Eleanor's Birth Story

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I quickly learned soon into my pregnancy, that things do not always go as thought or planned.
Not the world's ideal situation for a planner like myself to completely have to live in the unknowns.
While my pregnancy was very uneventful, I'm not sure it hit me full force what it meant that Baby E was breech until about week 32(literally from the time she was first seen on an ultrasound she was breech. ) 
It had been mentioned that if she continued to be breech, I had a few options that could be discussed but that there was plenty of time for her to move and we would cross that bridge when we needed to.
Each visit came, and still she was cozy, with her head and feet both right up in my rib cage.
Finally at the 36 week apt, an ultrasound confirmed her position, and our options were presented to us.
After discussing the risks and benefits, we decided it would be best not to attempt to manually have her moved, but instead to trust that she would come however the Lord saw fit.
April was a very busy month for us and for our church, and Eleanor's scheduled day originally was the Wednesday before her due date, April 17th.
In my mind, bad timing, but regardless her entrance was far more important than anything going on with church or the business of it all.
With a week and a half to go, I received a phone call that a spot had opened on April 10, one week before her due date, with the Doctor we wanted. This was such an answer to prayer. In a small way, I felt like the Lord continually showed me that He had this entire thing in His hands and that I could trust Him with the unknowns.
I'm not sure a weekend has ever felt so long. 
Sunday night going into Monday, I felt nervous, anxious, and honestly still in shock that the next day we would be meeting our precious Eleanor Mae.
We were scheduled to have the C-section at 1 pm, and we were to be there by 11 am (for those of you that don't know, where we had the baby is about 45 minute from our house). We had planned to leave about 9:45 am to get there on time and not worry about rushing.
I went to bed, praying I would have one last night of sleep, as I knew sleeping was not in my near future.
Around 1:30 am, I woke up with stomach pain, I brushed it off and went back to sleep. For the next 2-3 hours, I was awake off and on and even took myself into the extra bedroom thinking changing positions would help. 
Around 4:30 am I text my Mom letting her know what was going on and she told me I might be having contractions. I continued to try and sleep and didn't truly think that was even possible. By 5:30 am my stomach hurt so bad, I knew I was either having contractions or something wasn't right. I got up, got ready (you better believe my hair was gonna be done and I was going to be ready no matter what the morning I had this baby!). 
I laid out on the couch waiting on Andrew's alarm to go off. 
As soon as his alarm went off at 7:45, I told him I couldn't wait any longer and that I needed him to hurry up. 
I secretly had been timing the pain I was having and I think my fear of what was happening kept me from being realistic that I truly was going into labor.
We got everything ready, called our parents, and headed out. 
That car ride was probably one of the things I have a hard time remembering. Andrew kept trying to talk about things that were light and to keep my mind off everything, but I felt like I couldn't hear anything that was said.
We got to the hospital, told them what we were there for, and due to my complaints they took me back and got me hooked up.
To my surprise, I was having contractions 2 minutes a part by that point. I wasn't crazy! I was having that baby April 10th whether it was scheduled or not!

The Doctor made his way in and wanted to confirm the baby was still breech, and within less than 10 seconds he said, yep, there she is, alright lets get this going.
I couldn't believe this was about to happen.
The next hour or so went so fast and slow all at the same time.
I got to see my parents, say hello to some of my closest friends who came to support me, and begged the anesthesiologist to wait until my in-laws arrived so we could say hi before we went back.

When it was finally time to go back, I was thrilled the anesthesiologist agreed to let me bring Andrew as well as my Mom back.

Everyone walked me to the door, and I was then left alone. 

I entered the cold, stark white OR all by myself.  
I was asked to climb on the table and I found myself leaning into a nurse as they were prepping for my epidural telling her things like I'd known her my whole life. I couldn't believe this was happening and in those moments, I would be lying if I didn't say fear was creeping in. I felt alone and scared somewhat for the procedure that was taking place, but knew I was in great hands and truly tried to embrace the moment and mentally to bring myself to a place of full surrender and trust.
I remember telling the anesthesiologist I felt so nervous. I remember her saying over and over "this is going to be the best day of your life."
She was exactly right.
Just as they told me, this warm sensation took over my body from the bottom of my feet to the top of my chest, and I could no longer feel a thing. As they transferred me to the OR table, I realized in that moment, this was it.
The Doctor began talking to me and cutting away, soon enough, Andrew & my Mom joined me in the cold OR. 
I hated that I couldn't see all that was going on but I felt like all of my other senses were taking in all my eyes couldn't see. I kept asking Andrew what was going on, and if he could see what they were doing. I heard the Doctor tell me, I would be feeling some pressure and she would be here in just a minute. 
I never knew what I would feel or think the first time I heard my baby cry, but when he said "Here she is" and I heard that cry, tears uncontrollably began to roll down my face. 
All I could think was thank you God she is breathing. 
In the same breath I wanted to know everything about her. "What did she look like?" "How much does she weigh?" "Is everything okay?" "Does she have all her fingers and toes?"
"Shes perfect Bethany, I'm gonna show her to you right now."
And this right here, 
was the first glimpse I had of my sweet Eleanor Mae.

11:53 am on April 10th, 2017
6 lbs 10 oz, 19 inches long.
She was perfect.
I was so thankful Andrew was able to capture the pictures that he did and that he was able to be a part of watching everything happen with her as she came into the world. 
He kept reassuring me that she was okay and it wasn't long before they brought her over to me.

While I was previously worried that I would feel so left out because I could not hold her first, that thought never even crossed my mind.
I wasn't sure what she was going to look like, and to be honest, she looked nothing of what I expected, but I felt her face was absolutely precious.
I was enamored.

I was then alone in the OR once again getting stitched up, but trusting that all was okay with Eleanor and was so thankful Andrew could go with her.

Soon enough, they wheeled me into recovery and I finally got to hold my precious girl.

Words will never be able to describe the love I felt when I finally held her in my arms.
9 months of getting to know this precious girl, and finally getting to lay eyes on her.
We spent about 2 hours in the recovery room, and looking back it I'm so thankful for the time we had.
I had some difficulty getting the sensation back in my feet and so until that happened, we were not able to move to a regular room so that everyone could meet her.
I knew meeting her was going to be the best, but watching our family(some who traveled miles to get there for her special day) and our friends get to meet her, hold her, and welcome her was so overwhelming. This truly made my heart feel it was going to explode with joy. 
Eleanor came into this world so loved, and I am forever grateful for this.
The next few days went by fast and slow all at one time but overall was a pretty good experience. 

My recovery was harder than I imagined but outside of a small infection, I healed well and I'm just grateful she made it into the world safely and was healthy.

We were so happy and thankful to head home and to finally be a family of four (our dog Addie LOVES Eleanor). 
This was an incredible and experience, and I am forever changed because of this day.
Eleanor Mae, you will never know how much I love you.
I am so grateful the Lord saw fit to entrust her precious life to us.
Thank you to everyone who has loved us and encouraged us as we've entered this new season of parenting and for loving our sweet girl.

I'm so grateful that we were able to have Angela Demsick there to capture this day! 

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