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.