Her name is Drew Ellyn and she is heavenly.
On April 30th at 2:32 p.m. she came into the world and brought the sun with her.
I was monitored very closely with this pregnancy because I had extra amniotic fluid and our little girl was big. Towards the end my doctor told me that because of her size it was a possibility that her shoulders could get stuck on her way out and that if this happened there was a possibility of nerve damage. She was very honest and said that this could very well not happen at all, but that it was a possibility. Because of this she suggested we induce. I scheduled 2 inductions and cancelled them both. I just didn't feel peace about it. I really wanted to go into labor on my own. I thought with all the extra fluid, a baby measuring 9 lbs and my belly measuring 43 weeks that my body would go ahead and get the party started itself, but just like with Westley, my body seems comfortable being pregnant! In the end at 40 weeks and 2 days I finally felt peace about it and we induced, and I am glad we did.
We got to the hospital at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30th for the induction. By about 9 a.m. our doctor broke my water and started me on the lowest dosage of pitocin that any doctor at that hospital gives. I was thankful for her gentle approach. They slowly over time gave me a little more and it didn't take much until labor began and contractions started to roll over me. I sat on the birthing ball and labored for a couple hours. Eventually the contractions started to get stronger and stronger and I didn't want to be on the ball any longer. Drew helped me climb back into bed in between contractions at about 11 in the morning. As soon as I got into bed the contractions ramped up. Drew knew that I wanted to eventually get an epidural. Not only because of the obvious pain of contractions but because if the babies shoulders did get stuck the doctor would have to reach inside the birth canal to release her. Ouch. He mentioned that maybe I should get one ordered since we didn't know how long it would take. The nurse came back to check on me about 11:45 and I ordered it then. Within 10 minutes the anesthesiologist was in the room prepping me. As soon as she administered the epidural the contractions went to a whole new crazy level. Drew said the monitor looked like the very next contraction I had was a super long, strong, monster one, and they continued on that way. I was so very relieved I had gotten it when I did. No shame ya'll.
So at about 1:00 I was feeling good and I told Drew to go ahead and get some lunch. My body was doing its thing and the nurse was super chatty so I was just fine. He left and about 40 minutes went by. The nurse came in to prep the table for the birth just to be proactive. I told her I thought she should check me because I felt significant pressure in my butt. I thought about calling Drew because I knew that probably meant that I was almost ready to go, but the nurse laughed when I mentioned it because only an hour ago I was 4 c.m. dilated. Eventually she finished setting the table and came over to check me. Sure enough I was 10 c.m. and ready to push. That means I dilated 6 centimeters in an hour and a half! Drew came back just in time, the doctor was called and we could not believe that it was already go time. We laughed and I kept saying to Drew, "I'm so excited!" I just didn't know what else to say! We were going to meet our daughter!
My doctor showed up quickly and we got set up. Legs up, coached again on how to breath and push and on the next contraction I went for it. My doctor was such a great coach and told me when to slow down and when to push hard. Drew and the nurses were so encouraging and the energy in the room was so full of anticipation and joy. I felt very strong and confident in myself. I knew that I could do it and I knew we were in very capable hands. I pushed with everything on a couple contractions and saw her little head emerge. It was amazing. Literally nothing in my life I have ever done has been as exhilarating or fun as giving birth. If I could time travel I would go back to the births of my children over and over again for sure. As her head came out I saw the doctor's expression change and get very serious. She explained to me, while she quickly changed to a standing position, that the shoulders were stuck and she was going to reach inside the birth canal to get her out. The nurses exchanged worried glances but I had no doubt in my mind that she was going to be okay. I just had peace. Within moments her shoulders were released and this beautiful little creature burst into the world with a huge splash. The memory I have of it is like a pop of light and the sound of water splashing and her body being held up, arms and legs spread wide. It was so incredible. The doctor handed her right up to me. There are no words.
She was warm and squishy and so soft. I wiped her face. I touched her cheeks. I cried and laughed and felt everything. Her tiny face finally so close to mine. She had all this golden brown hair! She had these beautiful chubby cheeks, rosebud lips. I held onto her feeling like this must be what heaven feels like. The elation is so vast and deep that everything around you goes quiet. Nothing else matters but right here and now. At some point they scooped her up to weigh and measure her. 9 lbs 10 oz. 21 inches. So very healthy. She cried and flailed her little arms and legs around (no nerve damage!) and I remember laughing and saying to Drew, "Listen to her cry!". They wrapped her in a blanket and brought her back to me. She nursed right away like a champ. Eventually the doctor kissed my head and left the room and the nurses filed out. Drew and I and little pink Drew Ellyn just rested peacefully there for over an hour, must have even been two. The only people in the world to know she was on this earth for those two hours were Drew, myself and the doctor and nurses. It was something special.
We named Drew Ellyn after her Dad of course and Drew's late maternal Grandma. We were just sitting on the couch talking about what to name her one night (we could not agree on anything for months) when I was about 4 months along. I had always liked the name Drew for a girl, and also thought the idea of naming a little girl after her Dad was so very special and adorable. I truly never thought Drew would go for it though, so I didn't mention it. But much to my surprise, Drew brought it up that night. I think he tentatively asked, "What if we named her Drew?" and I think I said, " I love it." We paired it with Ellyn right away and both got tears in our eyes. And that is how we knew it was hers.
My friend Molly once told me about how her friend prays wisdom over her children because wisdom covers so much ground in life. I think about that often and pray it now too. I believe there is power in our names. Drew means "wise" so I thought, what better than to basically speak the word "wise" over our little girl constantly. Ellyn means "sun ray" or "shining light". Perfect.
Drew Ellyn. Our beautiful daughter. Our wise shining light.