The Birth of Everly
I woke up with a "stomach ache". I went the the bathroom and then went back to bed to tell Jonathan. I couldn't sit still. I kept thinking "Oh, no! I cannot be having stomach issues, I could go into labor soon and I don't want to be sick!". After I went to the bathroom again I started feeling more consistent sensations. Jonathan kept telling me it was labor but I didn't believe him. I tried getting in the bath but it wasn't comfortable. This surprised me because through my pregnancy I imagined myself laboring in the bathroom for the majority of my time home.....
I couldn't go back to bed. I went to the couch and hung over the back. Jonathan and I decided we should call Amanda to let her know that we thought this could be it. We began timing contractions and realized they were forming a pretty solid pattern.
3:00 am Jonathan called Amanda and told her everything was progressing and that she should come. At this point I couldn't talk during the rushes.
3:30 am Amanda arrived at our house and I barely realized until she began talking to me. I remember smiling at her and trying to seem chill by saying "Hey". By this point I had reached active labor. Jonathan did great about setting the mood. There were candles and my playlist was on shuffle. I stayed on my hands and knees leaning over the back of the couch for awhile. I was very vocal during contractions. Amanda was great about telling me to release into them. I kept complaining about "my butt" and she would tell me that it was good and that the baby was doing the right thing. I thought for sure something was going to explode down there. As one of the Farm midwives said "Rushes are not painful but more of an interesting sensation you've never felt before and you have to adapt and learn to manage them.". This is so true. I never felt pain just something different.
5:00 am By this point I was restless. I felt that we needed to head to the hospital. I was scared to go though for fear that I wasn't dilated enough and I wanted to be home where I was comfortable. Jonathan began getting everything in the car. I remember getting upset because he seemed to take forever. This was the first time I really got upset about anything.
6:30 am I got up. Jonathan got my sock monkey house shoes. Which I remember thinking was sweet and also weird...shouldn't I be wearing real shoes!? We got me out the door and I remember feeling like I was booking it down the stairs. I just wanted to get there and not have a contraction on the stairs. The sun was just coming up as I got into the car. It was warm with a cool breeze; it felt perfect to me. I climbed into the back and straddled my body pillow and hung over the seat the way I had been on our couch. Just as I felt we were ready to go I thought to ask him if he'd gotten my ID (the joys of giving birth on another military base). He didn't. He had to run upstairs and grab it. I was a little ticked but he came in a rush. The ride went by fairly quick. The contractions in the car weren't too hard to manage but I just wanted someone putting pressure on my tailbone. I remember telling Jonathan "I need hands!!!!". He told me later that he laughed a little cause he didn't know what I meant at all. He did try to help by squeezing one of my feet. When we got to the hospital we got to park right upfront since it was so early. I rolled out of the car and waddled up to the entrance. As the 3 of us were walking a guy asked "Hey can I get you a wheelchair?". I think I responded with a "No, I'm fine". We got inside and took the elevator to the 5th floor to L&D.
7:30 am They took us to a triage room and checked me. I was 4cm dilated. I was extremely disappointed to hear this. I thought for sure I was 7-8cm. They hooked me up to the monitor and told me that I'd need an IV soon if I planned to stay or I could walk around. I began getting flustered and confused. I didn't want to walk. I wanted to get comfortable laboring in a room. I asked to go to the bathroom. It was nice to be away from the environment for a minute but I didn't like laboring alone. It was hard for me to pee and I was in there awhile. When I got out Jonathan and Amanda weren't there I got worried. I asked where they were and right about that time I saw them. They decided to go ahead and get a room for me.
8:30 am When we got into the labor and delivery room things began to get stressful. Right as I got comfortable on the birth ball (again hanging over the bed holding a pillow) doctors and nurses came in and started asking a million questions and telling me I had to have an IV. Jonathan had already handed them our birth plan previously and told them to refer to that as much as possible and to let him answer questions. The dr began to get upset that I didn't want an IV. I told her a Hep lock was ok and she didn't even seem satisfied with that. She began going over all the worst cases scenarios and saying "But what about your epidural" and "So you want your baby to die?". Up until then I had been calm but I snapped and said "Please cut out the negative language.". I think she got the picture cause she left and the nurse began digging for a vein for my Hep Lock. She dug around for about an hour when I told her I had to pee.
9:30 am I went to the bathroom alone and tried to pee, I couldn't. Right as I started getting inside my head thinking "I can't do this, I'm gonna have to play their game (epidural, etc)"; my water broke. Amanda and Jonathan heard it from outside the door. Amanda came in to check the color...of course meconium. I was a little upset. By this point my body took control. I started bearing down and I couldn't control it. Amanda warned me to try not to so I didn't hurt myself if I wasn't fully dilated. I decided I wanted to be checked because mentally I was getting exhausted but I was scared of a small number again. To my relief I was fully dilated!!!! Praise God. I got settled on the bed on my side (I wanted to be on my hands and knees but the doctor said no).
10:15 am Before I started pushing the doctor told me that the NICU team would be in the room because of the meconium. I didn't even care or really notice, I just wanted to get Everly out. I began pushing and I remember looking around and feeling so surreal about the whole experience. It had happened so fast and now it was happening! I pushed without coaching for awhile and began to feel like she was never coming out. Amanda started doing timed pushing with me and it helped a lot. Everyone was so supportive. I really wanted gravity to help me but I knew the doctor wanted me to stay put. Finally the doctor said I could reach down to feel her head. I didn't think it felt like much...I thought it would be a lot more. Everyone kept talking about how much hair she had and that got me excited. When I got to the end or "the ring of fire" that was the first "pain" I felt. But I embraced it for a few pushes and her head was out. I thought I was done but she had her hand up by her face so she was a little stuck. Everyone began yelling a little and that stressed me out but a few seconds later she was finally in my arms...at 10:51 am. She was beautiful and I was so relieved to be done. Jonathan was tearing up and I was just in shock but a wonderfully and happy state of shock.