8lbs 4oz 19.5in
Born at 8:52am 7/21/14
Long version: Again this time around I had a ton of contractions and false labor in the two weeks leading up to my scheduled c-section. Unlike last time I had built up almost no expectations that I would actually go into labor on my own. Turns out keeping my expectations in check this time around did actually help me to maintain my sanity in the final days of what seriously seemed like the longest pregnancy in the history of ever. It should be noted that this was actually my shortest pregnancy by over a week!
On Sunday morning we all got up and out of the house bright and early to go to a popular donut place in town. We picked up our sweets and headed to Fort Williams (where Portland Headlight is located) for a picnic breakfast. The kids were super cute and really seemed to enjoy our special morning out. We did a ton of walking and despite having several painful contractions I just couldn't seem to get them going consistently. After our morning in the park we brought the kids home for lunch and naps. Matt and I spent the afternoon doing some last minute cleaning and nesting (which he admittedly protested) that included cleaning out the garage. In the end I think we were both really happy that the house was looking so good and that everything on my todo list was done! Sunday night we took the kids out to dinner at a take out seafood restaurant and then had ice cream. Like I said, I am pretty sure they had a good day.
On Monday morning I woke up around 4 like a kid on Christmas. There was no way I was going to be able to go back to sleep (the alarm was set for 4:50 anyway!). I went upstairs and snuggled the kids in their beds for a few minutes before coming back downstairs to shower and finish packing my hospital bag. I will admit that I was feeling a little vain this time around and wanted to make sure that I did my hair (and yes put on a tiny bit of makeup) before leaving for the hospital. I was still in the bathroom getting ready when Matt's alarm went off and shortly thereafter his parents arrived. We gave them our final set of instructions, lots of hugs, and we were out the door only 5 minutes later than I wanted. (Tiny detail not to be forgotten: Matt sprayed coffee from his travel mug all over me in the car on the way to the hospital, haha)
When we arrived at the hospital, we parked in the wrong parking garage, tried to take the wrong elevator, spent five minutes looking it up on our phones, moved the car, found the right elevator, stopped to take some pictures, and finally arrived at admitting. We were immediately taken to our prep/recovery room where I changed into my gown and was hooked up to the IV. The entire admitting process took about 30 minutes. At that point it was 7:30 and my surgery wasn't until 9. Hurry up and wait is one of my least favorite activities.
There was a shift change shortly after we were all settled and the nurse who was assigned to my surgery was terrible. The first thing she said to us was "I don't get up here to L&D very often anymore so I'm not really even sure of some of the protocols." Great. This statement turned out to be a huge understatement and had I been a first time mom I would have been scared to death that she was going to kill me or my baby in the OR...ok maybe that is a little dramatic...but just maybe. I lost count of the number of times she was corrected or reprimanded by one of the other nurses along with the number of times she said to me "you don't even need me here, you are the pro." In the end she was right, I didn't need her. My mothering instincts are strong and when Hugh was born I knew just what to do.
As for the surgery itself everything went smoothly. The epidural was placed (my easiest one so far) and the anesthesiologists were excellent at listening to my concerns and correcting the medication as needed. My new OB sounded so pleased as he progressed through the surgery that I was in such great shape and that I had very little scar tissue from my previous surgeries. I of course asked the ultimate in hypothetical questions to which everyone laughed and my OB gave us a preliminary green light if we choose to try for one more baby. Unlike my previous surgeries this one was 'violent'. I kept giving Matt nervous glances as I felt the operation table bounce and sway as they prepared to deliver my boy. Not long after the surgery began the OB announced that the baby would be here any second and Matt got out the camera. At 8:52am Hugh James came SCREAMING into this world, the exact same time as his sister...crazy.
Our terrible nurse took the baby over to the incubator to be cleaned up and weighed. I liked the set up of this OR because unlike my previous deliveries I could see the baby the whole time. Matt cut the cord and after she spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME just cooing over my son he finally told the nurse that I would like to hold the baby. From that minute on I didn't hand him off to another person for the next several hours. Matt and I each whispered our first words to our perfect little boy. I said, "You are here my sweet boy. I am your mommy and I will love you forever." I cried, a lot. It is funny how despite having been through the experience twice already, until he was in my arms I couldn't for the life of me picture Hugh actually being born.
Recovery was what I expected. My blood pressure and body temperature were very low and I spent a long time laying almost flat on my back with Hugh on my chest trying to keep from fainting. I initiated skin on skin and breastfeeding (lord knows the nurse wasn't going to suggest it) which was a little tricky given my position. After several hours, a few crackers, and lots of snuggling I was finally cleared to leave recovery and moved to my room. (and assigned a new nurse!)
Matt called his parents and let them know that I was ready for them to bring the kids around 12:30. I was feeling really good at the point. I will say that the pain management was by far the best this time around and only for a very short period of time on the second day in the hospital did the pain get out ahead of me a little. When the kids arrived Matt brought them in to meet their little brother and I could not have scripted a better meet cute. Lily was completely thrown by just how small Hugh was and she did not like the fact that he was 'naked'. She obviously had some expectations of her own that were clearly not met, haha. Ben on the other hand was a smitten kitten. He kissed the baby and rubbed his head. He kept asking to sit on the bed and 'snuggle'. He just looked so pleased and kept saying "awww, our baby!". Hugh gave the kids the gifts he had bought (like the thoughtful little brother he is) and the rest of the visit was spent playing with their new toys. Matt's mom and dad were able to share a few quiet moments and snuggles with Hugh before taking the kids home for Ben's nap.
Later in the day my mom and dad came in to meet their newest grandson and the following morning Matt's sister came. I missed not having my own sister here for Hugh's arrival and we are all very much looking forward to her visit in a few days! My brother will hopefully be able to make the trip up to Maine toward the end of the summer.
With the exception of needing a second catheter in the middle of the night on the first night this was by far my favorite delivery. Hugh was snugly and slept a lot. He was in great health and his circumcision was uneventful. At no point were we scared or worried about anything. Although, I was told later that Hugh had a "true knot" in his umbilical cord but that because it was working so efficiently it clearly hadn't affected his growth. Thank the lord for miracles big and small.
So here we are, a family of five! Our house is so full of love sometimes I can hardly breathe. Welcome baby Hugh, we are so happy you are here!