Sunday, April 18, 2010


(Ah've decided that purple is her signutuh culuh)

Evangeline Susan Nielsen

Born at 1:35, Friday afternoon, April 16th, 2010.

10 pounds 3 oz.

21 3/4 inches in length

I wish I could post the video of her being born. It was such a funny delivery. I had all my sistahs there and they were SO helpful. I'll try to re-cap the adventures for you.

Here's what happened from MY perspective (I've seen the video and it's SO much different than what I was perceiving! The second med they put in my epidural line made me super groggy and nauseous so I was closing my eyes for most of the actual delivery. Closing my eyes made me have a very interesting conversation with myself.):

I got to the hospital with Trina (Butch decided to stay home and just ease the kids into the day so they wouldn't be alone for so long, since we didn't know how long things would take) around 6am. They hooked me up to monitors and tried to start the pitocin but I insisted that they wait until the epidural was placed. That was a good move.

I was dilated to 3 (which was one more than on the day before, so it meant I was already sort of starting labor. I estimate that I would have had her within three days, had I gone "naturally". My due date is today, Sunday the 18th!).

They finally came in and placed the epidural and started the pitocin around 10am (it went a lot faster than it sounds...lots of paperwork and fussing anyway.) then the action started. I was checked about an hour into it and the contractions finally came around 3 minutes, consistently. Meanwhile, all my girls started filtering in as I texted them with updates. My "go number" was 5, and most of them rushed over as soon as they knew it was going pretty fast. Here's everyone "helping" me (before things got intense. The truth is, they are actually more involved in the actual delivery than we parody here in the picture!)

(Oh, Butch finally came, he's taking the picture!)
The picture didn't include Krista, who hadn't seen a baby born before (except her own three). She walked in right after I started pushing. I just saw the video and it was super funny. I pushed, then someone walks in and I say "Oh, HI! Yay, you made it! then I started pushing and had the baby!). Also, it doesn't include Anna, who was in California at her coffee convention thingie. She missed a good one, but she and her new husband get to be the godparents. Oh, did I mention that they are expecting their first baby???!!! They announced it at Easter and we are all so happy!

When things started to hurt, I panicked because that had happened before, and I got nervous when the anesth. didn't come in and bump my meds (he told me if the pain got above 5, to call him) so I had to endure some pretty nasty contractions before he came in and gave me a big bolus of a different medication into the epidural line. It worked and things moved pretty textbook-like into transition. I got the shakes and felt more pressure so the doctor checked me and told me I could push any time. I told him that I could, but that I didn't want to, yet. He told me "that's just fine, we'll let her come down by herself" and I was happy. I could hear her heartbeat the whole time and knew she was fine, so I just fought the nausea and tried to remember to breathe. Rachie was right beside me so I whispered that I was going to try a "practice push" with nobody watching, to see if that did anything. She conspired to hide and distract while I pushed. I realized that I was feeling a little pain with the contractions, and that holding my breath and pretending to push, actually made the pain go away so I told them I was ready to "push".

In my head, I was having the following conversation:

Me: I feel like puking, I need to abandon this "pushing" facade (I really couldn't feel anything to push, so I was totally faking it), and just try to puke, maybe I'd feel better?

Me: Yeah, you could do that, but if you do, then it will take longer and you will be doing this thing forever. How about just keep doing the holding the breath thing and fake it some more until you pass out. THEN, you won't have to puke and maybe the baby will come on her own?

Me: Good idea. They're telling me to "push" again, so I'll really put on a good show this time and maybe my face will turn red. I'll throw in a grunt or two for show.

Me: Heh heh, that would be a hoot.
I had to keep from stopping the "pushing" charade to make comments on what I was feeling and thinking. I thought "they'll never believe I'm pushing if I stop to make conversation!".

So, I "pushed" a bunch more. I never ever felt a baby like this. She was bouncing, moving, kicking, twisting and totally awake from the moment I got to the hospital, until hours after she was born. I've NEVER had a child kick her way out of the womb before! She was pushing and twisting all the way out! That totally distracted me front the queasy feeling that I kept having. I had estimated 8 lbs, 7 oz when we did our last minute guesses (that we post on the wipeoff board). The nurse won with a guess of 9 lbs, 13 oz! She said, when the baby's head was out, "Do you want to feel your baby's head?" I sneered at her, "No, YOU can feel it."

I HATE when people want you to look at or feel the baby before it's totally OUT of the body. I also hate when people say "PUSH". I think I've mentioned that before.

The nurse was perfectly nice, I just didn't get a chance to warn her.

Right before I started to really push, Weazy started crying and ran into the bathroom and puked her guts out. Butch was attending to her during the whole birth. I think he'd rather help a puking child, than watch a baby be born, so I'm pretty sure he was okay with that arrangement. We chalked it up to nerves (which was weird, since she'd seen Tommy be born and was perfectly fine with that) but it turned out, 4 of the six kids had a puking stomach virus all day Friday and most of Saturday. No fever, no previous indications, just violent, sudden vomiting that didn't stop for 24 hours! Other than Weazy being at the hospital right when her barf-fest started, it was pretty good timing! If I had stayed home and went into labor on my own...EW. What a mess!

So, Evangeline came out and woofed in a big wad of fluid but it got suctioned out quickly, she was perfect (perfectly CHUBBY!) in every way, and now she's sitting in her brother's arms, squeaking and looking slightly orangy.

It was the quickest (5.5 hours), least painful, least stressful, best delivery I've ever had. If this were my first baby, I'd have 6 more HAHAHAHAHA!

Butch is my total hero for keeping things in order around here despite the barf-o-rama. Mom came and really stepped up with the keeping up on wash and trying to make the kids feel better. I really itched to go home right away since I felt SO good. I almost feel like myself only two days later! So, I decided to steal away during the night and came home around 9pm last night. I loved "sleeping" in my own bed. The baby was sleeping a lot and I actually had to wake her for some feedings, just to be sure she can start the milk and get rid of the jaundice before it takes hold. She's a good nurser and is so sweet to look at and play with. She's a charmer. She's being fought over quite a bit today.

I'll post a bunch of pictures of our visitors and Evangeline. The only non-family visitor, besides some of the sistahs, was Meredith who was there for the birth, because she happened to have an appt. at the clinic next door, but had her daughters with her. She went to the waiting room and, I didn't find out until later, kept an eye on Krista's kids until after Evangeline was born! She also ran out and came back later, by herself, for a nice long visit and brought a huge goodie basket of awesome, useful stuff. I can't thank her enough! She included some note cards for thank-yous but I think I'll do some personal emails instead, since my handwriting is so horrible, they'll think they got a card from the doctor's office.

Thank you, EVERYONE, for prayers, for being there, for helping me with the other kids, and for just being friends of our big, crazy family.