November 19, 2001
7 pounds, 8 ounces
We had tried for a whole month when we found out we were pregnant. I already had a seven and a half year old daughter from a previous marriage, and to say she was excited would be an understatement. I actually took a pregnancy test in the Kroger bathroom and when I showed her the double line, she danced around in circles singing "yes, yes, yes!"
My first daughter, Arielle, was born after only five hours of labor but got pretty seriously stuck when her shoulders tried to emerge. She was 16 days early and weighed 7 pounds, 14 oz. That was pretty hefty for a first baby, and early at that! My doctor was going to keep a very close eye on this baby's size so as to avoid another case of "shoulder dystocia."
After nine months of a perfect pregnancy, aside from swollen feet and sugar cravings, I went in to get an ultrasound at 37 weeks. The ultrasound showed a healthy girl about 7 pounds, 4 ounces. I was told that if the baby had dropped when I went back the following week, they would induce. Unfortunately, Elena had not dropped yet so we were sent home and asked to return that Friday. My doctor, a wonderful woman, instructed us to have lots of sex, walk, walk, walk, and get that baby to drop. For the next four days I walked some, sex was next to impossible, but what helped the most I believe was bouncing on an exercise ball. The ball is about 24" tall and used for abdominal exercises. I bounced and bounced. My bum was sore but I could really tell the baby had moved down. Luckily, on Friday, after the most painful internal I could imagine, we were told that they could induce Monday morning! Yippee :-)
We were admitted at 6:30 a.m. They started a Pitocin drip at 9:30. The contractions got steadily worse but were nothing that I couldn't handle. My doctor popped in at 12:45 to break my water. I have never felt such excruciating pain! The actual breaking of the waters was relatively painless but my cervix was tilted up, so for the doctor to get to my bag of waters, she had to push and strain with all her strength. I figured if I could live through that I could do anything! Well, after the bag of waters was broken the doctor left. She gave instructions to the nurse to check me again in an hour. I was still at two centimeters and could not get an epidural until I was at least four centimeters. I was praying for that four centimeters mark! The next 45 minutes got a little hazy for me. I was just trying to get through one contraction when another one would hit. I was in pretty bad pain by then and bless that nurse's heart, she checked me 15 minutes early. I had sailed through four right on to seven centimeters. No wonder it hurt so badly! She requested the epidural.
By 2:00 p.m. the epidural was in and I was feeling much better. However, the anesthesiologist had added two more drugs to my IV which made me very groggy. I'm not sure why he added these drugs; I really wish he hadn't as they made me feel drugged for the next day or so.
About five minutes after the anesthesiologist left, I told the nurse I felt pressure, like I had to go to the bathroom. I figured it may be time to push, but I was pretty numb. She checked again, and I was dilated to ten centimeters. I pushed for an hour and a half (I was NOT ready for that!) but the baby was stuck under my pelvis because she was sunny side up. She finally flipped and began to come out. Unfortunately, my husband has a very weak stomach and was determined not to watch the actual delivery. He once saw a lady changing a "dirty" diaper and had to leave the building. I found him outside leaning up against the building ready to throw up! So, wasn't I surprised when Elena's head popped out and my husband John said, "Oh my Gosh! Honey, Honey!!! It's a head! PUSH!" I'm so happy he watched the delivery.
We let my daughter, Arielle, come in for a quick hello and then settled in for about 30 minutes of bonding time before the grandparents came to meet their second granddaughter. Elena is two weeks old today. She is such an easy baby. She sleeps 4-5 hours at night and rarely cries. My older daughter Arielle is absolutely crazy about her and so are her parents.