As I write this today, I am so overwhelmed with emotion, and am fighting back tears. It has been one month of pure heaven with our little angel, and we have enjoyed every second of this new life Joel and I have created. Addilyn Everly made her way into this world on April 16th, 2014 at 1:48am. Weighing in at 7lbs 11oz and 20 inches of pure heaven. Her entrance into this world was one of the most beautiful, breathtaking experiences.
It was Tuesday evening, and I had been at home relaxing most of that day, but around 830pm I started to get some slight cramping, which I compared to menstrual cramps. I had had them the previous night as well, but I chalked them up to just baby dropping and getting ready for delivery in the next couple of weeks. I was going to be 39 weeks the next day, and according to every friend, doctor and most research I had done, I wouldn’t be having an early baby, especially with it being my first! So I assumed it was nothing to worry about! As I had done the night before, I ran myself a nice warm bath, and planned on relaxing in there and going to bed with a hot pad. During my bath, I was feeling as though the cramps were a little stronger, and I was in a bit more pain than the night before, but it was constant, not coming and going, so I truly thought nothing of it! As soon as I got out the tub, I had this weird thought in my head that I should wash my hair and blow dry it, so I hopped in the shower and got out and did just that. After doing this, I looked at my nails and felt I needed to paint them all of the sudden – as if I somehow instinctually knew that I would not get to shower or fix my chipped nails for a while (weird, I know!). So I sat on my bed, turn on Giuliana & Bill (one of my fav shows), and start painting my nails. As I was doing this, I feel as though that constant pain, was slowly turning into pain that was coming and going.
If you are wondering where my husband Joel is at this point, he had been gone away for work since the last Sunday. My husband works for a company called Vivint, he is a sales manager for them, and this means we travel to a new city every summer from the end of April until the end of August. So Joel was already gone to Edmonton, which is where we are this summer, and is only a 3 hour drive away from Calgary. We had known all along that if I did go into labor, he would need to rush back as soon as possible – it was not ideal, but it was what we had to do! So the plan was for me to call my parents (who live only 10 minutes away) and have them come over and be with me until Joel arrived from Edmonton.
As I sat painting my nails, I decided to call my parents, my dad answered and I told him and my mom to come over, although I was SO unsure that anything was really happening. They kept asking me what I was feeling, or how far apart the pains were, anything to decipher if what I was experiencing truly was labor or not, and I literally could not answer them! So they just said they would go home and let their dogs out (in case they were gone for the night) and then they would head over. They asked if I had told Joel to leave yet and I hadn’t even spoken to Joel because he was still working and I didn’t want to interrupt him, especially if this was not real labor! So I told them no, and said I needed to figure out what was going on first (to be really sure I was in labor so he wouldn’t rush home for nothing). As I waited for my parents, the contractions were definitely coming and going, but I was still not aware at how quickly I was progressing. I called my sister-in-law and she sat on the phone with me for 15 minutes, just timing the minutes between my contractions, and how long they were lasting. She was shocked at how in control, and confused I was, for she had figured out my contractions were only around 3 minutes apart and were lasting at least 45 seconds. She told me she would have already been at the hospital! My parents arrive to my house, and by this point, after getting off the phone with Cody and realizing it was truly happening, I had finally called Joel. It was around 930pm at this point we were all figuring it out it was really happening, I was in labor! Joel and I had taken a birthing class, and they recommended staying at home as long as possible, so you wouldn’t go to the hospital and be sent home, so that was all I could think of! Plus, I had really only been in active labor for an hour, and hardly knew it was that. I started panicking a bit, and cleaning my kitchen and feeling like in that moment I was so unprepared! My mom said to stop cleaning and go finish packing my hospital bag and have it ready for when we needed to leave. As I prepared the last few things, I was just overcome with such emotion knowing I was going to meet my sweet baby girl so soon. I also was so afraid, and just had that unknown feeling of what was to come. The contractions were totally manageable at this point and I was breathing through them as I scrambled to get the last few items packed. As I was doing this, I would shout down to my parents when I was in a contraction and then would say when it ended, while doing this my dad called a Health Link line (he was wondering if we should leave or not to the hospital) and the nurse on the line asked to talk to me. As I was letting her know what I was feeling and how far apart they were, I was unable to speak through one of them. At that point she told me I NEEDED to leave to the hospital that second. I guess some of you may think it is wild that I didn’t know to leave sooner, but I truly thought the pain would be so different and that I would just know on my own, but I really just didn’t!
So we leave to the hospital, and get there around 1030pm, Joel is still 2 hours away at this point, but luckily my sweet, supportive parents were at my side! When we arrive at the hospital I am unable to even really walk at this point. On the way there, it is like the contractions took it up 10 notches and I really went into full-blown labor, or what I had imagined it to be like! My mom had to wheel me to the Labor and Delivery ward in a wheelchair because I was not even able to walk really because I was in pain! Once in, they strapped me to the machines and started monitoring me. I think they thought I was just in the early parts of labor, because they were in no rush! About 10 minutes later they decided to check me, and I was 7cm dilated already!!! I was so shocked when I heard the nurse say that. They were so surprised as well because she told me not a lot of women come to the hospital that dilated already – I was pretty proud I had gotten to that point on my own! They then rushed me into a delivery room and this is when the contractions and pain got very intense for me! I asked for an epidural right away after a few bad ones, and they informed me that the Anesthesiologist was in a c-section right now and would be up when he was free – but no guarantee! Instead, they gave me some laughing gas that I could inhale through my contractions, and this helped me so much. I don’t necessarily think the laughing gas made it better, but I think it helped me focus and breathe through the pain because I had the mask and was inhaling big, deep breaths through every contraction! During this time, my mom patted a damp face cloth on my head and neck in between the contractions – her words and support mean more to me than she will ever know! Having her there with me was so helpful, she just knew what to do and what I needed, so we had such a great system to help me get through each contraction! The nurse I had was also absolutely amazing! She was helpful with trying to get me to switch up positions and try different ways to ease the pain. At one point I remember trying to sit on the toilet and walk a minute but that was just too painful! I ended up sitting on the side of the bed with my feet on the ground, swaying my body back and forth, for the majority of my labor! I had the laughing gas and mask on my left, and my mom on my right, and found that to be the most comfortable. I just remember I kept asking where Joel was – I was so afraid I was so far along into it all, that he was going to miss it! Finally it was 1230pm, and he walked through the doors!! It was like my body waited for him, because right after he got there, my water broke in my next contraction – unfortunately it was all over my moms boots (she forgave me haha). That to me, was one of the most painful moments when my water broke! I felt this intense pressure and pain and it just burst! After this, I knew she was coming quick. As I laid on my side for them to check me, the anesthesiologist walked in! I couldn’t even process that he was there and that he was going to give me the epidural. I slightly remember the nurse and doctor saying I was already at 10cm and would be pushing any minute! But for some reason, they still let me get it – which to this day, I don’t know how that happened because I always had heard there is a certain point where they don’t even give you the option to get the epidural, and I was obviously WAY passed that.. I just remember the man’s voice sounding like George Clooney or someone that speaks for commercials – he asked me all these questions (I couldn’t even tell you one of them) and then he got right to it! The crazies thing was that while he was giving me the epidural, and I was needing to hold absolutely still, I had the sensation to push in the contractions I was having while getting the epidural! It was so insane, I just had to hold her in because I was already getting the epidural and it was too late to stop. The epidural was done so insanely fast that the pain started to lessen and I was able to relax finally.
All I could think about was seeing my little girl’s face for the first time – and it helped push me through the pain, well that and the epidural ;). About 15 minutes after getting the epidural, the doctor and nurse told me it was time to push. I started pushing at 1:08am, with my mom and Joel at my side and my amazing nurse, they coached me and encouraged me through it! I just remember breathing through it as best as I could, and pushing as hard as I could. They told me they could see she had a lot of dark hair! That made me push even harder wanting to see for myself. I was getting so tired with every push, but knew it would be soon! They told me only a couple more pushes and she would be out. She was almost here, and the doctor let me know they would have to use the vacuum because her little head was stuck but promised it would be very minimal – “only 2% worth” the doctor told me. In the end, it never even left a mark on her head, it just helped to get her all the way out! My last push was at 1:48am, and Addilyn graced us with her presence. They plopped her onto my stomach, and I just kept thinking this moment isn’t real, she is here. I wept tears of love and joy, and kept saying “oh my gosh, she’s here. Is this real?”. Feeling her on me, on the outside of my body, this tiny little miracle resting on me, was just indescribable. Joel cut the umbilical cord and I feel everything was so surreal, and I wasn’t even sure what was happening! They took Addi and had me deliver the placenta (which was not as bad as I had heard it to be), then started to stitch me up. I had 2nd degree tears, but it was not all that bad because I had the epidural and didn’t feel much more than pressure. They brought Addi back to me and laid her on my chest and I was in disbelief that this little miracle that Joel and I had created was finally here. With her chubby cheeks and thick, full black hair, I couldn’t stop staring in awe. The nurse asked us what her name was, and prior to going in, we had a few options, but Addilyn Everly was our little girl, we just knew it. Our sweet Addi bean. The next few hours we just sat and relished in the miracle of our baby girl. I kept saying to Joel “did this really happen, is this real life?” I couldn’t fathom loving something, or someone so much. My heart was bursting, and still is. I feel so beyond grateful for the love and strong support of Joel and my mom through my labor and delivery, without them I could not have done it.
I had always thought I was born to be a mother. And in finally becoming one, I know this is true. Motherhood has been nothing short of amazing, and a journey I know I am so blessed to be experiencing. Addilyn is so perfect, and sweet, and has brought so much joy to our lives. The love we have for her is indescribable and we feel so blessed to have been given this sweet little babe to add to our family.
Thank you all so much for the support, congratulations and kind words – it has meant so much to us during this time and we couldn’t be more grateful! – Joel, Amaris & Addilyn xx