Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Birth of Evelyn Rae: Part Six

{Part Four}
{Part Five}
*Note: the alternative title to this post is "The one where you know I really wanted this to be honest because I have never posted such unflattering photos of myself on the internet before."*
Once Nell gave me the go ahead to push, I found a new energy - this was it! I was going to meet my baby! And soon, if I had anything to say about it.

I began pushing sort of feeling out how to push, more than anything else. A lot of people say that pushing sort of feels like having to go to the bathroom, but I don't think so. It felt, well, for lack of a better explanation, like pushing something through your vagina.

Sounds simple enough, eh? Ha. Nevermind that that something is the size of a small human. Because, it is.

But, all in all, I liked pushing much better than the rest of labor. I finally felt like I was able to do something with the contractions and the pain, rather than just let them wash over me. I knew going into it that some women felt the exact same way, but I wasn't sure how I would feel.

Blair gave me the simplest of instructions - "Push toward that pressure that you feel in your bottom." Well, that made sense. And there it was. I was pushing. 

The other thing that I liked about pushing, was that there were again noticeable breaks in between contractions. In between, I was able to sort of rest, and even joke with my labor team. Especially once I knew that I was making progress.

During my entire pregnancy (and well before whenever we talked about having kids) A was certain he would be staying up beside my head during labor. The funny thing was, once things got started he was totally into it. He even traded places with my sister to get a better view of all that was happening. In fact, he got a little overzealous at one point and was holding my leg even higher than was needed so that he could see everything a little better.

Thankfully, a midwife's gentle hand patted his and he got the hint to lower my leg a bit.


Blair gave me such great support throughout all of labor, but especially during the actual delivery. She was completley encouraging and kept complimenting my pushing (and holding - as in I was able to keep a lot of the progress I was making) abilities.

You sure know how to get results from a Type A people pleaser, ma'am.

At one point, right before crowning, the pressure got so intense that I said, "I seriously feel like my butt is going to explode!" {Everyone is so eloquent during labor} That pressure is right.there on your perineum and it is intense.

Well, my whole team got a good chuckle from that one, and Blair just said, "I know sweetie, and someday when we all get to Heaven, we are going to call a meeting with God and make him explain what the heck that was all about."

I love midwives.

My husband, sister and sister-in-law were really the most supportive people to have had in that room. They were cheerleaders through the whole process, but especially at the end. They were all totally into all that was going on, and kept me aprised and energized through pushing. It was hard not to feed off their energy. Especially once they could see things happening.

I had pushed for a while without them being able to see progress, but after the first time that they saw the baby's head, it felt like everything happened so quickly. There was such a rush of raw emotion in that room, it was overwhelming.

They kept telling me what they could see, which was a little hard for me, since I couldn't see what they were seeing. I knew if I wanted to see my baby, I just needed to be in the zone and get this thing done. I focused in and pushed for all I was worth.

To tell you the truth I don't even remember the "ring of fire" all that well. I noted it when I felt it, and slowed down my pushing as we had been instructed and as I had run through in my head in childbirth classes. We had done the in and out and in and out of the head originally crowning and Blair told me exactly when to slow down with the ears of the baby emerging.

And then, like that, her head was out! Everyone got so excited, but I just kept breathing and waited for the next contraction. I didn't feel like I could let myself get excited just yet. I knew that the baby's head would turn for the delivery of the shoulders and then I would need to push again, so when A exclaimed, "The head is turning!" I knew I needed to be ready. I was so in the zone, that I just had a sort of visual checklist in my mind. Head? Check. Rotating? Check. Next are the shoulders, ease them out slowly so as not to tear.

Well, I certainly tried to push slowly. I began to push lightly and breathe the shoulders out, just the way that we were taught in class, but my body had other ideas. Blair even said, "Ok Courtney, stop pushing!" and all I could say was, "That isn't me!" The contractions were pushing her out all on their own with no effort from me.

And then, all of a sudden at 1:18 pm, she was here.

They lifted her toward me and I was the first to see that she was, in fact, a she. I tearfully and laughingly said, "It's a girl!" at the same time as my husband and sister. I cannot even explain the rush of emotions in that instant. It really was as if the entire world was standing still.

Those moments still bring tears to my eyes. I remember hearing that little wail, and Blair lying her on my chest and thinking, "It was real! There really was a little person inside of me! I can't believe I did it!" I held her to me and laughed and cried and said, "Hello, Evelyn".

We both laughed and cried and checked her over. She was perfect.

As the nurses strapped A's bracelet on to match ours, I just kept laughing and crying. I was so overcome by emotions and hormones and the post birth high that I couldn't contain my joy. We said a thousand "I love you's" to each other and to our new daughter, and life had never been sweeter.

Evelyn Rae is five weeks old

...and I think I am going to have to post an epilogue to this story...it's not over just yet.


  1. uggggggh. i am crying. the world does stand still. every time a baby is born it is like the whole world stops to take a breath in reverence. amazing.

  2. Yay you did it! I'm mad at you though, because you aren't supposed to have three things go right: pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. I scored on the first two but struck out on the last one. My baby is perfectly well behaved and easy so I've got that, therefore I'm going to assume Evie is a holy terror. Haha! Just messin'. (But really. I need working boobs). So super happy you went all out and did the natural birth thing with the midwives too! Are you gonna send your birth story link to your crabby coworker who was freaked out about your decision and wanted you to be as well? ; ) Because the lesser known benefit of natural birth is telling the naysayers I DID IT!!!! Sorry I'm rambley. Just super pumped (literally, I'm pumping right now) that your birth was picture perfect. Big kudos to your SIL for the great photos! Loved your hair and good job on not grabbing a random tshirt to wear at the last minute like I did! I'll be on pins and needles for the epilogue. XOXO

  3. Wonderful story! Beautiful. Evie is so lucky to have it all documented for her, too. And you are so lucky that your midwife was so supportive. My doctor sat, impatiently, in between my legs as I pushed, and in her short English accent said (more than once), "You're not going to have a baby if you push like that!" Talk about supportive...luckily, Scott and my midwife were wonderful cheerleaders :)