As I type, capturing the details of this story, Connor lays in my lap, sleepy from a recent feeding. I am tired, happy and overwhelmed by the gift of this sweet new life—and by the opportunity to add another member to our family.
So let's start at the beginning. After waiting it out as long as possible, we made it six days past my due date to Aug. 29, and at the urging of my doctor, we headed to the hospital for an appointment to bring on labor. We decided to forego medicine and move forward with stripping my membranes first. At around 9 pm I was 3-4 cm, the nurse stripped my membranes and we tried to settle in for the night. But I couldn't sleep; it was a mixture of nerves, excitement and hunger. (I stopped eating at 2 pm that afternoon.) We monitored Connor's heart rate and my contractions, and while it looked like I had been having contractions, they didn't feel any different from what I had been experiencing over the last month.
But then by 5 am the pain amplified, and I knew this was it. I started to walk around the room and moan through the contractions, and we called the nurse to talk through our options. I mentioned that I thought I was ready for an epidural, but I wasn't sure. I was hesitant because epidurals can occasionally slow down labor, and I didn't want to get one if we were too early in my progress. Eventually a few more contractions came and I knew there was no glory in postponing the pain relief. So we requested the anesthesiologist and checked my progress; I was 7 cm!
We called my mom and she was at the hospital by the time the epidural was in, and by then I was starting to feel a little more under control. My pain decreased dramatically, but I could still move my legs and feel the contractions. At around 8 am my doctor broke my water, and we waited for the contractions to speed up. When the nurse checked me at 9:30 am she said we were ready to go. I pushed once, and then barely once more, and Connor was here! He was placed on my stomach while his cord finished pulsing, then Michael cut his cord and we started nursing. Then he was cleaned, weighed and measured, coming in at 9 lb, 8 oz and 21 in.
The sun was up, Connor was here and healthy, and the hours after his birth were so sweet. Our hospital followed baby friendly practices, which strongly encourage skin to skin time and testing in room, among other things. This created such a peaceful transition as we got to know Connor and he got to know us. Later in the day my parents brought Ryan to the hospital to meet his baby brother. Ryan was instantly interested in Connor, wanting to hold and hug and kiss him, and it was the most adorable event.