09 November 2011

The Birth of Elodie Sue

Tuesday evening around 5pm on the first of November I began to feel some pains in my lower abdomen.  They felt a bit stronger than the minor contractions and braxton hicks I had been having weeks before.  And so, I told Robert that I was feeling quite uncomfortable and that it would be so exciting if I was going into labor !  He had handball practice that evening and was supposed to leave at 7pm, but decided not to go just in case something were to happen.  (When Robert is away at handball, he is not home until just before midnight).  So, just to be safe, he stayed home with me.  The pain was constant for an hour and slowly faded away around 6pm.  I told Robert that he should go to his practice and it was silly for him to stay home when I knew nothing was going to happen.  He insisted he stay home and that his choice was to stay home with me.  The contractions stopped all together and so I decided Robert and I should go for a walk around our area of Berlin.  We left the flat around 7pm and walked for forty-five minutes to an hour.  Once we arrived home, we relaxed on the sofa for a while and then settled down for bed.

Shortly after 1am, I awoke to a *POP* !  I heard my water break.  My eyes opened widely and I practically leaped out of bed.  I stood at the foot of our bed and told Robert I was quite sure my water had broken.  I walked into the bathroom and filled the tub with water while Robert phoned our midwife to let her know my water had broken and that it was a healthy colour but that no contractions had started yet.  She told us to meet her at the birthing center at 8am and that contractions could take up to twenty-four hours to start.  And so, I sat in the bath and tried to relax for twenty minutes or so.  Now it was the waiting game.  Robert and I sat on the sofa and relaxed together for a a while.  And finally, around 3am, my contractions began.  They were quite strong immediately and as soon as they started, they kept coming on every three minutes lasting forty-five seconds each. I sat at the edge corner of our couch with my legs spread and my hands pushing on my knees while my body shook and I breathed each contraction through song.  Robert phoned Agnes (our midwife) to let her know they had begun and were already three minutes apart.  He told her I could not find a position to 'comfortably' labor in and that I would like her help.  She said she would leave her house immediately and come over.  Around 3:45 Agnes arrived and rubbed my back a little.  She had me lean over the couch through contractions as well as lay on my side.  Both made the contractions more unbearable and I went back to my sitting position.  My contractions sped up and came on every thirty seconds, lasting a minute each.  They were very very strong at this point, but I remained calm while I quietly breathed through each one.  

Agnes could see that my quivering body was getting tired and she told me that because we were only two and a half hours into my labor that I should lay down and try to get some rest.  She walked Robert and I into our bedroom and laid me on my right side.  Robert and Agnes placed three pillows between my legs and one under my head.  Agnes thought that this would slow my contractions down a bit and allow me to rest.  And while my contractions did slow down and came every four minutes, each contraction was too strong and there was no way I was able to sleep or even rest.  I wanted to get up and sit, but Agnes assured me that this was a good position.  She then asked me if I wanted her to stay and rest on the couch or if she should go home for a few hours and come back later.  I told her it was up to her and she could decide; she decided to rest on the sofa for two hours and we would see where to go from there.  And so there I lay in bed breathing and singing through contractions.  They remained four minutes apart for around thirty minutes and then started to come on quicker and stronger.  Still, I continued breathing in with my nose and exhaling through my mouth while singing.  There were moments when my voice would shake and I would want to cry out.  But I remained calm through song.  When you allow yourself to 'freak out' during a contraction, it makes it a thousand times worse.  And so, singing a note calmly as I breathed out, helped me get through the pain. (Agnes later told me that I was one of the quietest women she had witnessed in labor) This entire time, I was having very very intense back labor and Robert lay behind me pushing on my lower back with all of his might.  Because his arms tired to much, he tried to push with his knees, and then his feet while pushing himself up against our dresser.  This wasn't working for me, and so, he continued to press with his fists.  While his arms were in pain, he knew that what he felt was nothing compared to what I was feeling.  And I needed him to press on my back to get through each and every contraction.  

Each contraction came and went every thirty seconds lasting forty seconds each.  Until finally, around 6am my body started to push.  I thought to myself that after only three hours that this was too soon.  And so, I told Robert that my body was pushing and that it was maybe too early.  He woke Agnes up and she came into the bedroom with us.  She checked my cervix for the first time and then told me that after a few contractions she wanted me to turn onto my left side so she could check me again.  After about twenty minutes, I turned onto my left side.  Agnes checked my cervix again and had me lay again on my right side.  She then said to me, that my cervix opened in thirty minutes what takes most women five hours.  Then, she went on to tell me that we would not make it to the birthing center and that we would have our little girl, here at home  I felt a huge rush of relief.  Knowing that we would not have to move and that we could have our baby in the comfort of our own home was such a wonderful thought.  Agnes then called another midwife (Anje) with whom she works with (and who I have also spent some time with) and told her what was happening and that she would like her to come and help with the birth.

By 7am, Anje arrived to our flat and helped Agnes set up for the birth of our sweet baby.  As I saw them setting everything up, I realized that the moment was soon here that our little Bohne would be born.  I could not believe it and felt great solace in knowing that they knew she would be in my arms soon.  After all was prepared and I breathed through contractions, Agnes and Anje asked Robert to sit at the foot of our bed and for me to hold onto him with my hands while he put his arms under my underarms and to squat over the floor.  My body continued to push on it's own until finally Agnes told me to push along with my body.  I did so through a few contractions until Agnes told me to feel her head with my hand.  I did, and it was amazing.  Her head was poking out and Agnes told me that it should burn a little and that it was normal.  After a while longer of pushing, Agnes caught Elodie who was crying out loud in her arms and laid her on the floor inside of an orange towel in front of me.  Her head was full of hair and the sound of her cry was the most lovely sound.  I remember holding onto Robert and looking back at him while he cried tears of joy.  His smile was so huge and his eyes looked so full of love and amazement.  I kissed him, cried, and looked back at our sweet little Elodie.  Finally, I picked her up and laid her body; skin on skin to mine.  We moved back into the bed and I laid her on my chest.  Her umbilical cord wasn't so long, but long enough..  She and I were still connected while her umbilical cord continued to pulse.  Agnes had me feel it and it was amazing.  After thirty minutes time, Elodie's umbilical cord stopped pulsing and Robert cut the cord.  My little girl laid in my arms for the first time with eyes wide open looking up at me.  I felt such happiness and love.  We were a family of three.

And so, after only four and a half hours of labor, our little Elodie Sue came into the world at 7:29am, Wednesday, November 2nd to grace us with her love.  We adore, are amazed, and so in love with our little girl.  I cannot imagine a life without her.  And I am so happy that I don't have to :)
(only minutes after Elodie was born)


  1. Aww, I was hoping you would let us know how the birth went! Wonderful you didn't have to leave after so much labor to get to the birthing center. Many women would kill to have such a short labor, looks like those Braxton Hicks/back pain paid off for you in the end :) Enjoy your little one, it goes too fast!

  2. Wow, way to go - Superwoman! So incredible that you were able to have sweet Elodie righ at HOME! Wow! You did AMAZING! My eyes filled with tears as I read your post - SO BEAUTIFUL <3 ahhhh, love...such an incredible thing :) I'm SO proud of you, Mama - and Robert too! What a wonderful husband and now Papa! :) Squeezing all 3 of you so tightly from California :) I love you 3! -Lindsay :-)

  3. what a great story! congratulations on this beautiful babygirl! I had all my kids (4 in total) at home,and I loved it every time. It's so peaceful to be in your own house when you welcome a child.
    Hope you had the best time now with this little miracle.

  4. Thanks for posting this, I was hoping you'd tell the story. What a sweet little girl she is!

  5. What a lovely birth story, and it sounds like it went exactly as you would have hoped! You can't ask for much more than that, can you? Thank you for sharing your sweet story! <3

  6. Wow, I LOVED reading your birth story. Sounds like it went really well (and quite fast!) So happy that everything went smoothly and you were able to bring sweet Elodie into the world (your world) right at home. Amazing.

  7. what a beautiful birth story.
    that picture is so sweet - what a lovely family.

  8. What an amazing story! Im so proud of you, Molly!! ( I can say that right?! Since you're my younger cousin ;) )
    I can't wait to meet her and Robert some day.
    AND great middle name! I've always liked it:)


Thank you ever so much for reading and taking the time to comment !!!