Ava Elisabeth's Birth Story
Well, early in the morning on Wednesday, December 17th, I woke up feeling very strange. I had a lot of pain in my lower back and Ava was moving in a way that felt very different than usual. I got up to have a drink of water and had two very strong contractions, but nothing else happened so I went back to bed.
Later that day, I was lying on the couch feeling kind of bad because I really wanted to go into labor naturally and not be induced the next day. I kept thinking about how much more exciting it was with Juliana's birth, to go into labor at home and then rush to the hospital. Well, it was about one in the afternoon when I stood up and all of a sudden my water broke! I was completely surprised and not quite sure what was happening at first so I ran into the bathroom with Juliana following behind me. I remember she yelled becuase I got the floor in the bathroom all wet- she think she probably thought I had an "accident"! Well, I called downstairs to Jason for help but he was on a conference call and didn't realize what I was yelling about so he actually ignored me at first and continued on with the call! I was pretty flustered at this point so I decided to call my doctor's office and the nurse practitioner told me I should go straight to the hospital. I then went downstairs to get Jason off the phone and motioned to my belly saying, "WE HAVE TO GO NOW." He finally understood what was happening so he quickly cut the meeting short and we packed up Juliana and headed out the door.
My contractions hadn't started at this point, but rather I was just nervous and completely giddy that things were happening this way. Jason actually asked if it was okay for him to stop at the Portillo's drive-through on the way to the hospital so he could get a sandwich! I even considered letting him stop until we pulled on to the highway and I started feeling some stronger contractions coming on.
When we got to the hospital a little after 2 pm, I was admitted right away and taken to a labor and delivery room. I was feeling a little bit of pain but nowhere near as much as when I arrived at the hospital in Chicago to have Juliana. The nurse I had at first was really friendly and talkative so that helped to keep me relaxed. She examined me and said I was at 4 cm and then asked if I was interested in getting an epidural. I was amazed that I would be able to get it so quickly since I had labored all the way to 7 cm with Juliana and was in so much more pain before I had relief. Needless to say I gladly accepted the offer and she called the anesthesiologist. I would have to get an I.V. started and wait my turn behind a couple other women who had requested epidurals but he was on his way.
During this time my Dad arrived to pick up Juliana and I was mostly concentrating on my breathing in order to stay relaxed. I really think that the yoga classes I took helped me with this as the breathing exercises helped a great deal. Finally the anesthesiologist arrived around 4:00 and he quickly became one of my most favorite people. I felt GREAT. I had forgotten how amazing it felt to have all that pain suddenly disappear. The nurse checked me again and I was at 5 cm and progressing right on schedule. I didn't even need any Pitocin because my contractions continued to be strong and Ava's little head had moved down further. Everybody seemed to think that I would have a very quick delivery which was very exciting to hear!
After I got the epidural I had Jason put some music on and I basically just rested for a couple of hours. I was happy to find out that the doctor on call was my favorite doctor at the practice. I seemed to be lucking out all around. At about 5 o'clock or so I got a new nurse since the one I had needed to attend to a high-risk patient. The new nurse, Terry, was really great as well. She dimmed the lights for me and kept me stocked with plenty of ice chips and such. I had been listening to some vocal jazz cds and she commented on our good taste in music!
I think that close to 6:30 Dr. Farhi came in and to check on me and said it was time to push! Everything seemed to be going so fast and Jason finally started to look a little freaked out. When I first tried to push however, it turned out that my epidural was working a little too well and I couldn't feel my legs so she decided to turn it down and come back a little later when it wore off a bit. It turns out she had two other patients who were almost at the pushing stage of labor so she was running back and forth between us all! Well, after the epidural was turned down it wasn't long before I was able to feel the contractions enough to push correctly. My nurse, Terry had me begin pushing again and after a couple she could tell that Ava was going to arrive very soon so she went to call Dr. Farhi back. She came in to see "how good I was" as pushing and also concluded that Ava was about to make her entrance. However, she had one other patient ready to give birth and since I still felt so comfortable, she went to deliver that baby first before coming back to me! Luckily Ava was able to hold on for about 15 to 20 minutes for Dr. Farhi to deliver the other baby and then come back to my room.
When she did arrive it was really really exciting. I was so relaxed and happy to finally be able to meet my little girl that I was actually laughing and joking with everyone throughout this whole time. We were still listening to the jazz cd and we all laughed when the song "Makin' Whoopee" came on, thinking what a funny story that would be to tell Ava years later. Jason was terrified that she would be born to the tune "Hey Big Spender" but luckily the song ended just in the nick of time and little Ava was born to the sound of Frank Sinatra singing "Moon River." The doctor put Ava on my chest which completely surprised me since that didn't happen when I had Juliana. Jason said I had the funniest look on my face but I just couldn't believe that I opened my eyes and saw Ava looking back at me! It was a really unbelievable feeling.
"Little" Ava Elisabeth weighed in at 8 lbs 15 oz and was a tall 21 1/2 inches long. Jason was so very proud of her large size since he too was a nine pound baby. Even though the delivery was quick, I have to say that it felt a lot harder at the end than giving birth to little 7 pound Juliana. Lucklily though, I didn't need any stitches at all, which is amazing with an almost nine pound baby! Jason said that I'm one tough woman and that nobody should mess with me, which is kind of funny, but I am quite proud of how I did. One of my recovery nurses said I must have been built to have babies, which I found to be quite amusing.
So that's her story! This is actually a more condensed version since I could go on and on about it forever. I have never done anything more amazing than give birth to my two girls. Nothing could ever top those experiences. Everything about Ava's birth was just so perfect that I can hardly believe how lucky I am. Now our family of four is home and a happy and I couldn't ask for anything more...
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