After giving birth twice now I can honestly say that labor and delivery are a surreal experience. It is also the most physically and mentally challenging things I have every had to go through and I’ve done triathlons and half marathons. I want to write about this experience because I want something to remember this amazing experience and I know that when I was pregnant I enjoyed reading other people’s birth stories. Everly’s story has some similarities to Hunter’s but as Brian said, “Hunter’s birth was a marathon, Everly’s was a 5K” and I am sure you will see why!
If you want a refresher of Hunter’s Birth Story check out these posts:
Hunter’s Birth Story Part 1
Hunter’s Birth Story Part 2
Hunter’s Birth Story Part 3
Thursday morning started out like any other. I had actually skipped my Wednesday night Youth Ministry program because I was feeling so miserable from my cold (and being extremely pregnant). I actually got a good night’s sleep and was ready to spend the day with my boy! I got up and I did feel “different.” The baby felt really low in my pelvis but other than that no symptoms. I thought to my self, I wonder if this could be the day, or maybe I’ll have another Friday baby!
I went about my day. I went to my regular yoga class which felt REALLY good considering how big and uncomfortable I was feeling in general. It was a good day spent with Hunter playing and hanging out. He decided to skip a nap but it was ok, it meant extra snuggles in the afternoon. Because of not napping Hunter went to bed pretty early and Brian and I settled on to the couch to catch up on some DVRed shows.
Brian hadn’t been sleeping well so he drifted off to sleep pretty early. At about 8pm I felt what I thought was a contraction. A while later I felt another one. I was pretty sure “this was it” but nothing regular or painful was happening so I decided to head to bed and try to read waiting to see what happened. I didn’t wake Brian because if this really was labor I wanted him to get some rest.
While I was reading the contractions seemed to get pretty consistent but not to painful. I decided to time them and they were between 6 and 8 minutes apart sometimes lasting a minute sometimes less. The rule thumb is 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute or more for an hour. I was even able to drift off to sleep a few times between contractions but not for long. I woke up and kept reading and timing them. About 1 am Brian noticed my light on (he had been sleeping on the couch) and he came in to ask what was up. I told him I was pretty sure I was in labor but I wanted to wait it out. By then I had reached the “rule of thumb” we called the hospital and the nurse said I could come in or continue to do what I was doing until they became 3 minutes apart. I decided to stay at home because they really weren’t that bad. Brian got dressed, I took a shower and got dressed, we called Brian’s parents so they could come over and stay with Hunter.
Around 4am Brian said he thought we should go. I still wasn’t sure, the contractions were getting closer together but they really weren’t that bad. He pointed out that once we got there it would take awhile to get checked in and up to the maternity ward so I agreed with him and we left. I was honestly hoping I could labor at home until Hunter woke up so I could say good bye to him (Ha! Everly was born at 6:32am, he usually doesn’t wake up until 6:30!). When we exited the house I saw the freshly fallen snow and said, “We never bought Hunter boots.” Then I started crying, knowing how our life was going to change, especially for Hunter.
We got to the hospital and I calmly walked into the emergency room (where you have to go if it is after hours) and pronounced that I was in labor. The women working thought I was pretty funny and said they could tell I had done this before. I still felt silly being there. By the time I got to the hospital with Hunter the contractions were pretty painful, I had to stop several times walking to the maternity ward to get through them and here was this time talking and joking with the hospital staff! They wheeled me up to labor and delivery, I maybe had 1 or 2 contractions in that time.
Once there I was taken to a triage room and put on a monitor to check baby’s heart rate and monitor my contractions. By this time it was almost 5am. I joked with Brian that we could actually watch the early morning news (we use to always watch this before Hunter but now we have to be quiet in the morning). We were waiting for a the on call doctor to check my progress. After awhile the nurse said the doctor was busy so she would check me. I was about 3-4 centimeters and 75% effaced (if you don’t know what the means it’s not much). I was actually about the same when I came in with Hunter. The nurse said we would wait an hour to see if I progressed any more and then decide if I would actually get admitted and moved to a delivery room.
By 5:50am the contractions were getting stronger and closer together almost a minute a part, we called the nurse to see what was going on. She came back and said that in about 25 minutes the doctor would come in and check me. As soon as she left I had a terrible and painful contraction. I had no qualms about getting some pain management at this time. I was comparing my labor with my previous experience and I knew that if they were this painful and would last as long as Hunter’s labor I would need something. So we called the nurse back and asked if she could check me again, right away.
For some reason she had a hard time figuring out where I was at and called another nurse in. All this time the contractions were coming faster and faster and were more and more painful. After some deliberation the nurses said I was 100% effaced and 8cm. So, in less than an hour I went from 3-8, for those of you who don’t know that is REALLY fast!
I asked about an epidural and the nurse said, “Oh honey, there isn’t time. Once your water breaks it’s going to be time to push.” They were going to move me to a delivery room and maybe try and get me in a tub to relieve the pain. I thought to myself, “Oh no! When this happened with Hunter he wasn’t born for three more hours!” I just didn’t know if I could stand the pain for that long. Just as I thought this a MAJOR contraction hit me, my water broke and I double over the bed in pain. This was at 6:10am The nurses had me climb into bed on my hands and knees and that is just where I would stay until Everly was born.
At this point things got a little blurry for me. Brian says one of the nurses was shouting down the hallway for people to come and bring carts and tools, etc..( Remember I never actually made it to a delivery room and was still in the triage room) I guess there were a ton of people in the room but the only people I focused on was a nurse, Katie and Brian who were standing at the head of the bed holding my hands. At that point I started pushing with each contraction. Just like the last time it was unlike any workout I have ever done. I was making some crazy noises and just trying to breathe in between pushes. The nurses said I was going a good job! During each push I would bury my head in the bed close my eyes and focus all my energy on pushing that baby out. At some point my doctor arrived but I believe when they told me this I said, “I don’t care, I just want my baby out.” They kept telling me she was almost there but I just didn’t believe it! Sure enough, after a few really good pushes I felt my baby girl come into the world and I was filled with relief! It was only 20 minutes after my water broke. Again, it just amazed me how instant that relief is and how quickly the pain was over once the baby is born.
Of course the best part was when they laid her on my chest! She was crying like crazy and so was Brian and I. The doctors continued to work on me, I guess I did have a small tear, but nothing like with Hunter. After all drama and pain of labor this last part feels like nothing!
I am so glad that we left for the hospital when Brian suggested. Things sure went fast from there. I have to admit that even though I had been through labor before I was a little nervous about it this time because I didn’t feel like I was in as good as shape as last time but I guess having gone through it once before my body knew what to do. I also feel like I am recovering much quickly. I never took pain medication after delivery. Dare I say 5 days later I almost feel “normal” again.
I feel very fortunate to have had another healthy pregnancy and another natural delivery. Even though during both births I asked about epidurals I feel pretty proud that I was able to so it with out drugs. My friend who is an OBGYN said that’s pretty rare. I seem to recall that not long after’s Hunter’s birth I thought, “That wasn’t so bad, I could do that again.” Even though this delivery was much quicker (no less painful!) I did not have this same thought. I don’t want to say we will never have any more children (because you just never know) but I would be fine not having to go through labor and delivery again. It is an amazing beautiful experience that really shows what our bodies are capable but I don’t feel the need to experience it any time soon!
However, the end result is THE BEST! Enjoying getting to know out precious little girl!