Adam and I are so excited to announce the newest member of our family – Noah Charles!

I have dreamed about being a mom for as long as I can remember, just like Adam has dreamed of having a family his entire life…and we both waited a LONG time to see our dreams come true!

On May 13th at 1:36am, our sweet baby boy was placed in our arms and forever in our hearts.

The Waiting Game

As soon as our due date (May 9th) hit, the waiting game began. We pulled out all the stops and did all the things to get labor going.

We asked everyone we knew for their recommendations and did just about all of them, just hoping one might work!

I drank loads of red raspberry leaf tea, ate pineapple cores, went on lots of walks, went driving down bumpy dirt roads, and so much more.

Let me tell you, it was a long few days waiting for anything to happen!

In the middle of the night on Monday, I woke up at 1:30am with mild contractions. We were so excited and just sure that was going to be the day, so we had Adam stay home from work and we were ready! But the contractions stayed mild all day and fizzled out that evening.

Tuesday, the contractions started around 7am and they lasted all day and got stronger throughout the day. Adam had gone to work that day, so he was actually able to finish his full work day before things really started ramping up!

That evening, I thought my water might have broken so we called the hospital and they told us to come in. We were admitted around 9pm and I was only 3cm dilated, but with strong contractions.

The Hospital {During A Global Pandemic!}

It was kind of a crazy time to be in the hospital with them still knowing so little about the virus but trying so hard to have regulations in place that would protect everyone.

Adam and I were supposed to wear masks from the time we entered the hospital to the time we left. We weren’t supposed to leave our room throughout our stay (the hallways were eerily empty!).

The doctor situation was unique because I already had to see a different doc than normal because my normal doctor’s wife was due just two days after me and she had just had her baby when we were admitted, so I was supposed to have another doctor from that practice deliver me.

But because they didn’t want doctors coming and going from the hospital (to limit exposure), I was assigned an in-hospital doctor who would care for me during labor and pass information along to the out-of-hospital doc and she would only be in the room for the actual pushing stage.

Baby Time!

After I was admitted, they didn’t think my dilation progress matched the intensity of my contractions, so they ended up trying to insert a tube to measure how strong my contractions were, but Noah’s head was in the way, so he kept getting scratched in their attempts and they never could get a good reading. 

The pain had already caused some vomiting (which is really fun with the mandatory mask rule, let me tell you!), but was still pretty much what I expected of labor.

But when my contractions were getting stronger and my dilation wasn’t really moving along like they wanted, they gave me Pitocin. That’s when the horror began.

The out-of-hospital doctor told me later that she probably never would have given me Pitocin if she had been able to check on me in-person, but she was just trying to make the best decision she could with the information she had.

I found another woman’s description of her contractions on Pitocin and it describes my experience well. “It was the hardest, meanest, non-stop violence my body has ever endured. I had no idea what was coming and when. Panic came in waves. Skull and pelvic-crushing pain came in tsunamis.”

I was out of control and delirious with constant pain – eyes-squeezed-shut, moaning and writhing and clawing and grasping at anything near the bed, desperately trying to crawl out of my own body that felt like it was splitting in two from the inside out.

I thought I had asked for an epidural soon after they’d administered the Pitocin but I wasn’t totally with it because I was in so much pain, but I guess they thought I was still just exploring the possibility. Finally, I asked again like 45 minutes later and they brought the anesthesiologist in quickly. 

Trying to sit still through 2 contractions at that point for him to get the needle into my spine felt impossible but somehow, with Adam holding me up on one side (who I was gouging with my ring) and the nurse on the other (as I was somehow clawing my IV out), he got it done.

As the anesthesiologist left the room, the in-hospital doc walked in and checked my cervix.

I had dilated from 4cm to 10cm in just 1 hour, which is insanely fast. 

I’d bled a lot during that last hour and everybody got a little frantic trying to get all of the right people in the room in time.

During the pushing stage, the epidural still hadn’t had a chance to touch the contraction pain and now there were more complications. 

Noah wasn’t getting enough oxygen, so they put oxygen on me and kept rolling me from side to side, adding more excruciating pain to the mix. I kept hearing them tell me I was pushing with my legs, so I’m sure holding my legs up was quite the feat for Adam and the nurses.

*Quick side note to say that I have never appreciated nurses more than I do right now! I am beyond grateful for the millions of ways that they took care of me so well, especially during the delivery when I couldn’t think or act without their gentle guidance.

They ended up doing an episiotomy to get him out and breathing but it didn’t work and I tore diagonally to their cut. They tried hard to vacuum him out but the vacuum kept popping off his head (twice, it popped off and bounced off the doctor’s face shield!).

When Noah was born at 1:36am with that last contraction, I finally felt the epidural kick in.

He was smaller than we expected at 6 pounds 8 ounces and measuring 19.29″ long.

They did put him onto my chest for a few minutes like I’d wanted, but his little body was so stressed from delivery. His respiration rate was way too high, they were worried about his blood sugar, and his temperature was way too low. They didn’t actually tell us all of that until later, but they took him to the warmer and had called up a NICU nurse to help them work on him.

Thankfully, everything with him normalized within the hour and we didn’t even know what was going on most of that time. We spent a little extra time on that floor before being moved for them to monitor us, but from then on, we’ve been happy and healthy and healing just like we should.

Noah’s normal numbers in all of their tests kept shocking them. They were sure he would have some jaundice and some blood sugar issues, but our strong little boy kept proving them wrong.

…And We Lived Happily Ever After

We stayed at the hospital all of Wednesday and were able to go home Thursday around lunchtime and have been loving on our boy ever since.

Adam has been beyond amazing since my labor started and continuing in taking care of Noah. Seeing him as a dad has made me fall in love with him on a whole new level. From being a compassionate listener with me processing the labor to him patiently rocking Noah around the house while making up the most ridiculous song lyrics, he has just been the best.

I can’t even tell you how many times Adam and I have said, “I can’t believe we made that” while admiring this beautiful boy that we finally get to hold in our arms.

Adam had to go back to work after just a week, which was such a bummer because that family time we had together was so special and flew by in an instant, but we’re figuring out how to navigate this new season as a family of three and we couldn’t be more grateful.

How Is Boots Adjusting To The Baby?

This is one of the most common questions I’ve gotten so I wanted to make sure to add it in here! (In case you don’t know, Boots is our border collie and he is pretty much attached to me at the hip).

Honestly? He doesn’t seem to care too much.

He knows that there has been a change in our household, but seems to be adjusting just fine.

When we first introduced him to Noah, he gave him a quick sniff and licked the top of his head and that’s about as much attention as he’s given him. He’s been pretty indifferent.

As long as he can still stay close to me (which he does, sticking to my side wherever I go), he doesn’t seem to mind. He even seems to understand that he needs to be a bit more cautious around Noah.

I’m kind of shocked that even the crying doesn’t startle him at all. Boots has gotten so skittish in the last few months (running upstairs to hide in the bathroom every time I open the knife drawer or the door to the freezer) that I was sure he would be concerned about the crying, but he doesn’t even lift his head to acknowledge it most of the time.

He’s pretty thrilled that I’m feeling good enough to start taking some walks again, though (which Noah also happens to love)!

How Are We Adjusting So Far?

We are your typical first-time parents. We’re pretty tired, we send family videos of him sneezing because we think it’s the cutest thing ever, and we worry about whether everything with him is normal and healthy and if we’re doing things right.

We’re just figuring out life together as a family of three, trying to be flexible enough to respond to whatever Noah needs and trying to slowly add in little bits of structure to our days.

Before – 39 weeks pregnant, After – 4 days postpartum

So far, Noah has been a pretty amazing nighttime sleeper and we are starting to establish a good morning routine. He does my morning quiet times with me after he eats and, now that I’m starting to feel better and get my energy back, we’re going on daily walks.

I quickly discovered he absolutely loves going on walks in the Ergo! All of those walks while I was pregnant must make that walking movement feel familiar and soothing because no matter how upset he is, just a few steps wearing him in the Ergo calms him down.

It’s also thanks to the Ergo that I’ve been able to do a little bit of housework now! Noah doesn’t love the swing yet because he would so much rather be held so I’ve been strapping him in every afternoon to do laundry, pick up, wash dishes, and cook dinner. It’s been a great system for us and I love that he loves being held!

We absolutely love being parents and we fall more and more in love with this little boy every single day, feeling just amazed that we get to be his mom and dad.

Looking For More Pregnancy/Baby Posts?

We’re Pregnant! {Our Pregnancy Announcement For Our First Baby}

A Moose Gender Reveal Party!

5 Tips For Dealing With Pregnancy Cravings

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