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Heather's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story
~ It's a Girl!

Eliana and HeatherAfter a long wait, we finally have our precious baby girl! Eliana Rachel Wiegand was born on Friday, May 7, 2004 at 6:33 p.m. She weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces and was 21 inches long. She is such a wonderful addition to our family and we are thrilled.

The midwife checked me Thursday afternoon and I was still at 1 cm and 50% effaced. She tried to strip my membranes, but couldn't get much done. Steve and I had dinner Thursday night with my parents and we left Ethan there to spend the night. It was an odd feeling traveling home - realizing that the next time we saw Ethan, we would have our new baby in our arms. I was sad that Ethan wouldn't remember what it was like to be an only child.

Friday morning, we got up at 6 a.m. (I think I was up most of the night!) and headed to the hospital - with a quick stop at Starbucks for Steve. We checked into the hospital and the midwife said that she wanted to do an amniocentesis to check the baby's lung development to make sure we weren't "taking" the baby too early. We were reluctant to get the amnio done, and the results from the ultrasound were back at the midwife's office. But she went over and got the ultrasound results and reviewed them and re-confirmed that we were definitely ready to induce.

Around 8:30 a.m. the midwife inserted a 1/4 pill of Cytotec into my cervix. By about 11 a.m., nothing had happened yet, so Steve ran to get lunch. And sure enough, by the time he got back at noon, the midwife was recommending Pitocin. I reluctantly agreed, so they started the IV drip. By 3 p.m., I was having regular contractions, every 2-3 minutes, but they were not painful, and I was still at 1 cm!

hospital pictureSo the midwife went ahead and broke my water. It was so weird - you could actually see my stomach "deflate" as the amniotic fluid poured out of me! And then the real fun started! The contractions all of a sudden got very intense, so I went ahead and got into the jacuzzi tub. The water felt wonderful, and I felt like things were really progressing. My legs were shaking when I'd have a contraction, so the nurse was thinking I could possibly be in transition, so she went ahead and offered to check me - I was only at 3 cm!

I took off my glasses and watch, thinking that if I wasn't keeping track of the time, it would go by faster. I tried just walking around the room, but that didn't help much - the next time the midwife checked me, I was only at 4 cm. I was so discouraged, and the labor just seemed to take so much longer than Ethan's. So I got back in the tub for a while and then I sat on the toilet for a while and I was finally at 6 cm. But I was crying and gagging and feeling completely worn out.

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The midwife asked how important it was that we not use any pain relief. I told her that I just didn't want to feel that "drunken" feeling, but she said an epidural wouldn't make me feel that way. I looked at Steve and he said that the decision was mine and that I knew how much pain I could take. But I figured that I was at least to 7 cm by then, and by the time I got an epidural, I would be ready to push - so what was the point? And then I seemed to feel much better! I got back in the tub, and I was on my hands and knees and Steve was spraying the water right on my lower back and I all of a sudden got the urge to push.

Steve called for the nurse and midwife (of course, they weren't in the room right then) and they got me into bed and I was at 9 cm! So the midwife had me do some gentle pushes, and then she said I was ready. I was on my hands and knees with the back of the bed raised up, and the midwife said that when she gave the word, I was to sit up on my knees and catch my baby!

I started to push, and I was yelling and screaming. It just felt so good to vocalize it! Everyone was encouraging me, and next thing I knew, the midwife told me to sit up. I gave one last push and my baby slid into my hands. She was screaming and pink and the first thing I said was, "Oh yes, you are a girl!" It was such a neat experience to be the first one to touch her and hold her.

The midwife waited a while to let Steve cut her cord and the nurse was able to suction her and assess her vitals while I was still holding her. I didn't want to let go of her - she was the best pain relief ever!

We called my parents right away and had them bring Ethan over to the hospital. He came into my room and ran to me, and then Steve took him to see Eliana in the warmer. Ethan wasn't sure what to think - he just looked at her, and then wanted to get down to play with the birthing ball.

familyThe first 10 days have flown by. Ethan had some adjusting to do, but each day gets better. Eliana is nursing about every 3 hours during the day, and she has even pulled one 5-hour stretch at night and let me get some sleep! She seems to be such a calm, laid-back baby and Steve and I are so thankful for that! She had her 10-day checkup today and the pediatrician said she is doing great! She already weighs 8 pounds, 14 ounces, so she is definitely thriving. She did have a follow-up ultrasound on her head in the hospital and her brain is normal - Praise God!

Our family is so blessed - thank you for sharing these last nine months with us!

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