Tag Archives: birth story

Evelyn Mae: the birth story

IMG_3350Where 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.

Mango: the birth story

Well, we did it!  We welcomed Mango (also known as James) to the world on April 3, 2013 at 4:03 am (note April 3 = 4/03, James was born at 4:03 – how lovely).  It took a lot to get from 2:48am on April 2nd to 4:03am on the 3rd, so here we go: Mango’s birth story.

2:48am, April 2nd: I wake up, roll myself out of bed as per usual to head to the bathroom, only this time something is different.  I’m wet.  And getting wetter.  And shaking…mostly out of nerves, as I know what is going on, but somehow I find myself incapable of believing what is going on.  But it’s happening.  I pull myself together, wander back into the bedroom, and wake up Chris. I tell him that my water broke; he replies Sweet!  Somehow that wasn’t what I was thinking.  I was thinking more along the lines of what do we do, who do we call, what in the world will the next how many hours look like?! We call the midwife; as I’m not having contractions, she tells us to go back to sleep and call again in the morning. Believe it or not, we managed to sleep for a while, only to wake earlier than usual thanks to excitement, nerves, both.  Still no contractions, but the situation is gross, that I know.

Around 10am I headed upstairs to take a shower; the midwives call to say we should come in for a non-stress test just to make sure everything looks okay.  At about noon I’m hooked up to the monitors and feeling minor contractions, though nothing regular or consistent.

They give us three options: induce labor now, go home and see if labor begins but then come back at 10pm for an induction, or go home and see if labor begins but then come back the following morning for an induction.  We choose the go home option (at that point we didn’t know which of the two we were choosing).

So home we drive.  We stop for a falafel along the way; all of it seems surreal. I get honked at while crossing the road – Chris is furious and I can’t help but chuckle at the thought of if only that idiot knew he just honked at a lady in labor…again, it’s all surreal.

The afternoon we spend contemplating what in the world is going on.  We nap for a couple of hours.  Given the grossness of the water breaking situation, I really didn’t feel like walking around much, so I didn’t…for a while.  We play Scrabble in the late afternoon, and that was the point that I knew things were picking up because I didn’t care that Chris was beating me, and I couldn’t concentrate on making words.  I’m not sure what that says about me if my labor is judged by Scrabble performance, but so it goes.

At that point, Chris tells me to start walking around in hopes that labor will pick up, so I do…and it does.  I take a shower, things pick up more.  We start timing contractions.  They are about seven minutes apart. I can still talk through them.  I keep walking; they keep getting stronger and closer together.

10pm approaches, and we are supposed to be back in the hospital.  We call the midwife and ask if we can have a little more time at home – things are moving.  She agrees, so I keep pacing. At 11pm we get in the car and head out…leaving our home as two for the last time. Again, it feels surreal.

The drive to the hospital is a blur of contractions and conversation…but mostly it’s just a blur.

Upon arrival, they check me in and have me lay in the hospital bed.  Chris and I had talked about a code word that I was to use if I decided that I wanted drugs of some sort (so I had to think about it rather than just blurt out that I wanted pain medicine).  After the first contraction laying down, I jokingly uttered a string of llama, llama, llama (the code word), only I was only half-kidding. Laying down was not a good place it seemed.

I sit back upright, focus on my breathing, stare at the monitors and the clock, work through the contractions. The midwife was awesome. I had not met her prior to our non-stress test earlier in the day, but she was incredible. She talked me through the contractions. Poor Chris kept trying to help, but I couldn’t have him touch me during the contractions, and even in between them I just felt so sensitive that his touch wasn’t helpful then either. He kept me hydrated with water the whole time, and that was the best thing he could do.

At some point things get intense. I think there was a tipping point: get the drugs or do something to work through it. The midwife had run me a tub and suggested I give that a try. I did. I don’t know if it helped or if it was just a change of scenery, but I dozed off for a while. Or maybe not dozed off, but I don’t remember getting into the tub or what followed, up until I came to having insanely strong contractions. Howl like an animal contractions. So I did. They hurt. A lot. And then kept getting stronger and closer together and I wondered if people in the halls could hear me. I also distinctly remember thinking I didn’t give a hoot if they could hear me, and that must mean things were serious if I was screaming at the top of my lungs and didn’t give a darn about the world hearing. So we labored on. Finally the midwife checked again, and it was time to start pushing. Except I had to get back to the bed first.

One contraction hugging Christopher later, I waddled to the bed and away we went. I have no idea how long it took, but it felt like forever, and no matter what anyone says, pushing is not the easy part. It hurt.  A lot. James’ heart rate dropped a bit at some point, so they gave me oxygen and had me lay on my side. It helped – his heart rate came right back up, but not before the room went from a midwife, a nurse, me, and Chris to a midwife, a nurse, me, Chris, a pediatrician, a pediatrician assistant, an OBGYN, and an OBGYN assistant.  We needed stadium seating…or at least they did.  Anyways, I pushed away, sucked on the oxygen, pushed away some more. Chris was incredible – he was right in it, holding a leg, watching it unfold.  For a man who thought the whole process would freak him out a  bit, he was there…it was awesome.

Anyways, finally the head was out, then the shoulders, then all of James. Chris announced to me that we had ourselves a son – I only remember being absolutely in awe of what had just happened. James had the cord wrapped around his neck, but once that was gone, he hollered with the best of them.  The whole audience immediately filed out (a la, the kid is fine, our job is done), and I was left to snuggle James, look in complete amazement at Christopher, and finish up the process of the afterbirth, the stitching, all that.

I guess most birth stories involve some kind of pain medication, because I was under the impression that the placenta doesn’t hurt, the stitching doesn’t hurt, the abdominal kneading doesn’t hurt…but it does.  All of it does.  Especially the stitching and the kneading.  Good grief. But we had ourselves this guy, and that’s what matters…

Anyways, once all was said and done, I had quite a bit of blood loss, so they kept a close eye on me for a bit, but ultimately I was fine aside from having a gray tint for the first couple days.  And James?  Well he was, and is, absolutely incredible. A quiet, sleepy baby…so sweet and snuggly.

He measured 21 1/2 inches long (tall!) and weighed 7lbs 14oz.  Our hearts are full of love for the tiny little being.  We’re shell-shocked and fumbling new parents, but somehow we feel certain we’ll do just fine and laugh a whole lot along the way.

We are blessed.  So very blessed.