Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Birth Story: Evangeline Adannaya

While I was pregnant with Evangeline, I really enjoyed reading birth stories written by other bloggers.  I wanted to make sure to record Evie's birth story, both for those who are interested to read it, and for our family, so we remember the details surrounding that perfect day.

On Wednesday, March 11th, I had a regular weekly checkup with our OB-GYN to see if there was any progress towards labor.  I had been 5 cm dilated since my last appointment the previous week, but I hadn't been experiencing any contractions.  At the appointment, our doctor examined me and announced I was now 7 cm dilated!  Kemi and I looked at each other, stunned.  Kemi was set to travel that weekend, so we asked our doctor what his recommendation was.  Would Evie possibly come this weekend.  Our doctor laughed and said she'll probably come today.  Kemi and I just started laughing.  I had gone in expecting a routine appointment.  I told my coworkers I would be returning to work that afternoon...I even had appointments scheduled for the rest of the week.  Because Evie's head and my bag of waters was so low, our doctor suggested I walk around for an hour, and come back to his office after that.  He suggested that my water would probably break on its own with just a little walking around.

Kemi and I left the office and got on the phone.  I called the school to let them know it looked like Evie was going to make her entrance today.  We decided to go home to get my hospital bag and birth plan in case my water did break.  While home, we decided to just walk around our own neighborhood.  We grabbed the dog, took a walk, but an hour later, my water still hadn't broken.  I called our doctor's office and they said to keep walking and come back in the morning if nothing had changed.  We continued to walk all evening.  I went to bed Wednesday night expecting my water to break overnight.

The next morning, still no progress!  I tried to stay active all day...sweeping the floors, mopping, doing laundry.  I was in super-nesting mode, wanting everything to be perfect before coming home with our daughter.  Later in the day I called our doctor and he was shocked I wasn't in active labor yet. We decided if my water hadn't broken by the evening that I would come back to his office at 4 pm.

Back at the office, our doctor did another exam and suggested we head over to the hospital where he would break my water.  I didn't want any interventions done, and had really hoped my water would break on its own, but Kemi and I really trusted our doctor and decided it would be best.

We were admitted to the hospital at 6:36 and our doctor broke my water around 7 pm Thursday night.  Once my water was broken, I finally began to feel contractions, although they still didn't feel any worse than menstrual cramps.  I was a little confused how things would progress if I wasn't experiencing contractions.  Our nurses suggested I walk as much as possible through the halls.  We walked for the next few hours.  After two hours or so, the nurse did another exam and found that I hadn't progressed past 7 cm.  I was a little frustrated, but because I was still feeling well enough to stay mobile, I just kept walking.  The later it got, the harder my contractions got.  I found the only relief came from being in the shower and swaying back and forth.  I showered several times during the night, staying in as long as I could each time. By midnight, my doctor came in to check my progress.  He said I had reached 9 cm, finally! The nurses suggested I continue walking to try to move from 9 cm to 10, but by this time, the contractions were so powerful, I was having trouble standing up at all, let alone walking.  I had a few contractions that were so powerful I vomited.  By this time, I was so exhausted and in so much pain.  I didn't want to receive any sort of pain medication, and my doctor and nurses were all great about honoring that, but by this time I began to second guess myself.  It became almost impossible to find a way to bear the pain.  The only thing I could do, (since I could no longer stand in the shower) was to sit on the edge of the bed, sway back and forth, and tell myself "I'm okay. I'm okay." I must have looked insane, but telling myself I was ok helped.

Around 2:45, my doctor came in and suggested I push through the next contraction to attempt to get to 10 cm.  I was so exhausted by this time, but so anxious to finally see our daughter.  I pushed on the next contraction, and continued to push for every contraction for the next 45 minutes.  This was where the labor really became almost too much to bear. I was so exhausted, and burning hot.  I didn't get a fever, but I was pouring sweat and felt like I was in a pot of boiling water.  I had a wet washcloth on my forehead, and Kemi fanned me with a card the entire time I was pushing. That was truly the one thing that gave me the most comfort.  The pushing was so hard because the contractions were just coming so fast, and it didn't seem like enough time between each contraction before I had to push again. I felt like my head was going to explode.  I was doubting myself and feeling so discouraged.  Kemi and my doctor kept telling me that with every push, she was getting closer and closer, but I didn't feel it. I kept asking the doctor "is this going to work?" He assured me it WAS working.  I think because I was 7 cm dilated for two days, everyone had told me my labor would probably go super fast, so when it wasn't, I was disappointed and felt that I was doing something wrong.  I began to cry and told my doctor that I thought I needed a C-section.  Looking back, I realize how silly I probably sounded.  He reminded me that I wanted a natural childbirth, and I was getting what I wanted!

Finally, I got so frustrated and tired of pushing. I just closed my eyes, went somewhere within myself, as dumb as that sounds, and told myself, "this is it. I want to see my girl." I pushed so hard on the next contraction, and suddenly felt a sharp, stabbing pain. I though I was breaking in two. I screamed so loud, I swear I shook the walls of the hospital.  I asked my doctor if I should keep pushing, because the pain was so sharp, I was sure I had done something very wrong. He told me "push now!" With one more strong push and piercing scream, I felt every inch of Evangeline come out, and the next second there was a squirmy, slimy girl on my chest. I remember ripping off my gown so she could lay on my chest.  All modesty goes completely out the window during childbirth!  She screamed once coming out, and then was silent. As she lay on my chest, I was shaking uncontrollably (which I later learned is very common).  I kept asking the nurses if she was ok, because she was so quiet buried in my chest, and they told me she's just content! It was beautiful to see a bit of her personality in those first few seconds.  She was a quiet, calm, peaceful girl from that moment, and every day since.  Kemi was at my side, wiping away tears.  I've seen my husband cry twice in the almost ten years we've known each other.  Our wedding day and Evangeline's birth day.  It was the most beautiful, unexplainable moment of my life.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More Nursery Pictures

As you know by now, working on the nursery has been our favorite pastime the past few months.  We finally got a lot of the pictures hung up, and the last finishing touches put in.  Take a look!

Kemi made this AMAZING ruler to hang in Evie's nursery to measure her growth. He used a wood burning tool to carve the numbers in. I think each one took him 3-4 hours! I love it.
Evie's wall of art. She has a quite a collection of elephant pictures.  We also photocopied our favorite Shel Silverstein poems and art and framed them.
We hung up some of her ultrasound pictures

My mom and dad got me this crib quilt and I LOVE IT.


Baby Shower!

My mom and sister were generous enough to throw me a beautiful baby shower last weekend!  It was such a fun day, I wish I could go back and do it again!  They worked so hard on it and did an amazing job! Check it out:

My mother in law and I borrowing other people's babies! 
The two grandmas-to-be
We were spoiled with so many beautiful gifts!

It was a great day and I'm so thankful for everyone that helped to plan it, and everyone that came to celebrate!