It was a Saturday. It started out the strangest day—at least as far as the weather was concerned. The northwest had had a particularly dry and hot summer and by late August, the wildfires were already in full force. They had actually been that way for several weeks. The winds had shifted and by late Saturday morning, there was a thick layer of smoke all around our neighborhood. I thought there was just a local fire somewhere that had generated all the smoke we were seeing and smelling, but that wasn’t the case. The whole metropolitan area had a layer of smoke in the lower atmosphere. Your daddy had texted when he had gotten to work and asked if there was a large fire somewhere in town……nope, that wasn’t the case. All the smoke was from all the wildfires across the state and with the winds shifting and the air movement now nearly stagnant, the smoke wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Plus, it was warm that day—about 86 degrees. It was all just kinda’ weird!
Much like we had done on nearly every other warm day over the summer, we headed over to your Grandma and Grandpa’s house after lunch. (I am sure that will be one of your earliest memories—spending LOTS of time at their house each and every summer. Your older sister and brother had a lot of energy to burn off that day (which was like every other, really) and it allowed your mommy to put her swollen feet up while they played—both in and out of the pool.
It was about 1:45 that afternoon when I felt the first contraction. I made note of the time in my head, but didn’t think terribly much of it. I had been having contractions on and off for the last several weeks and it hadn’t amounted to your arrival—so I wasn’t overly concerned.
About an hour and half later, the contractions were still happening and were about 10-12 minutes apart. Your Grandma had been in the kitchen preparing dinner (pulled pork sandwiches with fresh coleslaw) and she asked if it was okay to run to the store. I felt like things weren’t moving terribly fast, so I gave the go ahead. So she went to the store (with your sister and brother in tow) to get the needed items to finish making the garden fresh salsa.
Your Grandpa had been outside working on re-siding their greenhouse, but when Grandma told him they were heading to the store and that I might possibly be in the early stages of labor, he took the opportunity to come inside and check on me. He told me he was going to call it a day (as far as the greenhouse was concerned) and headed upstairs to shower and get cleaned up. I told him to please not do that on the account of me—but he insisted, saying that your aunt and uncle were also coming to dinner, so he had to get cleaned up either way. He had been upstairs all of ten minutes, when I heard him heading back down, all showered and cleaned up. My dear son, Grandpa is notorious for long showers. Even though the words had not been spoken, he was concerned for me and you, his new grandson, and he was doing his best to keep an eye on us!
A little while later your daddy had texted me to see how I was feeling. He had been checking in with me during his workday for several weeks…..as if I wouldn’t have let him know the time had come for your arrival! I told him about the contractions and he let his boss know that he might need to leave. A few contractions after that and your daddy was headed home (well, to G&G’s because that’s where we were all at). Like Grandpa, your daddy made it from his restaurant (half way across the county) to G&G’s in record time. Like nearly illegal record time, as it didn’t take him nearly as long as it should have to get there!
By the time your daddy had arrived, the contractions had started to intensify, BUT they were becoming very irregular. Some were five minutes apart, but most were anywhere from 10-20 minutes apart. We just weren’t sure what to think! Either way, we wanted to be prepared—so we felt it was a good idea to go pack up. Your daddy and I headed back to our house to get our bags for the hospital and to also pack bags for your sister and brother. It had already been decided they would spend the night at grandma and grandpa’s. We took our time (sort of, but not really!) gathering our things and soon we were headed back.
I was afraid to eat dinner, not wanted to get nauseous if this was the real deal, so I had a small snack while everyone else enjoyed the yummy meal Grandma had prepared. The state of the contractions stayed pretty much the same through dinner. Intense enough to concentrate on the first level of breathing, but not regular in minutes apart.
So your daddy and I decided to take a walk down G&G’s street. That seemed to move things in the right direction, because at several points during the fairly short walk, we had to stop walking so I could concentrate on my breathing. When we got back to G&G’s, we sat down in the outside “living room” and the contractions all but stopped.
We decided to head home for the night. We said our good byes to your sweet sister and brother, and during the short drive home, the contractions started to return with a little more consistency. After being home for about an hour—I told your daddy I was going to touch up my make-up and fix my hair—as silly as it sounds, I wanted to look as nice as I could to meet my new son! I paged my midwife, Donna, and we chatted for a few minutes. She didn’t feel it was quite time to head to the hospital, but told us that if things changed, to just give her a page and we should head on out.
I labored for about another hour and a half and it was about 10 pm when your daddy decided that it was time to head to the hospital. Although the contractions were still about 8 minutes apart, they were getting closer together with each contraction and with this being our third blessing, we didn’t want to mess around! Daddy paged Donna on the way to the hospital and she agreed it was time and told us she would call the hospital and meet us there shortly.
During my prenatal appointments, they had told us that we could go through the emergency room at the hospital to get to Labor and Delivery if it happened to be after hours. Of course, your mommy was stubborn and decided that we could just walk in the normal entrance to Labor and Delivery. All while having contractions every two to three minutes. Clearly, I was insane. We walked across the sky bridge to the hospital entrance and (unbeknownst to us!) the doors were locked that allowed visitors into the hospital. Lovely! However, there did happen to be a phone that went straight to security and they opened the doors immediately. I guess when they saw on their security cameras the pregnant mama standing there gripping the handrails of the sky bridge to let another contraction pass, they allowed us through with no questions asked.
We walked in and got checked in at the Labor and Delivery desk. (And can I just share that even though we had preregistered at the hospital, there seemed to be a RIDICULOUS number of papers to fill out and sign when you are having contractions every two minutes???!?!) I was still worried that they might try and send us home (perhaps I wasn’t far enough along yet?), but your daddy knew this was the day. We were assigned our room and I went into the bathroom to change into the gown and use the potty. By this time, the contractions were a VERY consistent two minutes apart and were VERY much intense. As I had told my midwife, I was doing the HEE-HEE breathing. That’s a sure sign that baby is on his way!
A few minutes after I got settled (!) into bed, your Grandma arrived as my second “support person.” She had the camera and was taking a few pictures of your daddy and I, all while making sure to stay out of the way of the hospital staff. The nurse got my IV set (for my antibiotics—I had GBS strep) and brought me the BEST ice chips EV-AAH! During the last few weeks of pregnancy I became sort of obsessed with crunchy ice and they ice chips? They were DELISH.
By this time, the midwife apprentice, Ashley, was also there and she was asking if I was feeling “a little pushy” and while I hadn’t really thought about it (they checked me right when we got there and I was at a six, so I wasn’t thinking that I was ready yet), I decided that heck yes, I was ready to push! She told me that with the next contraction to go ahead and try pushing and so I did. And with just two pushes (not the three hours of pushing with your sister or the hour and half of pushing with your brother), you had finally arrived! And just for the record, we checked in the hospital at just after 10:30 pm and you were officially born at 11:24 pm. I was so glad your daddy made the call to head to the hospital when he did. Me? I was otherwise occupied and was not really able to make that decision to the best of my abilities.
You had a head full of blondish and brownish hair. Blond on the top of your head and dark brown hair all around the sides—so funny! You weighed in at 8 pounds and 1 ounce and the nurse measured you at 19 inches, which we are all convinced was wrong! We measured you at home just a few days later and you were 20.5 inches. My milk hadn’t even come in yet and you had already grown an inch and a half? Probably not, plus, both your siblings were 21 inches, so the 20.5 inches sounds much more realistic. Then the nurse measured you at your two week appointment at 23 inches and while you had definitely gained some weight, there was no way you had grown a total of 4 inches!
Unlike your sister and brother, you LOVED your first bath. The only time you cried was when the nurse took you out of the water and you were exposed to the cold air. As Daddy pointed out though, the bath is very much like the womb—warm and watery—but a lot less confined. Funny that your siblings never felt the same way!
You were a great nursing champ from the start. You did have a bit of jaundice, so you did have to go under the blue lights while we were still in the hospital. That was a bummer, but having been through it with your big brother, while still difficult, we knew it was necessary.
Later on the following afternoon, your Grandma and Grandpa came to visit with your big sister and newly promoted big brother. They were SO excited to meet you! They had heard about you for nearly six months and you were finally, finally here! This picture pretty much sums up your sister’s opinion of you: adoration. And your brother, well, this sums it up too: very curious with a lot of adult intervention!
We are settling into our party of five quite well. Not to say it hasn’t been without growing pains, because there have been those for sure.
Regardless......you, my sweet baby boy, are a blessing that I didn’t know we ever needed.
And I am completely, most entirely IN LOVE.