At 8:36 pm on September 16, we welcomed Ella Rae Johnson to the world!
ELLA STATS: 6 lbs, 11 oz. and 19 inches long, born on Bart’s sister-in-law’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Teri!). Pretty sure she also has Bart’s ears, to his dismay, and to ME, she looks a whole lot like little miss Zoe Anika did on the day of her birth (guess which is which):
To be clear about the ears, they both have lovely ears. Bart was hoping for “attached” earlobes (which honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed). Both his beautiful daughters got “free” earlobes. More room for earrings, I say.
Anyway, back to the birth.
BIRTH STATS (read at your own risk): Here’s the very short version… Water broke at 7 pm. Ella was born at 8:36 pm. No drugs, no episiotomy, no tears, no IV. In other words, ANOTHER completely natural birth. :)
If you want the WHOLE story, read on:
As you’ve read in my earlier blogs – or simply heard me whine about if you talked to me recently – I was CERTAIN that Ella would be early. In fact, Zoe was certain she’d be here on her birthday (Sept 1), so I worked extra hard to wrap up everything as early as possible. Call it “Hyper-Nesting”.
Then in my last blog entry on 9/13, I outlined every reason I SHOULD HAVE had Ella already and how very ready I was for her arrival. Yet every morning, like Groundhog Day, I’d wake up still pregnant. So when we went to our weekly appointment on Tuesday 9/16, I mentioned to my doc again how ready I was. To which she responded, “Well, if you want, I can strip your membranes”.
Sounds awful, right? Now for a person who was SO READY, I can’t believe I didn’t instantly respond “heck yeah!” Instead, I asked some questions, only to find out that it wasn’t painful and may/may not help at all. So I agreed. This was at 3:30 pm. Around 4 on my way home, I started feeling some very mild cramps, so I looked up “strip membranes” to find out that not only might it NOT WORK, it was guaranteed to cause cramps regardless… Yay.
Around 5:30 I called my doula Margie (my doc had asked me to) to let her know my membranes had been stripped, to which she calmly said, “OK, well keep me posted” and basically to call her back if I had any real contractions. At 6:20 pm, those “cramps” seemed a little stronger (but still like cramps), so I called Margie back to ask the difference between cramps and contractions. She said contractions will come/go and cramps will pretty much just be there in the background. So I started paying attention and since they did seem to come/go, I told Bart that we “may be” having contractions and that I was going to take a shower. Though I was still convinced they were just cramps…
At 7 pm, right after my shower, I put on some clean clothes, was walking out of the bedroom, and my water broke… I told Bart and called Margie who said “I’m going to take a quick shower, too, so just call me back when your contractions are 5 minutes apart.”
We pulled out the Labor Mate app to start tracking. THESE were contractions (read: painful), and the first 2 were less than 3 minutes apart – AND GETTING CLOSER TOGETHER. We called Margie back, who said “head to the hospital, I will meet you there.” Though Holly & Amanda, our Zoe saviors, were only 10 minutes away, we clearly weren’t going to have that sort of time, so we handed Zoe off to our kind neighbors and left.
Bart drove in late rush hour traffic the 28 minutes to the hospital (that’s around 8 contractions in a car), and we arrived at the hospital 5 cm dilated. In 20 minutes, I was “complete” (that’s 10 cm), and my doc was almost there, though there was a midwife on deck, just in case. Thankfully, my awesome doctor made it, and in just a few remarkably painful but effective pushes, we had Ella.
NOW, for a very short birth, this was a very long blog, but even as FAST as it was, it was INTENSE. Believe me when I say every moment felt like SLOW MOTION for the birth mother ;)
But every single moment was WORTH IT when you get to see this:
And for the record, Zoe has already “helped” change her first diaper (let’s hope that continues)!