Wednesday, August 28, 2013

He's Six!

I had Elliott's birth story all written down on my old blog before I lost it and had to start this new blog.  I think I remember it all still but I'd better get it down so I don't forget any more of it.
In June 2005 I started dating my soulmate.  We got engaged Christmas 2005 and were married by June 2006.  It wasn't long (only 4 months, in fact) before we started daydreaming about what a little 'us' would look like and a month later I was pregnant.  My pregnancy was great, I loved it all (well, almost all, I could have done without the heartburn, water-retention, regular pregnancy-related aches and pains, and constantly having to pee!) but I loved being pregnant and the thought of this tiny little person growing inside of me was too cool.  My favourite part was watching my whole stomach move from side to side like an alien was about to break out.  I miss the feeling of lying in bed, about to fall asleep, and suddenly an acrobat show starts in my tummy, I will always remember exactly how it feels.

Weekly pregnancy photos
I did, however, develop high blood pressure (gestational hypertension, I believe), and no matter what I did (cutting salt out of my diet, drinking tons of water, eating lots of fruit) it did not go away.  My doctor was worried my baby might not be getting enough oxygen and nutrients (potentially slowing the baby's growth and increasing the risk of a low birth weight) so they decided to induce me on my due date.  So on August 27, 2007, Colin and I packed a couple bags and headed to the hospital, excited at the idea of not returning home without a baby.  I was hooked up to monitors to check that baby's heart rate remained normal, and my doctor came in, did an internal exam (not my favourite!) and broke my water, as sometimes that tricks the body into thinking it's in labour and gets it going on it's own.
Low and behold, I started to get some contractions!  Slowly, at first, then getting closer together and a little more regular.

Looking awkward, like a balloon ready to pop!
They set us up in a hospital room all our own (I love Langley Memorial Hospital for that, I can't imagine labouring with anyone but my nurse and husband in the room) and our parents came and set up camp in the waiting room.  A few hours later my doctor came in to check how things were going and decided if I didn't make any progress in the next half hour they would give me oxytocin to get my contractions going harder and heavier.  I didn't want that, I think I scared my body into working hard for me and when he checked a half hour later progress had been made, and he was happy to let me be.
It seemed to continue that way, every time they were planning on "helping things along" my body got the message to try harder.  The strangest part of labour was that my husband was next to my side every step of the way and the look of helplessness on his face when I was having a tough contraction was so heartbreakingly sad that I did everything I could to keep positive, joke around, keep a smile on my face.  He was there, ready to help any way I needed, but I tried not to need any, and I think that helped me the most.
Around 11pm, the sun was down, the lights were dim, I still had a couple centimetres to dilate and the pain was getting to be too much to bear, I was tired, I'd thrown up anything I tried to eat or drink (they should tell you that orange juice is a bad idea when you're in labour!), labouring in the shower just made me freezing and gave me the shakes, so I caved and asked for an epidural.  Apparently the anaesthesiologist was on call that night and would take half an hour to get there.  Fine, just call him!  30 minutes later, after being hooked up to the IV and prepped for the epidural, I had a funny feeling like my body was trying to push for me.  My nurse mentioned to let her know if I felt any 'pressure', but that's not how I'd describe it, it felt more like a lower body gag reflex (haha, that's gross, but that's the only thing I can compare it to!)  So my doctor checked and I was fully dilated and ready to push!  The anaesthesiologist was sent away, the bright lights came on, the doctor and nurse prepped the area and got their tools and catchers mits ready.  When they told me I could push I got a wave of excitement, my baby was on his way (although I didn't know he was a 'he' yet).  The oxygen they let me have was nice, too.  I pushed for 30 minutes, and at 12:11am on August 28th baby Elliott James was born.  They put him on my tummy first and I got to hold him and meet him for the first time.  He was tiny, weighing only 5lbs 11.5oz (we have the gestational hypertension to thank for that, I guess), and nothing like I was expecting.  For starters, I kind of expected him to be a her.  I also didn't think he'd look so much like yoda (only way cuter, of course).  I thought I would "know" him, like they always say, but I didn't at all.  He was this little tiny complete stranger, but we loved him and were excited to call him ours.  They checked him out, made sure he had all of his fingers and toes (although it wouldn't have mattered to me if he didn't, I'd've loved him all the same) and handed him off to my husband.  The two of them together warmed my heart.  It still does!

Quick staring contest, me and you!
After spending some time bonding, Colin went out and called our parents over from the waiting room, where they'd been patiently waiting all day.  I think many games of Scrabble were played and our mom's tried making some covert missions to eavesdrop into our room to see if they could get any clues of how things were going.  Elliott was the first grandbaby on both sides, and the grandparents were all overjoyed.  Many photos were taken, many snuggles were given.
I later found out that there were 2 other women in the maternity ward that day, and of the 3 of us the nurses were betting I'd be the last to have my baby.  I was first!  Ha, I sure showed them!
Alone again in our little hospital room, our new little family-of-three had a wonderful sleep.  Okay, Elliott and I had wonderful sleeps, Colin's was not so comfortable on the old hospital room hide-a-bed.  I woke the next morning to some squeaking and it took me a few minutes to realize it was Elliott's tiny little newborn cries.  I think that was the only time he 'slept through the night' until he was two years old.  Two days later (after making sure he gained, not lost, some weight) we got to take him home, and a family we were.
And now we are a family of four, and Elliott has grown in every way.  He's still one of the shortest kids in his class but I think he likes it that way, and the girls sure don't seem to mind (we've learned recently from other mom's that many of his classmates have crushes on him).  He's a gentle, sensitive boy with a mischievous streak and great sense of humour.  He's obsessed with all things Lego, enjoys math and drawing, and after a year in Kindergarten he can read fluently.  He has a contagious laugh that comes out hardest when he's wrestling with his daddy.
I'm proud of him every single day, he is my joy.

Happy Sixth Birthday, Elliott!

To read my easier and shorter second birth story, the birth of my daughter, now 3 1/2 years old (I can't believe it!) you can find it here:

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