Oh where do I even begin?!
On Tuesday March 3rd, 2015 I started the day like any other day.
I was making my morning, healthy goodness:
Taken from my Instagram:
My warm water and Bragg's organic apple cider vinager (1tablespoon)
My green smoothie
Ava even enjoyed some of my green smoothie
Later on, I started feeling some pressure down below around 2:00PM...like right underneath my belly. I chalked it up to just pressure from being active with Ava and running around doing chores around the house and playing outside with her.
I also thought that maybe it was just pressure from a growing belly near where I had two hernias removed when I was 5 years old (I was born with them).
I went about my day and thought nothing of it. As time went on, I started to realize that the pressure would come and then disappear.
I texted Mark what was happening and asked him to just come home earlier than usual just in case.
I started recording each time I felt pressure on my phone just to see that I wasn't imagining things.
All over the place. Right ?
I made and gave Ava her dinner and
I also started packing a hospital bag for myself, Elle, and a bag for Ava to stay at Mark's mom's home.
Once Mark got home, he started to time the contractions and I called the on call doctor at my OB's office. The on call doctor gave me instruction on when to come in and that "I would know since this isn't my first rodeo."
Well, looks like it was my first rodeo for these kinds of contractions because they felt very differently than what I had with Ava. With Ava, I had back labor and then it would wrap around from the back to the upper part of my belly.
With Elle, I was just getting REALLY LOW pressure but no pack or top pain. So at this point, I am not thinking these are real contractions. I know, I am nuts.
Mark and I decided it was go time since I was hunching over on the couch as I would walk from room to room gathering the last clothes for our hospital bags. By this point, I knew this hurt and would dread the next one.
We left the house around 9:20PM to go and drive Ava to Mark's mom's home. Once I got into the car, I was getting horrible pain. I was gripping onto the handlebar near the top of my passenger side window for dear life each time and just whispering "F*ck f*ck f*ck" so that Ava couldn't hear me...haha
Looking back, I can't believe I held this to a whisper!
At this point, Mark is racing down federal highway to get to his moms.
She comes out of the house to grab Ava and she and Mark move like a NASCAR pit stop pulling out the carseat and Ava so that he can jump back into the car to race me to the hospital.
I remember at one point, his mom asked me, "How are you doing, Christina?"
and I was giving the steering wheel the death grip from across my seat. I started wanting to pull myself off my butt because of the pressure. I was literally pulling myself up with my handle bar as Mark raced. Around Federal Highway and Broward Boulevard, I started thinking "...the hospital is right after the tunnel...almooost there!"
Then, SOMEHOW, I was able to pull up the hospital's website on my iPhone between contractions to find out which entrance we had to drive to. It was "after hours" and we had never done a hospital tour...or even registered at the hospital for that matter! Talk about procrastination with the second child...
To the hospital staff, we would just be some random couple flying in there.
Well, 2 failed entrances and a very stressed out husband who had been given wrong entrance directions by the website and then by the hospital staff, we found the right entrance!
He grabbed the first person he could find with a wheelchair and she came out calm as a cucumber. Telling Mark to go park and waited outside with me. I quickly asked (straining) "Excuse me but why are we sitting here?!?! I am about to go the bathroom on myself! Take me inside please!!!"
I seriously thought I was going to poop myself.
women do not poop....ever.
Boys poop and girls only tinkle.
So you can imagine to my shock and surprise as to what I thought I was feeling! ;)
This is where it got "fun"
The lady hands me over to this TALL man and tells him, "You'll be able to get her there faster. Take her to labor and delivery as fast as you can now!"
He and I are now racing by the food court area of the hospital and dodging people like a video game to get to the elevators. I was lifting myself up with the wheelchair armrest and kept telling this man that I've never met before, "I am going to to poop myself.... I am so sorry! So sorry! Oh my God, hurry!"
(I am laughing as I type this. Hope you enjoy this very descriptive post of tooooo much information haha but I need to remember this one day when I go back and read this. Not that I think I could ever forget this if I tried!)
Well, we FINALLY get up to wherever we were supposed to go and the room he took me into was "full" and now he was searching for another spot to put me. The nurses all seemed calm and desk personal did too. I am started to get louder now and say, "I am going to go to the bathroom on this wheelchair!"
At this point, Mark intercepts us (out of breath from running across the hospital with all of our bags and his briefcase haha
(Apparently, the lady who initially had me, saw him come in from parking and instructed him to "RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!")
A nurse takes me from my tall escort and starts walking me into this empty room and all of a sudden a GUSH of water occurs all over my wheelchair!
"OH MY GOD! MY WATER JUST BROKE!"
(It didn't break with Ava so this was new to me too. It was just like in the movies!)
Nurse: "Perfect! Now I can take you to the room I wanted to take you to!"
Once we got in there, multiple nurses appeared and started removing all my clothes as quickly as they possibly could.
Me: "Please call the anesthesiologist! I need an epidural NOW!"
I knew my father in law was on call so I was just waiting for him to run into the room with my happy medicine and save the day. Not so much...
Nurse: "Oh sweetie, it is waaay too late for that. You are going to have this baby right now. It is all up to you right now."
Mark later told me that my face turned to "sheer terror" as soon as she said this to me.
As the following contraction started, I started to pull myself up again onto the side railing of the bed since it was propping me up. I was scaling it like a cat trying to claw out from a tub of water.
The nurses kept telling me to stay down and keep my legs wide open because I would hurt the baby if I didn't. So then I was just scaling the bed rail with my legs apart hahaha. I was in SO MUCH PAIN for those last contractions.
It is now 10:04PM, I push once, and the nurse tells me that she already sees the head. Mark looks down and sees Elle's head and runs to the doorway and yells, "WE NEED A DOCTOR NOW!!!!"
He runs back and I push again and the nurse grabs Elle and puts her right onto my chest.
In that glorious moment, ALL THE PAIN DISAPPEARED. It just magically goes away like it never happened and a surge of adrenaline occurs. I was so happy and excited to meet Elle laying there on my chest.
The pain was gone and I could feel the umbilical cord and everything. It was pretty cool actually.
The nurses cut the umbilical cord (Poor Mark). It was all happening so fast (and still without a doctor at this point so the nurses were just doing an excellent job at what they were instructed to do in this kind of situation I'm sure.)
Eventually, a doctor comes in (not the on call doctor I spoke to earlier from my OB's practice but someone else that was at the hospital). I honestly don't know what he did. The nurses started to clean Ava up and then Mark's stepfather (the anesthesiologist) arrived. Obviously, not to give me an epidural but because Mark had just texted his mom that Elle was already here.
A few minutes later the on call OBGYN that I had spoken to earlier arrived and took over.
She said, "Wow! I just spoke to you on the phone! That was fast!"
So there we were. Elle and I were doing skin to skin time on my chest and I kept looking over at Mark and laughing. We kept saying over and over, "Did that really just happen?!"
Mark: "You did it! You had a natural birth!"
I was in a state of bliss.
I had my daughter on me, I added a check mark to my bucket list of having a natural childbirth, and I was pain-free and 100% aware of everything that was going on.
I was extremely tired and out of it with Ava's birth. The epidural was never turned off for me (different hospital) and I was just a zombie.
My mom walked in soon after and said "It is like you didn't just have baby. You are totally fine!"
I couldn't help but laugh because it was true. I felt great and I had a ton of energy.
She snapped this photo of me. This is was about 15 min after Elle was born.
Elle Westcott McGuire
Born 10:05PM - March 3rd 2015
Proud mama and papa!
Proud daddy holding Elle for the first time
The following day: Ava meets Elle!
Time to go home!
Welcome Home, Elle!
A sweet welcome sign from my mother in law.
Elle is eating like a champ!!!
For those of you who know my breastfeeding story with Ava know that I had trouble. It means a lot to me to experience breastfeeding and so I am working hard to make it work this time around. Breastfeeding is not always easy for mamas and I now understand that on so many levels. I am happy to report that so far, so good! Elle has gained 10oz in 4 days! Her pediatrician was very impressed today!
I could not be happier.
I got my natural childbirth experience and I'm getting to breastfeed this time around.
I find myself feeling very empowered lately since Elle's birth. I have learned and overcome things that really took a toll on my confidence as a woman and as mother to Ava. Having a second chance to experience these things has been a big confidence booster and made me so grateful for this new chapter in motherhood.
I also am super grateful to Mark, my mother, Mark's mother, and my friend Jessica who have all helped me TREMENDOUSLY. From cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, caring for Ava, etc. I have been able to focus on resting and caring for Elle.
Thank you mom, Debbie, Mark, and Jess. I love you so much.
So that's it! There you have it. Elle's birth story was in God's plan...certainly not mine as I didn't even know what was going on until less than an hour before she was born. Haha.
It was an amazing experience. I'll also add that my transition to motherhood of two has been a lot better than becoming a mama to one. I suppose since it's my second time and I am not so afraid and nervous about every little thing, I can relax and enjoy these sweet moments that fly by so quickly. It is also in large part due to the fact that I've have a lot of help like I mentioned before. It seriously "takes a village".
That's my best advice to future moms: If possible, try to surround and set yourself up with good friends and family to help you during this time. Being able to nap when baby naps during the day and not worry about who is going to cook or clean is life saving.
Ok I'll wrap it up here
We love you, Elle!