Sunday, March 13, 2011

Evan's Birth Story

First, a little background. I had a c-section with the girls because Lydia turned breach at 36 weeks (how? we have no idea!). It was scheduled at 37 weeks, and I had zero real contractions while pregnant with them. My recovery was incredibly easy for a c-section, but I chose to attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) with Drew. I went into labor naturally two days before my due date, had to wait to get my epidural so long that I was a 10 when the nurse checked me right after the epidural took effect. Ouch! Then, I pushed for two hours before the doctor helped coax Drew out with forceps (not because he wouldn't fit but because I couldn't seem to get him pushed out correctly). I've never met another person who feels this way, but my recovery from my vaginal birth was definitely harder than my c-section recovery.

Knowing that my circumstances with Drew were unusual, we opted for a VBAC again with Baby #4. It's better to not induce labor with a VBAC, so I'd been trying to prep my mind to go past my due date (March 16) so that my expectations were realistic. However, I was a 2-3 at 36 weeks and a 3-4 at 38 weeks, and my doctor said he'd bet I wouldn't make it to my due date. So I quickly found myself longing to meet my baby as soon as possible! The suspense of whether this was a boy or girl made me especially excited to have this baby!

Labor with Evan was completely different from my experience with Drew, and for that I'm thankful! With Evan, the story began on Sunday (the 6th) morning. As I was getting the kids ready for church, I realized I was having pretty regular contractions--not really painful but noticeable and fairly frequent. I started tracking my contractions during Sunday school and church, and they were 5 minutes apart for a couple hours. They still didn't hurt though, but I expected that to change any minute. Instead, the contractions stopped for a while. I went for a long walk that afternoon to try to keep things moving, and I did have more painless contractions that evening. Then, in the middle of the night I had contractions that were painful enough to make me get out of bed and look for a more comfortable position every time I felt one coming. I got up and took a shower, planning to call Joanne (my mother-in-law) to ask her to come after I showered. Well, they quit again. I was bummed! So, I went back to bed and had some more but they were still at least 15 minutes apart.

The next morning I was pretty disappointed because this was different than what I had expected and different from labor with Drew. I had my weekly OB appointment that afternoon and started noticing some pretty regular contractions before I left the house. Sitting in the waiting room, they were getting a little painful and were 10 minutes apart. So, the doctor checked me and told me I was a 5-6! Whoa!!! So all those contractions really were doing something. He was nice and encouraging, but I left confused. Since I was Strep-B positive and having a VBAC, he said it would be better to not show up at the hospital at an 8 or 9. He said sometimes this can happen without seriously painful, regular contractions. But, he also didn't tell me to go to the hospital. I called my mom confused, and she said we should pray for clarity about my decision.

Well, the clarity came right away. Even on my way home, the contractions began to be 5 minutes apart and were getting more noticeable. That continued for 2 hours, so we made phone calls to get the kids taken care of, packed, and headed to the hospital. It was still very strange because although they hurt, I could still walk and talk through these contractions. I wished AJ could tell me whether or not we should be going to the hospital, but I had to make this call on my own. He didn't know how I felt or what we should do. After getting to my room at about 7:00, the nurse checked me, and I was still a 6 but the contractions were continuing to be regular and more painful (still nothing like with Drew though). I got the epidural a little while later, before I was in agonizing pain, which was awesome! I continued to progress while trying to get some rest. AJ said he felt so strange and useless because I never really needed him up to this point. Then, at about 10:15 pm, I felt a steady trickle of water and had AJ come see if my water had broken. It did! I got my second dose of the Strep-B antibiotic at 11 pm which was perfect timing and better for the baby to have those two doses. It wasn't much longer and I was a 10 and started to push at 11:15. I was nervous about this part since it didn't go smoothly with Drew. However, my nurse's coaching, my sweet hubby, and encouraging doctor made this go-round so much better! It also helped that I had done this before and that my epidural was just right so that I could feel how and when to push. I guess I was pushing hard...the next day I saw what looked like freckles on my face which were popped blood vessels from the pushing process and muscles all over my body were very sore. There was a tense moment when the doctor cut the cord in a hurry because it was wrapped around the baby's neck, but it passed quickly. At 11:46...sweet Evan Michael was born! I remember the nurse saying "Look between your legs" and I was straining to see if this was a boy or girl. I could see most of the baby but not the vital parts yet. Then AJ called out "It's a boy!" I wish I had a recording of him saying that. What a moment. All I could think about was Drew and this little guy playing and doing boy stuff with their daddy. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness, joy, and delight at this perfect addition to our family.

They cleaned him off a bit then laid him on my chest (this was the first time they didn't have to whisk my baby away to check him/her out). A little while later, the nurse was cleaning him up some more and told me he was doing some snorting and that she thought he needed some skin-to-skin time with his mommy. That was such a sweet time especially when he was breathing great after snuggling with me.

In the first few hours, Evan stuck his tongue out a lot and kept his eyes open quite a cute!

It wasn't long before Evan had his first visitors. Caleb (Drew's middle name is after him) and Hannah Shelburne (former students from Midland currently living in northwest Arkansas) drove down (3.5 hours) as soon as they heard I was at the hospital. So kind of them.

That night I couldn't sleep because I was so distracted dreaming about my new little boy and adding him to our family. We are so blessed and so thankful! We love you so much already, precious Evan!


Mandy said...

so glad i found your blog again! so proud of you megan! thanks for sharing evan's birth story with us!

Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing the whole story! I loved hearing all the details! So glad you had a good experience!

Melissa said...

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing the story. I love birth stories! ;)