on saturday night I figured she wasn't going to come the next day, so I drank some red raspberry leaf tea to help get things going. for me, it seemed like this tea worked, or it could have been a coincidence. during our lunch break from class on sunday I started feeling some mild, very spread out contractions. but hey, I had never had a kid before, so I assumed they were the braxton hicks contractions that everyone is always talking about. I remember calling my mom on the way home that day and letting her know that I was thinking I might be having some contractions, but again, wasn't feeling very sure about any of it. that night we had friends over to watch The Walking Dead like we do every sunday it is on. contractions were getting closer, but nothing to call alert to, so I would get up whenever I felt like I needed a walk, and no, I don't really think anyone really noticed. a short while later I started taking down the time of my contractions to see if I could get a better idea of when everly may arrive. I loved around eleven that night when the mr. asked if he should turn off the christmas lights so we could go to bed. I kindly let him know that I didn't think I was going to be going to bed that night. and because we are just not "those" kind of people, he calmly said ok, and I let him know he would probably be calling in to work the next morning, and we said good night. no, I didn't have him stay up with me. I guess I was ok with starting things off on my own, and I figured if this could take days, one of us would need some sleep.
to "I'm clearly being attacked by a wild animal over here".
the format was playing in the background and I did not open my eyes that entire twenty-five minute trip. mike asked me if I was in my happy place, and I was, and I love that he knew exactly where I imagining myself to be. we got to the hospital at five in the morning, walked through the doors, and realized we had no idea where we were going because we never got around to doing the tour, and in our defense, she was about a week early. ok, so yeah, that wasn't really a good idea, but I was a women in crazy labor, and I was just going to keep opening doors until I found someone to help me. thankfully, I only had to go through two before I found the nurses station. they got me into the room quickly, and because the birthing gods were with us, the one room in the hospital with a birthing tub was free, and all mine! we got settled, only to have things go from perfect to terrifying in about two minutes.
once we were out of the scary zone, my midwife asked me if she should get the tub ready for me. the pain was so intense, and the i.v. had me feeling very defeated, I really had no desire to get in the tub at this moment. thankfully, my midwife and mike knew it would help, and in the tub I went. we were at the hospital for a total of two hours before everly was born. yes, crazy, I know. she was ready to be born, I didn't have any fears going into the birth, and I knew that I just had to go with what was happening to get to see my baby. even so, those two hours are hands down the hardest two hours of my life. being in labor is a full body experience. you use everything you have to birth a baby. I had the best delivery nurse by my side the entire time. she knew exactly how to help, and mike had remembered everything they told us in those classes. now, because this story would not be complete without this one detail, I must share. now remember, mike experienced my labor for about four or so hours in total, and yes, he had not had breakfast before she was born, but my favorite memory of the moment right before we deliver is mike sitting right outside the tub, eating out of a can of nuts, about three inches from my face. turns out the smell of mixed nuts in the morning while in labor is not really what you want, and between ridiculous contractions I remember asking him to get rid of that can! yes, they had told the dads in the birthing class to make sure they eat and stay energized, but that was for the labors that lasted days. so I still give him a hard time about this, because, well, other than that, he was the best birthing partner I could have asked for.
the known benefits of having your baby in water, another benefit is a baby who comes out all squeeky clean. she was in my arms seconds after she was born and was perfect. everly came into this world at 7:24 monday morning weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces. she was born with no meds, no bright lights, no stirrups, and I was so thankful that she let me deliver her this way. after we had our first family moment, just the three of us, mike cut her cord, but I did have to prompt him. I think the thought of it made him a little nervous, but I know he is glad now that he did that first "daddy duty". everly was ours, and never left our side that day and a half we were in the hospital.
ok, and can I just say that I love this picture. the looks on our faces don't quite say we just became parents an hour ago. mike's pretty happy he has his granola bar, and I'm sucking down some amazingly good orange juice. go us. love my little family to pieces.
we love you everly mae and are so happy you chose us to be your parents - thank you
all images were taken by our friend geoff bardot of the goodness
thank you geoff once again for waking up insanely early to photograph everly's first hour
I think I fall even more in love with these images the older she gets