the restaurant and start pacing back and forth by the front door. All I know is that I want to go home so I can labor at home comfortably. My husband runs out looking for me asking me what is wrong and I tell him we need to go home NOW. He tells me we didn’t say bye to anyone but I tell him I don’t care, we gotta go.
We hop in the car, get home and I start to labor at home. I have my birthing ball and every time I get a contraction I roll on the ball and ask my husband to massage my back. We are not timing the contractions but they are definitely around 5 minutes apart. In my class I learned it doesn’t matter if the contractions are 5 minutes apart. The moment you can no longer talk or walk during a contraction it is time to go to the hospital. I didn’t think I was there yet. My husband asks if he should call the doctor to let her know and I tell him yes. He calls our Dr and she tells him to bring me in. In my head I think we would labor at home another hour or two and then go to the hospital since my goal was to get to the hospital when I am 7cm dilated. Fabe then rushes into the room since she saw how panicked I was at the restaurant and her and my husband are just watching/helping me through my contractions. My husband is massaging my lower back while Fabe is RECORDING me and taking pictures!! She even made me do a little shout out video to Ellie when I was on my birthing ball in between contractions.
Fabe took these pictures of me while I was trying to labor at home. At the moment I was so out of it and thinking, “OMG! don’t take pictures of me!” but now I am so glad she took them!
We are probably home for about 30 – 40 minutes when all of a sudden the contractions get super intense and I tell Fabe and my husband we have to get to the hospital NOW. They looked at me a little panicky and all of a sudden I see the both of them running around trying to get our hospital bags, snacks and birthing ball in the car. I am trying to think of any last minute things I need to get.
In the car. I would have to say the car experience was the most intense and vivid time for me. I had a few strong contractions when we got on the freeway, but 10 minutes in the contractions got CRAZY. Fabe was in the backseat with me massaging my lower back everytime a contraction came. The final two contractions I felt in the car, I also felt the urge to push and I kept yelling at Fabe and my husband that ” We have to get there!! I need to push!! OMG, omg, omg!! SHhhhhh…… Fuuuuuu!!!!” When the one FU word came out of my mouth I think both Anderson and Fabe knew how serious it was since I never curse! ha. I seriously felt the urge to push and panicked because I thought we were going to have the baby in the car! During the last contraction I started to open my legs since the urge was so strong and I remember Fabe pushing my legs together telling me to CLOSE MY LEGS! We hit a traffic at this time and I thought I was going to lose it. My husband is very calm and trying to get us there safely and I am freaking out in the back seat in unbelievable pain just repeating, ” omg! we have to get there!!”
I can tell Fabe is a little scared of me. My personality has become not my own. When I am in between contractions I am totally fine, but once a contraction hits I become a completely different person. Even when my husband tried to console me during a contraction by placing his hands on my shoulder, I snapped at him and told him not to touch me. I could see in his face he looked a little shocked. There is something about a woman during a contraction that she just does NOT want to be touched and I just needed to deal with the pain on my own (except for the lower back massages). As we get closer to the hospital I tell my husband and Fabe that I can’t take it and we have to just go in through the emergency entrance. We quickly get there and my husband and I jump out of the car in a panic leaving all the doors open and Fabe is left alone with all the bags and birthing ball to park on her own.
Side note. The goal was to get the the hospital at 7cm (you need to be at 10cm to start pushing for those of you who don’t know). I read so many birth stories where women said they labored at home for so long and thought they were so far along and for sure around 7cm only to get to the hospital to be told they are only 4cm. I read a lot of stories that said to not expect too much because most women end up being disappointed. I had no idea how many cm I was dilated but throughout the week I kept telling Anderson the goal was 7cm. I was ready to be disappointed. My thoughts were that we were going to get to the hospital. I was going to labor for 5-6 more hours, go into transition and be in a lot of pain for 1 hour and push for another 1 to 1.5 hours. It did not happen this way.
My husband and I are frantically trying to get to the elevator and we are sort of running not knowing where to go. (In the hospital walk through, they didn’t teach us the route in case we went through the emergency entrance.) This nice man sees our panicked faces and tells us where the elevators are. My husband and I are running before another contraction hits. We finally get to the Labor & Delivery floor and once we get to the counter there are around 5 nurses sitting around on their computers calmly going about their day. My husband reaches them and says:
Husband: My wife is in labor. She says she needs to push. (I am behind him pacing back and forth breathing)
Nurse barely looks up at us from her computer screen, smiles a little and asks: Is this her first pregnancy? (The nurses probably see this happen a hundred times. They know a first pregnancy takes FOREVER)
Nurse hands my husband a form and says: Why don’t you fill this out for us.
At the exact moment she says that a BIG contraction hits. I bend over in crazy pain pushing my legs together taking short/panicked breaths when all of a sudden I see all the nurses around me telling me they need to check me. Apparently as soon as they saw how I reacted to my contraction they knew something was really going on and they all jumped up from their seats and ran over to me. I run to a room with all of them, rip off my shorts and underthings and hop onto the bed. I don’t know how many nurses are around me but there are at least 4 and they are all talking fast and seem a little panicked themselves. One of them checks me and announces to the room that I am 10cm and ready to go. WHAT? I tell one of them I was hoping for a natural birth and she says that I got there at the perfect time and this is the best way to do it. One of them puts a gown on me and in less than 4 minutes I am being wheeled over to the Labor and Delivery room.
My mind is racing. I don’t see my husband but I know he is with me. I am panicked because I know the baby is coming but where is my mom? and my big sis? and Fabe?? They are all going to miss my labor!! The plan was to have my mom and big sis Daniela and my husband in the room with me while delivering as my support group. Daniela went through it 3 times and wanted to experience it as an outsider. We decided Fabe should not see me going into labor since it might freak her out so she was going to wait right outside the door.
I have a friend named Jinnie who is a Labor and Delivery nurse at Good Samaritan. As soon as we had walked in I had asked for her and once I got to the delivery room she meets me and is there to take care of me. She told me I could bear down if I wanted to and that’s when I began to grunt and push trying to make myself feel better. The pain was unbearable. I was trying my best to just breathe through them as calmly as I could. She puts a cold towel on my forehead and starts wiping me down with a cool cloth. I can’t even describe the pain I was in. It was nothing I have ever felt before and it was like an outside force was pushing my lower back. As I am lying there I hear Fabe’s voice and I know she is with me as well. I open my eyes and I see Fabe holding the birthing ball and carrying all of our bags around her arms looking panicked. I am not screaming at the top of my lungs. I wanted a very calm and relaxing environment. I have my eyes closed and I am bearing down and breathing deep breaths through my contractions. I then hear my mom and Daniela down the hallway chatting away and I know in my mind that they are all there and everything is going to be okay.
Jinnie is prepping everything and pulls out the IV but I tell her I do not want the IV. I want water and ice chips and she is more than accommodating. I ask Anderson to hand her my birth plan and Jinnie reads over it and is so happy that everything is going the way I had wanted. No interventions. No drugs.
Everyone that I need is there except for the doctor! I guess they paged her right away because it didn’t seem like that much time had gone by and I saw her walking in full gear and ready for action. My mom tells Fabe she should leave the room. I look at Fabe and then at my mom and I say, ” Nooo. I need and want her here.” So Fabe stays.
It’s GO time. Daniela grabs my left leg, Mom grabs my right. Fabe and my husband are near my head. My husband is holding my head up and Fabe is recording with a camcorder next to him. All of a sudden this huge round THING comes down from the ceiling. It looks like a big fan to me and I think maybe it’s because I will get sweaty and need a fan? I am wrong. It’s a huge bright light. Just like in a broadway show, but this time, my VJ is in the spotlight. The Dr. breaks my water and I feel a gush of liquid pour out of me. The Dr. then tells me to hold my thighs and to push whenever I feel a contraction.
I feel the first contraction and I begin to push with all my might as the Dr. counts up to 10. My mind is racing and I can’t believe this is happening. I am finally going to meet my baby girl. As I am pushing and she is counting to 10 my mom, Daniela, Jinnie and the Dr. are all cheering me on telling me the progress. I knew I was -1 going in and knew baby had a long way to go to come out. I don’t even remember the pain of pushing. It is a blur to me. I don’t remember it being that painful. I was so focused on just pushing, I didn’t even think about pain. Everyone told me to push like I was constipated so I was trying to push in that way, but it’s hard! Trying to use muscles I’ve never used before was hard. I probably have 30 seconds in between contractions and everyone is waiting on me to know when it’s go time again. I try to take in every single contraction like a wave coming in and out. I’m not trying to fight it, but I’m trying to embrace it and let it wash over me just as I had read I should do. I go through 3 more contractions of pushing and everyone is cheering me on telling me that the last one was a great push and to just keep going. Jinnie places a fetal doppler on my skin and I can hear the baby’s heart beat. I hear Jinnie say that it’s not good for the baby to be in this position for this long or something along those lines and I know I need to get this baby OUT. At that moment I pray. I ask God to please help me get this baby out. To give me the strength because I can’t do it on my own. Jinnie then tells me that I am pushing too much with my face and that I need to push DOWNward (what does that mean??). Later my mom told me that during all of my pushes, I had my eyes closed and my face scrunched up as I was trying to push. She told me that as soon as Jinnie told me not to push with my face, she said she saw my face soften and that I looked really calm. Then another contraction hit. I tried to take the energy out of my face and tried to push it downward. Everyone kept yelling that I was doing great and that they could see the baby’s head! They asked me if I wanted to feel her head but when I placed my hand there, I couldn’t really tell what I was feeling (haha!). My next contraction I pushed with all my might knowing I was almost there and I felt that her head had come out. My mom, Daniela, Jinnie were all screaming that I had done it and that I was almost there! In all my birthing books I read about the painful crazy feeling of when the head is coming out and that it is a burning feeling called the “ring of fire.” I was expecting that feeling, but I didn’t feel the ring of fire. As soon as her head came out, I pushed one more big push and I felt her little body slither out of me and a gush of water out with it. I felt such relief at this moment. It was like I was holding something in for the past 9 months and I had finally let go.
She was born! I heard her cry and as the Dr. was handing her over to me, I reached my hands out to her and said, “Ellie!” The Dr. put her on my chest and at that exact moment time stood still for me. I guess my husband let go of my head because as soon as I saw she was on my chest, I leaned my head back into the pillow and I began to sob. I cried because I was so relieved she was out and that she was okay. I cried because I had wondered for 9 months what she would look like and I finally got to meet her in person. I cried because I thought about her every single day for 9 months and here she was. I felt so proud of what we had done together. I felt such joy and it was a feeling I can’t describe. I just cried and let all emotions just run through me. We did it. I just kept crying holding Ellie saying, “oh my God, oh my God.” I opened my eyes to look around and I saw my husband, my mom, Daniela and Fabe all crowded around me staring at this new life on my chest breathing her first breaths and they were all crying too. It was a special, magical moment and I still picture it in my mind from time to time. All of us experiencing that together meeting Ellie for the first time with tears in our eyes. I kept looking at Ellie and crying and then looking over at my husband and crying. I could see in his eyes that his life had changed. He was a new man and I saw that he was in awe over this little being on my chest. She was perfect. She was ours.
This is when my husband and I looked at each other and decided to name her Elizabeth and Ellie for short and we announced it to my family. They were pleased and happy. The nurse took Ellie to weigh her and to wipe her down. I had asked them not to bathe her until the next morning since I wanted the vernix (white goo all over her body that she is born with. Best moisturizer for a newborn) to absorb into her body and they told me that wouldn’t be a problem. I wanted to breastfeed right away so they brought her right back to me. The first thing I noticed about Ellie was that she was super alert. As soon as they put her on my chest, she looked up at me, we made eye contact and then looked down for my boob, latched on and started sucking right away. My mom said that she had never seen that before. Even with all her other grandchildren, she had never seen a baby so alert and one that had latched on as Ellie did. Even to this day, Ellie has been great at breastfeeding and her latch is good. I really believe it’s because Ellie had no drugs in her system and she was born a natural baby. As Ellie was eating, I asked Jinnie how long I pushed for and she told me it was 15 minutes! She then told me we had missed the filling out of the forms and answering of the questions since things had been so hectic so she began to ask me questions about my pregnancy and if I had any allergies.
Just then both my brother in laws and my nieces came to see me. Ellie was not even 30 minutes old and she already had visitors and people to love and hold her. I was on a high. A baby high. For probably 4 days. I just couldn’t wrap my head around what had happened and how my labor had gone. Everything had happened so fast, I didn’t even feel like I had given birth. Even Jinnie told me she had to go home and replay the day because it had been so crazy and hectic.
I am so thankful. My labor was better than I could have imagined. Everyday I prayed for a quick, easy and comfortable delivery and God answered my prayers. We left my friend’s baby’s birthday party at 2:30PM and Ellie was born 2 hours later. I had read so many books, watched so many videos, took birthing classes to prep me for a natural birth, did yoga twice a week and I really feel like everything came together for me in the end. I was mentally and physically prepared and I was so happy about how everything had happened.
My support group from the day I found out I was pregnant until the actual birth date. Each of them bring something different and special into my life. I am their baby since I’m the youngest and I thank God everyday for them.
Fabe will also always hold a special place in my heart that day. She knew I was panicked leaving the party and came to check on me. I don’t know what I would have done if she wasn’t in the car with me going to the hospital. Since the day I got pregnant, Fabe was one of my biggest supporters and is the one who encouraged me to have a natural birth. She gave me the confidence that I needed and was with me through the end.
The light that came down from the ceiling that I thought was a fan. It’s huge right?
Spending time with Ellieboo. I asked the nurse to check her and to give her the eyedrops while I was still holding her. Didn’t want to part with her.
Ellie. Brand New.
Well, that’s it folks. My birth story. A day I will never forget and one of many blessings. Here is Ellieboo at 6 months.
For those of you prego mamas who are thinking about having a natural birth. You can do it. Seriously. I emailed with a friend named Susanna who also gave birth naturally and one thing she told me that stuck and pushed me is she said that before she thought only super strong or special women gave birth naturally, but she realized that that is not the case. I never ever imagined I would have a natural birth. I was epidural all the way and I was so afraid of the pain. I didn’t think I was strong enough. I decided at 32 weeks that I would prepare for a natural birth so it’s never too late! Labor is not something you should fear, but you should embrace it and women were made to give birth. It is beautiful. Your body and your baby will know what to do. You must trust your body. I can’t even believe I did it. You can do it. It will be the best experience of your life. Message me if you have any questions or would like to chat! I’d love to connect with you!