I reported back to work on August 20th to get things ready for the new school year to many comments of, "I thought you were having the baby this summer" or "how many months do you have left" or "aren't you due any day now". It was a tough week physically on me as I had not been on my feet nearly that much in recent weeks.
My due date, the 23rd, came and went with no excitement...two days prior my doctor said that nothing was going on down below so I figured I would finish the work week and cross my fingers that the baby would arrive soon. We had extra people praying for us since Adam's brother Josh and his wife Lacey were leaving soon for a year away in China and they were desperate to meet the baby before leaving. On Saturday, the 25th, we invited ourselves over to Adam's parents' house for dinner so we could spend some time with Josh and Lacey. Since I had been having irregular contractions that day, I told Adam that we should leave Jackson there that night just in case.
Because I was induced unexpectedly the first time around, I wasn't sure if I was in early labor or just having more Braxton-Hicks contractions. I couldn't remember what it felt like the first time other than it being very uncomfortable and eventually very painful. I kept saying to Adam, if I'm not in early labor, then I have no idea what's going on.
So we packed up camp and headed over to the Bennett's where we had dinner. Throughout dinner I sporadically was trying to keep track of contractions and was getting increasingly more uncomfortable. I ate around 75% of my dinner and then we said our goodbyes to Jackson and headed home. In my heart I knew that this was probably the last time Jackson would be an only child so I gave him an extra squeeze and told him how much I loved him and would miss him while we were gone.
In the car, I was much more attentive to the contractions, timing them using my iPhone app. My doctor wanted me to call when we were 5 minutes apart for an hour, so when we found out that my contractions were 3 1/2 minutes - 4 minutes apart, we thought perhaps we should go to the hospital instead of home. Of course by the time we were making that decision we were already in the city, so we parked the car, Adam went into the house and fed the cats and then we turned around and headed to the hospital. We arrived around 8:30pm. My biggest fear was that we would get there and they would send us home making me feel stupid...so after they got us set up in the labor and delivery room and told me that I was 3 cm dilated and having contractions, they told us that we were being admitted and got my IV saline drip started.
My labor progressed nicely, my body remembered what to do since I made it to 7cm the first time prior to the C-section. At 4 1/2 cm, I told them to bring on the epidural (I have no shame) so I could get comfortable and get some rest. The epidural was a Godsend...I seriously don't know how people do without it...but I wasn't able to get much rest as I couldn't get comfortable in the bed. I wasn't able to move my leg left and therefore couldn't adjust my position. And just like the first time, I felt like I had restless leg syndrome, wanting to move my leg badly. About an hour later, the nurse came in and asked if I wanted to reposition myself which I gratefully accepted and was able to sleep for about an hour.
Around 6am, they checked my progress and I made it once again to 7cm. Around this time (it may have been before or after), Grayson's heart rate dropped, just like Jackson's did. However, this time around, when the nurses came in to check on us, they repositioned me and his heart rate rebounded just fine. Around 7:00am I began to feel pressure "down below", so they checked me again and I was 10 cm dilated, fully effaced and the head was +1 in the birth canal (whatever all this means). So they wanted me to wait a bit longer before pushing so that the baby could move down further so I wouldn't have to push as long.
At 8am, I told them that I was ready to push as I was getting that desire to "bear down". Pushing wasn't that bad, although I had a hard time because I felt my head was going to explode from holding my breath. The nurse kept telling me to hold it in my chest, not my cheeks, but I had no idea how to do that. I pushed for about an hour and a half when the nurse brought over a mirror to use as motivation. Probably not for the faint of heart, but this did work a little bit as I could see how close the baby was. I pushed 3 more times when the nurse told me to stop so she could get the doctor (who was not my OBGYN...since he wasn't on-call that weekend).
The doctor came in and in two more pushes (with an episiotomy) the baby's head was out and they were suctioning him out. I heard his cries as they pulled him out of me and laid him on my stomach. I just laughed with relief and pleasure that I was able to successfully do the VBAC. I was not able to hold Jackson until 4 hours later, and just wanted that experience. It was such an amazing feeling to have Grayson enter the world and be placed on me just like he was meant to be. And he looked just beautiful and surprisingly nothing like Jackson! Jackson was born with white blond hair and bright blue eyes so we were surprised by Grayson's dark hair (which is actually lighter but seemed really dark at first) and dark eyes that mimicked his cousin Evan's eyes when he was born. They are a muddy blue color, so it should be interesting to see what color they turn into.
|Grayson and a very sleepy Mama|
The official stats: Grayson Alexander Bennett was born at 9:45am, weighing 6 pounds 10 ounces, and is 20 inches long.
This hospital stay was so very different than the first. It seemed that there was such a long list of things that were wrong with Jackson and there was absolutely nothing wrong with Grayson other than a small abrasion on his head. Everything has been different...nursing has been different (and actually started off much worse than with Jackson..there were no wires to deal with or incubators, Grayson cries a whole lot more than Jackson did, and we got to go home right away.
While in the hospital, Josh and Lacey had their prayers answered and were able to be visit before they made the long journey back to China. Adam's parents brought Jackson in for his first visit. He was a combination of tired, cranky, and knowing something was up but not sure exactly what. He was happy to see his parents, but not exactly a happy camper altogether.
|The very happy Aunt Lacey|
|Jackson in his is Big Brother t-shirt a few sizes too big!|
|Aunt Lacey and Uncle Josh|
|"Hey...let's get Jackson in the picture"|
|Maybe some other time...|
|"Hey Mama...I miss you!"|
|That's a little better...|
|Ready for discharge! We couldn't pack fast enough!|
So, now we are getting used to the new normal at home. One of my favorite moments was Tuesday evening, when the four of us were on the couch. I was nursing Grayson, and Adam was sitting with Jackson who was having a bottle before bed and Adam looks at me and said, "This is awesome".
|Checking out baby|
|Grayson got Jackson a new toy to play with!|
|I love the way Jackson looks in this picture!|
|Checking out the new toy!|
|Jackson's gift to his baby brother.|
|Sally - if you're reading this...Carson's t-shirt got some use this summer...I swear will get it back to you!|
|"Don't you dare touch my pacifier"|
A couple of evenings ago, I headed down to the basement to spend some time with Jackson while the baby slept. Adam left us alone...perhaps he knew I needed some alone time with him or he may have simply needed a break himself, but I needed to be with Jackson. We played together for about an hour and I was overcome with emotion at wanting to make sure that he was okay. At one point, he stopped playing, crawled into my arms and just put his head on my shoulder. Then I knew that both of us needed that time.
Meeting my family:
Yesterday we went over to my sister's so that we could visit with her newest addition, baby John, who was born the day after Grayson. My parents came up to help out so they were around to meet both of their new grandchildren.
|Grandpa meeting his new grandson|
|Baby John (Jackson and Grayson's newest cousin)|
|Both of the newest grandbabies!|
|Grandma with the grandbabies!|
|Opening up his big brother gift from Grandma and Grandpa|
|Driving his car|
|Gifts for Grayson|
|Baby John and his Aunt Becky...he looks like he's puckering up!|
|Aunt Kim with Grayson|
|Baby swap! (I think John prefers his Mama)|
|Baby John and Uncle Adam|
Today marks the one week anniversary of our newest addition. Its been a new adventure for all of us complete with lots of diaper changes (for the record I've been peed on twice and pooped on once), sleepy parents, but a whole lot of love.