Every birth story is so unique, and I find it fascinating to hear the details of how people bring their babies into the world. Here’s the story of how we welcomed our newest little joy.
I’ve been absent around here for the past week, but that’s because big things have been happening at home…or one big little thing, I suppose. Much to my surprise, we welcomed our newest son into the world on Tuesday afternoon, a week and a half before his due date. We’re all healthy and recovering well at home now, so I thought I would share our whirlwind story with you all. Feel free to skip it if personal details and squishy baby pictures aren’t your thing.
My due date with this baby was September 7, 2017. Judging by how I’d been feeling lately, I didn’t think I’d make it all the way to my due date, but I was hoping to make it past Thursday, which was Little Man’s first day of Kindergarten. In fact, I warned my husband that if I missed his first day because I was in the hospital, I would cry.
Don’t tempt fate, people.
In any case, I had in my mind that it would be nice if he was born over the long weekend…Labor Day would be especially appropriate, don’t you think?
Don’t try to plan life events like that. The universe just laughs.
Here’s the last picture I have of me pregnant…rocking the awesome solar eclipse glasses…
Alright, so the laughing universe got the ball rolling early Tuesday morning. I slept pretty well on Monday night, waking up a few times as had become my routine. Then, around 5:45 or 6, I started feeling a few contractions, and I felt like they were a little stronger than the Braxton Hicks I’d been feeling for the past month off and on. Still, they weren’t super strong, and they were about 10 minutes apart, so I just lay in bed dozing and breathing through them, figuring they would probably stop soon, like they had before.
At 7:00, I noticed Graham was awake, so I rolled over and told him about the contractions. I kept an eye on them for the next hour, and I wasn’t sure if I should send Graham to work or tell him to stay home. They were still coming regularly, and they felt uncomfortable, but I still wasn’t convinced that it was the real deal. We decided that he would go to work but that he needed to keep his phone close and be ready to leave at any time.
I played with the boys a bit, and vacuumed the house (I have no idea what possessed me to start cleaning…weird nesting instincts or something) in the morning. I had an appointment to go visit a friend at 10, and I considered cancelling, but I decided it would be good to have the distraction, so we went. While we were there, the contractions continued, and a few of them were even getting quite strong, but I could still talk through them, so I didn’t realize I was in real labor.
We headed home for lunch and I called my best friend for our regular Tuesday chat while the boys watched a show and I made lunch. I started to feel more and more uncomfortable and I was wondering whether I might need to go in and get checked, but I didn’t want to set all the balls in motion of getting people to watch the kids and such if I was just going to get sent home.
However, by the time I got the boys settled in their rooms for quiet time, I felt like the contractions were definitely increasing in strength, and I lay down on my bed to time them and see if lying down would make them slow or stop. They didn’t. They were consistently 4-5 minutes apart and I could no longer talk or move normally during them. At that point, I called Graham and told him I thought I was in labor and that I was going to call the doctor to get her opinion.
I called my midwife’s office and they immediately recommended that I go in and get checked at Labor and Delivery. Thus began my marathon of phone calls. I called Graham to confirm he needed to come home NOW. Then I called my mom to give her a heads up, and she said that she and my dad would start making preparations for driving out (they live in California). I called a friend to see if my boys could come over to play, and she quickly agreed (hooray for fabulous friends and neighbors). I tried to get the last few things together in my hospital bag and wanted to get the boys over to my friend’s house before Graham got home, but having to do everything between contractions was slowing me down, and BOTH boys actually fell asleep (a rarity these days), and I couldn’t carry them while dealing with my own contractions.
By the time Graham got home I told him I felt like we needed to go to the hospital sooner than later, so he hurried to grab a few things he needed, got the boys across the street to the neighbor’s, and we
hopped slowly waddled to the car.
Once we got in the hospital, they checked me and declared that I was a 7!
“Are you serious?” I asked, incredulous. I had NO idea I was that far along in labor. Oops. I suppose I should have responded to the signs a little earlier.
They got me to a room, and by the time my midwife came and checked me less than an hour later she said I was at a 9 ½. Crazy! Everything was going so fast it seemed surreal that we were really in the hospital and I was really going to have a baby, not in hours, but in minutes!
My midwife broke my water, and helped me through a few contractions to try to get me the rest of the way dilated. She declared me ready to push and I went at it. Pushing was REALLY hard this time. When my second child was born I remember it happening so fast. It was ONE contraction, two pushes and he was out. This one took some more work to get out, and so I got a little discouraged and impatient, but it was still only 3 or 4 contractions worth of pushing and baby boy was born! They put him on my chest, cleaned him up and we snuggled for a few happy minutes before they took him briefly to do vitals.
He officially weighed 7 lbs even and was 20.5 inches long. He has tons of dark hair, and pink skin like our oldest boy (not olive-toned like #2). He’s super hairy, and his nose is a little crooked (probably from being scrunched inside), but all that just makes him completely adorable. I’m so in love with this little man!I’m getting used to things now, but right afterwards I was totally in shock at how fast he came. Some things in life you just can’t plan. I’m just grateful that he’s healthy and we’re all doing pretty well.
The older boys came to visit the hospital the next afternoon, and their reactions were just what I would have expected. Little Man DOTED on his new baby brother, and Little Brother was mildly interested, but mostly wanted attention for himself. 🙂 Both of the boys took turns climbing up on the bed to hold the baby with me, and they were happy to give him the presents they picked out for him. The baby also got them some special lollipops, which of course they loved.So, here we are…a family of five. One day at a time, we’re figuring out what that means and what family life looks like for us. One thing I know for sure…there is nothing more important that bringing these little people into the world and providing them with a loving home. In all my goals and ambitions for my life, may I never forget the joy that comes from focusing on my family.
And just for fun…Here’s a comparison of my three boys as newborns. Can you see the family resemblance?