Having Ember

If you’re not interested in the birth story there are pictures at the end of this post and the nitty gritties are:
3 hour start to finish labor.
I went from 6-10cm in 20 minutes!
Did end up getting the epidural minutes before Ember was born.
And of course, Ember was 7 lbs. 11 oz, 20 1/4 inches long 🙂

The entire labor and birth of Ember was such a different experience for me. All three of my other kids were born naturally right on or right after their due dates.

This time around we were worried that I’d go through labor so fast that I’d have her at home since Allan works an hour away, my mother-in-law lives an hour away and any babysitters we lined up live far away, too!

I have a history of really fast labors.

So Monday the induction was set for 3am. I was a pile of nerves when I went to bed that night. I was shaking from anxiety and excitement and couldn’t fall asleep! And to make things “worse”, Ember woke up and starting kicking and jumping and moving around like crazy. It was the most active she’s ever been in the womb. I lay there for at least an hour with my hands on my belly feeling her move around and thinking about how the next day I’d be holding her! It was so strange. I also thought it was so sweet that the night before she was born I got that time alone with her. Makes me all emotional to remember it now.

I finally fell asleep shortly after 1am! And then 20 minutes later the hospital called to tell me that they had to postpone my induction because they were busy.

I felt disappointed. I told Allan what was going on and we both went back to sleep.

We woke up the next morning early and were talking about what it meant that the induction was postponed. Did it mean we wouldn’t be induced that day? Did it mean a few hours later? The confusion was the worst part of that morning.

Around 10:30am the hospital called and said they were ready for us! The emotions that went through me were crazy! I was so so nervous, beyond excited, and super worried that something would go wrong!

We grabbed all our bags and headed off. In the car we were both laughing and smiling and basically giddy with nerves and excitement. It felt surreal to me. I couldn’t believe I was going to the hospital like that (not in labor) to have a baby!

We got there and had to check in. Even having pre registered it seemed like it took ages!
The nurses finally came out and got us and we went over to our delivery room. They gave me an IV (blew two veins in the process!) and checked my cervix (3 cm and 80% effaced and baby at 0 station) and then at 12:22pm they started the pitocin.

Everything I’ve heard about pitocin is scary so I was prepared for a very painful, intense labor!

After the nurses left the room Allan and I talked a little but I was SO nervous I couldn’t even think of anything to talk about!

My doctor came in about half an hour later (1pm) and broke my water. I was having contractions every two minutes but was surprised that they weren’t too painful. I’d expected them to hurt from the very first second.

After my doctor left Allan and I decided to watch a movie to take my mind off the impending labor. We chose The Proposal because I loved that movie and Allan hadn’t seen it.

During the movie my contractions started to get painful. Each one seemed worse than the last and each time I had one I started to waiver in my decision to go without an epidural. I kept telling myself that I can handle the pain and moreso I can handle being out of control in front of people. I typically cave for the epidural because I can’t stand to whimper in front of the nurses! lol

An hour later (around 2:30pm) I was starting to have really frequent, painful contractions and figured I’d ask the nurse to check me. I knew it must be getting close but was scared to death that I hadn’t progressed.

The nurse checked me a little later and I was at 6cm. I couldn’t believe that with how much pain I was having I was only a 6! I don’t know why I forgot that going from 6-10 for me takes very little time! I started freaking out inside over the possibility of hours and hours of more pain! Irrational, I know.

I told the nurse I wanted to go ahead and get an epidural. I was feeling more emotionally fragile than physically done, but emotional stuff has always been more difficult for me to handle, anyway.

They called the anesthesiologist. She came in just before 3pm. Sitting up in the bed while she prepped me was a lot better for the pain. But the contractions were getting stronger every minute. I had very frequent (shorter than a minute apart, I think) contractions while she got the epidural set up.

She finished giving me the epidural at 3:20pm. The last contraction I had while she was still working on my back came with a ton of pressure. The contraction I had after they’d finished taping things and started the pain meds came with so much pressure I thought I might just have Ember right that second! I told the nurse with a lot of fear in my voice (my doctor wasn’t at the hospital), I’m feeling a LOT of pressure.

She came over and checked me and I was a 10 and fully effaced! I started to panic a little because at that point in labor I have the baby like… the next contraction! lol

My nurse immediately called my doctor who was in his office just two blocks away.

The epidural barely started to kick in. I could feel my belly getting warm. They kept asking me if the epidural was kicking in yet and I was like, NO! But then I said it must be enough to slow things down because though I could still feel all that pressure I didn’t feel like the baby was going to come out right that second like I had felt right after they’d started the epidural.

My doctor got there super fast. He arrived at 3:30pm and they immediately set the table up for delivery and had me start pushing.

As the nurse and Allan lifted my legs I remember wondering how many pushes it’d take since I knew Ember was right there. I was thinking, oh my gosh in a few seconds I’m going to have my baby!!!

We waited a few seconds for my next contraction to start. I told them I was having one and I started pushing.

I was surprised when I immediately felt Ember’s head coming out! It wasn’t severe pain, the epidural had kicked in enough to take off the edge, but I could feel everything! It was amazing.

Her head was out so fast and I started to push again for her shoulders and my doctor told me to look down and when I did there she was! I started crying immediately and looked to Allan who was crying, too! It all happened so fast!
She was born at 3:36pm. 3 hours after getting the first dose of pitocin.

Ember wasn’t crying but was perfectly healthy. They laid her on my chest and I just stared and stared at her sweet face. I thought she was pretty immediately. With Brooklyn and Payson they looked squishy and funny to me at first. I didn’t get to see Sierra at all until ten minutes after she was born because she swallowed amniotic fluid when she came out.

I was so surprised and happy when the nurses didn’t make any move to take her away for measuring. They let her lay on me for a long time and I just felt her little body on my chest and stared at that face. She didn’t cry at all. She didn’t even whimper! She kept blinking and trying to open her eyes so I wiped them off with the blanket. She was so alert!

I was barely aware of the placenta coming out and the stitch my doctor gave me. I was so into staring at my sweet baby girl.

Allan was over by me all teary and watching, too. He took a couple pictures also.

Finally the nurses took Ember to do all the things they do over at the warmer.
Allan asked me if I wanted him to stay with me or go watch her. I told him go watch her, of course! I wanted him to get to see her more! I was fine. lol

She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz and was 20 1/4 inches. Just for kicks the night before I was induced Allan, me and his mom guessed her weight and length. I had guessed 7 lbs. 12 oz and 20 1/4 inches!

It was so so fun the next half hour or so. The nurses were all so happy and funny and it felt like a big celebration. But a simple one, a close knit one 🙂

Allan was talking to Ember while they weighed and measured her. After that they let him hold her and I was so in love watching the two of them.

When I held Ember the next time I nursed her. She latched on right away and I felt amazed that this little thing, just in my belly, was now nuzzled into my chest drinking away.

So much more happened during our hospital stay. We had the best hospital experience out of four births. We usually hate the hospital and can’t wait to leave but this time we were so impressed with the way everything was done and how wonderful everyone was that we were sad to go.

Not really sad to go because we could’ve stayed another day if we wanted, but sad that such a special, special time was over.

I don’t think that I’ll ever forget what a perfect experience Ember’s birth was!

We didn’t take a ton of pictures. Allan took most of these! I was surprised and touched that he took all the ones he did. He even took pictures of me nursing Ember the day after she was born (not posting those!) that are so special to me 🙂

They had just started the pitocin a half hour before. No pain yet!

The contractions had just picked up.

Self timer picture.

Things were getting painful. I think this was just before I called the nurse in to check me.

Aaaand.. there she is!

Not crying or whimpering at all! Such a calm baby.

Me, Ember and my awesome doctor!

The nurses asked if they could take a picture of the three of us. Of course!

Baby 4!

The first night in our recovery room.

Getting ready to go home Tuesday afternoon.

Allan took this from the car 🙂

We stopped at Barro’s pizza to pick up dinner and I took a couple pictures of Ember’s first car ride.

It was his idea to grab pizza. Oh boy did I like that idea!

7 thoughts on “Having Ember

  • Love it. What an awesome experience! Did it not worry you that she didn't cry? I always freaked out if one of my babies didn't start crying right away! lol

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad you had such a great experience with Ember's birth. She looks like a tiny little doll! And seriously, you look amazing in every single picture, even the one where you said it was just before you called the nurse in… How do you DO that?
    Also, it makes me a little less freaked out about having kids some day to know that there are good doctors and nurses out there.

  • What a lovely birth story, so happy it was such a lovely experience for you. With my last baby, the labour itself was horrible & out of control, but the moment she was born & was laid on my chest everything was forgotten & it was one of the happiest & most peaceful moments of my life. The photos you have posted are beautiful & it will be amazing for Ember to read & see these when she is older. Congratulations again!! xx

  • What a wonderful story. I'm teary reading it. So wonderful that you have all that to remember. I love the photo of Alan lugging all the stuff. Such a good daddy. Ember is beautiful and such a lucky little girl to be joining your family! Congratulations again.

  • Wow sister! You look amazing! You were in labor and giving birth and you look amazing! The days after too! You look absolutely smitten and in love and glowing with joy! Ember is a beautiful baby! She reminds me more of Payson, but perhaps that is because I didn't really see newborn pictures of the girls. Anyway, she is a perfect little doll! So pretty! I'm excited for you that everything seemed to go smoothly! I was getting my epidural (with Levi) and KNEW it was already time for him to be coming out! He was born about 5 minutes after having the epidural in! I loved reading this birth story! I'm so happy for your sweet family of 6! 🙂 P.S. Did you nurse your other babies? I couldn't remember that you did or not, I was just curious!

  • I'm glad it was a wonderful experience for you, Ariana. She is beautiful. I know I'm hormonal because it brought tears to my eyes again. Congrats to you and your family.

  • I have read the whole story twice. I love birth stories! You can just tell by looking at these pictures that the experience was positive all around. You look so happy and relaxed. 🙂

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