My Birth Story | Meet Evan Grey
HE is finally here! Evan Grey Ireland arrived fashionably late, on Easter Sunday. My boy weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces of pure bliss, and measured 18 inches long. After working his way into this world overnight, he fittingly made his debut at 9:15 Sunday morning, to the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun. Those seconds were overwhelmingly emotional. Meeting him marked the most life-changing moment, and yet, it felt like nothing had changed at all — like he had always been here with us. The minutes after his arrival were calming, as though he was telling us… ‘I’m home.’ Here is my birth story…
I was a few days past my due date, and doing all the tricks to kickstart labor. Walking. Bouncing. Praying. Pineapple. Spices… the list goes on. But my boy stubbornly wanted to arrive late (a trait he certainly got from his mama). After a 3-mile walk the day before Evan arrived, something felt off, and I could feel my body prepping to welcome a babe.
By that evening around 7, I started to feel moments of pressure that would quickly pass. My mom insisted it was the start of labor, but I shrugged her off, and thought my stomach was upset. I ignored the pain for a couple of hours and tried to go to bed. Silly me…
The pain became increasingly intense, and I was having a difficult time talking or breathing through each contraction (with the exception of multiple, multiple cuss words). Once fu*k became the only word in my vocabulary, Jake insisted we go to the hospital.
FINALLY, I was admitted and had a nurse check to see how far along I was. Two centimeters. That’s it. And I was in excruciating pain. The nurse hinted I may be sent home if I didn’t progress over the next hour. In that moment, I wanted to punch her. Really.
I had set a goal to make it to at least 5 centimeters before getting an epidural. I wasn’t attempting to be superwoman and skip the drugs altogether, but I had heard getting it too early can significantly slow down labor. So, when the nurse said I was a mere two centimeters, I questioned my entire plan. I wasn’t handling the pain well, and with each contraction, my baby’s heartbeat was dropping. I needed to gain control of myself.
Over the next hour, I was in extreme pain. I’m pretty sure the entire hospital heard the LONG list of cuss words I had for my mom… my sisters… my husband… the nurses…. God bless all of them for still loving me after all of this…
Fast forward to about 3am. That same nurse checked me and said I was nearly 6 centimeters. Now I adored her. I was progressing quickly, and I opted for an epidural.
The meds kicked in, and labor turned into a whole new experience. I loved my husband again. I loved my mom and sisters again (who had lovingly given up their own night of sleep to spend every moment of labor with me). I loved the nurses again. And I’m pretty sure I kissed the doctor who gave me the epidural.
For the next few hours, I tried to nap before it came time to push. By Easter morning, around 8:30am, I was 10 centimeters and it was GO TIME!
I had anticipated this to be the toughest part of labor, but instead it was incredibly emotional. I was crying happy tears even before I started to push, knowing I’d soon meet my son or daughter, after carrying his or her beautiful soul for nine months.
Though Jake and I had initially planned on having just the two of us in the room during delivery, we opted to keep my sisters and mom there with us. They had been my cheerleaders for the last 9 hours, and I wanted them close by. Besides, in my giant Greek family, you don’t do anything alone…
I pushed… and pushed amidst lots and lots of tears (of joy!) I could feel my baby arriving into this big world, and it was pure magic.
In the final push, my doctor said to give him my hands. He (quite literally) allowed me to help deliver my boy. His loud cry. His slippery body. His beautiful face. All on my chest. It was the most incredible moment of my life, and one I’ll never stop thanking God for.
Everyone in the room soon started asking whether it was a boy or a girl. The craziest part is, we had waited months to find out, and when our child arrived, we didn’t even think of looking until someone reminded us to. Crazy how love works like that! Jake lifted the little one’s leg, and excitedly said… ‘it’s a BOY!’
I cried even more. Hysterically cried. And held on tight to my son.
He was mine. He was ours. Forever.
Next week I’ll share how we decided on our little one’s name…
Birth Story Photos by Annie Shak