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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Harlow Jane Eskridge: Birth Story

On Wednesday, September 10th I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and realized I was having contractions. It's funny because I would always say, "will I know?"...Yes, you know. I nervously started tracking time and after 30 minutes of timing they were exactly 10 minutes apart. I finally texted Joseph, who was already at work, and let him know I was having contractions. I told him to stay at work because it could last a while and if they became more intense, I would let him know. Both of our parents live 6 hours away so I called my mother in law and let her know contractions were 10 minutes a part. She obviously freaked out and went to tell my mom who was at work. My mom left work and called me immediately, she said they were packing and starting their journey to Lynchburg.

As the afternoon went on, my contractions were 6-7 minutes a part. Joseph decided to come home after working 1/2 the day. We finished packing our hospital bags and had everything ready to go while we waited for our family to arrive. As the day went on my contractions became closer but not a consistent 2-3 minutes a part to be admitted to the hospital. Joseph and I walked our neighborhood and it seemed to speed things up but as soon as I stopped, they spaced out. Once my family arrived we all walked the neighborhood again and contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes. We thought it was go time but again, once I sat down they spaced out again. I took a hot shower and tried to get some rest. It was the longest night ever and we slept for maybe 2 hours. 

The next morning (Thursday) I called the midwife on call, Katie, and explained what was going on. She told me to come to the hospital to get examined and we would go from there. I was dilated 3 and couldn't be admitted yet. They said I was dehydrated and fluids would help regulate my contractions. They told me to go home, drink a lot of water, and also gave me a strong dose of Benadryl in hopes that it would knock me out for a few hours. I slept for two hours. The contractions continued, getting more intense as the day went on. By 5 p.m. I had reached my max. I was emotional, in pain, and completely exhausted. Two days of contractions had pushed me over the edge. I called the midwife on call again and she told me to come back to the hospital for an examination and that they would give me an IV of fluids. I was still at a 3 and they confirmed that I was dehydrated and realized I was exhausted. They hooked me up to the IV and said they would keep me for the night and reevaluate in the morning. They gave me morphine and it knocked me out for about 3 hours. 

Friday morning around 6 a.m. Katie examined me and confirmed that I was now 4 centimeters dilated and almost at a 5. She looked at me and said "we are going to keep you." Hallelujah, this was music to my ears. But the pain was more intense at this time. At 7 a.m. they told me I could get the epidural at any time but if I wanted it, it had to be now due to the anesthesiologist going in for a c-section. I honestly didn't know what to do. I had heard that the epidural can slow things down and that was the last thing I wanted at this point. As I was trying to decide on what to do another contraction hit. Once it was over I said "I want it now." And in no time the anesthesiologist was in the room setting up and giving me the epidural. I felt relief almost immediately, I was finally pain free and completely numb. My lifeless legs freaked me out so much I couldn't watch them reposition me. Joseph would watch the computer for a contraction and say "wow that was a big one, did you feel it?" and I didn't feel a thing. I was so nervous about getting the epidural but it really wasn't bad. They gave me a shot to numb the area, so I didn't feel it going in.

8 a.m. came and the midwife who I had been with all night ended her shift, so I said goodbye and welcomed on the new midwife, Julia. I had seen Julia a handful of times throughout my pregnancy and she was my favorite. I had been praying so hard that I would have her on the day of delivery. She is amazing at what she does and makes you feel like you are the bomb. 8:30 a.m. rolls around and she came in the room with a big smile on her face and said "Oh my God Ashley,  you look so Hollywood right now. You look great!" I felt such a relief, she was just what I needed!! Since I had my epidural she gave two options -- 1. start pitocin to jump start things or 2. break my water and see where that leads. I decided to have her break my water and at 9:30 a.m. she broke it. She said it was a busy morning and she would be back at noon to examine me. Noon came and went and she finally came back at 1 p.m. She apologized and said she had a delivery and that was why she was late coming in. She examined me at 1:05 p.m. and the baby was literally right there. She looked at me and said "Ashley you are ready to have this baby." I was not expecting this and my whole body started to shake and I couldn't control it. Everyone said it was normal, that it was my body in overdrive. At 1:15  p.m. I started pushing. My nurse had to keep her hand on my stomach to feel for tightening because I couldn't tell when I was having a contraction. She would say, "you're having one now...push!" At 1:28 p.m. our little girl was born, all 8 lbs. 4 oz. of her. It was fast and so easy, I know that sounds crazy but after two days of constant contractions it was such a blessing to have such an easy delivery. I told them to clean her off and weigh her before we started the skin on skin for an hour. I was completely shocked when they said I had an 8 lb. baby -- as I held her I was in complete awe that she fit inside of me. She was absolutely beautiful and had the fattest, rosy cheeks and a set of full, pouty lips. She looked like she was wearing lip gloss. It was an amazing moment and such a huge relief that everything was over, our little girl was finally here.

Joseph and I feel completely blessed and thankful to have a healthy, beautiful baby girl. Now ready or not, lets do this thing called parenting.

{Photo by Bella Baby Photography}

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