After I made the decision to get the epidural, things moved quickly. Within minutes I was out of the bathtub and moved to the bed. Now I would be stuck there and not be able to move the way my body would need me to. But I was also so tired that I knew it was the best decision.
Soon the overly cheerful anesthesiologist walked in. Her name was Jessica too and she told me that she was here to save the day...I didn't look at her and wished she would stop talking. I didn't see it as her rescuing me and I felt like I had failed. As she prepped me for the epidural she told me I would only feel about three more contractions. I felt so sad...now I would be numb.
By then it was 3am. I laid down in bed as my legs began to feel tingly. Soon my entire body was itchy, which can be a side effect from the medicine. I was uncomfortable and no matter how much I scratched the itching continued. I eventually fell in and out of sleep while my doula snuck me food so that I could keep my strength up. By morning I had progressed a little more so they continued to let me rest and let my body progress on its own. I don't remember much from the time I received the epidural to the time I started pushing. I was in and out of sleep most of the day...hoping the next time I was checked it would be time to push.
The next time I did wake up the light in the room was different. It was late afternoon and I was anxious to see if I had made any more progress. The new midwife Leigh, who I had met for the first time the day before, came in to see me. She would be delivering my baby after all! She checked my progress and I was almost there! I had never felt so happy! It had been almost 30 hours since I had arrived at the hospital and 12 hours since I had received the epidural. I was ready to get this show on the road.
Around 4 pm it was finally time to push. My epidural was still allowing me to feel strong pressure with each contraction, which I was thankful for. I would know when to push on my own and for the next two hours I did just that. I pushed with everything I had...Martin and I had waited so long to meet our daughter and I knew we were so close.
As our baby began to make her way into this world I could hear lots of whispering. I opened my eyes and saw a whole crew of people in the background who hadn't been there before. My heart began to race as my midwife calmly explained that they had found meconium and that they would need to take my baby right away to be suctioned. I knew then that I wouldn't be the first to hold my little girl and Martin wouldn't be able to cut the cord. Things were just not going the way we had planned at all.
So with a few more strong pushes and everyone around me telling me I could do it, Everdeen was finally here...twelve days late and 32 hours later she was here. They whisked her away and Martin followed quickly behind. He tells me how Everdeen grasped his finger right away as they worked clearing her lungs. I was so glad he had been there with her. I could hear her little cry and they told me from across the room that everything was okay and that she was healthy...some of the best words a mother can here.
They brought her over to me and laid her pink body on my chest. She was quiet and calm and I held her tight. There truly are no words to describe that moment. That was my little Everdeen, the one who had been with me for the past ten months. I could finally touch her and feel her. She was perfect and she was ours.
Martin and I looked at each other and we felt complete. This is our family. Our sweet baby girl was worth it all...and there's no doubt in my mind that I would do it all over again, even the parts that weren't part of our plan, just to have Everdeen in our lives.