Christian’s Birth Story

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December 30, 2014

Being the mom of two kids is busy! I feel like it takes the entire morning to just get everyone fed, changed, and looking somewhat presentable (the latter being entirely optional on most days though). I love it though. I love the slower pace of life that a new baby brings and how everything that isn’t absolutely essential to daily survival just gets put on the back burner- no matter how important it was before.

Little Christian came as a huge surprise. Even when we were thinking about trying for another baby again, he didn’t waste any time getting down here, and I am so grateful for that. There were many times during this pregnancy that I had to ask myself if adding to our family was really the right decision, but time and time again I remembered the urging and confirmation from the Lord when we were trying and knew that this was the right step.

Being pregnant with him was very similar to everything I went through with June. People always say that they can tell a difference between girls and boys, but for the most part, everything felt identical. I had an inkling that he was bigger than June, which was right, but other than that I don’t feel that there were too many differences.

Now on to the birth story…

Starting around Thanksgiving, I got a terrible sinus infection that literally kept me on my back for days. It was so miserable and made so much harder by the fact that I had a toddler to take care of and was 8 months pregnant. That was about the point we started becoming hermits and stopped working out and eating as well as I had been. I just didn’t care anymore, which is fine. I also never really felt great after the infection and maintained symptoms of the flu for the next few weeks. I wasn’t scheduled to be induced until January 6, and I really didn’t want to deliver around Christmas, so I took it really easy and made it through the holidays just fine. I started feeling really great again around the Saturday before Christian came. My energy was back, I even started working out again and getting the house totally cleaned and ready for baby. On Monday, December 29, we decided to all go down to West Jordan for Todd’s soccer game since it was early and Dustin and Kaley were going to be there. We spent the entire day cleaning and doing laundry, and I even did a pretty good workout at the gym too (bike, lunges, squats, etc.). At the game I chased June around and chatted with Kaley, and felt totally great- settling into the idea that I was definitely going to make it to my induction date. After the game we went over to Russ and Teresa’s to watch a football game. Right when we got there, I was telling Teresa how great I felt and that he definitely wasn’t coming before the 6th. I took a 38 week selfie and posted on instagram. That must have been his cue… because no more than an hour later I was having contractions! I didn’t want to say anything just in case it was false labor, but as I started timing them, they were already 2-3 minutes apart and felt a little more intense than the menstrual cramp contractions I had with June. I decided to pull Todd aside and tell him I thought I was in labor, and the look on his face was priceless- just blank astonishment and shock! We decided to try and wait out the game before making any decisions about going to the hospital. We were so glad we packed jammies for June and already put her down to sleep at Teresa’s, but we weren’t expecting Christian to come so soon so we didn’t have anything packed for the hospital. As I quietly endured my contractions and the game, I started making a list of everything I would need Todd to go home and pack for me. It was stormy (of course) and I wanted him to get to Kaysville and back as soon as possible- considering the contractions we getting more intense and staying at 2 minutes apart.

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Finally we decided that Todd couldn’t wait any longer to go get our stuff, so we told Teresa I thought I was in labor and that I’d go to the hospital as soon as Todd got back. Shelley and Teresa were so great to sit with me while I waited and it helped so much to keep my mind off of what was going on. I just kept thinking there was no way I was in REAL labor and that the baby wouldn’t come fast because June took so long. On the other hand though, I didn’t want to wait too long and progress to the point where I couldn’t get an epidural. We finally decided to just head to the hospital without Todd and he could meet us there. I am SO GLAD we did! My contractions were getting really painful by that point, and it would have taken so much longer if I had waited for Todd.

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I made it to the hospital and Teresa and Shelley stayed with me until Todd came sometime around one in the morning. They checked me when I first came in and I was dilated to a 4 and 100% effaced. At my appointment the week before I was only at ½ a centimeter and 60% effaced. That was the point when I started nicely nagging the nurse for the epidural. Shelley thought it was hilarious that that’s all I could ask about, and it felt like it took forever for the nurse to ask me all the questions needed before they could send for the anesthesiologist. Todd couldn’t have come a moment too soon, because I was really trying to be brave for Teresa and Shelley, but as soon as they left I really started feeling the contractions and they seemed so much more painful than with June! The doctor finally made it about 2 am and it was so wonderful to finally get relief from the pain. It wasn’t quite as comfortable as my epidural with June (my right side was completely numb an couldn’t move while I could still feel a bit of pain on my left), but it was still great, and I was even able to get a bit of sleep. The nurses kept me on my right side because Christian’s heart rate dropped every time I rotated to my left. That was great for Todd, since he was able to get some sleep rather than having to flip me every 30 minutes, but it didn’t help with the feeling I had on the left since the medicine was mainly going to the right side. All in all though, waiting to progress this time was great and I actually liked that it was through the night again. I feel like things are more peaceful at that time and I can be more restful and relaxed. I was progressing at about a centimeter an hour, so around 6:45 am Dr. Later came in and I was about a 9. He broke my water about 15 minutes later and then said I was ready to push! It was in that instant that I started getting the shakes and was really nervous. This whole labor came on so suddenly and so fast that Todd and I were still wrapping our heads around the fact that we were having a baby today! It was so exciting though, because we still didn’t know the gender and that helped give me that extra motivation to push and meet our new little baby. I had remembered the pushing with June to be so long and exhausting that I was dreading it more this time, but since I had so much feeling on my left side, plus this being the second time around, it was easier to push through the contractions. I only had to push through two- maybe about 5 minutes, and Christian was here! I remember that Dr. Later said he had a lot of hair while I was pushing which made me so happy! The instant he came out, Todd was the one to look over and tell me he was a boy. I was so in shock at that point I don’t think I had it in me to be excited or disappointed about that news. The whole pregnancy I had been leaning towards wanting a girl, but feel like I always had a gut feeling that he was a boy. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to love a boy as much as I love June, and that made me so nervous. Like June, it still took me a couple days to really feel that mother’s love for Christian, but it is there now in full force, and I couldn’t wish for a more sweet and wonderful baby than him.

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After the cord was cut, they placed baby boy on my stomach for a few seconds. It was so surreal to me and he seemed so huge! They took him to be weighed and checked (with Todd keeping a close and protective watch the whole time) and he was 7 pounds 7 oz, 20 inches long, and perfectly healthy! Ever since my miscarriage the year before, I’ve just been nervous about being pregnant and that the baby would be ok. That is why it came as such a relief when baby boy was finally here and everything was normal.

It’s at this point again that things got meshed together, but I do remember the amazing feeling of relief and success when I was able to get him to nurse for the first time, and relatively easily too. The nurse had to help a bit, but this boy has a healthy appetite, and the nursing experience has been completely opposite from what it was with June. He’s a quick and efficient eater and the cuddliest baby ever. As long as he is being held he is perfectly content, which is so sweet and wonderful.

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After I was able to nurse him the first time, they moved us to out recovery room. It was a bit difficult for me to transfer to the gurney because my right side was 110% numb all the way down to my toes. I had good feeling and movement on my left, which created an interesting sensation. Once I was all settled in my new bed and room, Todd and I were left to just enjoy our time together with baby boy. Again, I love having early morning babies because I feel like there is more time for quiet family moments before visitors start coming. I was so starved by that point that all I wanted was breakfast. Todd was so great with the baby those first few days, and even now has this sixth sense about what he needs and how best to get him to sleep. In those first few moments after I delivered, all I could say and think to Todd was “You have a son!”. It seemed so strange that we had a boy now and that we were a family of four. One disappointing thing is that June wasn’t able to come visit at all in the hospital because of how bad the flu has been this year. Throughout my whole pregnancy, all I could think of was that moment when June would come through the hospital door, give me a huge hug and cuddle, then see her baby brother for the first time. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation for her though, being happily cared for by Teresa for the first day or two we were gone, then my mom. Brian and Shelley were still in town and staying at Whitehouse’s too, and June was in heaven having Thad and Wes to play with. Again, this was another tender mercy of the Lord. I mean, the fact that we packed jammies and had already put June to bed at Teresa’s so we could watch the game was a miracle. One of my biggest fears was going into labor in the middle of the night and having to wake June, get her packed and out the door and then drive from Kaysville to West Jordan to one of our parent’s and then get to the hospital in Sandy, especially in a storm. Well, had I not gone with Todd to his soccer game that night, that would have been the exact situation we would have been in. Plus, I would have been doing that all by myself. There was a terrible wind/snow storm going on in Davis county, and I would have been incredibly reluctant to get up and drive to the hospital. So all in all, the whole situation was basically a miracle. It’s the times like that that really open my eyes to how much the Lord has his hand in our lives.

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The rest of our time in the hospital was quite uneventful. It is so true what they say about the recovery being so much easier after the first baby. It’s like everything healed twice as fast as it did with June, and I felt so much better, even during my time in the hospital, which I am so grateful for. Since Todd and I were there over New Years, there was A LOT of football viewing happening in our room. Like a lot, which I’m sure Todd loved since we had nothing else to do. All I wanted were fig newtons, apple juice, and rest, so I was fine. Our last night there was New Year’s Eve, which is typically when they give the parents a ‘fancy’ dinner, so the timing worked out great for us, even though the dinner wasn’t that fancy. It was actually really nice to have a quiet dinner by ourselves, and that I didn’t have to make it. We still hadn’t decided on a name, but figured since we were going home soon we better settle on it. We had been keeping Christian Todd in our back pocket for most of the pregnancy, since it made sense to use Todd’s names and because it’s a family name on both sides. Throughout the whole time I was pregnant, I had the hardest time finding a boy name I liked, and Todd was even worse, because he would only suggest black man names.

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We were able to leave and head home the next afternoon, which was just about perfect since I was getting really anxious to see June again. We stopped by Mom’s to pick her up which is where she got to meet him for the first time. I was surprised when she wasn’t that interested and that her affection and interest in him came on much slower than I anticipated. I think it helped a lot that Todd didn’t have to go back to school until January 12, so he was able to take care and entertain her while I adjusted to the baby. Those first few weeks are always my favorite. When the day to day is basically all about just keeping the family fed and somewhat rested. After that point, I start to get extremely restless and itching to get back to design and working. I’m doing my best to find a balance, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out as time goes on.

It’s incredible to me how well our new family has fit together since Christian has joined it. I don’t know if he seems like such an easy baby because June was harder, or if I just know what I’m doing a little better this time around. Either way, the transition to two kids has been much easier than I thought it would be, and I love watching June interact with him. She has been the sweetest big sister and is constantly looking for ways to help and take care of baby brother. I love my little family so much!

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