avetts birth story- part one

Thursday October 17th I had my 41 week and 5 day doctors appointment.  We were going biweekly for non stress tests and biophysical exams to make sure that Avett and I were both still doing well.  The doctor determined that everything was perfect.  My placenta wasn't ageing, I still had plenty of amniotic fluid, and Avetts heartrate was fluctuating and responding perfectly to stimulus.  Dr. Dott checked me and said I was dilated 5cm and was 100% effaced and that my water bag was paper thin.  He said,  "I have no idea why you haven't gone in to labor, this baby is hanging on by a thread."  He then said "We have two options you can give up now and have a csection or we can trust your body and keep waiting."  I immediately said sternly that I was not going to give up.  I knew he wasn't pressuring me for the csection though. Dr. Dott is such a gem of a doctor.  To deliver NUVBAC at Northside is like the unicorn of births and I knew Dr. Dott was determined to help me do it and was such an advocate for VBAC's.  I had waited this long what was a few more days.  I mean clearly he couldn't stay in there forever.  So even though I was 12 days over my EDD and I was so anxious to meet my boy we went back to the waiting game.  

John was concerned to leave me alone that day considering that I was a walking ticking time bomb.  So my mother came over and we spent the day shopping and walking around with Evie.  That night John and I put Evie down for bed and after an episode of The Cosby's and some bouncing on the ball we went to sleep around 10.  I woke up to the sound of Evie crying at 1am. I went in to her room and calmed her down and stayed in the chair in the nursey until she fell asleep.  As soon as I sat down I started having contractions.  They weren't strong but I knew they were very different from the Braxton Hicks I had been feeling each day.  Since I had my phone with me I started timing them and they were coming about every 6 minutes.  I sat there for about 40 minutes feeling them come and go and then decided to take a shower.  When I got out they had slowed down but considering that just earlier that day the doctor said I was at a 5 and I would probably be one of those women who go in to labor and then give birth under a bridge on the way to the hospital, I decided it was go time.  I stood at the edge of the bed and called out John's name.  He woke immediately and I said, "I think it's time."  He popped up and started asking me all sorts of questions and running around wanting to make sure everything was ready.  About that time Evie cried again and he went in to sit with her.  We texted back and forth until she fell asleep again.  During that time I called my mom and let her know we decided to go in to the hospital and that we needed her to come be with Evie.  John showered and packed the car and we waited for mom.  She got there about 40 minutes later and we stood in the cold parking lot and said a prayer in the dark and quiet 3am night.

John and I headed out to the hospital and the roads were so clear and it was so peaceful.  My contractions were still irregular.  He dropped me off at the labor and delivery entrance and on my way in I had my first contraction where I had to stop walking and hold on to the railing.  We got checked in and they took us to our room.  By this time it was 3:30am and my contractions were ranging from 12 minutes to 6 minutes apart. They decided to admit us and let me labor through the night and Dr. Dott would come see me in the morning.  I was able to sleep some, only being awakend by nurses coming in for vitals and contractions.  

Around 7 the nursing shifts changed and one of the most incredible things happened, we met Cindy.  How do I even begin to describe Cindy, I couldn't have done it without her positive spirit and encouragement and ability to read exactly what my body needed.  She is a 74 year old black midwife from St. Martin in the Carribean islands.  She studied midwifery in Liverpool, England and then went on to practice in Ireland, Canada, New York, and has been here in Atlanta for 24 years.  She walked in to our room and said in her beautiful Carribean/English accent, "This room needs an aroma."  She took out a bottle of lavender oil and put it on some gauze and laid it on my pillow.  I told her I had brought some of my own oils for the birth as well and she said, "Well get them and let me rub them on your feet."  I looked at John wide eyed and we both knew that she was made for us.  That morning before we left for the hospital we prayed for the nurse who would be working with us. I knew that trying for a Natural Unmedicated Vaginal Birth After a C-section would require a supportive staff.  We asked that we would have someone who would be understanding and encouraging of our desire for a VBAC.  I told Cindy immediately that she was made for us and how grateful I was that it was her who was with us.  She held my hand with her old hands, they were so cold and felt so good on my hott skin, she said, "I want you to know that this morning when I woke up I prayed for the body that I would be helping and it was you."  I was in awe that this was who was there to help with Avetts delivery.  In that moment I felt that I understood a part of why Avett had to come when he did.  Everytime she would leave the room John and I would smile so big and look at each other in such disbelief that we were so lucky to receive such a nurse like her.  She was full of stories of past deliveries and I loved hearing every single one. Her voice was so soothing.  She ended up refusing to take on another patient that day and she was in the room with us the whole time.  She was like my own doula. She would hold my hand through the contractions and talk to me about my breathing. She had such a calming effect on me and I knew she was sent straight from God.

By 8:00 Dr. Dott came in and he said we could let me labor through the day and see what happens or he could break my water.  Well I had nearly been pregnant for 10 months, 41 weeks and 5 days let me remind you, and it was time.  I could feel that Avett was ready and the spirit confirmed it to my heart as I said out loud that I wanted him to break my water.  I looked to John for confirmation that he felt good about it too and we both knew it was the right thing.  So at 8:30am it all began!


the greatest joy

It is our family tradition to take our children to the temple as their very first outing. We took Evaleigh when she was 4 days old and on Sunday we took Avett when he was just over 48 hours old on the way home from the hospital.  We tell them how grateful we are that they came to our family and bare our testimonies to them that our family can be together forever.   

When we got to the temple Evaleigh took off running in the grass and giggling for her daddy to chase her.  I stood there with Avett in my arms and watched them go all over the temple grounds.  She would stop and point at the temple and smile.  When she came back she brought me a purple flower that she picked.  I couldn't imagine my life getting any better than that moment and my heart was exploding with grattitude for the life my Heavenly Father has blessed me with.  
When I originally thought about taking Avett for his first trip to the temple I didn't think about having Evaleigh there.  But as we were preparing to be discharged from the hospital my heart ached at the thought of her not being with us.  So my mom packed her up and brought her to the temple so we could all be together.  That is just how I feel about the eternities.  It simply wouldn't be heaven if my husband and my children weren't all there.  I've always loved this quote by Elder Holland, 

“I don’t know how to speak of heaven in the traditional, lovely, paradisiacal beauty that we speak of heaven…I wouldn’t know how to speak of heaven without my wife, or my children.  It would not be heaven for me.  Now, you can say that’s wishful thinking, you can say, ‘ Well that’s just because you love each other and you’ve gotten cozy here on earth and you like each other’s company.’ It’s a lot more than that.  It's eternal."
As I sit here with my 5 day old baby in my arms I feel a warm spirit around us.  The past few days I have felt so close to Heaven with this special little spirit who has joined our family for forever.  I am so grateful for the gift my Heavenly Father gave to me as a woman to be able to bare and bring forth children with my husband in to this world. It is my greatest joy.  


Avett Mills Murphy

Born October 18th at 3:23pm at 41 weeks and 5 days
10 pounds 3 ounces
22 inches long
7 hours of labor
A beautiful NUVBAC

The experience of bringing him in to the world was beyond words and we are all so captivated by him, including his big sister!


on the night before you were not born

Saturday night my sister and her husband were in town.  We were all sitting around and I happened to come upon a post on Baby Center that mentioned Scalini's famous labor inducing eggplant parmasean. Remembering that a friend had recently mentioned it to me as well I thought I'd look it up.  Low and behold it was 12 miles from our house! It didn't take much convincing for me to get Bekah to agree to go out with me at 8:30 on a Saturday to eat this famous dish. 

Rumour has it that over 300 women have gone in to full blow labor and delivered their babies within 48 hours of eating this dish. Being that I'm over 41 weeks pregnant at this point, I'll try almost anything!

So we went and it was a complete blast. Our waitress was amazing.  She said her sister ate the eggplant when she was due and went in to labor 30 minutes after.  She said there are some nights where all of the tables she is waiting on are full of only pregnant women and their husbands.  

The restaurant is full of pictures of babies and testimonials of the eggplant.  If you deliver your baby within 48 hours of eating it then you get a gift card for the restaurant and your baby gets a Scalini's onsie.

They have a baby book there that you sign if you eat the eggplant and according to the book I was the 10th pregnant lady there that night! And as my sister and I left there was another one walking in right in front of us for the eggplant.

Man I want that onsie...10 hours until my deadline is up.


extra time and chin hairs

We are still waiting for Avett to make his entrance in to the world!

  While this waiting has been a test of my patience it has also given me the gift of extra time with Evie.  We have had the best past week together.  We have been on dates just the two of us to The Flying Biscuit, we have painted fingernails more times than I can count, we've taken a lot of bubble baths together, we've gone to visit lots of people we love, and we have spent a lot of time out on our front porch feeling the fall breeze.  While I'm getting anxious to meet our little boy I am so grateful for the perfect week I've had with just my girl.  She will always be my first baby and I'll always cherish the memories of our times together.

This waiting has also given John and I some extra time to kill.  We've watched Jimmy Fallon clips, thrown pillows at eachother from across the room, and he's even plucked my two chin hairs so that I'm presentable for the delivery room.   Last night after work he brought home the BEST Chinese takeout I've ever had.  He ordered things extra spicy in hopes of moving things along. On the way home he called me and said he had a surprise that he just couldn't wait to tell me about.   

Back story: our first fall together when we were newlyweds we consumed about 30 gallons of New York Style Pumpkin Cheesecake Icecream.  We would watch Lost and Office marathons in our tiny apartment at Woodcreek and make out during the Verizon commercial we hated.  Somehow we have missed this ice cream for the past two fall seasons.  We've been everywhere looking for it but with no success.   

So when Mr Murphy called last night with that undeniable excitement brimming on his voice I knew it could only be one thing: New York Style Pumpkin Cheesecake Icecream.  The heavens opened and angels sang.  It was better than I even remembered it.  Last night was awesome.  

Any suggestions of things to do while waiting for a very tardy baby?


yep, still pregnant...

Well, d-day has come and gone and.....no baby. I'm still very pregnant and even though it has been three days since d-day, it feels like an eternity. I know this is completely normal but when you've been looking forward to a baby every day for the past nine months, each passing extra day seems like forever.  Especially in the pelvis, knowwhatimsayin?

I'm very much in favor of letting this boy come on his own but with a deadline for going in to spontaneous labor because I am a VBAC, I'm getting a little nervous.  Of course he would already be doing things to make his mama nervous.  Say a little prayer for us please if you can!

There are some perks to being this  pregnant.  I can pretty much get anyone in my family to answer the phone when I call.  They always seem to answer nervously and immediately and suspiciously ask how I'm doing.  I also have my sweet husband on edge nonstop. If I just switch positions in the middle of the night he'll wake up sort of breathless and ask if I'm having contractions. I have intensely hard Braxton hicks about 20-30 times a day but nothing ever comes of them.  

Each night I go to sleep hoping to be surprise awakened by contractions in the middle of the night. When I wake up in the morning and nothing has happened, I have just resigned myself to another full pregnant day. For some reason I would be surprised to go in to labor during the day.  I was hoping this little boy would be my birthday present but I guess he didn't want to share his special day with me.

Hey Avett! We are ready to meet you, so come out soon, ok son?


am I ready

As I lay in my bed with a few tears falling from my eyes trying to get a nap, Evaleigh is sleeping in the next room.  I just finished singing her to sleep, like I do every day, and I had a twinge in my heart.  I've been so caught up in wanting Avett to come lately.  Naturally with my body so pregnant I am constantly aware that he could come at any moment.  But as I sat in her nursery this morning I thought to myself, "Am I ready? Have I done everything with just her that I want to do?"  I can feel the change coming and somehow a little guilt has entered my mama heart.  I want to always remember the times when it was just the two of us.  I hope she knows how much being her mother has changed my life, my soul, and the very strands of my being for the absolute better.  What we have had and shared the past 20 and a half months has been the most lifting and fulfilling experience.  I am really happy to meet Avett and to bring him in to our family and I've been told that it only gets sweeter and sweeter, but today I enjoyed watching her fall asleep to the sound of my voice while knowing that she was my only care in the world.


the most wonderful torture

I sort of love this waiting game.  It's the most wonderful torture! We are absolutely clueless as to when Avett is coming and I love the anticipation.  We never got to go through this with Evaleigh because they took her almost a week early.  There were no surprises, which on one hand was nice, but this waiting game is so much fun! So I can officially say I've never been THIS pregnant before.  However, I am at the point where if one more person asks me if it's twins in there, I'm afraid of what my reaction might be.  Punching could be involved.   

I am so excited for the moment when it's really go time.  I wonder where we will be and what time it will be.  I really feel like we have just about everything ready. I am in a constant state of wanting to keep the house clean so when it does happen we are bringing Avett home to an organized and clean home...my sweet John is obliging my crazy hormonal pregnant woman behaviors and is right in there with me keeping things up.  

I had an appointment today and it was the first cervical check I've had since switching doctors, which I love.  Not that the numbers really matter at this point but suffice it to say things are really moving along and getting ready to go up in there.  He was pretty impressed with how low Avetts head was.  It's a sensation that is all new to me. Since Evie was breech I never got to experience a dropped and engaged baby head in my pelvis.  It feels like I've been riding a horse non stop for weeks.  Honestly, I'm so happy and relieved to know he is in just the right position, after having a breech baby it's easy to be gun shy and paranoid about baby positions. 

I really attribute a lot my progress so far to Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and Evening Primrose Oil pills.  Ever since one of my doctors midwives suggested them to me more than two weeks ago I have felt such a renewed source of energy.  Around 37 weeks I was ready to throw in the towel. Although I still have rough days when I am diligent with the RRL and EPO I feel so much better and it gives me the extra push to make it through the day with an active little toddler.  We are so excited to meet this little boy, he is going to rock our world.

39 weeks and 2 days.

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