ELIANA’S BIRTH STORY 3.7.19
It was the night of March 6, 2019 and I was feeling more than ready to have this sweet baby girl. I was due on the 9th and was 5 days early with my son so it literally could be any day now. I was having mild contractions as we sat and watched one of our current favorite shows, most likely New Amsterdam, Chicago Med, or This Is Us… but I had been having Braxton Hicks for a couple of weeks so I wasn’t sure if this was it or not. We headed to bed a little early that night just in case. With my son we leisurely woke up on a Saturday morning, had our morning coffee and quiet time and then headed to the hospital around 11:30am, but with this one I had a feeling she was going to decide to come in the middle of the night, just a motherly hunch. At around 9:30pm I was really feeling like I might be in legit labor, but two weeks prior to that I thought so too and the contractions ended up going away. So I waited. They became more intense and didn’t go away, and I kept thinking to myself, “should I wake up Ben yet?!” I didn’t want to interrupt his sleep for a false alarm, but all I knew was that I didn’t want to get to the hospital too late or have a baby in the car lol (Even though Ben said that would have made a great story! Maybe he should have the baby!) So at around 12:30am I woke him up and said, “I think we should go to the hospital, I think it’s time!”.
When I was in labor with my son we got to the hospital and they made me walk around the floor for an hour just to make sure I was in true labor (which I was, thank goodness they didn’t send me home!) so I didn’t really want that again, but I would have much rather been there early than too late. At this point I was contracting about every minute and they were pretty strong, and having been through labor before I knew this was it. Little miss Eliana Mae did decide to come in the middle of the night, just as I had suspected.
We got to the hospital around 1am and I was dilated to 4cm. At my last doctor appointment just 2 days prior I was 3cm dilated- so definitely making progress. But yet again, they wanted me to walk around for an hour (torture!) lol just to make sure. Am I the only one who’s had to do this?! Am I just that weak or am I just that in tune to my body? These contractions seemed to be a little more painful than with my son, perhaps because my labor was progressing in about half the time, so my body was very good at pushing that baby down having done it before. Heck, I only labored for 9 hours total with my son, so my doctor warned me to not wait because this would be about half the time… and she was right! Also why I just wanted to make sure I was at the hospital.
At around 3:45am they administered the epidural. I have no shame or judgement in accepting pain relief and am super grateful to have the option in our country. Thank the Lord! You women who give natural birth are superheroes! With my first my desire was to have a natural delivery, but just found that I certainly wasn’t as strong as I thought. I’m so glad I decided to keep an open mind because the epidural with both deliveries allowed me to fully experience the joy of giving birth instead of focusing just on how painful it was (which they tell you not to focus on the pain in birthing classes, but if I’m being totally honest- nothing can prepare you for how to mentally experience all of what labor and delivery entails). You have to transport yourself somewhere else, thinking about it, it all feels like a dream- I guess thats why we somehow “forget” what it feels like or we would never have more than one child perhaps. All I remember during each contraction is leaving my pain at the feet of Jesus (literally picturing myself during contractions kneeling at the feet of Jesus) for comfort and strength. I had to go somewhere mentally that provided me with peace through the pain, and I couldn’t think of anything more peaceful and powerful than Jesus! Maybe that sounds silly to you, but it seemed to work for me- getting me through each contraction until the next one came.
I was super scared that they weren’t going to get the epidural in in time, I could feel her coming very quickly, but praise God they did. By 5am the doctor was in and I started pushing. With Ben at my side, I held my breath and pushed… 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8… at the count of eight the doctor said, “stop!” I looked at Ben super confused- I knew I was supposed to push for a count of 10, so I got nervous something was wrong! When in fact her head was already out, I was shocked! The cord was wrapped around her neck, so that’s why they had me stop pushing, but after the doctor fixed the cord issue, she slipped right out and into the world she came. I figured it would be relatively quick being that I pushed for only about 30 minutes with my son, but wow! It’s miraculous at how the body remembers even if our minds don’t. So at 5am on Thursday March 7, 2019 Eliana Mae Sears was born at 5 lbs 14oz. My tiny little peanut was here! I wasn’t overly surprised she was so tiny, I was only 5 lbs 13 oz when I was born and my son was 6 lbs 14 oz when he was born. I remember looking down at her just amazed at how tiny she was! (And at how much hair she had!) and she was already so calm compared to my wild, screaming son lol
Hopefully none of this is sounding prideful, because I understand fully that the “ease” and duration of both labors and deliveries of my children were a blessing from God and solely because it was His will for my particular experience. I know I don’t deserve it, but I am eternally grateful and sharing my birth story with you allows me to share the goodness of God. I believe if you stay in His presence He will abundantly bless you. It may not be in your labor and delivery experience, or in ways you’d expect, but I do know He is a good and faithful God who loves you and has a reason for everything whether we understand it or not. I’ve had the name Eliana picked out since before my son was born, so I think I knew I was destined to have a girl at some point. Her name means “God has answered”, and we named her this because God has answered so many of our prayers in unexpected ways. Not necessarily about having another child or about little Ellie specifically, but He has gotten my husband and I through some very difficult times and carried us when we were beaten down and broken by the troubles of this world. Her name is meant to honor Him and hopefully remind us of how He has always been faithful to us and to never forget the path we’ve been led on.
This is real life LOL. My face says it all in this photo 🙂
Photography by the amazingly talented GRACE ANN PHOTOGRAPHY