M’s Grand Arrival | part 2

I won’t write a long intro. We’ll just jump back into the story ☺️

(You can find Part 1 here.)

We decided to go with the vacuum delivery to force M out of her cozy home.

At this point I was exhausted. I wanted to sleep for days. In between contractions/pushes I was given oxygen and K was wiping my forehead with a cold washcloth. Most of the nurses in the room were holding my legs/feet for me.

This last part of delivery lasted 30 minutes & I had my eyes closed the entire time. All my efforts were being put into staying awake and pushing. K witnessed two pop-offs and he could see the doctors getting concerned. He knew we only had one more attempt left.

I could hear a change in his voice. I knew some of my pushes were revealing M’s head for a brief moment. As he was encouraging me, I could hear his excitement when progress was being made.

No one told me it was down to the wire, but the nurses, doctors, and K insisted that we were almost there- one more good one. They put the vacuum to her and told me to push on the next contraction, but K and I both think I lied about the next contraction and I just started to push because I was so. over. it.

Again, my eyes were closed but this is K’s rendition:
As I was pushing the doctor was pulling on the vacuum with all her strength- her feet were pushing against my bed because she was pulling so hard. He watched as M’s head came out and the vacuum popped off…. but instead of letting her contract back into the birth canal two nurses grabbed onto her shoulders and pulled her free.

There was no “ok we have her head, just one more push for the shoulders”… it was no baby and then THE WHOLE BABY. She arrived at 8:36pm.

They put her naked, squaking little body on my stomach for a brief moment and patted her dry, but due to the trauma, method, and length of delivery she was taken by the NICU nurses and examined next to my bed. Just seeing her for a few seconds was so surreal.

I’m learning that parenthood is a continuous cycle of frustration/stress/confusion followed by extreme relief. Over and over. This was the first bout of relief. As soon as she was out K and I took the breath that we’d been holding for 12+ hours.

The nurses invited K over to the corner and he hung out with M while they repaired me. I received stitches & a 24+ hour catheter. The doc and nurses warned me that it was going to be a rough recovery (& they weren’t lying).

It took the doctors an hour to fix me up. During that time I sent out a text to our group message letting them know all was good, baby was here, and K would be out in the lobby to bring them in soon. And then FINALLY M was cleared by the nurses and we were reunited.

The NICU nurses told K that M was ok and healthy, but she was slightly stressed from the long & hard delivery. She recommended that only he and I hold her that night- if she was passed around it might stress her out and she’d have to go to the NICU. We weren’t upset one bit about getting to hog our daughter all night but we felt bad that our parents hung around for 8+ hours and wouldn’t get to hold their granddaughter that night.
(No worries- they all took their turns the following day.)

Some things I’d like to remember about labor & delivery:

I had a great epidural. I felt pressure during delivery but I didn’t feel any pain, even when they attempted the forceps and the vacuum. The contractions got a little ouchie toward the end but they were the green light to push so I didn’t mind. I didn’t noticed the placenta delivery at all.

I was in a great mood immediately after delivery. I was joking around with the doctors while they were stitching me up and making them & the NICU nurses laugh. Either my hormones were going haywire and making me giddy or I was just delirious. Dr. Heartless was a totally different person after M arrived. She was friendly and joking with both K and I. (We wondered where that person was four hours ago… *eyeroll*)

Our poor friends and family were terrified. My labor progressed so quickly and they knew we were ready to push at 3pm. We stopped visiting the lobby and texting shortly after that. They didn’t get the “all good!” text from me until 9:03pm. We didn’t mean to freak them out or go radio silent… we were just busy. They were very very panicked, though. Oops! (Sorry everyone!)

And that’s the basic story. (“Basic”…. lol. It took me two whole posts.) After delivery and at my 6 week postpartum appointment my doctor was a friendly, kind human. I know on delivery day she had 3 emergency c-sections so I will give her the benefit of the doubt as far as bedside manner goes… I guess.

First thoughts about M? She has my nose. I think it’s the first comment K made about her. Other than that, she’s resembled him since day one. Also, for having a vacuum delivery, her head wasn’t terribly misshapen or bruised. By the following morning her head was 100% normal. We also think she might be a strawberry blonde but time will tell. Her hair was blonde/reddish/auburn depending on the lighting and her eyes were super dark- we couldn’t tell what color they were. (They’re now a very dark blue.)

Delivery SUCKED. The first two weeks of her life were SO hard. Motherhood has been the biggest adjustment and hardest stage of my life so far. (Newborn stage wasn’t our favorite, lol.) BUT… I’d go through all of it again 100xs over just to have M. She is our favorite.

If you’ve stuck around through part 1 and 2… wow! I’m impressed. I promise I’m taking a little break from the baby content on the blog for a bit 😉 Thanks for putting up with me this long!

M’s Grand Arrival | part 1

I haven’t shared our birth story yet because I’ve been unsure about how to publicly do it. I don’t want to overshare my or M’s life (although my family will tell you I’m way past that point here in Blogland), but I want to tell my story here in my space.

So here’s a condensed, watered down version.

We were scheduled to be induced on December 4th but I started feeling contractions at 2:30am when I took the dogs out. After an hour and a half (and a warm shower) I woke K to tell him the baby wasn’t going to wait until 8am. He got up, showered & dressed, and we kissed the dogs goodbye. We stopped to get K some coffee and we were on our way.

At the hospital they admitted us right away since they already had a room ready for me. I was all hooked up, examined, and was told I was two whole centimeters- ONE more than I’d been at our OB appointment the week before. Talk about feeling bummed.

On the bright side, I didn’t have to be induced- I was laboring on my own. Another dr. stopped in and told me that going from 1 to 2 centimeters was big leap, even though it didn’t feel like it. He said I should be excited and positive- I was definitely making good progress. That made me feel a little better.

When they popped back in to check me a few hours later I was at 4 cm and was told I could get an epidural any time. I was still feeling pretty good… but then they had me change positions. HOLY OUCH, BATMAN. About 30 minutes later I told K to page my anesthesiologist for the drugs.

Sidenote: I had a wonderful anesthesiologist. She was skilled and funny and supportive and dry humored and informative. And my epidural worked like a freaking charm. It was the BEST decision ever for me. Contraction pain was a ZERO until it was time to push- then it was a mild pressure but still mostly pain-free.

I got an epidural, was reexamined at 5 cm, and was given instructions to sleep as much as I could. For 90 minutes I drifted in and out of sleep. Poor K stayed awake the whole time. When the doctor returned for a cervix check I was NINE CENTIMETERS. It was a little after noon and we decided to inform our close friends and family. K gave them permission to start arriving at the hospital around 2pm. We were sure I’d be pushing & our baby would almost be here by then.

Such naive little parents-to-be. This is where the fit hits the shan.

At 3pm I was ten centimeters and ready to push. At the exact same time my doctor was heading into the OR for an emergency c-section. So I was told to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

An hour and a half later I was finally given the green light.

My labor was pretty easy. My delivery was not. I pushed for four hours. M’s head was turned sideways and she was not wanting to come out, despite being so close the nurse and doctors could touch her. Fortunately her heart rate stayed even and happy. (Mine, on the other hand, started getting pretty high toward the end.)

My doctor was pretty checked out the whole time (which really pissed me off). At hour 3.5 she came in, checked on me, and started to leave again. I finally stopped her and asked what the we could do differently to get this kid out.

She gave me a very snarky answer, then started listing the risks of forceps and vacuum extraction… but then ended up advising we go that route given my exhaustion. *insert eye roll and murderous glare here*

When we made the decision to use the vacuum the entire room changed. The lights came on, the table with all the medical tools was uncovered, and we gained an additional doctor, three more nurses, and two NICU nurses. Everyone suited up in protective sterile covers (except poor K, lol).

They wanted to try to the forceps first but M’s head and my pelvic bone prevented them from working. With the vacuum you get three tries/pop-offs to make the baby come out… If that doesn’t work, you’re headed for a c-section.


I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I feel like I’m only halfway through the story and I don’t want to rush the best part (aka the part where M finally arrives… spoiler alert, lol). I will finish up with part two on Tuesday!

My Best Friend Had a Baby

When I see this quote it reminds me of my best friends, Erica & Nic:

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Erica and Nic planned for their baby. Erica has Type 1 diabetes, so they knew the path might be a little bumpy, but they were ready to be parents.

Click the picture for my post on the baby shower!
Click the picture for my post on the baby shower!

Yesterday, at 11:36 am, I received a text from Erica:
Her water had broken and she was settled in at the hospital. She told me not to rush- it would probably be a while until baby arrived- but K and I were welcome to drive up whenever we wanted.

I think it’s safe to say I freaked out.
Actually… that’s an understatement. I called K and told him that I was unavailable all day and I would be making one last baby-related shopping trip and then booking it to the hospital. Then I called my mom because I always call my mom when I’m excited.
Mom told me to cool it. This was actually good advice. I was ready to jump out a window and run to the hospital.

Enzo and I SnapChat-ed Erica!
Enzo and I SnapChatted Erica

K and I decided to run the errands that we had planned and then we’d head to the hospital. I might have annoyed him a bit because the only thing I could talk about all day was babies. Oops!

We finished our jobs and I stopped by Nic and Erica’s house to feed their three kitties. FINALLY it was time for us to join the family at the hospital. (Still no baby!)

We arrive around 5:45pm. Erica’s mom and dad, brother and brother’s girlfriend, and aunt and three cousins were waiting in the hall. Nic’s brother and sister-in-law were also there. We joined everyone and waited (un)patiently to hear a cry (and/or kidnap a nurse for information). Just after 6pm some of the equipment came out of the room and we were told there was a baby. (The messenger was smiling, so we weren’t fearful about complications.)

Just after 6:30 “DAD” emerged from the delivery room and delivered (get it?) the news.

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GRANDPA is in the light blue, GRANDMA is in pink, and UNCLE is in red…

Elliot Rose arrived at 6:05 pm. Six pounds, eight ounces. Eighteen inches and a full head of hair.
We also learned that Erica’s sugar was normal and had been under control the whole time, so she was feelin’ great!

Yay! A healthy, happy, baby!
Yay! A healthy, happy baby (& mom)!

Then it was back to the waiting room until visitors were permitted in.

Of course grandma, grandpa, and uncle went in first!
Eventually we all made our way in to see Erica and Elliot.

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I have a very cute picture of DAD and MOM as Elliot is being passed around, but I swore I wouldn’t put up any pictures of Erica… kinda.

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I’m about to break the rules because I LOVE this picture…

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MOM watches as DAD helps GRANDMA with Ellie’s hat

By 9:30 pm we all had gotten a chance to see Elliot and talk with Nic and Erica. The family started to say their goodbyes and K went to get some pizza for the new parents.

Once Ellie had been fed a second time (successfully! – Go, Erica!) it was finally my turn to cuddle the little peanut. When K got back he took a turn with her, too.

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Is there anything cuter than a grown man cuddling a baby? (The answer is “no.”)

I can’t explain the joy that Elliot has already brought to Nic and Erica’s family. The love between DAD and MOM is so strong and the indescribable joy on Grandma and Grandpa’s faces was almost more than I could handle. This baby is a very, very loved and wanted baby.

Personally, the happiness that flooded my body when I cuddled the little lady was incredible. It’s crazy to know that K and I will get to watch her grow and learn and struggle and succeed. I’m so honored to be an honorary “aunt.”

Congratulations, Nic and Erica! You guys are so lucky and definitely in for a lifetime of happiness!

-Louise