Reid William

Well… it’s quite the funny feeling to be writing my first post as a mother of 2. Still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I have now carried – and given birth to – two whole children. Makes my head spin.

But where were we? When I last left you, I had just scheduled an induction at 39 weeks – December 4th. The week was long heading up to it. I had two separate – but very convincing – bouts of false labor leading me to believe that I wouldn’t make the date. I even went so far as to make Andy stay home from work on Monday because I’d been up most of the night with steady contractions increasing in frequency.

BUT, nothing came of it. So, the morning of December 4th, we packed up the car and headed to the hospital. Andy, who usually leaves for work before 6:00 a.m., was concerned about heavy traffic en route to the hospital. Traffic was easy on us, and we ended up arriving a full half an hour early at 7:00 a.m. Our L&D nurse was busy entering our admissions information when we arrived. I got changed into my gown, and got my game face on.

I was so ready to have this baby! But I still had butterflies, you know? (Also, see a glimpse of my awesome labor & delivery nurse in the background!)

It was so funny to check into the hospital NOT in active labor like I was last time. They were fully ready for us, so once word spread that we were there, we had a neverending parade of nurses coming in to introduce themselves: the nurse anesthetist, the pediatric nurses, the phlebotomists from the lab, admissions people from the hospital, etc.

The first order of business was getting my IV hooked up. Since we got there a half hour early, we had the pitocin drip going by the time we were supposed to arrive: 7:30 on the dot. At 8:00, my doctor showed up, confirmed I was still at 3 centimeters, and broke my water. And then… we waited.

The contractions got going, but weren’t super painful. Just noticeable, you know? We sat around and chatted and then eventually decided to pop in one of the two DVDs we brought with us…

A Christmas Story. What else? My labor & delivery nurse asked me how uncomfortable I was, to which I answered, “Not very.” She said, “Good, let’s keep it that way. Want me to order your epidural?”

This is how my L&D nurse was about the epidural during my labor with Graham, by the way. Asking if I wanted it before I really felt the urgent need for one. I questioned whether it was the right time, but she asked if I intended to deliver without one. Um, no. So, we decided now was as good a time as any. The anesthesiologist came and got me all hooked up. Then they reclined me in bed and waited to see if I’d have a blood pressure drop that people sometimes experience with these things. I didn’t, so they sat me up a little. I texted Mom to let her know just how great I was feeling, and then my face started to go cold. And I got swimmy. So I called the nurse back in and they ordered me something… ephedrine maybe?… to bring my BP back up. Worked like a charm.

Waiting to see if my BP drops with the epidural

About 10:00 a.m., my nurse checked me and declared that I was a 4. I immediately found myself cursing us for only bringing 2 DVDs. The epidural really slowed my labor progression with Graham, so I settled myself in for the long haul. At about 11:00, my L&D nurse came back and introduced me to a nursing student who would be shadowing her today. My nurse asked the student when she was scheduled until, the student replied “1:00 p.m.”. My nurse chirped back that it was too bad she wouldn’t be able to see the birth.

That’s called “foreshadowing”.

In that same conversation, my nurse told her student that – as is common with women who forego epidurals – I wouldn’t be able to really let them know when it was time to push. She said that I would know I was getting close when I started to feel pressure. She then looked at me, smiled and said, “So just call me if you feel any pressure.” She patted my hand and left.

15 minutes later, we were getting somewhere close to the end of When Harry Met Sally when, on a contraction, sure enough – I felt a little bit of pressure. Not a ton, but – following orders, I buzzed the nurse. The nurse at the desk said she’d tell my nurse. Then we waited. Another contraction came, along with a little more pressure. Again – not tons.

We waited more.

Eventually a nurse who was not mine walked in and said that my nurse was finishing up admitting a new patient and would be in but that my nurse had told her to go ahead and set up for delivery.

Um, what? I kind of stuttered at her that my last check was a 4 and that I wasn’t sure but that my nurse had told her to buzz if things felt different. Yadda yadda yadda. That nurse smiled at me but kept at her work of pulling out tables, laying out sterile papers and several medical instruments. I felt kinda stupid, figuring all this was a false alarm.

Then more contractions came. Each one with more pressure. Then I started to shiver and shake a little bit. I remember repeatedly telling Andy that I really wished my nurse would show up.

At 11:40, she did. She checked me, said, “Well, missy, you’re ready to have a baby!” So.. 4 to 10 centimeters, just like that.

Then she said something that made my jaw drop. She looked at the clock and said, “Dr. Campbell is finishing up her day downstairs, so for the next 20 minutes, I’m going to have you sit up and let that baby continue to drop so you’ll have less work to do when you’re pushing. You’re going to feel loads of pressure, but that’s okay.” Then she taught me how to breath through contractions. She turned to her student, smiled and said, “Awesome! Looks like you’re going to see a birth after all!”

Watching the clock and trying to breathe

So those next 20 minutes were the longest 20 minutes of MY LIFE. I pretty much sat there staring at the second hand on the clock willing the baby not to fall out with each contraction.

Steadily, the landing crew trickled in. With more people that came in, the better I felt. But it wasn’t until just before Noon that my doctor walked in that I really breathed a heavy sigh of relief. I remember it still felt like it took her forever to get her gown and everything on.

After she took a seat shortly after Noon, my nurse talked me through how to push. The very next contraction, I got three pushes in. We waited until the next contraction and half a push later, Reid William was born… at 12:08 p.m. :)

At a whopping 8 lbs, 10.5 oz. My doc had said at my appointment the day before that she didn’t think – judging by feeling my belly – that I had a “big baby in there… certainly not an 8 or 9 pounder”. The second she caught Reid, she said, “Whoa.. I’m going to have to eat my words. That’s a big guy!”

A full pound bigger than his older brother, to be exact. :)

Later that day, after Graham’s naptime, family rolled in to see us.

Grandma P getting her first peek

My sweet boy was overwhelmed by everything. Here, he’s looking at me in my hospital bed. I’m all hooked up to an IV still and well… it’s just a lot for a little kid to take in. He was SO happy to see his Daddy, but it took him a solid half hour or so to feel comfortable enough to come see me in bed.

Hanging with Grandma Sue

What Graham really, really enjoyed was holding his baby brother. He was primed and ready for action after that sibling class. He was so excited to see him and so, so sweet with him.

And guess what? Baby Brother came into this world prepared! He gave Graham a Thomas train engine – a hit. :)

Getting to know Grandpa Craig

Eventually my love bug felt comfortable enough to come see me. And my heart was completely full in that moment.

I still have trouble believing that Andy and I have two boys!

Grandma P knitted Baby Reid a super super soft blanket that I swear has magical sleeping powers. Or maybe it’s just that it’s crazy warm. Either way, cover Reid in this green-and-blue number and he is lights OUT.

Reid had his first bath in our hospital room while everyone was there. Look at all that hair!

All swaddled up and cozy. Our hospital gave us a Halo swaddling sleep sack to take home with us – score! Finally we realize that with all the swaddling blankets available today there’s no need to persist with the simple cotton square blanket. There’s no merit badge to be won here. Let’s make this easy. :)

We had friends come visit us in the hospital too. Ms. Jaime took an earlier flight out of North Carolina so she could stop in and see us.

Ms. Andrea came too! Along with friends Sherryl and Kim at different times. So much fun to see (and meet!) everybody! Can’t wait for playdates with these ladies’ kiddos.

I love snuggles!

We took FULL advantage of the nursery at the hospital this time. It’s a “rooming in” hospital, meaning they encourage the babies to stay in the patients’ rooms with them all night. We learned last time, though, that the nursery will still take the babies if you ask them to, in order to get some much-needed rest. We did our best to get Reid to sleep in his bassinet in the room with us, but once he started to give us some trouble, we called the nursery nurse for a pickup.

On the first night, about 5:30 in the morning, Reid showed back up to our room wearing a festive Christmas hat with a red pom-pom on top. The nurses switched out all the nursery babies’ hats in the middle of the night. So much fun. :)

Thursday morning, we were discharged and – quite frankly – very ready to get home again to our family. Especially Graham.

Mom had lunch in the works, ready for our arrival.  Grandpa and Grandma F were there keeping our little buddy entertained. Uncle Brian and Auntie M sent us this adorable sign for the front yard. (Not in this picture is a smaller star by the stork’s feet that says, “Big Brother Graham” on it.) What an awesome homecoming! Grandpa P made it complete when he arrived on Friday night.

Now we’re home and really figuring out what it takes to be a Party of Four. I thank God that we are still at a 1:1 parent-to-kid ratio. It also really helps that Graham is a major Daddy’s boy because I’m spending so much time with the baby.

So far, Reid has been a remarkably good baby. He relaxes quickly, eats well, and sleeps reasonably okay (for a newborn, right?) – getting anywhere from 2-3 hour stretches of sleep between feedings at night this week. He likes both his bouncy seat and his swing, and he prefers Soothie pacifiers to the Avent ones that Graham held a preference for.

So, that’s the beginning of Reid’s story! We’ll try and keep posted here as much as possible. Until next time, send us wishes and prayers for more sleep! 😉

Comments

  1. What a wonderful story of Reid’s birth! I was so honored to meet him on his birthday!

  2. Brian and I enjoyed reading this together tonight. It’s a great story and wonderful diary of these special days :)

  3. Great pictures and a wonderful account of the whole experience!  I can totally relate to your feelings during the whole event.

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