Baby Evelyn // a birth story

Evelyn Dawn Swenson
Born Tuesday August 18, 2015
8:10 pm
7 lbs 7 oz
17.5 inches

There I was at 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant and so excited to meet my baby girl. The week before at my doctors appointment I was dilated to 3cm and 90% effaced. My doctor told me he doubted I would make it to my due date. That got me really pumped and I made sure to have everything as ready as I could. We finished the nursery, I got my hospital bag packed and deep cleaned our house. This mamma bird was nesting like crazzzzzy. 

It was a Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling good. I had a doctors appointment that morning and I had some questions I wanted to ask him. That Sunday I had woke up to things being a little bit different in my panties... pregnancy does weird things to your body so you never know what's out of the ordinary ha! Though the thought crossed my mind, "was my water leaking?" But it wasn't like the movies or how it had been described to me as a big "gush" almost like you are peeing your pants... I was confused. I just knew it was different? I called the doctor on call and he told me to watch it and see if there was more and if so than to go to the hospital. I took it easy that day and nothing more really happened so I decided to stay home. The next day came and I went and got a pedicure and manicure taking it easy that day. Then that night there was a little more of that fluid but this time a little more watery but then stopped.. No consistent contractions either, in fact I felt great! So yeah, I was still confused.

I asked my doctor if there was a way to check if my water really was leaking or not? He ran some tests and checked my dilation.

I was dilated to over 4cm. 
"Hmmm that's peculiar" he said and left to check the tests. 

I was sitting alone in the room twiddling my thumbs. It seemed like things were moving a long, but why hadn't my contractions started being consistent?

The doctor then entered the room. 
"So, the tests came back positive, your water has been leaking. You are going to have your baby today."

My jaw dropped. 

"What are you serious? TODAY!?" I asked almost laughing. 

"Yep! Be to the hospital by about 11:30am and I will meet you there and we will get things rolling." He replied. 

When your water breaks it doesn't necessarily put you into labor, but when it does break or leak the baby has a chance of getting an infection so they have to induce you to put you into labor. Especially where we weren't sure exactly when my water had started leaking. 

I practically flew out of the doctors office with excitement. It didn't seem real, I felt fine! This isn't how I imagined it at all! I was expecting to have to time my contractions then go in. I even downloaded a contraction timer on my iPhone!

I immediately called David at work and blurted the news. I could feel his excitement radiate from my phone as he told me he was coming right home. 

When we met at our house, we gathered our things and went to the grocery store to pick up snacks to pass the time until we needed to check in at the hospital. But we just couldn't wait any longer and arrived to the hospital a little early. I got to my room and we just couldn't believe that so soon our baby would be joining us in that very room! I gulped at the thought of delivery but at the same time jittered with excitement. I changed into my potato-of-a-sack-hospital gown and crawled onto the bed. They hooked up the monitors to my belly and we heard our baby's heart beat beating strong.

Now I had never been to the hospital before- I've never broken a bone and I've never had stitches etc. so I was way nervous about getting my IV. But I survived, I just couldn't look at my wrist for a while. Then I found out that once you get started you can't eat! My eyes opened wide. What?? All those snacks we just bought. I didn't eat right before we got to the hospital.
(So word to the wise, make sure to eat before you get to the hospital if at all possible!)
When the nurse that gave me my IV and told me I couldn't eat left the room, the other nurse told me that because they hadn't induced me yet to hurry and eat some of my sandwich. I was glad about that, though my nerves made it so I was only able to eat a few bites but I'm sure glad I did.

The doctor came into the room and checked my dilation. It was about 2:00pm and I was dilated to 5cm and 100% effaced now. I still wasn't really feeling any strong contractions. He then finished breaking my water since it had just been leaking and not fully broken and I finally felt that 'gush' feeling which was way interesting! Afterwords I got up to go to the bathroom and more went all over the floor. That's how I imagined it being like in the movies or something haha!

When I got back to the bed they were ready to induce me. 
That's when the contractions came.

They were subtle at first and with each one they became closer together and stronger. They put me on the lowest dose of pitocin and it triggered my body into labor right away so then they took it away. After a little bit I decided it was time for an epidural because I heard from others experiences that sometimes it takes the anesthesiologist some time to get to your room and with each contraction the intensity grew and began knocking my breath away. Luckily the anesthesiologist came pretty quickly. They sat me up in bed and I curled around a pillow to round my back as David held my head through each contraction. The monitor read that the contractions were full force. Then the epidural was in, which I didn't feel at all! Guess that's one thing nice about the contractions is that they distracted me from the epidural! I laid back down and in a few minutes the intensity went away but the monitor still read the same. Epidurals are amazing!!! I think we are blessed to live in a time with modern medicine might as well take advantage of it! I was worried that it would slow down my labor because I've heard of that happening to others, but nope my body kept going!

By 3:30pm I was dilated to 7cm! Then came 6:00pm and I was dilated to 10cm! Hearing you are finished dilating is exhilarating. Since this was my first delivery the nurses had talked to the doctor and he told me to rest for an hour so the baby could drop a little more. I was so glad that I actually could rest before pushing.

Then the magic hour came.

7:00pm and it was time to push! All I can think of how to describe the feeling is pressure. So much pressure down there. David came on my left side and his mom on my right. Unfortunately my mom was out of town trying to catch the first flight back trying to make it in time, but I guess things like that happen when your baby decides to come early, so I was so grateful Dave's mom could be there. I was so excited to push even though I knew it might take a few hours. With each contraction they have you push with everything you've got for 10 seconds 3 times. It's sooooo exhausting! The nurse asked me if I would like to rest through some contractions and I tried but then as I felt the next contraction coming on I just couldn't! The urge to push is real!

"Nope never mind, I'm not resting!" I was so determined to do whatever to get my baby girl in my arms.

I kept wondering if I was doing it right, and asking "is it working?!"

The nurse said "Oh! There's her head! She has hair!" 

David turned to me excitedly, "Babe! She has hair!"

That motivated me tons to push even harder!

We wondered through out the pregnancy if our baby would be born with hair or not because babies on David's side of the family are born bald but my side of the family usually has hair. I had pretty much no heart burn during my pregnancy so I thought if the wise-tale of that meaning if your baby has hair or not was true, then our baby would be completely bald. Well obviously that wasn't the case. 

I saw the doctor enter the room. Adrenaline pumped through my body as I focused on pushing and my mind swirled trying to grasp that this was really happening. Then only after a total of an hour of pushing, at 8:10pm I felt her come out completely. I heard that sweet cry for the very first time. Immediately after David cut the umbilical chord she was placed on my chest. I lost it, and David lost it. We both had tears streaming down our faces. Our little Evelyn Dawn Swenson was finally here. She was finally home. 

Bringing our baby girl into the world was the most surreal experience of our lives. Our hearts grew 10 sizes-- we love her so much. Seeing David hold our baby girl for the first time is something I won't ever forget, seeing your husband become a dad brings your love for him to a whole new level. We feel so blessed that the whole labor and delivery went so smoothly and that our little girl came healthy and strong. Labor was the craziest experience I've ever been through and my body was a bit in shock but honestly it's not as bad as some describe- especially if you have an epidural. As scary as it may seem that's how every human came into this world, our bodies were made to do it and we can do hard things! I did it! Through out the whole experience of pregnancy and then delivery I gained such a respect and love for my body.
Like the comedian Jim Gaffigan said, "But truly, women are amazing. Think about it this way: a woman can grow a baby inside her body. Then a woman can deliver the baby through her body. Then, by some miracle, a woman can feed a baby with her body!"
The whole process really is such a miracle, I'm amazed our bodies can do all that!

We are embarking on the biggest adventure of our lives with parenthood and we are so happy!


  1. Love it! Pictures are amazing!

  2. haha I totally agree! the contractions totally distracted me from my epidural.

  3. I had the same water leaking experience with Jules when she was born! Which is funny considering that I was dilated to a three and wasn't having constant contractions either. Gush is an understatement for water breaking though haha it is crazy and those epidurals are God sent.

    I'm so beyond happy for you! And I know Jules is beyond stoked to have a baby cousin. She keeps talking about her!

    1. oh really?? sounds like we had similar experiences then! it was so precious when i was pregnant Jules would come and rub my belly all the time. and then when she came to meet her she just had the biggest smile on her face. Jules is so cute!
      thank you!



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Maira Gall