Ella's Birth Story

On the eve of Ella turning 2 months old (how is that possible already?!?), I finally got her birth story written!
On Saturday, May 28th I went to my friend Bree's baby shower in the afternoon. While there, people joked about other showers they'd been to where someone went into labor and I jokingly told Ella not to think about doing that. I was having some minor contractions throughout the shower but nothing crazy. I won one of the baby shower games which ended up being a scratch off ticket which I pocketed to scratch off at home.
It was also one of the hottest days we'd had yet, and on my walk back to my car when the shower was over, I started having more intense contractions. On my 20 minute drive home, where I encountered traffic (of course), I had 4-5 contractions and was really feeling them.

We were supposed to go to a cookout at a friends house but we thought it best to wait for a bit once I got home to see what happened with the contractions. In the meantime, MG scratched my scratch off and we'd won $100! That has never happened before! My contractions started slowing down so I thought it was just a "practice run" and felt ok to go to the cookout.

We hung out, and had dinner at our friends' place with two other couples. It was a really fun night with tons of laughter (to the point of tears), but I was feeling more contractions, and after dinner they became more and more intense. One of the girls must have noticed my face because she asked if I was ok, and I told her yes, but asked her to get my phone so I could start timing my contractions. After about another 30 minutes, I told MG I thought it was time to go home since they were getting more and more uncomfortable.

When we got home, I called my doctor's office and spoke to the midwife at the hospital who told me to shower and try to relax and nap, and that if things got better--great! And if not, to call her back.

They did not get better. I was having a really tough time getting through the contractions. So we packed up our bags (all while Cooper paced around us wondering what the hell was going on at 10pm when we normally are going to bed). Luckily we had a friend who was around and came by to stay with Cooper for the night, and around 11 we made our way to the hospital.

I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes and said to MG in the car there that I hoped this was it, because if this was FALSE labor, I didn't want to know what REAL labor felt like. When I got to the hospital, I went to the main desk and the woman could tell what was up. I had my ID in hand to expedite the process, but they didn't even ask for it--they just got a wheelchair and whisked me up to the in-take room where they took my vitals. MG went to move the car since we'd parked in a wrong area (funny that we didn't remember much from our hospital visit in the heat of the moment haha)

They checked me and told me I was 3-4 centimeters dilated. MG got back to my intake room and we both had the "this is really happening" moment. They asked me if I'd wanted an epidural as part of my birth plan and I told them that was the ONLY part of my birth plan, so they took my blood and got that sent off to the lab so I could get my epidural asap. Meanwhile I was just trying to make it through the contractions. MG was an amazing support and held my hands, rubbed my back, etc. I was shaking so much from the intensity of the contractions and was warned that might get better or worse after the epidural. At that point, I didn't care, I just wanted it to feel better.

They put me in my labor/delivery room and soon after the anesthesiologist was there to give me my epidural. I can't remember being so happy to see someone with a needle before.

After he gave me the epidural, I was a happy camper. It was after midnight at this point, and around 2am they checked my dilation again and told me I was 5 cm and the midwife asked if I wanted her to break my water. I said sure because...why not?

Then they told me to rest, which is easier said than done when they are in and out of your room all the time. They rotate you from side to side every hour or so. And since I had GD they were testing my blood sugar every hour with finger pricks too (so fun). So, needless to say, I only got about 30 minutes of light sleep over the next few hours.

Here's where my one and only complication came into play. Every time they rotated me to my right side, one little spot by the top of my leg/groin area on the left would "drain" of the epidural and I could feel EVERYTHING in that one spot.

So they had someone come in and give me another dose of the epidural which worked....until they rotated me to my right side the next time.
They gave me a second dose of it. Same thing. The guy had warned me that he couldn't give me another dose or I wouldn't be able to feel to push. 

The anesthesiologist came back in to try and pull the epidural needle out a bit in case it went in wonky, and then gave me another dose of the epidural. It worked! Until....

Around 7 when my midwife came back and checked me and told me I was 10 cm dilated but baby girl was still sitting up really high, so they sat me up and let me "labor down" a bit. They said I'd start pushing around 8-8:15. MG had gone out to get some things from the car and came back to the news that things were going to start happening in the next hour or so!
ten centimeters!!! and last photo of just us two
And while I was laboring down, the epidural stopped working in that one little area again, and I was told it was too close to pushing to get another dose. I won't lie, I cried, thinking I was going to feel EVERYTHING in that spot. Luckily it was only a small area, but still.

Around 8:10 I was having a lot of pain in that area and the nurse suggested we start pushing because she said it would be more productive than just dealing with the pain. So we started at 8:15 and actually I will say, being able to feel the contractions helped me to know when to push. And it wasn't that painful when I pushed through it.

Everyone kept telling me after each set of pushes what a good job I was doing, and the progress I was making. Someone had mentioned that they had a mirror around and I started to get curious what all of this "progress" looked like, so I asked for the mirror--something I never thought I'd do. But, it actually really helped me to push because I could see what a good push did and it motivated me.

They gave me oxygen between pushes, and it's crazy that when I wasn't pushing, it was like everything was normal. We were having conversations with the nurses and the midwife. And then when a contraction would come, I'd focus and push, and then go back to talking. MG said he was shocked at how quickly I recovered between pushing.

After less than an hour and a half, at 9:38 on April 30th our perfect peanut was born. Her head came out and the cord was wrapped around her neck, so the midwife just pulled her out with the contraction and the most beautiful baby was placed on my chest.

Surprisingly, I wasn't the one with the tears in my eyes--MG was. I was just so in shock and in love with this little baby I couldn't cry. But boy did I fall in love with MG more in that moment. 

We ooh'ed and aah'ed over Ella for the next hour while I delivered the placenta, and got stitched up. I only had a small 2nd degree tear, thankfully.

All of a sudden they were offering MG the scissors to cut her umbilical cord, and then weighing her.
They gave me some time to recover while my regular room was getting ready, and then loaded me and baby girl up into a wheelchair and whisked us off to our room where we spent the next 2 days getting familiar with our baby girl.

Unfortunately because of my GD, they had to prick our baby girl for blood draws to monitor her blood sugars and make sure they weren't too low. They did this for a 24 hour period (I think they checked 3-4 times during that time...that time is kind of a blur) and she passed every time. They also monitored her jaundice because we had different blood types and that can cause jaundice. She also passed this, which was nice. For some reason, she wasn't allowed to be bathed during the first 24 hours until she passed those tests which no one ever explained to me, but we were happy she passed and was good to go.
It seemed like all of a sudden, we were putting clothes on our baby girl, and loading her into her carseat to go home and start our lives as a family of three (plus Cooper)!
It's still crazy to me to think about that day. The whole experience was totally surreal. And beautiful. 


  1. What a great experience. I was a little worried about you because I had worked at the same hospital and was less than thrilled with the care we gave in my unit(per our emails). Also, she wasn't bathed for 24 hours because of sugars are off, it can send a baby into further distress with being cold and trying to rewarm. That's pretty common at most hospitals regardless of nicu or not.

  2. ah i loved reading this! so sweet - crazy process through the epidural but i know many a mom who are ever grateful for them! such a sweet girl! still oh so happy for you guys :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  3. I'm in tears just reading this! It might be my pregnant emotional state but I think this is the sweetest birth story. It sounds like you were a champ!! So happy for you and your little family. Ella is beautiful!

  4. Such a sweet story! And LOL at the epidural being the only birth plan, I will high five... no high ten that! She's perfect, and I can't believe it's been almost 2 months already <3
    Green Fashionista

  5. This sounds a lot like how my labor went. The epidural made it a breeze! Were you totally paranoid driving home with her? I was so scared we would get in a wreck!

  6. This was such a beautiful story! Can't believe it's already been 2 months of having her. I'm so incredibly happy for you and your little family, Ella is the cutest little nugget ever!

  7. She is just gorgeous!!! $100 and a baby within 24 hours--talk about hitting the jackpot!

  8. I loved reading this! I'm glad that your delivery was relatively smooth and she's still as beautiful as ever!! And you looked really awesome after giving birth!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  9. What a sweet, sweet story! I literally teared up at your precious pictures! As a veteran mom, it's easy for me to say, enjoy these moments because they pass so fast but I still remember how hard these days can be while you are in them. Congratulations, mama!

  10. You really hit the jackpot with her and the lottery ticket! I am so glad things went smoothly besides the wonky epidural. The same thing happened to mys sister for two of her three, it seems pretty common. I was there when her third was born and it was the most magical thing to watch. Thanks for sharing your story!

  11. I love reading birth stories and this one, of course, brought tears to my eyes. She is such a sweet little doll! (And I love that MG cried. Brandon cried when Walker was born and I was just a puddle of mush seeing my husband cry.)

  12. Can't believe she's two month old already! I really enjoyed reading this. It sounds like the whole process went really well! Also, I love how your only birth plan was an epidural! Hehe!

  13. Oh I've been waiting for this post! What an amazing day and an even more amazing little girl. She really and truly is your little miracle. I'm so happy for you guys, Jenn. I know you are enjoying every single second. It was a long time coming.

  14. Getting chills just reading about this moment! So special!

  15. I think that I would have been terrified if I could feel the pain too! People have asked me if I'd want to see my birth and I've always thought that I wouldn't, but it's good to know that it could help out during the birthing process! Ella is so beautiful!

  16. Crazy how different our birth stories are! What a perfect little peanut <3 Cannot believe she is almost 2 months old!

  17. I love your birth story!! She definitely made her appearance when she was ready. :)

  18. ahhh all the tears! I think I've read it twice - its crazy how fast time goes by but reading this really took me back! Congrats again on that sweet, perfect little one! Adore ya'll! xo

  19. You are such a tropper driving to a baby shower and going to the cookout full term....even though you do look fab with your baby bump in that floral dress. I can't believe you won $100 from the scratch off but even better your gorgeous baby was born. She's to precious...Bella Ella! You know i like creating nicknames for all the babies and furbabies.


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