I am typing this as my baby boy takes his afternoon nap. I probably won’t finish because he will soon wake for another feeding. That boy eats like a champ! I’ll try to keep this post shorter than Moby Dick but no promises… This has been the longest (yet quickest) month of our lives.
RB’s Birth Story
(Forgive me if some of the details are a little foggy. I haven’t slept much in the past month and everything happened fairly quickly.)
On Tuesday, February 3rd, we were scheduled to check into the hospital at 3:30pm to get a Foley Catheter placed (to further dilation) and the plan was to labor slowly overnight then receive Potocin on Wednesday morning if needed. We were fully expecting to have a baby by Wednesday afternoon, Turns out, God and our boy had different plans.
When we got to the hospital, my doctor checked me and I was 3cm dilated so there was no need for the Foley Catheter. I was extremely relieved that I had begun to dilate further by myself. Dr. Sullivan-Ford said she was pleased with this progress and I had even started having contractions (according to the monitor – at this point they were still too small for me to even feel them). Around 4:30pm our preacher, Hugh, came up to the hospital to visit for a minute and pray with us as we began this new adventure. When the three us prayed, I sat up in bed to hold hands. A minute later the nurse came in because of a blip on the baby’s heart rate monitor. We attributed this to me sitting up and possibly moving/jarring the belt. Our preacher left soon after and the last thing he said was “I think I’ll call your dad and tell him he missed the birth. The baby is here!” We laughed having no idea how true that joke would soon turn out to be.
I texted my mom and my girlfriends to let them know I had begun labor on my own but that it would still be a long night and at that point we were not expecting a baby until the next day. My mother texted back that she was on her way to the hospital. I wanted her with Rhett and I the next morning while I labored and eventually delivered but she got a little excited when I said I had started already with no medical interventions. I didn’t even get to read the text back from her before my nurse came in again asking if I had moved and jarred the monitor again, I hadn’t. She watched it for less than a minute and before you know it, I was laying flat, oxygen mask on as 3 or 4 other nurses rushed my room. It was a well-oiled machine. Each person had a job to do and they did it without bumping into each other or creating any chaos. All I heard was that RB’s heart rate had dropped from somewhere in the 140s to somewhere in the 70s. A minute later my doctor was leaning over me saying “We need to take him now.” I immediately lost all sanity. I started crying, very close to hyperventilating. I was worried about him, I was worried about me, and I didn’t quite understand that “now” meant RIGHT NOW. Dr. Sullivan-Ford grabbed my hand and pulled Rhett over and prayed with us. Very quietly and very quickly she asked God to be with her and the team as they deliver our boy and to be with Rhett and I as she knew how scared we were. Three minutes after my nurse initially came in to check the heart rate monitor, I was being wheeled down the hall to the operating room. Rhett stayed behind to change into scrubs. They got me in the OR where I was given a spinal. Jennifer, our main nurse, held me while the anesthesiologist did his thing. I cried into her chest while she tried her best to comfort me. She was amazing. Everyone involved was. The words of encouragement were not lost on me although I was terrified and could not regain my composure the whole time. The spinal kicked in as they laid me down and Rhett was finally there beside me. I’m not sure what was going through his mind at the time but he was trying his best to make me feel ok. He was his normal chatty self as he reassured me that everything was fine. I cried as I said to Rhett, “Momma is gonna be so pissed she missed it.” It felt like forever but about a minute after I laid down, RB was out and crying. They brought him over the curtain and I kept asking “Is he ok? Is he ok?” The nurses all told me he was fine. He was blue and wrinkled and screaming his head off but he was fine.
Rhett stayed with him while they took measurements and then he went with RB to the recovery room. I was still in the OR when Mom arrived at the hospital. She went to the nurses station and asked what room Laura Stubblefield was in. They answered “Daddy and baby are in there and Mommy is still being closed up.” My Mom, confused by this, said “No, Laura Jones Stubblefield…” She was walked to our room where she saw Rhett holding the baby. I was told she dropped her purse and coat in the doorway and this is when the nurses realized she didn’t know I had just had an emergency C-Section. A bit of a shock for someone expecting to see a still pregnant girl hooked up to monitors and laying in bed.
Soon after, I was wheeled back into the recovery room where Mom and Rhett were. Someone handed me RB. I really couldn’t wrap my head around what happened. From the time Jennifer came into our room to the time RB was out was less than 10 minutes. RB was born at 5:29pm at a very healthy 8 pounds, 1 ounce and 21 inches long. His heart rate had stabilized and all was good.
(We are beyond lucky that our doctor was still there. She told us later that any other normal day she would have been sitting in traffic on her way home but for whatever reason, she was running behind that day and was still at the hospital. The anesthesiologist was also still there so thankfully we didn’t have to wait for him either. All the stars aligned and all our prayers were answered. It may have happened quicker than I would have liked but in the end, I am very thankful that my baby was delivered by the best team of people out there and that he was totally healthy.)
Once the shock wore off, my Mom finally realized no one else even knew RB had arrived so Rhett texted a picture of RB to my dad without adding a comment. After the previous joke from our preacher, Dad was obviously a little skeptical. He called mom who confirmed that it was not another joke. Dad headed up to hospital then. Rhett sent the same picture to his mom. (He liked the fact that he didn’t add words. Just a picture. Ha!)
A few hours after the section I sent out a picture in a group text to our friends that simply said “So um… we had a kid. C-Section two hours after we arrived, 8 pounds 1 oz, 21 inches long.” Of course my girlfriends freaked and started a massive game of phone tag while the texts blew up. Finally one got a hold of Rhett and shared with the rest what had happened.
That first night with Rhett, RB, and me in the hospital was a bit surreal. We just kept looking at him saying “I can’t believe he’s here. I can’t believe it happened that quick.”
The next few days in the hospital were a blur. We had lots of visitors and were so thankful to be surrounded by so many loved ones who were more than excited to celebrate our newest family member. With a section, of course, came some rough moments. Getting out of bed the first time was awful. The first walk around our floor, slow and painful. Every time I laughed, I winced. After the second night of pain and very little sleep I had a breakdown. Rhett held RB while my own mom held me. I’m pretty sure I was crying more than RB.
(As a side note, postpartum hormones are no joke. And I thought I was crazy during pregnancy… For me, the “baby blues” lasted about two weeks after delivery and can literally make you feel insane. Not to mention you get very little sleep during this time. Rhett went back to work the next Monday and I cried every morning when he left. Several times I was crying when he got home. My mom came over that first Sunday we were home because I sent her a text that read “He won’t stop crying.” I opened the door to her with tears streaming down my face while Rhett tried to calm the screaming baby down. I cried every time I fed for those first two weeks. Every single time. Breastfeeding is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. All this went on while I was trying to recover from the section. Ugh. Not fun guys. Not fun at all.)
Back to a happier topic…. WE HAVE A BABY!! RB has been with us for a month now and everyday he changes a little bit more. He has started staying awake for longer periods during which he makes some awesomely funny faces. He looks all around and has started to really make eye contact with the person holding him. He also makes some great little noises. He grunts and groans, chirps and fake coughs when he’s looking for an extra bit of attention. 🙂 He loves listening to music with his Uncle David and sleeping on his Daddy Scott’s chest. He looks at his Nonna while she tells him silly things and he goes to sleep in Daddy’s arms while he sings Elvis songs to him. I get to spend extra quiet time with him at 2am while he eats and stares wide-eyed at my face. JG (the cat) has grown accustomed to the little alien that has invaded her house. She looks over him while lays in his Boppy lounger and stands concerned outside of his door when he cries while being changed. Our boy hates to be naked, He doesn’t like being changed and bathtime is not his favorite. Tummy Time is only enjoyed while on Daddy’s chest. He’s doing great holding his head up for a few seconds at a time but tires of that quickly. Breastfeeding is going great now. We are more in sync and the majority of the associated pain has subsided. Those moments (although sometimes super often) have become a sweet time shared between the two of us. Sometimes when he’s sleeping in my arms I look at him with complete awe. God gave us the most beautiful and precious gift. He’s perfect.