ELIANA ELIZABETH BORN
Born ~2:30 am on January 26th, 2006
Weight: 8 lbs, 15.5 oz (basically, 9 lbs)
Height: 23″ (58.5 cm)
Name explanation: Both Hebrew names, Eliana means “(my) God has answered (me)” and Elizabeth means “my God is an oath” (usually shortened to oath of God), or possibly “my God is abundance” – both cool meanings. I met a woman from South America in college with the name Eliana and liked it so much I wrote it down in case I ever had a daughter! When we found out that we were pregnant with our second, and I was convinced it was a girl, there was only one name for me – Eliana. That was when I discovered the Hebrew meaning to the name and thought how perfect it was, as Eliana was an answer to my prayer for another child, and an answer to Nathan’s parents prayers for a granddaughter (after 4 grandsons). Elizabeth was the name for Nathan’s grandmother (on dad’s side), but also my middle name – and my mother’s middle name, and her mother’s, going back 4 generations. So Elizabeth was it!
Going back a little…after having our first child, Jonathan, we had planned to wait a little while before trying for another. Then about 6 weeks later, almost overnight, I changed my mind and successfully convinced Nathan to start trying for another child right away (definitely a God thing). However, while Jonathan’s pregnancy had come when we weren’t “planning it”, getting pregnant again seemed to be the opposite! I kept taking pregnancy tests which came back negative, and got quite upset with God – I hadn’t been ok with a baby when He gave us Jonathan, and now I wanted a baby and He wasn’t giving me one?? Yup, I had lots to learn about who was in control.
Finally, we got a positive pregnancy test! And then when I went in for the ultrasound to see how far along the pregnancy was, we were in for a surprise – apparently two pregnancy tests had given me false negatives, and I had actually been pregnant the whole time! The pregnancy was a lot easier than Jonathan’s had been, and uneventful. Eliana went past her due date, and on the first appointment with the midwife after the due date, gave me quite the shock – she had FLIPPED breech (apparently a few days earlier, when I had falsely thought labor was starting). We tried all the torsion techniques but to no avail. The midwife had no choice but to send me to an OB doctor, but they sent me to one who was married to a midwife and was far more open to non-traditional birthing. I went home from that appointment and sobbed for an hour. I ABSOLUTELY did NOT want to have a C-section! After wrestling with God and talking with Nathan, I finally decided that I would submit to the decision of the OB. I had an ultrasound to check on the fluid level and it confirmed that she was large, overdue, definitely breech, and “low” on fluid. The OB doctor, while being sympathetic, said that even in the days when he was routinely delivering vaginal breech births, he would have advised a C-section for us because of her being overdue and large. He sent us home to await a C-section appointment. However, the appointment didn’t come, and my water broke naturally in the night several days later (about a week and a half after her due date). We left Jonathan with Nathan’s dad, and then his mom came with us to the hospital. The doctor on duty said that he would do the surgery after he had a nap, since he’d been up and working some ridiculous amount of hours …. we had no objections to that!! And labor hadn’t really started yet anyways. They prepped me for the surgery and the only eventful aspect of that was that they inserted the catheter before I had the epidural – and that was incredibly painful! Um…I’ve since heard that shouldn’t really happen. Ah well.
The C-section was not something I had prepared for, so I was kind of shocked to find myself strapped down in a cross position. I kept asking the anesthesiologist what was happening because I felt so helpless and out of control of anything that was happening to me. Nathan says he will never forget the smell of my flesh being cauterised. I was surprised that I could feel them tugging things around in there but am grateful I felt no pain! But apparently all went uneventfully for a C-section, and I was able to hold my little girl in my arms.
After the birth it got a little more eventful. Eliana was “snuffly” so the nurse took her the next day to the nursery to check her out…and never came back with her. I asked after a while, only to be told that she had been taken to the NICU! Say what?!? The nurse offered to wheel me over there but she didn’t appear again so I got myself out of bed and half-walked, half-crawled down the several halls to the NICU (I could have pestered them for a wheelchair but my baby was GONE and apparently I was not exactly thinking clearly). Once there she seemed fine, and they said that they just wanted to observe her to see if her nasal passages were too narrow. That night and the next day I made several more trips to feed and hold her. I became firmly convinced that recovering from a C-section is an awful, horrible, terrible thing compared to walking after a vaginal birth. But a nose specialist finally saw her and said that she was fine, and that we could leave the hospital. Phew! She was a lot more snuffly as a baby so for the first 6 months she got heartily sick of having her nose suctioned and she slept next to the bed, in her car seat because that kept her head at a better angle for breathing.
From the timing of Eliana’s conception to the way she was born, everything was out of my control…and I learned a lot of my need for control and the God who really is IN control. 🙂