Saturday, December 22, 2012

Evelyn's Birth Story

Monday morning, I got up as usual, had my oatmeal, and snoozed for a bit while watching Netflix. I was determined to be patient, to enjoy my last few days of pregnancy. Finally I got up and showered, around 11:00 am. As I relaxed in the shower, I talked to baby girl. I told her we had a room all ready for her, and that we were so excited to meet her. I told her she could come any time.

As I was blow drying my hair, I noticed that the contractions I was having were slightly uncomfortable. I finished getting ready, got dressed, and by that point the contractions were pretty uncomfortable, more painful than any I'd had up to that point. I decided it was time to start timing.

The first two I timed were about five minutes apart and lasted about a minute each. At that point I told Andrew that I would call him in an hour (1:20 pm) and we'd decide what to do. He left for work, and I continued to time while watching Freaks and Geeks and painting my fingernails. The contractions continued and seemed to increase in intensity, so at 1:10 pm I told Andrew he'd better come home and take me to the hospital.

We checked in at 2:05 pm, called the doula, and texted the photographer. They checked me and I was dilated to a 6 and 100% effaced! They needed to start me on antibiotics, so they tried to put in an IV. On the third try they got it in, leaving me with some swollen and bruised wrists.

I was feeling the contractions really strong then, so I decided to get in the jetted tub. Not sure how long I was in the tub, but it started to get cool and less comforting so I got out. By that point everyone was there: my mom (with a mask on because she had been sick), Corissa to take pictures, and Brittney my doula. They checked me again and I was at and 8, contacting every two minutes I think. We talked about breaking my water, I had said no because I wasn't worried about things progressing slowly. Then the midwife, Melissa, had me get almost on my stomach to try to thin out one side of my cervix a bit more. Things we really intense by that point. My water bag was just bulging down, ready to break, and I was feeling ready for things to more along, so we decided to break my water.

Here is where things get a little fuzzy. I think at this point we started pushing. I started on my side with my legs up like I was squatting. Then they set up the squat bar and I would go on my side in between pushes. I remember closing my eyes most of the time. Brittney squeezed my hips and put counter pressure on my back. Andrew and Brittney rubbed my shoulder. Brittney kept telling me to breath my baby down, which was really helpful. I did not ask for drugs, not once, but did say things like, "I totally get why people get epidurals," and "I just want her out," and "I don't feel like I'm making any progress." And I really felt that way, like I would push and she would either go back up after the push or just stay in the same place. I did feel what's been described as the burning ring of fire, but it seems like pushing helped me cope, like pushing past the pain.

After several rounds of pushing with the squat bar, I ended up on my back with my legs way up, held by the nurse and my mom. It was pretty great, surrounded by these women encouraging and helping me, and Andrew was there with me the whole time. They kept saying, "look at all that hair!" as her head come out.
Finally she came out, at 5:00 pm, my wish came true. It was love at first sight. Andrew and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes.

She had lots of dark hair, and looked nothing like me! With a Nielsen nose and lips, with a pointed little cupid's bow, she is her daddy's daughter. But, like I said, it was still instant love.

We had skin to skin immediately, and for a good long while, and Melissa stitched up my second-degree tear (apparently I was quite a mess). When they final weighed her she was 7 pounds 15 ounces and 22 inches long! And before she let go a whole bunch of maconium (all over me as she came out) she was probably 8 pounds.

Labor went so quickly that I didn't get the necessary 4 hours of antibiotics, but only got 2.5 hours. Because of this they tested baby girl for infection, and she was borderline, so they started her on antibiotics. She takes after me in one thing: tiny veins that are hard to IV! They looked her three times before a NICU nurse finally got the IV. She had it in the whole time we were in the hospital, with a diaper wrapped around it like a boxing glove. It was really sad. Oh, and we finally decided on her name that night. Evelyn Lois. Evelyn we just like, and Lois for Andrew's Great Aunt Lois. He remembers her as a white-haired lady with bright red lipstick, very spunky, who would make him give her hugs and play the piano. She is apparently also responsible for making sure my mother-in-law and her brother stayed connected to their father's family (he passed away when she was a baby).

We came home from the hospital on Wednesday, and Evie magically figured out how to eat. It was such a blessing. Meanwhile, she's a week old today. And we are still totally smitten by this tiny little girl.

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