Elle Janes Birth Story

I love that every woman's pregnancy experience is different and unique in its own way. I've been very open about how much I've struggled through my pregnancy and my delivery experience was no different. Before I go into my delivery I first want to say I am beyond blessed to be able to get pregnant because I know so many women out there who can't or who have struggled with miscarriages. I am by no means comparing my experience to theirs. I simply want to share my experience not to scare anyone away from getting pregnant or the delivery process because it truly is magical what our bodies are capable of; but to let people know that no matter what you have planned for your delivery, it's ultimately up to God what happens and just know that you CAN make it through it. 

As most of you know if you follow me on Instagram, I was sick with a bad cold leading up to my delivery. I worked from home the week before she arrived and for some reason I knew she would be coming early so I put my maternity leave notice in 3 weeks ahead of her due date (trust your instinct and your body, you will know when it's time). I was nervous starting my leave that early but sure enough day two of my leave my water broke and I went into labor. That Tuesday I woke up feeling miserable (this was normal) and when I put my feet on the floor to go to get out of bed, I felt a gush. I went to the bathroom and noticed that this did not look like the normal mucus that I was used to seeing and this definitely looked more like water. I woke up my husband and told him I thought my water broke but I wasn't really experiencing contractions so I wasn't sure what to do. Almost everything you read online says that contractions follow this process and that some hospitals won't admit you until you are in active labor so I decided to go back to sleep. 

I woke up later that day and felt another gush and that's when I decided to call my doctor. After getting the green light from the doctor that I needed to head to the hospital, I called my husband and told him to head home from work and that it was TIME! We got to the hospital around 3:30 and they confirmed I was in active labor and dilated at 3cm. I couldn't believe that it was all happening so fast but I was so ready for it. Once I was in my room it felt like time flew by. I started feeling the contractions and couldn't breath my way through the pain I asked for an epidural and that's when things got real. I remember being at 8cm, and then 10 and ready to push. After getting the rundown from my girlfriends who had given birth I felt ready for the pushing process, but I had no idea what was about to happen. 

The first hour went by quickly and I remember thinking man this is harder and taking longer than I thought it would. Hour two was about the same and I was then notified that Elles head was turned sideways and that's why my pushing efforts weren't working. They weren't able to turn her but my nurse kept me calm and talked me through different positions that I could do to try to turn her. At this time my epidural started wearing off and I was in so much pain. During my labor I had 4 bolsters (additional epidurals) because mine wore off. During hour 3 I tried every birthing position possible to turn her. I pushed on both sides, on my hands and knees, pulling on a towel, gripping hand bars, it was the hardest workout I've ever put my body through. I remember holding my own legs up and getting blood all over my hands and thinking, this was not what I imagined this process to be like, this is not what my friends described, why me? At this point I was screaming in pain (just like you see in the movies) and my nurse and doctor started to look worried. I remember someone taking my temperature, and then taking it again, and again and saying this can't be accurate. I had a temp of 104 and they were sure I had an infection since it had been 26 hours from the time my water broke to labor. My nurse told me I could push for a little longer if I had the strength but otherwise I needed to have a c-section to get her out quickly. I had never even thought that would be something I would have to consider during this process. I looked at my husband who had been holding my legs and cheering me on for the last 3 hours and his face looked so worried. I told the nurse if I could have another epidural that I could push for another hour because I was determined that she could come out without having a major surgery. 

The last hour was all a blur, I pushed and pushed and after 4.5 hours of pushing Eleanor Jane Alsup was born at 7:52AM on Wednesday December 18th. I got to spend about 30 minutes with her before they took her to the NICU to start her on fluids. They told me since it had been 26 hours from the time my water broke to the time of delivery and with my temperature during labor she could have an infection and needed antibiotics right away. Her blood sugar was also low and we both stayed in the hospital for 3 days to be monitored. Unfortunately on day 3 her jaundice levels were too high to send her home and she had to stay an additional night in the NICU. I never thought my story would include going home without my baby on night one but I knew she had to get better and she was in good hands.

I don't think either of us slept a wink that first night home and we were back at the hospital at 6AM to sit with our girl and wait for the doctor to do her rounds. We thankfully got to take Elle home on the evening of Saturday December 21st just in time to get settled and spend Christmas together. We didn't plan on having Elle here for the holidays but her dad acted fast and made sure she had a stocking, ornament, and Christmas dress for the occasion! 

It feels so good to put down in words what happened on that day. I hope that a difficult labor isn't in your future, but know if it is, YOU CAN DO IT! I never dreamed I had the strength to go through what I did on that day, but just remember that you are stronger than you think and just because your labor doesn't go according to your birth plan, it's still YOUR story!