Today my newborn baby turned one week old. Little Elodie Clementine Bates was born last Sunday, December 16th at 1:15 am weighing 7lbs 14oz and 21 inches long. She was three weeks early to the day- born at exactly 37 weeks. She was born quickly and I can't believe a week has gone by already. Before I know it I'll be saying she's a month and 6 months and then a year and so on!
After a busy day at work, Abe, Aven and I met up for dinner at a nearby Thai Restaurant. We had a nice meal and it was relaxing not to have to make anything for dinner after a long day. When we were having our leftovers boxed up to go, we mentioned that we were ready for our bill. The waitress kindly informed us that our bill had been taken care of. She didn't reveal who paid but we casually tried to glance around the restaurant and determine who the patrons might have been. Neither Abe nor I recognized anyone but it was a blessing to us just the same. After arriving home we went through the bedtime routine with Aven and as I was getting ready to put her to bed, jammies on and teeth brushed, my water broke.
The Birth Story
I learned the first time around that only about 20 percent of people have their water break naturally so I honestly wasn't expecting this to happen (since it didn't happen with Aven). I thought maybe the baby dropped and it caused me to lose bladder control. I had had a doctor's appointment only 4 days before and they stated that the baby hadn't dropped yet. Needless to say I called Abe in to take over with Aven and proceeded to call the OB clinic and alert my doctor. I realized that if it was my water that I was having a baby within the next 2 days (and I started to worry that my contractions would start coming). Since this was happening a bit early, I hadn't packed my bags or lined out all of my plans yet, that was supposed to happen the upcoming week. Abe and I started to gather up things to go to the hospital and then to pass off Aven. By the time Aven was taken care of the dogs were fed and had been let out and we had gathered our things including the car seat waiting to be installed still, we got to the hospital around 9:30-10.
After doing all the paperwork and getting checked in they determined I was only dialated between a 3-4 which you have to be at a 10 to start pushing the baby out. I thought back to when I was checked in at the hospital with Aven and I was already at a 6 that time so I immediately felt a bit discouraged and thought I was in for a long haul. After finally getting "settled" into our room both Abe and I determined to try to get a little sleep since it would likely be a long night and I wasn't having any "real" contractions yet. After Abe fell asleep I realized I was very uncomfortable in the bed and now realize it was because I was having quite a few contractions. These began to increase in intensity and proximity. The nurse came in to check on me as well as the doctor. At that point I was handling everything okay and they left to check on me later.
After another hour or so things started to get really intense. I was feeling more and more pain with each contraction and just tried to focus on getting through each one. It was dark and quiet in our room except for the baby heart monitor and the dripping of the sink. When I determined that the contractions were getting too strong I tried to get Abe by calling out to him. He'd fallen asleep in to a very deep sleep. After practically yelling his name 10-15 times I finally grabbed a pillow and threw it at him. He woke with a confused start and then jumped into action to help me.
From there things went rather quickly and ramped up in intensity to a very strong level of pain. By this point the doctors and nurses were all ready to go since I think they anticipated that delivery was quickly approaching. Like my birth with Aven I determined right at the end that I needed some pain killers since I was feeling really intense contractions; and again like with Aven they had to check first how far dialated I was and then decided the baby was coming now! This was about 1:00am. In about a 5 minute window they prepped me for pushing, walked me through the breathing and pushing process and prepped everything for delivery. A really strong and very painful contraction came and it just created in me the urge to push. From there it was only about 10 minutes that I pushed and suffered through the most intense contractions and then Elodie was born and they placed her on my chest.
She was so perfect and small and was crying gently and I was so glad that the hardest part was over and that the contractions were done. She looked all purple but everything appeared to be normal. I just held her to my chest and said hello and kissed her sweet little face and patted her back. She was here at last but also so quickly and fast with the labor & delivery.
The First Week
She has been an excellent baby so far. We stayed at the hospital only one day and then came home to try to prepare to have a new little one a bit early. Big sister Aven was elated at her (Elodie's) arrival and gave her many kisses and asked to see her and sit by her as much as possible. Elodie will go for anywhere from 2-4 hours at a time without feeding and sometimes I have to wake her. She is really starting to open her eyes and look at the world around her and make the cutest little faces (one is with her lips in a big O- it is really cute). She likes to be held and she likes to sleep in the swing. She is doing awesome with nursing. She lost her umbilical cord yesterday after only week week. It was cute how Aven kept asking about Elodie's umbilical cord and if it was an "owie." Then Aven asked to see the umbilical cord and it was gone, this was surprising to Aven.
Because it is Christmas, all of our family is here to visit (less an Aunt and cousin) and so Elodie is getting acquainted with being held by all grandparents and Aunt Elisa & Uncle Bryce. She is here to celebrate her first Christmas and be loved by all her family. Many friends have already kindly brought meals and gifts and volunteered to help in any way they can. I am feeling great and was even able to squeeze into my regular jeans today. I feel pretty much back to my pre-pregnancy self except for sore breasts and sore ab muscles. I am thankful at how quickly we are all adjusting to a new little one in the house. I am sure after the family leaves and we fall into a routine things will be challenging but her temperament has made the first week go well.
You are already such a beautiful little girl with a gentle heart and spirit, I can tell, just like your big sister Aven. I can't wait to watch you grow but I promise to enjoy all the little moments along the way while you grow. I also love watching you and Aven interact with each other and am excited to see how that relationship will develop as you girls get older. I am so thankful for the blessing of you Elodie Clementine and the person that God has knitted you to be both in the womb and in the world. I know that you are the perfect daughter and sister for this family and I am anxious to see you interact with this world. I pray for your protection and safety and we promise to love you in all things.
(pictures to come soon)