Our sweet little Eloise arrived on December 9th, just past midnight.
I'd gone into the hospital a few days before after a few hours of what felt like very real labor. Because the hospital has implemented a strict policy not to do anything to help labor progress before 39 weeks, they sent me home, even though I was 4cm with regular contractions. I was 38 weeks and 4 days and so annoyed. Prodromal labor is real, you guys, except apparently not real enough to produce a baby.
My doctor told me to come back in the day before I hit 39 weeks for my regular check and promised she'd get the party started if things didn't happen before then. Like clockwork, labor started every night at midnight, and quit just as abruptly at 3am. It was a little bit like torture, not knowing if the baby was actually coming or not. I kept saying I didn't care if it wasn't time, but I definitely didn't want to have a baby at home, surrounded by five children. I might be laid back, but not that much.
We went in the following Tuesday and my doctor kept her word. She admitted me, I was almost 6cm and still feeling fine, got an epidural, she broke my water, and slowly but surely, things moved along. My parents came and chatted with us for awhile, Nick and I talked and napped and continued to debate what we'd name the baby, boy or girl. I unashamedly pointed out many times that I was carrying yet another baby and laboring for days, so maybe I should get the final say? Thankfully, I'm married to a pretty awesome man who was more than obliging.
And then at 11:45, in the middle of Jimmy Fallon, my doctor told me it was time. (I love epidurals with all my heart.) Ten minutes of pushing, and our girl was born. Eloise Glenda (for my grandma), and just half an ounce shy of nine pounds. A few nurses remarked that she must have been well fed in the womb (insert side eye emoji) and marveled at her many chins. She was perfect.
36 hours of blissful quiet in the hospital, taking in my new little love. Breathing her in, dozing with her in my arms, in awe of another perfect gift that we'd been given.
Miss Eloise, you are loved. And with this many brothers and sisters, I'm sure you're in for a wild ride. But each of us cherishes you in every way, and we could not be more grateful for the sweet blessing you are in our lives.