Oct 15, 2009

It's a girl...Isabella Marie

FINALLY...here are the details of how our newest little Caven family member was born and how life with 3 kids is going so far. Warning: this is probably one of the world's longest posts. :) If you don't like hearing birth stories, just skip the words and look at the pictures of our new baby girl. (you can click on any of the pictures to view them bigger)

Friday, September 18th - I was starting to really feel like the baby would be born soon! So I finished up some things at work and ran some last minute errands. I called my mom and she decided to get ready to come down Saturday morning.

Saturday, September 19th - Nothing! My mom came and even though I was still having some contractions, it didn't seem they were doing anything. Everything at home was pretty much done so we just waited...and waited.

Sunday, September 20th - Still not much was happening. It was starting to feel like it could be another week. But we took a couple last pictures of our family of 4 just in case something would happen that night...good thing we did.

Michael and I tried to get to bed early still thinking something could happen at any time. There was a really long football game on that night but we dozed on and off as we watched it. I had just dozed off around 10:30 when I woke suddenly as my water broke!
We scurried to get everything together and tell my mom we were leaving. Keep in mind that Emerald arrived within 45 minutes of my water breaking! Thankfully my mom was there so we didn't have to call anyone and wait for them to come over to take care of the other kids...and off we went to the hospital.

Sunday 11pm - we checked into the hospital and did all the paperwork s-l-o-w-l-y! They didn't seem to be in any hurry and my contractions weren't really picking up so it was fine.

Monday, September 21st 12:30am - started the IV and antibiotics for GBS. They needed to give me 2 bags of antibiotics 4 hours apart. (the labor was so long though, that I actually ended up getting 4 doses in)

4:30am - got last 'required' dose of antibiotics. My contractions weren't progressing but we decided to wait and see if the contractions would get stronger on their own and let me try to sleep until morning.

I couldn't sleep...and neither could Michael.

What made it even worse is that the woman in the room next to me started screaming right before her baby was born. I was doing ok before that point, but then reality hit me and my thoughts were, 'I can't do this. Maybe we can just go home now.'

7:30am - The midwife that delivered both of the other kids came in. She was going off call (after a tiring weekend delivering 7 babies!) but helped me plan out the day first. It looked like it would be a long time before I would actually deliver. She helped me realize that I've already experienced 'natural' (read: painful) childbirth and if I didn't want to feel every pain, there's nothing wrong with that. I was convinced that I didn't want an epidural before that, but since I was going to be needing pitocin...I decided to get the epidural and let them crank up the pit until it worked.

So we started the pitocin...and ordered the epidural.

10am - Got the epidural. It was definitely better than last time (when it took a jerky doctor 5 sticks in my back to get it in while he was telling awful stories)...but it hurts more when you aren't having painful contractions to keep your mind off of it. I wasn't in any pain...it was weird. But it still took 2 tries to get the epidural in - and even then it was WAY more effective on my left side and I still could feel my right.

2pm - After a long morning of not being able to rest, and having a completely dead left leg...I was only at a 4! My contractions got to 1 minute apart (meaning there were only a few seconds in between them since each one lasted about 50 seconds) so they backed the pit down to get them to 2 minutes apart.

These pictures are just of the entrance to the maternity center, the lovely IV that I HATE and something that cracked me up every time I saw it. There were 2 soap dispensers in my room next to the sinks. They both had a sticker on them that said 'Push 1 Time'. How inspirational to have that inside a birthing room. (hopefully you're sensing the sarcasm here!) You can click on the picture below to make it bigger and see the sticker.

4:30pm - Sometime around 4 I was still only at a 5. Michael went to go get something to eat and shortly after he left I felt like the contractions were very different. Sure enough - in about 30 minutes I had gone from a 5 to 10 and was ready to FINALLY have a baby!
So I quickly called Michael and asked him to come back while the room was a-flutter with activity getting ready.

5:02pm - After 30ish minutes of pushing (it took forever because my contractions had slowed to 5 minutes apart!) our little girl was born! I wasn't shocked that it was a girl because I thought it had been all along. But I still had hoped for a boy, so it took me a little while to get used to calling the baby 'she' and 'her'.
Here is our little baby just a few minutes old. She weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.

And more of her within the first couple of hours. Here she is with daddy, getting her footprints taken, and in her first bath.

7pm - The first thing I wanted to do after she was finally born and I was all stitched up...was eat something! I hadn't eaten since a light dinner more than 24 hours before! And I was exhausted from the lack of sleep. (I'm not 20 anymore and all-nighters are not as easy as they used to be.) I think when Emerald was born I was going on adrenaline because it was so fast. I had plenty of adrenaline to keep me going when my water broke, but 18 hours later, that had long since faded.

But my parents and the kids came to see their new sister who still did not have a name at this point...yes, we're slow!
Here is our first family picture with 5 of us, Elliott's first time holding his sister, and just hanging out in the hospital room with the new presents the 'tiny baby' gave to the kids.

10pm - Everyone (including Michael) had left and I took some strong medicine and slept. I think the two nights in the hospital were some of the best sleep I've had in a long time. Call me crazy but I LOVE the hospital stay. I let the baby sleep in the nursery and they brought her to me when she was hungry. Other than that, I had no one else to take care of - pretty nice for 2 whole days.

Tuesday - here are some pictures of my parents, Michael, and me all with our new bundle the day after she was born.

Here is our version of a 'before' and 'after' photo. Michael took this through a mirror in our room.

The name FIASCO: We finally named her on Tuesday. We hadn't both liked any girls names other than Isabella - and we weren't crazy about that name either - it was just the best we had come up with. Isabella means 'God is my vow' and we liked the nickname possibilities like Bella, Belle, or Isa (pronounced eesa). We didn't have a middle name that went with it though. So we spent all morning on Tuesday looking up names and trying them out. We finally HAD to make a decision so we could tell our family her name and so we landed on Marie for no particular reason other than it sounded ok with Isabella.
Little did we know...that Isabella is one of the most popular names! We never would have named her that if we had known. And we were REALLY questioning the name when we got home from the hospital and people started calling her 'Izzy'. It turns out 'Izzy' is the nickname for the Grey's Anatomy character named Isabella (or Isabel - we don't watch it so I don't know) and that Isabella Marie is the main character's name in the Twilight book series. YIKES! If we would have had an alternate name...we would have changed it. But there was nothing else we liked so Isabella it is. I call her Isa (eesa) for the most part. I still think it's a pretty name for a pretty girl and am trying to move beyond the fiasco! :)

Wednesday - Our last day in the hospital I tried to focus on getting some pictures of little Isa.

2pm - I had just finished lunch and was getting ready to feed Isabella and pack up to leave the hospital...when a horrifying thing happened! I picked Isa up and she suddenly threw her head back, turned purple, and stopped breathing! I am usually very level-headed in crazy situations like that - but I didn't know what to do. I thought she was having a seizure or something and I ran with her into the hallway to find a nurse...but NONE were out in the hall! I went back in the room to look for a code button to push but couldn't find it. After a good 2 minutes I finally got a nurse's attention right as Isa started crying. It was SO scary! I was told it was very 'normal' for newborns - but I have never seen anything like it with my other kids. The nurses told me to just keep her bulb syringe close and use it in her throat if she did it again. (thankfully it has NOT happened again!)

Once I calmed down, Michael came with Elliott to pick us up so we all could go home. Elliott was so cute with Isabella and just played in the room for a while.

Then we left!

At home - here are the kids at home. It's hard to believe that the 'I'm the Big Sister' shirt Emma is wearing in one of these pictures is the same one that started this blog when we announced we were expecting!
Emma LOVES her sister...loves to kiss her and pat her on the head. At first she would pat Isa and say 'arf' like a dog (her favorite thing right now). It was SO funny! Elliott just likes to try to hold her, but for the most part leaves her alone.

Elliott and Emerald are quite the buddies now...more like 'partners in crime.' :) Elliott has taught Emma how to do somersaults over the couch, and is very good at getting her in trouble now. But it's fun when they crawl in our bed to watch a cartoon or play nicely together. It will be fun over time to see what Isa's personality is and how she'll fit in with this duo.

Here are some of the visitors and family that came to our house or to the hospital.

It was great to have some family come to the rescue the week after Isa was born. I got mastitis and woke up one day with a 104 degree temperature! It completely wiped me out for a couple days. Thankfully Isabella takes a bottle well so other people can help with her. (This is my first baby to take a bottle...so I'm learning about how to use them too!) I have wanted to take lots more pictures of Isa but our photo shoot opportunities have been limited until now because I was sick and we had so much going on. But here are a few pictures I've been able to capture of our precious little Isabella.

This is just a joke...but sometimes newborns look a little 'alien-ish.' :) Really...I just wanted an excuse to play with more photoshop tools.

One last picture. We were amazed at how similar Elliott and Emerald looked after seeing their pictures side by side for the first time. (these are the pictures taken by the hospital picture people) The photographer that comes to the hospital does things differently now so we couldn't simulate the picture exactly...but I think you'll see that Isabella will fit right in with her siblings. To me, she looks more like Elliott than Emerald, but you can decide for yourself. Her eyes are dark blue right now - we're guessing they'll stay blue but probably not be as light as Emma's. I think she'll have the dark skin like Elliott and have thicker hair than either of them...time will tell.
Left to right is Emerald, Elliott, and Isabella.


  1. Glad you put in all the details...what a long day, but definitely worth it. Great pictures too. You do a great job capturing the everyday moments in such a creative way. What a gift.

  2. She's beautiful! Love all the pictures!!

  3. lots of comments for your super-long post :)
    -yay for a bottle-taker!
    -quinn did that choking, not-breathing thing a lot. it's horrible and so scary.
    -isa's so beautiful and, it does seem like she looks like elliott.
    -i can't believe how OLD emerald looks! she looks adorable. i love the picture of them in bed.
    -how is it with three? do you think you'll go for round 4?
    -we really need to come visit. FIVE kids between us now! yikes!


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