I can’t believe it’s been a month since we’ve welcomed our little love into the world. June 25th, 2019 we became a trio! I always said I think Oliver will make his appearance early, and I was right.
The morning Before Oliver Arrived
The morning of the 24th I woke up with The Beatles’ song, I’m So Tired in my head… “I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink…I’m so tired, my mind is on the brink…” I remember just laying in bed feeling kind of achy and that song just playing over and over in my head. Rob was already awake, making coffee in the kitchen, and I stumbled over to the bathroom. I was spotting…which was very unlike me. I didn’t have any bleeding during my pregnancy. I had a feeling this was the start of it all. I called Rob in the bathroom immediately and then we called my doctor. The office was pretty relaxed about it all…asking if I had any contractions (which I didn’t), any clotting (which I didn’t)…so they told me just keep an eye on things.
I just knew Oliver was on his way. We made arrangements for Henry to go to the dog sitter that afternoon for a few days, just so that when I did start having contractions, he would be taken care of and not nervous at home if we had to be in the hospital for a few days. Rob and I got ready for the day, loaded up the car with all of Henry’s things, and brought him to the sitter. I was feeling well for the most part. A little achy, but very much like myself. Rob kept asking me what we should do that day and if I was okay. By this point it was lunch time, so we grabbed some lunch at a local place by our house (just incase it was go-time and we had to swing home to grab our hospital bags), took it easy over some breakfast sandwiches and just hung out together. We went back home for a bit.
Promising to always be Best Friends First
Rob kept asking me, “Do you think he’s going to come today?” It was pretty clear things were about to change pretty soon. Any minute now we we could have our son here with us. Rob and I were sitting on our bedroom floor…it was all setting in… I asked him to sit across from me and just sit with me for a minute. We held hands and just starred at each other. We each took time to make a promise to the other…we got a little teary eyed. We promised to never lose ourselves in this parenthood journey that we were about to enter, to always try to make time for one another, to respect each other, remember to parent as a team, and to always remember we are best friends first and will continue to love each other fiercely. That moment will always be one of my favorite moments from that day. We just connected. We have said that our dating days were our first chapter together, then our marriage was the next. Parenthood would be the third chapter together. In that moment it felt like we were honoring those first two chapters, and welcoming in the third with open arms and love. We were ready.
Trader Joes, the bachelorette, and contractions
We made a Target run to walk around (we just didn’t know what to do with ourselves), then went to Trader Joe’s for some groceries. We were loading up the cart with a bunch of easy to make meals for the week after Oliver was born and our favorite snacks. With each aisle we went down, it became a little more difficult for me to walk. I still didn’t have any contractions (at least I didn’t think so), but the weight of my belly just felt intense and I was in full penguin waddle mode.
We picked up some pasta from our favorite, Bianco, and headed home to watch The Bachelorette, ha! At around 8pm my contractions started to get pretty real, but they were still pretty random and far apart. Some were 8 minutes apart, some were 15 minutes, and some were 20-something minutes, all at different intensities. It wasn’t until around midnight that things started to get real.
I have to make the bed before we go!
Rob and I were laying in bed trying to get some sleep and I would wake up to contractions, squeezing his hand. I was tracking them on an app. At around 11pm, my contractions were about 9 minutes apart and the app prompted me to get ready for the hospital. At midnight, it said to start heading to the hospital. I didn’t want to get to the hospital only to be sent home, so I waited. Rob thought I was nuts. He jumped in the shower and I started gathering all of our things. I did my hair, brushed my teeth, and started making the bed. Rob came out of the bathroom and thought I was nuts…”What are you doing?” ” I need to make the bed”, I told him. “I don’t want to come home to a mess.” He definitely thought I was insane. It was 10:08pm and my contractions were 6 minutes apart. I was tucking sheets into the mattress in between squeezing the sheets in my hands as I worked through a contraction. It was painful, but I just kept breathing through it thinking of my happy place: the red rocks in Sedona.
I was super intrigued with hypno-birthing all throughout my pregnancy and told myself I would take classes. I never did, however I was set on trying to have a calm birth. I didn’t want Oliver to enter into the world with screaming or extra stress coming from me. I can be a high-strung person, but also I know the mind is a powerful thing and if I could keep myself calm, I’d be able to handle myself better. I knew I would probably have an epidural, but I wanted to incorporate some natural techniques that would help me have the most peaceful experience as possible, so I kept going to my “happy place”. With each contraction I would breath in (1, 2, 3, 4…) and as I would breath out (1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4…) I would just picture Rob and myself back in Sedona hiking through the red rocks, breathing the fresh air and feeling calm.
Arriving at the hospital
I convinced Rob to stay in the car another ten minutes and work through more contractions together. By this point was around 12:30am. I did not want them to send us back home. Finally I agreed to waddle into the hospital and we were admitted to triage. From there things moved pretty fast. The nurses checked how far along I was and they were all shocked that I was at 6cm dilated already. Rob couldn’t believe it. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I had nothing to compare any of this to, with this being my first baby, so I just kept working through the contractions.
Getting an Epidural
We were moved to our birthing room as I worked through a few more contractions, with Rob by my side, holding my hand throughout it all. He told me it was almost as though I was blacking out through each contraction. I would get silent, close my eyes, and then when it passed, I would be “back to normal, smiling”. Before we knew it, I was 8cm dilated and the anesthesiologist came into the room for the epidural. For me, the epidural was worse than any contraction thus far. I had a fear of the epidural…I read some pretty crazy things before going into labor about the epidural, so I definitely got in my head about it all. It was over pretty fast and thankfully I had Rob and one of our amazing labor and delivery nurses holding me throughout it all. We had incredible nurses! I could not believe how supported we felt in the hospital and how much they do. I was in awe — they were like angels! Francene and Mary, thank you! You made this experience so enjoyable!
Rob and I relaxed a bit as they monitored me, now with the epidural in place. By this point I had the shakes from the rush of hormones and I was feeling nauseous. I didn’t like how numb I was beginning to feel and my heart rate began to grow more rapid, which made me nervous. According to Rob I said it felt like, “pins and needles to the max”. I asked them to turn down the epidural. It was at a level 10, and we brought it down to a level 6. This allowed me to feel my legs more, as well as the contractions, just not as intense. I felt so much better like this…a bit more in control.
^^ The last photos we took before baby arrived! ^^
They checked me again around 5am and baby was super low, sitting on my sack of water. The nurse and doctor on duty suggested they break my water, as they thought things would progress super fast because of how low Oliver was, but they got in touch with my doctor and she wanted me to just wait it out, see if things progressed on their own. I was at 9cm for a while. At this point my sister and her boyfriend and our friends Matt and Leah arrived, so while we waited we all just hung out together…joked about the Real Housewives of New York (don’t ask – ha!) and other ridiculous things. It was so good to be surrounded by everyone and just laugh together.
It was go time!
Finally – it was go time! I was so ready to meet our little guy. From here on out everything went pretty quickly. Any fear I had, vanished at that point. I’m so glad I turned down the epidural a few notches, because as the nurses monitored my contractions I was able to feel them as well and geared up for each push. Rob held one of my legs, while the delivery nurse held the other, and in between each contraction Rob would look at me and smile. I would smile back at him. I never felt more safe, strong or supported. At that point we were communicating without words, and with our eyes. Rob was tearing up. Our baby was on the way! I was so determined. I was only pushing for about an hour until we got to meet our little Oliver. Right before the last push Rob told me he could see his all hair…that he was right there.
Meeting Our Baby
Before I knew it, they had placed Oliver on my chest and the rest was a blur. I was in pure bliss. We were a family of three! Rob and I both had tears in our eyes. I’ll never forget looking at Oliver for the first time and looking back at Rob as he touched Oliver’s head. I never felt more complete or full of love before. There he was Oliver Lennon, 6 lbs, 18.5 inches long, our little peanut.
I didn’t know what to expect about labor. I know everyone’s birth story is different and leading up to Oliver’s birth, my friends shared so many different perspectives on their children’s births. Some were amazing, some were extremely difficult, some were fast, and some were incredibly long. There would be nights during my third trimester that I couldn’t sleep because I had anxiety about what labor would be like, but I never felt more empowered than I did the day we welcomed Oliver into this world. Feeling him leave my body, the place that created a home for him for 39 weeks was the most incredible feeling. Looking over at my husband and support system, who made me feel calm and beautiful throughout it all, was so special.
On the way home we listened to John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy, for Oliver’s first song. I sat in the back next to his carseat, holding his little hand and tried not to cry. Once I looked in the front and caught Rob’s eyes in the rear view mirror looking back at us, I lost it…happy tears came rolling down my face again. We were going home now as a family of three. We stepped into the house with his carseat in hand. I was never happier to be home.