Welcome Etta Catherine

January 19, 2014


Welcome Etta Catherine Beck

We weren't quite ready for you to arrive, but you obviously had your own agenda! I was 38 weeks to the day. I got out of bed and told Denis how miserable my night was because of contractions. I even told him they were more painful than braxton hicks, but that they weren't consistent. He said, "please not today, I have a manager out on vacation right now. Oh and it's dad's night for Riley at school. She would have a fit if we have to miss it." Like I have control over this, really? We even discussed hanging on so I could go to work Saturday. This was Thursday and I hadn't worked since Monday. That meant I'd lose a few days maternity leave with her. I asked Denis if he really had to go to work. All along thinking I just wanted him home. I didn't really think I was in labor. I have yet to go into labor early for a baby. In fact, I only went into labor for one of them and I was overdue. The other three were induced past due date or right before.

I had an appointment with the nurse practitioner for my 38 week check up. I figured they would be able to tell me for sure if I was in labor and I could give Denis a good heads up to get back home. Yeah right! He left for work, I took the kids to the bus stop, got ready for my appointment (I made sure to put my phone charger in my purse just in case, ha), and headed out with my two young girls. 

My blood pressure was slightly higher than it normally is, but the nurse chalked it up to the sugar in the chocolate chip banana bread I had for breakfast. I thought that was an odd reason considering I often have an unhealthy breakfast. Looking back I now realize I was in labor! Shouldn't they pick up on stuff like that? Especially when the patient says she is having painful contractions and it is her fifth baby? Hmmmm, they didn't. I was 3-4 cm, but my contractions still weren't consistent. I had the NP copy my chart so I could take it with me to work on Saturday. If I went into labor at work I knew I'd never make it back to Covington. I wanted whatever doctor ended up taking care of me to have some idea of my prenatal care. I think I knew I was in labor, but let myself deny it since the NP didn't seem to think so AND I had my two little girls with me. Then she sent us on our way.

The girls and I went to the Dollar Store to get stuffings for Riley's piñata. We were going to have her birthday party the next night. We planned her party early thinking the baby would come closer to Riley's birthday. We wanted to make sure we got the chance to celebrate Riley. We came home, sat in the foyer together, and stuffed the piñata. I called my mom to give her an update on my appointment (I don't usually do this) and to ask her to stay home in case I needed her. As we were on the phone I had a contraction and said, "ow!" Mom said, "I can come right now. How about I come now?" I insisted it wasn't real, but I would let her know if I needed her. Denial again.

I made our sandwiches for lunch and sat down to eat. As I was having a contraction I put my hand on my belly. 

Charlie: "mommy, why are you holding your belly like that?"

Me: I'm having contractions. That means baby Etta might be getting ready to come." (I am still in denial at this point. I keep thinking the contractions will stop.)

Charlie: "oh no! It isn't time yet! She would die!"

Me: No she would be just fine. She is plenty big enough and old enough now that it would be perfectly safe for her to come.

Charlie: "YAY!!!!"

I put the girls down for nap at 1pm. I tried to fall asleep on the couch, but kept timing contractions instead. My brother text me to have me tell Charlie Happy Baptism Day (he is her godfather). He was reminding us to do the blessing cup with her that evening at dinner. I told him about my contractions and said that I hope we get to do it. Five minutes later I decided they were too close together. I didn't care if they weren't consistent. I called the doctor to make sure they would see me again. Then I called my mom to come be with the girls. My sister called to ask about what color wraps I ordered for Etta's newborn photo shoot. I told her and then said, "by the way I think I'm in labor." She said, "what do you mean, by the way?!!" She offered to come, but mom was already on her way. I am so blessed to have so much family support. Then my good friend that happens to be a former labor and delivery nurse texted to ask about my appointment. I gave her an update and she told me I should go to the hospital, not the doctor. If I go to the doctor and I'm at 6cm they won't let me leave and drive myself to the hospital. Then I'd have to go by ambulance. She insisted I'd never make it to the hospital in time to have the baby. I pretty much ignored her and hung up. Whatever! I'm not really in labor. She's crazy!

By the time I got on the highway about a minute from the doctor's office (2:45pm) I decided maybe I SHOULD go to the hospital. School traffic was heavy. Why take a chance? These contractions really hurt and the doctor's office said the monitors at the hospital are better.

I called Denis to tell him the plan. I told him to stay at work I would keep him posted. My best friend and my sister couldn't stand that I was going to the hospital alone. I couldn't understand what the big deal was. I was just going to be put on a monitor and told to go home and rest. Denial again, even though I think I knew it was for real. I've been induced for my babies, so I didn't even remember where to go at the hospital. I parked at the ER, walked in with my purse and camera bag, and the tech asked how many weeks. I told him 38 and baby number 5. I've never seen a guy run so fast to get a wheelchair. I was laughing at him and told him I could walk if he'd just tell me where to go. He insisted on the chair and took me to the assessment center. It was crazy, busy! However, it only took them about 20 minutes to check me in and decide I was in labor. I called Denis and told him he should come, NOW. 

He had to stop and get gas because he was literally running on empty. My sister and friend were again terrified that I'd be alone to have this baby. No big deal people. No big deal. I won't be alone. There are nurses and we have time. The nurse kept saying something about 4 hours. I had my last baby with no epidural and thought I could do it again. The contractions were so painful and so close together I was doubting I could make it 4 hours though. Where did she get 4 hours anyhow? I think she was hoping she had that much time. They only had 2 rooms available and they were both dirty. I said to the nurse that I'd probably have this baby in the assessment room. She laughed and said no, no we'll get you in a room. Barely.

Denis made it to the hospital a few minutes later. He was with me maybe 10 minutes and I had a contraction that broke my water. We were alone in the room and I told him to hurry up and find a nurse. My water has never broken by itself. She came running with another nurse and they quickly wheeled me to a patient room. I guess it was clean. Who knows?! As soon as she locked my bed I had a contraction and told the nurse I was trying not to push. She checked me and said, "ok let's call the doctor." Then she turned around to start getting things ready. It was my nurse and two other nurses helping her set up when the next contraction hit. I told her again that I was trying not to push. With her back to me she said, "please don't." Then Denis said, "Um, there's the baby, she just popped out." (4:41pm) Nobody grabbed her! I heard her cry, then didn't hear her again. I panicked and said, "SOMEBODY GRAB HER! Is she breathing? Is she ok?" I guess the nurses were trying to get gloves on. I say I don't know why Denis didn't grab her, but he's much to clean of a person. He was probably scared of getting dirty. Although, he has since told me that my reaction scared him. He thought something was wrong with the baby and he didn't know what to do. He said I've never panicked like that before and that worried him. I was just pissed that nobody caught her OR picked her up right after. They just let her lie on the bed for a minute. Poor baby. 

Then the intercom in the room came on and the person on the other end said, "the doctor is in the parking lot. She's almost here." The nurse said, "um, too late. Baby is already here." The person said, "she's not going to like that." When the doctor arrived I apologized to her. In hindsight I guess she should have apologized for her nurse practitioner. The NP should have put me on a monitor that morning. Then she'd have known I was in labor and sent me over to the hospital right then. It's not like this is my first baby, it's the fifth people. The fifth! They really should have watched me closer. Especially since I've been group B strep + since after the first baby. Since things happened so fast at the hospital they didn't even get in one full dose of penicillin. Then the baby ended up with skewed lab work and bought us an extra night in the hospital. We were still only there less than 48 hours, but I'm used to going home right at 24 hours. I know I'm griping. I shouldn't. I am grateful for all of my healthy, safe deliveries. Some people stay more than two nights and then have to leave their baby at the hospital. I didn't have to do either of those, and I am so thankful for that. I just think things probably should have gone a little differently that day. 

Here she is: 6 pounds 12 ounces, 19 inches long and ticked off! She didn't stay mad for long. She is a wonderful, content baby. We are just hoping she stays that way. 

The nurse did the footprints and then I remembered I wanted to put her print on Denis hand and take a picture. I saw that somewhere during my pregnancy and knew I had to do it. I jumped out of bed as fast as I could considering I just had a baby. Denis and the nurses thought I was crazy, but I think it was worth the effort. I'll be glad I have this photo years from now. 

The meeting of the sibs:

We have had a lot of sickness in our house. Fevers, colds, etc. Paul wasn't presenting with symptoms the day I had Etta Catherine, but for some reason he said he didn't want to hold her. It kind of upset me that he didn't want to. He held his two sisters that are younger than him when they were born. Why wouldn't he hold this one? He wanted her to be a boy so bad, but he knew it wasn't. Maybe he was hoping the outcome would be different than what we told him. So many things were going through my head.

He has yet to hold her, but he is still sick. He told me yesterday that he really wanted to hold her, but he was still coughing too much. Hopefully he will be able to this week. Nanny Jaime gave us awesome shirts for each kid for a picture of all five together. I'm hoping we will get to take those soon. 

Momma Riley making sure Camille is gentle.

Camille was smitten with Etta Catherine from the very beginning. She keeps calling her Cat Cat. 

They were so unprepared for us that we ended up with a Christmas hat. We didn't even get it until a good hour after she was born. They told me they had to go "make" one. I tried to tell them it wasn't necessary because I had several in my suitcase, but they insisted when I started to get up and get it myself.

Denis fell asleep in a chair in the midst of several visitors and Etta's first bath. This fella wasn't ready for a baby!


Going home! 

The rest of my crew was at my sister's house when we came home from the hospital. I think it was pretty special for Camille. She wouldn't leave Etta's side for the first hour we were home. 

The first thing Denis did when we got home was his rock-a-bye baby yo yo trick for Etta. What a cool dad!

Home sweet home in the chair she will live in for the next 2 months or so. It is her favorite spot already. 

She looks like one of the kid's baby dolls from across the room.

Um, ok.

One set of grandparents. 

Riley made this bracelet for Etta right away. She now has three. Oh boy, welcome to the family.

Hanging by the window for some mild jaundice therapy: If she really needed it I would have exposed more skin, but it was more to keep her by me while I sat at the computer editing pictures. 

Our first attempt at a photo shoot seemed to be an epic fail, but we ended up getting more good ones than I thought. Nanny Jaime and I worked on it for about 2 hours.

The yawn gave us hope of her getting calm and sleepy…

…she was completely OVER us. 

Here's a little closer to what we were aiming for. 

I've had the idea of using this hat box for a newborn for years. I just keep forgetting to do it. I finally made myself. My dad helped me keep Etta calm and sleeping while I got camera settings right and snapped away. Thanks dad! I'm please with this shot. I originally thought I would use this for her birth announcement, but Nanny Jaime came up with a different awesome idea (from Pinterest of course). I'll post those pictures once we mail out the paper announcements. 

Mae Mae with grand baby number 12! Wow! 

The other set of grandparents! 

Can you tell how tiny she is here with Denis? I don't feel like the other pictures show how small she is. I had one other baby this small, but I can't seem to remember it. I had two around 7lbs 5oz and one at 8lbs. 6.12 down to 6.3 when we left the hospital seems much smaller to us. 

What a nasty face Etta Cat! 

Camille was my first baby with any significant amount of hair, but Etta beat her for sure. It is much thicker.

Oh look at that smirk.

Here's a hint to the birth announcement:

I know it looks like she has chubby cheeks here, but she doesn't. Again, she is so tiny. 


We are so excited to have this newest blessing adding a new dynamic into our home. Welcome to the world, welcome home, welcome to the Roth, Beck, Joiner, and Guagliardo families! 

Welcome, Etta Catherine Beck, sweet child of God. 


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