Our little man a.k.a Crosby monster a.k.a little buddy is 12 days old! Of course this first week and a half has flown by as we embrace this big change and at least attempt to get readjusted to life with a newborn. Some of it is much the same as it was the first time around. There’s no escaping constant feeding and lack of sleep, but for the most part we can honestly say it’s easier. Simply having done it before brings the anxiety level way down as we now know that pretty much everything a newborn does is normal meaning there really is no normal when it comes to newborns and nothing is forever so just go with the flow. All of that said, the biggest difference is of course having a toddler and a newborn at the same time and I’ll post more on that later. The headline is Norah loves Crosby. But now let’s focus on Crosby’s story…
As everyone knows, my due date was July 9th and as most everyone knows I was six days early with Norah so expecting something similar for this baby. The week of June 25th I was experiencing all sorts of signs that led me to believe baby was coming soon – increased bladder pressure, crampiness, Braxton Hicks – but as each day passed with no baby I went through frustration, impatience, and ultimately defeated acceptance as I realized that I very well could be pregnant for another week (or two, AHHH). On Thursday the 28th I had my appointment with the midwives and saw Meg, my favorite midwife and the one who delivered Norah. She jokingly noted that she’d be on call on Saturday and Tuesday if I wanted to go ahead and try and go into labor then. I said I’d do my best!
Saturday came. It was a nice family day spent mostly indoors because the heat wave had started, triple digit misery, and 9 months pregnant plus 100 plus temps sounds about as fun as getting a root canal. We did go for a walk in the morning before it hit 90 and saw our neighbor and his son, selling some tasty cinnamon toothpicks. We had the usual chat about how over being pregnant I was and he said his wife was sending all her happy-go-into-labor thoughts my way. “Sweet, I hope it works”, I told him. The rest of the day passed without much fanfare and sometime in the afternoon I decided we should go to Yopop after dinner for some frozen sugary goodness. We ate early and then the three of us loaded up in the Element for our first trip to Chapel Hill that day. On the way to Yopop I tweeted something silly about going to get yogurt due to hearing of its labor inducing powers, and shortly after Pete noted that we should probably have the hospital bag in the car when we go anywhere at this point. After yogurt, walking to car, Norah stopped and said “go to the hospital?” Then again and again all the way home. Go to the hospital? (sign!)
We got home from Yopop a little after 8 PM which is generally when we head into Norah’s room to start bedtime routine – brush her teeth, put on a night time diaper and jammies, read books, play with legos. I was sitting in the glider because getting up from the floor at that point in the pregnancy was an absurd effort, and I suddenly felt a little, shall we say, leakage. Like a tiny trickle of pee but not in the way pee comes out which generally feels more expelled and not just leaked (if we’re hitting your TMI point already you should probably stop reading now). Then a few moments later another and then a few moments later a bigger one, this time to the extent that I got up quickly for fear of messing up the glider because my pants were definitely wet like I’d had a preschool style accident. I left Pete and Norah in her room and went to remove my pants and investigate. More leakage. Still no defining gush, but I was definitely either experience a broken amniotic sac or a sudden bout of incontinence. I wrapped myself in a towel and went back to Norah’s room to discuss with Pete which turned into jokes about me wetting my pants which turned into me standing there wrapped diaper like in a towel laughing my ass off which only exacerbated the leaking. I called my best bud, we did some googling and I decided to page the midwives. Meg called back. It was Saturday after all.
Yep, she said, sounds like your water broke, keep an eye on it for a bit longer and if you continue leaking come on in. Continue it did and so we called my mom to come over for Norah watch and got all our stuff together. We loaded up the car and headed to Chapel Hill for the second time that day. It was around 10:15 PM. At that point I had started experiencing some very minor contractions akin to strong menstrual cramps and a good 10 – 15 minutes apart.
We parked in the garage and hauled all our crap up to the 4th floor at the UNC Women’s Hospital. I said to Pete “are we stupid for bringing all this before we even know if we’re going to be admitted?” Of course not. (sign!) Up to labor and delivery, checked in, and waited for Meg. Around this time we got a text from my mom that the power had gone out at our house i.e. no AC and it was a good 90 something outside. Brilliant. At least we were in the nice cool hospital. (sign!)
Fetal monitor gave Crosby the thumbs up and Meg confirmed my water had broken and laid out our options. Option A: stay at the hospital. Should we choose option A they would want to induce with Pitocin to get this thing going. Option B: go home and see if this would get going on its own. Come back if contractions are five minutes apart. Should we choose option B and there was no progress we’d have to come back within 24 hours to get the Pitocin anyway. We told Meg we were pretty certain it would be option B even though it was a thirty minute drive back to the house to which she replied “Sounds good, it’s not typical that you go home in this scenario and have to turn right around and come back.” (sign!) And so we headed home and into the rainstorm that compromised our electricity and AC.
It was a little after midnight. Pete was hungry and decided he was going to drive through McDonald’s. He asked me if I wanted anything, and I quickly declined, but as we approached the drive through and the golden arches captured me in their tractor beam of hypnosis I decided I should have some french fries. What size? Large. As Pete was placing our order I decided I should also have a chicken snack wrap, chuckling about how if I went into labor shortly we’d have wasted some money on my food. (sign!) We got home, I inhaled my food, Pete pulled his camping mat into the kitchen so he could lie down and not displace my mom from our bedroom and I laid in bed next to my mom.
And right then it started. The first real contraction. I looked at the clock. 12:43. Five or so minutes later, another one. I looked at my mom and said we need to go. Now. Pete? Let’s go. Back in the car and on our way to Chapel Hill for the third time. Timing the contractions in the car and noticing that they were now 3-4 minutes apart I decided to go ahead and page Meg to tell her to be ready. No parking garage this time. Left the car and the crap at the hospital door and rushed inside. “Do you need a wheelchair, ma’am?” said the front desk guard. I’m fine! (I was not really fine). Checked in again, skipped triage and got setup in our delivery room. Two minutes apart.
It was about half past 1. The contractions were coming fast and strong. I spent some time in the jacuzzi tub, tried out the birthing ball, and ultimately just needed to lie down on my side. My plan going into this labor was to not really have a plan, but rather to see how things went and make a game time decision. As the pain level skyrocketed and I remembered how much contractions suck I said to Pete “I don’t think I can do this.” Meg checked me – 5 cm. I had gone from pretty much zero to half way there in less than an hour. At the rate I was going even if they went through the motions and gave me the shot I’d be delivering before it kicked in. Time to hang on for dear life. With Norah I’d at least had some rest and relief as the labor was much slower and I had a little friend called Morphine to help me out. This time all that I’d gone through over 6-7 hours before was cramming itself into one and there wasn’t a drop of medicinal assistance. I don’t know how to say it other than it was fucking hell. I wanted to die. I screamed, groaned, cussed, cried and begged for it to be over. And then on top of all that, up came the McDonald’s. Experiencing mind blowingly painful contractions while puking up french fries and a chicken snack wrap pretty much won the prize for the absolute shittiest moment ever, period, full stop. About 25 minutes after the 5 cm verdict, Meg checked me again – 9 cm. Pete met eyes with Meg and exclaimed “Shit!” to which Meg replied “Yeah, what Pete said”. A few moments later I was ready to push and 10 or so minutes after that Crosby William Elder was on my chest in all his messy purple newborn glory. He was perfect and it was over. Thank god it was over. And once again, in the remarkable workings of the mind and body, I forgot every ounce of pain and suffering and was riding high on the rush of emotions over holding my little boy for the first time.
Contractions started at 12:43 AM. Crosby was born at 2:52. He was 8 lb 1 oz and 21.5″ long. Come to find out the cord had been wrapped around his neck twice, but it was loose enough as to not cause any distress. I delivered with no complications or tearing and Crosby came out so fast he didn’t have the slightest misshape to his little head. We’re pretty damn lucky and truly thankful for it.
So now we NC Elders are four, and I feel complete. My family is whole and my family is everything and I am truly happy.
Elderland out. XO.