(This triple layer banana cake with cream cheese frosting was completely gone by the time labor started.)

Contractions started at 4am on Sunday, May 13th. They caught me off guard, even though I was five days late at that point. I’d been waiting for other signs that had preceded contractions with my last labor, but go figure, every birth is different.

Ha. Ahaha. Yeah. Especially this one.

So I started timing contractions (instead of sleeping, on account of I’m smart with my decisions that way) on my handy iPhone app. They were averaging about 8-10 minutes apart and were very mild.

Two hours later, Levi came in and threw up on my pillow.

An hour after that, Benjamin came in and thew up on my feet. And then turned around and threw up on the dog.

Did I mention it was Mother’s Day?

So by 7am, we were up. And we were not going to church. I hadn’t told Josh about the contractions yet. What… It hadn’t come up… {Shifty face}.

He bathed the kids and the dog, and then made pancakes, insisting I do nothing, like a good husband. Which made me not want to tell him all the more. I didn’t want to sit around and do nothing. But it was Mother’s Day, and therefore illegal for me to lift a finger. I eventually decided maybe if I told him I was in labor, I’d be more likely to get my way. Maybe he’d let me load the dishwasher.

And he did. I also washed sheets.

I then continued to putter around the house. When I was sitting, the contractions would be 10 or more minutes apart; when I was up, for instance, making these awesome energy balls, they would be 3-5 minutes apart. But when they were closer together, they were much milder, so I wasn’t concerned.

The kids went down for Quiet Times at around 1:30 p.m. and Josh and I watched I Love Lucy. Partly because of tradition. We watch old shows while I’m in labor. It was M*A*S*H with Benjamin.

While watching Lucy, Josh started helping me through the contractions. Evelyn hadn’t turned yet, so my lower back was really aching with each contraction. He applied great counter-pressure while I leaned on my yoga ball and everything was completely manageable. I was still timing them and they were still 10 or more minutes apart.

We had had sitters lined up to take care of the kids when I went into labor, but the whole early-morning-vomit thing kinda messed with those plans. Our sitters were mostly mothers of young children, so taking our children into their homes wasn’t really a desirable option anymore. We had also let Josh’s mom know things had started, and she had left for the 7 hour trip at about 9:30 that morning. So we were expecting her at about 4:30. I thought I could definitely hold out until then.

The kids woke up and they were playing Trios with Josh in the living room. I was leaning over my ball, timing my lazy, but intensifying 10 minute-apart contractions. Josh could tell when one would start, just from my breathing, and would come over to push on my back. Pretty sure I was bruised the next day from all the counter-pressure, but I wasn’t complaining at the time!!

I had two 8 minute-apart contractions and Gammy showed up. I had two intense 6 minute-apart contractions and told Josh it was time to go. Which is very unusual. He’s always been the one who has to drag my laboring bottom out of the house.

We walked 20 feet to the car and the contractions started coming one on top of another. The pressure in my pelvis was increasing at an alarming rate.

The last contraction I timed had been at 4:39pm, before telling Josh it was time to go. It was probably 4:45 by the time car was in drive. We drove the 10 minutes to the hospital. Hit every red light. Josh went to the wrong entrance and had to try again. And the whole time, I was recognizing the feeling inside me. She. Was. Coming.

Low, guttural moaning and prayer. That’s all that kept her in. Side note: I don’t recommend experiencing transition in a moving vehicle.

He found the ER entrance and hopped out, keys in the car, car still running. I was already on my way through the first set of doors. I took maybe five steps and stumbled to my knees. Four feet shy of the second set of doors. They hadn’t even opened yet. I remember seeing the man behind the desk. He was on the phone. I remember wondering if he could see me. And then I went down on all fours.

My body refused to listen to me anymore.

It pushed. My water broke. It pushed again. And her head was out.

Someone tried to get me in a wheelchair. I flat refused. (In their defense, I was wearing a skirt, so no one but me knew that her head was out already.) But then Josh realized what had happened and suddenly there were a lot of people around me.

My body pushed again and Evelyn was born. She slid briefly into my hand before she was whisked away behind me. Being still connected to each other, there was a careful dance that followed where I stood, my skirt was taken, and I was finally able to hold my baby girl.

Then I saw the sheets being held up at either end of the entry way. And I realized, for the first time, that I’d just birthed my child in a very public place. I was led to a gurney and wheeled away, past some amazed faces, to labor and delivery.

In L&D, I asked what the official time of birth was. They pondered a bit and decided it would be when ER called up to say there was a lady delivering in the breezeway. 4:58pm.

19 minutes after my last timed contraction.

They never found my skirt.



Evelyn Ruth. 7lbs, 7oz, 19.25″ long, born 5/13/12 at 4:58pm – 5 days “late”.

The ER entry way – her place of birth. Also, notice how hilariously appropriate her initials are.

Loving the car ride home (Group B Strep was NEGATIVE!) in a car seat deceptively sold with a weight range starting at 5lbs. We have since borrowed an infant carrier.

We did not expect our dog to love the baby quite this much.

However, we did expect this.

And this.

And this. (There’s the dog again!)

While Levi does love his Babyevawin, he is mostly excited that the Daddy will be spending a WHOLE WEEK at home with us.