Where there once were three, there are now four. As of July 13, 2015, at 4:55pm, we are a family of four. Evelyn Mae joined us quickly and safely, and as every cliché warned, we can now not imagine life without her. Every birth has a story; this is hers.
Due Saturday, July 11th, we had our fingers crossed for a timely arrival and free Slurpee day for a lifetime, but alas, it was not to be. She did grace me with some unpleasant, could-be-early-signs-of-labor-or-at-least-maybe-confirmation-that-I-won’t-be-pregnant-forever signs Saturday evening, but nothing too crazy. Sunday lolled along, a lazy day of feeling like we were on the brink of something magical, but again, no confirmation just yet. We waited.
Sunday night – the night of the 12th – I started having rather mild contractions. Nothing strong enough to convince us that we were on our way, but enough to make me worry that I would have to call Wawa in the middle of the night. All along my biggest fear was getting James to where he needed to be and still having time to worry about Baby. Thankfully the contractions stayed mild and I slept well until about 3am when they became more rhythmic and a bit stronger. By 5am I called Wawa; she arrived shortly after 6. Christopher, James, and I were all awake when she arrived. We sat hunkered in the living room, Chris and I pondering the day that lay ahead. My fears of labor moving too quickly were assuaged for now – James was taken care of and labor was slow going for the time being.
Around 10:30am, the midwife suggested we go into the hospital to be checked. We said an odd goodbye to James and Wawa knowing that we might not see them again until after baby arrived, but also a bit perplexed because I felt far too normal to be leaving for good. 11am I was on the monitor at the hospital, listening to baby’s heartbeat and watching the contractions tick by every 5-6 minutes. A quick check revealed I was 2cm dilated. We requested to go home, and that request was granted, so away we went, back to Wawa and James.
Arrival home around 12:30. We sent Chris and James to go get burgers for lunch (at my request, but really, burgers?!). By the time they arrived home the contractions had picked up a bit. I made it through half the burger before they really hurt and I decided it was best to send James and Wawa on their way home. A far more tearful goodbye ensued this time because I knew this was the last goodbye before we were a family of four.
I continued to labor at home for an hour or so, and by then the contractions hurt. No talking through them, lots of intent focus on breathing, lots of OUCH. We called the midwife again; she said back we go, so back we went. The seven minute drive felt long and the construction on the roads didn’t help (“avoid the bumpssss!”). The walk to the elevators, the ride up to the labor and delivery floor, the walk to check in: it all felt so long. We stopped for each contraction, and I sway, sway, swayed my way to where we needed to be. One peek at me in reception at labor and delivery did the trick though: we’ll take you right back. Take me back they did, and I swayed my way down the hall, riding the wave of a contraction.
The initial check once we were in the room at 3:30pm was 6cm dilated and I don’t remember what else. I was content with their assessment but also remember thinking, that’s all? We had a ways to go. Or so I thought.
I labored in bed this time which was different than with James. With James I spent most of the tough time in a tub – this hospital didn’t have a tub available, so that wasn’t an option. While I thought no tub would be an issue, it turns out it was just fine, as I calmly breathed my way through each contraction. I was in my own little world, and it worked just fine.
The midwife offered to break my water, as it had not naturally broken yet, and breaking it would speed the process along. I said yes, please do that, but then was hit with another contraction and, surprisingly, it broke on its own. There was quite a bit of meconium in it, so the midwife and nurse called in the special care folks just in case baby was in need of help when she came out. Baby’s heart rate also dropped quite a bit once my water broke, so there was more (unwelcome) cause for concern. I remember feeling both out of control of what was happening and very scared that baby would be okay.
The combination of meconium and decreased heart rate meant it was time for baby to come out, so push baby out was what I did. She took three pushes, less than ten minutes, and into the world she flew. There was a brief moment that felt like an eternity at the time where she just dangled silently in the air, not uttering a peep, but that moment passed quickly and her first wails came barreling out. Onto my chest she went where we spent our first moments exploring each other and being ever so thankful that she was out, safe, and healthy. She crawled her way to my breast, and thus began her time as a champion eater (spoiler alert, she gained over two pounds in her first month of life).
When she decided to arrive, she arrived quickly: from arrival at the hospital at 3:30pm to birth at 4:55pm. We spent the next day or so snuggled up in our hospital room getting to know one another and beginning the healing process (for mom). Given the quick entry, I needed a decent amount of stitches, but nothing too crazy.
And now here we are, six weeks later, and all is well. James has embraced the big brother role right from the start, and despite a couple of rough days with Mom and Dad, he has been his sweet little self all along. Christopher and I are finding our way, stretched a bit more thin than we used to be, but loving (almost) every minute. And Evelyn? She’s just the sweetest little thing.
It’s a wonderful time in this crazy ride we call life, that’s for sure. Our hearts are so very full.