The first half of October essentially consisted of what has become the normal fall for our family. Work and "school" during the week, football games, birthday parties, fun with family and friends on the weekend. The difference this year was I was swollen beyond recognition from the knees down. Seriously for the last ten weeks or so of this pregnancy I had elephant legs and ankles. It was to the point patients at work would look at me and say "Are you okay?" and my co-workers would laugh every day. Even with support hose (which donning them every morning became the hardest part of my day) I had huge sausage feet. Luckily though I never had any other issues such as increased blood pressure or anything else. This did leave me pretty exhausted though by the end of the day and very ready for our little guy to arrive.
On October 16th he decided to do just that. His original due date was October 23rd, but since his sister came early I assumed (as did our doctor) that Denver would do the same. So by October 9th, I was more than ready and started trying all the old wives tales of how to get him here. On Tuesday October 15th I woke up with contractions and thought it was the day so Philip took Annie to school and we both stayed home from work. Much to my dismay though by 9:00 AM the contractions had slowed and lessened in intensity so Philip headed to work and I stayed home to fight a migraine.
That same day I learned from a friend that acupressure was an effective labor inducer so when Philip got home we went out to eat, came home and Googled acupressure. He then squeezed some spot right on my ankle and after five minutes of anticipation of immediate results we called it good went to bed.
At 2:30 AM I woke up with some really strong contractions but decided I should try to sleep & see if it went away. An hour later they woke me up again and this time would not be ignored. I got up, showered and got ready and then woke Philip up to do the same so we could start timing them. By the time he was all ready we realized timing them was a moot point now because they were constant. So we called our babysitter to come stay with Annie and headed to the hospital.
We arrived around 6 and were quickly in a room, I was hooked up to a monitor, and we were waiting for the doctor, who was suppose to be there around 8. We wanted to see when he thought I'd deliver so we could let our parents and family know when to come. Well, at 7:45 our nurse came in and helped me back to bed after a bathroom break and looked at the monitor and decided the baby's heart rate was a little low so she checked me. At that point it was like someone hit the fast forward button because the next thing we knew there was a warmer in the room, they had turned on the labor lights, and the CRNA was in the room to attempt an epidural.
Our nurse Ginger, who we love because she had been our nurse with Annie, then told us he was coming so quickly the doctor might not make it. YIKES! So Philip started calling our family members and telling them it was time. Throughout all of this rush Philip and I just kept looking at each other confused that it was happening so quickly since with Annie I had labored for hours and if you know anything about me if it doesn't go just like I had planned I'm totally thrown off.
At this point the CRNA attempted an epidural but since I was already dilated to 9 it did not work. Yeah so we were going to go the natural route. Again not according to plan... :) Oh well you take the good with the bad and luckily Dr. Henry arrived just in time for me to begin pushing. Philip and I were both in shock at this point that things had escalated so quickly. Alls's well that ends well though and a few minutes later we were introduced to all 8 pounds 9 ounces and 22 1/2 inches of our handsome little man.
It was nothing short of amazing. Regardless of the fact that we had experienced the same thing with Annie it was still just as wonderful the second time around. A unique thing about it all was we had Denver in the same room, with the same doctor, same nurse, and honestly when they put him up on me he looked just like Annie had.
I recently saw where someone described the birth of their child as a surreal experience and I can't think of a better way to say it. It's such a special time and definitely one of those moments that you want to hold on to as long as possible because you know it's so very precious.
Possibly the sweetest moment of the day was when Annie met Denver. She walked into the room with a big smile on her face and looked straight at Philip and said "Where's my brother?" She had been talking to him, patting him, and kissing him for months and couldn't wait to actually meet him. Her little "Awwww...he's the cutest baby and I love him" and expression on her face is something I will never forget <picture 1 below> (and will remind her of when she begins to complain about him).
Fortunately for us her infatuation with him has not waned a bit in the last 6 weeks.
(Disclaimer - we do actually brush her hair on a regular basis throughout the day but these pictures would not indicate that.)
You can tell that Denver recognizes her too (although sometimes he does get the wild-eyed look of "Please don't say you have left me alone with her") because he often calms down when she pats him and gives him his pacifier. It's really nice to see how good she is with him.
So that's the story nearly 6 weeks later of the arrival of our favorite little guy.
While we aren't getting much sleep and I'm without caffeine because it seems to bother him we are all still so thrilled to have him and thankful for the great gift he is. He brightens our day with his sweet presence and we can't wait to see more of his personality develop. This Thanksgiving the Norwood 4 are truly blessed.