Mother’s intuition is a strange thing. Although Evelyn’s due date was January 2nd, and we had a scheduled induction on the 29th of December, I had a feeling she would come the week before Christmas. And I was correct.
All that week, I had a ton of Braxton Hicks and cramps. But, showers and changing positions always stopped them. On Wednesdy, December 21st, I had my last OB/GYN appointment and was told I was dilated 3 centimeters and 30% effaced. My OB joked about not going into labor over Christmas weekend as she wouldn’t be there. I said, “Don’t worry. I don’t want a Christmas baby at all.”
Thursday was Justin’s first day off work for Christmas break. So, I took the laptop and went to a Starbucks to try to finish all blogging and virtual assisting/free lancing for the month. Then, I went to Target to get stocking stuffers and ingredients for Christmas dinner. At home, I cleaned the house. I was feeling very good that day. However, as we were putting Rhys to bed at 8 pm, I started to get a little uncomfortable with cramps. But, they started to become somewhat consistent. So, I warned Justin and started timing. I hopped in the shower and packed last minute items in our hospital bags. I had a few snacks, and tried changing my positions a few times. Around 10:30. I finally called my doctor and she said to go ahead to the hospital.
We woke Rhys up, packed up the pack-n-play, and walked over to our neighbor’s house to drop him off. On the way to the hospital, we called mom–she was planning on flying in for the induction on the 29th, but she switched her flight for early the next day.
We got to the hospital around 11:30pm and they put us in an observation room. Justin had Pokemon Go up to pass the time, and an Eevee appeared on my stomach! It was such a sweet coincidence! After they determined that I was in fact no dilated to 5 cm and 50% effaced and having consistent contractions, they sent us to a delivery room.
After an hour or so, I had some very painful contractions almost a minute apart…more painful than I had with Rhys, so we asked for the epidural. I was checked first and at 7 cm and 80% with very fast contractions. They rushed out to get the epidural and there was a part of me that was afraid that I wouldn’t get it in time. There were a lot of scheduled inductions that night because no one really wants a baby born on Christmas Eve or Day and they had priority over a natural labor. I turned to Justin in the middle of the worst contraction I ever had in tears and fear telling him I couldn’t do a natural labor–I was too scared. Thankfully, the epidural came right away.
With Rhys’s birth, the epidural was actually the most painful part, so I gathered up all my courage. But, I guess this anesthesiologist was just better because it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the first time. I couldn’t feel my contractions, nor my legs, but I could still lift them…I didn’t have nearly as much epidural as Rhys’s birth.
Around 4:45 AM or so, I had some huge pressure and felt the need to push. The nurse came in, saw that I was 9 cm and that my water still hadn’t broke, but Evelyn was definitely dropping. So, she grabbed the doctor. They broke my water, and immediately, I started pushing. After three sets of contractions, Evelyn was born. It was a faster, easier labor than Rhys’s all the way around.
Evelyn had pooped before being born, so before they could let us do skin-to-skin, they had to make sure she didn’t have any poop in her lungs. Then, they did the routine tests. Listening to her cry and seeing her wiggle around made my heart explode. I finally had a daughter. She was here, in my arms, not just a thought or a bump in my belly. She was really her and she was really mine.
Skin to skin with Evelyn was perfection. After a few minutes, she started really rooting, so I nursed her. She had a much better, natural latch than Rhys did, but it still hurt like crazy (as it would the entire week).
I recovered from the epidural a whole lot quicker than I did with Rhys, and I didn’t feel nearly as tired or in pain as I did with Rhys. For that, and for the whole quick and easy labor, I am extremely grateful.
My mom landed in Texas around 10AM, grabbed Rhys from his sitter (he had slept wonderfully and behaved well for them), and came over. Rhys was more interested in the hospital room equipment than he was Evelyn. Mom gushed with her.
Evelyn did have a little trouble adjusting to life–she lost 7% of her birth weight while in the hospital (the danger zone is 10%) and failed a regulating body temperature/heart test once, but passed both the second time. Thankfully, we were able to go home Christmas Eve and spend Christmas as a family of four (plus my mom).
I feel so full of happiness, gratitude, and peace. I have a wonderful husband, a brilliant son, and an adorable daughter. I feel complete.