Three weeks ago, I was walking the beaches here through three full days of "early labor." Contractions would come on strong and last consistently for hours or more, then fade away. It was an emotional several days, with J sent off to stay at my parents since we were warned that when this little man came, he would arrive quickly.
I'll never forget those beach walks. All three days were glorious, warm New England fall days with blazing sunshine on the blue water.
I walked several miles alone the first day, feeling incredibly emotional. I did a lot of crying. I think I had a great deal of fear and trepidation from my first birth experience that I just had to let go of in order to move forward this time around. I walked up and down the beach, listening to my favorite music and just letting the tears fall. It was beautiful and transforming, and I think this beach will always hold a special place in my heart.
The second and third days, the hubs accompanied me on these beach tromps, and those were also some special strolls. We reflected on our last three and a half years as parents, our last seven years being married, and these nine years we've been together. It felt like truly turning a page. And we spotted this boat on the end of my last day of "early labor", which I took a sign things were going to happen soon (I was looking for any damn sign at that point, frankly, but still loved this boat)...
By Friday night, I was four centimeters dilated, both of my sisters were in town and ready to lend a hand, the little man had spent two nights away from us already, and we had spent one preemptive night in the hospital during a particularly serious bout of contractions. In short, I had completely and totally had it. I was in a lot of pain, and felt like I had been and would be pregnant forever. We had a short dinner at my parents', came home and went to sleep.
Around midnight, I was awakened by contractions on a whole different level. By the time I was in the most intense part of my labor with little J I had gotten an epidural, so I hadn't really experienced this level of power pain. We hung out timing the contractions for a bit, and then I was totally floored by one that let me know without a doubt it was time to get rolling. We hopped in the car for the fifteen minute drive to the hospital. The hubs timed a contraction in the parking lot as we arrived at 2:21am.
The little dude was born on October 27 at 3:28am.
I can't believe that was over three weeks ago. So much happened right after little L was born... some extra nights in the hospital for what turned out to be nothing (but the speculation was stressful at the time), the hurricane coming through the northeast, the election! Add post-partum hormones and sleep deprivation to the mix and WHOA. I've kind of just let myself go deep into the haze of it all and it feels good. I'm not really trying to do much except keep everyone fed and content right now. I had intended to get a post about all of this up sooner, but sleep and time with the boys has taken precedent over all else.
We are doing really well. After a rough few days in the hospital, baby L is settling into this world and his place in our family. He's a spirited, strong, sturdy little dude, a Scorpio all the way, and his brother has been a trooper through all of this drastic change. We're finding our way as a family of four, and it feels pretty incredible.
I'd be remiss if I didn't give my husband a huge shout out at this time. He's one of the most in-touch, engaged, capable, assured, sweet and loving fathers I know. I take great comfort in his ease in caring for a newborn, and even when we were both going on about two hours of sleep days after little L's arrival, he has kept a remarkably even keel and done a stellar job providing a balance of amazing support at home, while keeping all of the balls in the air at a demanding job. I am so grateful that he is the father of my children. B - you rock. Thank you.
So, that's the story! I've seen some beautifully written full-detail birth stories out there on the interwebs, but it feels better to me to keep the nitty gritty of ours as something a bit more private. I will just say that I am just very grateful that I had such a quick delivery this time around and was able to try going the natural route, which I had intended to do the first time around, but the forty hour labor got the best of me that time. This time, there was no time for debate... they were literally still checking us into the hospital when I started pushing! Crazy. It was also very cool to have my sister in the room for the birth... a singular experience neither of us will ever forget. Most of all, I'm thankful for this house of healthy, beautiful boys I have and for all of the adventures yet to come.
I'm looking forward to a slothful week ahead involving lots of pie and QT with my dudes. I plan to get back to posting regularly shortly thereafter. In the meantime, wishing all of you a very happy Thanksgiving and a restful, indulgent week! We have a lot to be thankful for this year!