"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 10:10




Thursday, May 8, 2014

Evelyn's Birth Story

I woke up April 29, the due date, with no baby yet.  I was fine with that, and really not surprised.  As I started the day, I noticed that the contractions seemed more intense than before but not alarming.  I had been having a lot of bloody goop since the day before after Dr. Wurtz checked me, but knew that was somewhat normal after being checked.  Again, nothing alarming.

I went about my morning, washing dishes, making the bed, diffusing arguments, changing diapers, and other normal mommy duties.  The contractions were continuing.  At one point mid morning I timed the contractions for a little while and they were about every 3-4 minutes apart, but if I sat down or laid down they would really slow down.  The contractions were more serious than previously but nothing I had to stop and breathe through.  About 11:00, I talked to Mark and told him about the morning.  A little later I called my mom and put her on standby, just in case I decided to go in later.  She and my dad immediately took off for Lincoln.  Then, I threw up everything I had eaten that morning.  That is honestly when I first thought, maybe I am in labor.  I had tested positive for Strep B and would need to be on antibiotics for 4 hours before the baby was born.  Because of this, I figured I should just go in and get started on those just in case.  I called Mark around noon and told him to come home so we could head to the hospital.  I called a couple friends to make arrangements for the girls, packed my bag, and we were off.  

Looking back, I was in denial the entire morning.  My thought process was something like this:  1.  It is the baby's due date.  Babies don't come on their actual due date!  There is no way I can actually be in labor.  2.  I can't just wake up in the morning and start labor.  I have never labored or delivered during the day.  Every other time it has been during the night in to early morning.  This can't be real labor.  3.  These contractions aren't strong enough.  My water hasn't broken.  Yesterday I was only at a 2.  My last couple pregnancies I have been to a 4 before actually going in to labor.  This is not real labor.  

Once Mark and I stepped out the door and got in to the car, my contractions started to intensify.  I think that mentally and emotionally I gave myself permission to have the baby that day, and my body kicked in.  By the time we were walking in to the hospital, there was little doubt that this was the real deal.  It is a different experience walking through the busy hospital during the day when you're in labor versus at night when there is noone around.  One person asked if I needed a wheel chair.  Others joked,  hope you make it there in time.  A doctor looking fellow asked if I needed any help.  

Yet, I had a plan in my mind.  The only reason I came in that early was because of the Strep B concern.  I figured we would go in and I would probably only be at a 3 or maybe 4.  If that was the case, I would just get an epidural because it would be a long day and I would need to be hooked up to the antibiotics.  I have never had an epidural, but really thought I would not be very far along and anticipated a long day with this different circumstance.  

When we got in to our room, we did some preliminary stuff and then the nurse checked me to see how I was progressing.  She told us I was dilated to a 6, almost a 7.  A to the men!  My attitude completely changed.  So, no epidural.  No messing around.  We are doing this.  At this point, it is 1:00.  

Because they knew the baby would come before the 4 hours of antibiotics would completely kick in, they put in a different kind of antibiotic that they pushed through the IV.  

While we usually walk the halls when I labor, this time we never left the room.  I walked around the room and remained upright, but I didn't feel like we should leave the room because the contractions were so close together.  I did have back labor.  To combat this, Mark rubbed the bottom part of my back as hard as he could for counter pressure.  I sat on the toilet and the birthing ball a little bit for fatigue relief.  It felt like the nurse, Mark, and I were all just holding our breath waiting for the baby to come at any moment.  I suggested that Dr. Wurtz just break my water and then the baby would be here.  So, Dr. Wurtz came in and we discussed it.  He agreed that if he broke my water the baby would be born in about 10 minutes. While this sounded nice to me, he thought we should really give the baby as much time as possible to get those antibiotics so wanted me to keep on laboring.  

When I labor, I really go into a zone.  As I'm having a contraction, I focus on relaxing my whole body. I close my eyes, breathe slow, and try to let go.  I tell myself:  Do not be afraid of the pain.  Relax.  The pain means that my body is doing what it should be doing.  Pretty soon I will meet our baby.  Relax.  This sacrifice is worth it.  This is a gift and a blessing.  Relax.  Lord, have mercy.  

I really stayed on top of the contractions until a little after 3:00.  Then I had a couple really hard contractions that I had trouble with.  When I get to that point, we know that I am very close.  Mark left to go get the nurse to check me again.  Right after he returned, my water broke.  

That is when things got a little crazy.  It was a burst of greenish/brownish water.  I knew that was not good.  I immediately needed to push but there was no nurse or doctor in the room.  Mark was telling me not to push when the nurse walked in, saw the fluid on the floor and me ready to push.  She called for Dr. Wurtz to come, the nursery people to come, and the NICU people to come because of the meconium fluid.  Our room went from calm to chaotic.  In the meantime, I really really needed to push.  I could tell the baby was right there.  I was telling everyone this, but they didn't seem to understand.  It seemed like there was a flurry of commotion in slow motion.  One of the nurses suggested they break down the bed so I could get in bed to push.  I told them I couldn't do that.  I needed to push right now.  Another nurse slid a birthing stool over for me to sit and push on.  As soon as I sat down, I stopped trying not to push and out came Evelyn!  I don't think anyone was ready.  Dr. Wurtz was not ready for it, but was there and caught her.  He immediately handed her to me.  She was covered in yellow vernix, and she cried.  I was so glad she cried, but was concerned about the yellow vernix.  I asked a couple times if she was ok as he was rubbing her with a towel and he said yes.  The NICU nurses then took her to be suctioned because of all the meconium in the amniotic fluid.  They had to put a tube down into her stomach to get everything out, and her oxygen level was low for the first hour, but she is beautiful and fine.  

Overall, Evelyn's labor and delivery was my easiest.  The not having to push was great.  The whole day felt somewhat surreal, from being in denial about labor to the end going so fast.  Even though the end was a messy scramble, it was beautiful.  I am thankful that we went in to the hospital when we did.  If I had not tested positive for the Strep B, I would not have gone in when I did and who knows what would have happened.  I like birthing babies in hospitals.  



The best part of the day was holding our sweet Evelyn Joyce.  I love the first couple hours after a baby is born.  After the uncertainty of labor and delivery, the peace and joy of new life rushes in.  She looks exactly like her big sisters did when they were born, and it seems right that we have her here with us.  



Evelyn Joyce Scheve
Born 3:23 pm
April 29, 2014
8 pounds, 8 ounces
20 inches long

Monday, April 28, 2014

Baby update

A lot has been going on lately that I really do want to catch up on.  But the main event in my mind has been preparing for baby.  

Tomorrow is my due date.  If baby was following the set pattern, she should have been early.  As in, up to three days early.  It doesn't appear that will happen.  She has two and a half hours left.  

As of today I am 2 centimeters dilated.  While that is much better than the zero I was two weeks ago, I was really hoping for more.  With Julia I was dilated to a 4, weeks before she was born.  That was agonizing.  I feel like I have been contracting quite a bit like I did with Jules, so I have been surprised that I'm not more dilated.  

All that to say, I feel very content.  My other babies were either summer or early fall babies.  With those pregnancies I was so hot and swollen at the end.  I don't feel like that at all this time around.  Yes, I am tired and big.  But I don't feel miserable.  I feel at peace.  

A week ago I caught my reflection in the mirror and was a little shocked, so I took a quick picture.  What an amazing body God has given us women.  Ignore the dirty mirror, and check out that tummy.  There is a complete little person in there that we will be meeting soon.  


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 9, 2014

Today was a good day.  I slept hard during nap time.  We had grilled hot dogs on paper plates for supper.  I went to Target by myself after getting Julia to bed, and ran in to a friend I hadn't seen in a while.  The weather boasted upper 70's and sunny.  The girls played outside a lot.  Lydia finished her math book for the year.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Baby Update

Today marks 37 weeks that this babe has been gestating in my womb.  It still blows my mind that there is a real live human being in there.  Even though I can feel her move and am reminded every second that I am growing a person within me, it boggles my mind.  I have always been a bit surprised when you deliver, and out pops a real, live baby.  It is a miracle, whether it is your first baby or sixth baby.

I am having a lot of contractions, just like I did with Julia for weeks before she was born.  I know they are not labor contractions, but if this was my first rodeo I might be freaking out.  They don't knock me out, but some definitely make me stop and take a deep breath.  I think this also may contribute to my tiredness, since my body is working extra hard with every contraction.  Although, I will say the my exhaustion has been better the last few days.  A good (relatively speaking) night's sleep really helps.  My doctor hasn't checked to see if I'm dilated yet, although I would be surprised if I wasn't.  

I had a doctor appointment yesterday and I'm measuring a couple weeks behind because she is down in my pelvis.  Dr. Wurtz asked me if it felt like there was a cantaloupe in my pelvis.  That sounded like a pretty accurate description.  I've not gained any weight the last three weeks.  I just don't have room to eat much at one setting.  I'm not as puffy or retaining as much water this time around, which is a welcome relief.  All my other pregnancies ended in July or very beginning of October, so I was very hot and swollen.  It is in my makeup to gain most of my weight the first half of my pregnancy.  I've found that the best way for me to combat the "morning" sickness is to eat.  And for some reason water doesn't stay down in those dire days while pop and fast food will.  I've learned to just embrace it, and know that my weight gain really slows down in the last half as I reach my set point.  This baby moves quite a bit, but not as much as Julia did.  Julia was my biggest party girl inside.  

I am mentally preparing to go through labor and delivery.  I tested positive for Strep B, which is a first for me.  I'm a little worried at how fast I will go this time, with having to get to the hospital to get the antibiotics going.  Julia was three hours from the time my water broke at home til she popped out at the hospital.  So if that is reduced by an hour, that is a pretty quick turnaround by the time we get out of the house, get checked in to the hospital, and so on.  But, I'm not going to get worked up about it or fool myself into thinking much of this is actually in my control.

Overall, I really can't believe there is only three weeks left.  This pregnancy has flown by.  My mom and sisters are coming in a couple days to help rearrange girl rooms, decorate, and prepare for baby.  The truth is, I need the help.  I still have to buy little diapers, pack a hospital bag, pull out and wash baby clothes, figure out a plan for the girls when the baby comes, clean the baby equipment, and so on.  Until then, sweet little baby girl can stay nice and snug in her Mommy.