Pat gave you a nice, concise update. I am stealing these minutes as he is asleep on the couch and Elliot has conked out in the swing we just tried him in.
First, let me thank everyone who sent out thoughts, prayers, support, phone calls, emails, you name it to us during this amazing time. We have such a great network of friends and family-- we are so very fortunate in numerous ways.
We're home obviously. The nights have been a little rough, but we're all still learning the ropes. He's eating very well now, which is a relief. As one nurse and my sister told us, breastfeeding is the most unnatural natural thing. We had a little tough time with the first steps of the dance, but now it's going relatively well.
Pat's dad is arriving tomorrow and my family comes in on Wednesday. We're so much looking forward to introducing him to everyone! I know everyone thinks that their own kid is perfect, and we now fall into that category. He's really amazing.
Details for those who are interested, and most of you may have heard the rundown already... I don't know how appropriate it is to put all of this on here, but here goes:
Tuesday morning, Pat and I went in for my weekly appointment. I was put on the heartrate monitor to check his movements, and then saw the doctor. A little progress was made (almost 3 cm dilated), which was nice to hear, so after conferencing with the doctor who guessed that we might have the baby in the next few days, we agreed to go in late on Friday to be induced if he hadn't appeared by then. My blood pressure was back up, so the doctor really wanted to see more time on the monitors and a lengthier observation, another hour or so. If all was ok, we'd sit tight a few more days. Pat went on to work and I went to be strapped into the machines.
After three hours on the monitors, an attending doctor came in to tell me that she was advising that I be admitted and they start to make the labor move forward. Apparently, I was having contractions which were 7 minutes or so apart (which I couldn't really feel), so they wanted to start the drugs to enhance the labor that was already happening, in order to take control of the situation before the blood pressure created a problem. It was now 3pm, and I called Pat to come back to the hospital. This is when the emotions started rolling, I realized that what I had been wishing for was now happening, and I got very nervous. Although Pat didn't need to hurry (this little dude still needed quite a bit of effort to appear!), I wanted him there as soon as possible to be with me. He arrived within an hour, which included stopping to get my bags at home. I was admitted by 4pm. Mind you, I would now enter these extremely demanding phases of delivery with only my cereal eaten for breakfast 8 hours earlier. Not good for me.
The delivery nurses, doctors, etc, at U of C hospital were great and our doctor specifically was phenomenal. Dr. Harth called to say that she was rearranging her schedule to spend the night at the hospital so she could deliver the baby. This was so reassuring. We went through the normal stuff, waiting for the dilation to proceed, cramping/pain increasing gradually, walking the halls, etc. I moved slower than expected, so when the pain was really really bad, unbearable, around 2am, and the doctor said I was around 5-6 cm (only half way!) and these were "moderate" contractions, I opted for the epidural. I was shaking and hyperventilating, and not able to recover from the pain with only 2 minutes between the contractions.
It was a busy night on the delivery floor and it took them about a hour to get around to me for the epidural. One of the slowest hours of my life. When the procedure was finished, and the drugs kicked in, Pat and I both were able to sleep for 1 hour, which gave me a touch of recovery time to endure the final stages. I was woken at 5:30am by my doctor, who informed me that I was very close to being ready to push. 7am, it was time to push and everyone was alerted that needed to be. My doctor needed to leave at 8am, after having waited all night for me to get this job done.
After all of her efforts, my doctor had to leave me in the care of one of her colleagues for the actual delivery. Two hours of pushing, with the head very close for a very long time, and many comments like, "I don't know if I can do this! I am going to do this, really, but I don't know how I can!" The doctors attending said to one another, "This baby needs to come out NOW." Pat and I looked at each other, I mustered up some strength from somewhere, and Elliot appeared. Pat yelled, "It's a boy!" before the doctors even noticed. Pat cried, but I had no energy to cry. They put him directly on my chest, and his eyes were so wide and alert. He looked right at us and we melted. It was truly love at first sight.
Enough on that note. Few more photos. Had his first little sponge bath tonight and I think it knocked him out. I am getting more energy all the time. Pat is so taken with Elliot, he has trouble sharing him with me and helps out so much. I hope I never take for granted how lucky I am.