I want to remember the week and moments of Evelyn’s birth. This pregnancy wasn’t planned, but a blessing and so many things about it proved that it was meant to be. God works in mysterious ways. Before I had found out I was pregnant I had come to the conclusion that we were going to be a family of three and that life was good. God had other plans and the day that I took the pregnancy test in the Fresh and Natural grocery store (yes, that is where I found out I was pregnant!) will forever change our lives in so many wonderful ways. The pregnancy was uneventful and besides the pregnancy rash it was easy and such a wonderful experience. I was able to CrossFit throughout the pregnancy, with modifications of course, and I truly believe that this helped keep me and Evelyn healthy with an amazing labor and delivery. Because of the rash, I ate extremely healthy and weight gain was perfect at 25lb. Towards the end people would ask how I was feeling and I would answer that I felt amazing. I didn’t have any of the usual heartburn, muscle cramps, swelling or general pregnancy discomforts. I feel at 37 years old I am very lucky to have had such a healthy pregnancy. I have been blessed with two easy and uneventful pregnancies. I am sad that it is over and that I will never feel those kicks, punches, and hiccups again, but I tried my hardest to document all the moments so I can remember them forever.
And, so it begins…
Monday night (May 10th) I woke up about 2am with mild contractions that were about 2-3 minutes apart. That lasted about 3 hours, but didn’t build and then stopped suddenly.
On Tuesday, I felt crampy and generally icky all day with some mild contractions sporadically. Tuesday night I had no contractions. Wednesday I felt great, took Elijah to swim lessons, worked out at noon and did the anniversary WOD (4RFT: bike 200m, 20 burpees, 20 knee raises, 20 air squats: finishing in 16min 8sec). Afterwards, Elijah and went to Fresh and Natural for some groceries. My mom came up that afternoon to be here to watch Elijah when the baby came. She was an absolute lifesaver and I don’t know what we would have done without her. That night we made chicken lettuce wraps for supper.
Wednesday night I woke up at 3am with contractions that started in my back and wrapped around to the front, nothing too intense. They were inconsistent, I fell back asleep and when I woke up in the morning they were gone.
Thursday morning I did some Beautycounter work and then we left for the OB appt with Brie Zillhardt. After the appt we went to Five Guys for lunch then to Home Goods for a few items. On the way home we stopped at Home Depot to get some more garden veggies and then came home. We arrived at home a little before 3. Lucas had to go coach at the gym so he left shortly after. It was a gorgeous day so Mom, Elijah, and I went outside. I pulled the weeds in one of our flower beds. We then started to plan to plant the tomato plants we had bought when I was in the garage (at 3:30pm) I felt a little “gush” and went to the bathroom. I had some blood tinged discharge with some fluid so I called Lucas, who was on his way into the gym. I told him what was going on and that I didn’t know what was going to happen yet and that I felt ok. He arranged for people to cover at the gym and he came home. I got in the shower to get cleaned up. I had been having contractions throughout the day, but inconsistent and they hadn’t changed at this point. Since Elijah’s labor came on suddenly in the middle of the night I never understood how someone could shower and get ready to leave for the hospital, it was always a mystery to me, until now!
I didn’t feel like cooking so Lucas, Elijah and I went to the grocery store to get brats for supper. I didn’t go in since the gushes of fluid were greater and to the point I had leaked through the pad and my pants were wet. I was having to change my pad frequently. I wasn’t that hungry and the contractions were increasing in intensity and intervals, they were about 3 minutes apart. We called the on call midwife (Jessie) at 7:30 to see what she wanted us to do and she told us to leave for the hospital in about an hour. She told me that Woodwinds was on diversion so we would need to deliver at St. Joe’s or St. John’s. I was so upset at the change as Woodwinds was where I had Elijah and hadn’t planned anywhere else. I told the on call midwife that my wishes were a natural birth with minimal intervention so whichever hospital she thought would suit me best. She said go to St. Joe’s. We got everything settled in the house and said our goodbyes to Mom and Elijah. We left for the hospital at 8:30.
During the drive my contractions intensified. At one point I looked at the speedometer and Lucas was going just under the speed limit. I kindly requested that he at least drive the posted speed limit. We arrived at the hospital about 9:10 and were taken to the maternity ward. They asked if I wanted a wheel chair and I declined as my pants were soaking wet and I felt better walking. Upon entering, the charge nurse, Mary Beth, greeted us. She had heard about the diversion and that I had planned on delivering at Woodwinds. I told her that it wasn’t anything against them. She knew of my natural birth plans and said “that was their jam” and that she had the perfect nurse for me, and she was a perfect fit.
I was taken to our room, I changed and met the midwife that would be delivering our baby, Sarah Holmgren, along with the nurse, also named Sarah. I stood while talking to them. While I was standing, contractions would be less intense and while sitting/laying down, they would intensify. Midwife Sarah checked my cervix and I was 5cm dilated and 70% effaced. Over the next 2.5 hours the contractions intensified immensely. I tried several different positions during contractions such as sitting on the toilet, sitting on the stability ball, and then eventually on hands and knees on the bed while Lucas rubbed my low back. I focused on deep breaths, trying to stay relaxed. The interval and intensity between contractions varied, and a few were back to back, which was horrible. All of the contractions were intense. Lucas was by my side, his usual quiet self, but would occasionally tell me I was doing great. I tried to rest in between. There wasn’t any back labor in between like I had with Elijah so that was a relief.
Before Midwife Sarah checked me for the last time I was in excruciating pain with each contraction. Towards the end I would sit at the end of the bed with my left leg in a crossed position with my right leg dangling off the side of the bed. I was starting to feel the urge to push.
At 12:40am, Midwife Sarah checked me and I was 10cm dilated and fully effaced. She told me that if I had the urge to push I could. The urge to push didn’t really happen until closer to 1:30 and then at 1:47 started pushing lying on my left side. I was hooked up to the monitor to keep an eye on her heart rate as she was having some decelerations and they wanted to monitor them. My first pushes weren’t the strongest. The interval between seemed longer than I remembered with Elijah, but it gave me a nice amount of time to rest in between. During each contraction I would push 3 times. It took 5 sets of 3 pushes before Evelyn was born, it was exhausting and there was a decent amount of swearing. There were a couple of moments in between contractions that I said I didn’t think I could do it and it hurt so bad and there was so much pressure and burning. Both Sarah’s and Lucas told me I could do it. I just wanted it to be over. I knew I could do it, I had done it before, but needed someone to tell me I could do it. On the 5th set of pushes, the second push her head started to come out and then the 3rd push she was born and sort of shot out. It caught Midwife Sarah a little off guard, but that’s what happens when you’ve been building those muscles up the whole pregnancy. She was born at 2am and she was perfect! She weighed 6lb 12oz and was 20.5in long.
She looked so tiny coming out! She cried right away so they put her on my stomach. Her umbilical cord was shorter, so she didn’t make it up to my chest. The NP was in the room to assess her when she was born since she had some meconium in her fluid and due to the decelerations. We delayed cutting the cord for 3 minutes, and Lucas cut the cord. He held her for a couple of minutes and then put her back on my chest and I nursed her. I had torn in two places and the posterior tear needed a few stitches. Due to so much less pushing than with Elijah, there was less swelling and bruising, thankfully. We didn’t get much sleep that night as there was so much excitement and adrenaline going.
The whole experience was perfect and I couldn’t have asked for better. I am thankful to have had the natural birth I wanted. The female body is a miraculous thing. The whole hospital stay was amazing and each nurse and care assistant was incredible. Elijah and my mom came to visit on Friday, the 12th. It was so cute to see Elijah meet his little sister for the first time. My heart felt like it could explode seeing him look at her and love on her.