Ellianna Shoshana Foster was born at 3:52 a.m. on Tuesday, December 21, 2004, a Solstice baby. She was 7 pounds, 8.4 ounces at birth and 20.5 inches long. Her head circumference was 13.5 inches. She was either six or eight days early, depending on which of her ultrasound due dates you use, but she was born on the due date calculated by my last monthly period.
My water broke at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19. I wasn't sure that's what it was because it was a trickle and not a gush. So Scott and I spent the day trying to get labor going. We walked the track at Jackson Middle School, and my contractions would speed up to between 3 and 5 minutes apart. But as soon as we stopped walking, they would slow again. At one point, we decided to go to Babies R Us to pick up the last of the things we needed for the baby.
We finally went to the hospital at 8:30 p.m., where they confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid and scolded me for not coming in earlier. However, since I tested negative for Group Beta Strep, the chances of infection were low. Since my contractions were irregular, they offered to either let me sleep until 5 a.m. or to start a pitocin drip right away. Since I'd been up since 3:30 a.m., I opted for a chance to sleep before inducing labor.
Sleep is hard to come by in a hospital, and in retrospect we should have just gone ahead and started the pitocin right away. They started the drip exactly at 5 a.m. Monday, and I started having more contractions but still wasn't really feeling them. They kept turning up the pitocin until I was at the maximum dosage. At 4 p.m., the doctor checked me and I was still only at 2 cm dilated. I cried because I was so upset at the lack of progress.
The doctor agreed to let me eat something, stopping the pitocin for the interim, and I also took a shower. I was back on the pitocin by 5:30 p.m. This time, the pitocin seemed to really be doing something. The contractions speeded up and got more painful. I was also exhausted, having been awake for more than 36 hours. At 7 p.m., I broke down and got an epidural in the hopes that I'd be able to sleep while labor progressed. The pain relief was wonderful, and while I still couldn't sleep, at least I was able to rest with my eyes closed.
When Dr. Klotz checked me at 10 p.m., I'd finally made some progress and was 5-6 cm dilated. At that point, Scott and our doula, Lisa, took a break and napped in the room. At 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, I was started feeling some pressure and called the nurse. Dr. Klotz came by at that moment and checked me again -- and I was finally at 10 cm with the baby very low. They had me start pushing right away although Dr. Klotz had a c-section that was due to start momentarily. But he thought the baby might come very quickly. After about 20 minutes of pushing -- the hardest physical activity I've ever done in my entire life -- he decided he had to go do the c-section and called in one of his partners. I had to stop pushing for 30 minutes while we waited for her to arrive. Thank goodness for the epidural or I'd never have been able to do that!
After about 30 minutes of pushing with the new doctor, Dr. Klotz returned and took over. He had the nurse bring in a mirror so I could see as Ellianna's head started to emerge. But I mostly kept my eyes shut. They kept telling me I had to get her head underneath the pelvic bone, so I thought it was still a long ways until she'd be delivered. But as soon as she got underneath the bone, her head popped out. With the next push, she was completely out at 3:52 a.m., about 1.5 hours of pushing.
The doctor said she had a very short umbilical cord, so we were lucky she didn't have problems during delivery. Her Apgar scores were 8 and 9.
Later that morning, her pediatrician, Dr. DeVore came to check her out and detected a heart murmur. After a barrage of tests, including an EKG and an echo-cardiagram, it was determined that she has a small hole in her heart wall that is expected to close within one to two years. Otherwise, she's very healthy.
Ellianna visited Dr. David McIrvin, a pediatric pediatrician, on Feb. 3. He gave us the good news that not only had the hole in Ellie's heart shrunk in half (to 1-2 mm, from 2-3 mm), but that there's no chance that she'll need heart surgery! He says it's likely that the hole will be completely closed by the time she's six months old. Boy did that please her parents!
Now for the photos!
photos 3 (added 2/6/05)
photos4 (added 2/6/05)
4 month shots (added 5/3/05)
first solids (added 6/16/05)
first swim (added 7/24/05)