Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Exactly one year ago today to the moment, I was being examined by my doctor for a routine OB visit. That day, and the day prior, I had been really crampy and not feeling great- typical end of pregnancy stuff, so I was anxious to get the appointment done with so I could go home and rest before my husband left for his night flight.

Except, it wasn't the typical end of pregnancy discomfort. I was dilated to 2 and Evie was head down and ready. My OB sent me upstairs to be hooked up to monitors as she figured out if they were going to bump my c section up some. I left her office with the expectation of coming back in a few days to have Evie.

Except, after walking the length of the hospital and making my way upstairs, the monitors revealed that I was contracting regularly. I had felt the cramping intensify, but had no idea I was actually in labor. The only time I have been in labor was with Tyler, 3 babies prior, and his labor was a pitocin induced one. Not a great way to measure what true labor feels like. What I felt with our little E was more of waves, intense and tight, but then it quieted. With Tyler I felt like I never got to come down from the intense part.

So there I was, alone, with a dying cell phone, on my way to delivering baby #4. I called my husband to tell him I was in labor, and he didn't believe me. In fact, he asked me how much longer I'd be because he had to go brief for his flight.We hung up. And then, Evie's heart rate dropped. With every contraction, her heart rate dipped to the 50 range. At one point it went below 50, and a team of people rushed in.

This had all happened in a matter of maybe ten minutes- I had not had an IV yet and they were still discussing whether Evie should be delivered that day. I was 37+5 at that point. But once her heart rate started dropping, the decision was made- get her out now. Tears filled my eyes as I asked someone to please call my husband. We live about 40 minutes away from the hospital- the idea of having this child who seemed to be having some trouble, alone, was terrifying. My heart went back to my delivery with Jack and I shuddered. I asked a nurse to call my husband. She calmly told him what was going on and handed the phone to me. I think he was in shock because he asked me what he should do with the kids. Um, I don't know honey, I'm kind of in labor right now with 7 nurses rushing all around me- could you just figure that one out on your own please? I think I cry-yelled at him to hurry and get here now, and then passed the phone back. And I cried. I felt so alone and scared for our baby girl, and also, the cramping. Oh, the cramping. And on a small level, I was so proud. Proud that my body could do the natural thing, even if doctors were standing by with knives ready to make it unnatural. My body was doing what it was meant to do and I felt such amazement in that. (I have had 4 c-sections, and not one of them by my choice at all. In fact, I have begged every single time to have a natural labor. And each time I got a resounding NO.)

All of a sudden, I was changing into that beautiful blue gown, getting an IV, signing paperwork, answering questions, and realizing that these people were not going to wait for my husband to arrive. They told me as soon as I got my spinal, they were going, husband or not.

As it turned out, my man showed up in the nick of time. I was wheeled in to the OR frantically looking around, was given the spinal, started vomiting from the nasty drink they make you swallow before the c-section (this drink is like  the gestational diabetes syrup test drink x 100), and was starting to wonder if my husband would be there to hold my hand.

And then his voice, and his amazing eyes peeking out over the surgical mask. He grabbed my hand and touched my forehead, I think I told him I was scared, and he said "She's going to be fine." And just like that, so was I.

About fifteen minutes later they said "Mama, get ready to meet your baby girl", and then I hear her muffled little gasps, and felt that incredible feeling that every mother knows. They held her over the partition and THERE SHE WAS-- my beautiful, goo-covered, dark-haired baby girl who looked so teenie. And I fell instantly, completely in love. For the 5th time in my life.

The doctors then told me that her cord was wrapped tightly around her throat, several times, and that's what was causing her heart rate to drop. With each contraction, her oxygen flow was restricted. It's fairly common, but no less frightening. I am so thankful I happened to have an appointment that day.

And here we are, one year later, with this amazing ball of sunshine that is our Everleigh Diane. This baby girl continues to do things her own way. 

She started taking steps 2 months ago, but then decided crawling was cooler, and hasn't taken more than 2 steps since. She loves to stand, and is quiet athletic (can standing be athletic?) when she does, if I do say so. She rises on her toes sometimes or with bent legs. She just stands right up. 

When she is touching something she is not supposed to, I say in my best I-mean-business voice, "EVERLEIGH NELSON, NO MA'AM". And then she turns and smiles at me and says "Mo Maaaaam". 

She dances when she hears music, she swings her arms wildly and smiles at the world as if it is the best song she has EVER heard.

She loves to be cuddled and at night when I try and put her down, she reaches up to grab my arms and wraps it tightly in hers. She doesn't want to let go. And 99% of the time, she wins.

We are so blessed to have this baby girl. She adds such a joy to our lives and her beautiful blue eyes light up my heart. 

She is so loved by her brothers and sister, they each have their own special way with her. Evie now responds to a variety of nicknames- Evie, Ever, LeighLeigh, Miss Ma'am, E-bee, and hey baby. To them, she will always be the baby, so she is carried around and doted on often. 

I miss Jeremiah so much today. I wish that he were here to share in all the milestones and the celebrations. But I know we will be together again shortly and he will see soon enough how amazing his baby girl is.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl! I just love being your mama, and you make my heart swell every singe day!!!!!!

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