Saturday, October 18, 2014

Evan Brooks Montgomery

Goodness, it's been 2 months since Evan's arrival. It seems a bit early to be asking this, but where has the time gone? I have a feeling I will be asking myself that a lot. These past few weeks have been full of learning and loving. Psalm 127:3 most definitely rings true, "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him."

I've been thinking about the birth story and how detailed I'd be. I think I've remembered it all right, for the most part at least. So, here we go.

My estimated due date was Tuesday, August, 5 2014, and while I didn't expect the 5th to be the magical day {I read only a small percentage of women actually have their babies on their EDD}, I also didn't expect to go 2 weeks over! I started my maternity leave on August 1st and had been working from home the prior two weeks. Work flow was pretty relaxed, so I was able to get some nesting and resting done. This was really nice, but by the time my parents arrived, I was a bit stir crazy! Not to mention, there was a bit of unforced pressure to have Evan while our families were visiting. My parent's trip was set for July 31st to August 10th and Jeff's parent's from August 9th to August 23rd. Since it was my parents first visit, I wanted them to see and do as much as possible, so being two weeks past due made sightseeing possible. From Stonehenge to two Parliament tours and long walks around London, we were all running and gunning, and all the while trying every trick in the book to get labour going {which I'm now convinced are old wives' tales}.

My 41 week appointment with the midwife was actually scheduled at the end of my 40th week. On August 8th, Jeff, Dad, Mom and me all went to Kingston Hospital hopeful that 'the end' was in sight. Sadly, there was still a bit more time to go, even with a second membrane sweep {first one had been done at a previous appointment the week prior}. Induction was then arranged for the coming Sunday, and I was told to get plenty of rest. The midwife said it was possible the busyness could be hindering labour. So, back home we went, where I rested a lot and we all waited. By the time Sunday rolled around, I hadn't gone into spontaneous labour and my Dad had to fly back to Texas. Mom was able to extend her trip, and I'm so thankful she was able to because it was already so hard to see my Dad leave. I called the hospital at 8.30 that morning and there weren't any beds available. An hour and a half later, we received the call for us to come in. Jeff's parent's stayed at the house with Monk, while Jeff, my Mom and me made our way to the hospital. 

After a quick check-in at 11.30 that morning, we were surprised to walk into our very own room for the pre/early labour bit. Typically, at this hospital anyway, up to 4 expectant mothers, scheduled for induction, can share a room. I was trying to keep an open mind but was not looking forward to a room full of groaning, so it was wonderful to discover that I had my own space to groan. The midwife arrived and explained the procedure - that being a pessary would be inserted {to 'ripen' the cervix in hopes to stimulate contractions} and that the waiting game would continue {possibly a 48 hour one}. After 30 minutes, I was free to move around, so Mom, Jeff and me walked around the hospital grounds, made a trip to the local Sainsbury's and hung out in the room before the contractions started at 11.30 that night. For the next 19 hours, I did the following for pain management:

  • Deep breathing
  • Listened to music
  • Rested/slept
  • Positioning {i.e. on hands and knees, kneeling over the bed/against the wall, moving from side to side on bed}
  • Walking {i.e. around the hospital hallways and outdoor lot}
  • Birthing ball {bounced on and rested/swayed upper body while kneeling on a yoga mat}
  • Massage from both Jeff and Mom
  • Warm bath
  • TENS machine
  • Codeine/paracetamol
  • Pethidine
  • Gas and air
  • Epidural
At our parenting classes, Jeff and I discussed the birthing plan and how I'd ideally like labour to go. I've always been interested in trying a water birth sans drugs. However, not ever experiencing pain like this before, I told myself to remain open to the other options, so I wouldn't be anxious if I changed my mind or other circumstances did for me. With Evan also being the priority, I wanted him to be under the least amount of stress. About 14 hours in, I was starting to feel really uncomfortable, so I decided to take the codeine/paracetamol. After two doses of that, with not much relief and the contractions really starting to pick up, I decided to take pethidine. I went back and forth with this one {due to it being a strong morphine-like analgesic that can affect baby's alertness} but the pain was so great, and I was assured Evan wouldn't be harmed, that I consented. Also, at some point on Monday afternoon, the first pessary that was inserted had come out, and as I wasn't dilated enough, another was put in. Later around 5.30 that evening, I decided to throw the towel in; it was time for the epidural. I assumed having been in labour for 18 hours {very intense pain for most of that day} at that point I'd be dilated to 7/8cm. Oh no, I was only dilated to a 3, a measly 3cm and all that pain - how could that be?! I needed relief. I was tired and labour seemed to be kicking my tail. Jeff and Mom both notified the midwife. The delivery rooms in the labour ward were full, so we had to wait a bit. Finally, at 6.30 and just after my water had broken, I was wheeled down into the delivery room. I couldn't walk, so they brought me a wheelchair. Goodness, that was the most uncomfortable ride. Not only was I writhing and making embarrassing noises, but I was capturing the attention of everyone in the hall. Super.
The anesthesiologist met us there, got to work fast and oh, what sweet relief! I was then greeted separately by two doctors. Both explaining the remainder of the labour and impending delivery process. My midwife, who was in sole charge of delivery {doctors were nearby in case of any issues}, then prepped me and the room before instructing me to relax. I needed the energy, so sleep was a must, and how wonderful it was. I woke up around 11.15 and chat with Jeff, Mom and the midwife until it was time to push, which was just after midnight. Between gas and air and coaching from Jeff, Mom and the midwife, I managed delivery in about 45 minutes. Evan Brooks was born at 1.05 in the morning on Tuesday, 19 August 2014. He weighed 10 pounds and measured 23 inches long. My not so 'Little M' was finally here; Jeff and I couldn't have been more excited. I did obtain a second degree tear {Evan decided to come out with one of his fists pressed against his cheek} and lost a liter of blood. We were both tuckered out from the delivery, so while the midwife attended to me, I snuggled with Evan and we both fell asleep for about 6 hours. It was great. Jeff's parents came and visited later that afternoon, and we were discharged on Wednesday afternoon.
It's incredible being Evan's Mommy. Really, I can't even put it into words. I would go through all of that over and over for him. I've prayed for him and now that my sweet and lovely boy is here, I'm just beyond grateful. Thank you Lord for our Evan Brooks!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You are one tough cookie. Not only were you two weeks overdue, you endured what sounds like the longest labor ever! No fun. I'm so happy he's here and that you're loving motherhood. He really is adorable. :)