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Elliana’s Birth

My pregnancy was going great and the due date rolled around and our “little sunshine” had not arrived. When we went to my 40 week appointment on Monday, June 1st my doctor wanted to schedule an induction and wanted me to go in for a non-stress test this week. We agreed to do the non-stress test, but not until I was 41 weeks and we got out of her office without scheduling the induction date. The non-stress test was scheduled for Saturday, June 6th. We were determined to do anything we could to get things moving naturally this week and we had complete trust in my body and knowing that our baby was going to come when he or she was ready.

On Wednesday, June 3rd we were getting ready for bed and I got up from the couch and realized that my water started to leak or else I peed. I went to the bathroom and it was indeed my water leaking…very clear and no smell. Several day’s prior I had started to loose a little bit of my mucus plug, but when I went to the bathroom there was much more of the mucus plug lost this time. I called Craig to come up to the bathroom and I said “I think this might be the start of something”…he agreed in excitement! We went to bed and woke up the next morning with nothing happening. Craig went off to work and I went about my day as I would have and my water continued to leak a little as the day went on. I went for a walk in the morning hoping to move things along. Later that morning I had a chance to get together with the ladies from our Bradley class and their babies and then I went for another walk that afternoon. That evening Craig and I had our weekly date night on Thursday night (little did we know this would be our last date night without our little one in our lives) we went out to dinner for Mexican and we went walking yet again. I think I walked 15 miles that day!

We were concerned that the doctor was going to ask when my water started leaking and that they would start the 24 hour clock, so Thursday evening we started to use some natural means to induce labor…it worked amazingly! I started having contractions 5 minutes apart which lasted about 5 and half hours. We called my doctor and she wanted us to go ahead and go in to the hospital. The moment I got in the car my contractions stopped. We went ahead and went in and they measured me at 3 cm and they didn’t even ask if my water had broken…thank goodness!

We went home and we got a good 4 hour nap and contractions started up again spontaneously at 12:30pm. Craig timed contractions off and on and they progressively got closer together and stronger. At the beginning of labor we watched a movie and we would pause it during contractions, however as things progressed I did a lot of moving around and listening to what my body needed during each contraction…leaning over the couch, hands and knees, using the birth ball, slow dancing with Craig, taking a shower and letting the water hit my back and Craig pushing hard on my hips and lower back. We frequently got our Bradley book out to check the sign posts and we were excited to see that things were moving along as they should. We decided that we weren’t going to head into the hospital until we were in “Cavewomen” stage We labored at home for 12 hours and we realized that when I was in Cavewomen stage (I was feeing nauseated, contractions were one on top of the other, the answer to most questions was grunt…grunt…uhhhh) we needed to go to the hospital. I needed Craig by my side at all times during a contraction now and they were intense and very close together. We called our doula and she came to house to help me during contractions while Craig packed up the car.

We got into the car (not the most fun car ride…I ended up turning around in the front seat leaning over the headrest) and arrived at the hospital at 1:30am on Saturday, June 6th at exactly 41 weeks. They sent me up to my room and the nurse checked me and I was 5cm, 90% effaced and -1 station. Once again we were able to get around the question “did your water break?” They did the routine 20 minute EFM, but the nurse was not seeing a lot of acceleration in our baby’s heart rate, so she wanted to monitor me until she saw the accelerations. This made it difficult to move around, however I didn’t let it get me down! Craig was very supportive and passing along words of encouragement and making great suggestions…knowing just was to say and do! I kept moving around even though they had me on the EFM the whole time. I tried hands and knees, leaning over the bed while standing and even a few squats. I went to the bathroom one time just to get a break from the EFM and I remember telling Craig “I can’t be on that thing anymore!”

At 2:30am I started feeling pressure with contractions and by 3am my cervix was completely dilated and I felt like pushing. The nurse called the doctor who eventually arrived 25 minutes later. In the meantime, they didn’t want me to push until the doctor arrived so I blew raspberries and locked eyes with Craig during every contraction so as to not push (this had to be the hardest part of the whole labor). Craig massaged my shoulders with lotion and my mom and our doula would bring me water and put cold washcloths on my face when I asked for it. Craig was such a supportive and loving coach and I couldn’t have done it without him. The nurses seemed to really enjoy us…me with my raspberries during 25 minutes of not being able to push and Craig and his ability to make me laugh and encourage me every step of the way. The nurses even commented on what an amazing team we were!

Finally my doctor arrived at 3:25am and I started pushing. It felt so good to push and I was so excited to know that I would be meeting our “little sunshine” soon. I remember Craig telling me to slow down on the pushing when she was crowning. I breathed through a couple contractions and then pushed one last time and our beautiful baby was born at 3:38am after 10 minutes of pushing. After the doctor clamped the cord Craig was able to cut it and announce, “It’s a girl”! She was immediately placed on my chest and she started nursing 10 minutes after she was born. Craig was right there by my side talking to her and she immediately turned her head to look at her daddy. The placenta delivered naturally and with the use of nipple stimulation the bleeding stopped. I didn’t have any tears or repairs that needed to be done. The arrival of Elliana Ailene Ketter was an incredible experience and everything we could have hoped for! She weighed in at 8lb 2oz and 20 ¼” long. By 4am all the nursing staff left the room and we were able to enjoy our new precious gift! We are so thankful for our natural birth and such an alert and healthy baby girl.