Born on the 28th of April at 11.44pm
and weighing in at 2.66 kg at a length of 48 cm
Sometimes things go slow, and then suddenly they can go very fast! The last two weeks Evelyn was suffering from an elevated blood pressure which was hard to control. Last Friday it was decided that, whilst mum and baby were both still healthy, that it might well be best to get baby out. So, after a long pregnancy (yes, 9 months gets very long when nearing the end), things suddenly sped up!
We were invited to come to the hospital on Saturday the 27th of April at 4pm to get an induction under way. Bags got packed, a last shopping round at the supermarket, and we all felt ready. Even baby: she'd never been so active as on that Friday evening.
Then a phone call from the hospital with the question to please have us at 7pm rather than 4pm. Ok then! After 37 weeks, 3 hours is not a lot.
Having arrived at the hospital the rooms weren't quite ready yet, but around 8pm we got assigned a room. That's when things really get under way - well you'd think so...
You see, you don't start with the induction straight away. First the cervix needs to be softened. This is achieved by applying batches of gel, one by one. Each batch is given about 6 hours to do its job, after which an internal examination has to reveal whether the cervix has softened, and hopefully opened sufficiently, such that the waters can be broken.
The first batch of gel was applied at around 11pm that evening. The effects of that application would be assessed at 6am the next morning.
The gel works slightly different on each woman, and for Evelyn it didn't just soften things, but it also started some relatively gentle contractions. Gentle enough to have a short sleep till the next morning.
Even 'hubby' got a bed, although it was just a 5cm thick mattress. Unfortunately a very cranky head nurse came on that night, and when I gave my blanket to Evelyn, who was cold, I wasn't allowed another one. Nor were we allowed more than two pillows. I started wondering whether this was 'normal practice' in a public hospital, but no, it really was just 'crankiness'. All the other staff turned out to be awesome and nice.
So nice and understanding that they made sure this woman didn't have to look after us ever again.
So at dawn Evelyn got her internal examination, and the midwife thought that she might be able to break the waters. Not that it was a large opening yet, but thought it might be worth a try.
Turned out that it was too hard in the end, because no water followed. At 10.30am another batch of gel was then applied to soften things up further and to keep those gentle contractions going.
At 4.30pm another attempt to brake the waters; this time successful. So, almost 20 hours after arriving at the hospital, and only this is the point where the real 'induction' starts! Sometimes things go really slow...
Using a hormone-drip the process is now focussed on generating contractions. And not those gentle ones, but strong ones. Really strong ones. And quite fast as well: where it started with about three per 10 minutes, it now sped up to 4 or sometimes even 5 per 10 minutes. And this is why they say that an induction can be more 'forceful': it's hard to control the speed and force at which things go.
Whilst Evelyn is being very focused and handling the accompanying pains very well, she's also hooked up to a machine that monitors baby's heartbeat. Although it's made by Philips, and it even came with wireless sensors, it wasn't able to pick up anything useful when Evelyn went through her contractions. And that's exactly what the nurses want to know: what's going on with baby when mum is doing the hard work?
So at about 4 hours of very hard work, a probe is put on baby's head to measure that heart beat. It then became very clear that baby was under a lot of stress whenever there was a contraction. Her heartbeat just dropped 30 to 40 beats (on an average of 145) as soon as a contraction was peaking. This worried the midwifes and doctors very much. Let alone mum and dad...
And just when we started realizing that this wasn't looking good, and really wanted to know what approach needed to be taken and whether a c-section could be an option, a doctor entered the room and suggested exactly that.
Then things speed up again: anaesthetist, doctor, midwifes, nurses - it all happens in no-time! At 11.15pm Evelyn is wheeled in to the operation room, and at 11.44pm the first screams of a baby sound! Amazing! A healthy baby girl was born, and whilst mum is being stitched together, dad is allowed to do the official bit: cutting the cord. (A bit weird, because when cutting it, it's no longer attached to mum).
Evelyn is recovering extremely well, still in hospital with baby, but they're probably coming home tomorrow. Baby was a little bit early, and therefore a little under-weight of course, and had some trouble keeping temperature. So she's spent a day and a half in an incubator, but is now resting and feeding in mum's room.
I'm sure this is no surprise, but we're both really proud of our little baby girl, and yes, she ís the most beautiful girl in the world!