I'm probably way too tired to be writing this. But by the same token, my memory will only get worse and in a few months I'll look back on this sleepy time and draw a big blank. So. Commence to start!
A move being imminent, we decided to have an induction on my earliest due date, April 14th. (We had been given two different ones, and the ultrasound one was the first). I had had some idea of going all-natural with this one, which is to say, "wasn't ever gonna happen." Everything on the subject says you must absolutely make up your mind to do it if you are going to do it; apparently the "we'll see how it goes" mindset never works. As "we'll see how it goes" is kind of my life mantra, well...the writing was on the wall. At the most recent doctor appointment I was dilated 4cm and 80% effaced. The doctor told me to hustle to the hospital when labor did kick in as it wouldn't take long after that. So with every contraction that week I held my breath, but nothing lasted long enough with any regularity to be call true-blue labor. Hurt though.
Wednesday night we waited for the hospital to call and tell us when to come in, but they forgot about us. Thursday, my supposed due/induction date, there was still no word, so we kept our dentist appointments (sparkly clean!), Riley's speech therapy session, and then came home and I gave myself a pedicure (when you're about to spend a lot of time grunting at your toes, you want them at least to look nice). Then I called the hospital. "Heeey...um, did you forget about me?" "Yes! Actually! Was just about to call you. Come on in!"
Yay! Let's go have a baby!
But first! Feed the kids! Find a sitter! Trade cars so ZiZi will have the car seats to pick up the kids! Kiss their cheeks one last time (the last night we had apart was when Joe was born four years ago). Stop at Wendy's on the way out of town for a sandwich and frosty. Drive through a torrential rainstorm to the hospital, where parking is a construction nightmare so we had to circle the area for a while.
Me, wolfing down my chicken sandwich: "I feel a little apprehensive about eating this - I hope it doesn't mean I'm going to poo on the delivery table."
Dave: "Clearly that's a risk you're willing to take."
Me: "Haha! Yes..."
So BAM. Two hours later and we get to the hospital.
While we wait we eavesdrop on a slightly bizarre conversation by a woman who birthed 13 children, 12 at home. She seemed like a real force of nature. One of the kids she was talking to asked her if she'd like to come on their class field trip tomorrow and she replied, "Oh no, I'm very busy all the time." And now we have a new favorite rejection phrase!
Finally we got all checked in and gowned for delivery, about 4pm in a room with a view. I was dilated to a 5 and 80% effaced. They put antibiotics in my IV for a while, as I'd tested positive for Strep B, and then gave me the lowest dose of pitocin. As I could now see my contractions on the monitor, I felt validated that all that cramping and back aching the past couple weeks had indeed been contractions (this was the first pregnancy I had noticable contractions!)
|Early labor, feeling good.|
|Later labor, feeling...okay'ish.|
|Dave traded me the baby for a chocolate shake (hey, I hadn't been allowed to eat for 4 hours) If this hospital should be known for anything, it should be the chocolate shakes. mmm...|
|It was awesome to have my sister there for the birth. Em, you are a real stalwart photographer and labor cheerleader. Thank you so much for being there with us!|
|Warm blankets to stifle the shivers and get me to the maternity wing. Oh. And more lunch. :)|
Then we checked into the room we'd be staying in for the next 48 hours and baby had a bath and his footprints made and other torturous things. As for me, this was my easiest recovery yet. No tearing, not a lot of bleeding, and motrin took care of the soreness. I was looking forward to a couple of lazy days and room service! Of course, that got old, and hospitals aren't the most restful of places - they do checks every couple hours on me and baby - blood pressure, swelling, toilet breaks... but the milkshakes are worth it! Haha! Only joking. Kind of.
Okay, so back at the ranch, Suzette was tending our other two. It was too late in the evening for them to come see their new brother on the day of, but the following morning we got to introduce them, and also we finally settled on a name: Henry Holden. We thought he might be a William or a Thomas but no, turns out he was Henry all along. And the Holden part is from the classic, Catcher in the Rye.
Hormones are weird. I also had night sweats and the shakes off and on for a couple of days.
One more thing has to be said and I'll be done: we are so grateful for the help we received during this time - meals from the ward, babysitting, Suzette's "sleepover" with the kids (still talked about!) and making sure we ate and had everything we needed, people we barely knew brought over gifts and cards, family called and visited and sent packages. Thanks to all who celebrated with us! And the support really helped as we prepared for a big move (and by "we" I mean "Dave" - I took full license and focused on resting up and getting myself and Henry as strong and healthy as possible before the journey.) I have to say, I wouldn't have made a good pioneer - that cross-country 2-day road trip was exhausting.
So there - that only took me 3 weeks to write! Coincidentally, it is Mothers Day today. Happy Mothers Day to me! And to my sweet Momma! You've been much on my mind lately, thinking of how you birthed one of us every two years or so for almost two decades, and moved every couple of years...what a rock star you are. I don't do it nearly as gracefully as you, but you are my example when it comes to all things motherhood. Thank you.
Enjoy this video - I was thinking of you :)