Hope you are doing well! It will be almost been a month since we had our little babe Ella Dawn. Today I am finally sharing Ella’s birth story. It’s still crazy to look back and think all of what happened actually happened. It almost feels surreal to think I almost lost my life at one point. Ella’s birth story was nothing I expected, but it changed my life in so many ways. It has made me stronger in my faith and helped me appreciate the little things more. Read more of Ella’s birth story below.
It all started Thursday May 26th. It was Jayden’s last day of school and I was had my 37 week appointment with my doctor that day. My doctor told me she had found protein in my urine and if my blood pressure was past 140 to call Labor and delivery because I might have preeclampsia. At my appointment and all my previous appointments my blood pressure was normal so this was the first time she had mentioned it. But I was swollen so that could have been another symptom of preeclampsia too.
After our doctor appointment we bought a blood pressure checker so we could monitor my blood pressure at home. Luckily we did because later that night we would check it and it was over 150! I knew something was off because I was more lethargic than normal and I wasn’t very hungry. I didn’t feel like my normal self. We called the hospital and they told us to come in that night. My mom came to pick up Jayden to stay the night at my parents house since it was late.
At the hospital they did a blood test, urine test, and checked my blood pressure and all came positive for preeclampsia. The on call doctor said we would have to be induced and have our baby ASAP as that would be the only cure for preeclampsia. If left untreated could be fatal for the mom and baby. So midnight Thursday night we were admitted to labor and delivery where they started me on twelve hours of the first of my labor inducing treatment.
This photo was taken Friday morning before starting Pitocin, getting my epidural, and having my water broken. The inducing process was easy and much more relaxed than my first labor experienced. We had a game plan, our room was very nice, and the nurses were very kind and accommodating. I didn’t feel rushed so I felt like we could enjoy the process more.
The only thing that worried me was that my doctor who I was seeing and delivered Jayden would not be on call to deliver our baby girl. This was the only downside with being part of a bigger hospital group was the inflexibility for OBGYN’s to deliver their own patients. I had heard too many horror stories of births gone wrong because the doctor who delivered was not the original doctor and had no prior relationship with the patient. A horror story that I would soon live through that night…
It was early Saturday morning I would deliver my baby girl at 3:16 AM. The labor process had been easy. I had been with wonderful nurses through the whole process. I had only met the on call delivery doctor once prior to delivering to adjust the position of Ella’s head during the labor process. I was in the final pushes when the doctor returned, and I remember it was the hardest five minutes of pushing of my life. I could actually feel it this time around and I almost thought I would quit during the worse of it. But then Josh told me he could see her head, and that gave me the last momentum to push her out. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Ella was born perfectly healthy. I did not have any tears nor require any stitches. But it went downhill from there. After the delivery everything happened so quickly. I remember, not even moments after her birth, the delivery doctor cutting her umbilical cord and tearing the placenta out of me. It was a different experience from my original doctor who delivered Jayden. She allowed me to have skin on skin with Jayden while he was still attached to my placenta, and I was able to deliver my placenta naturally.
After taking out my placenta my body kept on bleeding and I was gushing out huge blood clots. Josh said it looked like a murder scene. My body had not stopped laboring so when she removed the placenta it was continuing to bleed. This photo below was the last photo my husband took of me holding Ella before they had to wheel me to the OR to stop the bleeding.
Josh said it was the longest four hours of his life. He was all alone with Ella not knowing what had happened to me. Apparently I had lost so much blood that I had to have a blood transfusion. They also had to preform a D&C but realized that didn’t stop the bleeding. There was no tears, nothing wrong with my uterus physically other than the fact that wouldn’t stop bleeding. The only solution that worked was blowing up a balloon in my uterus to stop the bleeding.
After the OR they wheeled me to ICU for recovery. I woke up to feeling myself uncontrollably defecating on the hospital bed because of the medication they gave. My poor husband was by my side with tears in his eyes from worry and fear of losing me. For two nights I stayed in the ICU while they monitored to make sure I did not have any internal bleeding. I had to have the balloon in me for almost two days to make sure it stopped the bleeding before they removed it. If it didn’t work I would have to go into surgery again, and or possibly get a hysterectomy which would mean I wouldn’t be able to have another baby. But thankfully that was not the case.
During my time in the ICU, my mom, mother in law, and grandmother in law came to take shifts to stay with Ella in labor and delivery since Josh wouldn’t leave my side. I only got to see Ella a couple times during my stay when they would roll her down so I could breast feed her. It wasn’t until Monday when they discharged me from the ICU that I got to spend my first full day and night with her.
I don’t know what I would have done without our family being there to help us. It made us thankful that we decided to stay close versus build a house an hour away from our family. I don’t think I ever want to be far away from my family again. They did so much for us. Brought us meals, made sure Ella had all the love and attention she could get while her parents were in the ICU. God showed us how truly important family is during one of the toughest times of our life.
During this whole crazy ordeal also made me appreciate my husband so much more. He really stepped it up. Since I was bed ridden I couldn’t get up to take care of Ella. Josh did it all. The late night feedings, diaper changes, and helped me when I needed to breast feed her. He made sure I had everything I needed, and waited on me hand and foot while taking care of our little girl. God truly blessed me with the best husband. I honestly don’t know what I would do without him.
Monday, several hours after taking this picture and thinking we would be going home we were told I would need to stay two more days, where I would be administered a twenty four hour magnesium treatment in order to prevent me from having a brain seizure from high blood pressure due to my Preeclampsia turning into severe preeclampsia. It was so hard for me to comprehend that I just almost died once from severe blood loss, but I could also die from having a stroke.
Above is a photo of me on my magnesium treatment. Out of all the days I was at the hospital, this was the worse. I thought my face was on fire, and I felt like I had a severe case of the flu which were all normal symptoms of my magnesium treatment. Luckily I had these cooling cat face sheet mask in my toiletry bag because it gave me temporary relief from my face feeling like it was burning.
It was hard for me to mentally cope with the fact that I was purposely making myself feel like sick in order to prevent myself from having a seizure. At one point I had a panic attack because I couldn’t sleep, and my nose was so stuffed I couldn’t breath. I felt like the room was closing in on me, and I thought would never leave the hospital. I thought if I fell asleep I wouldn’t wake up and wouldn’t get to see Jayden again. Josh had to comfort me and I eventually fell asleep after the nurses gave me Benadryl. I never prayed so hard in my life that I could make it out of the hospital and finally get home to be with all my babies. That day truly tested my faith.
During my whole time at the hospital and for two months before Ella’s birth I listened to Christian Hypnobirthing App. It helped me focus on my faith over fear and gave me strength when I needed it the most. I would 100% recommend it. It helped me get through one of the most scary times of my life.
Below is Josh massaging my feet while I was bed ridden and in the worse state of my life. Nothing test your love and makes it grow stronger than having a husband who is there and won’t leave your side when you are at your worse.
So glad I brought my Boppy pillow, and my favorite $5 plush doggy blanket I got in Montana when we visited Yellowstone last year. It made my six day hospital stay more comfortable. Those hospital beds are not very comfortable especially when you are attached to so many wires and an IV! Below are my other hospital essentials which I would highly recommend bringing:
What’s in My Hospital Bag As A Second Time Mom
This Mama robe and breast feeding friendly gown was so much more comfortable to be in than my hospital gown the last couple days I was in the hospital. I also brought this cute night shirt which I ended up using when I had to extend my stay at the hospital. I would definitely recommend bringing extra clothing just in case you end up staying longer. There was nothing more refreshing than being able to take a shower and change into nice comfortable clothing after giving birth.
I had to share this photo of this door ornament my mom made for Ella because of the story behind it. During my stay there were two other women who gave birth to girls who stayed next to me. They already had names picked out so they had these cute custom name decor for their doors. My mom thought the hospital made them for the patients, and because I didn’t have a name picked out for Ella I didn’t have one on my door. So while she was staying with Ella in our room in the maternity ward while I was in the ICU, she would constantly text me name ideas for Ella and tell me I needed to pick out a name so I could get a cute name tag for our room. Finally when I was transferred back to the maternity ward, I asked the nurses if they made those cute name decor for the doors. They clarified they didn’t and the patient’s brought it themselves. I didn’t know that was a thing, but apparently it is now days. So when my mom found out she went straight to Hobby Lobby and made us one for our door. How cute did it turn out? My mom always goes out her way to make things extra special.
You can read more about the meaning behind Ella’s name and our special contribution to my mom:
Introducing Ella Dawn Darnell
The happiest day of my life, finally getting out of the hospital and going home to be with both my babies. I missed Jayden the most during my six days at the hospital. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about the possibility of never seeing him again. I still look back and remember praying so hard to just get through the day so I could be reunited with my son. It was the longest six days of my life being away from him. I thank God everyday for answering my prayers and keeping alive so I could come home to my babies. They are my everything.
Jayden meeting and holding his little sister for the first time. He said that was the best day of his life for his family to be home. I will never forget his little face and excitement. This is a moment I will cherish forever.
Can you believe at three weeks early Ella was as big as Jayden who came almost a week late? Imagine how big she would be if she came out full term? She definitely takes after her daddy in appearance and size! I’m so glad she came out when she did. Plus that was three extra weeks we got to spend with her, and we have soaked up every moment of it!
They say nothing is stronger than a mom, and that’s the truth! Birth is a beautiful thing but it also can be scary. Preeclampsia is no joke, and it can happen to anyone at anytime. I was one of the luckier ones who was able to catch it early. Thankful for the doctors and nurses who took care of me.
Ella’s birth story was one of the happiest and scariest days of my life. That experience has made me appreciate my time at home with my babies so much more. I look back and can’t help but just be thankful for my family, for all that God has given me. It was truly an experience that has strengthened my faith and made me stronger.
For more check out Jayden’s birth story below!
Jayden’s Birth Story
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