Elyse’s Birth Story!

Elyse’s BIRTHDAY was my first experience ever delivering a baby?! I had thought of a million different scenarios for how this would go & strangely enough a positive labor experience was totally unexpected?! Every birth is special, unique and wonderful no matter what, but I have heard of so many complications over the years & being a nurse- you always think of every possible outcome… After it was all said & done, I am pleased to report that delivering Elyse was one of the best moments of my entire life!! It is still so surreal & you catch yourself thinking- did that actually happen?! So incredible?!

^^ WOW! check out that belly, it doesn’t even look real??! lol I’ve always enjoyed learning from others sharing their experiences, as they are all so different & amazing, so here is our story of how my dear Elyse made her grand debut!

3/3/23 was my last day of work- at 39 weeks! I am so proud/thankful to have stuck it out at work for so long, it was legit one of the most challenging things I have done! This gave me a week to prepare for our 3/11 due date! Over the week we deep cleaned the house, hung drapes in the nursery, built the interior nursery closet, laundered baby clothes, washed bottles, set up the diaper changing station downstairs, stocked the dressers upstairs, wrote thank you notes, packed our hospital bags, created the recovery bathroom station, assembled and stocked the breastfeeding cart, rested, snuggled with Lucy, + all the last minute errands… Seeing how much we had to do, I’m extra thankful she stayed put so we could get it all done!

3/7/23 was my last official prenatal office visit before the due date! Everything checked out, vital signs, fetal heart rate, positioning were all good to go! I left that appointment thinking come the weekend I would have a baby?! So wild, exciting and nerve wracking… my family was going crazy with excitement thinking every missed call or text was a labor announcement. I was more than happy to have the extra time with Dillon and Lucy at home to rest my mind and body. However, we worked constantly up until the due date to get ourselves and the house ready for baby!

3/10/23 my “due date” eve– I just knew she would come on her due date?! lol I finally got my hospital bag packed & by the door (I would recommend doing this sooner!!) Then I went to the nail salon for a manicure. My manicurist couldn’t believe I was in so close to my due date! πŸ™‚ 3/11/23 came & went

3/14/23 then, an ENTIRE WEEK passed since my last appointment!! 7 more extra days of no labor and delivery?! She was 3 days late and I was so anxious about labor that I started to not mind the extra gift of time prior to my impending labor stress and pain. It was a strange time… still seemed impossible we were really about to have a baby?! & the last 2 weeks of pregnancy the baby FINALLY moved so I was getting some sciatica pain relief & could move around the house a little better. Wouldn’t have made it a lap around the neighborhood in less than 2 hours, but I was getting around the house πŸ™‚ We watched a ton of reality TV and started a 1000 piece doughnut puzzle, I was totally in my element… bouncing on a yoga ball obsessing over my puzzle. I had an OB appt & got a membrane sweep done in office. I didn’t find it to be terribly painful & was curious if it would accelerate anything… an induction was scheduled just in case I didn’t go into labor on my own over night…. my body began to spot & cramp, only minor changes…

3/15/2023

The induction was scheduled for 3/15/23 at 9:00pm. My sister Devon came over & we hung out all afternoon while hardcore working on the puzzle! I got a shower then Dillon and I got dinner at our current favorite place- Village Deli & Grill! I had a great evening & was getting excited to actually have this baby! The hospital called and I got so nervous they were cancelling, but they actually said I could come in early! It wasn’t crowded & they were ready to go! We checked in at 9pm Saying goodbye to Lucy was the saddest thing… I didn’t want to leave her!! Lucy is my all time best friend and I was so nervous about life after baby & if I would ever see her again?! I hated to leave her with such a major life change coming up, scary!!! She proceeded to spend the night with Devon & following week with Noelle + family, it is safe to say she was 100% living her best life while we were in newborn land!

  • 9:05 pm- paperwork was complete & we were checked into our delivery room
  • 10:05 pm- PIV was inserted & cervical ripening balloon was also in (felt pressure, but not painful)
  • 10:30 pm- time to set up the Roku, watch Vanderpump Rules and eat some snacks!
  • 11:05 pm- the cervical bulb was out & I was dilated 4cm… I discussed with my team my desire to be left alone throughout the night and we went to sleep as best we could in the hospital, even a “quiet night” is loud

3/16/2023

Today was the day!! I fully expected to be in labor for 24 hours + walking the halls in pain… this baby had been so patient so far… but we woke up prepared for anything & excited for baby’s arrival!

  • 6am- our official wake up time to prepare for the next shift & days activities
  • 6:30 am- IV Pitocin was initiated with IV PCN, the fetal monitor was applied, we ordered breakfast, & met the day shift team
  • After the flurry of shift change & breakfast I was ready for a nap! Some contractions were happening according to the monitors, but I felt normal & tired, wanted to conserve my energy
  • 8:56 am- as soon as we turned off the lights and got comfy… MY WATER BROKE SPONTANEOUSLY! It was SO much water, I couldn’t believe how much water & how warm it was? -CALL BELL!
  • 9:00 am- my doctor came into break my water & introduce herself. I surprised her with a bed full of water myself! Dr. Ford was the perfect fit & I was so happy to get to work with her!
  • I labored through multiple rounds of contractions and the pain would gradually subside and pick back up very intensely… I was amazed how I would have eyes welled with tears & then be completely conversational and fine… back & forth / back & forth… I made sure to take deep breaths & squeeze Dillon’s hand or the bed rails when I was in a lot of pain and do my best to remain patient + calm
  • My nurse Korie was incredible and so encouraging! She talked me through each step, asked great questions, made wonderful suggestions, applied mineral oil & helped devise a quality plan of care.
  • 10:26 am- I received an epidural after laboring to 7cm! I was so proud of myself to get to 7cm, my tentative goal was 5cm… the topic of a unmedicated birth was also in the mix, but at the end of the day I’m glad to have relieved some pain with the epidural so I could ensure good quality pushes
  • My anesthesiologist was awesome! He was so kind, efficient & careful. I leaned over the edge of the bed & rested on Dillon’s shoulders… going from totally normal to gushing tears… back & forth
  • I continued to labor through each contraction, my epidural was great! I could still move around in bed & feel pressure despite my legs feeling like numb, heavy cement blocks…
  • 12:15pm they checked me out again & said are you ready to push?! My keys to success were: birthing bar, towel to pull on the bar with, a mirror, amazing L&D RN, my husband & doctor
  • Breathing through labor was trickier than I thought but I figured it out as I went & avoided “pushing with my head!” harder then it sounds!
  • I pushed extra pushes with each count, stared into that mirror so I could see her head & our progress (this was so motivating!), I sat upright- counting/pulling/pushing/breathing! Dillon was directly by my side holding my head & my L leg up/out, giving me water, holding a fan
  • I was determined to make every push count, no need to wait any longer! My team laughed when I said “I want her out now” after 15 mins
  • I actively pushed for 1 hour, it was quite a ride but luckily my body & baby worked really well together to achieve our goal, her fetal monitor strip was strong all throughout, with no distress
  • While pushing I felt discomfort but remained focused on the goal! Then I felt the ring of fire! aka- head crowning & WOW! The worst most stabbing pain in the front & back of my body for 2 minutes? & BAM! her head was OUT! & then the rest followed!!
  • When I saw my baby for the first time it was just complete & total joy, shock, amazement!! Euphoria for me really– together we had conquered pregnancy & labor!! I felt calm & such happiness + love
  • When the baby came out she was quiet and we locked eyes, then she started crying and she was covered in vernix!! I reached out for her immediately and got to squeeze her right away!
  • 1:35pm- OUR BABY WAS IN MY ARMS!!!
  • The rest is a blur- the placenta came out very quickly after, Dillon cut the cord, they measured & scored baby girl, APGAR 9!! πŸ™‚ I was a 9 when I was born too! More skin to skin & Dillon got to hold her! We initiated breast feeding within the first 2 hours & luckily we kicked things off with a great latch! I was so relieved for a smooth delivery, healthy baby & zero tearing!! AMEN!!!

The first person I called was my sister Devon, she thought I was just checking in with an update when I told her, “I’m holding my baby!” Immediately her & Mom went crazy! So excited!! They surprised us being the first to the hospital, I hadn’t even made it to postpartum before they rolled in! We are so blessed and thankful for Elyse’s birth experience, a day we will surely never forget! The medical care we received was great, customer service was very kind, the facilities were extremely nice & even the “hospital food” was delicious! -SERIOUSLY! Who knew WakeMed was such a great place for a birthday party! πŸ™‚

Our room was a revolving door of visitors, luckily our stay was otherwise uneventful & we drove home together 2 days later. We were so happy to get home & sleep!!

Driving home I felt so blessed & thankful, I love my family!

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