Tag Archives: our evelyn michelle

Aunt Little J

While all of Evey’s twenty-two aunts and uncles (and counting) love her, Jorgi Anna capital L-O-V-E-S her. In August, while Evey and I visited Maryland for a few weeks, I kept a running list of all the adorable things sweet little J said.

I’m laughing out loud typing these up.


(Sweet little J and Johnny at our wedding last year.)


J: What does she eat?
Me: Mama’s milk.
J: Oh, she just sucks on your shirt.


J: I’m going to talk to her in baby Spanish.
2 seconds later…
J:  Goo, goo, gah, gah

While Evey napped (and she clung to the side of the bed staring, whispering)…
J: I bet she’s having a good dream… about butterflies. They are flying all around and giving her butterfly kisses on her cheeks because she’s SOOO (dramatic emphasis on that O) cute.

Evey was wearing a butterfly dress, by the way.

When the cuteness just overwhelmed her…
J: She’s so so adorable! She’s so adorable!

Checking on us anytime I took Evey upstairs for a nap…
J: Is she awake? -slams door-

After listening to the CVS commercial in the car…
J: Evelyn is happy and healthy.

When Evelyn would cry..
J: I’ll handle it.

After waking from a nap
J: Now, THERE’s that beautiful smile!

Talking about our big sister’s engagement…
J: I’m gunna have two nieces soon. Alex has an gage-meant ring!

Consoling ner niece…
J: Aliens will never be able to take you!

Randomly, J:

“Soon your gunna love MY baby!”

“Evelyn is going to be a sunshine when she grows up!”

“I tried to change her diaper but it didn’t work out.”

“I think when she puts your finger in her mouth she’s giving you kisses. That’s how baby give kisses, I heard it in a book.”

If you sent in questions, I’ll answer them in a post on Wednesday. If not, you still have two days! :)

write this down

It seems like everywhere we go people stop to stare (and sometimes touch- EKK! CRINGE!!) and ask us about Evelyn. You can see in their eyes they’re remembering. They’ll tell us they remember bits and pieces of their own children, now grown, as babies this small and they usual leave a piece of advice. It’s not advice on breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding or where to buy the chicest baby clothes. It’s always about remembering.

I’ve lost count of the times I’m told, “you won’t believe how fast time flies by,” “it feels slow in the moments and days, but the years fly by,” or “you think you’ll remember but you look back and it’s a blur. Write everything down.” …by complete strangers!

Here’s what I’m “writing down” as Evey is 9 weeks + 1 day young.

… how, when dad and I hold you, you spread those sweet, chunky arms out as wide as they can go and then let them hang limp. You fall asleep in this weirdly adorable position

… how you love to relax your neck so far back, as if to give those little neck rolls air. You stay like this, staring at the world (almost) upside down and this funny position calms you. (Dad says people probably think I don’t know how to hold a baby.)

… when you fall asleep making cute little whimpers, smiles, laughs, coos, and taking long blinks.

… how much baby wearing soothes you. You always fall right to sleep. When I try to maneuver you out 8 times out of 10 you wake up immediately.

… when you wake in the morning (almost) always so happy and you give me the biggest smiles and coos.

… how we coo and smile back and forth at each other, and sometimes I even get a little laugh.

… how you sleep with your legs and feet curled beneath you and arms spread wide on me. We cuddle through your naps and at night.

… how you wake up suddenly but once you see me or dad there beside you then your at peace and drift back to sleep.

… what a peaceful baby you are. Everywhere we go, people comment on what a “good baby” you are. You really do have such a sweet, forgiving temperament. Even after you throw up (which breaks my heart, from over eating… I think) you don’t cry. You just look to your dad and me for comfort. Once we hold you close you’re soothed and we go fill the bath.

… how you’ve started putting your hands in your mouth to suck. You haven’t figured out sucking your thumb yet though.

… how it feels to watch you and your dad together. I always tear up. The way you look up at him, smiling so big when you see him, pulls mama’s heart strings.

Writing this down to remember because *blink* you’re nine weeks old.

The baby-baby photos are from when Evey was six days old. We won a giveaway on Facebook from the kind Natalie. Her and her sweet little baby bump we’re bopping all around our tiny apartment taking these shots. Thanks Natalie! :)

Evelyn Michelle’s Birth Story

Early Labor: 4AM May 27

I was in and out of sleep since 12AM with light contractions. Four hours later, I couldn’t handle the insomnia anymore. I got out of bed, poured myself a bowl of Cheerios and sat down on the exercise ball. As I bopped up and down {gush!} my bag of waters broke. Wait, I think that’s what that was… right? Then two more times, {gush! gush!} Ok, definitely the bag of waters.

There was a rush of excitement! After waiting nine long months this was finally it. I knew from our Bradley Method classes that once your water breaks you generally have 24-48 hours to deliver your baby. We also learned that you should let coach sleep for as long as possible so he’ll have energy for when mom really needs him.

Even still, I was too excited and had to wake him up! I walked into the bedroom and whispered in Brad’s ear, “my bag of waters broke.” He woke up so quick, expecting me to be in full-fledged labor.

But nothing was happening. The contractions from earlier had faded off. I felt fine.

I had a pre-scheduled midwife appointment at 7AM so we decided to pack our bags and wait to see the midwives. At the appointment it was confirmed- the bag of waters had ruptured. Edna, our midwife, told us we had two options since contractions hadn’t yet started: 1) go to the hospital to be induced -or- 2) wait it out at home but come back within 24 hours. Opting for a natural birth, we chose the latter.

We called and texted our families the news they’d been on edge about for the past couple weeks (at least I know my mom and sister were). It was birth day! Immediately the Cooley side started a betting pool for when the baby would be born. Weird things like that happen in a big family.

As the hours passed labor news got boring because NOTHING was happening. The itty-bitty contractions from the early morning were gone. I still felt fine.

-Flash forward twelve semi-non-eventful hours-

By 4PM minor but consistent contractions started up. (I know they are minor now but I didn’t think that then. Ha!) By 9PM they were intensifying and three minutes apart so we headed for the hospital. Looking back, it was too early for the hospital but as first time parents we had no clue how bad/intense it would get and were tired of waiting around all day.

In triage, Bradley requested Room 303, which was a little trick we learned from our tour of the hospital. (It’s so nice having a husband with a good memory sometimes!) The 303 is the Ritz of hospital birthing and the only room complete with a big ol’ birthing tub. It’s the best room in labor and delivery, and it was available!

Once in 303 I was left to labor in peace while Bradley slept. At 12AM they wanted to check me for the first time. I’d read in Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth how critical your mindset is in labor and how one woman with positive affirmation dilated super quick and effectively. So, they are going to check me… my first internal exam in my past 20 hours of “labor.” I’m mentally telling myself, “Peace. Calm. Peace. Calm. I’m hugeeeee. I’m huuuuuuuge. 9 CM. 9 CM. Peace. Relax” convincing myself this will help, as if I could manifest myself to a 9.

You’ll want to cry for me. I was at 2CM. 2…. 2…. 2…. 2….! 20 hours later and at a 2! It was horrible.

Edna, my midwife, was so patient with us. She said it was up to us what we wanted to do but that she’d give us more time. So, she went back to bed down the hall and for four more hours I went through the contractions.

Four hours later and at 5CM contractions started losing intensity and frequency. Edna advised that it might be a good idea to start pitocin. Very quickly I understood. If I took pitocin, and started these intensely unnatural contractions my body wasn’t ready to handle, I’d most likely also need an epidural. This terrified me and I started hysterically crying. Despite how upset I was, we agreed pitocin was the right choice. I was intent on pushing through for as long as possible without further interventions because, pitocin and all, it had been done naturally before!

So they poked me for that IV and we started pitocin.


Active First Stage: 4AM May 28

I was scared, crying, and clenching my crucifix with all my might. I watched the sunrise beyond the mountains, palm trees and cacti. I had no concept of time or hours passed. With no sleep in the past 24-hours time became a daze. Bradley napped on that teeny and stiff couch-bed, held my hand, and we did none of the stress relief techniques we learned in birth class.

By 8:30AM I was at 7CM and clear for the tub. YAY! (They wouldn’t let me in the tub until I’d progressed more because it could slow/stop labor if done too early.)

Oh, the tub. Oh, that beautiful, miraculous tub. I wadded, swayed, and moaned myself around. I was still in indescribable pain but it felt like a great weight was lifted. I never wanted to get out. Apparently my bag of waters was still partly in tack because while in the tub I felt a big “pop” as the rest ruptured.

Transition: 9AM May 28

All modesty was lost in that tub.

I kept rudely announcing (no time for manners in a time like labor) that I needed to use the bathroom and felt an urge to push. Brad recognized all the signs of transition and was eager to get me out of the tub. (I wasn’t legally allowed to have a water birth at this hospital.)

Poor guy. It was nearly impossible to convince me to get out. But out I got. Gravity was cruel and felt like heck.

–Cue the most agonizing hour of my life–

For the next two hours I waddled back and forth from the bed to the bathroom. No position offered release. Contractions were stronger than ever before and Hypnobabies lied because I did NOT feel “peace” or “release.” (#whattheheck #bigfatliars @hypnobabies.)

I can only describe it as an out of body experience. With each contraction I lost my mind.“Breathe. Breathe. Breathe through this wave. It’s almost over.” They told me. But breathing became intentional as I felt myself losing all grip on the situation. I had no idea how to cope with the pain and felt myself internally retreating further and further away from reality.

At this point I had a one track mind that ended in me with that epidural. Boy oh boy did I beg for it! It was my light at the end of this long-horrible-dark tunnel. I remember acknowledging I could not mentally handle any pain beyond what I was experiencing in that moment. “I need the drugs!” I told myself. No one could stop me!

Until, as fate would have it, Edna checked me. I was 9.5 CM and fully effaced. I was ready to push and I wasn’t getting that epidural.

Stage Two Pushing: 11AM May 28

At this point they also checked Evey’s heartbeat. It was dropping and they were worried. Knowing the safety of my child was at risk motivated me like no other. They told me to lay on my side and quickly I obeyed. I was put on an oxygen mask and it felt like anesthesia to me. It calmed me so much.

I was never more determined to accomplish something in my entire life. I was going to push this baby out right now and was so intent on doing so!

With each push Edna, our nurse Angie and Brad gave me the most positive encouragement.

“You’re doing great!” ..”Wow! I can see the head! Do you want to feel her head?” ..“You’re doing amazing.” ..”That was a great push! Give me one more. Keep going.. Keep going.”

Their encouragement filled me up. The affirmation was so uplifting and motivating.

Once I started pushing I didn’t stop besides to take breaths and quick rests when instructed. With each push I screamed like crazy and bore down with all my might.

Pushing took seventeen minutes and was my favorite part! A midwife might have accidentally been kicked, a nurse’s hand may have been violently squeezed and a husband was most certainly left unharmed (I’m not sure how), but seventeen minutes and oh my goodness we had this baby!

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Evelyn’s here! 11:21AM May 28 

They placed that sweet baby girl on my tummy and it was the best feeling in the world. I can’t adequately describe the overwhelming love, gratitude and sense of accomplishment I felt during this moment.

While I felt deeply betrayed by Ina May and Hypobabies and their lies of relaxing pressure waves, peaceful birthing, and bladitty-bla, I did understand one thing. I finally understood what all those stories of strength were about. Giving birth made me feel strong. It’s hard to imagine the girl crying like a baby (i.e., me) feeling strong, but I did. I felt the greatest sense of accomplishment with this beautiful baby girl to show for it.

We did it! We birthed this baby! God blessed us with this baby girl!

Bradley cut the cord once it stop pulsing and Edna did her midwife business.

The next two hours we had alone with our babe. No nurses or such bothering us for measurements or exams. (I love how mom-baby-dad bonding friendly our hospital is!) They covered us with a warming blanket and let us be. We felt cozier than ever. The whole three of us soaked up those first hours as a family.

The next few days in the hospital were the best days of our life. It reminded me of those same blissful feelings we had on our honeymoon just nine months back. And this time they were intensified a thousandfold.