Sunday, January 29, 2017

Introducing Evan

We welcomed Evan to our family on December 16th, 2016. Below is his birth story, and a lot of pictures!

At the end of November I started having contractions. They would come and go; they were more than Braxton-Hicks, but they weren't causing me to dilate. Sometimes they were as often as 5 minutes apart, but it never felt “time” to go in. At my 37.5 week appointment, my OB said I was 2 centimeters and she didn’t think I’d see 39 weeks still pregnant. I spent the next week doing Primerose Oil, raspberry leaf tea, eating spicy foods, squats, curb walking, etc. No baby. At my 38.5 week appointment we decided not to intervene and let my body do its thing because there was still plenty of time for things to happen naturally. More raspberry leaf tea and squats. At my 39.5 week appointment she said I was 3 centimeter and 80% effaced. After weeks of contractions, a lost mucous plug, and a confirmation from her that my cervix was ripe for delivery, we decided to have her sweep my membranes. I stayed after the appointment for a quick non-stress test on Evan, because I felt like he hadn’t been moving as much. Evan was fine, and the non-stress test was picking up the contractions I was having so I could watch them come and go. On my drive home, contractions started to get stronger. Once at home, I made dinner, helped get the kids to bed, and then sat on the birthing ball to “bounce” things along. Contractions got up to 5 minutes apart but I still didn’t feel like it was time. They were definitely the strongest contractions I had had yet, but I just knew it wasn’t time. Around 9pm I decided to take a bath, and during that time contractions actually slowed down to be 15-20 minutes apart. Around 11pm, I called it a night and climbed into bed. I slept for maybe 30 minutes, and then woke up to the contractions returning. They started out 10-12 minutes apart but quickly got up to 5-7 minutes apart. These were sharp and strong. I tried to sleep in between. By midnight they were 2-3 minutes apart, and I finally decided it was truly time. We called my dad and sister, finished packing up, and waited for them to get here to stay with the kids. I made sure to eat a little snack because I knew I wanted an epidural promptly upon getting check in, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat after that point. 

We got to the hospital around 1am. The ER parking lot was full so we had to park in the overflow lot and I had to walk from there to the ER. I remember it was *so cold* and contractions are even more painful when your body is cold! We got into the ER, and because we had called ahead they had an escort on his way down to take us over to L&D. Except in the few moments it took for him to arrive, THREE other women in labor came in. I looked at the four of us and knew there was only one anesthesiologist. I promptly hopped up out of my courtesy wheelchair, told the escort that we knew the way to L&D, and just took off down the hallway. I wanted to get their first to ensure I could get my epidural in a timely fashion. The escort picked another woman in labor to come with us and then hurried after us to fulfill his duties of “escorting us” to L&D.

Once at L&D my nurse was waiting and took me back to our room. It was the same room I delivered Mary in – so fun! I told her I wanted an epidural and so we got busy getting me in my gown and my progress checked. By that time I was at 4cm. My OB came in and said we could break my water right then and likely have the baby in a few hours, or wait a while and give me a chance to rest. I chose to rest. By about 2:30am I had my epidural and was trying to rest, but my body was sweating and shaking and I couldn’t rest. In hindsight, I had moved into transition labor yet couldn’t feel it (thank the LORD!), but my body was still reacting to it. At around 6am my OB came in to check on me and I said go ahead and break my water. After that I was able to rest and actually sleep for about an hour. Around 7:30 AM I woke up to feeling my contractions again. I did a few clicks with the epidural and that didn’t solve it. I had this happen with Mary where I needed a bolus, so I asked the nurse to bring the anesthesiologist back so we could stay in front of the pain. While this was going on, I was increasingly able to feel the contractions and they were super intense. My legs were still numb though, so I wasn’t able to get up out of bed to work through them. So I locked arms with Kyle and would pull against him to get through the contractions. There was also much yelling and crying and a few rounds of me saying "I can't do this, I can't do this." My nurse said she needed to check my progress before the anesthesiologist came in. She then proclaimed “oh, it’s a head!” I knew that meant I was not getting any more epidural! She promptly called my OB to come in and within moments there was a flurry of nurses in my room getting the bed ready for delivery. My OB walked in, I pushed for 4 minutes, and at 8:44am Evan was born! I was able to feel everything so I knew when to push, and it was actually really great. I got to help catch him as he came out and it was so wonderful! 

Waiting for my dad and sister to arrive at our house, timing a contraction

Meeting Evan!

I'm always surprised at how tiny they are!

Evan was born weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 20 inches long. He was born with a moderate head of hair, but has already lost some of it and now looks like a tiny old man. We love him!


Drew and Mary have taken very nicely to Evan, as if Evan's always been a part of our family. Drew is oftentimes very helpful; Mary just likes to say "hi baby!!!" every time she sees Evan. I certainly have my hands full, but wouldn't have it any other way!

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