My husband and I found out we were pregnant on Easter weekend 2004. We had only been trying for two months, so we were so grateful it happened so quickly. My due date was December 8.
I loved being pregnant. I had no morning sickness and was mildly tired, but nothing I couldn't deal with. I hardly gained any weight until the second half of my pregnancy, and even with my cravings for Little Debbie snack cakes, I just put on 35 pounds. I secretly hoped for a girl, but I knew I would be happy with a boy as well. I even convinced myself that we were having a boy, just to make sure I wouldn't be disappointed with one. As if that could happen.
At the 20-week ultrasound, we learned that the baby was a perfectly healthy little girl. I was so excited! My husband was really happy, and right after our appointment he went and picked out some dresses for his little girl to wear. It was so sweet! We knew her name immediately–Evelyn Faith, and we would call her Evie.
I am a petite person, and my belly got HUGE. I know every pregnant woman feels that way by the end of her pregnancy, but people were constantly telling me that I would never make it to my due date. I hoped they were right. At my 36-week appointment, my doctor told me I was one centimeter dilated, but not effaced. I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for about three months, and I hoped they had been doing some work. I was so happy I had started to dilate, but for the next four weeks it was the same news.
I went in on my due date, and there had been no change. The doctor told me that I would be induced in one week if the baby didn't come on her own. I was determined to have Evie before 41 weeks! We walked every night, I went up and down stairs, I ate spicy food, I tried every trick in the book, but Evie was content to stay put!
We went to the hospital at midnight on Tuesday, December 14 to be induced. I was three centimeters and 75 percent effaced, and baby was at -1 station. I had been having contractions all day but thought it had been false labor. They gave me one dose of Cytotec orally at about 1 AM, then again at 4 AM and 7 AM. At 9 AM, the doctor came in and said I was four centimeters, so she broke my water. My contractions had been uncomfortable before, but they began to get a bit more intense after that. I had an epidural (the best thing in the world!) at 10 AM, and I dilated pretty rapidly after that.
At about 12:30 PM, I felt like I really had to pee, but the nurse said the baby was just moving down and warned me that I would start to feel more pressure. I don't know why they call that pressure! It hurt like crazy, even with the epidural! The doctor examined me and said the baby was slightly sunny-side-up but she would turn with some pushing. I tried pushing for the doctor, but since Evie's head was in the wrong direction on my pelvis, it was too painful. Thankfully the anesthesiologist came and gave me a huge dose of drugs in my epidural, and I couldn't feel a thing. This wasn’t exactly what I wanted prior to labor, but that kid's head was killing me!
I started pushing at about 1 PM but had to stop for a while to wait for doctor to finish delivering the baby next door. Through the wall, we heard the celebration of that baby being born, and we knew our little one would be here soon. At that point I was glad I couldn't feel anything, so that it wasn't hard to not push. My husband, the nurses, and I were laughing and joking while we waited for the doctor.
The doctor arrived, and Evelyn Faith was born at 2:56 PM on December 15. She was six pounds, 13 ounces, 20 inches long, and absolutely beautiful. I didn't tear or need an episiotomy!
Giving birth was the most amazing and surreal experience I've ever been through. It was uncomfortable, but it was not as bad as I had expected thanks to my wonderful epidural. I have been blessed with a beautiful daughter and a wonderful husband. We are expecting our second daughter soon, and I hope that her birth experience is as positive as Evie's.