Ilia: ee-lah, Hebrew meaning "God is Lord"
The last couple months of my pregnancy I dealt a lot with fatigue. My week 40 doctor appointment came and went without any sign of going into labor. I'd been hoping that because my baby girl appeared to be rather large in the ultrasounds that she would come early, but that would not be so. I went in for a NST (no stress test) on the Monday following my due date. I'd started having contractions late Sunday night, but they still weren't consistent or even close enough to be admitted to the hospital when I went in that afternoon for the NST. I went home and decided to try and get the contractions to be more consistent and walked around the house some. I tried napping throughout the day in case I went into active labor that night. By dinner time Monday night my contractions were consistently 10 minutes apart and quite strong.
My husband was at work on a swing shift, but I didn't want to call him home until they were closer together (especially since things didn't seem to be progressing all that quickly). My mother-in-law stayed up with me and coached me to relax and breathe through each contraction. I tried to get some sleep between contractions, but the 10 minutes between weren't really allowing me to get any rest.
At 2am on Tuesday my contractions were finally 6 minutes apart, but hadn't gotten to the 5 minute mark yet (when my doctor said I should head to the hospital). About 15 minutes to 3am, my husband got home from work and ate some dinner. While he ate his dinner and my mother-in-law decided it was time to start gathering everything together to be ready to head to the hospital, my contractions went from 6 to 4 minutes apart! The three of us quickly got into the car and made the 20 minute drive to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at 3:50am and I was admitted into the maternity ward at 4am. By this time my contractions were 3- minutes apart and, because of my naturally high pitocin levels, were extremely strong. My husband and I had discussed whether or not I'd want to have an epidural since I'd gotten no rest in the last 18 hours and my contractions were so strong.
When the doctor checked me out to admit me we found out that along with the strong contractions that were 3- minutes apart I was completely effaced, but only dilated to a 4. He then suggested that I consider getting an epidural so that I could get some rest and have the energy to push when the time came, as he was dealing with a lady in labor that was now too exhausted from the contractions to finish the pushing (making her labor even longer).
I hadn't originally planned to have any pain killers or drugs, but when it came right down to it, we decided to go with the doctors advice and in the end I was very glad I did. I was able to get in a hot jet bath to help get through the contractions until the anesthesiologist was able to make it up to my room and insert the catheter for the epidural.
The epidural took affect quickly and after all the hospital staff that was in the room completed their given tasks and gave their instructions to me, I was finally able to fall asleep and get some much needed rest along with my husband and mother-in-law. After a few hours my eldest sister arrived and we talked a bit before I went back to sleep. Occasionally the nurse would come in and check my dilation progress and make sure that I had everything I needed.
At 4pm I was dilated to an 8 and remained there for an hour. As they'd already broken my water they started talking about possibly needing to do a C-section. That was exactly what I didn't want to happen and I knew that I had many people praying for me as my mother-in-law went out to inform my father-in-law. The doctor decided to try to stretch me out and try to finish me that way before resorting to a cesarean. Within 5 minutes of the doctor hand stretching and my pushing, I was finally finished to a 10.
After that I had my husband supporting my head and shoulders while he counted out each push and my sister and mother-in-law on either side of me coaching and cheering me on as they held my legs for me. I felt so very blessed to have the loving care and encouragement of 3 people very dear to me during such a momentous moment.
After an hour and a half of pushing my sweet daughter slipped into this world! Upon hearing her squalls, all four of us were crying tears of joy. I remember feeling the weight of her flailing body on my abdomen as they worked on cleaning her off and cut her umbilical cord and having an overwhelming pride and joy, thinking that everything I'd gone through to get to this point was well worth it. When they put her on my chest, and I got to see her for the first time, all I could say was "she is so beautiful" as my love for my daughter overflowed my heart with joy.
My husband had a look on his face that was so joyous that I really can't describe it. The pride and love he has for our little blessing is so beautiful to see. He loves her so much and loves hearing about everything she does throughout the day and looks forward to holding her when he gets home from work each night. The next best thing to seeing his face was seeing his father's face the moment he came in the room and saw her for the first time. I don't think I've ever seen anything so precious! Seeing him interact with her when he gets home from work at the end of the day and the way he talks to her as though they are having a conversation is absolutely adorable.
Hephzibah was born at 6:51pm on Tuesday, weighing 9lbs, 22.5in long, and a 13.75in head. Everyone came in to meet her after the doctor and nurses had finished with me and the baby and cleaned up the room. My husband's two younger brothers were excited to see here, as were my sister's two children. After talking for a bit they decided to go home to rest and then come back in the morning.
My little girl took to breastfeeding quickly and we enjoyed our first night with our new bundle as our new little family bonded and rested. The next morning my mother-in-law arrived first and was eager to get to hold her granddaughter for the first time. About half an hour later my sister arrived with her two children and they all took turns getting to hold her. The three cousins enjoyed a bit of bonding time before they had to leave after lunch.
My husbands two youngest brothers arrived with his dad later and they all enjoyed getting to hold their niece and granddaughter. The doctor decided that I needed to stay until the next morning to make sure that baby and I continued to progress as we should.
|2 days old. Headed home. First car ride.|
She is now a month old, weighs 13 pounds, loves talking to people, smiling, making faces, watching football, laying on the floor watching the ceiling fan, eating, car rides, her stroller, being walked around, snuggling, sleeping, polka dots, bright colors, and music. Every day she gets better at holding up her head and getting better at controlling her limbs. She is already in 3-6 month baby clothes and continues to grow healthy and strong.
Every night, when daddy gets home, she wakes up and loves hearing his voice. When she is fighting sleep sometimes, he'll hum to her and she very shortly falls asleep.
She got to meet the rest of her grandparents and great grandparents when she was 11 days old, and finished meeting the rest of her uncles, aunts, and cousins when she was almost 3 weeks old. She is such a beautiful little girl with an adorable personality and a blessing to all that meet her.
There are so many more people that she has yet to meet, but after all the traveling we did after she was born and all the extra hours my husband has been working, we are staying at home to rest and they'll just have to wait a bit longer.
The pictures below were taken by my eldest sister when Zibah was 18 days old at the same park that my husband proposed to me at. I'll post some more recent pictures of my little sweety in my next post.