Friday, February 21, 2014

Eleanor's Birth Story (Yes, she is already here!)

I cannot believe that Eleanor is already a week old today.  This has been the fastest week of my life.  I wanted to share her birth story with you.  If you were like me, pre-pregnancy and even pre-birth, I was always a little apprehensive to click on birth stories because it seems that there were far more negative experiences than positive.  This is a very positive story!

Friday, February 14th
6:30 Wake up just like normal.  I was running around trying to find something cute to wear to our Valentine's Day party.  I told Anthony I wasn't feeling well, but I thought it was just cramps. 

7:30  Got to school.  My main goal was to finish my sub plans for maternity leave and put my grades in for the 6 weeks. 

8:00 Emailed Anthony to let him know something was happening.

8:30 Told my kids to pretty much work independently and leave me alone because I felt sick.  I was having cramps periodically, and I was especially irritable during those times. 

9:30  Went to the office to see if there were any half day subs in the building who would be willing to stay the rest of the day with my class.  I told them to look around for a sub but not to do anything yet as I wasn't sure how I was feeling.  I left the office, and a sweet teacher volunteered to go watch my class for a bit, so I could go have a cry.  I just felt sick and wanted to be home laying in bed.

10:00 Went to the bathroom, lost my mucus plug, and was spotting a bit.  I called Anthony.  He suggested that he leave work, but I declined because I wasn't sure yet.  Besides, I wasn't sure that I even had a sub, how could I possibly leave?

10:15 My kiddos went to special areas, and I was ready to leave.  I felt like I was sick, and I didn't feel like being sick in front of my kids.  I wasn't for sure if it was labor or not.  Everyone had always told me that I would definitely know when I was in labor, so I didn't think it was for real.  In fact, I kept telling my team that I would feel like an idiot if I left, and it was nothing. 

10:30 My team took me home.  I definitely realized that I was having contractions on the way home.  During the 15 minute drive, I probably had about three contractions that were incredibly difficult to talk through.

10:45  Arrived at home and sent my team away because they had to be back by 11.  In hindsight, I should not have let them leave me alone.  Anthony was still not home.  At this point, I was moaning through my contractions.  I started timing them.  They were about 4 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds.  In between contractions, I was scurrying around trying to finish packing my bag.  Baby girl wasn't supposed to be here until the end of February.  I wasn't ready.

11:15 Anthony got home.  He helped me grab some more things and called my midwife and doula.  I was grabbing things like games and art journals.  I still thought I had a long ways to go, and to avoid being bored during labor I wanted to have things to do. 

11:50  I arrived at the birth center.  Fortunately, it was only 20 minutes away.  They checked me for the first time and PTL I was already 9 cm and completely effaced.  Ummm hello!  Baby was coming soon.  I was a little scared when I arrived because I didn't know how I was going to last through like 12 more hours of labor with this kind of intensity of contractions.  It was a huge relief to be so far along.  My doula arrived shortly thereafter.  I labored on the bed and in the tub.  It was all back labor.  Less than two hours later, Eleanor Joy Houston had arrived. 

God blessed me with a great labor.  He was so gracious to provide breaks during labor where I could relax, to provide me with a great support team, and to help me deliver a beautiful baby girl.  I am so pleased with me and my husband's decision to go all natural and at a birthing center. 

This is the short of it.  Hopefully in the next coming weeks I can talk specifically about our decision to go natural, pain coping techniques, the education I received to help me feel empowered, and some of the fears that God helped me conquer throughout my pregnancy. 


  1. Congrats!! Can't wait to read more about your pain management techniques and experience at the birthing center. A natural birth at a birthing center is my plan as well and I only have a few weeks left!

  2. Ahh!! I'm so excited for you!! I've been thinking of you recently but as you know well, life with a little one is crazy and I haven't had a chance to get online until today!! I can't wait to hear more about your experience with the birth center! I'd love to know which one you used! We did a natural birth at the hospital but I've already declared that I refuse to have another hospital birth (unless necessary of course).