The family is gone and left in the hospital room are Jake, Heidi, and baby Ella. The room is quiet for the first time since much earlier today. Friends and family have been in and out, passing Ella around, ooh-ing and ahh-ing, snapping pictures, praying. We've enjoyed reading everyone's replies to emails and comments on facebook and here, but I thought it was about time to tell everyone how it actually happened.
First off, it was an amazing experience that I will never...and I mean NEVER forget. We arrived at the hospital on Saturday evening at 7:30. We had scheduled an induction due to the chord placement and low amniotic fluid. It probably wasn't absolutely necessary, but it was recommended by our midwife. So, we agreed that it would probably be best for the baby. So the plan was to show up at the hospital at 7:30. We checked in, and by 8:30 they had administered Cervidel, which was a gel type drug designed to prepare Heidi's body for labor. The gel had to remain in for 12 hours, so we popped in a movie and soon went to bed. I, of course, was out the minute I hit the pillow. Heidi, however didn't sleep well. She tried taking some sleep medication, but even with that she couldn't sleep.
It turns out that she was actually having contractions, though mild ones, throughout the night. As the night moved on they became more intense. I was awakened at about 5:30 to the sound of Heidi breathing through contractions. I slowly got up and helped her breathe through them until 8:30 when the Cervidel came out. After the Cervidel was out we had about an hour window for Heidi to eat breakfast and take a shower before they administered Pitocin, which is designed to start contractions. However, since Heidi was having contractions that were getting longer, more intense and closer together, the reason for the Pitocin was to simply keep things moving along. Heidi took a whirlpool, ate a little bit and then they started the Pitocin drip.
The midwife showed up around 10:30 am, after Heidi had been breathing through contractions for about five hours. She gave her an exam, and and it turned out Heidi was at 4 cm dialated and 80% effaced. It was at this point, the midwife said the wonderful words, "Heidi, if you would like an epidural, we can give that to you now, but it's your choice." Heidi replied, "That would be wonderful!" By 11:30 they administered the epidural, and after a couple more contractions, Heidi was numb and much more relaxed. She took a nap, I took a walk to grab lunch. And when I came back after an hour or so, Heidi was waking up. We watched another movie, and partway through the movie, the midwife came in to check Heidi. It turns out she was 8-9 cm, and 100% effaced...we were getting close to pushing. And the midwife was happy that she would hopefully be home for dinner on this mother's day. At about 4:00, the midwife came back in because Heidi was feeling a little bit of pressure low inside. The Midwife checked Heidi and said, "You're at 10cm, it's time to push...oh, I just felt some hair!"
So, they got all set up, and at 4:30, Heidi started pushing. After five pushes, the baby's head was about half-way out. The midwife told us the next push would probably be it, so she told me to get ready to catch. As she was telling us this, she said, "Oh, Heidi! Are you having another contraction?" Heidi replied, "No." And just as she said this, out rolled our new baby onto the bed. Neither myself NOR the midwife caught her she came out so quickly! But, we both grabbed her and put her on Heidi's chest. It was an amazing experience, and I will never forget it. Heidi did an amazing job, and is just more proof that her calling is to be a wife and a mom.
19 inches of sheer beauty! 6 lbs. 11 oz. of elegance and grace! We named her Ella Joy because we liked the name. Afterwards, though, I looked up what Ella means, and it's of Greek origin, meaning "bright light." My prayer for Ella is that she would light up everyone's life with the light of Christ...as much or more than she has in ours'. We have truly seen the light of Christ shine through baby Ella in what seemed like a very dark situation of possibly never being able to have children. Three years of struggle to get pregnant resulted in a blessing that we cannot even describe! Ella Joy. The Lord has shined his light and brought us joy.
Jesus says in the Gospel according to Matthew, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
I didn't cry nearly as much as I thought I would, but there have been more than several moments where I see my baby girl...sleeping, nursing, laying in her mother's arms, laying in my arms...where a tear comes to my eye. In fact, I'm going to need to go wipe some tears away now. So I leave you with Ella Joy and me...