It was around 6am when my contractions started getting crazy intense & I had the familiar feeling of just having to push, the same one I got with Waverly. I was so excited & relieved that we had made it to that point, but also freaking out because I was starting to feel my legs again & the pain was way higher than I ever remember feeling with Waverly. I convinced myself that the epidural wasn’t working anymore, my nurse assured me that it was even though I still have doubts, either way, major props to you ladies who do this thing naturally. Seriously. 😉
I starting pushing & pushed for about 30 minutes before my doctor came in, at that point I figured she was going to be here (uneventfully) within minutes, since that’s what happened in my labor with Waverly. Then everything changed. They put an oxygen mask on me because my pulse was going up & so was the baby’s, then told me that her shoulder was stuck on my pelvic bone. My doctor explained that it would hurt, but they were going to do everything they could to get her out quickly, & all I remember was a whole lot of pain before I felt her come out.
I was so incredibly relieved, but immediately knew something was wrong. I looked up & could see Avalon from a distance, but she was laying lifeless & was completely blue. Withing seconds, the NICU team started running in, alarms were going off, & I layed and watched while they swarmed her. My husband & I didn’t make much eye contact, I asked him if everything was alright & he just looked at me with the blankest face. Finally (finally!), we heard her cry, the sweetest, most perfect sound. 🙂 At that point we knew she would be alright (my nurses & doctor kept telling us she would be), but emotions were running high. They were still working on her & wouldn’t let my husband hold her, then when he finally got to, I had to wait about 30 minutes before I could. I was really trying to remain positive & thought I could keep it together until I looked over at him with tears running down his face. Something I had never seen in fifteen years of dating. So of course, I lost it, too, a culmination of all the feelings from the last two days, fear & anxiety from the moments before but also, so much joy that she was finally here.
We know now that Avalon’s crazy entrance into the world was both because of her shoulder getting stuck (shoulder distocia), & because the cord was wrapped around her neck. She didn’t breath for 1 minute & 40 seconds (though it felt so much longer), and her first apgar was a 2 out of 10. Thankfully, we have an amazing doctor who we absolutely love, & had wonderful nurses who took such good care of her & within the hour, she was 100% fine. Yet it definitely was scary, especially since we had been through one birth & knew how different this one was, and we realize more than ever how fortunate we are to have two healthy, beautiful babies. 🙂
And lastly, things I have learned from the labors of my girls. 🙂
One, that I really am not in control, no matter how much I want to be. I spent so much of this pregnancy hoping that I wouldn’t have to be induced (which is exactly what happened), and in the end, all that mattered was that we had a healthy baby. Two, I really am the worst dialater ever & if we are lucky enough to have more babies, I just need to go into it knowing that. And expecting to be in labor for more than one day. Three, the ultrasound technician totally got it wrong on this one. The 8 pound & 10 ounce baby we were supposed to have? She ended up being 7 pounds, 2 ounces, smaller than her older sister. 😉
*All images by Brooke of Brooke Tucker Photography.