Since my baby is almost two months old, I though it was high time to share her birth story here before I forget! I also wanted to share the beautiful photos of her birth from J. Taylor Photography (also our wedding photographer)! I contemplated having a photographer at the birth for quite a few months and finally decided to go for it! Best decision ever. I am so happy that all the little moments of Ellie’s birth were captured perfectly. Thank you again, Jalene. We will forever treasure these photos.

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My due date had come and gone and still no baby. At all my weekly appointments the last month of my pregnancy I received the same answer every time: I hadn’t progressed since 35 weeks. I was stuck at 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. By 40.5 weeks I was anxious for Miss Ellie to come. There’s only so many times you can fold onesies over and over again. ;) My doc scheduled an induction on September 20 at 5:00 am. We were excited. And freaked out of our minds.

Wednesday was an emotional day. I was anxious, scared, excited, nervous; pretty much every emotion squished together. I tried to soak up all the little kicks and wiggles as much as I could and treated myself to a pretty pink pedicure. That night B gave me a blessing and instantly my mind was calm. I was at peace and ready for labor! (And even got some sleep!)

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Thursday morning bright and early, we headed to the hospital. Of course we were five minutes late because I made B take my last pregnant photo. The hospital was quiet and empty as B dragged in all our luggage. The nurses got us all checked in and I put on the awkwardly huge hospital gown. Three nurses and five tries later, the IV in my arm was ready to go. I was still dilated at a 1. At 6:00 am pitocin was started. My contractions were relatively calm and not very strong. We both tried to get some sleep, although it was a little awkward with all the wires hooked up to me. And poor B was on the uncomfortable pull out couch.

Two hours and very little sleep later I had progressed to a 2! I was overjoyed, even though I knew I had a long way to go. Doctor Harward came in and broke my water. Weirdest feeling ever! It was a peeing I couldn’t control. The doc warned me that the contractions would be closer and stronger now that my water was broken. Boy was he right!

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By 10:00 am my contractions were getting stronger by the minute. B held my hand and helped me remember to breathe calmly through them. The anesthesiologist had just arrived at the hospital and the nurse asked if I would like an epidural. You bet your bottom dollar I did! Bless that dear man! Within a few minutes of getting the epidural in place, the pain went away. I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, but no pain. I was thrilled!

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E’s heart rate would drop with each contraction, then pick back up after they were over. I had to wear an oxygen mask and lay on my side to help her heart rate. It seemed to help a little. The doc thought that maybe she had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, but not to worry. Not to worry? Saying that to a pregnant women in labor will make her worry even more. Despite the worry, I was smiley and happy throughout labor. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. We brought a season of Friends with us to watch during the waiting labor game.  Every time a nurse would come in they’d comment on how much they loved this episode or that character. It was pretty funny.

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At 11:20 am I was dilated to a 5.5. Things were progressing at the rate I expected. We continued to watch Friends, B snacked on some popcorn from the snack bar, and I kept texting my mom updates. Around noon I started to feel more pain and the urge to push with each contraction. The epidural seemed to be wearing off, so I asked the nurse for another dose. She checked me at 1:00pm and to my utter and complete surprise, I was at a 10! A 10 I say!

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Everything was a bit of a blur after that. My favorite doc gave me another round of the good drugs, nurses were in and out of my room setting up equipment, and per my request, the doc set up a mirror so I could see the whole thing happen. (Some people may have been a little sickened, but watching it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!) 1:40 I started pushing. The nurse  (Ashlee, she was my favorite!) stood on one side holding my leg with B on the other. I’m sure my face was beat red as I pushed with all the strength I had.

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Six or seven pushes later and the doc announced that this little peanut had a headful of hair. I was so proud. (Guess that heartburn wasn’t for nothing! ;) One more push and my baby girl was here! I cannot express the joy I felt when Ellie Marie was born at 1:54 pm. I remember thinking “I know you! You were in my belly for nine months! I know you!” My heart was so filled with love, I couldn’t barely speak.

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I touched her little finger while the doc unwrapped the umbilical cord from around her shoulder and B cut the cord. She was pretty purple and blue so they handed her straight over to the respiratory therapist. A few seconds later I heard her first little cry. Oh what a wonderful cry it was! She had the saddest little pouty face and it was all I could do to not jump off the bed to hold my sweet baby. Too bad my legs were numb and I was getting all stitched up. My baby girl was weighed (6lbs 8oz, so teeny for being overdue!) and measured (19.5 inches long), then they handed her to daddy. It was love at first sight! He was absolutely mesmerized. “She looks like an Ellie, doesn’t she?” I said and B agreed.

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After Brian held her for a minute or two (maybe less since I was so anxious), he passed our sweet baby girl to me. Holding her for the first time was an absolute dream. I was so filled with gratitude for the sweet spirit Heavenly Father had blessed us with and the knowledge that we could be a family forever.

We were finally a family of three.

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We love you Ellie Marie!