I can cut the the chase, and happily announce the arrival of our son, Thomas Brown, on the morning of Monday, November 23. He is delightful and our hearts are overflowing.
But now for the details I crave when reading a birth story…
Thursday morning I got up and went to Barre class. It was the first time that contractions were impeding my workout, I became teary during the cool down listening to a song that was popular when we were trying to get pregnant with Jackson, and I just wanted to rush home and stay there… instead I went to work and the contractions came and went, nothing painful, just annoying more than anything because they were making me waddle to walk through. I was 39 weeks that day. The nurses’ treats were ready to go, and I was ready, too.
We had a snow/ice storm pass through the area on Friday the 20th, and I prayed the baby would want to stay put until the roads were safely passable. There is a small hospital in the town in which we live, but they haven’t delivered babies there purposefully in a significant amount of time. It wasn’t my first choice to pop out a kid surrounded by people ill-equipped mentally and physically if things didn’t progress “normally.” The roadside ditch was also not on my list of places to safely deliver a baby. Luckily things stayed calm that night, and the next morning after the roads were cleared, we packed up and headed to my parents’ for the weekend, about an hour and a half from our house, to let my husband go deer hunting and Jack have some time on Nanna and Poppa’s farm. At time during the weekend the contractions would pick up, but woul peder out if I rested. Sunday afternoon I put jackson in the car to “take a ride” AKA get him to fall asleep for a good nap. While driving, I noted some decently strong contractions, almost painful, but nothing serious – only really noteworthy becaus I was sitting down, not up and active, and typically activity brought on contractions for me. When I got back to my parents’ I also laid down for a nap, slept soundly for an hour and woke up feeling great. Jesse didn’t get a deer, so we packed everything back up, and as we packed I again noticed that the contractions were stronger than a typical BH, but not painful per se. As we drove home, just sitting in the passenger seat, they wer strong enough that my husband noticed when they were happening. I began to time them and they were every 7-10 minutes and lasting about a minute each.
We got home and I began to unpack/make sure everything for the hospital was packed. I gave Jackson a bath and continued to time the contractions, which were maintaining in intensity/duration/interval, but not getting worse. I texted the photographer and my cousin who volunteered to watch Jackson in the case of a middle of the night labor, told them both to turn up their phone ringer, but that I wasn’t 100% convinced I was in labor yet. My cousin offered to take Jackson now, before bedtime, but I already had him snuggled in bed with me and his massive pile of toys, watching TV… And I really just wanted to savor these last few moments when he was my only. Jackson and I had a quiet conversation laying there, about Poppa’s cows (“moo-moos”) and Nanna’s chickens (“balk-balk shickens“, and lots of cars (“beet-beets”). I asked him if it was okay if his baby brother was born that night, and he said yes. Then I asked what we should name him and he said, “blue, green.” LOL. He fell asleep in bed and I just stared at him for a bit, taking in the last time he was my little and the baby. And then we put him in his crib.
I encouraged my hubby to take a shower and get some rest if possible. While I wasn’t ready to leave the house, at this point I knew it was likely that these contractions weren’t going to stop, and we would eventually be going to the hospital. The contractions were still 5-ish minutes apart, so was just taking them one at a time, reminding myself that that is only 12 contractions per hour, and petting the cat with a little extra force through most of them while I was laying in bed, pedaling my feet to help physically extract the pain. At 11pm or so I took a hot bath. And once I got out the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and definitely the real deal. I woke up my hubby, he packed up the car and Jackson as I got through the contractions and called my cousin to warn her we were on our way.
We got checked in L&D around 1am, and I was 4cms. I was informed that they were busy, busy, busy and didn’t have any regular labor rooms left, so I would be delivering in the triage room where we were. I didn’t care, it was nice and a private room with a whirlpool, so whatever. At this point I was pretty sure I would get an epidural, no matter what I had ever said before. I got into the tub there, which helped take the edge off, while they ran my labs and gave my the obligatory IV fluids so the epidural could be placed when I wanted it. I have no idea how long I was in the tub, I kind of lost tract of time and space for a while. It’s funny, I am such an independent person, and in labor my husband just lets me do my thing… he did with Jackson, too… and it doesn’t bother me. I don’t want a hand holder or cheerleader, I just kind of shut into my own head. Around 3:30am I was ready to get out of the tub and have my epidural placed. Once it was in, the nurse checked me again – “a stretchy 7-8” (lovely mental image) – and I settled in with a GREAT epidural. I hate the sensation of the numbness, but in the case of the numbness versus the pain, I choose numb, especially knowing that I wouldn’t have much longer to wait. The photographer was resting in the waiting room. My hubby also grabbed some ZZZ’s. I was awake… too excited to sleep, ready to meet baby.
At 6am I texted my photographer, knowing I was almost ready to deliver. Then I called the nurse and told her the same thing – I just knew he was ready to go and I was right. They got me all set up, I pushed for 2 contractions, and out popped our sweet little wrinkly man at 6:20am. Easy as that. Really, easy as that. He had a nuchal cord wrapped around once, but the doctor was able to untangle him without cutting the cord, so we were able to delay cord cutting like I had requested. Jesse eventually cut the cord, we snuggled skin to skin, and then they took his measurements – 8 pounds, 2 ounces and 20.25 inches long.
So, we have spent the last week loving on our sweet Thomas, getting him adjusted to our home. Who am I kidding? We are totally adjust our home to him. He is so sweet, and cuddly, and perfect. He is a spitting image of Jackson, but with much more dark hair. He’s a champion eater, back to his birth weight by 4 days of age. I, of course, am making milk by the bucket loads again. Crazy.
I consider my life so complete right now. I have 2 sweet boys. My husband has been wonderful. Jackson is taking this new baby in stride, so far. We’re not getting tons of sleep, but it’s okay, my heart is calm. My heart is full.