You may have noticed my absence over the past few weeks. This was primarily brought on by the family circus of life and the importance of eating burritos. Well, after 487 weeks of life as a toddler-chasing preg…HE’S HERE!
Grant Charles arrived on Friday, May 1st at 10:20p – literally HOURS before Princess Charlotte (beat THAT, Royal Family of Windsor). We are in love with every squishy, squirmy ounce of our new kiddo.
I know I faux-complained about how totally over being preg I had become. Grant was apparently eavesdropping on these conversations; when he decided it was time to show up, he did it in a big damn hurry (which is totally unusual for our punctually challenged family).
Our due date was April 30th. I saw my midwife on the 29th, and knew she would be going on vacation out of state from the 30th through May 4th. She didn’t believe we’d go into labor on our due date, and her advice for over the weekend was to cross my legs and make it to my appointment on Cinco de Baby, if I wanted her to deliver. Of course I would have loved for her to deliver, but the reality is that at 40 weeks pregnant, you really don’t care if it’s the hospital’s cafeteria lady birthing your baby, you just want that kid OUT.
I went to work on May 1st (TGIF – also my last day before officially beginning maternity leave on Monday). I was concerned that this kid would show up very, very late, as our original due date was May 7th. But I also knew I was ready to be home preparing mentally and physically, and that a day or two of extra rest by myself would be pretty awesome.
When I left the office at 5p, I noticed my back was hurting worse than usual. Not bad, just more uncomfortable, and I attributed it to chasing Hurricane Miles around the library the previous afternoon. I picked Miles up from school, we loaded up and headed home. On the drive, I noticed the back pain was coming more in waves, and not a consistent, lingering pain, so at the first red light we caught I called my husband and told him to pack up and head home, that something could be happening. It probably wasn’t, but just to be safe, since he was working about 60 miles south of home on Friday.
By 5:30p we were home, and I decided maybe I should time these pains, just for fun (HA). You know, just in case they were contractions. They totally weren’t, but just in case. I started my contraction counting app, set Miles up with some crayons, paper and an episode of Thomas the Train, and I headed to the kitchen to start his dinner (side note: Friday night has been burrito night in our house throughout this pregnancy, so I was really really looking forward to a burrito). I tapped my phone at what I presumed to be the beginning and end of each pain.
“That’s funny,” I thought to myself, “these are coming about three minutes apart, and lasting 45 seconds.”
I continued cooking macaroni and cheese.
By 6:15p the pain was just a little, teeny bit worse. Evan was almost home. I sent a text to my best friend and just gave a heads up that maybe I was having contractions. Maybe. Nothing to worry about, but just pack a bag. By 6:45p I decided it probably would be best if we went to the hospital, just so they could tell me it was pre-labor, nothing to be worried about, and that I’d probably have the baby over the weekend. I sent another text and asked my best friend to head to our house. Evan and I sat down for dinner with Miles. We talked about his day, and I breathed through the pain, which was still no big deal.
We did our normal bath, bed, jammies and story routine with Miles. I explained that we would be going to the doctor to see about the baby, and that maybe we wouldn’t be home in the morning, but that Aunt Ashley would be here. In typical Miles fashion, he was totally cool with this and ready for us to hit the road so he could hang out with his much cooler aunt.
I finished packing our bags just in case. We loaded up and drove the five minutes to the hospital, and checked in at the reception desk. By 8:45p, we were in the maternity wing’s triage room, waiting on an OB nurse to come and tell us that we weren’t really in labor.
Just after 9p, a nurse showed up. She checked my vitals, started a monitor for the contractions (by now I had relented and acknowledged these really could be contractions). Yes, we were probably in labor. The OB on call would confirm. A few minutes later, the very nice OB who was on call came to check me. “Oh, you’re at 5cm, we should get you to a room.”
Excuse me…I’m at what?!
See, with Miles, my water did break, but the contractions never really started and I never really dilated, so they put me on Pitocin to get the show on the road. I remembered those contractions, the ones that made me yell like a hyena for two hours before it was even time to deliver. And those were the contractions I’d waited on. That, and my water breaking. Neither of those had happened.
After eighteen attempts to put in an IV port (exaggeration – it only took the poor nurse seven tries) I was ready to head to my suite. The contractions were definitely stronger, but not scream-inducing. The OB nurse asked if I could walk, and naturally I looked at her like she had three heads. No, there’s no flipping way I can walk right now.
At 10p, we were in the room. The OB confirmed I was now at 9cm. The baby would be here “soon.” She broke my water; 20 minutes and nine pushes later, and he was here, with squishy pink cheeks and a big, healthy cry. He was immediately given to me for kangaroo care, while the OB cleaned up the crime scene and the nurses tried not to slip and fall in the flood from my water breaking (I did tell them they were giving me a complex).
Like with Miles, we planned a drug-free birth. Good for us, because had we decided to have an epidural, there would have been no time. In fact, had I waited just a few more minutes (like I’d planned) we would have just popped the kid out in the backseat (my husband was very ready to MacGuyver this baby, if necessary). The OB’s instructions to me were very clear, should we decide to have more kiddos in the future: “If you think you feel something, head to the hospital, or next time you really will deliver in a parking lot.” Duly noted.
Once the clean up crew was done, we were left alone for the golden hour. There’s no feeling in the world like that of snuggling this tiny little miracle; it makes all the labor of, well, labor, completely and utterly worth it. You know how moms tell you that you’ll totally forget the pain? Yes, you absolutely do (until you get out of bed the first time).
Around midnight the nurses came back to weigh, measure and swaddle Grant. We were told the local pizza place would deliver to the hospital, and they were open until 1am. I instructed my husband to order something enormously supreme, because I was STARVING. Half an hour later we were enjoying pizza and snuggling with our newborn. Second-time parents are good at multi-tasking like that.
Miles came to visit early the next morning, and immediately asked “Where’s my baby Grant?!” upon entering the room. He’s been in love with his baby brother from that very moment, and while we know this could and likely will change many times over the course of growing up, for now we are very, very blessed to see this instant bond in all its sweet glory.
So we’re back in the swing of things. More nonsense to come, as we talk about our first week at home, our first few outings as a family of four, and things toddlers do in the presence of newborns. For new, enjoy these: