Sloane Eloise: A Birth Story

Well friends, she's here! And in true Allison fashion, I'm only a month late in announcing. Miss Sloane Eloise graced us with her presence, and no big deal, but tomorrow is her one-month "birthday". Whoops. Better late than never, am I right???

Bright and early on July 25th (2:59 in the morning to be exact), a little beauty weighing in at a tiny 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and a whopping 21 inches long decided it was finally time to break free of the womb. This is her story.

When it got to the end of my pregnancy, I could tell Sloane was going to be stubborn and not want to come anywhere near her due date. So when 40 weeks came and went, I tried to keep my cool and gracefully reacted to the "STILL PREGNANT?" remarks. At my 40 week appointment I was only 1cm dilated and up until that point hadn't had a single contraction. Kiddo seemed quite comfy in there with no plans to come out on her own. Hook her up with some Netflix and I think I would have been pregnant forever.

We ended up scheduling an induction for 41 weeks + 1 day. I was to come in on Sunday night, July 23rd, and start meds to get me dilating. Awesome. We'd start meds and I'd have a baby by lunchtime the next day--right? Nope. What no one told me prior to all this is that inductions for a first time mom can take up to FOUR DAYS.

We started Pitocin on a really low level because the dilation meds didn't really work for me the night prior and I was only at 2cm by Monday morning. So the hope was the contractions from Pitocin would jump start me dilating. Also a big NOPE. You guys, either my body really likes being pregnant or it just doesn't know how to function under pressure. I was having 5 minute long contractions with only about 30 seconds break in between and they still weren't dilating me any further. Even with my high pain tolerance, 5 minute long contractions that close together were sending me up a wall, but it was too soon to get an epidural. Also another misconception I had--I thought you could just waltz in to Labor & Delivery and say "Alright! hook me up that epidural!" right off the bat. Pain-free labor, my butt. So I took a hot shower to ease the pain of contractions and they ended up having to use a foley bulb to get me to 4cm.

After that point they decided maybe an epidural would help me relax. The nurses joked that they were worried how I would do with an epidural because redheads don't do well with anesthesia. But I lucked out and apparently my epidural was "perfect". I could still feel my legs completely and could even put some weight on them to move my body on the bed. But my contraction pain was completely gone. Hallelujah!

I finally started dilating on my own after that but still really slowly. We were getting to the point where my OB was talking about possibly needing a c-section. Kiddo was being quite stubborn. So as a final try, the nurses brought in a "peanut yoga ball" and had me do some weird positions to help move things along. They even had me get on my knees and hug the back of the hospital bed (because my legs were jello from the epidural). It was like some weird version of Cirque du Soleil in that room. I think getting off my back was what did it because at around 1:00 in the morning I felt like I needed to push. So the nurse checked me and I had jumped to 9cm dilated. Time to push!

Now, before we got to the hospital Mike and I discussed whether he wanted to see "everything" or if he wanted to just stay up at my shoulders. I joked that I didn't care either way but if he chose to watch he had to promise it wouldn't flip out. Mike decided he would stay up at my shoulders and just see kiddo when they put her on my chest. Fine by me... actually I preferred it that way. I didn't even want to see what was going on down there. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, friends... they say not to make a birth plan because it will all go to shit. And that happened to be the only plan we made. I should have seen it coming.

My nurse said, "Dad, grab her other leg". At which point I had a huge "oh, shit" moment thinking about how Mike was now going to see everything. That's it. I might as well go join a nunnery. Our love life was over. But guys, I was so, so wrong. It was the most perfect delivery and I don't think it would have been as special with Mike just standing at the head of the bed.

When it came time to push, Mike held a leg and, with his other arm, held me behind my back to help me push. He cheered and coached me on through every push. And after about an hour of pushing our little one graced us with her presence. And she was perfect.

It was the most perfect delivery I could have ever imagined. And honestly, I had no clue what I was going into because I chose not to go to any labor classes. I've always been someone who flew by the seat of their pants, so why did I think pregnancy would change that? But guys, while the pregnancy was SO rough and I can't say I ever really want to go through that again... I would go through the labor and delivery part again in a heart beat. Even the pain of contractions. It was just magical. And talk about that prize at the end...

Like I said, I'm late in writing this. As I type, I have a 4 week old in the other room being rocked to sleep by her Daddy. It seriously goes by SO fast and it makes me a bit sad. But, as someone who was afraid of motherhood, I have to say--it's the greatest adventure I've ever embarked on. And I can't wait to share it with you!

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