August 3, 2016

Eloise Ruby's Birth Story

In typical Ashley fashion, I am over two months late in writing this. And although Eloise was a scheduled C-section, I still wanted to write down my memories from the day of her birth before they are completely gone!

Before we even thought of having another baby, I debated back and forth between trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) or scheduling a repeat C-section. And while I know many think that the surgery has much higher risks, I decided, after much research and feedback from friends who had tried for VBACs, that a planned C-section would be the safer way to go for me. I wanted Eloise to be my "birth without fear." And I am happy with this decision. 

My C-section was scheduled for Sunday, May 29th at 2 pm. We dropped Avery off at her grandparents' house the night before so that we could enjoy one last kid-free date night for the foreseeable future. We enjoyed a nice (and expensive) steak dinner at The Blacksmith's Steakhouse which we'd been wanting to try for some time. 

After we got back home, there were a million things on my to-do list still. We moved into our new house only four short weeks (yep, at 35 weeks pregnant!) before Eloise was due. My plan was to work into the wee hours of the night to get the entire house cleaned and hospital bags packed, but I wasn't able to do that as I started having contractions. I decided to get a good night's sleep and get things done in the morning.

About 7 am, I woke up in full nesting mode and ready to get everything done. I cleaned the kitchen, bathrooms, vacuumed, dusted, and mopped. I showered, got ready, and packed our hospital bags in about five minutes. We took one last baby bump chalkboard picture and hopped in the car to head to the hospital.

We were asked to arrive at noon, but (again, in typical Ashley fashion) made it up to the floor at 12:15 pm. The triage beds were all occupied or dirty, so we were taken to a Labor & Delivery room. It was an unexpected luxury to have a private room with tons of space in preparation for our delivery. I answered a million admission questions, baby was hooked up to the monitor, and my awesome nurse Amy started my IV and drew blood all in just one stick. IV fluids were started, and we waited. The CRNA and my OB stopped by to say hi, and our nurse let us know the surgery scheduled ahead of us was running a bit behind, so it would be closer to 3 when we would have our baby. My in-laws planned to bring Avery up to see us and meet her baby sister afterward.

It didn't take as long as expected, and we were headed back to the OR to have a baby! My husband wasn't allowed back until my spinal was placed and the sterile field prepped and ready to go. I sat on the operating table while the CRNA placed my spinal. I was so incredibly nervous, as my experience with Avery's epidural was less than pleasant. Luckily, he was fantastic and there was no shooting pain and no re-sticks needed. I began to feel the effects of the medication immediately, and from there on out, everything happened very quickly.

The doctors arrived, my husband was there, and my CRNA was awesome and we chatted away about life and I found out he knew my sister-in-law (who later told me that he actually dated her in the past - haha!). After several big tugs and deep breaths, we heard our baby girl utter her very first cry. It was strong, but sweet. In that moment, I started to cry. My husband started to cry too. We were both overjoyed and amazed that our second baby girl was here. She was weighed and measured (unofficially) at 7 lbs, 15 oz and 20 inches long born at 3:15 pm. My husband brought her over to me, and we had our picture taken. 

While I was being sewn up in the OR, my husband went with Eloise to the nursery. We opted to delay her bath from being given right away. Our family photographer, Megan, so graciously offered to come take pictures to add to her portfolio of birth photography, so she was able to capture those moments that I missed due to being in surgery, which I will cherish forever. After recovery and then being taken to my postpartum room, I was finally able to see my sweet girls and our family was all together again.

I couldn't have asked for a better birth experience this time around. And although I did still have a small amount of nausea/vomiting and itching as side effects from the Duramorph, I was up moving much more quickly than my C-section with Avery. {A side note, we learned later that night that her official stats were 7 lbs, 15 oz, and 21 inches long (not 20). Unfortunately, we learned this after we had written on our hospital door hanger - oops!} 

We love you, sweet Eloise. Welcome to the world, baby girl!



  1. Love those pictures!!! How special!!!

  2. OH I love this! so sweet! And Avery looks so precious!