Work Friday was a little bit restless, getting texts from Liz about the random contractions that she was having, mixed with the emotion that we both would have loved Elise to share her birthday with her Uncle Paul.
But, getting home from work Friday night, it was obvious that she was not coming on that day. Liz wanted to eat out, so we went to Olive Garden to use a gift card she had. Little did we know that it would be our last meal as a family of three! We had a great time with some good food. Came home, put Carter to bed, watched a little TV, and then went to bed ourselves.
Towards the middle of the night, I was aware that Liz seemed to be up a lot and was having some contractions, but didn’t say anything to her not wanting to get her and my hopes up that Elise was coming. Then, she woke me up around 6 telling me that she thought this was it!
So I got up and called the doc who recommended that we head on in to the hospital. Jeremy was over here quickly, Carter woke up to say good bye, and we were off to the hospital. After a couple contractions in the car during the ride, and 2 more in the PARKING LOT, we made it up to the Labor and Delivery ward of the hospital.
After what seemed like an overly lengthy checking process for a woman in labor, they took us to the labor triage wing. I wasn’t paying attention so I did not realize that was where we were headed. Once there, the nurse checked Liz and announced she was dilated to 7cm, which didn’t surprise either of us. We packed up and walked over to a labor room to set up for delivery. As we were leaving the triage wing, the nurses over there cheered for Liz who refused to sit in a wheel chair to be taken to the labor room.
Once in labor and delivery, the nurses tried to get Liz hooked up with monitors and IV’s, but it became apparent that there was not a whole lot of time to do those things so they went ahead and called in the doctor on duty since our doctor was not at the hospital yet. So in the midst of having strong, fast contractions, getting monitors hooked up, and getting IV’s put in, Liz asked to be allowed to get on her hands and knees. Having been through this with Carter, I knew that was the position she found to be most comfortable when having the strong contractions. So reluctantly, they let her get on her hands and knees while they tried to put in the last IV.
As they were trying to get the IV in, there was a sound that can only be compared to someone throwing a bucket of water on the floor. Except it wasn’t a bucket of water, but rather the amniotic sack rupturing and gushing out over the bed, Liz’s socks, my pants, and the room floor. At that point, the nurses were really urging Liz to lay back on the bed. As they were getting her back into position, the doctor on call had stepped in and announced that the baby was crowning!
Quickly everyone moved into delivery mode and got Liz on her back with her knees up toward her chest. About that time, another contraction came and Liz announced that she could not keep from pushing, to which the doctor responded, “So push!”
And with the first push, out came Elise’s head, and then a few seconds later with another push, out came the rest of her! I must note here, that with that final push, it appeared that the remainder of the amniotic fluid came out as well, getting several nurses and the doctor. And a second later, Elise was on momma’s chest, and all was good. About 2 minutes after the birth, Liz’s surprised doctor walked into the room to find the first half of his job already complete! Luckily the doctor on call was able to deliver and all went well. From the little interaction I had with her, I really really liked her.
After delivering the placenta and some well-placed stitches, the doctors and nurses cleared out and before I knew it, Liz, Elise and I were in the room by ourselves, just soaking in the newness and love of having a child. It was more than an hour before they separated mom and baby, which was a totally different experience than we had with Carter, who only got to spend a few minutes with mom before having to go get checked out.
After that, Liz’s parents showed up at the hospital, followed shortly by my parents, and then Carter, who got to meet his baby sister for the first time. Holding Carter while he held Elise was something that I will never forget. Just sitting there with the two of them was an amazing feeling.
And all in all, the experience was totally different. Having the experience of Carter really helped make me less nervous, more confident, and better prepared, but there was still plenty of unknown. The only thing that really threw me off kilter was how quickly the whole process was completed! I was joking that if we were to decide to have another child, I would have to invest in some birthing and delivery training as it’s looking like we might have trouble getting to the hospital in time based off this experience!
Read Carter's birth story from Ty's perspective here.