Sunday, October 29, 2006

Welcome Holden Charles

Our son is here!

Holden Charles was born October 25, 2006, at 7:13PM via emergency C-section. He weighed 6lbs 12 oz, and was 20.5 inches long. He is a mini-me of my mini-me (looks just like Jackson who looks just like his Daddy). He is perfect and wonderful and we are all madly in love!

On Wednesday the 25th I woke up and told Shawn I was going to have the baby that day. I knew something was going on. I had intense back-pain and stomach cramps, and just felt "off." I had a Dr's appointment already scheduled that morning. She said I was likely in early labor and would have him in the next day or so. The bad news was that he was sunnyside up, so thus, the intense back pain I was feeling. Back labor was in my future. The contractions grew steadily the rest of the day. They were coinciding with my (intense!) back pain, so I knew I was in labor. They climbed steadily from 7 minutes apart to 5 minutes apart, lasting about 45-60 seconds long. Shawn came home around 2PM so I could try and rest. Yeah, right! The contractions were in a definite pattern, but I wasn't sure it was true labor yet. Fortunately Alison, my mother in law, decided to leave work right around 3 so she could beat out the crazy snow storm headed our way. She arrived at 5:00PM, just as I was talking to my Dr. Dr Miller said I should head into the hospital - we were likely ready to go!

It was around 5:45 when we arrived at the hospital. We got into a room and settled around 6:15. The nurse checked me and I was 4 cm (!) dilated and definitely in labor. Woo-hoo! Around 6:45 my Dr broke my water and things were progressing swimmingly. I asked for the epidural, but before it could arrive chaos started in the room. I'm still not 100% certain of the details... The baby's heartrate began to drop dramatically, dipping into the 40's. They were moving me around, trying to get a fetal monitor onto the baby's head, calling for emergency help in our room, etc. It was a complete whirlwind and very scary. Shawn and I were both crying -the Dr handled it beautifully but we knew something wasn't right. They would not say the baby was ok when we asked. They just said "we're working on him, stay calm." In an instant my Dr (who was thankfully on call that night) said we were doing an emergency C-section. They took me back in a matter of seconds, leaving Shawn bewildered in the delivery room. I imagine that was very scary for him to be left alone like that. I have very few memories of those last few moments before being put under. I just recall continually asking if the baby was ok and where my husband was. I didn't get a good answer for either I don't think.

I was knocked out completely at 7:04 PM and Shawn was not allowed in the room. This was very sad for us, and very scary and confusing. At 7:11 they cut me open, and at 7:13 my son was born. I'm AMAZED by how quickly they worked. He came out completely healthy and strong, with apgars of 8/9!! I woke up about 45 minutes later, very upset, but as they began to explain to me what happened I calmed down. Our son was alive. He was taken immediately to Shawn (thank God) and Shawn was able to video his first bath and take pictures of him being weighed and checked out. They had a good bonding session before I woke up. I love that they had that time together. I vaguely remember Shawn bringing Holden to me...but what I do remember is that he was beautiful, and perfect, and within minutes he was latched on and nursing like a champion. I cried at that moment - it was truly a wonderful feeling for me as we did not have as much luck in the early days nursing Jackson.

Apparently when my water broke Holden's cord got pinched by his weight, and it was wrapped around his neck a few times -- essentially, if my water had broken at home, our son might not have made it. He was also sunnyside up, facing sort of off to the side, so it would have made for a very difficult delivery. I'm so thankful my Dr made the call as quickly as she did. She felt badly that I didn't "get" a traditional birth, but I am 100% at peace with what happened because I have this beautiful child to show for it. He is so perfect. He eats beautifully, he sleeps well, he is adorable and wee and overall, he is just perfection. Jackson loves his little brother and wants to hug and kiss and touch him. He was so excited when we got home yesterday. He just kept saying "Baby Holden! Baby Holden!" They are going to be great pals. As I am mostly recovering from my surgery in bed with Holden by my side, Jackson wanders into the room and checks on us, pats Holden's head and says "He has hair! Cootchie-cootchie-coo!" I have no idea where he got this but it is adorable.

The staff at the hospital where I delivered - Sky Ridge Medical Center- were exceptional. They were very attentive, fawned all over Holden and Jackson (and me). We had an OB and pediatrician come by daily to check on us, and the lactation consultants were also wonderful. So even though I'm recovering from a C-section, I have to say so much of this experience was better than what I had with Jackson because of the attention we received and how well cared for we were. I loved my birth experience with Jackson, and am thrilled to have given birth vaginally to him...but I also have not minded the C like I thought I would. I have new respect for any woman who has endured one. They are very rough.

I'm sure I have so much more to say but I really wanted to commit these details to "pen and paper" before I forgot them. My husband and older son are at the grocery store and Holden is asleep at my feet curled up in a boppy. I'm in some minor pain so I should probably rest. We adore our new son and feel even more blessed to have him with us here on earth. God has blessed us doubly with our two gorgeous sons. Our family is now complete.

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