I cannot believe that as I am sitting down to write this post, there is a perfect, tiny little human asleep in the next room. My life has changed so drastically in the last 10 weeks (has it really been that long since I blogged?!), but it’s so much more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed. Elodie is four weeks old today and these last four weeks have been the most magical days of my life.
First off, let me tell you that I was not expecting Elodie to arrive on time, much less two days early. Starting at my 36 week appointment, my doctor began to check me to see how I was progressing. From week 36 all the way through week 39, the result was nearly the same – I was really softening well, but no dilation. I think my doctor told me I was dilated to a one just to make me feel better. After that final 39 week appointment on May 2, I was feeling rather dejected. In fact, I was downright mopey all evening. I think at that point I gave up hoping I would go into labor and resigned myself to a scheduled induction the following Monday (my doctor was leaving town and I didn’t want to risk her not being there).
I was in a much brighter mood on Wednesday, but still not expecting anything to happen. I went to the hospital to take care of all of my pre-op paperwork to be admitted for an induction Sunday evening. I decided to make the most of the next several evenings and picked up all of the ingredients for shrimp nachos and a good bottle of wine. No need to mope for an entire week, eh? As it turns out, I will never forget that meal I shared with Tye and my mother because it’s the last thing I ate before going into labor.
I began to feel extremely uncomfortable as we were getting ready for bed. I couldn’t find a good position in my bath, or in the bed, and the pain in my hip that had been absent the last several days came back with a vengeance. I also noticed that I was bleeding quite a bit. I assumed this was the “bloody show,” but I didn’t get excited because I knew that could still mean delivery was several days away. However, as I was lying awake in bed sometime later (still horribly uncomfortable) I felt my first contractions. I was unsure at first, as it mostly felt like light cramping, but as they continued to happen at regular intervals, I knew. Tye woke up around 12:30AM (I should also mention he thought that it was the morning and that he had gotten a full night’s rest!) and I told him what was happening. Since we were both awake, we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Yes, at 1AM, and it was actually lovely and quite chilly out. After returning home, I sat on my exercise ball while he timed out the contractions. I won’t lie, after it seemed like they were getting stronger and closer – I painted my nails. For some reason, I couldn’t imagine delivering without a fresh coat of paint. Around 4:30, I sat back down in the bed for a bit of rest and we both fell asleep. When we woke up around 6AM, I realized that my contractions had stopped all together, but I was still producing a fairly substantial amount of blood. Just to be pre-cautious, I called the on-call nurse at my doctor’s office. In short, she told me to take a shower and get dressed and she would call me back with further instruction. She eventually called back and said that my doctor was currently checking in on her patients at the hospital and that I could meet her up there to check that everything was okay. So we gathered all of our things and made our way to the labor and delivery unit. Looking back, I’m so glad my mother took a picture of us leaving the house.
When we arrived at the hospital, we were taken to a room (still thinking that I was just going to be checked out) and were told to await the doctor. But before my doctor could even arrive, a nurse came in and told us we were having a baby that day. I think Tye and I probably had the same blank, shocked look on our faces. This was it, this was the day we were going to finally meet our girl. It turns out my doctor simply didn’t feel comfortable with the amount of blood I was still producing, or the fact that I had been in active labor and then not. So, around 9AM she broke my water and I was started on a small amount of Pitocin.
Everyone in the room told us that we could potentially be in for a very long day. Having had friends and family who had also been induced, we were prepared with an arsenal of films. We started It’s Complicated and settled in for the day. I received my epidural sometime later that morning, Tye could probably tell you the exact time, when I no longer felt like braving the pain or tears. My nurse laid me on my side with a “peanut” between my legs to help open up my hips and even out the epidural. She told us that she would check back in on me in two hours to turn me to the other side. My mother came up to see us for a bit and with our assurance that we were still hours away from anything happening, left to pick up lunch for Tye and herself.
I ended up taking a small nap right as we put Skyfall in and when I woke, I told Tye that I felt a bit of pressure. My nurse had informed me earlier that when I felt “a lot of pressure” that I would likely be ready to push. As someone who typically has a fairly high tolerance of pain, and someone who was numb from the waist down, I wasn’t quite sure that what I felt would qualify as a lot of pressure, but it felt worth mentioning. My nurse checked me (at this point, I had only been lying on my side for about an hour and a half) and quite literally said, “Oh! We’ve got some hair here – are you ready to have a baby?” Again with the blank, shocked faces from Tye and me. I believe it was around 12:40PM. I felt as though we had just gotten there! But evidently she was serious because she called my doctor and started to transform the room to prepare for delivery.
Everything at this point is a bit of a blur for me. I went through a couple of practice pushes with my nurse before my doctor arrived and ten minutes later when my doctor made it into the room, she was clearly just as shocked and amused as we were that things had progressed so quickly. I believe I pushed through two contractions and then on the third, at 1:16PM on May 4, 2017, Elodie Claire Jones made her way into the room.
I don’t think I could ever accurately describe that moment – the shock at the suddenness of it, the rush of hormones the moment I first heard her cry, or the immediate knowledge, recognition, and love of this little person who had been placed on my stomach. Leading up to delivery I had had my doubts about whether or not I was prepared to care for a baby, but the moment I saw her that fear left. I simply thought, “Oh, I know you. I can do this.” It was the single best moment of my life.
The rest of the day is a haze for me. I know that she was 20.5 inches long and weighed 6lbs 12 oz. I also know that my love for my husband increased tenfold watching him dote on her. And I know that that day will always be seared into my memory as the most beautiful, peaceful, and magical day of my existence.
“And I can’t remember life before her name.”