Saturday, April 12, 2008

Evelyn's Birthday

It really started on Thursday afternoon. Erin was having contractions more frequently than before and they were now starting to become a little painful. When I returned home from work at 5:00 they were still sporadic and on average about 30 minutes apart so we decided to proceed with our evening plans. Our evening plans were ambitious - grocery shop, check out a furniture sale on the NW side, car shop, and buy a crib from a baby store on the SE side. We hoped we could get all this done and perhaps speed up the labor with all the activity.

The weather was absolutely awful. Hard rain, 35-40 degrees, and huge wind gusts. Going from car to store was miserable. But by the end of it all we had bought groceries, bought a crib, found a vehicle we liked, and rented a movie. At the end of the movie it was 11:30 and Erin's contractions were 10-15 minutes apart. We debated going to the hospital but Erin didn't want to be sent home so we decided to try to get some sleep and let her labor continue to progress.
At 12:15 I fell asleep and Erin read. Erin never fell asleep as her contractions continued to strengthen. At 1:30 she got out of bed, showered, had a snack, and called her doctor. At 2:58am Erin woke me up, smiled, and said "Do you want to go have a baby?" I smiled and said "Yes."

We packed the car and arrived at the hospital at 3:45. This is when Erin's work connections began to pay off. We walked into ER and instead of checking into triage we were sent straight to a corner room on labor in delivery. Erin's work friends had even decorated it for us.

Erin changed into the hospital gown and the nurses began monitoring her. From 4:00 to 4:45 Erin's contractions became more uncomfortable and a nurse broke her water. As soon as her water broke the contractions really picked up intensity. After 20 minutes the anesthesiologist came to give an epidural. The epidural worked like a charm as the contractions were now essentially painless for Erin as her labor continued to progress.

From 6:00 to 8:00 it almost felt like we were just hanging out. Erin's nurse friends came and went and we passed the time with small talk. Finally at 8:15 they began preparing Erin to push.
Erin did amazing! For 6-7 contractions Erin pushed and the baby moved perfectly into place. The doctor told her that the next one was it.
The whole time Erin pushed I sat by her head and just watched Erin. I don't have a good stomach for blood and was happy to stay on the other side of it. But when Erin made her last push the nurse told me "look, it's the head!" I looked down and saw it, and my emotions overwhelmed me. The baby began crying right away and as the shoulders passed Erin reached down and grabbed the now crying baby. What a moment!

As Erin picked up our newborn, she looked and proclaimed "It's a girl."
I'm so proud of Erin; she was amazing. I think being a labor and delivery nurse was both good and bad. On the one hand, Erin knew in theory just what to do. But on the other hand, she also knows what can go wrong. Well we were blessed with a great delivery, we couldn't have asked for anything better.

As we both cried tears of joy the doctor had me cut the umbilical cord and then the nurses took our baby daughter to be weighed.
She was a healthy 8 lbs, 1 oz and 21 inches long. Her official birth time was 8:47 am on April 11. We named her Evelyn Elizabeth Elenbaas.

Erin's friends Amy and Carla came in to be her nurses for the delivery. They were terrific and it was fun to have them with us.
After Erin and Evelyn were cleaned up we shared a few special moments as a new family.

The entire experience was awesome. It is hard to describe the emotions we experienced because there were so many. My clearest memmories will be of Evelyn's head coming out and Erin announcing "it's a girl." I am a proud dad and even a prouder husband. Praise be to God!


Blogger Jason and Melissa said...

WOW. What a blessing! Congratulations! She is beautiful! Let us know if you need to catch up on some sleep - we'll take a hand at babysitting! :)

2:51 PM  
Blogger Slicy said...

Awesome! Congrats!

Did you save the placenta?

10:10 AM  

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