Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Love at First Sight

We got through a relaxing long Memorial weekend. My sister Cari and her family had come out to help get baby stuff organized and a few things set up. I had been feeling a bit off on Monday and had no appetite the entire day. I had been having slight bleeding so I was doing my best to take it easy. We went to bed with The Phi excited about her last day of school and I was ready to get to work and get all the payroll and billing done for the month. I fell asleep a little after midnight and by 2:30 am I was awake and wondering if the cramps I was feeling were contractions. By 3:30 am I knew that what I was experiencing was not just from something I ate, but were in fact contractions. We started timing them on my iPhone and they were about 9-13 minutes apart and not crazy painful. Joey put his first call into his Mom. The plan was to have his Mom come out to stay with The Phi until my Mom or sister could get here. And of course she doesn't answer her phone. An hour later the contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and the pain was getting intense. After every contraction I had to pee. It was really weird. So there I was moaning and hurting and hoping that I wouldn't wake up The Phi with all the noise. Joey called his Mom again and still no answer. By 5:30 am I was beginning to panic. My contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and Joey still had not been able to get a hold of his Mom. At that point I had 2 options. Call Matt and have him stay with The Phi ( he was our last resort) until my Mom or sister got here, or have the baby at home. Thankfully my Mother-in-law finally picked up her phone and made her way to the house. Which meant I had one more hour to wait until I could go to the hospital.

Now I was not expecting to go into labor for another 3 weeks. That means I had not finished packing my bag. So in between the contractions I was throwing toothbrushes, contact lens solutions and everything else I could grab in the bathroom into my hospital bag. Luckily my awesome sister had packed the baby's hospital bag the day before. As the contractions got stronger I started to worry that I was not going to be able to handle this labor. Of course, being the photographer that I am I snapped a few last belly shots in between the pain. I got dressed into the same pink sweat suit I wore when The Phi was born and headed into the living room to try to not to wake up The Phi.

Finally my mother-in-law showed up and when she walked in she said you could hear my moans from the street. Awesome. Joey put everything we needed into the car and I walked into The Phi's room to say good-bye to my oldest daughter. It would be the last time as my only child. She was asleep and I whispered in her ear that it was time for the baby to come and we were going to the hospital. She woke up a little and I explained that Grandma was at the house and going to take care of her until Nana got there. She said she understood and she loved me.

The drive to the hospital was quick and the contractions were getting crazy intense. I had Joey put a towel on my seat just in case my water broke. At every stop sign and every car we passed I wondered what I must look like sitting there in pain. We got to the hospital about 7am and we valeted the car. I walked as best I could into the hospital lobby. A nice lady asked if I needed a wheelchair and being the type of person I am I declined. Then about 10 feet later I asked Joey to get a wheelchair. We went up to the 3rd floor and they asked "can we help you". Uhhh I am screaming in pain with a huge belly in labor and delivery, why do you think I am here?? I told her "I think I am in labor" They had me sign some paperwork and whisked us to a delivery room. The nurses rushed me to get my clothes off and my gown on. They checked me and I was a 5 centimeters dilated. Exact same as when I got to the hospital with The Phi. I prepared myself for another 19 hour labor. They hooked me up to monitors and asked if I was considering an epidural. I wasn't considering it I was demanding it! Our nurse introduced herself to us about that time. Her name was Amy and she was awesome. She was so knowledgeable, she had wonderful bed side manner, she explained everything that was happening. After checking me after about another hour I was at 7 centimeters dilated. Then I heard a squishy sound and told Nurse Amy, "I think my water broke".

The next thing I knew it was time for the epidural. Now the hospital I delivered at is a university so many of the doctors are residents and still learning from their attendings. My anesthesiologist was a student. It took him longer than I would have liked to get the epidural in and working but once he did it was all worth it. My lower half started feeling warm and cozy and by about 9:30 I was very very comfortable. I figured I would have a few hours to get some sleep. I was wrong. By 10:30 I was at 10 centimeters and it was time to get some pushes in and get the baby down and ready. I pushed about 2 times and the baby was ready. Nurse Amy had me reach down and feel the baby's head. I could feel all her hair. The doctor walked in and Amy had me push one more time. Then a second time. She stopped me halfway thorough the second push because the baby was almost out and the doctor had not finished putting on her scrubs. Amy had to literally hold the baby in while the doctor finished getting ready. With the next contraction she came right out.

I saw her head first and what went through my mind was "Oh my God she looks just like Sophia". Then she was out and then had her on my chest and I was looking at my daughters eyes for the first time. She is perfect. 10 finger and 10 toes and all the fears I had been living with for the last 9 months disappeared. I was worried about about any and every kind of birth defect the entire time I was pregnant and to see her perfect round face was a big relief. Joey cut the umbilical cord and severed the tie between my daughter and my body. They took her and weighed her and she came in at 6 pounds and 4 ounces. A lot smaller than The Phi was. The Phi was over 8 1/2 pounds at birth so our new one looked so much smaller. The called out her apgar score of 9/9 and they gave her back to me. The hospital is a "baby certified" hospital and one of the things they do is immediately give the mom and baby at least 1 hour together after delivery. For over an hour I held my new daughter close to me and stared at her. In complete awe of her gorgeous face. When The Phi was born I felt awful because I didn't have the immediate "mom" feeling. When they handed The Phi to me for the first time 5 years ago I was terrified. This time around I know what it means to be a Mom and I know that I am pretty good at it. When they handed my second born to me I was immediately head over heels, move mountains, kill for, in love with her.

The labor was pretty easy. I will just say it, I totally rocked it this time around. It was short and over before I even knew it. And the end result was our second daughter....

Louella Blu

Our hospital stay was going well. Decent food, caring staff and the time went by fast. Things were going great until the lactation consultant came in and said, "she looks a little jaundice". Those words would lead to the most stressful time of our lives....


  1. OMG! Don't leave me hanging like that! Is she OK??????

  2. Wow Elissa!!
    Congrats on the new daughter. I can't believe the almost 9 months have passed. So quick!! I hope Blu is doing better. Lot's of love to your family!

  3. *Delurking!!!*
    Congrats!!! I hope everything is well with you and with Blu. I also had my baby three weeks early last October and had to deal with some pretty extreme jaundice. I can't wait to hear more and see more pictures!


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