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Evans' Birth Story

From the beginning, I had feeling that we wouldn't make it all the way to our due date with Evans. The OB nurse at our practice confirmed my thoughts at my 12 week appointment with her. She reviewed my file and made a comment about how big Riley was. She said "9lbs? No way. We don't want you to have another 9lb baby! Your doctor won't let you get to your due date--we'll likely induce early."

Hey, fine by me. Pushing out one 9lb+ baby wasn't the most terrible thing in the world but I could imagine a smaller baby might be a tiny bit easier. The further that I got along in pregnancy, the more and more I felt sure that baby girl was going to be arriving early. The doctors agreed. At 36 weeks, we did a growth scan to check in on her weight to make a plan of action for inducing early.

The induction plans came to a screeching halt.

Baby girl was weighing 6lbs 5oz and they were estimating her birth weight (at full term) to be roughly 8.5lbs... which meant that we would not be inducing. Cool, cool.

Our 37 week appointment was with my favorite doctor at the practice, and she brought back my hope of baby girl arriving early. I was already dilated 1cm (huge for me, because I got nothing with Riley). She then casually threw in the fact that she didn't think we'd get to the weekend before the baby arrived. Cue all the "hurry up, get ready!" frantic plans for the next few days. However, we made it to my 38 week appointment the following week with no signs of labor.

My 38 week appointment was with my actual doctor at the practice, and she said she didn't know why the last doctor had said baby was coming soon. In her words, "You haven't made any progress since last week. You went full term with Riley. You'll likely do it again." Sigh.

Fast forward to the following Monday, 39 weeks and 1 day.

Patrick and I had spent the whole weekend prepping for the inevitable arrival of baby girl. The laundry was 100% caught up. All of the Riley instructions were written out for the grandparents. Riley's breakfast, lunch, and dinners were prepped for the entire week. All of her daycare things were ready and by the door. The infant car seat bases were installed in our cars and two new toddler car seats were installed in our parents' cars. Hospital bags were packed as much as they could be without throwing in the last minute items.

We were ready.

Apparently, so was Evans.

The first contractions started Monday morning at work. They were inconsistent and did not register on any type of pain scale, but they were there. After work, I was on my feet for two hours picking up Riley from daycare, getting her settled at home, getting her dinner together, helping bathe and get her ready for bed, etc. By the time she was in bed, I was on the couch--the contractions were coming every 7-10 minutes, likely because I had been on my feet for two hours. But... they were gone by bedtime.

Tuesday morning, 39 weeks and 2 days, I woke up and told Patrick that he should probably finish up packing his hospital bag. I told him I was adding everything to mine that I had been saving for the last minute. Bag packed and on our bed, I headed to drop Riley off at daycare, pop into work for 15 minutes, and then head to my 39 week doctor's appointment. Contractions had started back up and y'all, let me tell you, driving through contractions probably isn't the best idea I've ever had. #stubborn

My doctor asked me how I was feeling. I told her that I was feeling like a baby was coming SOON! She started her exam and noted right away that baby was very low. Confirmed. I already knew that--Riley never dropped, but it was easy for everyone to see that this one had dropped way low. We talked about an induction date of the day after I'd be 40 weeks (the following Monday). I told her that was fine because I would offically be on maternity leave at the end of the week. She then delighted in telling me that I was 2cm dilated, 100% effaced, and she could feel baby girls head (along with a contraction)... and that maybe, just maybe, I should go ahead and start my maternity leave because baby was coming soon. She sent me on my way and told me "good luck!" since she wasn't on call until the following week.

Made it down to the parking lot and my phone started ringing.

"Chesson, I just talked with Dr. R who's on call over in L&D right now... and you know, we think you should probably just go home and get your bags and come on back. You're definitely in early labor and we'd like you here to monitor your progress and contractions. Your baby is coming within the next 24 hours."

So... naturally, I went back to work. There were a few things I wanted to make sure were handed off and tidied up before I was officially on maternity leave. And, since my office is two blocks from Riley's daycare, Patrick and I decided that we should go ahead and pick her up and get her home. I definitely needed a hug and a kiss from her before having to leave her for a couple of days! She and I picked up Chick-fil-a on the way home and might have had a Chick-fil-a picnic on the island in our kitchen while waiting for my parents and Patrick to get to the house. Patrick and I tucked Riley in for her nap, grabbed our hospital bags, and hopped in the car to head to the hospital.

Or... to Blue Flour Bakery. Priorities. We drove through Irmo and right past the bakery and had to stop and get a cookie or two. I know none of y'all are surprised at this.

At the hospital, we got checked into triage to find out that I was 3cm dilated... and they wanted me to walk the halls of the labor and delivery wing for 30-45 minutes to see if I could progress enough to get officially checked in. Um, what? Didn't my doctor already chat with the L&D on call doctor and didn't they decided I needed to be there? Either way, we set off to traipse the halls for awhile just like we did with Riley. It was so quiet. Without visitors, and with everyone staying in their rooms, there wasn't much happening. We headed back to triage after 45 minutes to find out that I was 4cm (almost 5cm) dilated and it was time to get officially checked in! We got into our room around 5pm and immediately knocked out one of my least favorite things of giving birth: the IV. I cannot stand needles--especially the ones that just stay in your hand for a long time.

We passed the time by keeping an eye on the monitor in the room that was measuring each contraction. They were rolling through about 4-5 min apart and the doctor decided it was time to speed them up, so Pitocin it was. Y'all. I was handling the contractions like a champ until we sped them up with Pitocin. They were coming through fast and they were strong. It took maybe 15 minutes for me to go ahead and request my epidural. We did a quick check--6cm--definitely time to get the epidural!

The epidural is another one of my least favorite parts of labor. One, we've got another needle to contend with. Two, while it got me through my contractions with Riley, I lost it prior to beginning to push. I had mixed feelings about it but hey, if it could get me halfway there, I figured that it would still be worth it. The anesthesiologist showed up pretty quick and looked like he was still in high school. I asked him to make sure he timed it in between contractions. He gave me a look like "Sure... if we can." I kept my eye on the monitor to warn him when a contraction was building so he could avoid it. He gave me a heads up that it was time for the lidocaine. Ok. Got it.

And then I waited. And waited. And waited.

When was he going to do the epidural?

Finally, I asked. He and the nurse both gave me the weirdest looks. Turns out, the epidural was already in and didn't I notice I couldn't feel the contraction that was coming through on the monitor?

3 hours later, we were at 10cm! The doctor and the nurse decided they wanted baby girl to work her way down a little bit more so that I would not push as long as I did with Riley. A few minutes later, Patrick perked up and looked at the monitor that was measuring baby's heart rate and said "Hey, did the monitor fall off again? That looks really low!" and two seconds later, a team of nurses ran into the room. Baby's heart rate had dropped down to 80s/90s which, according to them, is a sign that she's about to pop out. Her heart rate went back up to the 150s and we decided that it was time to start pushing.

I had all kinds of dreams of pushing twice and popping out the baby, as promised by the nurses during my first delivery, but y'all, I'm just not a good pusher. I think that's the lesson here. It takes me awhile to get into the rhythm and do all the things (hold your breath, count to ten, pull back on your legs, tuck your chin in, and oh yeah, push!) at the same time. It took about 40 minutes of pushing for baby girl's head to crown and then came hands down the worst part of delivery: waiting for the doctor to get down to the room and officially deliver the baby. The epidural made it a lot more bearable than with Riley but it's still the worst. It took all of three pushes once the doctor was there before baby girl arrived!

We were able to do skin-to-skin immediately as well as a delayed cord clamping, two things we didn't get to do the first go around. Patrick firmly declined to cut the cord which delighted our doctor (apparently she never gets to cut the cord anymore). All I remember from this point was saying "she's so little! she's so little!" Evans felt tiny compared to Riley's chunky self. The baby nurse in the room guessed Evans was about 7.5lbs.

Nope.

8lbs 6oz and 21.5" long. Evans wasn't tiny by any means but she felt so, so small to me.

But she was finally here. The baby girl that completed our family. The one we had been dreaming of and the one that we had been waiting for ever since deciding to try for baby #2.

If you had asked me back in May 2020 when we found out that Evans was on the way and would arrive in January if there was a particular day that I would want her to be born on... I had one in mind. My half birthday. She was due 4 days after my half birthday so there was a chance. And if you had asked me before giving birth to Riley, which doctor I would want to deliver Riley (and any other babies), my answer would have been Dr. R.

I was lucky enough to get both the things I wanted. Dr. R. was the one on call when Evans made her grand debut and she waited until 1:06am on my half birthday to arrive.

I won't share her full name on here, but her first name (Evans) comes from my grandmother's side of the family. For years (and years and years and years for as long as I can remember) I had wanted to name a baby girl Addy. That was my mom's maiden name and I loved it (still do). But... Addy has become a crazy popular name, it was the one name that Patrick vetoed (due to an unpleasant girl he went to school with that had the name), and we have several good friends who had already named their daughters a variation of Addy. Addy was out. We scoured my grandmother's side of the family for another name that we liked and landed on Evans. Both a family name and unique.

As for her middle name, we went with my maiden name. It's extra special because the name isn't continuing on as a last name... there are no boys on my dad's side of the family with the last name past my brother/two older cousins, and they do not have any children of their own to pass the name along to. That made it all the more important to me to make sure it was included whether we were having a girl or a boy.

And just like that, Evans was here and our family was complete. It was time to get our snuggle on, call the grandparents, and celebrate with a Blue Flour cookie!


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