“I feel the strength of all women who have come before me.”
“Our sweet baby boy, Elijah Glidden, came into the world on March 26th at 12:50pm. His birth was a complete whirlwind and such an amazing reminder of God’s perfect provision and grace in the midst of the storm. Let me start from the beginning. They say labor is unpredictable and I was truly trying not to hold on to a plan too strongly, but I just had no idea the curve ball that was going to be thrown our way. During my entire pregnancy, I spent a lot of time researching and learning about labor. To be honest, part of me was sincerely excited about it. Matt and I took an incredible, in-depth birthing class and we felt ready. We knew the stages of labor, what to expect, how to prepare for it. Before I even got pregnant I had already decided I didn’t want to give birth at a hospital unless I absolutely had to. I don’t have anything against hospitals, I just would rather give birth in a place that feels more inviting and where I feel more comfortable. Early on we had decided on the Del Mar Birth Center in Pasadena. Everything was going great. My pregnancy, though hard at the beginning, was not too bad at the end. I had energy until the last week and there weren’t any major discomforts going on.
However, the last few weeks of it, Matt started to get really sick. We went to the doctor multiple times but we were told, time and time again, that it was just bronchitis and it would go away on its own. However, Matt started losing weight rapidly (about 10 pounds in 2 weeks). If you know my husband, you know he didn’t really have 10 pounds to lose. He was also having trouble walking due to his difficulty breathing and we were barely sleeping at night because of all the coughing. It was rough. Finally, on March 25th at 1am, my mother-in-law took him to the emergency room and insisted they do more thorough testing. Turns out he had an atypical case of pneumonia and got admitted that day to the hospital. I went to spend the afternoon with him at the hospital and was planning to spend the night, until I started spotting.
Of course I would start spotting then. I decided not to freak out. My midwives had warned me this could happen early on so that didn’t really mean I would be going in labor any time soon. I decided to go home anyways and try to get some rest since I had gotten so little sleep that entire week. I am so glad I went home.
At around 4:30am, contractions woke me up. They felt like strong period cramps. I called my friend, birth photographer and doula, Lauren just to check in with her. She told me to take a shower and try to get some sleep. So I did. However, by 6am the contractions were coming every 3 minutes and they were so intense. My father-in-law and little brother were sleeping in the other rooms but I didn’t want to wake them. I tend to find that women are more helpful when it comes to the whole labor thing. I called my friend Kelly and Lauren and they both told me they were on their way. I also let my mother-in-law know I was in early labor at that point (I was actually in active labor but I was in a bit of denial). I had promised my little brother I would take him to watch Zootopia so I decided to look for early showings. After all, I was told you’re supposed to distract yourself during early labor. Again, I was clueless. It wasn’t until I called my midwife that it finally hit me that I was actually in active labor and I wouldn’t be going to the movies that day. This is also when I found out my perfect plan of delivering at the birth center was not going to happen. They would not let Matt leave the hospital and I refused to give birth without him. My mother-in-law was at the hospital trying to see if he would even be allowed in the labor and delivery room. Meanwhile, I was at home trying to labor in the bathtub (which I didn’t think I would like, but actually felt so nice) while also trying to figure out what was going on with Matt. Not really the kind of thing you want to be figuring out while having really really strong contractions. Did I mention Matt was sound asleep through this whole thing? Finally, we got the okay for him to go to the room (thank you Jesus!) and so it was decided I would go to Huntington Hospital. My contractions were so intense but bearable as long as I was in the tub or standing up. Sitting down felt horrible. I hated the car ride to the hospital, and then sitting on the wheelchair after we got to the ER. I would rather walk miles while having contractions than having to sit.
By the time we got to the hospital it was 10:20am and I was at 10 cm already. They got me in the room, finally Matt got there on his little wheelchair and I was ready to push. Some women love pushing. I learned that I am not one of those women. I actually enjoyed going through active labor. I found the contractions to be a bit of a game. The pushing was a different story. It was physically exhausting, and like I mentioned before, my body was pretty exhausted already from the lack of sleep. That hour and a half of pushing felt like an eternity and I was so thankful when he finally came out. They allowed Matt to stay in the room for a few minutes, before they wheeled him back to his room. During the delivery, we had matching saline locks, hospital bands and we both shared the oxygen mask. He needed it more than me. Overall, it was wild and fast and before we could even catch our breath, we were parents….”
Read the rest of Eli’s birth story on his mama’s blog!
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