Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Remembering that crazy night five years ago.

My baby girl is 5.  
The years slip by so quickly.  

She went from this:

To this:

in just a blink of an eye.

Such a bright and shining light in our family.  
So joyful.
So loving.
So kind.
So smart.
So full of personality.

As I think back to the night before she was born, 
I had no idea who she would be.  
Now, I cannot imagine life without her.

I love you Eliza Katherine Taylor!!

On your fifth birthday, here is a walk down memory lane as I remember the night you were born.

 Eliza’s Birth Story
(written nearly five years ago)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Today started out like any other day.  I was now officially overdue.  I could not wait to meet our new baby girl, but it felt like it was never going to happen.  On Monday, during my weekly doctor’s appointment, my doctor told me that I was 3cm dialated.  However, since it did not appear that baby girl was above average in size, he told me that it would be best to wait until I was 41 weeks to induce.  I left the doctor’s appointment thoroughly disappointed and feeling as if I would be pregnant forever.

I had been doing everything possible to get labor started naturally, but nothing was working.

On Thursday, I had a nice relaxing morning at home, and then picked up Davis from Kindergarten around lunch time.  Davis and I spent the afternoon running errands, doing a little bit of baking, and spending time outside -- absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. After dinner, we took the boys on a walk at the RSM lake.  That night, after the kids were in bed, I spent some time watching TV and bouncing on the big exercise ball.  I had been using the exercise ball every day for the past week, and although it did not seem to be working, I figured it could not hurt either.  (I bounced all the way through Survivor and Gray’s Anatomy).

At around 11:00 pm, I began to have a few contractions.  The contractions were slightly more painful then my usual, but since I had been having contractions for weeks, it did not seem too out of the ordinary.  I figured they were just more Braxton-Hicks contractions, and did not really give them a second thought.  Nevertheless, since I was not sleeping anyway, I decided to time the contractions.  They were coming about every 12 to 15 minutes. Each contraction would give me a horrible case of heartburn.  Just enough discomfort to make it impossible to sleep.  But what else was new?  I spent the last four weeks of my pregnancy not being able to sleep for more than an hour at a time.  So I continued to watch late night TV and listen to Keith snore next to me.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Around 1:00 am, I realized that the contractions were beginning to come a bit more frequently.  I woke Keith up and he began timing the contractions.  The contractions were a bit more frequent, but they still were not very consistent.  However, I had a feeling that this was the beginning of real labor.  I told Keith to get everything ready to go and we would just wait until the contractions were a bit more regular and closer together.  Although the contractions seemed to be intensifying a little bit, I could still talk, joke and watch TV while they were happening.

Sometime after 1:30 a.m., Keith commented that I had not had a contraction in a while, and maybe this was not labor.  I agreed and tried to settle back in bed to get some sleep.  Just minutes after Keith said this, I was hit with a huge contraction that made me jump up, walk around, and eventually kneel on the floor on my hands and knees.  As I was doing this, I felt a gush of warm liquid and quickly realized that my water had just broke (something that had never happened to me on my own before).

Since I had tested positive for group B strep, I knew that we should get to the hospital as soon as possible.  Keith called our doctor who instructed us to come right in to the hospital.  Keith also called our friends and told them that we would be dropping the boys off at their house on the way to the hospital.

As Keith was making these phone calls, my contractions began coming about every minute.  They were extremely painful, and I was having a hard time managing the pain.  The only thing that gave me any relief was sitting on the toilet, and every time I tried to stand up, I was hit with a very strong and painful contraction.  I told Keith that the baby was coming fast!

About five minutes after my water broke, Keith was loading up the kids in the van.  I was barely able to walk down the stairs to our van, and as soon as I got down to the parking area, I had to get down on my hands and knees again to manage the pain.

The drive in the van was horrible!  The contractions were coming non-stop and I felt like I could not get a handle on the situation.  As we were driving down the toll road toward our friend's home, I felt the baby’s head and could barely keep from pushing.  I told Keith that I was going to have the baby right then in the car.  I told him to pull over and call 911, but he just kept driving.  He must have gone deaf or something.  I was practically yelling at him that I was about to have this baby in the car, and he was not pulling over!  However, I did hear him call our friend (who is a doctor) and tell him that he was afraid I was not going to make it to this hospital.  At this point all I could think about was the drugs that I wanted.  The pain was incredibly intense, the contractions were non-stop, and I could feel her head crowning.

When we arrived at our friend's house, Keith jumped out with the boys.  However, I was hit with another huge contraction and the next thing I knew it, I was out on their front lawn once again on my hands and knees.  I felt the baby coming!  Our friend tried to get me to stand up to walk into his house, but I just could not do it.  Finally, I was able to crawl into their living room.  Keith told me afterwards that as I was crawling toward their front door I just kept saying, “Jesus – please help me.”  I could hear our other friend on the phone with 911.  Everyone kept telling me to lay down on my back, but I just wanted to stay on my hands and knees.

Very soon after I made it into the house, the paramedics arrived.  (One of the perks of living in a sleepy town like Mission Viejo - the paramedics arrive quickly!)  Although I did not know this until later, Keith told me that the ambulance and fire truck initially drove right by the house, and he had to wave at them to come back!

Don't forget that Davis (5) and Noah (nearly 3) had a front row seat to all of this craziness.  They were both wide awake, but did not seem too phased by what was going on.  In fact, after the paramedics arrived, I distinctly heard Davis say “My Mommy wants to have this baby in the hospital, okay?”

After the paramedics arrived, the first thing I did was ask for drugs.  It felt like I asked for drugs about a hundred times.  Where were the stinkin' drugs?  I felt like the paramedics were trying to "handle me."   They kept telling me that an epidural was not an option.  I understood, but I still wanted something!  Didn't they have something in those fancy medical kits??  Anything??  The paramedics kept telling me that they did not have anything (which to this day I still do not believe).   Instead, the paramedics started an IV, and just kept telling me not to push.  Trying not to push was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced (not pushing is at least 10x more painful than pushing).  I knew it would be best to try and wait until I was at the hospital to have our baby girl, but every instinct in my body was telling me to GET HER OUT!

The paramedics quickly loaded me into the ambulance.  Once again, the ride was excruciating.  The pain and the contractions were very intense and the only thing that I could do was squeeze the paramedic’s hand as tight as I possibly could.

Finally, I could not hold back anymore.  As we were pulling into the hospital, I felt my body push the baby’s head out.  I told the paramedics “Her head is out” and at first I think they did not believe me.  However, one of the paramedics checked and I heard him say “we have a head.”  As the ambulance gurney was being wheeled into the ER, I felt my body push the rest of the baby out.  She was born in the entrance way to the ER. 

I was immediately surrounded by ER doctors, nurses and staff.  I did not hear the baby cry at first, and I was not able to see her very good because I was laying flat on my back.  I kept asking “Is she Ok?’ and everyone kept telling me that she was just fine.  However, it seemed like an eternity before I finally heard her cry.  Someone held her up for me to see and she was absolutely beautiful.  I was so glad that she was healthy!!

I was only in the ER about 10 minutes and was then wheeled up to labor and deliver.  Keith stayed with the baby down in the ER, but they both came up to my room about 15 minutes later.  Up in labor and delivery I was still in a great deal of pain.  My placenta had not delivered yet, and I was still having contractions.  Eventually, the nurses were able to give me something for the pain and the doctor arrived, and he was able to give me something additional to numb the pain.  The doctor delivered the placenta, and stiched me up.  I had a second degree tear.  It was amazing how much better I felt after he had taken care of me.

Finally, about one hour after she was born, I was able to hold our new, adorable baby girl!  We decided to name her Eliza Katherine.  Eliza was 8 pounds even and was 19 inches long.  She was born at 2:44 am - - about an hour from when my water had broken.  We did not have any of our belongings when she was born (everything was back in our van at our friend's home), so I really tried to take mental pictures of her as I held her for the first time.   She was absolutely beautiful!


Happy 5th Birthday Baby Girl!