I want to introduce you all to the newest member of the Ervin clan...
Miss Evie G
She's now three months old so the introduction is a little late, but I couldn't let another moment go by without officially documenting her arrival here in this little space! You know, based on other posts, that I adore birth stories...but my own babies' birth stories are always my favorite. They have each been so different and Miss Evie did not disappoint!
Actually, it started a little earlier than planned. Back in March Evie (or my body...not sure which) decided that 31 weeks we a good time to deliver a baby which landed us in the hospital for about a week while they stopped labor (twice) and made sure we were okay to head home. Then after that, things went perfectly and she stayed growing inside of me for another 7 weeks. It was definitely a scary experience, and maybe one day I'll write it out here for you, but let's keep the focus of this post on her actual arrival.
Many of you read G-man's birth story of how we barely made it to the hospital before he was born. I was worried this time that we wouldn't make it. We actually prayed that God would allow us to make it before it became another stressful situation, and while I really wanted another birth center birth (like E's birth) I wasn't so set on it that I would risk birthing a baby in the car on the 30 minute drive there. So we were totally open to a hospital birth this time around.
Friday evening, May 6, we went to Chick Fil A for dinner to celebrate a cousin's birthday. I was grumpy (ask Hubs or my mom...they'll tell you). I simply wasn't in the mood to be around screaming kids (two of them my own) and trying to coerce them to sit and eat chicken nuggets while they desperately just wanted to play in the play area. Braxton-Hicks contractions had become a norm for me with this pregnancy. Every. Evening. They weren't painful, but I could feel the tightening of my belly and it was simply not comfortable. All of that combined with being "done" with pregnancy and hormones...made for a perfect storm for a grumpy momma.
After dinner my mom took the kids for a little while so Hubs and I had a quiet ride home where we talked about how we were SO ready to meet this little girl. Kids came home and went to bed while I sat on the porch with my mom and her roommate and just relaxed. Mom commented on how hard my belly looked...and she was right! Those Braxton-Hicks were still coming and going. It was totally normal. As I went in to go to bed, I didn't think much of my continuing BH contractions because honestly every night when I went to bed I had them. But then I woke up to go to the bathroom around midnight and was still feeling them. I woke Michael up and told him that it wasn't normal for me to continue to feel them, but I did not want to be one of those women who went to the hospital in "false labor"...but I didn't want another almost-unattended-unplanned-homebirth! We decided to call the midwife on call. She knew my story and basically told me to come get checked. She'd rather send me home than me birth a baby at home alone. I agreed!
We got to the hospital (a couple miles down the road) around 1:00am on Saturday. They knew I was coming so they were ready for me and she checked my cervix. She had checked me on Wednesday at my office visit and I was 3cm 80% effaced. At this point, I was 4cm and 90% effaced so she decided to monitor me for an hour or two to see what happened. Some friends who were out late (and who knew what was happening) brought Michael much needed coffee. Both of us had only slept about an hour. Around 3:00am I was dilated to 5cm, so they admitted me. We were definitely having a baby.
Our doula came once they admitted me and around 6:00am I was at 7cm. Progressing pretty quickly but really feeling no pain. I know. Its crazy. You hate me. But seriously. I was shocked too. With E I felt serious intense pain during transition so I was ready to have it hit me at 8cm. It had been so easy up until that point and thinking of the pain coming made me sick to my stomach! I was scared and unsure I could do it...again. At 8cm I still only felt mild cramp like contractions. Not painful but definitely could feel the muscles tense up. The nurses were astounded that I was still walking the halls at 8cm! But, despite the walking I stalled at 8cm. Maybe my body was tired but I wanted to birth this girl before the midwives switched shifts. So she broke my water and we kept walking and doing other squats and such to get baby girl in the best position.
Let's be honest...my doula and Hubs were bored to tears. Hubs actually fell asleep multiple times because we were just sitting around waiting basically. There wasn't much for the doula to do because I wasn't in as much pain as I expected and I didn't really need any "support" at the time. It made the time really drag by.
Several hours later I was still at 8cm. The midwife I really wanted to deliver had left and the new one started talking Pitocin. I had heard horrible things about it so I declined at first. Finally after another hour at 8cm I decided I would do it. I honestly expected the worst. Really hard contractions that were unbearable (after going to 8cm with hardly feeling much at all). I braced myself...but it never came. The contractions picked up, yes, but they were only slightly more intense. Definitely still tolerable. within an hour or two I was at 10cm and fully effaced. Ready to push!
That's when the pain hit.
And it hit hard.
Hubs said I pushed for 12 minutes but it felt like an eternity.
Then she was born.
My beautiful Evangeline.
All 6 pounds and 2 ounces of her.
I cried and just keep saying "she's beautiful".
I don't know if it was the pre-term labor and all that stress around her possibly being born too early and what that would mean for her/us or what it was. She is the only baby I have delivered and cried upon seeing. It was precious.
It was the day before Mother's Day...and adding another little one to our family was the perfect way to celebrate!
Looking back to G-man's birth...I think it was similar. I was in active labor but didn't feel anything until it was time to push and I was still at home. Thankfully this time around, God gave me that gut instinct to go ahead and go get checked because even though I wasn't in pain I knew something was different with (what I thought were) the BH contractions.
**These lovely newborn photos were taken by our friend Anna**
*Our amazing and patient doula and hospital photographer was our friend Andrea*