ellie’s birth story

it was early in the morning. not as early as olive’s journey {4:45am} but it was right before 7am. i was feeling very strong braxton hicks all morning but i couldn’t tell if they were actually contractions or really strong braxton hicks {my braxton hicks had gotten progressively stronger the last couple weeks}. hc kissed me goodbye right before 7am before he left for work. shortly thereafter, i felt a really strong contraction. again, it felt different but i wasn’t sure! i text hc to let him know that i had a feeling and he insisted on working from home, so he turned around to head back.

while i was lying in bed…i wasn’t sure if my water had broken or something else was going on! let me just preface this by saying i never experienced my water breaking with olive or anything else. her contractions were very, very, very consistent though! olive’s labor was very different than ellie’s!

well, for those of you faint of heart…my mucus plug had left it’s premises, that was the ‘water’ i was feeling between my legs {or aka the bloody show}. i got up to get ready for the day and waited for hc to come back home. i finished packing my hospital bag, grabbed olive’s suitcase, and waited. the contractions were soooooo inconsistent. 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 16 minutes, 12 minutes. i remembered olive’s contraction being very consistent and continuously dropping in time whereas ellie’s was all over the board.

i contacted my sisters to let them know and called my obyn’s office to let them know that i was possibly in labor. they wanted me to come in just to make sure i wasn’t leaking any amniotic fluids and just to double check that everything was ok. mine and hc’s plan has always been to head into the city if i started to feel any labor pains and that is exactly what we did. although we joked non stop that we were hoping it wasn’t on a friday at 3:00 in the afternoon! well, it was a friday…but at least it was in the morning!

we headed down, traffic was light, and made it to our appointment on time. the head nurse didn’t detect any amniotic fluids and told us just to track and gauge how i was feeling throughout the day {i was dilated 3.5 cm}. hc and walked around a bit and decided to eat breakfast. the contractions were there but not in any timely fashion. i would have them here or there so, we just decided to eat and then walk around until i felt it was time.

we checked into the hotel right next door to prentice and decided to wait it out in the hotel room. the contractions were getting stronger and i didn’t want to walk around anymore…i was so tired! the front desk lady was so kind, she upgraded us to a really nice suite and gave us a discount! fabulous! the room was great although we weren’t in there for long! we checked in around noon? i can’t remember and only stayed til about 4:30 pm. my contractions got progressively worse. they were so incredibly painful but i am so stubborn and have a high threshold for pain…i waited way too long again {i did the same with olive}. i told hc it was time and we walked the half block over to the hospital. on the way there, i went through a contraction and had to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to bear down the pain. i am sure people and cars going by were like, whoa! that women is in labor!

we checked into triage and while we were in there, i went through two more contractions. they checked us in and told us we could get checked in to the delivery room anytime {i was over 4 cm dilated by then}. well, things are so slow and it took over an hour for us to finally get scooted upstairs {it was near 6 o’clock by then}. my contractions were ridiculous. so darn painful. i cried, shook, and sweated through each one. they wheel chaired me up and i thought i was going to break the wheelchair going through such awful contractions.

once i got into the delivery room, it was smooth sailing and the nurses were great! they had to iv me but it was awful going through a contraction while they were poking a hole in my vein. i was trying hard not to look but blood was seriously squirting a half foot into the air as i clenched my fists going through the pain! so bananas! they had the anethesiologist on the way and i couldn’t wait! omg…my contractions were absolutely numbing. the anesthesiologist was hilarious. he looked barely 30 and was so funny! they made it so much more bearable as i had to sit still during the whole process and going through body shaking contractions isn’t easy when they want to put a foot long needle into your spine! once the epidural was administered {that was around 7pm…12 hours after the first contractions}, life was fantastic. i was relaxed, i couldn’t feel the contractions anymore {hallelujah}, and now it was just a waiting game.

i settled in, thinking i might nap but everything went faster than i thought it would. while i was waiting around to get dilated, one contraction i felt was really, really strong. i, obviously, didn’t feel the pain but the pressure was absolutely uncomfortable. i said something to the nurse and she came over to analyze the monitors. they all seem to become very concerned. they thought maybe i had already hit 10cm and the baby needed to come out. i was like whaaaaaa?! it had only been 45 minutes or so since the epidural was given. the nurse checked me and i was only a bit over 5 cm so that wasn’t the case. she then said to me, “the baby’s heartbeat has dropped and i am going to press a button, once i do…there will be a dozen people in the room within the next minute, so don’t get worried, they are here to help”. i started crying. all i could think about was the baby ok, was the baby ok.

she was right. within a minute, a dozen people filled the room. i was crying and kept mumbling if the baby was going to be ok. they asked me to get on all fours…holy cow, are you kidding me?! i am flippin’ numb from the the waist down! and not only that, i had wires and plugs attached everywhere on my body {epidural, blood pressure arm band, catheter, iv}. i needed the nurses to help me flip my body over to get on my knees and elbows. they wanted me in that position so oxygen could circulate better for the babe. they threw a cap on my head {for possible emergency c-section}, threw a pill in my mouth, and then an oxygen mask on my face {all the while i am still crying, worried about the baby being ok}. there was a nurse who had her hand up me to see how far i had dilated while i was on all fours and a dozen people standing around waiting to react. it was the worst few minutes of my life. i was scared the baby wasn’t breathing, i was scared that i would have to have an emergency c-section, and i was just scared because i wanted everything to be ok.

after 10 minutes or so, the baby’s heart rate climbed back up and everything was ok. they took off the mask, the hair cap, and let me lay back down on my back. every time i went through a contraction, i strained to see where the baby’s heart rate was at. i could not relax after that! i was so worried every contraction would cause the baby to freak out. they explained to me that the really strong contraction i had caused the baby to become disoriented. they gave me an example as if you were dunked in cold water and weren’t sure what was going on…the baby got confused {shocked} and was ‘gasping’ for air and that is why her heart rate had dropped.

so, after that i just waited and everything was just fine. it was near 9 o’clock when i felt immense pressure with every contraction. like intense pressure. it was constant. i paged the nurse and told her about it. she came in and checked my stats to analyze my situation. within minutes, both nurses were back in and said i was 10 cm dilated. it was so fast! just a little over an hour ago, i was just a smidge over 5! they said the doctor {auger} was paged and that the baby was coming! i didn’t expect it to be so fast! one, my labor was still a long time…everyone said it would be so quick, nope, still a loooooong labor but once ellie decided to come, it was super speedy!

dr. auger came to the delivery room and we were ready to go. legs were up and i was ready to push. i went through 3 contractions, 9 pushes, just a little over 10 minutes, and ellie made her debut!! omg. i can’t believe how fast it was! 14 hours of labor and less than 13 minutes of pushing and here she was! she came out just staring…maybe for 5-10 seconds and then she started crying.

i was sooooooo happy! there was my healthy girl! she was incredibly beautiful. they placed her on me right away. oh, i was so elated to see her. she was finally here. after a very long, tough pregnancy, ellie was finally by our side. words can’t describe the joy and love you feel meeting your baby for the first time. my heart was beyond full…i now have two beautiful girls to call my own. i was relieved, joyous, in love, happy, and content to finally have her in our world.

welcome ellie harlow heintz | 7.15.16 | 9:13pm | 7 lbs. 9 oz. | 20.5 inches and a beautiful head of hair just like her sister olive. our family is now complete. we are truly blessed.

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[here she is! fresh out of the oven!]

via tandeminlove.com[my baby ellie]

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[daddy with his ellie]

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[my little miracle]

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[so in love]


birthing story

it started in the wee hours of tuesday morning {11.26}.

i was super bummed on monday {olive’s due date}, after my doctor’s appointment because it didn’t look like there was going to be a baby anytime soon.  i had lost my mucus plug that morning {i know, gross, right?!  tmi??}.  i thought maybe my water broke!  during breakfast with hc, before my dr.’s appointment, something started leaking but I didn’t think it was enough to be my water breaking.  dr. stock confirmed it was my mucus plug.  good sign but not enough to think I would be in labor soon!  i wasn’t one bit dilated and that wasn’t a good sign in my eyes.

another indicator i took notice of, i was freakishly ocd about cleaning and organization {less than 2 weeks prior to her appearance}, more so than usual.  i was told that it is a nesting instinct, that your body knows the baby is coming and you are getting ready for her!

in my appointment with dr. stock, we discussed bi-weekly check ups because I had hit my 40 week mark, to make sure the placenta was in tact.  she did another ultrasound on us and that was super exciting to see because i hadn’t experience one since the five month appointment {it was so cool to see baby olive so developed!}!  she wanted to make sure the placenta was solid for the baby’s survival.  after that, we talked about scheduling a date to induce.  no!!!!  i did not want to be induced!!  i wanted baby olive to come when she was ready.  that fact compounded into my already frustrated state.

i was upset due to the fact that i had planned out my maternity leave exactly on olive’s due date {i know, how many babies actually arrive on their due date??  it’s a very slim chance}.  i knew i could go back to work if i needed to but who really wants to work black friday at almost 41 weeks pregnant?!  not moi!  i was hoping she would be a few days early {here’s to wishing!}!

anyhoo…there i was…bummed, bummed that baby olive was cozy in the belly.  i emailed dr. stock that we decided to set the induction date for next monday.  so, i set my alarm at 5 am for tuesday morning so i could go to work.

the next day, i woke up to some cramping at 4:45 am.  i laid there wondering what it was.  i also thought, maybe i want her to come so badly i was imagining contractions?!

i must also credit my sister kim.  she was the only person who nailed it on the head on when olive was going to make her debut!  lots of people threw out due dates but my sister kim insisted it was going to be tuesday {hello!}!

so, there i was laying in bed paying close attention to my belly.  the first cramp hit me at 4:45 am, the next one close to 5 am.  the next one near 5:15 am.  hc’s alarm went off at 5:15 am and i told him about what i was feeling!  it was exciting, scary, and nerve wracking!  we laid in bed {obviously, there was no way either of us were going to work!} and timed the contractions.  slowly they were getting a little bit closer together.  we laid in bed for quite awhile, in awe over what was happening.  my sister suggested that i call my doctor’s office to let them know i was in labor.  after 8 am {contractions were about 10-12 minutes apart} i called them to let them know what was happening and they contacted the triage department and had a nurse contact me.

the triage nurse, nikki, occasionally checked in on me to see how i was doing and how my contractions were trending.  after hours of sitting around our place, the contractions started to become closer in time elapses.  they were now becoming 5 minutes apart.  i called the triage nurse and she said it was more about the intensity of the contractions, that they needed to be pretty painful {to a point where you can’t talk or walk?!}.  so i decided to not go in yet.

hc was not happy.  he felt like i was being a tough girl {’cause i usually am…i have a high threshold for pain} and felt that we needed to head to the hospital.  after a few minutes of discussion, i gave in {hc usually doesn’t get upset} and we grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital, by that time it was about 1:00 pm.  that’s when it started to get really bad.  the contractions were coming on strong and the car ride to the hospital was the worst car ride i ever experienced!!!!  every bump and crack on the road vibrated horrible pains through my body as i experienced each contractions {thank goodness it was only a 12 minute car ride!}.  he sped up to the valet and i ran out of the car.  as i pushed through the revolving door, a contraction came on full force and i bent over in pain in the foyer of the hospital, clutching the inside handle of one of the doors.  the door man helped me through it…once it was over, he said. “don’t worry, i go through this all day!”

we checked into triage and i sat in the waiting room going through contractions.  one of the nurses took me before another pregnant lady waiting, saying i was more uncomfortable than her {hells yes}.  they weighed me {i was currently going through a contraction and couldn’t even pay attention} and then put us in a room where another nurse checked my status and said i was not dilated!!!  what?!?!  i was devastated.  how could i not be dilated?  it didn’t make sense.  i was going on my 9th hour of labor and i was befuddled that i was not dilated!  i thought, impossible!

the nurse, kylie {who was a bit jaded}, gave us two options.  she could give me some pain medication and go home, then come back to the hospital to see if i had dilated or walk the circle of death {what i call it, the hallway where women in labor walk around during their contractions} for two hours and then she could check back to see if i had dilated at all.  we chose the latter.  so, there i was, walking in circles, gripping the bar as if my life depended on it.  the contractions were so bad!  on a scale of 1-10, i would have rated them at a 15!

after 40 minutes of walking the hallway of death, i had to go back to the room…i couldn’t be out there any more.  for the next hour and twenty minutes, i pretty much stood up and gripped the arms of a chair inside our room {i thought i would either break my hands or break the arms of the chair}.  i was delirious, sweating, in serious pain, and inconsolable.  i couldn’t stand, walk, talk, sit, lay…nothing was comforting.  my contractions were back to back to back with no resting period.  i would have several contractions in a row and maybe a two minute or less resting period.  finally after an hour and forty minutes or so, i had to lay down.  i couldn’t stand on my own anymore, the contractions were overpowering.

at the 2 hour mark, the nurse came back in to check to see if i was dilated.  i was not!  i felt devastated again!  at that point, i was thinking…give me a c-section!  i was desperate and didn’t care anymore, i wanted the pain to stop!  kylie then had a second nurse come in to double check me.  she said i wasn’t dilated and was wondering if there was possibly scar tissue around my cervix.  i was in a daze…scar tissue?!  i don’t know!  i was just desperate for some pain medication!  they decided to call dr. foley to come see what he could do and do for me.

around 6:00 pm, dr. foley came into the triage room to check out what was going on.  at that point, i couldn’t even talk.  he said that there was possibly scar tissue around my cervix and that he would have to break it so i could properly dilate.  he said it was going to hurt but not hurt as much as my contractions.  i didn’t care!  whatever he could do so i could get admitted and get a freakin’ epidural!  he pulled out his tools and flipped me to my back so he could execute the tiny operation.  he took one look at me and said, “you are 3-4 cm dilated, you are being admitted and you’re having a baby tonight.”  it was the most wonderful statement i had ever heard!!!  i didn’t care that the nurses were wrong, i didn’t care i had been there in triage, to me, what seemed like forever, i just wanted to be on my way to having a baby and having someone help me with being in less pain.

another half hour goes by {an eternity for someone who is in labor}, a nurse finally comes in to bring me up to the delivery room.  she brought with her a wheelchair.  i looked at the wheelchair like it was the wheelchair of death.  she looked at my graphs and stated how intense and strong my contractions were.  no kidding!  she took one look at me {i looked a mess and miserable} and decided to roll me up on the cot.  thank goodness!  i couldn’t move…it hurt so much.

i was finally up in the delivery room!  my nurse there was so awesome, she truly helped me through the awful contractions.  then i received more bad news: the anesthesiologists were backed up.  there were over 20 deliveries going on and they still had a few patients in front of me and each epdiural {with wait, walking, getting supplies, and administering, they were taking at least 20-30 minutes or so with each patient.  i thought i was going to die.  i was dilating so fast.  from when dr. foley checked me out to the time i got upstairs into the delivery room, i had dilated a few more cm!!  there was so much blood from the intense contractions and dilation!

finally, the anesthesiologist came into the room, probably close to an hour of time had elapsed {by that time, i had been in labor for 15 hours}.  he came in with a light shining on him, i was so relieved!  then more bad news, he said i needed to sit up and sit still while he administered the epidural…are you effin kidding me?!?!  sit still through these contractions?!  i cried.  i said i couldn’t do it.  the anesthesiologist and the nurse encouraged me on.  they had to lift and pull me up, i couldn’t get up on my own.  they made me put my feet on a tall wooden box and hunch my back out and slope my shoulders.  the nurse had to force me to hunch down, she kept pushing on my shoulders while the dr. was administering the epidural.  it was so hard to keep still through the pain but i knew there would be relief once this was over.

he was finally done and told me i would feel a warming sensation from my waist down to my legs.  he said i would feel the medication kicking in within the minute.  it was a miracle!  i could not believe how different i felt!!  i was on cloud 9!  i wasn’t in severe pain anymore. i wasn’t gasping for air.  i wasn’t sweating.  i wasn’t shaking so hard.  i wasn’t delirious.  i could finally talk and focus.  my blood pressure at my worst pain was 120/87 and after the epidural, it went down to 87/45.  that freaked them out a little but it was very normal for me {i have always had very low blood pressure!}.  rich came back into the room and he said it was like he walked into a different space. my demeanor was a 180 from before.  i was so much happier!

after that, it seemed like a piece of cake…until the pushing began!  anyhoo, the nurse said i needed to nap to save my energy for the pushing later {huh?}.  rich left me to meet up with his family for a quick dinner while i took a little nap.  i awoke to dr. garvey standing by my bed.  he wanted to check my dilation and let me know what my status was.  he said i was just above 6cm and he expected me to dilate 1 cm per hour and predicted that i would start pushing around midnight.

so nap i did.  hc came back after dinner and took a little nap as well.  right after midnight, dr. garvey checked in on me and said i was almost at 10 cm!  woo!  after that, it was a lot of waiting around.  he wanted me to wait a little bit more to reach the full 10 cm and then start the pushing.  he was back and forth between patients so i waited for him to come back to give me and the nurse the ok.

the nurse, toya {my third nurse that night in the delivery room!}, was fantastic.  she was a fabulous cheerleader.  when dr. garvey gave the ok, oh em gee!  i thought i was going to break every blood vessel in my face and that my head might explode off my body!  yes, that is what pushing feels like!  it really, really did take a lot of energy and strength!  let alone, i threw up during the process as well!  dr. garvey said most new moms can push a baby out in two hours {two hours?!!} or more, i was {of course} determined to do it in less time {in which i did!  in less than an hour and a half}!  i had been in labor for too long and i wanted to see our baby girl!

wow…pushing out a baby is a whole ‘nother level!  of course, toya did all the motivating and dr. garvey checked in once in awhile.  finally, after much gusto, olive was on her way!  the nurses are so funny, they were like, “we see her head!  she has so much hair!  do you want a mirror to see or do you want to touch it?”, um, i said i’ll just touch her head and yup, she had a head full of hair!  toya paged dr. garvey and he was in the room within 30 seconds.  it was comical to watch him.  he’s done it thousands of times, yes, but to see him in action was humorous.  he was almost robotic in prepping for the baby’s delivery.  down to a science.  i was about to have another contraction and asked dr. garvey if i should push…he came over to look and said, “no!  i’m not ready yet!”   so i just wavered through this contraction and when the next one was coming, i asked if i should push, he said yes and push i did!  with all my might i pushed little olive out as hard as i could.  dr. garvey grabbed her and she just popped right out!!  as she was coming out, he said she might cry or she might not and for me to not be concerned if she doesn’t.  nope, olive let out a shrieking wail!  i started crying!  i was so happy!  i was overwhelmed with so much emotions!  there was our baby girl.  after all these wonderful months, after so much pain, so much labor, so much time…here she was, finally!

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[fresh out of the oven]

in typical fashion, they put little olive on my chest.  she was all bloody and crying, momma was crying too.  well, i knew this was my baby girl because the next thing she does is bloody bitch slaps me in the face with her tiny hand and poops all over my chest!  yes, that’s my girl!

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[her tiny footsies]

they pulled her away to get her cleaned up, weigh her, and all that good stuff.  wow, child birth is amazing.  high fives to all the moms out there who go through this.  it truly is a miracle and it’s amazing what women can do!!!  this whole process has been life changing and i truly believe, that unless you go through it, there is no way to explain it without experiencing it!

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[in the delivery room]

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as soon as little olive was born, i then realized how thirsty & hungry i was!  seriously!  i asked for water and chugged it down.  bad news, i then threw up again!  ugh!  no good.

we stayed in the delivery room for two hours and then we were transported up into our room. by that time, it was just after 6 am.  the nurse brought in a wheel chair and i was able to hold little olive.  my left leg was so much more numb than my right leg!  hc grabbed all our stuff and away we went.  the nurse was rolling me right along.  we got inside the elevator and i wasn’t feeling so hot.  as the doors were opening, she pushed the wheel chair out and i said, “wait, stop!  i’m going to throw up!”  she grabbed the garbage can lid right next to the elevator and i started to throw up!  there i was, holding little baby olive in my arms and leaning over in a garbage bin yacking!!  the nurse was like, someone needs to grab the baby!  another nurse came running over and grabbed little olive so i could freely throw up.  what a scene!

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[a few hours new]

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[grandma jane, grandpa dick, and sister grace]

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[aunt thuy and the bebe]

we finally got to our room and we were ready for food!  we settled in and ordered breakfast and finally closed our eyes!  a couple hours later, we had our first visitors.  dick, jane, and grace were knocking at our door.  oh, i was so tired!  they were so excited to see little baby olive.  later on that evening, my family stopped by to visit the baby.  it was so nice for everyone to stop by to see our freshy fresh baby girl.

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[auntie kim and the precious bundle]

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[a favorite photo of the 15 hour old olive]

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[uncle dan and olive]

we stayed at the hospital through thanksgiving.  it was serene and quiet throughout the day.  i was quite surprised how delicious the food was!  although, it was not as tasty as a meal cooked by my sister kim but it felt like a home cooked meal was served versus ‘hospital’ food!

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[jodi visited us on thanksgiving day!]

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[turkey dinner!]

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[lovely gift from kim]

the very next day, we were able to check out!  yay!  we got the ok from our doctor, the ok from the pediatrician, and off we went.

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[in daddy’s arms, waiting to leave]

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[not happy with the hat on her head!  but cute going home outfit from kim and thuy! // from baby gap]

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[the little nugget in her car seat!]

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[our feeding and dirty diaper board…we were so into it!  drawing by hc]

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[home sweet home in her bouncy]

what a crazy, surreal, amazing journey.  i feel so blessed to have experienced such a fantastic miracle.  after all these months of growing and protecting this baby girl in my belly, here she was…a precious little turkey baby on this very thankful occasion!

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[the little babes is one week old in this photo…chubby cheeks]