He’s here! HE’S HERE :). Okay, he’s been here for 3 weeks but I am finally getting time to write down our experience bringing this beautiful boy into the world.
Our sweet boy was born on March 10, 2017. He weighed in at 7lbs 8oz and was 19.25 inches long. We went to 30 doctor appointments (specialist & OB) and had 28 sonograms throughout our pregnancy. Countless prayers have been said for this boy and an army of love and support have been given to us to help us get to this point.
We did not have a spontaneous labor. We did not have that movie moment where we get all flustered deciding if we should go to the hospital. We knew were headed to the hospital at 10am on Friday, March 10. We woke up that morning, showered, had breakfast (Paul did) and made our way to the hospital. We walked down the familiar hallway to the Labor & Delivery area of Baylor. Signed in, just as we had done 11 short months prior.
It was a surreal feeling walking down that hallway to our room. I couldn’t help but have flashbacks when entering the delivery room. Changing into the glamorous hospital gown and getting situated in the hospital bed. Then the nurses kept coming in to start my blood work and ask me the required questions. Those questions included explaining several times that no, this was not our first pregnancy. And then each time we had to explain to that we had lost our first born 11 months prior. They usually asked if we found a cause of death and we’d answer no. Then they would get this sad look on their face and we’d assure them it was okay. That we were okay and that we felt so incredibly lucky to be back in the hospital.
Within 30 mins of being in the hospital a large group of our family and friends showed up to keep us company. They were just as nervous as we were. I looked up from my bed at one point and we had so many people in there room that there was hardly any standing room available. Paul said this was one of the things that gave him flashbacks to Cora. Seeing our room full of those we love and have supported us.
Eventually our doctor came back to take us into the operating room. I will tell you, it is a very bizarre feeling walking yourself in an operating room, knowing your about to be cut open. Luck would have it that we had the exact same anesthesiologist that we had with Cora. He is really wonderful. They got me in there and started the epidural and then covered me with warm blankets. Paul remained at my side the entire time. I was worried he would be moved or not walk in at the same time as me but he was there holding my hand through everything.
The nurse asked what music we wanted to play. In my semi-drugged up state I started to give a convoluted answer that I love Kelly Clarkson & Taylor Swift while Paul likes heavy metal so it’s going to be hard to pick music. Luckily Paul was quick on his feet and told them how much I love Hamilton. So, the nurse put on Hamilton to which I happily started singing along to keep my nerves calm.
Our doctor’s strolled in with their arms in the air from scrubbing. I remember thinking “oh this is just like grey’s!” – y’all those drugs are real. Once my doctor started she pretty much talked us through the procedure. Paul was allowed to peek over the curtain to watch which he thoroughly enjoyed the science lesson. Once the doctor told me they would be taking him out I just sort of held my breath and remained calm. Paul was looking over the curtain so he could let me know what was going on.
Once he was out, I didn’t hear a loud cry at first (like we were warned). Paul kept saying “he’s moving, he’s moving!”. Then Rowan let out a little whimper. Paul eventually went over to help cut the cord and then got to stay with him while the NICU evaluated him. I think Paul went back and forth between us several times to check on me and keep an eye on Rowan. He was seriously super Dad! Once they cleared Rowan’s airway, he let out this big scream and it was like magic! I couldn’t help but giggle. I thought I would be a crying mess but I wasn’t. I just laughed at the sweet, sweet sound of his cry.
I’m not sure how long it was but eventually they brought Rowan over to lay on my chest while they finished closing me up. It took much longer than I expected ( I will spare you the gory details) but it does take a while to close up. So, the three of us just stayed there together. Paul & I marveled at him. I’m pretty sure I just said “Hello” to him about 50 times.
Once I was closed up they put us in recovery where we stayed for about 1-1.5 hours. It was a beautiful time to spend just the three of us. I was a little afraid I would look down and see Cora when I looked at Rowan. But it wasn’t the case, he is very much his own person. He has dark hair like Cora and occasionally his lips looks a lot like hers. They definitely have the same hands and feet. But overall, Rowan looked just like himself :). Okay, he looks exactly like his father!
I have so much more to share about him and about our experience but I am not quit ready to share it all yet. We’ve been spending the past 3 weeks in a glorious, exhausting newborn fog. And in 5 short days we will be marking Cora’s first birthday. It has been an emotional 3 weeks and I anticipate an emotional next couple of days. Once we’ve had time to process all those emotions then I will write more about our darling boy and parenting after loss. But for now, we are enjoying (most of the time) every snuggle, every dirty diaper, and late night nursing session. We know what it is to not have those moments so we are treasuring each second with this boy.