Island Time Kayaking

Casey’s view of the world

Evan Franklin Allan

July11

After a good month of preparing and a solid two weeks of waiting and waiting our little man made his appearance into our lives. We had been trying to be so patient for him to make his debut on his own terms.  Trying to tell him we were ready, and to gently encourage him to make his way, but nothing seemed to be working.  We were so hopeful when I started having contractions and they got into a steady pattern on June 30th but they never got any stronger.  Then I started having contractions off and on every day.  A few nights I was close to waking Nathan to tell him the show had started only to have them again fizzle.  We thought for sure that by the time I hit the 40 week mark I was going to be close to fully dilated.  At my appointment on our due date (the ultrasound had the due date one day later) I was told I was a good 3, at a stretch 4, and that the baby was still at -1, not even fully engaged…argh!  The midwife offered to do a sweep of the membranes to see if the irritation would get anything going, and because of the good week plus of contractions and heat I said yes.

So Friday came and went, the baby was super active but no contractions really.  Saturday morning came and we decided to do another super walk to see if we could get anything going.  We'd tried just about everything at this point, and the only thing that even came close to doing anything was walking so we were sticking with it.  Off we headed down to the Farmers Market, lunch at Cascadia Grill and then home via the antique shops.  We were up moving and walking for a good portion of the day.  We got home and my feet were super sore from the swelling (I wasn't wearing my compression stockings) so I laid down for a little snooze to get off my feet and cool off.  The weather outside was good, but it was still too hot for my pregnant state.

After waking and sitting outside for a while, Lauren had her dinner and we had a light dinner of eggrolls as we were all still full from our large lunch and milkshakes.  Then we started watching a movie, King of California, and about half way through put Lauren to bed and had a cup of coffee.  It tasted so good.  Everyone trickled off to bed after the movie and it was just Nathan and I.  I suggested a walk as the weather outside was beautiful and who knows right, it might get something going, it certainly couldn't hurt.  So about 11pm we headed outside into the cool breeze and took a walk around the neighborhood.  We were walking back up Central and Nathan asked, "So anything?"  My reply, "Nope."  He suggested skipping up the driveway, I politely declined.

Back inside we were getting ready for bed.  Nathan commented he might have a shower and I said that sounded like a good idea.  I went in to use the bathroom and brush my teeth and had a doozy of a contraction.  Hmmm…lets see if anything happens.  Empty bladder, change position, breathe, relax.  Another contraction.  I turn to Nathan and say, "If you want that shower, you better take it now."  He jumps into high gear hops under the shower and is out in record time.  He asks, "Any more?"  My response, "Three."  I then jump under the shower and had another two in the shower and one even stronger one as I was trying to get out.  Nathan asks, "Is this it?"  My response, "This is it, we are leaving."  He helps me get my pants on, tells his parents we are leaving, and we head out the door.  The time 11:53pm.  He rolls through the stoplight on Legion.  He says the ticket is worth it, not that there was a cop or anyone around.  We arrive at the hospital, were fortunate enough to find a parking spot right outside the doors to the ER entrance and we walk right past the desk and down to the Family Birthing Center.  Another three contractions on the walk there.  They meant business, but I was doing my breathing techniques and could still walk through them.  We get checked in at 12:05pm and head to the exam room.  Our nurse Jennifer was great.  Got me right in and going with everything, urine sample, monitors, etc, then came the exam.  5cm dilated, still -1.  Her thought was that the midwives would keep me since the contractions were really regular and pretty strong, but she couldn't say for sure.  In the middle of a contraction I was thinking, "I am not going anywhere."

The midwife on call, Sharon, said to keep me, and she would be in to see me in an hour or two and to get settled into the birthing room and get the IV for my GBS antibiotics going.  Luckily Nathan was thinking and requested IV therapy to come down and do the IV since I am always such a hard poke and with the pregnancy and swelling it makes it even harder and they always get called anyhow.  We get one of the big rooms with the tub and I am eyeing that tub, just waiting for my IV so I can get in it.  The contractions are building and seem to be a lot stronger at this point than I remember with Lauren.  Nathan is getting cameras, music, etc ready and calls Barbara our Doula to let her know we were there and staying.  She calls and says she is on her way.   IV therapy came down, two pokes and a nasty bruise later I have my IV going and I have the urge to use the bathroom again.  As I am using the facilities, I have a HUGE contraction and my water breaks.  I let out a huge grunt and Nathan opens the door and asks if he needs to get someone.  Another contraction comes and I say, "YES!"  Jennifer comes back in and asks me if I can make it to the bed.  I tell her no, so she takes one arm, Nathan takes the other and I make it to the side of the bed.  She asks me to lay on the bed so she can recheck me while she calls Sharon back to tell her I am progressing rather quickly.  I climb onto the bed on all fours, Nathan is rubbing my back, and Jennifer politely asks me if I can turn over, I say, "No."  Nathan says that Lauren was born in the same position and it worked well.

Jennifer is cleaning me up as I have another contraction and I say, "He's coming."  Jennifer responds, "I know, let me just recheck you ok?" And she turns around to call someone at the nurses station.  Another contraction comes and the baby crowns as I am holding the head.  Nathan says, "No he is REALLY coming."  I finish my contraction and say, "The baby just crowned."  Jennifer goes back to the intercom, hits the alarm, and says something to the effect of, "Anya, Les, ANYONE, the baby is coming now!"  I hear an alarm somewhere and I think there was a light flashing, I can hear about five people in the room now, none of them are Sharon or Barbara.  I hear Jennifer tell me to push, the next contraction started and I took a deep breath and breathed the shoulders out and then the rest of him and his cord followed.  There is a ton of commotion in the room, all the nurses and a resident asking for suction, clamps, etc.   I hear the baby cry, and I am relieved.  Someone with an Australian accent (Vicki), says, "Wow he's a biggee."  Nathan says, "It's definitely a boy."  More commotion, crying, and I turn over as they have the baby under the heat lamp with Nathan standing right over him.  He has already cut the cord.  I birth the placenta as someone asks, "What was his time of birth?"  Jennifer says, "I have no idea."  Another nurse says, "1:40am"  About the time that Evan is wiped down, measured and wrapped up and handed to Nathan, Barbara walks in the door.  About 5 minutes later Sharon walks in.  Both are amazed, as was everyone else in the room.  From first contraction to birth, two hours ten minutes.

After all our waiting Evan Franklin Allan just didn't want to wait.  As soon as the water broke that was it, he was making his way into this world.  Date of birth, July 11, 2010 at 1:40am.  His official weight was 9lbs, 11.9oz, length 22 1/4 inches, head circumference 14"!  He is not the petite baby Lauren was but he had two weeks on Lauren.  Apgar scores were 9.  They were a bit worried because I didn't even get in half of my first dose of antibiotics, and he is on the large side so our plans of heading home in the morning were thwarted, but he is an eager eater (Vicki says he is all boy there), and is doing wonderfully.  I did wonderfully as well.  I say the walking, yoga, relaxation and breathing really does work, no tearing, no nothing.  I didn't quite feel the same as after Lauren, "Sure lets do this again tomorrow." But because of the time it actually took I didn't really feel overly tired or anything either.  Until later in the day with the ins and outs of nurses, doctors, meals, the bed turning on and off, then the fatigue sets in.  I am really looking forward to taking my little puddin home in the morning.  Plus Lauren just adores her little brother.

We've been asked about his name.  Evan has the same meaning as Charlie and Franklin has the same meaning as Jackson.  It is our way of honoring the boys we hold in our hearts as we hold this one in our arms.

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