On the evening of September 15, 2009 I was lounging on the daybed in the living room trying to read a book. I say trying because Tama-Boo was insisting on nudging my face and kneading my 36 week- 5 day protruding belly. Amelie Cat was "talking" incessantly and wouldn't leave me alone. Sophie Puppy Paw-Paws was barking like mad and jumping on the windows from the backyard. The animals knew what I did not. I was in labor.
As all pregnant ladies have to do nearly every 10 minutes is pee. I stood up and left a ginormous puddle on the floor. I hurried up and used the restroom. My contractions started and they were about 7-10 minutes apart. I called Andrew at work and said "I think that you need to come home soon. My water broke. There is plenty of time so you should go through the Whataburger drive-thru and get yourself some dinner."
First time labor is supposed to take a long time. Like 20 hours or something along those lines. Mine was 6 hours. Within 10 minutes of getting off the phone with Drew, my contractions were 2-5 minutes apart. And bad. I got the lovely back labor. You know that feeling of being repeatedly stabbed in the back? Yeah, that went on between contractions and then it was more of a slicing movement during contractions. I called the OB's nurse and told her I was coming in. I then called Andrew and told him he might want to skip Whataburger. Fortunately Drew thought I was nuts for telling him to get food in the first place and was practically home. In the car, the contractions were erratic with anywhere from 1-3 minutes apart. It was rush hour, of course.
I arrived at St. David's and was 5.5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. I was admitted to L&D and got an epidural because I desperately wanted one and because my blood pressure when sky high and my heart rate was extremely high. By the time I was wheeled into the delivery room less than 1 hours later, I was 8 cm. Andrew and I sat there and watched Jeff Lewis' Flipping Out. Yes, we watched a DIY show while I was in labor.
For 2 hours, I kept telling the nurses that I needed to push. For two hours no one physically checked me to see if I was ready. Finally, they couldn't get Ellie's heart beat or distinguish it from mine (my heart rate was still really high). They come in to put that screw thingy into her skull and discovered--her head. Five pushes later, she was out.
They laid her on my chest and I saw her eyes. I thought, hmmm. I didn't say anything. I didn't want to believe it. What if she didn't? Maybe I was wrong. I usually saw the babies at 10 days old. Not all squishy after a vaginal birth. We named her Nadja Marie. They took her away and Andrew went with them to get her cleaned up. It was 12:17am on September 16, 2009. I did not see her until nearly 8:00am. We theorize that they did not want me to diagnose her and they probably wanted to monitor her closely.
I did not sleep during that time. Why wasn't she with me? She has microcephaly. She has those squinty eyes. Andrew said she was sticking her tongue out. But all her ultrasounds were normal! Baby Bear was/is indeed sporting an extra chromosome.
When it came time to fill out the birth certificate, Andrew and I decided that she did not look like a Nadja. She looked like an Ellie. Baby girl was named after the character in the movie Up!. In the movie, Ellie is an adventurer. She is so deeply loved. Just like our daughter.
It has been 5 years since Ellie Marie was born. Five short years. Our little baby is now a little girl. Her personality is strong. She is full of spunk and sass. She has "ideas" and is very stubborn. She is down right perfect and forever loved
Happy Birthday, Ellie Bear!
A Celebration of Ellie by Slidely Slideshow
More about Ellie's story here.