A Birth Story // Baby #3Thursday, October 11, 2012
One would think that you would never forget moments like these - moments when you bring a child into the world. But the past reminds me that I have the tendency to forget, or to blur memories into one nice, neat package. And sometimes the details get lost or begin to fade.
I think that's why I feel the need to record an account of the birth of my sweet baby #3, Evelyn Raberta. Or perhaps, it's simply because I myself enjoy reading birth stories, and I want to offer one of my own.
It really began on Tuesday, September 25. I had been having those blasted Braxton-Hicks contractions for weeks and was 40 weeks, 5 days pregnant. I went in for a doctor appointment late that morning. The nurse-midwife announced that I was 2cm dilated, stripped my membranes, and scheduled an induction for Thursday, September 27, with the hope that I would go into labor on my own before then.
They also did an ultrasound that morning, to check my amniotic fluid levels - there was an initial concern that I had too much fluid, and it could cause issues at delivery. The ultrasound verified that my fluid levels were just fine - and also guesstimated a 9 lb, 15 oz baby, give or take a pound! Not that I was overly surprised that it was another big baby, but still!
I went home that morning, and we went about our normal routine. I had plans to go grocery shopping the following morning, but somehow decided to get it over with that afternoon, which ended up being a very good idea!
I woke up around 0130, on September 26, with contractions, but wasn't sure if they were just more Braxton-Hicks or if they were the real deal. I tried to keep laying there, but they were more serious than before. I woke Max up around 0200, to tell him that I was having contractions and that I thought they might be the start of labor. I took a shower to pass the time and by 0230, the contractions were only getting stronger, so I knew it was time to go to the hospital.
We called our friend who was going to stay with the kids, made sure our bags were packed, and headed out to the car. At this point, I was having to stop what I was doing each time I had a contraction, and focus on breathing through them - they were coming about 5 minutes apart.
We got in the car around 0300 and began our short drive to the hospital. I had a few contractions, and then it happened...WHOOOSH! I turned and looked at Max. "Oh my gosh," I said to him. He turned and saw my face, "Your water just broke, didn't it?"
Oh, did my water ever break. Seriously, it was like someone had dumped a gallon of fluid all over my lap. My pants were soaked through, all the way to the cuffs. The seat of the car was drenched (yeah, pretty gross...). It was unbelievable. I always thought it would be exciting to have my water break before I got to the hospital, and it sure was exciting, but man alive! It was so crazy how much there was!
We got to the hospital at 0315 and I made my way to the L&D unit, dripping the entire way! The nurse took one look at me and my wet, still-dripping pants, and ushered us right into a room. I got into a gown, got hooked up to an IV, and informed the nice nurses that I would like an epidural, if possible. I also tried to tell everybody that I thought the baby was not going to take long to come out - who knows if they ever really believed me!
By 0400, my contractions were really picking up and were quite intense. They were coming very quickly together and I was having a hard time breathing through them. The one thing, besides squeezing Max's arm as hard as I could, that got me through, was repeating Psalm 28:7 over and over again in my head and out my mouth.
The anesthesiologist came in a little after 0430 and I had my epidural by 0515. I can tell you that I was one happy mama. At this point, the contractions were coming every minute and a half, and were quite intense. I could still feel the pressure and the contraction, but it was so much more bearable than before. I was so thankful for that epidural! I rested as much as I could, in between the contractions, chatted with Max, and made a phone call, haha!
Right after I got the epidural, they checked me and I was dilated to 4cm. Pretty sure the nurse thought we might be there awhile. But true to my word, an hour later, I felt like it was time to push and got the nurse to check me again. At 0630, the nurse checked me and her eyes got real big. The baby was right there and it was definitely time to push!
The whole team came in the room to get ready and I was pushing within ten minutes. I gave 3 or 4 good pushes and out came baby's head. At this point, the nurse-midwife told me to slow down - apparently they were worried about the big shoulders coming out and potentially getting dislocated. The nurse-midwife was working the baby out as I was pushing, and another nurse pushed Max out of the way (he was holding one of my legs) and climbed up over me to push at the baby from my belly. Looking back, this was by far, the most comical thing that could have happened. Here I am, pushing a baby out, with this nurse doing some gymnastic move on top of me, pushing on the baby from my belly, trying to get babe out, without hurting the shoulders. So bizarre!
They told me to push when they knew her shoulders were ok, and out came the baby at 0659!
All I saw was a slimy, pink baby and lots of cord. The nurse-midwife passed the babe off to the pediatric team (she had to be evaluated right away because she had pooped in-utero right before she was born) and I watched them do their thing. The nurse-midwife kept referring to the baby as a boy, as she only had seen lots of umbilical cord, and a very big baby, in the pass-off. As I had labored, I was convinced the baby was going to be a boy, but I finally asked the big question...what is it?!
Everybody kind of looked at us and then it registered that we had told them we didn't know what we were having.
"It's a GIRL!"
I looked at Max for confirmation, because I really couldn't believe it was a girl, after being so convinced that it was going to be a boy! Congratulations were passed around, and then they asked what her name was to be.
And that is how Evelyn Raberta entered this world, on Wednesday, September 26, at 0659, weighing 10 pounds.
What I remember most about the moments directly after her birth, was being so incredibly excited that she was finally here and that we were able to hold and meet her. I was thrilled to be able to put a name to her sweet, puffy face. For some reason, I was proud she wasn't bigger than Ezra (he had been 10 lbs, 2 oz) at birth...barely, but still, she wasn't bigger! I also, like my other two children, sang Happy Birthday to her once I got to hold her. And told her how much we, and Jesus, loved her.
Oh, what a birth day for Evie!