birth story

my everly was born over five months ago, and the day she came into this world still seems like yesterday.  for some reason, I still have such clarity around the morning she arrived, but I know that time will start to take away some of these moments, so I will try to write down what I hope to remember down the road. 

everly had a due date that changed countless times.  we joked that she would come somewhere between halloween and thanksgiving.  I had asked everly to hold on past the first weekend of november, because I had class that weekend, and let's face it, I didn't want to have to do independent study with a brand new baby.  well, everly listened, but just barely.

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.
thankfully, I dozed off on the sofa for a couple of hours, only to wake up around 1 a.m. and realized that maybe everly wouldn't be taking days to make her arrival.  I decided a bath would hopefully make things better, and contractions were coming much more regularly, so I gave it a whirl.  I think it was only the second time I had used the bath tub in our flat, and man, did it take forever to fill up, especially when there was a good amount of pain coming my way every 5-10 minutes.  time begins to get very blurry around this point.  weeks after everly was born I found the paper that I was keeping track of my contractions on, and I'm so glad I kept it.  my handwriting went from "calm and teacher-approved"
to "I'm clearly being attacked by a wild animal over here".
after soaking for some time, and remembering that the midwife told me the bath could slow down labor, I started to realize this birth was most likely not going to be like the ones I had heard countless times before.  there was no slowing down.  now, the next part may sound silly, but around three in the morning, I decided to "get ready".  I needed a distraction, and I had just taken a bath after all, so I put on a light amount of makeup, and even curled my hair.  none of this was done for anyone else, I didn't care what I looked like, it really was just something I could do, standing up, rocking, and working through my labor.
by 3:30 I realized my contractions had gotten to a pretty steady two to four minute spread and realized that maybe I should get this little lady's dad out of bed before he missed the whole thing.  let's just say, I had to wake him up twice.  no, it wasn't like the movies where the dad jumps up and starts running around the house.  he was calm, and that was what I needed.  neither of us appeared like our lives were about to forever be changed, but I know it was on both our minds.  my proof?  well, when speaking to the midwife that poor husband of mine couldn't even spell my first name right!  I hear him, voice shaking, l...y...n...d...a...s...y.  poor guy.  an hour later, after way too much talking on the phone with nurses and the midwife [and calls to family members], I finally let them know we were coming to the hospital whether they liked it or not!  I know they wanted to make sure it was really time so they didn't have to turn us away, but come on, too many questions that mike couldn't answer, and I'm not one who likes to talk on the phone regularly, so I was really getting short with my answers to say the least.
car was packed, and cruise control was set for a perfect sixty-five mile an hour trek to the hospital.  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.
the delivery nurse checked everly's vitals only to get a very alarmed look on her face, insisting the midwife to get there right away.  not exactly the welcome we were looking for.  the pregnancy had been so easy, this was not the time for everly to start trouble.  her heart rate was half of what it should have been, they quickly threw me on my side, and started prepping me for a possible emergency c-section.  yes, I freaked out to say the least.  I remember laying there and pretty much shutting down.  I knew that my midwife would only suggest a c-section if it was the real last option which terrified me because that meant everly really was in trouble.  thankfully, after laying on my side for a minute her heart rate came right back up, but because of the scare, I was now forced to have an i.v. started [no meds] just to make sure that we would be ready if something like that would happen again.  that damn i.v.  I complained about that thing literally up until the minute she was born, the mr. can attest to that.

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.
right before everly was born I remember losing everyone in the room.  I know they were there, but I was so focussed on what I was doing, I felt like they were gone.  I remember shouting if it was okay for me to push, and since we were working with wonderfully supportive professionals of natural birth, they said, "yes, do whatever your body is telling you".  so everly is called our three push baby.  she came so quickly that I think it caught all of us off guard, well, maybe not all of us, but me for sure.  and besides all 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.
that day we saw many visitors, and maybe because she made things fairly easy on the both of us, everly and I were awake to see everyone.  I remember the nurses coming in throughout the day shocked that everly and I were still awake.  it wasn't until about seven that evening that I started losing some steam, and was very thankful to rest.  and well, everly started her attachment to us very early on and refused to sleep in the hospital crib, so she slept in my arms, and has been right next to us every night since.
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

1 comment:

  1. I love reading birth stories and yours is just beautiful.
    Katrina xx