By now you have likely seen this beautiful face all over my social media channels! Well world, meet Miss Eliza Brooke Suell!
She made her arrival on Sunday, June 5th at 3:04AM (exactly one week past her due date). She weighed 9lbs 9oz, and measured 21.25inches long.
And...I pushed approximately 2 times, and had her in a matter of 6 minutes within getting to my hospital room. To say that this birth story is unlike my other, is an understatement. I shared about my amazing birthing experience with Zander (2014) a few weeks ago. You can read that HERE.
First sign of contractions...
So let's start on Friday, June 3rd. I was anxiously awaiting Eliza's arrival, having felt zero contractions yet, but on Wednesday when I went in for my 40 week checkup, I was already dilated to a 4. So my doctor and I both felt like she would be coming any time now. Well on Friday, I finally started feeling some contractions. Nothing too intense, but they were consistently 20 minutes, and sometimes 15 minutes apart.
Now I'm not usually the one to jump the gun, but for some reason I felt like once this labor started, it would go quickly. (wow, I didn't know how right I was). And our moms lived 5-5.5hours away, and definitely wanted to be here. So when I was having contractions for half the day I decided to call them. Even my sister assured me that since I was almost a week past due, surely once the contractions started they would only progress and not start.
Well we were wrong. My mom, grandma, and mother-in-law all got here by 5PM on Friday, and by that evening at dinner the contractions ceased to exist. So now I just felt pressure that I had to go into labor that weekend while they were there and off work!
Trying every natural labor inducing remedy in the book...
So on Saturday, I decided it was time to do some natural remedies to induce labor. I had started a week or so ago taking Prim Rose Oil Capsules orally, and drinking raspberry tea. (the capsules were supposed to prepare and soften the cervix, and the tea helps to tone the uterus. All having positive reviews from others when I read about it online). I started the morning with pumping, because that is supposed to release oxitocin (the body's natural form of pitocin), which could start up contractions. (that's why when I was in labor with Z the nurse suggested nipple stimulation, for the same reason). I started pumping and immediately stuff, aka colostrum started dripping out. I decided "NOPE, don't want to do that! My baby will need that stuff!" haha so I put the pump away.
I was up earlier than normal on this day since family was in, and I got a phone call from our friend and mentor Shelli Presley. She let me know she had been praying for me, and had the feeling that we should go out to some friend's land outside of town and climb the mountain. (This is a West Texas, Abilene "mountain" but challenging still). She said this is what she did when she was 8 days past due with her last son, and she went into labor the next day. I was all for it! Plus it's gorgeous out there, and being out doors sounded glorious to me! She also shared with me this verse:
Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. -Psalm 3:4
So we waited around to get permission to go out on the land, and about 11:00AM that day we got to. It was beautiful, the weather was great at that time, and I loved getting to do that with our family. My mom, Meguell, and I hiked it, while my mother-in-law, grandmother and Zander drove to the top.
We hiked together to the top, then Meguell and I went out alone and hiked around some more. It was a sweet time for us, and we prayed that Psalm scripture, plus more over us and Eliza. We also talked about how we have prayed for a supernatural birthing experience, so instead of desiring contractions to occur, I wanted to just pray for it to come quick and happen quickly and as painlessly as possible.
I think I may have felt one contraction on our drive home, and nothing else.
That afternoon I also ate nearly an entire pineapple (another way to induce labor), and I purchased some sugar free ice cream and made a vanilla and castor oil shake to drink that evening.
So that night I did start having stomach pains, but those were linked to the castor oil cleaning me out, so I spent a lot of time on the toilet and just feeling ugh. I layed in bed around 10PM and went to sleep around 11:30PM or midnight, without feeling any more contractions
HERE'S WHERE IT GETS GOOD!
Then, at 2AM I woke up to go poop again....(that dang castor oil)! My stomach was cramping and I was going. Then in the midst of the cramping I would get sharp pains very low, and realized...hm, this might be a contraction. So I pulled out my app (called "Contraction Counter" I used it with Z too. It is so helpful to have!). I began to count the time that these low, sharp pains were occuring, and realized they were in sync, and about 2.5minutes apart. I then googled how far apart contractions should be for you to go to the hospital. (Yes I have done this before, but I forgot! lol) And it said lasting 30-45 seconds in length, and 2-2.5minutes apart. "OH, HEY, THAT'S EXACTLY WHERE I'M AT."
Well, if you read my first birth story, you know I am a big proponent for laboring at home as long as possible, so in my head I still felt like I needed to make sure these were real. I was thinking..."Let me see if these last an hour being this consistent then I will wake up my husband."
Throughout all of this, I was still on the toilet doing my thang, having 2.5 minute apart contractions. And each time I had the contraction I would have to stand up, hands on my knees, hovering over the toilet. I had only had about 6 of these when I felt a lot of pressure down low and they were super intense. I decided I needed to wake up my husband.
He got up and I started to have another contraction. I ran back to the bathroom. I just felt like I needed to be near the toilet because I felt like something was going to come out.
I think at this point, when I woke him up, I felt myself relax some. Like I didn't have to be as tough anymore because he was with me, so it was like all of a sudden they got more intense. Meguell was getting our bags ready, waking our moms, and calling our friends to come watch Zander.
I was in the bathroom having this thought.... "OMG I think this is real!" I felt pressure down low...like the baby coming kind of pressure! And you know I have always read stories about people having their babies at home or in the car and I think...that would be so cool. But at this time I thought, "OMG I do not want to be one of those people who accidentally has their baby in the bathroom!"
Still not knowing if I was over reacting or not, I go out and tell Meguell we gotta go now! Our mom's need to get our bags and wait for friends. We stopped on our porch for a contraction as Meguell called the hospital to let them know we were coming. It was 2:37AM.
SPEEDING with no signs of cops! Thank you Jesus!
Meguell sped all the way to the hospital! I mean fast! going about 60-70 mph on a 40 mph road. Thankfully there were no cops. I guess Meguell realized it was pretty important to get us there quickly too. Although in the back of my head I still didn't know how close we were to having our baby. For all I knew it would be hours before she came.
We went to the main entrance of the baby part of the hospital. It was connected to a parking garage. He dropped me at the door, and parked only about 25 yards away.
I tried getting in the twirling doors...LOCKED!
I tried getting in a side door....LOCKED!
When Meguell ran up I was bent over mid-contraction saying... "I can't get in! They are all locked!!" He tried one other door a little further away...LOCKED! (We still don't understand why)
Thankfully, (and when I say thankfully, I say it with the deepest thanks to God!) there was a random wheelchair in the parking garage. Meguell ran and got it, I sat down, and he ran me about a quarter of a mile around the building to another main entrance.
I'm squeeling as we come in and the security guard runs to the elevator to help us get on quickly and I think he wished us luck.
Oh Hey...I'm the one that forgot to pre-register!....#sorry
We get to the labor and delivery floor, they let us in, and we went straight in to triage. Where I was informed I didn't pre-register. Between my back-to-back contractions I managed to answer some questions about myself, strip down my clothes and into a hospital gown, and have about 3 contractions. (Meguell ran to the restroom) On #3 I asked if I could go to the bathroom. Still feeling like something might come out! I go try to get in...LOCKED! (What the heck was up with all the doors being locked tonight!?!?) The nurse ran around to let me in. It was during this contraction that it got real! I semi-yelled out!
"Um...I think yall need to check me! I seriously feel like this baby is about to come out!"
So I go back in the room, and really things are a blur because my eyes are shut and I'm just making it through!
They check me...I'm at a 9!
Now the Nurses get serious!
They then decide it's GO-TIME! And rush me around to a labor and delivery room! Things happened fast here!
SIDENOTE: --At some point during this time, about 5-10minutes after we got to the hospital our mom's arrive. They come to our room to try to get in but the nurse won't let them. (They have no idea how quickly things are progressing). They take our stuff to a waiting room and when my MIL walks back to our door (going to try to get in again), she hears Eliza crying. She runs back to my mom and informs her that I've had the baby! They were both shocked at how quickly it happened!--
So many people were in the room, all I remember is them putting monitors on me, and the heart monitor was right where my contraction was happening and it hurt! I was asking them not to put it there but the nurse said they had to. So during the contraction I just lifted it off my belly. That lasted like one time.
The very next contraction I began telling them I needed to push. Of course they said..."NOT YET!" (there was no doctor yet)
But that didn't stop me. I informed them that I didn't have a choice SOMETHING WAS COMING OUT NOW! And I wasn't lying! I thought it was the baby, but it was actually my water sack. I guess at this point the doctor came in. He popped the water sack, officially breaking my water.
The next contraction I was pushing this baby out! I pushed hard, thinking to myself just push through these next pains and it will be over soon, and the baby will be here soon!
I was right! I pushed one big time and the doctor said..."Okay, stop pushing and just lift your knees up." Not sure how this happened, some of my effort, and some of my husband and a nurses help, but my knees lifted and the baby slipped out. She was here! They didn't even have time to put my feet in stirrups or give me an IV. (Not complaining about the IV. I hate them!). But the baby just layed at the end of the bed!
And actually when she was born, the sack was still around her head. So my husband said, at first she didn't even have to breathe because her head was still covered. They quickly got it off though and she started crying.
She layed there at the end of the bed for about 10 minutes while they cleaned her off. The doctor, (not my doctor FYI, just a random on-call doctor) left her attached to the umbilical cord for an extended period of time, which I appreciated. He then came over and delivered the placenta, and cut the cord. It was weird though, he didn't even offer to let my husband cut the cord.
Finally I was handed my sweet baby girl for us to do skin-to-skin.
I did tear some, but only enough to get 2 stitches. Which knowing that she was a 9lb 9oz baby, was not a big deal at all to me! We got to enjoy skin-to-skin together for a full hour, and then daddy got some skin-to-skin time with her for about 30 minutes.
While doing skin-to-skin the nurse informed us that we had been in the delivery room for a mere 6 minutes before she was born at 3:04AM. Remember I woke up only at 2AM. This went so quickly.
I layed in bed thanking the Lord!
First I was thankful that this was over and not a long process. I was so thankful to be holding my baby versus still feeling that pain for an extended period of time.
Then I thanked him for getting us to the hospital. If I would've waited only a few more minutes to wake my husband, or if he wouldn't have driven as fast, or if that wheel chair wouldn't have been there. All of these things played in my mind as I realized how blessed I was to have made it on time!
Other fun things...
It was definitely a fun-filled experience, and I'm not really sure which method of natural inducement worked since I seem to have tried them all.
Also, as we left the labor and delivery and transported to mother care that night, about 4 nurses sat at the nurse's station and cheered me on as I rolled by! Saying how great I did and how I was a rockstar.
Each nurse that we came into contact with over the next two days talked in amazement about our birth story. They would come in already hearing about how it went down and comment on how quick it was.
The next day our doctor came by to see us. I am sad it wasn't him that delivered her just because he is such a great doctor. But even him coming by and chatting with us was nice. And of course, he took time to pray with us and to read a blessing over Eliza, which is just so special to me!
Another really funny thing, was on Friday when we thought I might go into labor my mom and mother-in-law ordered me a wreath for the hospital door. Well when they realized we wouldn't be making it to the hospital that day they called to see if the wreath had been delivered. The nurse said yes, but seemed confused at why they would send a wreath if I wasn't there yet. My mother-in-law explained my status, how I was overdue and contracting. And the random nurse on the phone said... "Oh, Brittany Suell, that's the Yoga Girl right?!?? Oh yeah, she will do fine." I thought that was so funny to be known as the "Yoga Girl!" But I love it!
Zander meets Eliza
Later that day we brought Zander to the hospital to meet his baby sister! It was such a sweet time for our family, and we were able to have a photographer there to capture all of the sweet moments for Big Brother & Little Sister, and our new family of 4!
And here are some of Eliza's sweet newborn photos!
Eliza Brooke Suell
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! -Luke 1:45
Photos taken by Copper & Pearl