It's all about the sleep around here!
I've also learned of a couple of friends' birthdays he shares ... which is neat, and he's the first May birthday we have in our immediate family and that's fun, too!
So looking at May ...
Its birthstone is the emerald ...
... and the birth flower is the lily of the valley, that sweet little woodland plant ...
In the Language of Flowers, the lily of the valley means: sweetness, a return to happiness, you've made my life complete ...
And in the Catholic Faith, the month of May is devoted to the Blessed Mother ...
I think May is a beautiful birth month, don't you?
So, how about a birth story this morning?
*Note: This all might be TMI for some people, so read on only if you are comfortable with birth stories ...
So ... one week ago yesterday, I reported to the hospital for induction. Now, my due date was Monday (Memorial Day) but my midwife and I had discussed induction for several weeks beforehand ... for a couple of reasons. First of all, both Crackerjack and Earlybird came incredibly fast, and their births were somewhat frantic - CJ was born in eight pushes and barely three hours of labor (first pang to first breath) and EB was just about the same. EB also had a cord complication that made delivery tricky and a bit harrowing. So I was concerned about another fast labor and getting to the hospital on time ... on top of that, I tested positive for GBS so I needed two four-hour doses of an antibiotic before Owen could be safely delivered. Well, considering my history, there was a good chance I'd never make it through even one dose! A managed induction would give us time - for me to get to the hospital and to get the needed medication into my system. There was also the added challenge of my severe allergy to most antibotics. We decided to go with penicillin since according to my chart (and foggy memory) the one time I had penicillin in my early 20s it upset my stomach, but didn't cause any true allergic reactions.*
Anyhoo! When Bill and I reported to the hosptial (Mum was home with the boys) they started my IV and got the penicillin going, and told me to just "relax." My midwife was on a 24 hour shift so I was basically assured she'd be the one to deliver our baby, something that made me very happy and comforted. So a few hours later, once the first penicillin dose had been administered, I was started on pitocin to get my contractions going (I was about 3 cm naturally at this point). Now, I've had pit before (with Bookworm) and I remembered how strong (and painful) it makes the contractions but I also knew that I could have an epidural once I got uncomfortable ...
And indeed, roundabouts 11 p.m. the contractions were getting pretty intense, so the anesthesiologist was called in ... and 20 minutes later I had a line in. I've had epidurals with each of my babies - though I joke that epidural aside, Crackerjack was my "natural baby." He was coming so fast ... and the epidural had just been put into place when my water broke and he was born within the next 10 minutes! And with Bookworm, it took a really long time to get the line in - apparently because I have a very short torso, my spinal column is packed quite tightly. The doctor at that birth had a horrible time getting the epi started - as you might imagine, it was not much fun waiting for him to get that needle in just right!
Ok, so - epi in around 11, and things quieted down nicely ... so nicely I dozed on and off for a couple of hours ... as did Bill. But close to 3 a.m. another cervix check showed I was 6 cm - and with a very gentle push during the next contraction I increased to 7-8 cm. So we were getting close!!
Over the next 20 minutes, our Owen Paul was born. It was a wonderfully calm and gentle birth - I only pushed a handful of times, and actually we let the contractions do the pushing for me near the end ... the lights were dim, the room was quiet ... it was just Bill and myself, our midwife Beth, and Maura, the most wonderful L&D nurse I've ever had. And although the epidural made things quite comfortable, I could feel everything - I felt Owen moving down through the canal, his crowning (his little head presenting) ... and then the whole of him coming right out ... AMAZING. So amazing, such a miracle ... I can't find the words ... but I know many of you know exactly what I mean. :)
So at 3:17 a.m., our little night owl was born. And our world was changed forever.
* A note on the penicillin - it did cause a reaction after all. I had to have 4 doses in all (due to the length of the labor) and by delivery time I was starting to itch. By the next day I was having a full blown allergic reaction - a red, puffed, itchy face, a swollen tongue and hoarse voice. Kind of scary to be honest. They started me on Benadryl and I stopped all other medication (including pain meds). Sometimes when I have a reaction like that my system goes hairy and I react to anything at all, even my normal vitamin. Suffice it to say, this is something I need to look into, but for now all is well. The reaction had mostly cleared up by the time we were home.
Our hospital stay lasted till Tuesday morning, and Bill jokingly referred to this as our "spa" weekend. We've delivered all our babies at this hospital and they've always been wonderful. We felt so taken care of, and it was good to brush up on the basics of newborn care, nursing, etc. ... it has been eleven years after all since our last babymoon!
And here we are a week later! Time has flown by already. It has been so nice to settle into our nest and our little routine - or Owen's routine I should say, which is basically, sleep-eat-poop-charm-the-pants-off-everyone-around-him.
Thank you again for all your kindness and prayers ... they mean the world to us. I'm having such fun posting our baby notes and sharing our joy with you all. I'm not sure how often I'll be posting once Bill returns to work, but for now, I'm relishing these cozy days and these quiet hours when baby's napping and I'm at rest nearby. We are blessed to have lots of hands close by to help out - as you can imagine, my mother has been an enormous help - practically speaking and otherwise. This is a very special time for us all ...
Before I go, a little peek outside my window ... our irises in full bloom:
I hope you all enjoy this glorious Sunday ... thanks so much for joining me here today!