In typical “second child” fashion, sweet Henry got one bump-date, and he’s been here for about three months and I’m just now getting to posting about his birth. Luckily he’s been super chill since birth, so I’m thinking he won’t mind! 😉
March was obviously a weird month for everyone- I don’t think anyone anticipated the onslaught of a worldwide pandemic and subsequent quarantine, right?? Honestly, we started out as some of the naysayers- we felt like the media was blowing everything a little out of proportion and it wasn’t much to worry about. Steven’s parents left on March 3 for their big Australia vacation as planned and we went about life as normal for the first part of March.
And then, the NBA shut down.
Haha, I know that sounds dumb– my husband is a physician and I also work in healthcare, but that was honestly what got his attention (and then mine- I try not to worry until he worries because I know when he worries, it’s legit). We started hearing about hospitals shutting down visitors and women having to give birth alone, and I started to get a little more worried than before. Henry’s due date was April 13, but we’d already put in a plan to be induced on April 10 because of Steven’s upcoming schedule, but I started praying Henry would possibly come early on his own so that we could get in and out as early as possible (as long as everything was safe).
Our niece (who was due to arrive at the same time as Henry) was born early in mid-late March at 36.5 weeks (and is completely healthy and gorgeous!!), but Henry proved to be stubborn- every week I’d go in for a check and there would be little progress. I dilated up to a 3 on my own, but at 37-38 weeks, we asked when the absolute earliest we could be induced was, and scheduled for 5 AM on April 6, which was 39 weeks exactly. Policies and things had started rapidly changing- no visitors were allowed at the hospital, but you could have one support person in L&D, Steven’s clinics and procedures were completely shut down and they were doing telemedicine from home, and I slipped out on maternity leave a week early of a company wide furlough due to local shelter-in-place order and us trying to be cautious about my exposure. They had shut down the OB/Gyn clinic I typically went to in the hospital and moved all outpatient to a free standing clinic while splitting their staff between clinic and floor service to minimize their exposure, so it just so happened to work out that my OB started on clinic service for my weeks 37 and 38, and then moved to hospital service that Monday we were supposed to induce, otherwise we would have delivered with whoever the on call physician was.
I had inconsistent contractions leading up to April 6, but nothing enough to go into labor on my own, so after a night of basically no sleep (I went to bed about 10:30, laid there unable to fall asleep until about 12:30, got up and took a shower, and then fell asleep from about 1:30-3:30), we headed to the hospital at 4:30 AM for a 5 AM check in time while Grammy (my mom) stayed with Livy at home. We got all set up in our room shortly after checking in, and they started a pitocin drip by about 6-6:30. I requested my epidural before they planned to break my water, and anesthesia came in around 8 to get it done.
Right after anesthesia left, I felt a huge gush like I had wet the bed and it just would not stop- and I couldn’t stop laughing about it either! I told Steven that either my water just broke, or I had really, really, really wet the bed, so we called the nurse back in and tried to figure it out. She and my OB said it was really common for the activity of the epidural to cause your water to break on its own, so they started turning up the pitocin and we just waited!
During a check around noon, the resident checking mentioned that I hadn’t dilated any more, and that we may need to move the contraction monitor to the inside to additionally test the strength of the contractions, not just whether or not they were happening. But, they decided to hold off for the time being. We kept hanging out, a little bummed because we had convinced ourselves going in that Henry definitely would have arrived by then since Olivia came so fast during her induction. He felt like he was so far up in my ribs he wasn’t even close to coming out, and there was nothing I could do to scoot him down.
A few more checks through the afternoon proved fruitless- I hadn’t dilated any further despite the continual upping of the pitocin. I was going on 24 hours with no solid food and was so beyond tired of broth and jello, especially because the only decent thing on TV was the Food Network, and watching TV was the only decent thing to pass the time. Around 6, my OB came in to introduce us to the attending taking over the night shift and she headed home.
Just after 7 when the new nursing shift started, my new nurse and a different resident came in for another check, and she decided to place the internal monitor to check the contraction strength. When she first placed it, she wasn’t sure about how great the placement was, but decided to go with it. They stepped out to monitor from the nurses station, and Steven came over to watch the monitor himself. After watching for a few minutes, he gave me a grim look and said it wasn’t looking promising- I had just tiny little blips on the screen now. He said they would probably start to talk about a c-section if things didn’t pick up. I was okay with a c-section, but the thought did make me a little more nervous than I anticipated, honestly.
A few minutes later, the resident came back in with the nurse and she decided to adjust the position of the monitor just in case that was the problem. In doing this, she was feeling around and discovered a fluid pocket- apparently when I thought my water broke earlier in the day, it was either a small hole that sealed back over, or his head moved over the opening to seal it back off- either way, that had been holding anything remaining in and essentially acting like my water had never broken in the first place. We had been waiting around all day for something to happen for pretty much no reason. It was 8:00 at this point, and once the resident really broke the remaining water pocket, things really picked up. Steven joked that he would be born by 9:00, and I thought he was crazy. I said maybe by 10, but there was no way we would go from halfway to ready to go in under an hour.
And yet… I started having strong (really strong!) contractions about 8:40 so we called in the team, and the OB checked out my status. I’ll never forget that he looked at me and said “Are you ready to have a baby?” and I said “Are you for real??” (Because being in labor makes you very eloquent apparently, haha!), and he responded “For real for real! Let’s go!” The team got everything together, and I had a resident (a different, third one) in front of me while the attending supervised by about 8:55. I pushed three times for ten seconds each, and we met our Henry at 9:03 PM. So I’ll let Steven have that one because it was much closer to 9 than 10 😉
He was much bigger than we expected- 21 inches long and 8 pounds, 11 ounces at 39 weeks. Steven immediately teased that he’ll be the quarterback of the Class of 2038, and the delivery team all joked that he was so long they just couldn’t believe that he just kept coming!
While I hung out with Henry and let him eat for the first time, Steven ran to Whataburger and got us dinner- I was starving! They said Henry had to wait until eight hours old to have his bath, so he was a little slimy and gross for a while, but still sweet! Around 12:30, they packed us up and we moved over to postpartum to get settled for the night. Typically they probably would have made us stay two nights, but with everything going on they were giving people the option to go home at just after 24 hours old regardless of what time of day that was- there are some tests that have to be done at 24 hours old, so we were ready to go just before 9 PM so they could do those tests and hit the road. The whole day in the hospital was just a little strange- with Olivia, we had so many visitors, and it seemed like there was always someone around, either someone we knew or a staff member, but this time there were no visitors allowed at all, and staff was limited so it was pretty quiet the whole time.
We arrived home with Henry around 10:30 on Tuesday night. We told my mom we were headed home, so she had Olivia dressed up in her Big Sister outfit (Henry was already in his Little Brother outfit) and ready to meet Henry!
She was cautious with him at first, but quickly identified his ears, toes, nose, mouth, and eyes (with vigor!), so we think she liked him 😉 She will now call him “Herry” and tell him that she loves him, as well as give him forehead kisses, hugs, and fist bumps.
Steven’s parents were back in the country when he was born, but still in their quarantine period from coming back, so they got to meet him at the ranch when he was about a week old. My mom met him when he came home from the hospital since she was there to take care of Livy, but she went home later that week, and we took him to see her and my dad once she got home. He’s met most of the immediate family now (grandparents, great-grandparents, and aunt/uncle/cousin), and we all think he’s a keeper!
So far, he’s been pretty calm, a great eater, a good sleeper, and overall just the sweetest. Those first several boy diapers took some getting used to and more coordination than girl diapers, but I’ve gotten the hang of it (for the most part, haha!). Henry is three months old now, and has really started to come to life- he coos, smiles, and kicks. He’s dangerously close to being able to roll tummy to back, and he’s the absolute best snuggler.
He’s growing like a weed, and it’s hard to imagine our family without him! He’s the perfect little addition and we love him so!