a week before peanut arrived.
Tuesday (the 21st) I had a long conversation with my doctor regarding the possibilities of accidentally birthing a baby somewhere other than a hospital. She told me she would be in touch with the hospital and call me to let me know the plan after we decided an induction seemed safest (I have very mixed opinions - still - regarding this). Months and months ago, I dreamt of meeting a baby on the 23 and have held onto the dream ever since. Minutes later, my phone rang. I was to check in at the hospital on the 23rd at 7:30 am.
The nice side of induction is the ability to make plans in advance and have no worries about the frantic nature of making plans at the last minute. And despite the fact that I knew pregnancy had to end sometime, the shock of it all was astounding. I found it worse to know for days about when exactly we would meet our baby.
Wednesday showed up with Aunt Sara's arrival and plans for pedicures after one last stop at Babies R Us. Family rolled in that night - we did a last pre-baby dinner at Red Lobster where they made a special dessert for the girls and for the baby's impending arrival. It was a nice way to stop thinking about the events of the next day. The peace vanished when we got home. We made last minute plans and arrangements, but my head felt like a never-ending reel of thoughts. I slept a solid three hours before I was up and unable to sleep much more.
Six o'clock came early, but it was the start of something magical. I called the hospital to confirm, and things started happening. The girls were up and eating, and the rest of the house was abuzz with excitement. I was so excited and absolutely terrified of what the day held.
Walking into the hospital with belongings and snacks and a whole support system felt a bit like we were checking into a hotel for a great time - the panicked flutters of my stomach were a different story. And also the hospital gown sort of ruined the vacation vibe. My midwife and doctor met us there at 8:00. I could spend hours talking about my love for the both of them. They have given me the absolute best care. We discussed different induction options and ended up going with having my water broken first to see what my body would do. That happened at 8:30, and basically was all fun until 1:00 when I found out nothing had happened. Even with a prideful walk to the cafeteria in the aforementioned hospital attire PLUS the amazing hospital socks. The doctor said she was pretty sure baby had hair; something I found hard to believe but something that ended up propelling my ability to focus through things later. We don't make babies with hair!
So then, pitocin happened. And for awhile, it was still fun. My sister made me laugh so hard, the nurse came into see if I was laughing or puking as the spiked lines on the contraction monitor picked up. For once in the entire pregnancy, the puking was trumped with uncontrollable laughter. Let me just say - my nurse? Also absolutely amazing. She left with the instructions to keep laughing; life is better that way. I laughed my way to three o'clock when I had to stop laughing so hard, as they made my contractions a bit more intense. And then four o'clock happened and I wished I could see 3:00 again. I had feelings that baby was turned funny which was likely halting the rapid progress everyone had expected. We walked and rocked and suddenly, I wanted to disappear. I knew things were happening. The trips to the bathroom with my pole and my husband were things I will never forget. It always ended in laughter which seems quite inappropriate, but it was more like I needed to speak without a filter for a few solid minutes before returning. 4:00 also put the kabosh on this. Instead, I said things like, "I'm not gonna get a gold star for doing this without medicine, right?" I also (allegedly) said, "I feel like an animal in the zoo."
Right before six, I was told baby was a bit crooked (I had mentioned this many hours earlier - I just felt like it wasn't quite in the right position) and after an extremely uncomfortable encounter with the peanut ball, I knew my baby would be here soon. Shortly before 6:00, my body began working - something I am absolutely amazed by. There was not one time of counting, nothing forced and unnatural. At 6:07, I pulled my baby onto my chest and felt the biggest rush of relief.
We heard, "What is it??" I hadn't even cared. I had a perfect baby on my chest, and it was over. I picked baby up and saw boy parts - UNREAL. It was absolutely shocking and such an awesome surprise. And he had hair! I will never forget the moments each of my babies were placed on me and the moments beyond. Luca spent the first hours of his life showing us that he knows his hands and their comforting abilities very well.
Fun fact: my placenta was heart-shaped.
He weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. Jimmy and I welcomed family to love on him, and then spent the night admiring him...after the most delicious dinner of my life - a sub sandwich and a huge soda. Jimmy took this opportunity for Luca's first lesson in sports as Sports Center played in the background. You know the hospital thing where they want vitals every fifteen minutes (fine, three hours.) so I basically slept for two hours and spent the rest of the time staring at my perfect baby or staring at my poor, snoring husband crammed on a reclining chair.
The following morning, I didn't even care about the exhaustion. I was determined to get a shower, a coffee from Starbucks, and actual clothes. I didn't let myself down. We also had visitors, and Jimmy ran off to a parent-teacher conference and to pick out the surprise coming home outfit.
So, the lack of sleep part made the desire to be home that much greater. We got to order a delicious celebratory meal and once Luca was cleared by the lab, we were set to go at 9:00 pm that night.
We had the sweetest greeting when we arrived home. Ruby has talked about baking a birthday cake for the baby from about the second she found out there was a baby. They made a strawberry cake with chocolate frosting, and topped it with fresh strawberries, sprinkles, and a 0 candle.
daddy pretty much nailed the coming home outfit.