James’ brother and sister-in-law headed to the hospital yesterday to induce labor. Poor Sara was almost 2 weeks overdue, and it seems Mr. Baby K (for their last name) was getting a little too comfortable in his crowded little motel room. Although it seems like it was a little slow going at first (apparently they spent last evening playing cards and eating hospital food), there has been no word from them yet today, so we’re wondering if things are starting to move along.
In the life of Emmett, there’s not too much exciting going on this week over here. He seems to have a runny nose, so his nickname of “SlobberPuss” has slowly been evolving into “SnotterPuss.” His Halloween costume came in the mail the other day, and it fits him perfectly! We can’t wait for all of you to see him in it!
Other than that, we’ve basically just been waiting for the exciting news of Baby K’s debut. Hopefully by the end of the evening I’ll be able to update this post and announce the news of his arrival!
Age Timer: 8 months, 3 weeks
This is the story of the 11 hours and 17 minutes before Emmett came to be. That’s right – it only took 12 hours from start to finish, which is apparently a pretty speedy labor/delivery considering he is my first baby.
It all started at 12:30 a.m. on January 16. James and I had been watching our usual episode of Nip/Tuck on DVD in bed before we fell asleep when I started to notice what felt like more substantial Braxton-Hicks contractions. This continued for another hour and a half before I could fall back asleep. I think we were both excited at the possibility of real labor contractions but were still skeptical about it being the real thing.
When I woke up at 3:30 to a slightly more intense contraction, I think we both knew we’d get to meet Baby Lump later that day. We decided to get out of bed to see if a change of position would ease the pain a little bit, which was still only causing me minor discomfort. We hung out in the living room and watched some TV as I bounced on the “birthing ball ” (AKA a fitness ball). This was definitely an improvement. In fact, I felt so much better that we even questioned whether the whole thing was a false alarm, which brought light to another dilemma …
We were already scheduled to be at the hospital at 8:30 that morning for Baby Lump’s non-stress test. Now the question was if we should call our friend Michelle (who had so graciously offered to drive us to the hospital when the time came) so we could bring our hospital bags just in case my labor progressed and they asked me to stay at the hospital. Surely, a T ride to our doctor appointment while I was having contractions would have been less than ideal, especially if we made it to the hospital and ended up needing our bags. (Ironically, we never even opened our bags until we made it to the post-partum room after delivery. So much for all those comforting supplies I’d packed for labor like Jolly Ranchers, massage lotion and iPod speakers to make for a soothing labor atmosphere.)
Anyway, it was around 5 a.m., and we decided the best course of action was to call the hospital and ask the advice of the doctor on call. Lucky for us, our doctor was the doctor on call that night! The next several minutes were kind of a funny sequence of events, and they went something like this:
5:30 a.m. - I call Dr. Stagg, who says it sounds like I am in early labor and confirms that, yes, we should probably bring our bags to our 8:30 appointment, just in case.
5:35 a.m. - I call Michelle, who sleepily yet excitedly agrees to pick us up at 7:45 for our 8:30 appointment.
5:40 a.m. – I hang up the phone with Michelle, get out of bed to use the bathroom, and (ick!) my water breaks! After several “ew” noises, I announce to James I’m going to take a shower and that he should call the dr. again.
5:41 a.m. – James calls back Dr. Stagg, who advises us to head on over to the hospital!
5:43 a.m. – James calls back Michelle and asks her to pick us up sooner rather than later.
6:30 a.m. – Michelle picks us up and we head to the hospital with our bags, very excited and pretty calm.
As soon as James and I arrived at the hospital, it was as if someone immediately flipped a switch to the intensity of my contractions. I remember being in the elevator on the way up to the delivery floor and grabbing onto James so I wouldn’t cause a small scene. We arrived at the triage room at around 7 a.m., and a midwife determined I was already 5-6 cm dilated! This time, they knew I was definitely supposed to be there.
The nurses seemed pretty excited at my desire to attempt natural childbirth, and we were admitted to the only room on the floor with a working jacuzzi tub, plus an amazing view of the Charles River. The contractions started coming with little downtime in between, and the only way I was comfortable was to stand and grip (poor) James’ upper arms. I had absolutely no desire to be in a sitting or lying down position, so when my nurse, Stephanie, first suggested I try sitting in the tub, I rejected it immediately. I’m glad she and James were finally able to convince me, because I don’t think I would’ve made it through the whole labor/delivery naturally if I hadn’t been in that tub for most of the active part of labor. (Keep that in mind if you ever decide on a natural childbirth.) The buoyancy and warmth of the water worked wonders in relieving the pressure from the contractions.
Yes, there were a couple of times when I begged James to let me give up and take the epidural, but he and Stephanie did a great job at assuring me I could do it. It was also a big help that at 10 a.m. when the doctor checked my progress, I was already 8 cm dilated. It only took another hour in the tub before I was fully dilated (10 cm) and ready to push at 11 a.m. Forty-seven minutes of pushing later, Baby Lump was born and James announced that we had a little boy on our hands!
It was absolutely amazing. I’ll never forget the moment the doctor placed his slimy little purple alien body on my chest – he was beautiful (and even moreso after they wiped him off and he turned pink). I was expecting the doctors to sweep him away shortly afterward to count his fingers and toes, but they let me keep him there for as long as I wanted. It was all pretty surreal. I got exactly the childbirth I wanted (natural and no induction!), I was officially a mom, James and I were officially parents, and best of all, Emmett was perfectly healthy.
Of course, a lot has happened since Emmett was born (it’s just that a certain little man has been keeping me pretty occupied and preventing me from blogging as frequently as I’d like). Here’s a quick summary:
- We chose the name Emmett while we were still in the delivery room, but it took us a while to announce it because of a slight name-spelling discrepency between James and me.
- We had a little bit of a jaundice scare and almost had to leave Emmett in the hospital for a few extra days (Luckily, the doctors deemed him good to go and we were discharged as scheduled on January 18 – Emmett was able to experience his first snow!).
- My mom stayed with us for the first week and was a huge help with the transition.
- Emmett has already had his first doctor visit (plus a follow-up!), which included his first trip on the T. Interesting fact: Emmett only lost two ounces in the hospital, but gained 6 oz. back by his first doctor visit 2 days later! (Doctors prepare you to expect them to lose 1 lb. within the first week – what a piggy!) As of his second doctor appointment last Thursday, Emmett already weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz.!
- We gave him his first sponge bath at home the other day – I think he was a fan.
- He lost his umbilical cord stump on the 26th, revealing quite a cute little outie belly button.
Last but not least - a huge thank you to everyone who has sent me and James congratulatory messages over the past couple weeks via text, facebook, twitter, etc. I wish I had the time to thank each of you individually!
Age Timer: 12 days old
As I’m sure many of you have heard by now, Baby Lump is no longer a man of mystery. First of all, yes, he’s a (little) man (or “eo” man, as my dad would say). Although I definitely plan on posting a more detailed story about his birth once we all get a little more settled in, I figured I’d write up a quick little summary of the highlights of the past two days, mainly using pictures:
First, the cold, hard facts:
Full Name: Emmett James Vaughan
Birth date/time: Friday, January 16, 2009 – 11:47 a.m.
Weight: 7 lbs. 15 oz.
Length: 22 inches (long and lanky)
Length of Labor: 12 hours (7 at home, 5 at the hospital)
Apgar Scores: 8 and (then) 9
Now, some highlights:
- I survived without succumbing to the mercy of meds/epidural! (Although I will admit there were a couple of times when I almost caved.)
- James was an amazing coach and the main reason I was able to pull off childbirth naturally.
- I popped out the muffin in the best room on the labor/delivery floor (jacuzzi tub, view of the Charles River, LARGE).
- Emmett pooped all over me right after we met, much to my delight (I’m guessing he was determined not to hit that 8 lb. mark).
- Emmett was born on the coldest day of the year (thus far), and experienced his first snowstorm during his third day of life.
- The nurses and doctors who took care of Emmett and me at MGH were fantastic.
- Emmett handled the circumcision like a total champion.
- Overall it was a very smooth and quick delivery/recovery!
And now, the pictures you all probably scrolled down to the bottom first to see:
Oven Timer: Off
Maximum Days Until We Meet Baby Lump: -2
No, I’m not talking about the invasion of Normandy during World War II. I’m talking about my due date (Maybe it should be DD Day?). Well, it looks as though I won’t be one of those few women who has her baby on her due date. (Less than 10 percent actually do!) My oven timer must have broken. I’m also still pretty suspicious of Baby Lump’s scheming plot to steal my birthday.
Maybe not though. According to my doctor’s visit today, I haven’t really progressed at all since last week. Although the baby’s head is low and I feel like I’ve been having a lot more Braxton Hicks contractions, I’m still only two centimeters dilated, so my status is pretty much the same as it was during my last visit. I guess my little tenant just finds me a much too comfortable mom motel to check out of. I prefer to think of myself as a five star hotel actually.
I do, however, have an appointment for my induction. It was originally scheduled for next Tuesday (January 20), but I was able to reschedule it for a few days later to give myself more time to go into labor naturally. It looks as though the launch of Baby Lump will be initiated on the morning of January 23 at the latest, which means he/she could possibly share a birthday with (Boston’s beloved) John Hancock and, – even better – Tiffani-Amber Thiessen! I guess you could say that on January 23, I’ll be saved by the bell. Ha. Ha. (cricket, cricket)
The countdown begins – either way, there are only (at max) ten more days left of a pregnant me!
Oven Timer: 40 weeks!!!
(Maximum) Days Until We Meet Baby Lump: 10
Okay, okay, I know I haven’t exactly made it to my “due date” yet (Monday), but I’m not going to lie – I’m getting pretty anxious. After all, your due date is really only the date that falls in the middle of when you’re expected to deliver (between 37 and 42 weeks), so technically “any day now” has been going on for 18 days already. Less than 10 percent of mothers actually deliver on their due dates. I think I’m allowed to be anxious. I’ve been adding the disclaimer “if I haven’t had Baby Lump by then” to everything I say for the past two and a half weeks.
Everyone keeps saying I’ll go into labor when I least expect it, but honestly, I’m ready and expecting it all the time, so I hope that doesn’t mean I won’t go into labor on my own. I even have the Contraction Master bookmarked on my browser just in case James and I are incapable of doing simple calculations in the chaos of the moment. I’ve speculated that Baby Lump may just be trying to steal my birthday (next Wednesday, January 14) – what a little thief!
Anyway, if by Monday I haven’t had Baby Lump, my doctor wants me to schedule my induction to occur between weeks 41 and 42 (January 19-26), which gives me mixed feelings. For one thing, labor that is induced is much more intense and difficult to deal with, which doesn’t exactly support my plan for an unmedicated birth. On the other hand, it does mean there is an end in sight – I’ll get to choose which day I’ll meet Baby Lump, and hey, I won’t be pregnant anymore! (Although it does kind of mess with the unbiased nature of the birth stats guesses, date-wise.)
In any event, James and I are ready and raring to go. My bags are packed, we’re stocked up with supplies (thanks for all the gifts, everyone!) and mentally, we’re both prepared to be parents (as much as we’re going to be anyway). We still haven’t decided on a boy’s name, but we’ve got a few top ones picked out and pretty much agreed to decide when we meet him, if that’s his flavor.
Any day now! (crossing fingers)
Oven Timer: 39 weeks, 3 days