I love hearing birth stories. I feel like each baby comes into this world in their own special way, and the birth story is just the first of many stories that will become a part of their life, and a part of who they are. For all of my children, the day they were born is one of my favorite parts of their story, and Everly's story is already so special to me.
If you don't want to read words like membrane and dilation, you might just want to skip this post. Sorry, but it just wouldn't be a true birth story without some terms like that.
I guess this story started on Friday, September 5th. I had my weekly doctor's visit that morning. There, the doctor told me that he thought I had a 50/50 chance of having the baby within the week. Then, he told me that he was leaving on Sunday, and would be out of town for two weeks, so unless I went into labor the next day, when he was on-call, then it would definitely be a different doctor that would deliver the baby. He went out of town for two weeks right at the end of my pregnancy with Krew, only that time he told me in advance, and he induced me early so he could be the one to do my epidural and deliver the baby. This time, it wasn't going to work like that.
Anyway, since I really wanted him to be the one to deliver the baby, I asked him to strip my membranes, in hopes that it would put me into labor by the next day. Well it didn't. All it did was make the contractions that I had been having frequently for the past several months, super painful. I really wasn't having any more contractions than usual, they just hurt. In fact, it even hurt when the baby would kick. I suddenly wanted this pregnancy to be over.
The next day was Saturday, and I was officially 39 weeks! I spent the day resting, cleaning the house, taking the kids to the library (where I was so miserable, I really shouldn't have been out with the three kids by myself). That evening we went out for tacos to see if the spicy food trick was real or a myth. Then, we went for a walk as a family along the river to see if the walking trick was a myth.
Sunday morning I woke up, not in labor. All weekend I would have contractions that I thought might be becoming regular, but as soon as I would start to do something else, they would stop. Also, I didn't sleep well at all Friday or Saturday night, because I kept having contractions that were painful enough to wake me up, but only a couple at a time. Since we have church at 1:00, I decided to try to take a nap at around 11:00, but I couldn't sleep more than ten minutes at a time because I was having more painful contractions. I probably shouldn't have gone to church at all because I was miserable. Every few minutes I would be in pain, I could hardly walk, and I was exhausted. During the last hour of church, from 3:00-4:00, I decided to time my contractions, which I discovered were coming every 6 minutes. I was beginning to think I might actually be in labor, but as soon as church ended, and I walked around to find Bart and the kids, the contractions became sporadic again.
So, we went home, and I finished the brownies I had made that morning, and we headed to our friends' house for dinner. As soon as we got there, I warned them that I was having a lot of contractions and that I wasn't going to pretend that I wasn't in pain every few minutes. I tried to socialize a bit, but I quickly realized that it wasn't going to be easy, and that we probably should have stayed home. I tried to eat while I sat on their couch, timing my contractions, which were now coming consistently every 5 minutes. After we'd been there about an hour, I stood up to go to the bathroom. As soon as I stood up, my water broke! Luckily it wasn't a huge gush, but I then knew that this was really happening, and that we were going to meet our baby girl very soon!
We quickly packed up the kids, took them home, got the neighbor to come watch them until Bart's parents could get there, and headed to the hospital. I wasn't feeling too bad until we were on our way to the hospital and by then the contractions were every 3 minutes or so, and getting quite strong. Luckily the hospital is only 2 miles from our house, and it was kind of exciting to be heading to the hospital in labor, because I'd only ever been induced before, so this was new and different.
We got to the hospital a little before 8:00 Sunday evening, got settled in, found out I was already dilated to a 4, and had my epidural by 9:30. It kicked in so quickly, and worked so well. I seriously felt more comfortable and relaxed than I had in weeks. It was the first time in quite a while that I could rest without feeling contractions every 10-15 minutes. I certainly didn't expect to feel better right before I had a baby than I had in months, but I did.
To pass the time, Bart and I watched a few episodes of The Office on the iPad, watched the 10:00 news, where our weatherman friend gave us a shout-out on the air, and wondered if the baby would be born before midnight or after.
Every so often, the nurse came to check how I was progressing. I started at a 4, then I was a 6, then an 8, and shortly after midnight when the nurse checked me, she said I was complete, and asked if I wanted to start pushing. I felt so great, that I never would have guessed I was ready to have this baby. But, I did a "practice" push with just the nurse there, then she called the doctor and the rest of the medical team in. Within a few minutes, everyone was there and we were ready to go. I seriously felt awesome, and I loved that I could be relaxed and just focus on what was happening, and try to remember the little details, instead of being in pain and a bit out of my head like the last two times. I pushed through two contractions, and the doctor told me to stop so she could clear the baby's nose and mouth. I couldn't believe how close she was to being here! One more contraction, and she was out! It was one of the most awesome moments of my whole life! As the doctor placed her on my chest, I felt an instant connection, like I had known this little person my whole life and had just forgotten.
The labor and delivery had gone so wonderfully smoothly, we couldn't even believe it. It just felt so peaceful and spiritual. Baby Boots was finally here!