Wallis Eleanor Lynn. Born Christmas evening, 2015.
Yes she is here at last and she is magnificent! It might have taken a full 41 weeks and 3 days of laboring to get her here but she’s finally here! Our hearts are filled up with love for her and our necks hurt desperately from staring at her.
A bit about her name :
WALLIS is not a family name but one Andrew and I fell in love with many years ago. We like old names and had a list of them but we wanted our daughter’s name to feel strong, capable and brave. Wallis feels that way to us. We knew it was a bit different and one that our families would have to get use to – but we sat with it for a couple of years and still loved it once we found out she was coming…so we knew it was for keeps.
We like to think of her years from now and what that name might do and leave behind as it moves forward in this life and that is what kept us holding on to it well before we even met her…we knew she would be a Wallis and a Wallis would never be the same.
ELEANOR is after my grandmother. I had a very special relationship with my grandmother, being the youngest grand-daughter to her youngest daughter it was the kind of relationship that I have felt deeply in my bones from the moment I can remember it. A relationship that I shared with and through my own mother and one that shaped so much of what I think about now. I miss her and wonder often what she’d think of me now and how much I wish I could share with her.
LYNN is after my mother. My mother has been the greatest female relationship I have ever known…I can’t imagine anything more powerful in a girl’s life than a positive female holding her as she grows.
A bit about her birth :
It’s totally fine if you skip over this part – I know birth stories are a bit much but I really wanted to remember everything and I can already feel like I am forgetting. Wallis is a week old today and that felt like the perfect time to get some memories down before they blur with the rest of those 41 weeks. Don’t expect some poetic masterpiece below…I haven’t slept in over a week and am using my last bit of brain power to make these sentences.
As I’ve shared before I didn’t have the easiest experience being pregnant…I am sure that is common for a lot of women with the first and maybe even there after…but I had hoped labor would be different. It wasn’t. It was the hardest most painful thing I have ever had to do that had a lovely outcome. That was something I kept telling myself over those 3 days…that this pain was going to have the most beautiful outcome…not like the pain of losing a loved one where your heart never heals…this pain was only good and healing.
I didn’t have Braxton Hicks contractions or at least not noticeable enough for me to understand what contractions would actually feel like. So on Wednesday December 23 when my contractions started it took me a bit to realize what was even happening. It wasn’t until 9 pm at night that I knew I was most certainly having them and we needed to prepare to go.
We live over an hour away from our hospital but since this was my first, we decided to stick with the 5-1-1 rule, contractions coming every 5 minutes for 1 minute for 1 hour. That started happening around 3 am and they were intense contractions, so having to ride in a car over an hour with them was bad because I couldn’t move through them like I was moving at home. I was convinced I was having that baby that evening and just needed to get to the hospital.
By the time we arrived my contractions were at 3-1-1 and they set me up to see how dilated I was. I couldn’t help but feel so excited even though I was starting to really writhe in pain. The nurse came back and checked me and then promptly said…you’re only 1 cm dilated. Why don’t you go walk for an hour and come back. I was really upset but decided okay, let’s walk some more…something I had been doing the whole pregnancy but much more intensely since hitting 41 weeks and no baby.
I thought they must know that things will start moving now…so we walked. I came back to get checked and no changes. They told me I was going to have to go home and I started to panic. I didn’t want to go home in this pain and we lived an hour away…please let me walk some more I begged! They agreed but said it was unlikely anything would change. I walked for another hour the entire time having to stop around corners or anywhere I could to get through each contraction and praying that this would move me to at least 2 cm and I could stay at the hospital.
The doctor came in the second time they checked me to let me know there had been no changes and I was unfortunately going to have to go home. He asked what my pain was like and when I told him, he made me feel like a moron by letting me know he doubted it was on that level. I told him fiercely, you had me look at a pain scale of smiley faces and to pick one. I did. He quickly started to try to act kinder saying, well I know you haven’t done this before so what do you have it to compare to? I wanted to kick him really hard in his soft places and ask him to choose a smiley face that resembled the pain he was having. He was a jerk and I prayed I didn’t end up having him as my doctor for the birth.
I was too devastated to go home and fearful since my contractions were coming faster and more intense. We decided to get a hotel room right by the hospital and labor there. By this point I had already been dealing with contractions for 11 hours but I thought surely this would end soon. We stayed at the hotel and just went through each contractions. They were coming every 2-1-1 at that point but I was too frustrated at the idea of going back to the hospital to be sent away again…so we stayed and I worked through each one unable to eat or sleep and just walked around that small hotel room, bounced on my birthing ball, took 8 showers for another 15 hours. Finally when I just couldn’t take it any longer I said we’re going and there better be progress because I am not leaving this time!
We got to the hospital and got all set up again to be checked. This time I was 3 cm and they were admitting me! I was so thrilled and was certain that it was going to move quickly now! I got all setup in a room and started to feel relief at least to be in the hospital but the contractions were fierce and fast and I was so ready to be done. I had no idea I would still be laboring 19 hours later.
I don’t remember a lot of it because of the pain and just moving through each painful contraction but I remember the moment the nurse checked me and said after all of that, I was only at 6 cm and my cervix was swollen which didn’t look good and would probably end up in a c-section if things didn’t progress fast. I was also running a temperature and everything started to get really serious really fast. The doctor (who I did like and was female) said to put me on Pitocin ASAP to get those contractions more powerful. That was so disappointing and scary! I was really fearful of PIT because I had done a lot of research about it and really didn’t want to have it but there was no choice…they were talking about a c-section at that point and I wanted that even less.
They kicked the Pitocin on and boy did I think I was going to die. Those contractions were insane but I was also already soooooo desperately exhausted from the whole laboring process that they probably even seemed worse at that point. The nurse also grabbed this ball to put between my legs and said that it had worked for so many women and it was going to work for me! At this point my parents were there and my husband and everyone was praying and rooting me on! I had lost all confidence that I wasn’t going to end up in surgery and just felt too exhausted to keep trying but there wasn’t a choice…I had to.
An hour later they came back and I had moved from 6 cm to 9 cm and the nurses were all rejoicing! My doctor started to get set up because it was go time – my temperature was rising not falling and that was not good for the baby. The nurse said something to her about my temperature and a c-section and my doctor said, that’s not going to happen she’s having this baby now! It was seriously quite dramatic in there but I was so consumed by the contractions that it was just a lot of words and blurred figures at that point.
I was also really scared. I was scared for the baby the most and I think that’s what got me really moving. They all yelled and yelled including Andrew for me to push and I pushed and pushed as hard as I could feeling like I was getting nowhere. By the last of it I said, I can’t do it anymore I can’t. They all told me I could and yelled at me some more to keep pushing and in 45 minutes I practically shot our sweet Wallis across the room. I realize that is not the way one would like to imagine it but if you felt the urgency in the room then you’d understand how it really felt like that. It was the most insane intense feeling but then everyone was crying and this gorgeous girl was laying on my chest and I was in shock just kissing her over and over and over again.
They quickly checked our temperatures and we were both burning at over 102 and said if we didn’t come down, Wallis would have to be taken away for 48 hours and placed in the NICU. I could visit they said and again, I felt devastated. I told them that I knew it would come down, that she was like me and we burned hot when exhausted. They didn’t think it would but after 15 minutes we both had cooled enough to get to stay together and I was overjoyed!
From there we rested in the hospital for two nights and then were on our way…and this is where I have run out of words. The entire experience was all-consuming so emotional and life altering that I don’t even know how to place it. It was the greatest moment of my life and hasn’t stopped since I looked at her face. For Andrew too…we are so in love and even though I had the worst laboring experience I would do it again and again and again just to have this experience in life – to be a parent. Nothing has mattered since and nothing will ever matter as much – Wallis has made life what it was always supposed to be and I am forever humbled by the power of God for bringing her to us.