Everly's birth story
Disclaimer: all of the images in this blog post were taken by the incredible STEENA ANNE PHOTOGRAPHY (steenaanne.com)
Pregnancy was a perfect mix of ‘the good, the bad, the ugly’. The first trimester sickness and nausea and extreme exhaustion, the second trimester bliss that kept me feeling like I wanted to be pregnant forever…then that dreaded third trimester with a split pelvis keeping me nice and crabby on a regular basis. I was convinced she would come early and became a very desperate pregnant lady trying every old wives tale you have ever heard. From drinking super saturated raspberry leaf tea, ball bouncing, eating dates and mall walking on the daily. The last week I walked at least 3 miles every day…and also ate Buffalo Wild Wings boneless parmesan garlic wings 4 times. Pregnancy does weird things to you…
On February 20, we had (another) giant snow storm. Jake was told to work from home which was such a treat for me. He drove me to my OB appointment where I found out I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced! We set an induction date for February 26 and I left there feeling so happy and relieved! Throughout that whole day, I was contracting pretty regularly. Every 9 minutes for an hour, then they’d stop for a while, then start back up. I was hopeful but also annoyed by them stopping and starting. I texted some friends asking “will I know when I’m in labor?” with surprisingly varied results. One friend saying “Oh, you will DEFINITELY know” and another saying that my day sounded like the start to her labors with all three of her kids. Just a little confusing as you can imagine.
Finally, after lots of walking and ball bouncing, I decided to go to bed around 9pm. I had the whole bed to myself as I had so lovingly kicked my husband out of bed to sleep on the couch because I couldn’t stand his snoring or body heat (did I mention how crabby I was? haha!). I tried to sleep but was woken up every 9 minutes to contractions about 45 seconds long. They weren’t very painful, more annoying than anything. This went on..and on… BUT at 1am I was up on my hands and knees trying to catch my breath. Suddenly they were DEFINITELY painful. I went downstairs and told Jake “I don’t think I can do this on my own any more…”. He was so confused and had no idea I had been in labor all night! Honestly, worked out nicely for him to have a few hours of sleep going into the “day”. He started timing contractions for me…which went from 9 minutes to 3 minutes apart! We called the doctor, Jake packed up the car, and we head off to the hospital!
We were admitted around 2:30am and I was 5cm at this time! We called Christina (Steenaanne.com), our amazing photographer, who joined us for the rest of the adventure! We did our best to make jokes between contractions and make the best of this time. But..I happily got on the list for an epidural which arrived around 5:30am. Apparently, I really overthought the epidural and had a little panic attack while they were doing it. I was so embarrassed at how dramatic I was acting! Once that was in, we were advised to sleep. Personally, I couldn’t sleep a wink! Jake was out cold but I was WAY too excited to meet our baby! My doctor came to check in on me around 7:30am and broke my water around 8am then she left to go to the clinic! My nurse was really trying to encourage me to take a nap warning me that, with my first baby, I could be pushing for 2 hours or more. So we set up the room with lavender oils, white noise and as dark as we could make it and then everyone left me to sleep.
Just a couple minutes later, a few nurses came running in and started moving me all around to weird positions. They explained that the baby’s heart rate was dropping but they had regulated it. They proceeded to tell me to sleep (YEAH RIGHT am I going to sleep after THAT!). A couple minutes later they came running in again…this same scenario happened a couple of times and they started to worry. They gave me oxygen and explained that they were prepping for an emergency C-section if these decelerations continued. They wanted to try to refill my water (did NOT know that was a thing!) but things progressed quickly and I was complete and baby was READY. At this point, my doctor was on her way BACK through rush-hour traffic so I flipped to my hands and knees trying to keep baby comfortable and regulated. I was a mess at this point, really trying to breathe slowly into the oxygen mask but MAN was is hard to stay calm. I was scared to be put into a c-section and risk Jake not being there to see the baby born and miss out on everything I had imagined after she was here. Jake was such a champ reminding me to be brave and that we would do whatever to have a healthy baby. He loved me so well through this time and never showed how truly scared he was.
When my doctor arrived, she was out of breath sprinting into the room! They flipped me to my back and it seriously felt like a movie. My doctor held my hand and gave me her little speech “it isn’t fair but you are going to have to push like this is your fourth kid. You have three minutes or less to get her out or we need to get you into that emergency c-section”. I completely lost it but then…it was time to push. Thankfully, I work well under pressure (AND she was tiny with a first percentile head!). I pushed as my doctor told me to push harderand all of the nurses counted down from ten. It was a very intense couple of minutes and I definitely thought my eyes would pop out of my head. But after just a few minutes, at 9:45am, our sweet and perfect Everly Jean was born!
THAT MOMENT. It’s insane how deeply I crave to experience that again already. They aren’t kidding when they say the amnesia takes over really quickly! Our DAUGHTER…inside me one minute and with us here the next. And then to suddenly experience the deepest love and meet our beautiful, tiny human!
She was born bright blue after a traumatic ride out but she cried, she pinked up and she found my face. The MAGICAL MIRACLE of looking right into her face. Nine months of carrying this baby and now she’s here and its like we have known each other forever. She was a whopping 6 lbs and 14 oz and 21 inches long. So long and skinny with the tiniest little first percentile head, just like her dad!
The GOLDEN HOUR was all I had ever dreamed and more. Those first moments as a family of three, the skin to skin with this fresh little one, her first latch and just the feelings of great gratitude and joy: Everly is here at last!
We invited family to come meet her a few hours later! We decided to REALLY grow the anticipation and send no photos and no name. We had not shared her name with anyone before she was born which was so exciting to have introduce her for the first time to each family member! She is the FIRST grandchild on BOTH SIDES so this was a huge day for everyone as they became grandmas, and grandpas and uncles and aunts for the very first time.
February 21…The best day of our lives! Now, our sweet girl is 7 weeks old and I am desperate to make time slow down yet loving her more each day. It’s so incredible to watch her grow and smile and interact with us more and more! Motherhood has been the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me! I cannot believe this baby belongs to us and we get to love and care for her the rest of our lives!!
AND a HUGE thanks to the incredible, lovely, sweet, kind, and just above-and-beyond Christina (Steena Anne Photography) for these amazing photos and all the memories she captured!