Welcome to the world, little one! Introducing our newest member of the family, Donny (named after his Daddy), born on January 30, 2018. He’s a little love bug and we’re totally smitten! Today I thought I’d share details from his birth as well as a few of the amazing photos we had taken of him at just two weeks old.
Donny made his grand entrance into the world 14 hours after my water broke and I went into active labor. I had experienced on and off Braxton Hicks for the previous five days that left me feeling pretty miserable but I knew it meant Donny was getting ready and I couldn’t wait to meet him.
I had a particularly rough day the previous day, but still no regular contractions so I carried on with business as usual. My water broke right when I was getting our two year old, CC, out of the bath around 6:45 PM. Game on! I managed to remain calm, finish her bedtime routine, and throw a load in the laundry before going downstairs to tell my husband, Don, and call the doctor. I was advised to wait at home for a couple of hours since I still was not experiencing regular contractions. I took the opportunity to take a shower, do more laundry, and tidy up the house.
We checked into the Labor & Delivery ward at the hospital at around 9:30 PM. I was still experiencing mostly irregular contractions at this point, but they were getting closer together and intensifying by the hour. After I felt sick to my stomach and threw up twice (a rarity for me!) around 11:30 PM I knew it was time for the epidural. I had been encouraged to have one given my previous c-section history, but honestly, I probably would have elected for one anyway, because boy, was it getting intense!
By 12:30 AM I was dilated 4 cm and settled in bed with the epidural and IV fluids. The nurses said they would monitor us from the station so we could get some rest. Don somehow managed to sleep in the most uncomfortable looking chair, but I couldn’t manage to catch more than a few winks. I was just too excited (and also there was a lot of moaning coming from the room next to us!).
Activity picked up again at 6 AM with nurses and doctors coming in and out for various tests and checks. We were ecstatic to learn that I was 10 cm dilated (we weren’t sure how long it would take, because even though it was my second delivery, my body never had a chance to labor with my first so they treated me as a first timer). The OB on call came in at 6:30 and suggested I start “practice pushing.” I had not felt the urge to push by this point and was hoping to wait a bit longer to see if I did, but I went along with the doctor despite my instinct to wait. This is the only part of my delivery that I was not 100% happy with, but I was able to delivery vaginally without medical interventions aside from the epidural, so it worked out in the end.
I pushed in the “traditional” hospital bed way on my back with a nurse holding each leg (Don was cheerleading up by my head) for 2 hours without breaks, every 3 minutes or so with each contraction. In that time the doctor on call left and the nurses took over for awhile. My OB came in at 8:30 and I was so happy to see her! She could tell right away that my efforts weren’t making much progress. Yes, my cervix was fully dilated, but Donny’s head hadn’t moved all the way down even after all of that hard work. She had me try “tug of war” pushing where she knotted a bedsheet on each end. I held one end and she held the other a few feet away from the bed while I pushed during contractions. Talk about a workout!
I pushed this way with much better success for about 15 minutes and then Donny started getting stressed, with his heart rate dropping a little with each push. This concerned my OB and she started talking to me about possibly needing to use the vacuum if he didn’t improve. I really didn’t want to have to use the vacuum to pull him out and Donny must not have either, because he stabilized for our next 3 pushes and then popped right out. Huzzah!
They immediately placed him on my chest and I was able to hold him like this for 30 minutes while I delivered the placenta and the doctor stitched me up (I experienced second degree tearing). Luckily, I didn’t feel any of that thanks to the very effective epidural, which they then turned off. It was such a different experience being able to hold Donny skin-to-skin right away as compared to my experience of a c-section with CC.
Eventually, one of the nurses took Donny to the baby station within the room to run initial checks and weigh/measure Donny – 6 pounds 14 ounces, 20.5″ long. Don got to hold him for a little bit before we tried breastfeeding, which didn’t work so well the first go (Donny was too sleepy), but we had great success after that and he continues to eat well. We moved up to the Mother & Baby ward around lunchtime and they took Donny to the nursery for his bath and hearing test.
After that we settled into a nice routine where Don went home in the evening to be with our daughter CC overnight and wake up with her in the morning and then his parents would take over at our house and he’d spend the day at the hospital with me and Donny. We went home on Thursday (February 1 – Don’s birthday!). Our hospital stay was easy, although I missed CC desperately and couldn’t wait to get home. Everyone at the hospital was so kind and supportive. I had no complications post-delivery, but unfortunately I did have to go back to the hospital with Donny a few days later to treat for jaundice, which I’ll talk about in his month one update.
If you’d like to hear more, I go into much more detail about my delivery experience in this video:
I thought I’d share a few of my favorites from Donny’s newborn photoshoot with our absolute favorite local photographer duo, Sri and Jana. If you live in the Chicagoland area and want amazing maternity, newborn, and family style photos, you should definitely check them out! Not only are they super talented, but they are such warm, kind people and a pleasure to work with.
Love that little man!
Sri & Jana chose a very similar pose to one from Charlotte’s newborn photoshoot for a fun comparison.
Donny opened his eyes for the last few photos. I just love his “blue steel” look!
We are so in love with our little Donny. He completes our family and we are beyond excited for our lives together now as as a family of four (five with our pup, Winnie!). I feel so blessed to have had such a positive birth experience with him. I’ll be back soon with a one month update, so stay tuned if you’d like to know how we’re getting on!