Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ettley’s Birth Story:

She’s here! Ettley Kate Rahlf was born on May 2nd and was 6 lbs 13 ounces! Her name comes from a small town Dane served in called Ettlingen. So, trying to stick to German (ish) names we changed it to Ettley. We simply liked the name Kate and thought we would give her a more normal middle name in case she wasn’t too fond of Ettley when she got older. 

As many of you know, I was convinced Ettley would make her appearance around 35 weeks because I had started to dilate and that didn’t happen with Adler. Weeks went by and she still had’t come (my doctor was glad I made it to 37 weeks). I was confused and just wanted her to arrive. At 38 week I was was certain 3 different times that labor was actually starting (having a ton of BH contractions I couldn’t tell anymore what was real and what wasn’t). I went in for my doctor appointment at 38 weeks and 6 days and I had progressed to between a 4 and 5 cm dilated and I was now 80% effaced. My doctor also kept saying how low she was and how she didn’t want to feel too much because she was scared she would break my water. I told her I was all for that! I asked for a membrane sweep but my doctor said I had to be 39 weeks. I was off by one day! Since I was dilated so far and having contractions they wanted to induce me if I hadn’t given birth by May 2nd. I was ok with this even though I knew lots of people didn’t like to be induced because I was sure I would give birth before then. But no baby. We got closer and closer to the 2nd and she wasn’t coming out. I gave birth to Adler at 38 weeks and 4 days, so I was shocked I went longer with Ettley even though I had progressed a lot more with her. 

Once it was clear that she wasn’t coming out I just accepted that I was going to be induced. I had asked my doctor if we could just try breaking my water first and see if that started labor since I was contracting a ton and she agreed. I was grateful because I have heard pitocin is horrible. I think Ettley knew she was going to be born on the 2nd because on the 1st I started having more symptoms and I could tell she was getting ready to be born the next day. 

I actually really liked the idea of being induced because I am such a planner that I liked knowing exactly when we would meet our little girl. I also wanted to be induced because Dane works an hour away and I was so nervous he wouldn’t be there with me when labor started. This way I knew he wouldn’t miss anything. I had packed my bag at 35 weeks so we just threw a few last minute items in, spent some time with Adler (I was struggling with the fact that he wasn’t going to be my only child anymore), and then tried to get some sleep. We woke up on the 2nd, I showered and got ready to meet our baby girl. 

It was weird going to the hospital when I wasn’t in pain but it made answering questions at the beginning really easy and the first impression the nurse got of me was a good one because I was happy and pain free. We were scheduled for a 7 am induction but when we arrived another lady was in active labor so I hung out in my room until about 9am. My mom was able to come and be there with Dane and I which was nice (thanks Brittany for watching Adler!). We just hung out and talked enjoying my pain free moments. They asked me if I wanted an epidural and I said I wasn’t against the idea but I wanted to try natural. I think I will always try and go natural even though I do know how amazing the epidural is. They started me on fluids just in case I wanted to get it. At 9:40 am my doctor came in and checked me. I was 5 cm dilated, 85% effaced and she was engaged. She then broke my water which was the weirdest feeling ever! My water broke naturally with Adler so laying down and having it happen that way was a strange sensation. 

Here is where it gets crazy:

My contractions came on strong and fast just from breaking my water. It’s true what they say about how you forget what the pain is like. I tried to mentally prepare for it but since I didn’t really get eased into my contractions that was a little hard. They told me to let them know when I felt the sensation to push. Well I endured contractions and then felt the sensation to push after 1 hour!!!!!!! I thought there is no way it went that fast but she checked and I was at a 9.5!! At this point I really wanted the epidural. I got the full body shakes again and the contractions were wearing me out. She said even though I was a 9.5 I could progress really quickly to a 10 or it could still take 30 minutes. 30 minutes= a lifetime so I said I wanted the epidural. While I was about to get the epidural I felt the sensation to push again but it wasn’t strong so I got the epidural at 10:40am. It almost kicked in instantly which was great because it was time to push 10 minutes later. I pushed through two sets of contractions and she was out!!!!!!! My labor was a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes with 20 minutes of pushing!!!! I couldn’t believe how fast it went! I was super glad now that I was induced because Dane would have just barely made it in time to watch me push her out.

Looking back, I regret getting the epidural. Usually you get 100 units and I only got 7 that’s how fast I delivered after getting it. It was enough to take the edge off which was nice but I wish I had just gotten some pain medicine through my IV. It’s easy to look back and say “I wish I had just toughed it out” but with Adler I had to push for three hours so I was a little nervous that would happen again. It was nice to have the epidural for the after birth stuff and I was able to relax right after and hold my sweet Ettley instead of being sore and tired. Hopefully birth number 3 will be just as fast and I will go natural then (I hope I can do it at least with one of my kids). 

Ettley was born at 11:22am. After she was born I did skin to skin right away. I love looking down at my children right after they are born for the first time. The look they give me is amazing and the love I feel is indescribable. They took her to weigh her and I thought for sure she would weigh more than her brother (7lbs 2 ounces) because I was pregnant longer. Nope. She was a little girl! She weighed 6lbs 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. She wanted to nurse right away. She is a way better nurser than Adler even though the start was really rocky (another post for another time). 

The hospital was experiencing flu outbreaks so they told us Adler wouldn’t be allowed to visit her in the hospital. This made us sad and we decided to stay only one night. Brittany came to visit Ettley and Dane was able to go out and see Adler right after she was born but I stayed put mostly due to the fact my legs were numb. I missed Adler a lot but it was nice to spend some time with Ettley. 

We love our Ettley girl and I can’t believe she is almost 1 month! At 2 weeks she was 7lbs 1 ounce. So far she is a total mama’s girl. I love this stage because I get endless cuddles. This was the perfect labor minus the epidural (I will probably regret that forever) and I hope next time is just as good. I love my little family of 4 and even though I was sad Adler wasn’t my only child anymore my love for two children has grown immensely. We can’t imagine life without our Ettley. 

The episode where Rach gives birth was on T.V.....How Perfect!

On our way home!