I have copied and pasted Evelyn's birth story below. It's long and detailed, so know that before you read further.
"E" arrived on Sunday, 12.2.12 at 3:38am after a 31.5 hour labor. She was 8lbs 6oz and 20.5" long. The birth was nothing I could have planned or prepared for... But we are healthy and happy and so in love - and that's all we are concerned with!
Long story (with a lot of details regarding the birth, so you've been warned):
My due date was 12.1.12. I lost my mucus plug on Sunday Nov 25th. I had light, sporadic contractions through the week. On Thursday, November 29th I had a chiropractic adjustment and a massage. On the drive home from the massage I started having time able contractions, but they stayed about 7 min apart. H and I did pretty well at ignoring them. Those contractions lasted from 5pm-11pm and then they just died out. We slept really well and I was thankful they didn't keep me up all night and I could rest for the real thing.
On Friday, November 30 I started having contractions again at 8pm. We had dinner plans with friends that I didn't want to break... So we went on. I had contractions through dinner that I was not timing or letting anyone know i was having them. By the car ride home from dinner, I knew these contractions were different than Thursday's. Once we got home we started timing and they were 5 minutes a part and getting stronger pretty quickly. We labored at home from about 10pm to 2am. By then, I couldn't talk through the contraction, and they were 3-4 minutes a part. Off to the hospital we went!
When we checked in (2:30am) they monitored me and said in was 3cm dilated. Because my contractions were strong, I felt like things might move quickly, so we stayed. I labored mostly on the yoga ball. I vomited several times, but tried to keep moving as much as possible. At 6am I was checked again at was at 4cm. I was having a difficult time with the pain, so I took the ball into the shower which felt great, but I was I was having an extremely difficult time concentrating. Henry must have reminded me to breathe 1 million times between 6am and 11am. By then, I was convinced I couldn't go on and requested to be checked again. I had started feeling like i wanted to bare down and it honestly scared me. I got out of the shower and was checked. I was a 7cm and felt completely overwhelmed and told H I wanted an epidural. He was so supportive and kept reminding me I WAS doing it. So I tried to believe him and keep going. The doctor suggested I go with the bare down feeling and try to move the baby down because she was still really high. I used the squat bar, while laying in the bed, as something to pull on and use resistance to move the baby down. It was excruciating. At some point, my water broke doing this. After 3 hours of this (2pm) I was physically exhausted and mentally, my confidence was gone. They checked me again (my request) and I was at an 8cm. My doctor said she could tell the baby's head was transverse and that was probably what was stalling my labor. I knew it had been 18 hours of labor, and I felt like I had nothing left to give. I requested the epidural at that point.
By 3pm the epi was administered. I felt very content with my decision, although that was obviously not something I anticipated. H and I were then able to sleep for 2.5 hours which was amazing because I was so tired. We woke up at 5:30pm and continued laboring until 11pm. By this time, by water had been broken for 12 hours and I had been laboring for 27 hours, and I could tell the nurse was getting concerned with my slow progress. The doc came in and checked the baby's position, and also found what she called a "fore bag" of water which was possibly also blocking the decent of the baby. She broke that and said that she was worried there might be a reason the baby isn't coming down and that she needed to see progression within the next hour and a half or we would have to reevaluate. At 12:30am (now Sunday, Dec 2) I was checked again and only at an 8.5cm. My doc was awesome and said any progression was good, but another hour could pass before she would recommend a c-section. Shockingly, by 1:30 I was fully dilated.
She said that the baby's head was still high and transverse, but she was willing to try what she could to turn her head to enable a vaginal birth. She suggested trying to wait an hour and not push until the baby was "right there" to increase my chances. So I waited. At 2:30am I NEEDED to push. Even with the epi, I felt a huge amount of pressure and was able to push very effectively. (i also never lost movement in my legs and feet. They were heavy and uncomfortable, but not totally numb.)
After one hour of pushing, E arrived. She was wide eyed and screaming. Henry said she saw the doctor manually turning her head as she was being delivered to help with the positioning issue. They laid her on my chest and it was the most incredible thing I have ever felt. I was joyous. I was laughing and smiling and could not stop looking at her, then to H. Love was like magic. It happened in an instant. It still takes my breath away when I think back.
Recovery has been very difficult. I had a 2nd degree tear. I also lost a lot of blood. They ended up giving me a shot in my thigh (cant remember the name) to help slow down the bleeding. My placenta took at least 45 minutes to deliver and was huge! Since the delivery, I am still struggling with passing blood clots that are unnerving in size. My OB has put me on a new medicine that should hopefully stop that soon.
Life with E and H is more than I could have dreamt. To see H transform into a father has been nothing short of incredible. This little girl has rocked our world, strengthened our love, and created a family. I will be forever thankful to her.
photos by Libby Ann Photography when she was 9 days old