Our little Eli is now one month old! We are so in love with this little boy. With each sweet spirit that fills our home, I wonder how I could ever love a new one as much as the ones that I currently have. But every time a new baby is born, the love and bond I have with them has been instant.

< my mom has been there for all 3 of my kids births >
< he's here! >
< family of five! >
the boys getting their present for baby Eli >
< a beautiful blanket and the most adorable crib moccasins >
< the boys loved their gifts from their new brother- race cars! >

Eli's birth was so very special. I shared the whole story more in depth below, but also made this video that pretty much sums up our love and excitement to have this new baby join our family.

I was really worried during the whole pregnancy that I wouldn't make it to the hospital in time. Our hospital was clear over in Hollywood (about a 30-45 min drive depending on traffic), so that freaked me out. I was induced with Cash, and he came super quick. The video going around of the lady who gave birth in the car on the way to the hospital didn't help my fears either!  I had a great experience being induced with Cash, so I decided that if everything was ok and my doctor said she could, that we would induce with Eli.

On August 5th I went in for my doctors appointment, and she told me that we could induce that day if I wanted to. I was dilated to a 3 and 100% effaced, and had been for over a week, so we all felt pretty good about the induction. I called Garrett and he left work and met me at home with the boys to get our bags packed and ready to go. Garrett's mom drove down right away and was there to stay with the boys. It was a crazy feeling driving to the hospital. Knowing that we were going to have our third baby was so surreal!

We got to the hospital around 2pm, but they didn't start me on pitocin till closer to 5pm (everything takes longer than you anticipate in the hospital). My mom and sister-in-law, Corrine, were there with us as well. After a few hours on pitocin I got my epidural. I didn't feel very many strong contractions before the epidural...which was just fine with me. The epidural part took a little longer than normal because the anesthesiologist had a hard time getting the needle in the right spot in my spine. Can I just say that hearing those words, while in the C curve position, with the prick of a needle in your back is a little nerve-wracking? I did have a "what the H am I doing!?" moment right about then. But after 20 minutes, the epidural was complete and all was well.

From that point on it was just a waiting game. I didn't dilate as quickly as we all thought I would. By midnight I was only dilated to a 4. My doctor asked if I wanted her to break my water to speed things up, but we decided to hold off for a bit longer because Garrett and I didn't feel right about it. We felt like we needed to give it a little more time rather than try and force things to happen. I am so grateful that my doctor listened to our concerns and didn't push anything on us that we weren't comfortable with. She came in to check me again at 2 am and I was still only dilated to a 4/5.  At this point I was starving!  I had a giant lunch before heading to the hospital (and crammed more food in me on the drive down) but I didn't anticipate the labor lasting this long! By now both Garrett and I had prayed and both felt good about having her break my water at this point. So she broke my water and we all figured the baby wouldn't come until 7 or 8 that morning, so I tried to get comfortable and get a little sleep in (I was exhausted!). But 30 minutes later the doctor came back in and said "bet you didn't expect to see me back so soon!" The baby's heart rate had dropping a bit with each contraction, so she checked me and I was dilated to a 10! It was baby time! Man, getting ready to take a nap and then BAM 'get ready to push a baby out!' are two very different mindsets to switch to quickly.

I pushed for about 20 minutes. I didn't feel any pain, but I could feel the sensation of actually pushing a lot more than I could with my other 2. Eli's birth was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Right before my last push my doctor said, "Ok, now when he comes out I want you to reach your hands down and pull him out." I did not expect this! So after I pushed his head and shoulders out, she had me reach down and help pull the rest of his body out of me and I laid him directly on my chest, umbilical cord still attached and everything. It sounds like it might be a little...messy...but it was amazing! The nurses wiped him off a bit and the second he was on me he stopped crying and was so calm and peaceful. Garrett even cut the umbilical cord with him on my chest right in front of me! That instant skin to skin connection was so beautiful and felt so natural. He had spent all that time in me, it only made sense that he would feel the most secure right on me. The nurses said they don't bathe the babies for about 6 hours after they are born because remaining unbathed and on moms chest helps keep newborn's body temperatures regulated. Once they had checked to make sure he was breathing fine, everyone cleaned up and left the room. I spent the next few hours holding this sweet baby that was just in me, and we developed an instant bond.

We honestly went into the hospital without a name decided on.  We knew his middle name would be Garrett, because by the third boy there was no way we weren't using my husbands name for the middle name! (our older two boys each have one of our Father's names for their middle name) Picking a third boy name is hard! But we both felt good about the name Eli, and ended up deciding on that name shortly after he was born.

Watching the boys meet their new brother was so special. When Cash was born, we had Bradley bring a gift for baby Cash, and we had a gift for Bradley that 'Cash had brought for his big brother'. So we continued that tradition. The boys gave Eli his gift and were super excited to open their gifts from their new brother. It is a simple way to help promote love and bond between new siblings.

So this might be my longest post ever, but it was such a sweet experience and one that I want to always remember. Since I shared so much of my pregnancy journey, I felt like I needed to share my birth story as well! I want to thank you all for your kind words during this whole pregnancy and since his birth. You have helped make this such a sweet experience!

Labels: , , , , ,