To start it all off- if you followed throughout my pregnancy, you remember that at 32 weeks we had a really scary encounter with preterm labor. We were admitted to the hospital and they thought baby was for sure being born that night. Luckily, they were able to slow my contractions and stop labor. We were released the next night but then found ourselves back in the hospital a week later again with contractions super close together. They were able to stop labor yet again, as we needed to keep baby boy in there a little longer, my doctor’s goal was 37 weeks.
For the next several weeks, I was put on medicine (a pill every 4-6 hours) to slow my contractions. While the pill did space out my contractions, I still had them all day every day, for the next 5 weeks. Not ideal!
At my 37 week appointment that Thursday, I was still dilated pretty much the same as I had been for a couple weeks prior. Baby was super low and my doctor told me I was likely going to be early. At 37 weeks, they stopped the medicine and my OB told me that once women stop the medicine, it goes one of two extremes — they can either make it to 40 weeks or they go into labor pretty much immediately since there is nothing in their body stopping contractions anymore.
We went home, not totally sure what to expect but had a feeling we wouldn’t be making it to 40 weeks. I was having contractions that night, but nothing I hadn’t been dealing with the past 5 weeks so I didn’t think much of it. Same thing on Friday (the next day). I ran my errands and got things done, not having any idea that everything was about to change…!
Late that night, my contractions really picked up, to the point where they woke me up and kept me awake. I finally started timing them and they were about 5-8 minutes apart. After a little while of that, they kind of slowed down. I got up, had breakfast, and went on a walk with my mom. (My OB had told me at my appointment that if I was having contractions at this point, make sure to go walk to see if I could keep them going so we would know if it was the real deal or not. Because at this point, my body was READY for labor). Well, the walk made my contractions stronger and by the time I got home, they were regular again. I called my doctor and left a message and while I was waiting for her to call me back and tell me what to do, I quickly gathered my things, got Harper ready to go to my Mom and Dad’s house, and told Philip that this MAY be the real deal this time, ha! We still weren’t convinced though.
My OB called me back and told me to head to Labor & Delivery, this was about 10:30. On the 15 minute drive there, my contractions had slowed and I worried we were going for nothing. As soon as we got checked in, they hooked me up to machines to monitor contractions and at this point, I was barely feeling anything. We were joking with the nurse that of course the second I got hooked up to monitors, the contractions would stop (eye roll)! They wanted to monitor me for an hour and then we’d go from there.
So Philip and I settled in, kind of thinking we’d be there an hour and then sent home again. He sat in the bed with me and we played some silly baseball game on his phone to kill the time. Mid-game, I was all the sudden in pain…contractions had started again. The nurse who was out of the room, but monitoring me from the nurses station, came in and said “there they are!”. They were coming every 5 minutes at this point and getting really strong, to the point where I had to pause the dumb baseball game we were playing, every time one hit me!
After an hour, the doctor on call came in to do a cervical check and found I was dilated to a 5 and officially in labor! “You are having this baby today!” she told us, and Philip actually screamed from excitement! I think I was in shock it was actually happening! I called my mom right away because I knew I wanted her there with me.
We got transferred to our room and I was already asking for the epidural. [All the props in the world to the mamas that pass on the epidural and do this naturally!]. The nurses advised I get it right away, as I was progressing quickly and it needed time to kick in. My contractions at this point were PAINFUL. Like I’d have to stop mid-conversation and hold onto the bed rail until they passed. Soon enough, I had the epidural and all was right in the world! The doctor did another check and found I had quickly progressed to 7cm dilated.
This is where the waiting part comes in. I was stuck at 7cm dilated for a very long time. Philip, my mom, and I chatted, watched tv, scrolled Instagram, and I napped. Several hours later, I was still 7cm. We tried changing positions, the peanut ball, every trick in the book.
Even though I had an emergency c-section with Harper, our plan was a VBAC for this baby and I was so excited! My doctor was confident it would work out that way.
Well, it got to be about 6:00 and I was still not dilating further, but my contractions were 1-2 minutes apart. My doctor explained that when you’ve had a previous c-section, this scenario is VERY dangerous. It’s not safe for mom or baby to be not progressing in dilation and still have your uterus contracting so frequently, which was exactly what was happening to me. At this point they began to worry about uterine rupture and STRONGLY advised heading into surgery for a c-section. It didn’t take much discussion between Philip and I to decide we were going to go that route. With how scary our delivery was with Harper, we didn’t want that to happen again. To be completely honest, there were tears. And a lot of them. This wasn’t my ‘plan’. I so badly had it in my mind that I wanted a VBAC but in the end, I just wanted my baby here safely and in my arms.
In a matter of minutes, they had me in the operating room and I remember laying there, with tears streaming down my face, waiting for Philip to get dressed in scrubs and meet me in there. I was having flashbacks to Harper’s birth (the scariest moment of our lives) and I just wanted my husband there with me. With Harper, when they pulled her out of me, we heard no cries, nothing at all. She was having trouble breathing and was in complete distress. So they weren’t able to put her on my chest or let me hold her. She was immediately taken to the NICU and I didn’t get to hold her finally until the following night, which was absolutely heartbreaking and honestly my biggest fear with this birth.
So this entire pregnancy, I said to Philip probably 115 times, “please please make sure they let me hold him as soon as he’s born”. As surgery was starting this time, I turned to Philip to remind him again and he promised he would tell the nurses and doctors.
July 21, 9:21 pm, Beckham Paul Blue was born! [7/21 at 21:21 – kinda cool!]. Once second surgery began and next thing I knew, they had him out so fast. I immediately heard him cry and it was the best sound in the world! I was crying hysterically and so excited to see him and hold him. But the nurse then told me they had to put him under a machine because his body temperature was dangerously low. My dreams of holding him and doing immediate skin to skin, were crushed.
I don’t know if I’ve ever cried so hard in my life. I was scared for my baby and crushed I couldn’t hold and comfort him. Philip was comforting me and asked the nurse if he could at least go to the machine and take a photo for me. He brought the camera back and I was an emotional mess. I couldn’t believe we had created this perfect, tiny human. He looked exactly like Harper when she was born. I was so emotional that I couldn’t hold him, but also so worried because he was born 3 weeks early and his body temperature wasn’t regulating.
As it turns out, my body temperature was also extremely low. I had to be in the recovery area for 2 hours. They set Beckham up under a machine directly in front of my bed so that I could see him. For the next two hours, they worked on getting his body temperature up and mine as well. They said as soon as that happened, I could finally hold him! They got his temperature regulated, but mine was still crazy low. I was in so much pain, but all that I could think about was finally holding my baby.
Right at the two hour mark, my temperature was finally about normal and the nurse finally placed Beckham on my chest. My heart completely exploded, I couldn’t believe this moment was here! He was so tiny and so perfect. Philip and I were immediately in love, we just stared at him and kept saying we couldn’t believe we made him.
It was then past midnight and we were exhausted – physically, mentally, and emotionally. We all went to bed with our hearts completely full. The next day, I worked with a lactation consultant on getting a good latch and getting the hang of breastfeeding, which is a whole beast in and of itself. I get a ton of questions daily from yall about nursing, our schedule, etc so I’m going to save that for another post, because it will be a long one! But we’ve finally gotten the hang of nursing and its going so well. I love that time I have with him 🙂 So far, we’ve only been exclusively breastfeeding and I’m pumping on the side and freezing that milk to have on hand.
Another question I have gotten a bunch is about c-section recovery. I’m going to be completely honest, its not easy. I knew how tough it was with Harper, which is why I was really hoping for a VBAC this time around. My c-section went well but I did have some complications post surgery which is why we were in the hospital a few extra days. I had a ton of swelling, bruising, and extra fluid behind the incision site. All of this caused excruciating pain. We’re talking — pain to the point that I could hardly get out of bed to walk to the bathroom. I was crying non-stop because even just laying there hurt, holding Beckham hurt, eating and drinking hurt. It was really tough. I had to have CT scan and multiple ultrasounds to ensure nothing had ruptured behind the incision. After a few days of IVs and pain medications, the swelling began to subside a little and the pain became a little more manageable, and we were sent home to start life as a family of 4 🙂
It’s been absolutely amazing and it’s also been the hardest thing we’ve ever done. Two babies under two is exactly what you’d expect haha, pure chaos! But in the best way. Harper adores her little brother, if you follow on Instagram Stories, you’ve seen how obsessed she is with him. When she wakes up in the morning, she immediately asks for him – “baby?? bubba??” and goes looking for him! We are trying to teach her ‘gentle’ because right now she gets so excited and worked up that she can be a little rough with him, but we know that will get better.
On July 21st, our lives truly changed in the best way – we love our little family of 4 and couldn’t be happier to be raising two beautiful babies! We are so grateful and can’t wait to watch them grow up as best friends. Philip recently got an amazing job opportunity and he starts today, so it’s my first day solo with both babies, wish me luck! 😉
I know this post was a long one, so I’m going to save all the breastfeeding information and our daily schedule for a later post, but I promise they will be coming! Can’t thank yall enough for all the love and support, we are so grateful for every one of you!
Sign: D + Three Designs ℅
Thank y’all for reading, xo!