Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Evan's birth story

Ever since I discovered the blogosphere I've read several birth stories and always wondered how mine would be. For a while and because I don't have a living child to account for it I never even gave writing Evan's birth story a second thought, till now.

It doesn't matter that he's not here with us he will always be the first child I gave birth to and I will always want to remember what a special moment it was and how God was present even in the midst of the most difficult thing I've ever had to do. So here it goes.

Contractions started on Wednesday May 23rd at around 8:30 pm. As I've said before I wish I remembered exactly when was the last time I felt him move but I don't. I know it was sometime between Monday at 3 pm (that was the last time we saw him on an ultrasound, he seemed so peaceful and happy just moving around mamma's belly) and Wednesday morning. Anyway, contractions started and as a first time mom I wasn't sure whether I was in labor or not. I kept praying that wasn't it. I googled and googled but I still wasn't sure. I was up all night. I walked, I sat, I folded baby clothes, I prayed. 

On Thursday at around 7 in the morning Bruce woke up and told me to call the nurse. I called, told her what was going on and she told us to drive to the hospital, I was not quite there but close. We got to the hospital and they kept asking if I was feeling Evan move, I thought I was so I kept saying yes, now I know that what I was feeling were only contractions, the mind is a powerful thing. They connected me to the monitor, contractions where regular and strong, very different from any pain I've experienced before. Then the monitor to listen to his heart, the nurse searched and searched but we kept hearing it, that piercing silence, the loudest most deafening silence I've ever heard. The nurse announced it "I'm sorry, but I think your baby passed away". What? This couldn't be happening. We held each other and cried. What are we supposed to do now? We had called my friend/adoptive mom/birth coach Sharon and she was on stand by, after the final verdict the nurse offered to call her. She was on her way. Meanwhile we called my parents, they were on their way form Mexico City. 

Sharon got to the hospital I will never be able to thank her for everything she was for us that day. She hugged me, cried with me and then was all the strong and sound of mind we couldn't be. You see she is a nurse so she has medical training but more than that she has delivered 7 kids, so if anyone has the experience I needed to go through this was her. They offer pain meds and with confidence she looked at me and said "I think we can do it without them, I'll be there, we'll do it together!". I didn't know what it was to deliver a baby but she sort of transferred her confidence to me.

They did an ultrasound to verify that our Evan was no longer with us, we saw his still body on the screen. We cried some more. The next step was to move us to a delivery room, to check my progress and see where we were in the labor process. When we were settled in our room they checked me, I was 3 cm. Contractions kept on going. They gave me a pill to dilate the cervix, it was going to take about 3 hours to get to 10 cm. I was exhausted but the contractions wouldn't let me sleep.

My friends Leslie and Melanie where there. William showed up. It was awesome to have so many familiar faces with us and know that we were not alone. I heard that throughout the day many friends were at the hospital some came in, some stayed out and prayed, some called, texted or e-mailed. I am grateful for every single one of them.

I took a shower and the contractions continued. Bruce has on one side of the bed and Sharon was on the other. Every contraction they would both hold my hand. My Bruce was the loving, sympathetic, tender support I needed. I would look at him and be comforted in his love and in the peace of having him right there going through it all with me, if not through the physical pain the devastation of having lost our beloved son. Sharon on the other hand was my strong, practical, always loving but firm coach. No matter what was going on around us or who was talking with one look I would let her know a contraction was coming she would focus her eyes on mine and breathe with me. Very calmly but firmly she would ask me to keep my eyes opened, look at her, relax and breathe. Breathing helped a lot, relaxing was hard I was trying to go against every fiber of my body that would want to tense up but when I was able to it helped a lot too.

About half an hour into it they came to check, I had progressed to 5 cm. At some point after that I got nauseated and threw up. They gave me some medicine for that and we kept going. Contractions became more regular and stronger. Melanie was monitoring and she said they were coming every 2 mins exactly. It felt like a lot less. I was so tired I started sleeping between contractions. A contractions would come, I would focus on Sharon, get through it and fall deep asleep, the next contraction would wake me up and it would start all over again. What I remember being the hardest is when in the middle of a contraction what was  going on became very clear. I would think "My baby is death, I'm giving birth to the still body of my baby boy, I can't do this, this is too hard!". Talk about pain! I remember even saying it out loud but Bruce and Sharon pulled me through, "You can do it, you are strong, I know it hurts but you need to do it!". 

They checked me again and I was at 7 or 8 cm. Sharon said I would soon enter into transition ans shortly after it would be over. Not too long after they checked me that last time I started having the urge to push but I wasn't supposed to. Sharon sent for the doctor, she said I was in transition. Every cell of my body was telling me to push and yet I had to fight against it. If you ask me I think that is the hardest part of delivering, thankfully it didn't last long. Finally the doctor arrived he checked again, I remember yelling "I'm going to push!" and I heard the best words I could have heard anyone say at the moment, "Ok, push!". Oh the relieve! After that it was like my body knew what to do and by listening to it I did to. When a pushing contraction was coming I would count "1,2,3" and I would push. It took about three pushes and Evan was out. It was pain like any other, it burnt and then it was all over. 

They took Evan to clean him and wrap him. Shortly after they handed him to me, he was the most beautiful baby boy I've laid eyes on. The doctors and nurses stood back in perfect silence and utter respect of the moment we were living. His body was far from perfect but he is oh so precious to his mom and dad. We spent two unforgettable hours with our Evan. We had pizza dinner with friends in the room. I was feeling surprisingly well. They moved us to another room and I was finally able to rest some while Bruce and Sharon went to the airport to pick up my parents. When they came back we asked the nurse to bring Evan back to the room. Abuelos got to hold him and meet him. William held him too. It was a beautiful family time that God gifted us with and that I am very thankful for. 

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