(Eleanor’s Birth Story)
My eyes darted open and butterflies took flight in my stomach. My mind began to race with thoughts of labor and delivery, because soon I would be driving to the hospital to be induced for medical reasons. I told myself to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. I kept thinking about what my sweet little girl would look like, and I kept running different names through my mind. What would we name her? Some people have told Mark and I that we are pretty laid back, but talk about wait until the last minute.
My alarm went off. Of course I punched snooze twice until I realized why it was going off. It was baby day. I jumped in the shower and washed my hair so it wouldn’t look like a wild animal during labor and then I packed the rest of my hospital bag. While I was blow drying my hair, I checked Facebook and found this message left by my mom at 1a.m.:
It is the 12th! Why aren’t you at the hospital yet? I have been down here waiting for an hour and 15 minutes!!! Haaa! Haaa!!!
I couldn’t stop laughing. I knew she wasn’t really down there, but I loved knowing that she was just as excited as I was. At that point I was having mild contractions but nothing too exciting.
Mark and I were five minutes late leaving for the hospital. I started worrying about being late, but Mark laughed and said, “It’s not like they’ll start without us. You’re the show.” We enjoyed the rest of our trip by making silly inside jokes with one another.
With wide eyes I clutched my chair. Suddenly I didn’t want to go into the hospital. I had the ridiculous mindset that I should never be able to walk into the hospital. I began to feel the need to pretend to be dying, or start having really painful contractions, or somehow make myself bleed out of my elbow… or something. Mark just laughed at me and told me to get out of the car.
Soon we began to have the most interesting conversation with the check-in lady. We felt like we stepped into the twilight zone for a minute. She kept asking us what religion we were. And we just kept answering.
After just assuring the woman we knew where we were going, Mark and I stood in the elevator that would take us up to the delivery floor. I punched in the code and began to tell Mark how weird the whole “induction thing” felt. I went on and on for about two minutes until I noticed that we had been standing in that elevator for a really long time. This little blonde hadn’t pushed the third floor button. Laughing at my nervous self, I quickly punched in the code and up we went.
On the third floor we met a nurse who directed us to room 27. She told me to put on that awkward hospital gown that feels more like you are wearing a Kleenex than clothes.
As I searched the room, I somehow couldn’t find it and felt like a blind bat. When I found the nurse in the hallway she said, “Oh I haven’t put it in there yet… Ah hahaha.” I chuckled to myself and wondered why she had told me to put it on if she knew it wasn’t in there. Here is a glamorous photo of me once we actually found the silly thing. 7:00a.m.
The nurse hooked me up to monitors and we heard the thumping of a little baby’s heartbeat. Nothing is sweeter than that sound. The monitor began to spit out paper that showed that I was having contractions on my own which was great for being eleven days early.
The worst part of the day occurred. The nurse came in to give me an IV. It felt like she took a metal rod and prodded it into my wrist. I wanted to stand up and scream, sing the national anthem, and then flop on the floor like a fish. I very much dislike needles.
The nurse started two drops of Pitocin per hour. By the end of the day I was getting six drops of Pitocin per hour.
The doctor came and asked if I would like an epidural. I was literally feeling nothing so I said I didn’t need one. He decided to break my water. I was 2 centimeters dilated and at least 70% effaced.
My mom came to visit me. We were playing the waiting game so she ran to McDonalds and got Mark a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. I was so jealous. I wanted a big cup of coffee and hotcakes. I should have had something to eat before coming into the hospital, but I kept remembering the soggy Coco Puffs I tried to eat with Owen.
A ribbon of paper spit out a record of my contractions. They were every two to five minutes and getting more intense. I could feel them, but it was only a mild discomfort. My sister and her little one year old son came to visit. He was asleep in his carseat and didn’t make a peep for hours.
12:00p.m. – 1p.m.
I wanted a giant glass of water. They wouldn’t allow me to guzzle one, so I was downing ice chips like there was no tomorrow.
About this time I temporarily went insane. I was about 5 centimeters dilated, feeling contractions that were still very manageable, but that were getting stronger.
Mark was concerned about me and thought I needed an epidural because I was being quieter than normal. I tried to convince him that I was completely fine. I kept showing him the ribbon of paper but it only showed mountain peak contractions.
I was convinced I wasn’t really laboring because I had been induced. I somehow thought all of this was somehow normal and I just knew I wasn’t really feeling pain. Mark wasn’t buying it.
At one point I said, “Ah! I’m going natural.” My mom and sister’s eye grew wide and looked at me like I was crazy. They knew I wanted an epidural. We had had this conversation. Finally Mark looked at me with concern and said, “I’m telling the nurse you want one when she comes back.”
The nurse came back, he told her I wanted one and I was put on a waiting list. Apparently there were between three and five women who all wanted epidurals at the same time. The poor man giving them to people missed his lunch because he was running around like a wild man.
Soon he came into my room. When he did I had two ginormous contractions. I stared straight at him nodding my head while he talked, but I wasn’t really hearing anything he was saying. At one point when he was spouting off the risks I said something stupid like, “So you have to tell people there is a chance they will die… bla bla bla…but we all say stick the needle in my back.”
He laughed at me, but I hardly noticed because I was too busy disappearing inside myself as another contraction crested over my stomach.
When he gave me the epidural I flinched so badly that I’m surprised I didn’t paralyze myself. I didn’t know it was coming, so I jumped like a wild monkey being poked with a stick.
Thankfully it ended really fast and he rushed to help the next poor lady who was tempted to traumatize the hall because of all her pain. He did a great job with the epidural and it worked wonderfully.
Suddenly I started to feel every contraction again. My legs were numb, but I could still move them. The nurse helped me sit up and before I knew it I wasn’t feeling a thing.
I ate a red Popsicle and it tasted like a little piece of heaven. A little while later Mark brought me a second one, but this time it was an orange one.
As I licked my Popsicle my sister stood next to me. She talked about my contractions and read me the stats on the computer. Then out of the blue I looked at her with big eyes. She instantly yelled, “Everybody out!” She knew that look.
Mark came over to my side as everyone was leaving and I became very sick. I kept apologizing and kept saying, “Oh, I don’t feel good. I don’t feel good at all.”
When the nurse came in, I was delirious. I tried to convince her that I had a very bad orange Popsicle. I thought about ranting about how they needed to go empty the freezer so nobody else would get sick, but I was too tired. She just smiled and I am sure was laughing at me in her head. She probably wanted to blurt out the obvious, “Honey you are in transition!”
I was acting so strange. I didn’t feel good at all. I wasn’t feeling pain, but I was so sick. My nurse kept looking at me funny and finally she started moving things around the room. She decided to check me and blurted out, “Oh goodness… there is her head!”
She literally began to run around in circles. Mark ran into the hallway to tell my mom, and the nurse sprinted out with him to call the doctor.
Within minutes the doctor was there and another nurse was moving stuff in the room.
The chaotic room suddenly paused and I heard Mark say, “We are about to meet our daughter.” My eyes filled to the brim with tears. I had waited so long for this moment. I was completely overcome with emotion.
The doctor told me to push after a few minutes and when I barely started he told me to stop. After that I did nothing. Mark and the doctor helped the baby out and before I knew it was holding my precious daughter.
Little six pound eleven ounce Eleanor Lois Baker entered the world with the sweetest little cry I had ever heard. She was so dainty and petite at only 19 ½ inches long.
Eleanor was really purple and blue, but as soon as she opened up her mouth and cried she turned a beautiful shade of pink.
With big hot tears rolling down my face I kissed her and kissed her. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I was completely and totally in love. I had witnessed a miracle. In that moment so many prayers were answered, and I was holding the one I had desired with all of my heart.
Many of these photos were taken by Khaley Boyd who specializes in maternity, birth, and newborn photography!
If you are local to Knoxville you can reach her at 865-387-1855.
You can read about the boys meeting Eleanor here.