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