A little over a week ago today, our sweet rainbow baby was born at 11:43 am, weighing in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces, & all of 19 inches long.
With his due date being a week away, we hadn’t quite expected him yet. The day before, I’d gotten up to brush my teeth when I felt these two trickling streams run down both my legs all the way down to my knees. Wondering if my water broke, I called my OB who asked if I was having contractions & whether or not the dripping was continuous. She instructed me to walk up & down the stairs for 30 minutes to see if the water continued/there were any changes. I did & called her back with nothing. Since it hadn’t persisted, she said I could go on about my day as usual & to call if anything changed.
Scott & I decided to do as she said & continued with our plans of taking a walk at the Arboretum. Other than my bump dropping considerably the day before (Friday), there were no signs labor was imminent at that point. Things changed at 2:30am the following morning, however, when I got up to pee for the first time that night. I stood up & had this weird feeling that I can’t explain wash all over me. It wasn’t pain, it was just an off feeling. I walked into the bathroom to discover I was spotting a decent amount of red blood, so naturally given our history, I panicked & woke up Scott to tell him we had to go to the hospital STAT. We weren’t sure whether, or not they’d be keeping us that night but we wanted to make sure Piglet was okay nonetheless.
Scott: I’ll admit, at this point, I’m thinking, “It’s probably normal… they said some small spotting was normal…we’ll go and be back before daylight.” Little did I know, what really lied ahead.
When we arrived, they set us up in a room to hook up some monitors on my belly & check for dilation. Initially, I was only 2-3 cm dilated so I thought for sure we’d be sent home. Instead, the nurse called my OB & she wanted us to walk the halls for an hour to see if there was any progression on dilation. As we rounded one of the corners, I felt my first contraction. It started in my back & wrapped around to the front of the bump. I’d stopped at that point to grab a rail & breathe. We both looked at each other in disbelief that it looked like things were finally happening. Even still, I think we both doubted this would be it & thought we’d still end up being sent home.
Scott: The nurse was kind but you definitely got the impression she was thinking this was most likely a false alarm at first. As a result, I was thinking the same. But when that first contraction hit, I started to think it was going to be a long night. lol
The second time I was checked, I was dilated 3-4. This was the point the contractions were definitely getting stronger & the nausea & vomiting set in (sorry but hey, it’s a birth story-it’s gonna get a lot more gory from here on out, right?). At this point, I still don’t think we got a full on yes to you are staying. I believe the nurse said that we’d continue to see how I progressed in another hour (some details are really fuzzy). I decided to get some Zofran so I’d feel like getting up & moving through the contractions as long as possible. The nurse fed me some ice chips & also asked if I wanted to use the shower-which ended up being a great idea.
We decided to go ahead on texting our doulas & birth photographer (who happens to be one of the best friends I’ve ever had) to let them know what was going on. They both responded-Vicky, my friend, immediately, since she’d set my text tone to an alarm sound, lol. She responded saying she’d get to the hospital around 6 am. The doula that would attend the birth replied saying she was the one on call (we had two & knew it’d be one or the other). I stayed in the shower for a good while, as the heat really seemed to help with the pain that was steadily increasing. When I got out, I got sick a few more times & our doula text to see if she needed to come yet. I said yes & decided to use the birth ball to try to cope with the contractions since I didn’t want to venture too far from the room at that point. Our doula text me to ask if we needed her at that point & I had Scott reply with a yes as I swayed back & forth.
Scott: It was here I was starting feeling like this might actually be happening. The contractions were coming closer and closer together (from 10mins, to 7mins, to 5mins and some even closer). Looking back, had we been in Eastern Kentucky and waited from 5min apart contractions, we may have ended up with a news crew on the Mountain Parkway. LOL
The next time the nurse came to check me I was at a 7.5 & we decided to start calling our family to let them know it was officially baby time. Vicky arrived as Scott was starting to make calls & was a big help in letting him know while he was on the phone, I was having contractions.
Before the nurse stepped back out, she’d asked if I wanted any other medicine besides Zofran & I opted to get Stadol to numb the pain. Since you aren’t able to have any passed 8 cms, I got one dose just before the cut off point & I’m immensely thankful I did because, right before she checked me that time I’d said a prayer I could make it through the rest of the labor/birth without an Epidural. For me, the Stadol made me feel a little drunk but helped tremendously in getting through the contractions of active labor.
By the time it was time to push, I feel like it’d worn off but it did help me make it to that point.
Scott: This is when it started to get real. You know that moment in a car accident when time slows down and you haven’t crashed yet but you know it’s happening and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it? That’s the inevitable feeling that came over me. In that moment I knew this was it. We were started down the final moments of this amazing odyssey of pregnancy. There were no more doubts as to when it would happen, when should we go to the hospital, will he be born at 38 weeks or 40. It was decided, we were at the hospital, and it would be 39 weeks!
Our doula arrived soon after this & started helping Scott by showing him how to help me more.
He said he watched the way she talked to me & noted the things she said then tried to do those along side her. I remember her massaging some of my pressure points & putting a cool cloth on me, both of which really helped distract me from some big contractions.
Scott: I have to thank Shilah again for her help here. I wanted to be there as much as I could for Ces and by observing and working together with Shilah, I feel we were able to better do that.
Since I’d said I wanted to use the birth pool earlier (for labor), the nurse came back to let us know it was no longer occupied & I could do that now. I was wheeled down to the pool room on a bed & waited for it to fill up. Ironically, when my Dr was trying to check the water, she actually pulled up the drain instead & let a bit out. Had I noticed it at the time, it may have served as a bit of comedic relief for me but I was pretty out of it. When in, Scott & our doula Shilah poured hot water down my back & continued with the pressure points.
I heard someone say if you feel like you have to push it’s time to get out & I answered back with I feel like I have to push now.
Scott: She wasn’t in more than 10mins before she all of a sudden said, “I feel like I need to push!”
Here’s where it gets fun again. Vicky later told me there was no medical staff in the room at that point, just her, the doula, & Scott. So she jumped into action & threw a bunch of towels on the floor & said, “I was going to get you to that bed safely” Lol. Someone went to let the nurses & my OB know it was go time while Scott ran to the bathroom while he could before pushing was underway. My sister & mom had just gotten to the room during this from a 2 & ½ hour drive that was probably much shorter since they drove 90 mphs….like we instructed them NOT to. Lol
Scott: I’d been needing to pee for about 6 hour, but I hadn’t wanted to leave her side. Once she was back on the bed and preparing to push, I realized it was now or never so I announced my intentions to the room and rushed off into the bathroom to relieve myself before the fireworks began. While I’m in there I heard the voices of her mom and sister outside the door and thought to myself, ‘they’re here already?’
During all of this I was moaning what seemed like really loud to me but everyone around me kept telling me how shocked they were at how calm I was being. The nurse even noted, “She’s the calmest one I’ve ever seen.” My doula later said I was the picture of calm & strength…which seems odd to me because I do NOT remember feeling calm. Lol
Scott: She was the picture of calm & strength. Everyone in the room thought the same thing.
My OB returned quickly, followed by a line of people. We’re talking a lot of people. Scott said there were easily at least 10 people in the room. Once my OB was suited up in a green cover up, she told me to hold my breath & push with the contractions. The first 2-3 times I tried to do this she said, “You’re holding back, you’ve gotta do better than that. That pressure isn’t going to go away until you do.” That was all I needed to hear in the moment & I started putting more force behind what I was doing. A nurse had to remind me to put my chin to my chest a few times & she, alongside my OB, also reminded me to hold my breath on several pushes.
I didn’t realize it was happening but, also during this, apparently my eyes were rolling back in my head with contractions. My friend later noted, “It was like the exorcist.” Lol
Scott: Cesilee was amazing! She was the model of focus and determination. The way she would breath, hold, push, collect herself (eyes in the back of her head), and then repeat, you would think this was her forth or fifth birth and not her first! All without a birthing class!
Eventually, my Dr. told us, “your baby has hair!” &, after what seemed like several more pushes, said, “Okay, don’t push.” & then it felt like he slid out all at once. She put him right on my belly like I’d wanted for kangaroo care all covered in that chunky vernix with his eyes wide open. They had to bother him for a bit to cry, he was a calm little guy, but he did with not much effort soon after. Seeing him for the first time is something I can’t quite describe because it’s still such a surreal moment. After all of the pain & heartache we had to go through, all the uncertainty of ever knowing if we’d ever make it to this point, all of it, was made worth it in that moment. I just kept looking at him in both disbelief and a huge wash of relief that everything was finally over. During this time, Elijah managed to somehow put his hand on my face & melt my heart a little more. Soon after that, they took him over to weigh/measure/& let other people hold him really quick before handing him back to me.
Scott: As his head came out, I involuntarily started screaming, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!!!” (There is video evidence of this thanks to Cesilee’s mom lol). I was just amazed to my core seeing our little boy’s face for the first time. As the Dr. turned him I could see his eyes open. His eyes were open and looking around and he was only halfway into this new world!
While I was holding him & being stitched up, the med. staff kept pushing on my stomach to see how much blood was still coming out since, during delivery, I was asked if I was okay with having a blood transfusion, but I’m guessing, once it tapered off, it was decided I didn’t need one & I was just given an iron pill on the postpartum unit. Later, Vicky, being a birth photographer, said my delivery was the most bloody she’d ever seen during a birth. Scott also later said it was way more blood than he’d seen in any birth videos he’d ever seen. We aren’t sure why since I’d stopped the Lovenox at 36 weeks & he was born at exactly 39 weeks. I was still on Aspirin at the time but, regardless, everything turned out fine.
Before my OB headed out, she came up to us & congratulated us again, saying she knew how long it’d taken us to get to this point.
I cannot put into words just how overjoyed we are that he is here. It’s hard to believe all of this happened & that he is really ours. It’s a funny in a way because, on one hand, it feels like he’s always been a part of our lives &, on the other, we are incredibly humbled by how much of a miracle it really is that God decided to bless us with him. One thing is for sure, I know he was always suppose to be mine & we couldn’t possibly love him any more than we already do-even if we tried. I would do every single painstaking thing we went through again, ten times over, to have him without hesitation.
Scott: I feel I can speak for us both when I say we were very grateful for our Doula Shilah’s coaching through the birth. It was a tremendous help. And of course my complete admiration goes to my wife. She never wavered. I am so humbled by her courage and strength.
Elijah Cole Born on 5/28/17, at 11:43am, 7 pounds, 5 ounces, & 19 inches long!
“I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
& all along I believed I would find you
time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more.”