Friday, May 2, 2014

Eli's Birth Story (Part 1)

With Mother's Day fast approaching, I thought it fitting to write about the day I became a mom.

Eli was born January 23, 2014 at 4:14pm, weighing in at 9 pounds 4 ounces.  Meeting our precious baby boy is a day I will cherish forever.  I really didn't know what to expect from my delivery...and that made me anxious.  I read books and sought the advice of friends, but I knew that every experience is different.  Each birth is as unique as the baby it produces.  I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like my water had broken, only to find out I was totally dry when I checked.  I prayed for a good birth experience and most importantly a healthy baby.  Boy were my prayers answered!  Labor and delivery were seemingly a breeze compared to the aftermath of crazy hormones, breastfeeding issues, and sleepless nights.  I am so proud and blessed to be a mom!

Here is Eli's Birth Story (Part 1)---

Wednesday, January 22nd Eric and I finished packing our bags and headed to the hospital.  My due date was January 21st and Eli had not come yet.  I really did not want to be induced, but Little (Big) E was measuring very large on our weekly ultrasounds.  Around 28 weeks, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and polyhydramnios (an excess of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac).  Because of "the diabetes" as I liked to call it, Eli was receiving more blood sugar (glucose--energy) than he needed.  This extra energy was stored as fat---making Eli a bit larger than he should have been.

Luckily, I was able to control my diabetes with diet (A pregnant woman really should never have to "diet" during the holidays--oh what torture!).  I had weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests (NST) to check my fluids and make sure the baby was doing ok.  Some of these appointments would last hours because E would not corporate.  During a NST, two belts are attached to your belly to measure the baby's fetal heart rate and your contractions.  They have to watch your baby's heart rate accelerate and decelerate (meaning Eli would need to move).  E either would fall asleep during the test or would move so much that they would lose his heart rate on the monitor.  This meant they had to start the test all over again--making my appointments very long.  Thankfully, everything looked good.

I had been told that they would induce me a week before his due date (because mothers with gestational diabetes usually have bigger babies), but my doctor really wanted to see if he would make his appearance without help (which is why I wasn't induced until after my due date).  The plan was to go to the hospital the night before I was to be induced to get Cervidil (a vaginal insert - kind of like a tampon- that gets the cervix ready for delivery) put in.  We got to the hospital, checked in, and was directed to our delivery room.  I was given a gown to put on (that I accidentally dropped in the toilet....don't worry they have extras!) and my last dinner (before they put me on my clear liquid diet--just in case I needed a C-Section).  I also was given an IV (my first - didn't really hurt at all) and belts to monitor baby's heart rate and my contractions.

Getting the Cervidil inserted was seriously the most painful part of my whole labor and delivery experience.  Thankfully, the whole process does not take too long.  It is bearable (this coming from someone who's pain tolerance level is not very high).  I was supposed to leave the Cervidil in over night, but it caused me to have contractions that were much too close together--- so they took it out after 2 hours.  These contractions never hurt me.  They just felt like a tightening of my stomach (as opposed to the period like cramps people describe contractions feeling like).

All that was left to do before they induced me the next morning was to sleep.  But seriously---who can sleep when they are going to have a baby the next day?!?!  This was the first of many sleepless nights (which of course I wouldn't trade for anything---having my Eli makes it all worth it!).

Here is Eric and I before bed the night before we had Eli-

I really didn't realize it would take me so long to write out Eli's Birth Story, so I'm splitting this post into two parts.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 2!!!

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