Monday, November 3, 2014

A Baby Story

One week.

Nate and I have been a family of four for one week!

Honestly I can barely remember most of the week. All I know is it involved a lot of baby snuggling, not a lot of sleeping, and quite a few loads of laundry. We are considering changing Everett's name to I.P. Freely. #boyproblems

I can tell this is our second child since I am writing this one handed while holding and feeding the baby. But with two kids if I don't write it up now, I'll never remember the whole experience and may not find the time ever again!

It was an ordinary Sunday... at least as ordinary as days are when you are a week overdue and can barely stand because your belly is so enormous! We got ready for church, made it right on time, and committed to stay for an hour. At our church, we go three hours, to Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, and Relief Society/ Priesthood meetings.

After Sacrament, I decided to go ahead and stay for the rest of church. To my happy surprise, the teacher during third hour had made cookies! I took two... I figured I had earned it. So Emmy and I munch down our cookies and listen to an awesome lesson, and as the concluding remarks are being given I start picking up a few toys she had thrown on the floor. As I bend down and reach to grab a toy wedged behind my chair I notice a trickle of water. Being super pregnant I assumed I had accidentally peed a little or something, but more and more started coming and I realized I couldn't stop it- my water had just broke!

I sat on the ground debating what to do. Do I just make a mad dash for the bathroom? How do I tell Nate? How do I contain this and also conceal the giant wet spot growing on the backside of my dress!? Luckily my trusty friend Alissa grabbed Emmy for me and another kind friend went to go get Nate. We escaped out the side door before too many people noticed, headed home to get our hospital bag, fed Emmy a quick snack and Nate some lunch, handed Emmy off to Alissa (who graciously entertained and took care of Emmy that evening until my parents got off their flight from Boston), and off we went to the hospital.

When we got there around 3 pm, they started antibiotics since I tested positive for group b strep, and I wasn't having any contractions really so we just sat around and waited. They had mentioned if I didn't go into labor on my own by 6 pm they would have to start Pitocin. I REALLY didn't want to go that route, but was preparing for it since nothing seemed to be happening. But around 5:15 pm or so, contractions starting coming hard and fast.

My amazing midwife Jennifer had another woman in labor next door, so Nate and I spent a good portion of labor alone together in the room. I have to give it to Nate, we had discussed how I needed him to be more supportive and helpful this time around and he was. I didn't seem to be getting a break from the contractions and he cheered me on dutifully. I decided to try laboring for a bit in the jetted tub, which I ultimately think sped up labor, but it didn't really relieve much of the pain associated with the contractions. Jen had delivered the baby next door to us and came in to see what was happening.

At this point, I was starting to lose my nerve and thinking the epidural would give me an easy way out of all the discomfort of the contractions. So I told Jen I wanted one, and she told me if I was at seven centimeters when she checked me, she thought I should go without it and there probably wouldn't be enough time to get it anyway.

So I hop out of the tub, and low and behold I have progressed to seven centimeters! I went from three to seven in a matter of an hour or two! Nothing like my labor with Emmy. Jenn told me transition would go quickly, but I still had them start IV fluids in case I could still get the epidural and labor wasn't progressing as quickly as everyone thought it would. Like a crazed woman I kept asking how much fluid I had left in the IV bag before I could get an epidural as the contractions were kicking my butt. By the time I was close to having the anesthesiologist called, I was at 9 centimeters and starting to feel pressure like I wanted to push. Everyone was really encouraging, telling me I was strong, I was doing well, and that I could do this.

I felt a bit embarrassed by myself, as I started to yell, grunt, push and generally make a commotion about wanting this baby out. At some point, even though I was still groaning about, my mind had resigned itself to the pain and I was able to let go of it a little. Poor little Everett's head came out, but his shoulders were stuck. Quickly an assisting nurse came over and pushed down on my abdomen while I pushed and it was over! It was an instant relief, and after he came out  felt back to normal.

They handed him to me, and I instantly loved him. They let the cord finish pulsating, clamped it, Nate cut it, and then I delivered the afterbirth and got stitched up. The joy of having a baby get a little stuck is having to be stitched up after labor. I really could have cared less though. He was finally here!

I feel like this labor went so much differently from last time. I was well rested when I came into the hospital, I ate during labor which helped keep my energy up, and it was so much quicker this time around I was able to manage things so much better. When Em was born, I didn't feel an instant bond. I was exhausted and felt disconnected from the whole experience. I honestly feel part of it was not getting an epidural. I was able to feel the experience entirely and everything that comes with it. It was the labor I really wanted and am glad I had the support to get through it medication free.

Some people will think I am nuts, but honestly I didn't feel like it was all that bad. I am sure the speed of this labor had a lot to do with it, but I have been in worse pain in my life. I'm not saying it was not an intense experience, nor do I think everyone should go meds free. I think everyone has their own ideal birth and this was my experience.

So that it the story of Everett Nathaniel Eaton. Healthy and strong, arriving at 8:28 pm, weighing in at an impressive 8 pounds 11 ounces, and 21.5 inches long.

Thank you to everyone who has brought us meals, congratulated us, and supported us. We are so blessed to be surrounded by awesome friends and family who are happy to help in various ways.