Monday, June 4, 2012

And Beau Make Four

Beau 15 hours old
Beau Bridger Jeffers made his debut on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 4:47pm. He weighed 7lbs 10oz and was 22 in long. His head circumference was 14 inches. Beau's arrival pretty much came out of nowhere. I had been feeling a little crampy the weekend Beau arrived, but it was nothing that struck me as this could be it! Lee was getting anxious for Beau's debut and had been dragging me on long walks. This particular Sunday morning he went to the grocery store for raspberry leaf tea. Raspberry leaf tea is supposed to be a uterine stimulant, and it is advised that a pregnant woman not drink it unless she is full term. It was quite tasty (it had a few other ingredients), so I was drinking it really strong and a lot of it.

I was in the middle of a phone call with my sister around 12:30 when I had my first contraction. It wasn't much, but I felt it. Lee was upstairs booking appointments to head out to work around 3pm that day. I went upstairs to tell him that I had a couple contractions. I told him to continue booking because I highly doubted that anything was going to happen until really late that night if at all. Around 1:30pm, I decided to keep moving around so the contractions didn't stop. I still wasn't convinced anything was actually going to happen. My sister called and asked if I had started timing the contractions. I told her to chill out because the contractions were super short and at least 10 minutes apart. After getting off the phone with her, curiosity got the best of me and I timed a few contractions. Just as I though...sort of. They were short lasting about 30 seconds long on average. However, they were coming every 3 minutes. How in the world did I get 10 minutes or longer? I went upstairs to tell Lee to quit booking appointments. He said he was finished booking and about to come downstairs. That wasn't what I had meant and told him he wasn't going to work today.

At 2:00, Lee and I decided we should shower and start getting Cora ready. I also called Eva to make sure she was home. I still was in denial and told her this was merely a precautionary call. Meanwhile, Lee was literally running through the house gathering things for the hospital. He was freaking out because the bags weren't packed. Yep, they were missing things like a tooth brush and other items I use on a daily basis. He was stressing me out, so I told him that if he didn't calm down that I would call a cab and uninvite him to the delivery. He rolled his eyes and reminded me that the nurse said second babies come faster. At 2:30, Lee got fed up with my antics and told me we were leaving whether I liked it or not. We had a lot of stops on the way to the hospital. Lee had to drop off all the information about those appointments he booked with a colleague. We also had to get to Eva's to drop Cora off and switch Cora's carseat over to her car. The contractions were getting worse in the car. I chalked that up to having to sit for so long and hitting bumps. Edmonton has really crappy roads.

About 3:45pm, Lee and I pulled into the drop off zone at the Royal Alex hospital. I had a pretty intense contraction in the elevator heading up to the labor and delivery floor. Of course there would be a family in the elevator with a young girl about 6 or 7 years old. It took everything I had not to double over and grab Lee in front of her. I certainly didn't want to scare her, so I stood straight and smiled the whole way up.

Once I got up to L and D, I was glad that Lee had made me come in. A lot had changed in that hour it took to get to the hospital. I knew I was definitely in labor at this point. I told the nurse at the front desk that I would like to check in for my delivery. It was a really slow day and about 12 nurses started laughing at me. The nurse helping me told me it wasn't a hotel (jokingly) and then asked me if I was actually in labor. I was in between contractions and super calm when I walked in. Ten seconds after asking me that, I had the worse contraction of the day and my whole body started convulsing. Lee grabbed me, and the nurse quickly pointed me to a chair to get "checked in". After about 10 minutes in the registration area, I got paired up with my nurse and shown to a room.

They first had to check me out on a monitor and such before they actually admitted me into the hospital. I changed into my gown and they hooked me up to the monitors to watch my contractions. I told Lee this would be a good time to go park the car. As soon as he left, the nurse asked me if I felt like I needed to push. I looked at her really weird and say, "NO! Why would you ask that"? She said she was just asking and then left the room to get a delivery table and the resident doctor. I have done this delivery thing before, and I knew this was strange because I hadn't even been fully admitted into the hospital yet. The nurse came back in with the table and my wrist band. I was officially admitted into the hospital at 4:10pm. Things were moving really fast. I was just laying on the bed watching people rushing around while my contractions were getting worse and worse. Lee came back moments later and the resident doctor came in right after him. I was asked what I wanted for pain relief if anything. I decided if I was only 5 or 6cm dilated, I would get an epidural. If I was 7 or 8cm, I'd try to go natural. Well, I was 6-7cm. Go figure. I opted for the epidural. It was about 4:25pm at this point. I first had to get an IV and a bag of fluid before they could give me the epidural. At 4:35 or so, the IV bag was just about finished. I signed the epidural waiver and the anesthesiologist came in to administer my epidural. It was about 4:40 at this point, and I had the sudden and incredibly strong urge to push. They quickly checked me and I was 9cm dilated. The anesthesiologist told me he could still get the epidural in for the delivery. Of course he offered during a contraction, and I demanded the epidural STAT. I sat up for the epidural and my water broke during a contraction. After the second contraction while sitting, I called off the epidural and laid back down to deliver the baby.

Beau was coming so quickly that there wasn't time to pull apart the delivery bed, so I was laying basically flat on my back. The side rails weren't up and I kept grabbing the nurse. She told me I had to hold on to something else because it was only her and the resident doc in there to deliver and she needed to help with the baby. The delivery doctor hadn't made it yet, which really wasn't that big of a deal. Beau came at 4:47pm after only being admitted for 37 minutes. Lee was a superstar and really helped me through it. I do remember him looking down there and saying, "OH HONEY! He's here!!". I quickly replied with "I KNOW!!!!". Such a loving moment from my end. Ha!

We hadn't been able to talk with the nurse about what was going to happen when Beau was born. While I was delivering, they asked if I wanted skin to skin and if Lee wanted to cut the cord. We both said yes. When Beau was delivered, they immediately cut the cord and took him to the incubator. He was super blue and not crying. The nurse was rubbing him really hard, and then he finally let out a good cry and pinked up. Turns out the cord was wrapped around his body and part of his neck. It was compressing really hard on his carotid artery causing the lack of responsiveness. Lee was with Beau taking pictures and was able to cut part of the umbilical cord. He looked like he was on cloud 9 over there.

As soon as Beau was born, it started raining. The raindrops were huge and were hitting my hospital room window. I thought the rain was fitting since Beau was my springtime baby. It was quite relaxing to sit in our delivery room with our new baby boy listening to the rain. Lee spent the first 20 minutes holding Beau. My body was completely exhausted. My arms were trembling from holding the bed so tight that I wasn't sure I would be able to hold him. I just needed some time to lay there. I am guessing that is what it would feel like after running a marathon. It was amazing watching Lee and Beau bond. When I finally held Beau, it was wonderful. He was so sleepy and content. The nurse weighed him before she left us by ourselves. Beau was a whopping 7lbs 10oz!! WHAT?? He seemed smaller than Cora, but he was nearly a pound heavier. Lee and I hung out with Beau enjoying our first moments with him before we started calling people and getting ready to move to our recovery room. It was quite nice. Before we were moved, the nurse who checked us in came by to say congrats. She was still laughing about me asking to check in for my delivery.

My first moments with my son.

He's pretty swollen from the delivery. He is absolutely adorable.
Going to our recovery room in a wheelchair. The ultimate treatment.
 We called Eva as soon as we got to our new room and had her bring Cora to the hospital to meet Beau. Lee also sent out a text message inviting everyone up. I was feeling great and was on a mega high after having such a fast delivery. I couldn't wait for Cora and our friends to get there. Mara arrived first quickly followed by Eva and Cora and then Linnea. It worked out perfectly because Beau was getting his first bath. We were able to get Cora's reaction to her new brother on video when he made his grand entrance into our room. She was so excited to see her new brother. She held him right away and was all smiles. It was awesome! Mara, Linnea, and Eva all had their cameras in hand, so we have a ton of photos. Amazing. For a moment, I felt like a celebrity with all the flashes going off. During all of this, more friends arrived. Shaun, Amy, Rene, and Jamie all came to see Beau. Beau did excellent and slept the entire time people were visiting.

22 inches long!
Bath time.
He hated his first bath- just like his sister did 3.5 years before him.
All clean and back in our room.
Cora patiently waiting to meet Beau.

Beau saying hello to Cora
Cora holding Beau for the first time.
Jeffers Quartet. Our first family photo.

 After everyone left, Cora almost immediately fell asleep in my hospital bed. Lee and I decided we would all spend the night together in the hospital. It was quite fun. Beau slept in his bassinet, Lee in the foldout chair, and Cora and I in my bed. Reggie was the only one left out and he was at home freaking out. Seriously. He has become such a worrier in his old age.

Beau is dressed and ready to go home.
In true baby fashion, Beau pooped a soon as we had him dressed. The nurses gave us a bio-hazard bag to take the diaper home.

Daddy is a pro at this car seat thing.
Our starfish is so excited to go home that he is cheering with every ounce of energy he has.
 We were discharged by 9:30am the next morning. We had the room until noon, so we took our time leaving. Lee took Cora to daycare and then went to get Reggie. Lori and Amy both stopped by in the morning to see Beau. By the time Lee and I made it home, it was 1:00 in the afternoon. We had a few hours to enjoy Beau before picking Cora up. We pretty much just watched him sleep. He's pretty cute.

Home Sweet Home. It seems as though he likes his bassinet.
 Beau's hair is light brown and not near as thick as Cora's. His eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are smaller than hers, but his profile is nearly identical to hers. I've had many déjà vu moments since having Beau. It is very uncanny how much he looks like Cora from the side. He nurses like a champ and rarely opens his eyes. In fact, it took us a few days to actually see his eyes fully open. Most of the time, he'll only open his left eye. He is such a lazy baby. He is very strong, but he hardly ever tries to use his strength. He is just a lazy little noodle. He arches his eyebrows a ton trying to keep his eyes open. It never works. His forehead wrinkles all the way up to the top of his head. He looks like a really old man when he does that. His hands are enormous and his feet might as well be swimming paddles. The nurses couldn't believe how long his toes were.

Cora is adjusting quite well. The first night was a bit tough. She was feeling left out, but handled herself as well as I could ask of a three year old. She has since fallen in love with him. He seems to be soothed by her voice -- yelling, growling, talking, crying -- it doesn't matter. She showers him with kisses and reassures him when he cries. She is extremely protective of him and doesn't really like people other than Lee or I holding him when he is fussing. She is a wonderful big sister and he is a great little brother. Our little family feels pretty darn complete.
Cora holding Beau all by herself!!
She adores him...most of the time.

For such a short labor and delivery (about 4 or 5 hours total), that sure was a long birth story. I am really thankful that Lee made me go to the hospital when we did. Having a baby on the side of the road or at a friends house would have made for a good story, but not a good experience from our end.

Mara put this little collage together. :)