Sunday, November 23, 2014

happy birthday, James!

Our sweet boy is finally here... let me introduce you to the newest love of our lives, James Benjamin Anderson! I actually wrote a 40 weeks blog post last Monday, just never got around to posting to Facebook. Who knew that just a few short hours later, I'd be meeting my babe for the first time?!

Here's the (long? short? who knows?) story... if you don't want to read about labor and childbirth, you might want to skip this one. No worries, there will no action shots. ;) Just pics of a cute baby. (And a sleep-deprived mom.)

It all started Monday afternoon. I had spent the morning doing one last special cupcake order, and around noon decided I needed something else to keep me busy. I ran some errands to pick up some groceries for a fun meal and some craft supplies to make Christmas ornaments. I felt a few contractions off and on, but they felt the same as the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd been having for the past several weeks, so I just shook it off.

My afternoon plans included making some cute detailed sugar cookies for my baby boy. I had bought an elephant cookie cutter (to match his nursery, ha) about 4 months ago, but had never gotten around to using it so I had some fun. I also made some girly-girl baby cookies for my cousin who had actually just gone into labor the previous night. She was due November 8, and I was so happy that at least one of us was going to meet our babes!

Cookies for baby James! My mom actually ended up bringing these to the hospital later in the week and we shared with the nurses.
I had some more contractions throughout the afternoon, but not enough to make me notice anything. Around 4 or 5pm, I had some period-like cramps for a few hours, but I'd also had those before so shrugged it off as nothing. I made dinner (shrimp pasta in tomato-cream sauce and homemade sourdough bread!), and my Business Man and I ate and relaxed on the couch. I continued to have mild cramps and contractions but didn't think anything of it.

Finally, around 9pm, I thought I might want to start timing them. They were coming maybe 3-4 an hour, and not intense at all. I had an appointment the next day at 11:30am, so I figured I'd just wait it out and see what the doc said then. (Ha.)

We packed up the bag (just in case) and headed to bed around 11pm. I couldn't really sleep so I watched Gilmore Girls on the iPad in bed. Around 11:45ish, I started timing the contractions again, because they seemed to be coming more frequently. I was instructed to head the hospital when they were lasting 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, for 1 hour straight. 

A few of them lasted 1 minute long, and sometimes they were 5 minutes apart, but every once in awhile there would be a 10-12 minute break, or a 30-second contraction, so I'd have to start over with counting my hour. I had heard lots of stories of women being told to go home once they got to the hospital, and I definitely didn't want that to happen!

Around 1am, they started to become really intense, and I was spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I figured that this might be the real thing, and maybe it was time to get my Business Man out of bed so we could figure out what to do. (Not that he was really sleeping anyway.) All of a sudden I heard a big splash in the toilet, and my water broke! Totally the real thing. We decided it was probably time to go to the hospital. 

The contractions all of a sudden became really intense, and were coming really quickly. (I wasn't timing them anymore.) My body was also shaking uncontrollably. It was at this point that even though all throughout pregnancy I was firmly in the no-epidural camp, I decided to for sure get the epidural because if these were the early contractions, what would the real ones feel like??! (Little did I know...)

It took about 20 minutes to get myself from the bathroom into the car, but we finally made it. Thank goodness we only had a 4-block drive to the hospital, not sure if I would have made it in the car for much longer. We got to the L&D floor around 2am, and the nurses welcomed us and showed us to a room. At this point, I was in a LOT of pain, and ready to get things going.

The nurses seemed to dilly-dally around with getting me gowns and checked... probably the whole first-time mom thing. I asked for an epidural the second we got into the room, and they were like "Oh, there's plenty of time! Just let us get some paperwork done first."

Finally, one of them checked me and I was already at 7-8cm. Woah! Forget the paperwork, we've got to get ready to have a baby. I kept asking about the epidural, and they just kept telling me to "just keep breathing, you're doing great!" Looking back this makes me laugh. I labored in the bed gripping the side rails as each contraction came, and focused on breathing slow and steady. These contractions were the worst pain I've ever felt in my life! I tried to explain it to my Business Man... they felt like someone gripping all your inside organs and giving them an Indian burn. My Business Man did a great job in keeping me calm and focused. He was also a great water boy, giving me sips of water as I begged for them.

Fortunately, out of my OB practice (6 doctors), my doctor happened to be the one on call. She arrived, and we got prepped for the birth. She and the nurses coached me in pushing - basically telling me to push when I felt the urge. The pushing wasn't nearly as painful as the contractions before it; it was just hard work! After about 20 minutes, James Benjamin was born into the world! I was so happy not only to meet my son, but to be done with that whole process. Wow, childbirth is exhausting! Lol.

Afterward, they put James on my chest, and I got to hold him for about an hour while my doctor stitched me up. (Let me just say, that is not the most pleasant feeling in the world...) 

Just a few hours after he was born. I was still hooked up to the IV, which was driving me crazy! They were just giving me fluids and Pitocin afterward to help shrink my uterus.
I just could not believe how quick the whole process was. I never expected it to go like that. I had packed my iPod for using during labor, the birth ball, and shot blocks to give me energy. Haha, never even had a chance to think about anything like that. So, so glad though! I can't imagine it lasting longer. 

We stayed in the delivery room for a couple hours, and then were moved to a regular mother-baby room around 5:30am. We snoozed for a few minutes (literally 30 minutes), then started the day. We had lots of visitors (friends, family) and lots of visits from nurses checking this and that. By the end of the day, we were SO exhausted. But so happy to have our sweet boy James with us! 

And here's a few pics from the fun couple days... this post is quite lengthy so I might blog more about our hospital stay later. I think I definitely covered the highlights! ;)

First family pic! This was post-shower, about 8 hours after he was born. Tell you what, I felt like a new woman after that shower!
Proud daddy with his son!
Changing one of James' many naaasty diapers. Those first few poos are no joke! My Business Man is a rock star and did about 95% of the diaper duty at the hospital.
How many grandparents does it take to get that perfect picture? ;)
James, me, and grandmomma! So glad she was able to come out and meet him right away. He missed meeting his grandpa but will see him soon next week for Thanksgiving!

Some much-needed Starbuck's for this sleep-deprived momma! The new Praline Chestnut Latte is amazing... also might have been the fact I was operating on 30 minutes of sleep after birthing a child. Ha.
The hospital treated us to a 'celebratory' meal the last night we were there... stuffed chicken, potatoes, and a clearly gourmet red velvet cupcake. The food was actually really good, and I just had to snap a pic of the cupcake. I will admit, it wasn't my favorite thing to eat that week. Ha.
Sweet baby James lying on the awesome blanket Lindsey made him! He loves it. (Or maybe Mommy just loves taking pictures on it...)


Kelsey Phillips said...

Congrats!! He is absolutely beautiful!!

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