Ok, before I get the birth story, I just have to share the most special moment in this past week. It happened in the car. AJ and I got Hank into his carseat, the nurse brought me out in a wheelchair and the trunk was loaded down with samples from the hospital, folders of paperwork, bags of dirty clothes in plastic "personal belonging" hospital bags, and our duffels and totes from our 4 day stay. We were parked in the roundabout in front of the women's center and AJ and I just held hands (me from the backseat, I wanted to ride by baby, obvi!) and cried and cried and cried. We cried tears of joy, of sorrow, of reflection, of peace, of overwhelming gratitude. Having a baby, we'd done that before. Holding our baby? check. Recovering after a C section? Check. Knowing what to expect staying at the hospital? Double check. But taking our baby home, driving away and beginning our lives together as a family of 3? This was new. And it took our breaths away. FINALLY after a two year experience of pregnancy, loss, waiting, journeying through the thick fog of grief and hope, we are headed, all three of us, HOME, and that was, easily, the best moment of my life. Welcome to our crazy little family, Hank Grayson Steele. We have been waiting for you and we love having you home.
The weekend proceeded as usual, we slept in on Saturday morning, I made a berry coffee cake, and headed out for a hair appointment in the afternoon. I came home and AJ and I decided to go out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse since we might not have another dinner out before baby came (See?! I feel like we must have known!). We ate an early dinner, ran some errands, grocery shopped, and were home around 7. I'll spare you specific details here but I had some signs that labor might be starting so we dropped our groceries at home and headed to Labor and Delivery. There, they examined me and assured us while baby might be arriving soon, I was definitely not in labor that night and to go home and come back if I was experiencing more labor signs. We went home, me feeling slightly silly that I was one of "those" people who obviously had no clue what real labor felt like. We came home and went to bed after watching Saturday Night Live.
Sunday morning we did our usual routine of drinking coffee and having breakfast together. We've gotten into something slightly embarrassing on Sunday mornings but I am dedicated to telling the whole story.....watching "In The Kitchen with David" on QVC. I know, I know, we're so lame. But I adore David's bubbly personality and we usually have it on while we do work for school, meal prep etc. About 20 minutes into Sunday's show, I felt a trickle down my legs that I was sure wasn't urine. I thought uh-oh and before I could tell AJ, it happened again. When my water broke with Hadley, it was a huge gush that soaked the bed. This was definitely not a huge gush but it was something unusual. I felt sort of uncomfortable but that's pretty much life past 34 weeks pregnant (I was 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant at this point). We left everything right where it was and hopped in the car. My hospital bag was packed and we quickly debated bringing it, but decided not to because I wasn't certain this was actually my water breaking because it was so different than before.
|He folds his hands like this all the time! #praying|
We got to the hospital and they gave me a gown, checked my vitals, and I gradually become more uncomfortable. Not sharp pains, just "hurty" if that makes sense. They tested the liquid and it tested negative for amniotic fluid. At this point I'm feeling really dumb, two false labor scares in a row? The nurses told me there were two more tests they could do to determine if my water really did break. The doctor examined me and said I was making no progress, in other words, labor had not begun. But I just did not feel "right." I vomited a few times and within minutes the pains increased and the nurse came in and said it looked like I was having pretty strong contractions. I knew it!
|Representing ASU: Fear the Fork!|
In a situation that felt eerily similar to Hadley's birth, they rushed me to the O.R, and threw AJ his surgical scrubs on the way there. I was crying and begging for "The medicine guy" (my term for the anesthesiologist). One of the nurses (or doctors, I honestly don't know, there were about a dozen people in the room), told me "He's basically right there, just push." I panicked. I was supposed to have a C section. A lot of Hadley's distress occurred during the pushing/birth process. Nevertheless I felt the urge to push so I started. AJ shouted out, "That's not the plan! It's supposed to be a C section!" I did not think I had the strength or energy to keep pushing unmedicated when I wasn't expecting it. At that exact moment, our doctor walked in all scrubbed up and AJ and I breathed a sigh of relief. I have never been so happy to see someone in my life. Once she arrived, everyone got in their places and within seconds my new boyfriend who I lovingly termed "Medicine Guy" came to my rescue, and I got hot, tingly, heavy and all the pain lifted away.
Hank "graduated" from the NICU at around 8:00 that evening and got to stay in our room with us! It was perfect. A few hours later, AJ's parents flew in from Oregon. Hank got a warm welcome into this world.
A bit about his name. We knew we wanted another "H" name and Hank was easily our top pick. We agreed on it and decided on it right after I found out I was pregnant. We tossed around a few middle name ideas but decided it'd be special if both our babies had the initials HGS. Since Hadley's middle name is Grace, we decided Grayson was a nice spin on that. Plus we liked the way Grayson sounded with Hank. And now that we know him, he is such a "Hank," it fits him perfectly.
We got home a few days ago and are excited to celebrate our first Christmas all together. Overall? I'm tired. I'm sore. I'm paranoid about germs and his health. I'm over the moon. I still look sort of pregnant. I'm loving watching my husband be a daddy. I'm always doing a load of laundry or washing bottles or pump parts. I have a to do list I haven't touched. I don't know what I'm doing but it feels like I was born to be Hank's mommy. I'm just so thankful and my heart is so full. Welcome home, Hank.
|At the hospital|