Baby, baby!

First off, thank you for visiting this page! Baby Ellie is definitely our miracle baby — and we’re so excited that she already has this huge network of friends and family members who love her!

Some folks have asked if we have a Baby Registry. Yes, we do! Now, to preface: Our registry is with Target and they have royally screwed their website — so it may be a tad temperamental.

Target

That being said, this amazing store named BabyEarth has most of these items at a much better price — so, feel free to shop around!

Want to mail something to us directly?

Beth and Ryan
Re: Baby Ellie
13230 Kerrville Folkway
Austin, TX 78729

Want to send Baby Ellie a message? Send messages, photos, videos, short stories to the below email address! Baby Ellie will read them as soon as she can, well, read. :D

elliejocelyn@gmail.com

We’ve been asked for some Baby Ellie stats and information, so here goes:

Name:
Elizabeth Jocelyn Nelson-Campbell
Another Elizabeth?:
Elizabeth is a family name. I am the 8th Elizabeth; Ellie will be the 9th Elizabeth in a long line of strong, proud women. The name is typically given to the first born daughter, although that isn’t always the case.
Jocelyn?:
It’s a name I fell in love with after reading a book, Kushiel’s Dart. The leading male character is named Joscelin.
Nelson-Campbell?:
Since I (Beth) didn’t take Ryan’s last name after we married, we feel it is best to hyphenate our last names for Baby.
Due Date:
If all things are “normal”, December 5th, 2011. Since we’re having some Mama-related health concerns, we have scheduled induction for December 2, 2011.
Birth Date:
She came early! November 25, 2011.
Baby Shower?:
I am not involved in that at all — you’ll need to ask Brenda or Ryan. I know it is on October 29th, though.
Hometown:
We’re guessing Austin, although I’d do anything to “accidentally” be in New York when I give birth.
Sex:
Erm, girl. Thought that was obvious by now.
Pink?:
Eh, well. That’s an interesting question. Ryan and I believe in gender neutrality. We do not feel that pink is the proper color for girls, blue for boys. We really want Ellie to be able to choose her own gender identity. That being said, she’ll wear some pink. But — she will also wear some baby blue! She’ll have dolls and cars. She’ll love teddy bears with ballet slippers and ferocious lions! We don’t feel that it would be right to decide her gender identity for her at birth. We believe that is a journey she will have to take as she gets older.
Conception?:
Uhm, really? Well, let’s turn this into a not-as-gross question. Ryan and I got pregnant shortly after our wedding on February 12, 2011. Likely right on or after our honeymoon. We were extremely surprised to find out we were pregnant, since numerous doctors and specialists told us we would not be able to have a baby (or, more specifically, carry a baby beyond the first trimester). Baby Ellie is what they are calling, “Our Miracle Baby”. She is healthy and has no issues of concern, as of yet.
Planned?:
Since we were told we couldn’t have a baby, obviously not. Our typical response, though, is: Not planned, but not prevented, either.
When Did You Know?:
4 weeks in — I knew something was wrong. I gained a crazy amount of weight — out of nowhere and was feeling strange. Since I have lupus, I’ve grown very aware of my body and how it is functioning. I knew something was “up”.
When Did You Know For Sure?:
We took a pregnancy test at week 5 (tested positive) and had it confirmed by our Ob-Gyn at week 7 via sonogram.
Eye Color:
Ryan has green eyes. I have brown eyes. So, you decide?
Update: She has these grey-blue eyes right now. (11.29.2011)?
Hair Color:
We’re guessing brown, but if the baby has blonde hair — we wouldn’t be surprised.
Update: She was born with a full head of black hair.
Height:
15″ (9.28)
16.5″ (10.10)
19″ (11.21)
At birth: 19″ (11.25)
20″ (12.09)
22″ (12.27)
22.5″ (1.25)
24″ (3.26)
Weight:
3lb 8oz. (9.28)
4lb 12 oz. (10.10)
6lb 6oz. (11.21)
At birth: 8lb 4oz. (11.25)
At hospital: 7lb 7oz. (11.27)
At first doctor’s appointment: 7lb 5oz (11.28)
7lb 11.5oz (12.09)
7lb 12.5oz (12.19)
8lb 2.5oz (12.27)
8lb 6.5oz (1.06)
9lb 1.5oz (1.25)
9lb 6.5oz — with clothing on (2.03)
11lb 4.5oz (3.26)
Diaper Sizes:
Size 1 at birth
Newborn (11.28)
Size 1 (1.12)
Size 2 (3.23)
Mom’s Weight:
Mom has gained well over 60 pounds. Yes, I’m hitting the gym as soon as Baby is born!
Over 60lbs?:
I know — it sounds like another person has been added to me — and it looks and feels like that, too. Doctor said this is fine for my body and specific needs (re: lupus). Apparently, I am a water silo…or a camel. The doctor said around 10-15lbs is Baby-related “stuff”, and over 25lbs — WATER WEIGHT. And yes, you can tell! I’m kind of…squishy. And I pee a lot.
Best Physical Feature:
As of right now, she has the cutest nose!
Ellie’s Theme:
Her nursery will be pirate jungle themed — we want to fill it with relics from a pirate ship that has taken port near a random jungle. :D Her primary colors will be red, black and white.
UPDATE: We’ve posted pictures via Facebook. Check them out!
Her Color Scheme
I just answered this! Red, black and white.
Languages:
She will primarily speak English, but we will work in some phrases from other languages, as she develops.
First Book:
Her first book will be The Hobbit. This will be read to her prior to being born. :D
Favorite Food:
In the womb: Watermelon. Follow closely by toast.
Favorite Drink:
Water with lemon. :D I have been craving iced tea, but really should keep the caffeine to a minimum.
Most Missed Food:
Sushi, medium-rare ribeye.
First Kick:
16 weeks. She is an over-achiever!
First Time Dad Felt Baby Kick:
June 28th
First Time We SAW Kick:
On September 25th — during our plane ride home from our Alaskan vacation.
Baby Dropped?:
On September 28th, we noticed my belly was much lower than before. Baby officially dropped in preparation for labor. I also started being able to breathe a little easier. That being said, I had a new batch of complications and discomfort. More kicking, more nausea, more back pain, more pelvic pain, more peeing.
Morning Sickness:
All the damn time. Morning, noon, night, midnight.
Favorite Game:
Baby seems to like the “tapping” game. She kicks me, so I tap her where she kicked. She kicks me somewhere else, so I tap again. She gets very excited about it!
First Baby Belly Photo:
Yukon Suspension Bridge, Canada. Baby Ellie really liked our Alaskan cruise.
Maternity Photos?:
We had our Maternity photo shoot with Abby G. on November 11, 2011 in Liberty Hill.
Baby Ellie’s First Photos?:
We have a newborn photo shoot scheduled with Abby G, as well, for when Ellie is a few days old. We will also do a Santa photo, most likely.
Photo shoot is scheduled for December 1st.
First Flight:
Baby took her first in-utero flight on September 17th to Phoenix (heading to Seattle).
First Ambulance Trip:
The day she was born. She was rushed to Dell Children’s Hospital due to delivery complications.
First Walk:
We walked to HEB on November 29, 2011. She slept through most of the trip.
First Trip to the Store:
She went shopping with Mama and Papa on November 29, 2011. She did such a great job!
First Doctor’s Appointment:
Ellie saw her pediatrician on November 28, 2011. She was initially concerned with her jaundice levels, but did some blood work and said everything was A-OK. Ellie was so good when they took her blood, too! The doctor checked her body out — said everything looked good!
First Time Staying Awake Without Crying (for food, overtired, etc.):
December 11, 2011. After feeding from both breasts, Ellie just wasn’t sleepy. She snuggled with Papa and just looked around and “talked”.
First Time Leaving the US:
We were in International Waters during the first part of our cruise to Alaska — and then the Yukon and then we went to port in Prince Rupert before disembarking in Vancouver.
Favorite Show:
She really likes Glee, so far.
First Costume:
We have already acquired her first costume. She will wear it home from the hospital. As of right now, it’s a surprise…but yes, Baby will be a cosplayer from birth.
Update: We dressed her up as a reindeer for her trip home from the hospital!
First Tear:
Ellie was upset because she didn’t want to be in her cradle. She started crying — and produced her very first tear. It really breaks your heart!
First Time Sleeping in Cradle:
December 27th, 2011 — We used the trick my Nanny used with me. She rolled up a blanket and propped me on my side. We did that with Ellie — and she is still sound asleep.
First Time Sleeping in Crib:
February 14th, 2012 — She was having a very grumpy evening, so Papa and Ellie went to sleep in her nursery. He crib calmed her down.
Weirdest Baby Thing?:
When she headbutts AND kicks me. At the same time. Creepy, uncomfortable and, at times, painful.
Worst Thing About Pregnancy?:
Back pain.
Are You Concerned About Ellie Having Lupus?:
The chances are VERY low, so I’m not currently concerned. There are some pregnancy and early life concerns and issues, but we’re dealing with them and, overall, are extremely fortunate and blessed. Baby Ellie is a miracle baby and we will always be thankful that the stars aligned for us.
What kind of diapers?:
We’ve decided on disposable. While there are merits to other kinds of diapers and diaper services, we feel disposable is best for us.
Ob/Gyn:
Dr. Mikaela Rush. We first saw Dr. Rush on April 12, 2011. We knew she was going to be our doctor because she was well-educated, kind and a mother of her own little Baby.
Hospital:
Pediatrician:
Dr. Evelyn Spencer. We picked her on October 5, 2011 once we met with her and learned that she shares our views about the more controversial topics, such as vaccinations and co-sleeping.
Labor Story:
On Thanksgiving, I started having contractions. I thought they were false labor contractions, so I didn’t get too excited about them. Around 8PM, I noticed I was having a moist vaginal discharge. It had this white, small material in it. Again, I figured it was just discharge, so I ignored it. Once we were done with dessert and the UT/A&M football game, I fell asleep. When I woke up, around 1AM, my pants were fairly soaked through. Ryan called our ob/gyn to see if she felt it was my water breaking. I got up to use the restroom and afterward, I stood up, and water started pouring down my legs leaving a huge puddle on the floor. Ryan spoke to a nurse at the hospital, who then spoke to our ob/gyn. They said to come into the hospital right away. Dr. Rush was randomly on shift that night — she missed her Thanksgiving. How lucky! We finished packing our bags, woke up Ryan’s dad to let him know we were heading into the hospital and then were on our merry way. Ryan ran quite a few red lights during this trip, but it was 245AM, so I don’t think anyone noticed.

Once we arrived at the hospital around 3AM, we left our bags in the car and went into the emergency entrance. They asked me a few questions and got a nurse to bring a wheelchair so she could wheel me up to the maternity ward. Once there, they put me in an antepartum room. (A hospital antepartum room is where a doctor places a pregnant woman for observation before active labor begins.) I changed into their hideous gowns and stole some blue gloves in order to keep entertained. While in that room, they checked to see if my water broke — and it took no time for that test to provide us with positive results. They checked my cervix — 2.5 cm. They also went over a LONG list of questions, including my medical history, family medical history, pregnancy history and more! They hooked me up to a machine to monitor my contractions and the baby’s heart rate. They said I was having active contractions, but I didn’t feel anything. Shortly after I answered what seemed like an SAT amount of questions, they moved me into their very posh labor/delivery room.

Once there, they got my IV set up and hooked me up to their monitors that would continue to check on my contractions and the baby’s heart rate. They also hooked me up to the blood pressure machine. I kept getting extremely cold, so they tucked me in and told me to get as comfortable as possible. I still wasn’t feeling my contractions at this time. They also kept commenting about my blood pressure, which was too high. At that point we waited for a long while for my cervix to dilate… It stayed around 2.5cm for a while. Ryan started making the — “we’re having a baby” calls and I posted on FB. Dr. Rush came in to say hello around 5AM and let us know she was off shift at 8AM and would be heading to her Thanksgiving dinner. If I didn’t dilate quickly, another doctor would do the delivering. I was disappointed, but just happy to know Ellie would be with us shortly. Ryan’s friend, McPhee, stopped by to visit around 530AM and chatted with us until they decided to start up a Pitocin drip — and then we figured it was time for him to leave. I was 4cm at that time. I finally started feeling contractions — mildly, at first. They kept coming in and checking on me, but didn’t want to check my cervix as much as they’d like, due to the risk of infection (since my water broke so long ago!). The doctor that would be delivering Ellie also made an appearance around 8AM — Dr. Holly. She seemed nice, so I felt better about Dr. Rush not being there. Ellie was very low and causing a lot of cervical pain. My blood pressure kept rising and they were getting concerned. They asked if I wanted an epidural, but I declined. They checked my cervix again, and we were finally close to 7cm. I talked to Ryan and the nurse. We decided that, although I can handle the pain, it might be best to get the epidural because of my blood pressure, as well as the strain on my cervix.

ASIDE: Apparently, I have a pansy for a cervix. It bleeds upon the slightest touch and spasms in pain from the mildest discomfort.

Once we decided on the epidural (around 9AM), we had to wait 45 minutes or so. They had to get an entire bag of IV fluids in me — very quickly. It made me ridiculously cold. The contractions were much stronger at this point. The anesthesiologist came in after all the fluids made their way into me — just as I had to run to the restroom. All those fluids! He was pretty annoyed that he got there and had to wait for me. Once done, he had me sit on the side of the bed. The nurse told me he would avoid my tattoo, if possible, which was nice of him. He had a great way about him (when I wasn’t wasting his time). The epidural was in — and I was able to lay down again. They gave me a handy-dandy pain button that I could press every 10 minutes as needed. I used it occasionally. I mean, if I’m going epidural, might as well go all the way! They put in my catheter, which was odd. They told me to call them the minute I felt any bowel-like symptoms.

Ryan’s Daddy (my FIL) came in to visit us after this point. It was around 1030AM by now. I was 8cm or so and getting ready, but much more calm, due to the lack of pain. That being said, it felt like I had stones attached to my butt…and they were dragging me down. I also started itching all over my body…and had bouts of uncontrollable laughter. Everyone responds differently to the epidural. This was my reaction. We chatted for a while with Daddy. He’s a very calm person, so he made me feel fairly calm. Ryan got a call from my Nanny to tell him she was tired of waiting and was coming to the hospital. At around 12PM, the doctor came in (and Daddy quickly left) to check on how we were progressing and said “We are +2; we are ready to have the baby. A few pushes and we’ll be done.” Famous. Last. Words.

They prepped the room and lots of people entered. We had the doctor, the “tech”, the nurse, another nurse and the nursery nurse. They told me again it would be a couple of pushes and we’d be done. The hardest part of having an epidural is you can no longer feel your contractions, so until is wears off a tad, the urge to push is extremely mild. They put up the stirrups and got my legs into position, but because of the epidural, I had little to no control over my legs…and they felt like they weighed a ton a piece! Ryan was on my left side and they showed him how to hold my leg into the first position we tried. And then…it was show time!

We went through cycles of contractions and pushing — once every 5 minutes. Just a few pushes my ass! From the start, I was put on oxygen. My blood pressure was skyrocketing and it was obvious that I couldn’t breathe. Ellie’s heart rate was dropping, as well. After they started me on the oxygen, we started again. “Push harder!” became the mantra of the room. I was pushing with everything I had, but I couldn’t lift my body high enough to really bear down. Ryan was trying to hold my leg and lift my back, but he could only do so much. The epidural had numbed my lower back, as well, making those muscles almost worthless. After 30 minutes of pushing to no avail, they told me they were going to use a vacuum to get her out. They were concerned with my inability to push her through the canal, as well as my inability to breathe, my blood pressure and her heart rate. I looked at Ryan and told him we were not going to use a vacuum. They told us that they would then have to do a c-section. At about one hour in, the doctor and the tech both left to prep the c-section and vacuum, respectively. The main nurse, Deb, stayed with Ryan, to try to get Baby Ellie free and clear. We kept pushing, but she would not budge. This went on for about 20 minutes. The other nurse came back, but was sporadically involved. We moved me to my side to see if that position would help, but it didn’t.

The doctor finally came back and said we would try it a few more times, but if I couldn’t push her out, we would have to go into c-section. They asked if I wanted a mirror to try and help me push harder. I figured I’d try anything. I saw what they were seeing. I’d push…and she’d move a small amount…and then retreat back in. At this point, my temperature was rising fairly quickly and they feared infection. At 101.6, they got me an antibiotic drip. At 102.9, they told me we have two more tries. Throughout the entire active labor, I kept telling them I couldn’t lift myself high enough to really bear down. I told Ryan, the nurses, the doctor, the tech. I felt helpless. I started crying because I just couldn’t lift myself. Every contraction, I was passing out from lack of oxygen, as well. I felt so bad for Ryan, who was trying so hard to help me, but I’m sure he felt helpless. I can’t imagine watching your wife trying to give birth…and passing out with a 102+ fever and a baby with an at-risk heart rate… It’s a lot to deal with. I was about to go into my first of the last two push-sessions, when the tech asked if I wanted to try the handles. HANDLES? WHAT HANDLES? This was the first I’d heard of handles. I couldn’t even see them, because they were under the bed. For almost TWO HOURS, I asked for help lifting my body higher in order to get into a better position. And now…we have these magical handles? I took off the oxygen, since it felt like it was suffocating me more than helping me and grabbed onto the handles. Ryan held my left leg and my back while Nurse Deb held my right leg. On the first count, we pushed for 10 seconds. Her head crowned…but we missed the next contraction, since they were getting ready for the baby to come. (Catching position and all.) The doctor told me we’d be able to deliver right then and there — no c-section! Everyone was telling me to get ready and then the contraction came. On the first push, she crowned. On the second push, we got about half her head out…and on the third push, Ellie was born. It was 206PM.

At this point, they brought Ellie over to the warmer and started cleaning her off while they were removing my afterbirth. They cut and clamped her umbilical cord while Ryan took photos of her. They weighed her and measured her and got her foot prints taken care of — super cute! I tried to watch all of this while they were still massaging all the afterbirth out of me. And then I saw them talking to Ryan — and he looked pretty distraught. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, though. I called for him to tell me what they were saying, but either he didn’t hear me…or he was in shock. They swaddled Ellie and a nurse came over to tell me that they were taking Ellie to another hospital. This was my worst fear. I asked why and they said that Ellie might have an infection since I had one throughout delivery. I didn’t know how to react or respond. I asked if I’d be able to try to nurse her before they took her and they said I’d have 10 minutes with her. The doctor finished with the afterbirth at this time and told me she was surprised I’d only need one stitch. Apparently my birth canal was too narrow for Ellie, but due to my skin elasticity, I didn’t have as many stitches as she thought I’d need. Ryan handed me the camera and they gave Ellie to Ryan. I took lots of pictures of them before switching off. And then…I had my Ellie. Holding her for the first time was like a combination of every birthday and Christmas all in one. Like my wedding and my honeymoon. Like the day I fell in love with my husband. It was an overwhelming sensation. I tried to stay calm, but the thought of them taking her broke my heart. To have this perfect little baby in my arms and for them to take her away — it was more than I could emotionally or mentally handle at that time. I frantically tried to get her to latch on and breastfeed before they took her. I knew they’d bottle feed her formula and I was afraid she wouldn’t want to feed from the breast after that. Ryan went to get a nurse to help me, because we didn’t have time to wait on the LC to get there. Nurse Deb arrived and helped show me a good hold and the proper way for her to latch. At that moment, Ellie looked me right in the eyes and then grabbed my finger. I cried and smiled and laughed and cried some more. She only latched a few times, but the skin-to-skin contact was what I really needed. Having her near me made it all better. And then they took her away…and Ryan and I knew we would also have to be apart. Ryan didn’t want to go and I didn’t want him to leave, but our relationship was more than just “us” now. This was the first time we’d have to choose Ellie over “us” — I’m sure it won’t be the last time. Ryan went with them to take Ellie to the nursery. People kept calling to see what was happening, but it was too hard to deal with. I messaged on FB for people to pray for Ellie because I knew we had a 50/50 shot. Infection or no infection. Ryan came back into the delivery room and told me he would tell the family what was happened. He came back again and the nurse told him they were getting ready to transfer her via ambulance to Dell Children’s Hospital, so they would bring her back in to see us. They brought her back in to see us and I got to hold her and talk to her before they brought in the cart/incubator from Dell to take her away. Again I had to say goodbye to Ellie — and my husband. And I was alone.

Ryan sent me grandparents in to see me before they went to be with Ellie, too. And when they left, I had a chance to reflect on everything that happened. My fever, infection, inability to breathe, inability to push, the handles, the blood pressure, her heart rate. Everything that could’ve gone wrong — but I saw her. She was here — and Dell Children’s Hospital is the best. I knew that. It would be OK. I had to keep telling myself that.

Ryan’s Dad stayed with me for a while that night. Nurse Deb helped me clean up and change and moved me into the Postpartum Room. They brought me some dinner and my FIL and I enjoyed the hospital’s finest while I waited on more updates from Ryan and/or Nanny. Eventually, I sent Ryan’s Daddy over to see him, because I could tell Ryan was in need of his family. My grandparents stayed with him until 1030PM or so, but nothing replaces your parents. The rest of the night was full of medicine, tests, antibiotics, breast pumping every 2 hours to ensure my milk would come in and trying to sleep — which proved near impossible. At one point in time around 4AM, they woke me up because they needed to draw MORE blood and Seven was playing on the TV. What kind of holiday film is that? They brought me Ellie’s birth certificate form at around 6AM and I called Ryan to fill it out together. They let me be until 8AM after that point.

The doctor came in shortly after 8AM to let me know if I would be allowed to leave. She told me she’d rather I stay until, at least, Monday. I asked why? She said that I suffered some abdominal and rectal trauma, and that the lack of oxygen would mean my body would be in extreme pain as soon as the epidural and pain meds wore off. She said it would feel worse than being in a really bad car accident. She told me that my infection was pretty bad, and although it was gone, it could come back. (Apparently, this type of infection, a amniotic sac infection, is cured once the baby is born. Sounded odd to me, but that is what I was told.) She said I needed to rest and be under observation for at least two more days. I asked her if she could make me stay in the hospital. She gave me a look and said, “No, I can’t make you stay, but if you leave, it will be against medical advisement.” I told her I was leaving, then! She said she’d get the discharge paperwork ready and told me that if I had excessive bleeding or unbearable pain — rush back to the hospital. I called Ryan and told him and he had his Daddy come and get me. I took a nice shower and had a little breakfast while waiting. At around 945AM, he was there and I was ready to leave!

I’ll never forget the first moment I was reunited with Ellie. I held her skin-to-skin and she rested comfortably on me. It was hard not to cry, but they were truly tears of joy. A happy ending, or, well, beginning, for our family.

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