Monday, February 29, 2016

Kipling Daniel

Note: I started this entry around 2 weeks postpartum, wrote a little more at 4 weeks postpartum, and now, staring down the barrel of his 2-month birthday, I'm going to see this thing through. WARNING: There is a picture of the placenta and amniotic sac. It's entirely too amazing not to share. 


Not having written anything of the pregnancy or the finding-out on this blog, it does seem a little strange to open the book mid-story, so to speak, and start there. However, time is precious these days, so jump in mid-story I shall. The chapters we will be skipping today will include The Day We Found Out He Was a Boy, How We Chose His Name, and My Pregnancies Were Actually Pretty Similar Except That I Wasn't Completely Swollen and Ginormous This Time. 

And so we begin. 

After the experience of having Piper 4 days before her due date and my water spontaneously breaking at home in the middle of the night the day before, I certainly had some expectations in the days and weeks before Kipling was born. People had been saying things to me like "you make small babies" and "your babies come early", based solely on my experience with Piper, and despite common sense which says ah, but every pregnancy and delivery is different, I began to believe what they were saying. I had been experiencing excruciating, sometimes crippling hip and pelvic pain since the end of the first trimester, and the farther along I was, the more convinced I was that my body would simply decide that it had had enough and our son would come early - maybe even on Christmas Day. I had been given 12/27 as my due date, and as my belly had measured exactly on track at every appointment, I had no reason to think that the date was in any way incorrect or that I might go a little later with this baby than I did with my first. (ha, ha.

Going into December, I staunchly maintained that as long as I was able to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters on opening weekend with Peter, I didn't mind when our son decided to make his journey earthside. Given that Piper was early and that we now had her to consider as we made ourselves and our home ready, far more planning and packing was done ahead of time than was done as we approached her due date. Beginning somewhere around week 37, I began living out of my 'go bag' and started doing the same little load of laundry every day, just to make sure that we wouldn't be leaving any loose ends when the time came and that we would have access to all of our clothes if needed. I had all of Piper's little gifts wrapped in advance, packed up in a large bag so that she could still have Christmas even if it wasn't at home, whether that was at our friends' house or in the hospital room with us. As time wore on, however, the novelty and excitement of seeing the bags by the door each night quickly faded and the days began to feel somewhat like the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray finds himself re-living the same day and set of circumstances over, and over, and over. And over. We made it to Star Wars, twice actually in my case, and...nothing. There was a massive snow and ice storm, and...nothing. Every night I did the tiny laundry load, re-packed our bags, and went to bed feeling like an eager child on Christmas Eve. How will I ever sleep? I bet tonight is the night! Each of the 3-4 times I would wake up to use the bathroom, my brain would spring to life and I would take stock from head to toe - am I having any cramping? Contractions? Did my water break? - only to quickly realize that I was still Very Pregnant and Very Uncomfortable. 

Lather, rinse, repeat.

The week of Christmas came and I began to feel really excited, absolutely convinced that we would have a holiday baby. (While some view that as the Worst Thing Ever, I actually didn't mind it and had several ideas in place for how to keep Christmas and our son's birthday separate, so as to make both events feel fully special in their own right.) The doctor I saw that week for my regular appointment - not my OB but another one of the practice's doctors - offered to help "stir things up" for me (a polite euphemism for performing a membrane sweep and cervical stretch), since I was mere days away from my due date. I had no concept of what that entailed other than the quick and gentle boop! there, you're all set that the phrase "membrane sweep" brings to mind, so I said sure, why not. After all, my body had already been gearing up for the big day and at that point I was 3cm dilated on my own, with baby's head at -2 station. As you might recall, I never really dilated without the help of the epidural with Piper's delivery, so in my mind, I felt like it was a checked box under the column of This Baby Is Certainly Going to Be Early. 

I began to regret my decision to have the stretch and sweep performed as soon as it began - "it" being a 4-5 minute ordeal of this unfamiliar doctor doing what felt like enthusiastic jazz hands up in my birthing business. "Most women use labor breathing to get through this," he airily said as he focused his gaze on the ceiling. Between pinched breaths and white-knuckle discomfort, I managed to eke out "Um, so if this works, when can I expect labor to start?" He informed me that I would be seeing some promising signs within the next day or two if what he was doing was effective. When the appointment concluded, I hobbled out to the car, now feeling quite uncomfortable and very crampy, and drove straight home, convinced that labor was near. Despite cramping the rest of the day and experiencing some symptoms that typically herald an impending delivery, I didn't have a single contraction and by nightfall was feeling completely normal again. Ugh. In the end, at 41 weeks and a day, I found myself hooked up to some fetal monitors at the hospital for a non-stress test (NST) to make sure that our son was moving as he should be - just a routine test that is performed after a pregnancy has reached post-term status. 

It should be noted that I had been feeling my son's physical presence as early as 13 weeks along - little twinges at first and then, for more than half of the pregnancy, BIG and sometimes uncomfortable movements on a near-constant basis - so there were no real concerns about movements or lack thereof. He was always so responsive to the usual measures to encourage movement after the odd period of prolonged rest on his part, so the NST was less of an "is he still moving okay in there?" as much as it was "yep, he's still perfectly happy inside". However, at that point in the pregnancy, my mind had been running rampant with fears like his cord is too short and that's why he hasn't come out yet, or the cord is probably wrapped around his neck and it's too dangerous for him to come out on his own and that's why he hasn't come out yet, and the worst, I've made it this far...something terrible will probably happen and I will lose him before delivery or shortly after. Just really dark and difficult stuff. Those fears, coupled with the excruciating and invasive pain I was living with daily at that point, prompted me to push my doctor for an induction. She's usually more hands-off (an aspect of her care that I so appreciate) and was planning to hold off on induction until I had reached 42 weeks of pregnancy... but let's be honest. I had fought the good fight, as it were, and was just plain DONE. 

I was scheduled to arrive at the hospital's Labor and Delivery floor at 6:30am the following morning, with my beloved OB meeting me there to break my water. Knowing she would be there, having missed her with Piper's delivery and holding my breath over the holiday season knowing that she could very well be out of town when I went into labor - brought so much peace. She was the one who cried with me in the hospital prior to doing the D&C that my body needed to heal from our miscarriage in 2012, she was the one who spent her time with me and gave me a hug after every routine prenatal appointment through both pregnancies, and she was the one I would see in the morning on the day that I would be meeting our son. What a tremendous gift.    

And so we came to find ourselves, for the third time in our lives, driving in the dark early morning to the hospital, feeling 100% physically normal, yet on our way to have a baby. It is such a surreal feeling to calmly pack the car, buckle up and head down the road, knowing we were headed to meet our child but not having any idea as to what the experience would entail. (Of course, for the D&C, we were unable to 'meet' or see our baby, but in retrospect it felt surprisingly similar to our other experiences). This third early-morning trip to Oaklawn Hospital carried with it the weight of leaving Piper behind for her first-ever full day and overnight away from us. We both felt the separation from her immediately, a feeling that intensified for us both throughout the day until Peter very nearly left to take her home for a night in her own bed in our own home, less for her sense of stability but more for his sense of missing his girl. (Aww!) 

So anyway - after some routine in-processing and an unfortunate experience with the just-in-case heparin-locked hand IV (once again a vein was blown in the attempt to place it - and I have ridiculously visible veins! How hard can it be, nurses?!), I was clad in the hideous tent that is a hospital gown and waiting to have my labor started for me. Once again, Peter pulled up the clip from The Office where Dwight and Michael use a watermelon to simulate the birth of a baby, and we laughed as Dwight said awkward things like "my cervix is ripening!" and "when the baby emerges, mark it secretly in a kind of a mark that only you could recognize and no baby snatcher could ever copy". (Seriously, that scene - that series - is solid gold!) 

How hard can it be? Look how she locked it down once it was in, though. That thing isn't going anywhere. Also, my nose was bigger at the end of this pregnancy, just as it was with Piper. What a strange phenomenon, and thank God it shrunk back down.

When my doctor finally entered the room around 8:30, she brought with her an excitement and joy that matched ours. I cannot being to describe the overwhelming sense of gratitude and friendship I felt at the sight of her familiar face! She explained that the procedure would be quick and uncomfortable at most, that I would be left to labor on my own for a bit, assuming labor began on its own without the assistance of pitocin. After declaring me to be dilated at that point 5cm - that's halfway to holy cow, here comes the baby for those of you not in the known - she used something that looked like a plastic crochet hook and with very little discomfort at all, a small pop! was felt and a warm little river of amniotic fluid followed. Dr. Rulewicz immediately informed us that there was some meconium in the water, but not much, and that because of this, coupled with me being post-term, they would be suctioning him out as soon as his head was delivered. Meconium aspiration is no small thing, and while meconium-stained fluid is fairly normal, it can easily become an emergency situation if the baby poops again during the delivery. For those of you who are as clueless about meconium as Peter and I were before having Piper, it has the color and consistency of tar, and there is LOTS of it in the first handful of hours and days after a baby is born. Gross, right? At any rate, a nurse in the room casually set out the needed equipment so it would be ready, and the sight of it in the corner of the room gave some gravity to what was otherwise shaping up to be a light-hearted, laughter-filled day. Dr. Rulewicz let us know that she was headed into the Battle Creek office to see patients, but that as soon as I was determined to be close to pushing time, she would head back to Marshall and would hopefully be there to coach and catch when the time came.  

I didn't have an immediate onset of pain or pressure once my water had been broken, and so Peter and I took to the halls - the same halls we futilely lapped as we waited on Piper - to see if we could kickstart labor. The first long stretch of walking didn't seem to do anything, so we made our way back to the room for a snack, a few bathroom breaks, and some bouncing on the labor ball. As Peter scanned Reddit and I rotated my hips around, and around, and around on the birthing ball, I began to feel pretty uncomfortable. No major pain, no intense contractions, but a lot of loooooow pressure on my cervix and in my lower back. "Oooh," I exclaimed, "this is super uncomfortable! Let's go for another walk!" I tossed on my jersey-knit bathrobe (side note, SO glad I brought one this time, and a new one at that!), slipped into my squeaky Mary Jane style mom-Crocs, and we determinedly marched out into the hallway. Maybe 5 minutes into our walk, I grabbed the handrail along the wall - hmm, I wonder why that's there - and had to take a few deep breaths to offset the pain that had suddenly descended across my lower abdomen. 2-3 minutes later, I had to stop again. Each time I tried to focus intently on what I was feeling and what my breathing was doing, and as soon as I sensed the wave of discomfort lessening, we would resume walking. After 5 or so such episodes inside of a 15 minute window, we made our way back to the room to update the nurse, who verified after a brief period of monitoring that YES! I was feeling normal contractions, and some pretty decent ones, too. YES!! Not having ever, ever felt a normal contraction with Piper, I was elated to be in so much discomfort. Now I know for next time, I remember thinking. (A fear of mine headed into Baby #2 was that I wouldn't know or recognize what a contraction felt like, not having had any before, and I am pleased to report that what everyone says is true - when it's the real thing, you know.) 

At this point I was asked by my nurse, Lori, whether or not I wanted an epidural. As we had been reviewing our few hard-and-fasts regarding labor/delivery earlier in the day, prior to my water being broken, I had let her know that this time I wasn't heading into labor dead-set against getting one. I told her how I had needed one with Piper, how it's what enabled me to dilate past 1cm so that I could go on to have the vaginal delivery I had wanted, and that this time I was far more open-minded and less out to prove anything to anyone, myself included. I didn't have a birth plan written up, since my desires were few and easy to name, and having had such a positive experience in this hospital two short years before, I didn't have a single worry as to being disrespected or ignored in my preferences. And so I had laid it out: We want uninterrupted skin to skin for as long as possible after delivery, provided he's breathing well on his own and there aren't any complications. I'm not sure about the epidural, but I'm open to it, so ask me when you think it's time. We don't want him to have the erithromycin eye ointment, but the vitamin K shot is fine. Hep B vaccine will be delayed until his first round of shots at 2 months. He will not be circumcised. I don't want to push on my back this time - if I get the epidural, I would like to push on my side and Peter is ready to help with that. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing difficult or too detailed - just the nuts and bolts that mattered to us. 

Lori checked me for progress and, eyeing the monitor, said "you're between 7 and 8 centimeters dilated. Now is a great time to get that epidural if you wanted one". I am notoriously indecisive, but the same peace I felt as soon as I requested an induction was replicated as I squeezed Peter's hand and told her to hook up my IV to the necessary bag of fluids prior to getting an epidural. As she connected it, Lori let me know that I should use the bathroom once the bag was more than 3/4 empty to help me avoid needing a catheter - um, yes please to that! - and she left with a promise to send the order up for the epidural. As I laid in the bed, eyeing the bag, doubt crept in. Where did the contractions go? The pain wasn't that bad, I scolded myself. Epidurals can delay or stall labor...this is too soon! What if you made a mistake? After 20 or so minutes of watching the bag slowly empty (and feeling a disappointingly small number of not-that-bad contractions, I decided it was time to use the toilet. Peter helped me disconnect from the monitors and had the IV pole ready to follow me into the bathroom, just a few short steps away. 

The second - the second! my feet hit the floor, whoooooa mama. My body was absolutely besieged by the most intense pain and pressure I have ever, ever felt. I shakily sat down on the toilet and could hardly focus enough to use it, let alone think straight. I managed to tell Peter that the pain was scaring me, but any other verbal communication past that seemed entirely out of reach. "Help?" I gasped out, followed by "No, stop!" as Peter nervously stepped back. A wave of nausea crept up my throat, a hallmark of my labor with Piper. After another puke-free pregnancy, I was desperate to avoid the vomit-fest that was my labor with Piper, and I sent up a fragmented prayer that the epidural would arrive soon. In that moment I had zero regrets for asking for it when I did, and zero desire to see labor through without one - my sole focus was getting back up on the bed and moaning through the contractions. At that point, I was having more painful moments than pain-free ones and felt incapable of timing anything or noticing patterns; it was just crashing wave after crashing wave of intense, intense cramping and pain. Lori returned just in time to help Peter assist me from the bathroom to the bed, smiling and calm as I bellowed out the low kinds of noises one expects to hear in a cow pasture. She beamed as she said "I know those sounds! You're doing great, and the anesthesiologist should be here soon...". No sooner had she finished that sentence and in walked a short, older man with a salt-and-pepper goatee. His breath smelled strongly like mothballs to me and it made for an especially difficult time of sitting still as he hovered around me, getting my lower back prepped for the needle. 

The position I had to sit in - very still, hunched somewhat forward - was excruciating due to the pelvic misalignment that plagued me all pregnancy, and told him as much. "I understand," said this grandfatherly man, as he patted my leg. Despite my condition, I remember wrinkling my nose and asking "Do you? Really?" in an incredulous tone. He laughed a nervous little laugh and backpedaled to add something about sympathizing and "so I've heard...". Peter and Lori both donned white surgical masks - something that wasn't done with my prior epidural, thereby surprising me to hazily register that Peter's face was mostly obscured from me as I sat there - and within the next minute, the epidural was successfully placed. Through intense pelvic pain I rotated my hips as best as I could, to distribute the epidural evenly, and within the next 2-3 minutes I was completely pain free. As the numbing sensation crept up my torso, I felt a momentary crushing weight of sadness. I will never, ever feel him move inside of me again. He had been my constant, active companion these many months - for the better part of an entire year - and it felt like I was saying goodbye in a way. The sadness I felt surprised me, but was soon replaced by a giddy sense of excitement. Peter and I began placing bets as to when we thought we would be meeting our son, and I decided to try and sleep in the meantime (something I wish I had done after getting the epidural with Piper). 

The room was silent except for the steady sound of the heartbeat on the fetal monitor. The shades were drawn, Peter was lying on the couch in the room, and I texted a few friends to let them know where I was in the process. In telling my friend Erin Smith that I had decided to get the epidural, I sent her a picture of old-school Han Solo with his classic line "don't be a hero". (Reading over the texts I sent during labor, by the way, is a fantastic way to bring me back to the nuances of that experience!) About twenty or so minutes of texting, watching as the computer registered the contractions I couldn't feel, and intermittently closing my eyes, I became aware that there was an odd cadence to the heartbeat - specifically, that it was momentarily irregular and then gone altogether for the space of about 10 seconds. Any thought of resting fled my mind and I pushed myself up into a sitting position, asking Peter what was going on. Lori appeared less than a minute later, having been alerted over the computer out in the nurse's station, and, brows drawn, began looking at the data on the screen and making sure the monitors were in the correct place. By then, the heart rate was once again steady and consistent, registering the same beats per minute that it had all along. I asked her if he was okay, and she said that he may have been struggling because it's possible that I was in transition (close to pushing) at that point, but that she wouldn't know for sure until she checked me. The moment she moved the sheet and the hospital gown aside, her eyes grew wide and she said, "Yep, that was it, you're very close to pushing time - I need to go call Dr. Rulewicz immediately!" The next 15 minutes were a blur of Lori and another nurse, Stephanie, bustling in and out, getting the room prepared for delivery. My phone sat on the side table, forgotten, and Peter and I were swept up into the intense sense of excitement and anticipation. 

Dr. Rulewicz arrived with the biggest smile on her face. "I hear you're ready to push," she said, and I felt like my face was going to split in half from the enormous smile that refused to leave my face. Easing myself up on my elbows, I told her I wanted to push on my side this time, not on my back as I had with Piper. Pushing her out had taken 3 long hours and I broke several blood vessels in and around my eyes, and I was desperate to avoid replicating that experience. Dr. Rulewicz lifted the sheet, pushed the gown to the side, and laughed. "Well, normally I would say that's fine, but...I can see his head, and I'm not even touching you! Let's get this baby out!" Peter, the nurses, and I all laughed at how quickly things were happening. At this point we were just under 5 hours past when my water had been broken, and to have the top of his head visible? God bless epidurals. At the most, all I felt was pressure - at times intense pressure - but nothing worse. The nurses stood by my feet on either side as my heels were placed in the stirrups - "she did this pedicure herself just yesterday, can you believe it?" Lori said to the others - and my beloved Dr. Rulewicz set up shop in the middle, ready to catch. 

Fifteen minutes of pushing is all it took. Fifteen minutes - fifteen minutes punctuated by excited, distracted small talk as we waited for the next wave of contractions. We commented on the extremely-tacky cloud poster on the ceiling immediately above the bed, we joked with each other, and Peter and I exchanged many, many eager grins. This was happening. And then, just like that, it happened. His head was born. I was asked to hold off on any more pushing as the nurses expertly intubated our son and began to suction. I heard one of them murmur something about it looking clear, and I held my breath. Please, please let him breathe easily. Please let him be okay. Watching them work was amazing and reminiscent of the pit crew during a high-stakes racing event. I was locked onto Peter at that point, watching his face as it told me the story of our son's birth. The look in his eyes, the joy that overtook his features as more and more of our son's body exited mine - I don't ever want to forget. His eyes widened as more and more of him emerged - burly shoulders, a barrel chest - and Dr. Rulewicz and both nurses began to say things like "Whoa, Erin. Umm, wow. This is one BIG baby! Uh...whoa. Wow. Wooooow." I laughed, tears starting to gather at the corners of my eyes. A BIG baby? Me?! Me, who grew a petite little girl who arrived and lingered in the 3rd percentile for several months? Me, a small baby myself, once upon a time, and a fairly petite person? Me. Me! I nervously asked if I was going to tear, once again fearing that I was going to suffer some extreme damage. Dr. Rulewicz brightly said that it looked as though I was going to re-tear in the exact same place I tore with Piper, right along the scar, and that it likely wouldn't be any worse than that. (And she was right, on all counts! Hallelujah!) 

With one last great effort, I delivered my son at 1:26pm. I read the absolute JOY on my doctor's face as she scooped my howling little man-cub up and placed him on my belly, laughing and rejoicing with me in my own delirious joy. I looked down and the first thing I saw was a huge and dimpled hand. "He's so big!" I laugh-cried over and over. I placed kisses upon kisses on that blood-streaked little head as Peter and I exclaimed over his size. I noticed right away that he didn't have much vernix left on him, a telltale sign that he was indeed very late in getting here. I noticed a little birthmark on his ankle, the dimpled skin all over his warm, beautiful little body, the peeling skin on his feet especially. Stephanie murmured something about him not 'pinking up' as fast as she wanted to see, furiously rubbing his body with receiving blankets. Thankfully, he quickly began to turn a ruddy color, his lungs lusty as he cried out his displeasure and confusion. "Kipling! Sweet Kipling," was the song in my heart. Loving little words poured out of my mouth as I clutched him to my chest, goop and all. 

Dr. Rulewicz showed me the placenta once it was delivered, at my request, and I'm so glad I asked to see it this time! She's a self-proclaimed nerd when it comes to this aspect of pregnancy and delivery, and the impersonal doctor who had delivered Piper didn't say a thing about it except that it was out and she could begin stitching me up. Any uneasiness I usually feel regarding blood or the sight of internal organs evaporated as she held up the remnants of Kipling's former home. She showed me how thick and meaty his cord was (so much thicker than Piper's), commenting that if I wanted to wait for it to stop pulsing before cutting it, we'd be there for quite a while. Using gloved hands, she held up the sac that had been his home for 9 months, pointing out where the placenta was attached to the wall of my uterus. As her fingers held it open, I couldn't help but feel incredible awe at the entire process. I've gone through it twice now, from start to finish, and I'm still not entirely sure just how it all works. Pregnancy and childbirth is a true miracle, and I feel deeply blessed to have experienced it twice now. 

This was Kipling's HOME! 

The next two hours were a blur. I recall the nurses' good-natured impatience as they peeked in from time to time, asking "can we weigh him yet?" I remember the moment he latched on for that first time, the familiar tugging sensation of nursing, bolstered by the experience of nursing Piper successfully from start to finish, 20 months in all. He pooped, and pooped, and pooped on me - we blew through so many receiving blankets! I'm so grateful that he was doing that on the outside. I examined the details of his little face with quiet reverence. At one point Peter was standing to the side of the bed, over my shoulder, and Kipp unlatched and wrenched his head around, eyes searching for his daddy. Incredible! 

After two hours of nursing, skin to skin, and just basking in the moment, I reluctantly handed him over to be weighed and measured - any of the perfunctory checks that couldn't have been done when he was on my belly or in my arms. I thanked Lori as she took him from me, letting her know how much it meant to me to have that uninterrupted time. I know that I could have had that with Piper, too, but after a marathon affair on more than 24 hours without sleep, I was confused and unsure and passed her off a mere 10 minutes after delivery. This time, instead of feeling as though I was watching myself give birth and hold my newborn, I felt actively engaged. I felt in control. I felt confident! Lori told me that when she first started working at Oaklawn (a smaller hospital than her previous place of employment) it was an initial struggle for her to step back. She was used to showing the new parents the baby, getting the information she needed, and then handing the parents a clean and swaddled newborn 10-20 minutes later. "Nurses have a job to do, so waiting can be hard," she said, "but that will never be able to replicate it or get it back. I'm glad you had that with your son." (Cue the first of many tears over the deep sense of appreciation and love I felt for my nurses, for my doctor, for the entire experience!). We all held our breath as she placed him on the scale, and laughter erupted as the numbers appeared - 9 pounds, 11 ounces. He measured 21.5" long, the only thing about him that I had correctly guessed based on what I felt from the outside, and his head and chest were both measured to be 14" in diameter. Yeah...I did that.   


Now that we've gone through labor and delivery again, Peter and I have both acknowledged that Piper's labor and delivery were traumatic for us both, for different reasons. No, there weren't any complications with Piper's birth, but there were so many factors that made it an incredibly difficult experience for us both, and one that haunted us in ways we didn't realize until we experienced labor and delivery again, but in such a different way. To have had such a shorter experience this time from start to finish - to have avoided pitocin, nursed successfully right away with no concern, to have known what we could expect from the hospital and ourselves under the circumstances, to have been back in our own home 24 hours later - apples to oranges. Indeed, these first two months with Kipling have been vastly different from our first two months with Piper, but that is a topic for another day. 

As I prepare to hit publish and launch Kipling's story out into the world, my heart is just brimming with thankfulness for the little family that I now have. Forget years and years from now, when they've grown into their personalities and become the people they'll be for the rest of their lives; right now, this very day, this very minute, Piper Kate and Kipling Daniel are critically necessary members of our family. They have roles that they fill even now (and I'm not just talking about filling diapers!), and we are madly in love with them both, just as they seem to be madly in love with each other. 

Looking back over his birth, re-living it again and again in my mind as I have every day since the day he was born, I can honestly say that I love it all. I don't regret a thing, I am so, SO fiercely proud of myself, and I will never be able to separate in my mind the joy and laughter that was experienced in the 5 hours between my water breaking and my son being delivered into my arms. He's my "joy boy", my Kipling Dumpling, my Bobbert (so named for the bobbing motion he does at my breast when it's time to nurse) beautiful boy.  

his first-ever picture


  1. So sweet and love his name! Would be glad to hear the story behind that! My littlest is named nathaniel Hudson...after nathaniel bowditch.. He wrote the American practical husband is a sailor and Nat was born while my husband was out to sea... And his middle name is for Hudson Taylor. :) happy for you!!!

  2. So glad you had this experience! I loved reading every word of it!

  3. Oh, that picture of you and him right after the birth. It made me teary. That is such a special time. There was also meconium in my water when it finally broke (while I was pushing!), and the midwife had told me if he didn't come out screaming they'd have to take him immediately to help clear his lungs. My midwife knew how important skin to skin time was for me, and though I didn't find this out until later, when Patrick was quiet upon delivery she gave him a little pinch and he bellowed, sending him straight into my arms for the next few hours. I'm so grateful for that pinch and the time we were able to have because of it! It is so precious, even if you are covered in poop, as I was too! :)