Wednesday, October 6, 2010

*Evelyn's Birth Story*

It's exactly one week until Grace's expected due date, and if she's anything like her big sister was, she'll keep up hanging until the very last minute! I can't help but to feel a twinge of guilt every time I think about the way I'll be able to share Gracie's birth story through this blog, when a little over a year ago we were celebrating our first bundle of joy through facebook pictures and text messages. I thought Evelyn deserved her very own birth story to be shared! Let's file this one under the "family memories" category. :)

It all started here:
Our honeymoon. Most of you know by now that Evelyn was our little honeymoon baby, and by the time this picture was taken I already had an inkling something funny was going on inside, haha. (The estate behind us is Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, SC - The house where "Allie" lived in the film "The Notebook." Boone Hall has been in several movies, and it's gorgeous! Remind you of anything?) 

This was our first glimpse of our precious Evelyn Lily. We had just moved out of state and it took us forever to find a doctor, so Evelyn is about 13 weeks gestation here. I couldn't believe it when I saw her on the screen for the first time. There was a real person in there! Eric and I loved her already. :)

I would say I had a semi-hard pregnancy with Evie. I spent the entire first trimester, about two months, SO SICK. Let me try to explain morning sickness for those of you who have never been blessed with such a thing. First of all...morning sickness? Ha! Think of the worst flu bug you've ever gotten, only it lasts for weeks and weeks with no relief. If anything, there are points in your day when you feel worse than you did the hour before. And to compound the miserableness, because you're not actually sick or contagious, you are expected to function like a normal human being through it all. The world doesn't stop for two you have to work, live, and play as if you're not achy, exhausted, and about to toss your cookies at any moment. Not fun. 

My case seemed especially hard, because Eric and I didn't share our pregnancy news until after the first trimester. So I was sicker than a dog and had to pretend I was normal everywhere I went, including some very important family events and weddings. Where the heck is my Academy Award, that's what I'd like to know! :D

I had back pain throughout the rest of my pregnancy, and had to take medicine every night during the third trimester just to get some sleep. Needless to say, when our June 3 due date arrived (Eric's birthday!) I was more than ready to be done! And...nothing happened. To make a long story short, Evelyn wasn't born until 9 days after she was scheduled to make her debut. Nine long agonizing days. And even still, my body was showing no signs of progress On the evening of June 11, 2009 we checked into the hospital to induce labor. 

Here I am, ready to get the process started! We delivered at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, MO. I highly recommend it! The nurses there are awesome. It's the nurses that take care of you the entire time, so it is very important to me that we deliver here again with Gracie. Hopefully she doesn't come so quickly that we don't make the hour long drive in time!

I had a fitful night of nagging contractions. I got absolutely no sleep. But I didn't mind, because I was so excited!! For real. I kept thinking, "Man, if this is as bad as it gets, this will be a cake walk!" It was definitely not as bad as it would get! :D

The next morning my doctor came in to break my water, and that's when the real labor started. The thing with being induced is that you have harder and more frequent contractions than you would with a normal delivery. I had super hard contractions, one right after the other. A normal readout of someone's contractions should look like the rolling hills of Tennessee. Mine looked like several Mount Olympus's stacked next to each other, with only peaks and no valleys! My doctor recommended waiting on my epidural until I was further dilated, but when my nurses saw me and then looked at my readouts, they called the anesthesiologist right away! 

Oh, sweet relief. I was so happy to know that the pain would be over soon. Unfortunately, my contractions were so strong that the medical staff didn't want to sit me up in bed all of the way to get the epidural. But that meant they would have to go in at an abnormal angle, and as a result, the first shot only worked on half of my body. So I had to get a SECOND epidural. Honestly, I didn't care. Anything would be better than what I was feeling! 

*Sigh* I love epidurals. 

All was well with the world at that point. Eric could see on my printouts that my contractions were just as strong as ever, but I wasn't a feeling a thing. I tried to get some rest, but of course, I was feeling well enough to be excited again, and there was no way I was sleeping! I would get to meet my baby soon. :) The room was quiet...just the rhythmic hum and beeping of the various machines I was hooked up to whirring away in the background. I was laying peacefully, waiting for the word that it was time to push, when suddenly the entire floor of nurses came flooding into our room. 

"Get on your hands and knees! On your hands and knees!" What in the world? Our quiet room had just turned into the hub of the maternity ward. I soon found myself being flipped over on the bed, one nurse shaking my stomach and another putting an oxygen mask on my face. As this is happening, someone explains to me that Evelyn's heartbeat had dropped dangerously low. Apparently the strong contractions, mixed with the epidural (which can cause your blood pressure to drop) was a dangerous cocktail for our little baby girl.

My doctor was called in and a quick decision had to be made as to whether I needed an emergency c-section, or if we could get back on track normally. I came very close to being whisked away to the operating room right then and there.

We would learn later that my placenta was also "overdue" so it wasn't able to keep up with supplying Evelyn with enough oxygen. (I know that some people are against induction, but for this reason alone I say if you're really confident of your due date then don't be scared to induce!) The nurses best efforts to bring her heartbeat up to normal were fruitless, so without warning a huge adrenaline shot was shoved into my thigh to stop labor. Don't worry, I didn't feel it! But I think Eric did, haha. I wondered for days later what the bruise on my leg was from, and I finally put it together when Eric told me what they'd had to do. 

The steroids did the trick. Evie's heartbeat came back up, and my labor returned to normal. But believe me, I was on edge! Our room slowly cleared out of nurses, and I was told to get some rest. Hmm...haha. I tried my hardest to close my eyes; I had been awake for well over 24 hours at this point, but my ears were perked up to hear the heartbeat monitor. I was terrified that I would hear the beeping slow way down again. Luckily, we had an extremely smooth delivery from there on out.  

It wasn't long at all before I was fully dilated and ready to push. While the epidural had lowered my blood pressure, the fact that it took away my extreme pain allowed my body to relax, and I was able to progress much faster than I had before. You might think this sounds strange, but pushing was my favorite part of the whole process! I was feeling great; still no pain. My adrenaline was now running high, so I definitely wasn't feeling tired at this point. 

After about 45 minutes of pushing, we welcomed our baby girl, Evelyn Lily Robert into the world at 1:26 pm on June 12, 2009. 

The first time I laid eyes on my baby girl I thought, "Oh my gosh, it's Eric!" I wasn't the only one who thought so. All of the nurses kept referring to me as the "pea pod" haha. Everybody said she looked just like her daddy!

She was wonderful. Practically perfect in every way. :) Evelyn was completely healthy, and she was a good eater from the very beginning! I was so thankful for that, because I had really wanted to nurse, and I would've had no excuse not to at that point! Evelyn, coincidently, is still a huge fan of food. :)

Many of our family members and some friends stopped by to visit us while we stayed in the hospital. Even though I was perfectly healthy and so was Evelyn, they kept us until Sunday afternoon. We had been there since Thursday night, so needless to say I was so ready to go home! I'll leave you with a few more shots of our baby girl in the hospital. And, oh my gosh, I still can't believe I'm getting ready to do this all over again! Am I nuts? Haha. It's all in God's plan, so I'm very curious to see how this all plays out! Thanks for enjoying some family memories with me. Looking forward to many more. :)


joyce said...

This was an exciting day for all of us, I just hope Gracie's delivery is a little less dramatic for you:)

Cassie said...

Awww, love it!! I still can't watch/read a single baby birth story to this day without tearing up.
I agree with the epidrual = your bff. lol. I thought I could be Ms. Tough Girl and go "all natural" bahaha, boy was I an IDIOT!! I made it to 9 cm before turning into a mad woman and finally requesting the epidural. Then it took all the power in me not to grope the anesthesiologist, I was in love, lol.
I wish you a safe and healthy delivery with Grace. She is so lucky to have been selected to join such a great family!!

Andrea Ingles said...

Loved reading this! It's amazing how completely different everyone's stories are! My story would maybe be a! I pray that everything goes well with Grace...can't wait to meet her!! See you tonight:)

Meagan said... had quite the experience with that labor! I would have to agree...the epidural is AMAZING when you are having those "mountain contractions"! Mine kept wearing off though so I could still feel the pain! =/

Good luck with the birth of Grace!! I hope your labor goes a little more smoothly this time around...I can't wait to hear her birth story and to see pictures of her!

Adrien said...

Thanks for reading, everyone! Yes, I'm hoping this delivery is drama free! If I had to predict based on the types of pregnancies I have had, this one should be smooth sailing in comparison. Crossing my fingers!


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