Introducing sweet baby girl, Coralann Brooks. Born just 39 minutes after Thanksgiving, after a long….long….looooong labor for Nicole.
CONGRATS Nicole and Brian! Can’t wait to watch our girls grow up together. 🙂
What a B-E-A-UUTIFUL day in the Pacific Northwest! A little more overcast than I like for portrait sessions, but we had to take advantage of the lack-of-rain. And it’s good thing we did because it’s been pretty dreary ever since!
Nicole and Brian are my hubby’s aunt and uncle. They’re expecting their first child, a little girl, in November. How fun that our girls get to grow up together!
I went into labor just before midnight Thursday morning, August 30th. (I had a jump-start of 4cm already). By 3:00 pm on Thursday I was just getting into active labor. We had planned that I give birth to Elliana Christine at home. We had full confidence in our midwives and knew we could trust them to take care of us as we formed our new family. Once Ali from Puget Sound Birth Center came to our home, they checked my blood pressure and found it to be too high. 150 over 90. Blood pressure is an indication of various things that can go wrong with me. The scariest of them being signs of Preeclampsia, which can lead to strokes, seizures and rupture of the liver. So to the hospital we went. 😦 I was a mess. I don’t think I’ve ever cried like that in my life. Andre was so good to me then. Calming me down and reassuring me that everything would be fine.
At Overlake Hospital, they hooked me up to an IV and did lots of tests. By this point I was 7cm, 95% effaced. So basically it was Go-Time! I had so many people say “you don’t look like you’re 7cm!!”. Ali even told the receptionist as we were checking in, “she’s at 7, I know she’s acting more like a 2, but she really IS at 7cm” (THANK YOU HYPNOSIS FOR BIRTH!)
All my tests came out completely normal, and as I stayed on the IV over the course of about 3 hours, my blood pressure went back to normal. (I’m usually around 115 over 60). My labor, however, had stopped. my contractions got less consistent the longer we sat there. And I was SO uncomfortable in that bed! Especially after laboring in the comfort of my own home for so long!
As my blood pressure started to go down and my tests came back normal, I watched as Ali started to get a funny look on her face, until finally she said “I think we should go home!”. I was heartbroken at first because I thought she meant SHE would go home, and then I realized she meant ALL of us should go home! We waited another hour to get a few more blood pressure tests. Ellie had been monitored the entire time we were there and was acting just fine. Not stressed out at all, totally just going with the flow (she’s definitely my kid). The OB and nurses cleared us to leave, without having to sign an “against medical advice” form. They were confident that I was just dehydrated and should be allowed to have the birth I wanted. Since we were already in Bellevue, and much closer to the birth center than our home, we decided to transfer to the birth center instead of making the drive back down to our house. Ali joked that it was the first time she had ever had to “spring someone from the hospital after they had been admitted”.
We weren’t even back in the car before my contractions started up again. I’m convinced that my body just KNEW that I didn’t want to be there and therefore slowed labor down for me!
Once in the birth center, and in a warm bath, my contractions kick started again. Transition came and went. I’m told it lasted about an hour. I think I’ve blocked it out. 😉 Around 12:30am (Friday, now), I felt the need to get my butt out of that tub fast. I didn’t want a water birth. And once again, I think my body knew better than I did. Because as soon as I got out of that water and sat on a birth stool, the urge to push came on like a train! Ali broke my water and I started the 1 hour and 45 minutes that I needed to get Ellie out. It was tough, I wouldn’t tell anyone that a medication-free labor is easy or fun…it’s hard work. They call it LABOR for a reason! But it was so worth it to be able to move around and push in different positions that felt right to me. Ellie’s head wasn’t quite pointing the right direction, but a few pushes while leaning over the ball rearranged her so she was going the right way now. After that, it was about 20 minutes of pushing on the birth stool and she was in my arms at 2:36am!! I was in such a daze and staring at my baby, that I didn’t even hear Eve, the student midwife, tell me that she needs my arm to put in an IV and Pitocin drip. She would grab it and I’d pull it back and put it on Ellie. She finally had to say “ok Ruxy, do you hear that trickling? That’s blood. I need your arm!”.
Oh…well why didn’t you say so? 😉
The hard part was over. And now I could stare at our little girl all I wanted. She nursed within an hour. I had some mild tearing that needed to be stitched up. The wanted me to use the restroom before they tried to stitch me up, but I couldn’t make it from the toilet over to the exam table because I started to get light headed as soon as I moved. They put an IV in me again (good thing I opted for the hep lock!) and I laid on the cold tile floor and fell asleep for 25 minutes. People kept asking me if I wanted a blanket. I didn’t. That cold floor felt so good. My mom says that she was shivering just from looking at me! I missed the newborn exam while I was passed out. They determined that Elliana was perfect…but I already knew that. On August 31st, after a 26 hour labor, me, my mom, and André took our 8 pound, 1 ounce, 21 inch baby girl home.
And we all slept like babies into the late morning…Ellie being a good example for us. 😉
P.S. A midwife came to check on me Sunday at home. My blood pressure was 108 over 64.
This is where my Hubby works. Air Liquide. A chemical plant in Kent that makes oxygen, nitrogen and argon. And then supplies them to hospitals and schools and other places that need that kind of thing. His boss is celebrating his 10th year at this plant and wanted to have some photographs taken of his “baby”.