It’s nothing witty or creative, but I wanted to document some of the details about Slade’s arrival–I know how quickly time passes and the memories start to fade.
My due date was Friday, June 27, and since Tice was a week late, I was fully prepared for Slade to go past his due date, too. It’s a lot easier to wait when you’re telling yourself it will be later rather than sooner.
However, at my 38 week appointment, I found out I was progressing as if he would be here soon. The limbo began. I knew it could be any day, so I tried to be prepared, but day after day passed with no new signs. At my 39 week appointment, my doctor asked if I wanted to induce on the 24th. I ultimately decided not to since I wanted to at least wait until the due date before considering induction, but I was very tempted, mainly because I wanted my doctor to be there. (We did finally induce with Tice, and everything went very smoothly–and quickly!) By that point, I was back to expecting Slade to arrive late.
On Monday, the 23rd, I was trying to make sure Tice had plenty of outdoor time before his lunch and nap. I knew that he would probably be watching TV that afternoon while I got ready for an evening school board meeting. I really wasn’t looking forward to the meeting. I usually had a lot of contractions in the evenings, and being in front of a room full of people while trying to pretend I wasn’t having contractions didn’t sound like much fun. Anyway, after Tice woke up from his nap, I noticed that my contractions were occurring fairly regularly. I realized that I had been having quite a few all morning, too. But they weren’t really strong, so I figured it was just more Braxton Hicks probably caused by running around with Tice on the trampoline. After a few more contractions, I texted Harper just to let him know that there was a slight possibility that something was happening. I really figured it was a false alarm, though. The next thing I knew, Harper was walking in the back door. I thought he was jumping the gun, but he wanted me to call the doctor (who had jury duty that day). I went ahead and called, and, of course, they told me to wait until the contractions were stronger before heading to the hospital.
I started to get ready for the hospital instead of the board meeting–Harper said there was no way I was going to the meeting. I thought he was probably overreacting, but it wasn’t worth arguing about. I convinced Harper to go back to work, but he took Tice with him, just in case he would need to drop him off at my mom and dad’s. Almost immediately after they left, the contractions got stronger, and that was the first time I thought it might not be a false alarm. I started to feel the same urgency as Harper. We knew the chances were that the baby would come quickly–my labor with Tice was very quick and that was with being induced.
I called Harper and my doctor’s office and told them it was time.
It was a little after 4:30 when we got on the road. I was doing fine, but Harper was pretty nervous. I asked him if he was excited, and he said he just wanted to make it to the hospital. My contractions were still nine or ten minutes apart, so I was confident we would make it in plenty of time. My only worry was that I hadn’t given Tice a real good-bye–which, of course, made me very emotional. Luckily, we had done a good job of preparing him for what would happen, so he was fine. Plus, he was excited to have Bebe and Papa all to himself.
At 5:15 we arrived at the hospital. I asked Harper to take one last pregnant picture of me before we went inside. My contractions had suddenly become much closer together, so Harper really just wanted to get me admitted, but he humored me and took the photo.
Within a few minutes, one of the nurses checked me and assured us that this was not a false alarm. They quickly took us to a labor and delivery room and ordered the epidural. Again, I thought they were moving really fast–I was still handling the contractions pretty well, but I went with it. I’m glad I did because it took the anesthesiologist a while to get the epidural adjusted for my right side.
Everything happened really quickly–even more quickly than it had with Tice. It wasn’t long before I started feeling the pressure during contractions, which I knew meant my body was ready to push. Our poor nurse, who had only been a L & D nurse for a few months, knew I was ready. She kept going to see if the doctor was almost finished with one of the other patients (There were three of us ready to deliver at the same time and only one doctor). We joked that she was going to have to deliver the baby, but she seemed a little nervous. About 30 minutes later, the doctor came in and immediately let me start pushing. It only took a couple of minutes to give birth to my sweet boy.
When the doctor asked Harper if he was ready to cut the cord, I reminded him that I wanted to wait until it stopped pulsating. The doctor said it had already stopped, and he held up the cord to show us a perfect knot. He didn’t make a big deal about it, but he said the baby was very lucky. It wasn’t until later that I really let it sink in how lucky and blessed we were that the knot had not pulled tight. I know that there are thousands of births every day, but I still think that each healthy baby is a little miracle. Slade is our little miracle.
Unlike the hospital where Tice was born, no one whisked Slade away after the birth. The doctor immediately handed him to me, and the nurses wiped him off while he was in my arms. I’ve heard a lot of moms say that it was love at first sight when they saw their babies. I won’t disagree, but I have to admit, my first thought (just like with Tice) was more like, “Whose little purple sumo wrestler is that?” But I knew I loved him no matter how much he resembled a Japanese fighter. As I held him, that fierce maternal love took hold. He was worth every moment of pregnancy and waiting. Pink replaced the purple as our skin kept each other warm in the cold hospital room. He nursed and I noticed how much he looked like Tice. I couldn’t believe I was finally holding him and seeing him!
I held him and soaked up every inch of him for over an hour, but it felt like minutes. Harper was so patient. I finally gave him to the nurse, and she took all his measurements and bathed him while Harper helped. I tried not to freak out that they were using J&J soap on my sweet tiny baby’s skin. Why hadn’t I thought to bring our organic soap? Silly, right?
We all guessed about his weight after he was born. The nurses guessed between seven and a half pounds to eight and a half. Harper and I both said nine pounds and marveled at the length of his little body. He was nine pounds, three ounces, 22.5 inches–no wonder it hurt when he would stretch out in my belly!
Watching Harper hold him was almost as good as me getting to hold him. Slade will surely spend a lot of time in his Daddy’s strong arms, just as his brother has.
The next morning, my parents brought Tice to the hospital. Just as we had promised, he was the first one to meet his little brother. Now, that was love at first sight. Tice was smitten and has been ever since.
We had special gift for Tice to open at the hospital. It was almost as good as a new brother.
Of course, he wanted to share his new car with his brother!
We came home on Wednesday afternoon and started life as a family of four. I wouldn’t say it’s been easy, but it has been easier than I thought it would be. It’s certainly been a smoother transition than having the first one.
I’ll be back soon with more pictures and probably fewer words!