July 14th will forever be a most special day. We saw the goodness of the Lord. I learned in a very clear way that sometimes you have to let go of any expectations or control. But let's be honest, Evelyn's entire story has been one of me letting go of control and trusting the Lord. Brett and I had decided that we wanted to have an unmedicated birth. Well, actually Brett really just wanted me to do whatever I wanted to do, and I wanted it to unmedicated. (Crazy lady?) :) I had several reasons, but one being that I really wanted to know what it was like and see if I could do it.
Evelyn was due on Saturday, July 11th. That day came and went, but I had been having some inconsistent contractions and other things that showed I was trying to progress. I had been 1 cm dilated for weeks. On Sunday I had to go into the hospital to be monitored for a couple of hours. By the time I left, I was 2 cm dilated. On Sunday and Monday I continued to have contractions. It wasn't anything consistent, but on Monday afternoon they started getting slightly more intense. I was talking through them so nothing crazy....but enough to where I noticed them. On Monday evening we went to Target and walked and walked trying to make this girl come on out. That evening things got a little more consistent and a little more painful. Again, I would say nothing terrible, but I wasn't able to sleep. I got only about an hour of rest that evening.
Around 1 AM I got up and started actually timing the contractions. They were anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes apart. Around 4 AM we decided to go ahead and go to the hospital. I had no idea how far along I would be, but was praying it was more than 2 cm. :) I wasn't checked until around 5:45 or so and I was 4 cm and about 75% effaced. After this, Brett and I walked and walked and walked and walked trying to get this baby to progress. We both assumed that we would have a baby by lunchtime or early afternoon.
My doctor came by around 9:30 to check me and see me before starting her day. At that point she said I was about 5 cm maybe and 100% effaced. I continued to walk. I was tired, but contractions didn't really allow me to sleep. It didn't feel good to labor in the bed, so I was standing and walking and leaning on Brett a whole lot. My doctor said she would return sometime after lunch. At around 1:15 she came and checked me and said I was "maybe 6 cm". Man oh man....I was really hoping for more progress. Contractions were bearable, but certainly getting longer and more intense. By about 2:30 or 2:45 I asked the nurse to check me. I think I was just so tired after only getting an hour of sleep. Well, she said that I was maybe 7 cm. I asked for a dose of nubain thinking that might help me to relax. I got a super small dose of it, but it affected me in a big way. I was so loopy. I felt every single contraction, but thankfully I was able to rest between contractions. I slept off and on between contractions for about 45 minutes or so.
I continued to labor, and my doctor came in around 6:00 that evening. I was still 7 cm. My doctor asked if she could break my water since it had not broken yet. I knew that this could cause a lot more pain, but I also knew it would hopefully help me to progress. Well, after she broke my water the pain was the most intense I had ever felt. I was so exhausted and having trouble managing the pain. I was going into my 18th hour of labor having had little sleep. By 8 cm we made the decision to get an epidural. At that point, after deciding I wanted one, I just wanted it to kick in before I started pushing. Before getting an epidural I had to have a bag of fluids pumped through my IV. It was torture watching that bag drip slowly. The contractions continued to get more intense and I began bearing down to push...because.....I couldn't help it. By 9 cm I was getting the epidural, and all I wanted was for it to kick in before pushing. The anesthesiologist told me that I would feel my next few contractions and that in about 5-8 minutes it would kick in. I kept trying to push so the nurse checked me again. She told me I was 10 cm, but that baby girl was high enough to where the epidural should kick in before pushing. I know that it did kick in, but I certainly felt a good bit of what was happening. I was thankful that I got the epidural, as I know it helped me to finish bringing Evelyn into the world.
At 9:36, our lives changed forever as she arrived after almost 21 hours of labor. It was the best moment. I was so thrilled that she was here. Once they put her on my chest she never cried. She stared at Brett and I. I just remember feeling so grateful for this precious gift....and for sure thankful that labor was over.
July 14th was such a sweet day. It was long, and didn't end exactly how I planned. But, I know that God knew exactly how this day would go before the foundation of the world. Sometimes my expectations and desires have to go out the window. God's plans are always greater. We got the greatest gift at the end of the day.
I made this video documenting her arrival. Let's be honest, I look straight up yuck in labor.....but, hey, real life. Don't worry, there is nothing awkward in the video... :) My sweet sister took the pictures throughout the day, and I am thankful that I have them!