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Birth Story

Let's go home already!

Elisha Paul was born on Saturday, March 20th 2010 at 12:11pm. He weighed 8 lbs, 5oz and was 21 inches long. He was an epidural-free vaginal birth after less than 12 hours of labor and only 45 minutes of pushing.

The story starts Thursday. I began having stronger-than-usual contractions around 10pm, and so hubby and I decided to time them. They didn’t necessarily intensify but they became very regular. So, we eventually sucked it up and went to the hospital at 1:30am Friday morning after a shower and a bit of procrastinating just in case everything faded. The hospital monitored me and I didn’t progress after three hours of waiting and walking around, so they sent us home only slightly disappointed. Sometime in the night, everything faded.

Friday I stayed home from work in anticipation of something happening, but went all day walking and eating spicy food to what I thought were only a handful of contractions. I did however begin to notice the loss of my mucous plug throughout the day. (Oh yeah, birth TMI just for you.)

Sometime early Saturday, all of that changed. Around 2 in the morning, I woke up to contractions I couldn’t sleep through. Once it was too uncomfortable to lay in bed, I got hubby up and hovered a while in the shower. We waited and labored at home until I couldn’t handle the discomfort anymore. This time, we got to the hospital and stayed. The nurse admitted me and the road to getting Elisha out into the world began. Early labor was pretty tolerable for me. I did a lot of standing and walking once the nurse let me off the monitor.

As transition hit, I spent some time in the lovely jacuzzi labor tub. After my two hours was up there, it was very hard to dry off. I did some more standing and laboring on the birth ball, but at around 7cm, I was getting tired. A half dose of Stadol by IV let me doze a little between contractions and ease me further along. I finally had to ask for the other half of the Stadol for the last centimeter or so, but I’ll admit I never once thought of that epidural. Once I could concentrate on the waves of pressure and pain as they came, I realized I only had to make it to the top of the wave every time. That highest point was all there was, and then I could crawl down again into a breath or two of quiet.

Granted, near the end, those waves were like mountains, crushing the timing of my breathing, and eventually some came without a single pause behind the other, but for some reason, I could wrap my mind around their terribleness and think of just what was to come.

I labored until about 11 in the morning. Sunlight had begun to flood our hospital room and when the nurse checked to find me finally at 10cm, she accidentally broke my water as she did so. It was finally time to push. This was the hardest for me; it felt as though my body had no idea what to do. It seemed to take forever to get the hang of how to position myself and how to bear down at each contraction. What felt like forever, though, was only 45 minutes.

In less than half an hour of groaning, Elisha was crowning and the doctor was there and Justin was continuing to be the awesome support he’d been my entire labor. Everything moved so fast and then something—no someone—was crying. It was our baby.

I knew it was a boy.

Baby Eli, just born.

Baby Eli love his hands.

Then Justin was crying and I was crying and a very squirmy, fresh baby was in my arms all snuffling and shoving his little fists in his face like he’d been doing in the womb. Out were the tiny feet that had been in my ribs for so long, dancing their way into the world. Out was the face that was love at first sight. And over was all the struggle of birth.

I'm a big boy.


My body fared rather well. No severe tearing, but certainly a few first time souvenir stitches to the tune of about a second degree. I managed to survive the nine months of pregnancy without hemorrhoids, but apparently pushing did me in a bit. Hopefully, they won’t hang around. Even recovery has been great, but I have to be careful not to do too much … especially now that we’re out of the hospital (oh, that place where no one sleeps!).

Everything is good. Not everything has been easy, but Eli and I are both newbs to breastfeeding, after all. Everything is beautiful now that we’re a family.

Fresh and fluffy.

I’d like to add that the staff of Virginia Baptist Hospital was amazing. Never once did I feel out of control of my birth, and never once did I feel like they didn’t have my and the babe’s best interests in mind. I’d also like to add that I have the best husband in the world. Hand’s down.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Monday, November 2, 2009 4:02 pm

    Looks like a great list! I would highly recommend swaddle blankets and sleep sacks in case of the light blankets for crib. We love the SwaddleMes and then the Miracle Blankets for swaddling (our boys slept best swaddled until they were 6 months old!) and we transitioned to sleep sacks after that. Now that they’re mobile, they wouldn’t stay under a blanket anyway 😉 so the wearable blankets work best. Just a thought! 🙂

    I haven’t tried cloth diapering since our septic system/well couldn’t handle the extra laundry, but I know a lot of people love Bum Genius. And I also know you can get a sample kit from so you can try a variety of types for just $10 and then decide what you like. From what I’ve heard, that’s probably better than stocking up in advance, so you can figure out what works best for you and your baby.

  2. Monday, November 2, 2009 4:04 pm

    Oh one other tip regarding onesies (which we didn’t really use until the boys were in 0-3m; as newborns they mostly lived in their gowns with elasticized bottoms or their sleepers): If you have a Ross in your area, they have the 4-packs of long-sleeved and 5-packs of Carter’s long-sleeved onesies for VERY reasonable prices. They are my favorite onesies because they are soft and comfortable and hold up really well in the wash. (The Gerber ones run small and tend to shrink.)

  3. Monday, November 2, 2009 4:05 pm

    (I meant 5-packs of short-sleeved … don’t mind me. ;))

  4. Monday, November 2, 2009 4:10 pm

    good call. i forgot the swaddling blankets, actually. i had those in mind already. i’ll have to check out that sampling package, too.

  5. homebird2 permalink
    Monday, November 2, 2009 5:07 pm

    Good list! I may borrow this. 🙂
    Have you registered yet? I started a couple of “unofficial” registries, but I find the whole thing overwhelming.

    • Monday, November 2, 2009 5:14 pm

      the list is a combination of different lists on the internet and mixed with our own preferences for things we’d rather have/use. you’re welcome to reference. if you google “newborn checklist” or “new baby checklist,” you’ll probably find similar ones. it really helped me to have a reference point or two before sitting down to actually make a list. now i’ll have to print it out and keep track of it. lol.

      we haven’t started any official registries yet, either, but i know that we’ll need a list for when we go home for thanksgiving … i know that everyone will ask us what we need or want or whatever (on both sides of the family). a few of our relatives won’t shop on the internet or won’t have access to some of the stores (there’s no target where my grandparents live, etc.), so we’ll have to really try to find alternatives for some people. i’ve started a list on both etsy and amazon, but nothing past that. we’ll probably rely most on amazon and target, with a few things from cloth diaper websites and possibly walmart. at least, that’s how it’s looking from here.

      i already anticipate the, “don’t you know what you’re having yet?” question … 😛

  6. Monday, November 2, 2009 5:25 pm

    Hey! I loved getting together lists like this! Just a couple of ideas… I’d highly recommend doing some research on the type of sling/carrier you ask for/get. I just saw some scary studies about the infantino ones. You may be well aware of this, but here’s a blog from someone who goes into great detail about safe positioning/slings: I know there are a lot of safe slings out there, but I’m no expert. Just wanted to pass along the warning someone passed to me.

    I also read someone’s blog, you may have heard of her before, that is an avid (most of the time) cloth diaperer (is that a word??) 🙂 Here’s the link to her blog: She has a whole section dedicated to cloth diapering under the “parenting” tab. Hope these things help! And by the way, congrats on the halfway point! Can’t wait to meet baby 🙂

  7. homebird2 permalink
    Tuesday, November 3, 2009 11:57 am

    Yeah, right now I’m doing Target and Amazon. I started a cloth diaper registry on too, but I haven’t quite decided what kind of diapers I want to go with yet … I’m leaning more towards prefolds and Thirsties duo covers at the moment.

    • Tuesday, November 3, 2009 12:36 pm

      i like the idea of prefolds and covers, but I think I like the all-in-ones like Bumgenius and Fuzzibuns, too. there’s some sample packages available at, which is another website i’ve found useful in the researching of cloth diapers. you can also make a registry there. too many choices! XD

  8. Tuesday, November 3, 2009 3:32 pm

    I registered at Target, Amazon, and BRU (for each item, just picked whichever place had it cheapest). For baby carriers, I have a Moby wrap, a fleece sling that someone made me, and an Ergo carrier. The Moby is good up to about a15 lbs but then it starts to stretch out. All the fabric can get really hot, too. We LOVE our Ergo. It will last for several years (plus for Baby #3 if we have one!) and is very comfy and versatile. Pricey though. This might help you choose one:

  9. Wednesday, November 11, 2009 2:36 pm

    we got some scratch mittens, but they wouldn’t stay on AT ALL! Even from the beginning. I have heard people say that socks stay on hands better. What actually worked best for us were those sleep sacks that had long sleeves with cuffs that folded over… nothing new to fall off. You can get long-sleeve button shirts with the cuffs as well.

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