Ila's Birth Story.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Our second gorgeous girl, Ila Florence, has made her grand entrance.  By grand, I mean outrageous, unbelievable, and in many ways hilarious.  Here’s the story.

Ila’s due date was looming close, as in one day away.  But I was far from feeling like she was actually going to be coming anytime soon.  On Friday, despite my two weeks’ worth of Braxton Hicks contractions dangit, I clocked in at 1.5 centimeters.  For you not-up-on-pregnancy-terms-and-meanings folk, this means that I wasn’t very close.  In fact, our doctor scheduled my induction for eight days after my due date.  Ringing any bells?  Yep, the exact number of overdue days that big sister was.  Ack!  So, after sulking a bit on Saturday morning over another whole week without our baby girl, we went on a junk store adventure and found ourselves forty-five minutes north at a sweet antique shop.
We went thinking that it would just be a good excuse to get out of the house, but turns out that God had some big plans.  No, Ila was not born in the middle of an antique shop.  That would have been pretty great though.  It’s just that He used a fun filled hour perusing the antique shop, long drive to and fro, lunch back at home, long afternoon naps, errands out, and grocery shopping as a particularly sweet last day with only Ona.  She had us running through parking lots, one hand in each of ours, made us laugh uncontrollably with her crazy dancing and ended the day with a type of reassurance that only a 1.5 year old’s long hold hug can give you.   
You see where this is going. 
A few mild contractions started in the dairy aisle while we were at the grocery store.  I didn’t bother to even tell Kerry.  I had had them for two weeks.  No big deal.  We got home late, 7:30ish or so.  While fixing a quick dinner for Ona, the contractions continued and increased in severity ever so slightly.  I decided to tell Kerry that if these continue, maybe Ila would be on her way soon.  I figured by saying so I just jinxed the remote possibility that she would actually come.   

By the time we put Ona to bed at 8:30ish, the contractions were continuing and actually started to feel like something real.  At 8:45PM, we decided that we should probably head to the hospital.  We packed up our bags, took quick showers, and were in the car, pulling out of the driveway, at 9:28PM.  

With Ona, my labor technique amounted to rolling myself into a ball of pain and crying like a little girl.  Yep, I just admitted that publicly.  This time around, God gave me this insane calm like only He could.  I might as well have been a Lamaze coach.  Ha.  Not really, but somehow this breathing pattern emerged that I had never practiced.  Needless to say, there were no tears, just breathing.  So when grandpa came to watch Ona, he asked, “Will I see you guys back here in a few hours?”   

Note: First person to doubt our labor.  

We arrived to the hospital at 9:40PM or so.  Due to the time, we had to enter through the Emergency Room.  Unlike last time, it was a quiet place making my contracting self the spectacle to the one Asian family in the waiting room.  The man on staff leisurely brought out a wheel chair and proceeded to ask me questions like, “When was the last time that you were checked?”  Obviously, he doubted our labor.   

Note: Second person to doubt our labor.

Up on the Labor and Delivery floor, a young nurse peered over the counter and asked, “What’s going on?”  Contractions woman!  

 Note: Third person to doubt our labor.   

Are you sensing a trend?  I was gingerly lead into a delivery room and told I could change into a hospital gown.  Still breathing.  The nurse proceeded to ask me a laundry list of family history questions.  I asked some question and she responded with, “Well, if you are admitted …,” as if what was going on inside was nothing more than a hunch at labor.    

Note:  Fourth person to doubt our labor.   

At that point, Kerry and I exchanged looks as if to say, “When in this mess of things is she actually going to physically check to see what is going on below.”  The answer, 10:05PM.  Her response (this is Kerry’s first favorite moment of the evening), “Oh, wow.”  I was eight centimeters and Hoover Dam had nothing on what was eminent.  The nurse ran out of the room and came back with an IV tech and a nurse to set-up a delivery table.  I was staying.

Sitting straight up on a non-reclined birthing chair with the starchy hospital linens draped up to my waist, I was bracing myself for the contractions now.  Still breathing.  The nurses were moving at something akin to a turtle pace.  Then I was met with a super strong contraction.  I couldn’t just breathe anymore and started my nervous girl talking.  No tears, just talking.  Oh, and water breaking.
Second strong contraction sounded like this, “Kerry, help me! Help me!  I am either going to poop or Ila is coming out!”  Okay, this is getting waaay too personal, but what good is a story without the gory details really?  The IV nurse still doesn’t have her IV in, the delivery table nurse is taking her jolly sweet time unwrapping all of the scalpels, and the regular nurse is obviously ignoring my talking by telling me to, “Just breathe.”  Lady, I have been breathing all along!   

Third strong contraction sounded like this, “Kerry, help me!  She’s here!  She’s here!  Help her!  Help her!” 

The nurse proceeded, albeit against her obvious belief that this could possibly be happening, to pull back the sheets to find Ila, well half of her.  It was 10:26PM.  This same nurse yelped, “I need some gloves.”  The IV tech clicked her heels (I think) because she finally succeeded with my IV after half birthing a baby.  The delivery table nurse had her back to the whole event and seemed rather clueless at the frantic request to, “Bring the table.”  Her response, “What table?”  After a quick snuggle, Kerry cut the umbilical cord.  At 10:30PM in strolled the doctor, assessed the situation and with a half-smile said, “Um, well, congratulations.”

Aside from a mildly hilarious and incriminating comment spoken by yours truly of, “Wow, I feel better now.”  Kerry and I just sat and looked at each other in disbelief.  Did we really just give birth to a gorgeous 6lb. 10oz. 19in. baby girl with no doctor, no epidural, and noone believing this was actually happening except us?  Yep, yep, and yep.  Apparently breathing and calmness is not a general characteristic of women this far in the labor of love.  Surprise!

This crazy adventure made for a beautiful blessing, Ila Florence.  It has also made for many a rumor.  We took these nurses by total surprise and we overheard them talking about it all evening.  So fun!  Then we heard that we nearly gave birth in the grocery store, while simultaneously giving birth in a wheel chair in the hallway.  Who knew?

After reflecting on the whole experience, ya know, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I now find myself surrounded by two lovely ladies and one he-could-be-a-Lamaze-coach, handsome husband.  

I debated about sharing the meaning behind Ila's name and all the sweet people she shares it with in this post too, but it is already horribly long and the thought of sharing it in a blog post that simultaneously talks about birth poop just didn't seem right.  Ha.  So that's to come!  


  1. Oh Heather, how wonderful!!!! I smiled the whole way through this. :) Your family is absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations on your new baby girl. Enjoy these moments!!!!
    ps- when I had Molly, I told Chris I had to poop, and he actually started walking me to the bathroom. Haha. The nurse was like, oh no, that's the baby! :) :) Definitely an accurate description of crowning. :)



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