Our Eliot

Where do I even start with this birth story? It was all such a whirlwind and 100% different from Arlo's birth. I am pretty sure for 90% of the labor I was in denial that I was going to be having the baby as soon as I did. For 50% of it, I was even thinking that it could stop and be false labor. So, if you want to hear the whole long story... keep reading... and if you don't mind me giving TMI, because there will be some of that. 

I woke up at around 5ish in the morning, I can't remember exactly, maybe it was 5:30. But, my stomach felt upset and I couldn't sleep. I wasn't having contractions that I was aware of, but I felt like I had diarrhea/upset stomach... so I got up and I dealt with that and also noticed some bloody show. Then I remembered that when I was in labor with Arlo I was on the toilet a lot with the same thing (maybe the ONE thing that was the same between the two experiences). So, I just got up and took a shower in case something was going to happen that day. I think at around 7:30am I started to feel contractions, but they weren't that bad, just like menstrual cramps, and I was having even more bloody show. I decided to wake Dan up and tell him what was going on, but that it might not really be the real thing. Finally at about 8:30 or so I decided that I had better start timing the contractions just to see where I was at. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart, but I could talk through them and eat breakfast through them, so I thought that I couldn't really be that far into it. The contractions stayed the same distance apart until about 10am, so I called the midwife and told her that I was probably going to be having the baby that day. I had a contraction while on the phone with her and I think it made her worried, but I still could sort of talk to her through it. She asked me if I wanted to come to the hospital and I very casually said "oh, I think I will stay at home for awhile" (after the birth I found out that she was nervous when I told her this...). Oh, and I forgot to mention that during this time Dan went to run some errands before we headed to the hospital. I was trying to do some last minute packing for the hospital and get ready myself, but was having a really hard time doing it. Arlo was being really good playing on his own since Dan was gone. Soon Dan called (around 10:45) and told me that he could go into work for a quick 11:00 meeting, but I immediately told him no, I needed help getting the infant car seat in the car and Arlo dressed to leave. He came home and helped out, I grabbed a couple more things, and we struggled to get Arlo into the car to take him to Dan's parent's house. By this time my contractions were about 3 minutes apart and more intense, but I was still thinking "oh, this could take awhile... Arlo's birth was so long" and "these are still not that bad". By the time we got to Dan's parent's house things were more intense. On the way there Arlo kept asking if I was okay, I kept telling him that I was, but that the baby was just trying to come out and it was very hard work. Once we got to Dan's parent's house, the contractions were about 2 minutes apart and I heard Pam tell Dan after seeing me "you better get her to the hospital!", but in my head I still thought we had plenty of time. 

So, we were finally on our way to OHSU. By the time we hit about Sylvan Hill area, I was starting to feel some pressure and was getting very uncomfortable sitting in the car, not being able to move how I wanted to. I started feeling scared because I could tell that the baby was coming soon. It was a weird set of emotions: on one hand I could feel it getting very close and I was involuntarily holding myself like I had to pee and I was scared about not making it there, on the other hand, I kept thinking that this would still take some time because last time it took what seemed to be forever. I had Dan call the midwife. He got her on the phone when we hit the tunnel and she could hear me while talking to him and I heard her say "tell her to cross her legs!" and she told him to head straight for the ER and leave the car with the valet. I told Dan that I felt scared about having the baby in the car (but it sounded more like "I'm scared! I am scared!") and he offered a very calm and thoughtful prayer. I remember that I still felt some worry and fear, but the prayer really did help me feel comfort that it would work out and I was able to feel somewhat in control and was even able help navigate where the ER was (this was about the 2nd time ever that Dan had driven to OHSU).

At this point the contractions were pretty close together, I don't even think I was really getting a break in between them. We pulled up to the ER entrance and then someone put a wheelchair up to my door and asked me if my water had broken. I told him that it hadn't, but I felt like pushing and that I didn't think I could get out of my seat. He pretty much pulled me out of the car and into the wheelchair, which was not a fun thing to do. The wheelchair was rushed around, I remember passing by mostly hospital staff, but there was one visitor/patient walking by who I heard say "Woah, she's havin' a baby!" and then I remember that right before we got on the elevator a guy with scrubs put an emergency vaginal delivery kit on my lap and got on the elevator with us. Once we got off the elevator, I saw my midwife & the nurses. (The midwife was one who had been running our prenatal group the last several sessions, so I knew her). Seeing them made me feel more calm and then when we rounded the corner & I saw the hospital bed, I knew everything would be okay, a wave of relief... we made it.

I felt like I had to pee and the nurses hesitantly helped me to the toilet and pretty much ripped my pants off. I did pee and felt a pop... my water breaking... but not much fluid came out. I had another contraction and my body started pushing. The nurses were telling me rather firmly that I needed to get off of the toilet or my baby would be born there. I was in denial that that would happen because with Arlo I pushed for 3 entire hours, so I would at least push for about an hour this time, right?!? I was pretty much yelling at the nurses that I could not walk to the bed, I just couldn't do it... and so they pretty much pulled me onto the bed. I climbed on and just stayed on all fours while I pushed with my head pressed against the back of the bed. When I pushed with Arlo, he came out so slowly that it really didn't hurt much and pushing felt like a relief and was a lot more work. Eliot was coming out so fast it hurt to push like nothing else I have ever felt. It made me not want to push. (Now I understand how you can "breathe your baby down" as they talk about with hypnobirthing, I did not know how that was possible after just having Arlo. There were some contractions I felt like I needed to hold back.) The midwife also said that it also probably hurt so much because of all of the scar tissue I had from my 3rd degree tears last time. Dan rubbed my back and told me that it would be okay and to just listen to my body. It was hard, I felt like I was going to explode. I hadn't been pushing insanely hard because he was sort of just coming on his own and it hurt so much, but then I reached down and felt the top of his head coming out.... it was further out than Arlo's was when it was stuck which made me feel like I could do it. I wanted to be able to hold him when he came out and so I rolled over to my side. I reached down again and felt how close he was. Even though it hurt, I knew I was almost done and so pushed harder. In probably two or three more pushes (this I am not really that sure of, but it was fast) he came out and I got to hold him at 12:35pm, just about 10 minutes after we got to the hospital.

I was sort of in shock that it was already over. Was that it? Really? He was such an amazing baby and I was done! He was fairly calm and not crying much, but the nurses were sure he was fine and he was. The stitching up part afterwards was totally not fun, but I was done and holding my baby in my arms for the first time. So cute and warm. About 6 minutes after he was born our photographer, Ravyn, came (the photographer in me was pretty happy that he was born on a sunny day, the light was gorgeous & perfect).

It was so interesting talking with my midwife afterwards and the nurses about what had happened. I guess when I was on the toilet sure that I had more time and not wanting to move they told me that they could see the top of his head. No wonder they were so worried! My amazing midwife (pictured above) said she was pretty worried when Dan called on our way there, but she had everything lined up and ready for us when we pulled up. I was so glad that it was her who helped me deliver Eliot. With Arlo we had a midwife that I had never met and I didn't feel any connection with, it wasn't bad, but I cannot tell you how great it felt to have someone there that I knew & liked to deliver my baby. All in all, I would definitely say that I prefer the quicker labor. Although, maybe it would be nice to not have cut it so darn close :) 

Eliot James Blaisdell
9 pounds 1 ounce
19 3/4 inches

Another reason I was so glad that he was born during the day was because I really wanted Ravyn to be there when Arlo got to meet his brother for the first time. These pictures are priceless to me and are my favorite by far (sorry for the overload, I could not narrow it down anymore than I already have). It was so incredible and filled my heart with such joy to see how much Arlo already loved his brother. He kept saying "I love the baby" over and over, it was the sweetest thing. I am so blessed to have two amazingly sweet little boys. Arlo still adores Eliot and wants to hold him all of the time and has mostly been very soft & gentle with him, you can tell he is trying hard. He seems to be adjusting very well, better than I ever could have imagined. I think he is also enjoying having his dad around more too. It has brought me such joy to be with my family these past 6 days. This is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced, this loving family that I have been blessed with. 

We are doing well and are so incredibly blessed to have such supportive family, friends, and ward members. I have been overwhelmed by all of the wonderful & kind things that people have done to help us, I cannot thank you all enough. I have truly felt so blessed and happy. 

Eliot is thriving and eats like a champ, already at 5 days old he was up to 9lb 6.5oz! Impressive! He has mostly had his days & nights mixed up which has kept me pretty tired, but I am really enjoying this sweet newborn phase. It is not very long that they curl up and sleep on your chest. 

I was hoping that I myself would have a faster recovery this time, but so far that is not proving to be the case, so I am extra thankful for all of the help we have been getting. Especially from Dan. He is truly an amazing father & husband. I don't know what I would do without him. He has been still keeping up with his business (from home) as well as helping me out so that I can camp out upstairs and try and rest & heal as much as possible. Seeing him with his new little son just multiplies my love for him. How did I end up with such an amazing man? I really am not sure. 

I am so grateful for my family and our newest little addition. They make me so very, very happy. Welcome to our family, Eliot! We are so happy to have you here!

all photos by Ravyn Stadick


matriarch said...

Courtney and Dan ~
My cup runneth over with joy at the birth of this beautiful spirit so fresh from our Heavenly Father.
Your 'birth story' is so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing it.
Courtey, you are indeed blessed to have an eternal companion such as Dan to journey through this life with an into the next. He is such a kind and loving husband and father. There are so many adjectives I could use to describe each of you. You certainly deserve each other.
Know that I love you very much and am so proud of the delightful person you have become. Of course, you have been delightful from the day you were born.
If you are ever feeling overwhelmed after Dan is no longer working from home, feel free to call Grandpa and I and we'll come and get Arlo. We would love to spend time with this amazing child.
He lights up our lives.
Eliot is such a beautiful baby. I still think he resembles your baby pictures. But he also resembles Grandpa and Justin.
My love, Grandma Sharon

Kimberly said...

This made me laugh and also brought tears to my eyes. Such an amazing experience! Enjoy this phase, and take the time to heal!

LOVE the pictures. I'm glad you didn't narrow it down. They are amazing! It helps to have such a beautiful family.

Let me know if I can do anything for you!


Christy Wheeler said...

Congratulations on your sweet little baby boy!

Alie said...

Congratulations! I love the pictures and the story. Nothing makes me happier than hearing a successful birth story. :) Thank you for sharing. Those first few weeks with a new baby are rough and magical all at the same time. I'm glad you have so much help, it makes it so much better.

that's what she said...

oh, he is just BEAUTIFUL courtney!!! all that hair! and the pictures of your new family all together and arlo meeting him for the first time are just priceless. i hope you continue to heal and enjoy that sweet baby. *HUGS*

Darcy Taylor said...

I was so tense reading about you almost giving birth in th car! I already knew the outcome (haha! of course!), but I still felt the panic and fear anyway! Crazy.
I love the picture of Arlo walking into the room - what a beautiful moment :)
I am so happy for you. I just hope your body can now recover well and in a timely manner. No fun.

Andrea said...

I love the pictures, Court! My favorites are the ones of Arlo meeting his baby brother for the first time. His smile is so genuine. I love that boy! He's sweet, smart and handsome. I can't wait to meet Eliot. Keep the pictures coming on your blog. I hope you recover well and fast and that you enjoy that sweet baby!

Adrianna said...

Beautiful! The pictures are incredible and dreamy. The baby is perfect. :) Congratulations!

Rachel said...

Congrats guys. I loved reading your birth story and seeing all the pics.

Verenice said...

After worrying about whether or not you got your birth story right, I think you did a perfect job. You captured all your thoughts, feelings and emotions in an honest light. One of my favorite moments too was joining Eva with her brother. There is something so special about having your family come together. I suppose it is that feeling of eternal families. Thanks for sharing.

Janae May said...

Congratulations Courtney! I am so happy for you. I enjoyed reading your birth story... for a little bit there I was afraid you were going to say that you had Eliot in the car! My friend just delivered her baby in the front seat on the side of the freeway- not fun! Can't wait to meet him and to see you once you're feeling up to getting out again :)