Harvey is here! He was born on November 15, 2016 at 8:08pm. I've obviously been playing catch up on blogging in bits and pieces! It's almost 3 weeks later and I'd better write about his birth before I forget more details.
My labor began the way it always seems to begin for me - contractions at night for a couple weeks that would always fizzle out by morning. I was dilated to 3cm for a couple weeks too. I had an induction scheduled for Nov. 21, one week before my due date, because the baby was measuring so big. No surprise there. It was really nice for me mentally to have an induction scheduled - there was a concrete end in sight! That didn't make anything easier physically, but nothing really can at that point.
So Monday (the 14th) I ran a bunch of errands - stocked up on a bunch of stuff at Sam's, did a big grocery haul, etc. I also made a big list of things to do that week, hoping to stay happy about still being pregnant because I was going to get so much accomplished. I rolled around on my exercise ball that night during contractions and wrote thank you notes for gifts from the shower a few days before. Tyler went to sleep and I stayed up timing contractions, every 8-10 minutes. I think I was awake until maybe 3am waiting for them to go away so I could sleep. Millie and Max woke me up around 7:00 and we lounged in my bed for a little while. Tyler had left early to go downtown (ironically, to be on a panel about being a parent and accountant!) and I texted him to let him know I was still having contractions, every 5-8 minutes at that point. Tyler thought he should come home but they weren't very intense so I told him just to come home after his panel thing was over. I had a doctor's appointment at 9 that morning so I hurried and got ready and packed a bag for the kids to stay with Gigi, just in case. I dropped them off at Gigi's and then headed to my appointment. The doctor checked me and said I was at a "stretchy 4, almost 5" and did a sweep, which was more painful than I thought it'd be. I told her I'd been having contractions but that they weren't very intense. She said to go to the hospital whenever I wanted or when things got more intense - they wouldn't turn me away at that point since I was so dilated.
I wasn't really sure what to do at that point - if I should have Tyler just come to the hospital and we could walk around for a little while, or if I should go home and get the kids, etc. I didn't want things to fizzle out and I didn't feel like they would, but I knew I wasn't in active-enough labor to go to the hospital just yet. In the end we decided to meet at home and leave the kids with Gigi for a little longer. If in a few hours we weren't heading to the hospital we'd go get the kids, but I was really hoping that wouldn't be the case! I went home and began cleaning the house. My contractions were much more intense after the sweep and cleaning only helped! I also re-packed my bag for the hospital. Tyler kept asking if we should go to the hospital - he was worried we wouldn't make it! But I put it off a while. I laid down for a bit, rolled on my ball for a bit, and then finally Tyler insisted we go and at least be in the area of the hospital (25 minutes away).
The car ride was, again, awful. I don't know why but it's always one of the worst parts for me. But between contractions we ordered some lunch from Freebirds. We don't have one near us so that was a fun treat! I was starving and knew I wouldn't be able to eat once in the hospital. It was pretty much the yummiest burrito bowl ever! And it was fun to have a little "date" before having a baby haha. We sat in the hospital parking lot to eat.
We got checked in and settled. Our nurse checked me and I was still around 5cm. I got all hooked up to the monitors and we watched a Harry Potter while I rolled around on my ball. I felt bad that my rolling on the ball kept messing up the monitors, but the nurse was really nice about it and didn't mind.
My doctor came to break my water (I think this was around 6:30pm) and said I was at about 7cm. I was undecided about an epidural at that point. The doctor said that baby was in a funky position and they had me lay on my side to get him in a better place. It took about 2 contractions after that for me to ask for an epidural! Moving around had been so helpful, as had that nice cushion of amniotic fluid. Luckily the anesthesiologist was close by and it wasn't long until the epidural was in. It helped at first but after a couple minutes only my legs were numb and I could still feel everything happening in my stomach. I couldn't move through the pain and at that point I'm pretty sure I was in transition. It was pretty awful! I was crying and felt nauseous and was so hot and sweaty. Tyler was totally my rock. He fanned my face, held my hand, fed me ice chips and encouraged me. The anesthesiologist came to check on me and kept saying "I am so sorry!" and pumping the meds, but my legs only got more dead with no change to my stomach. Looking back I think (hope) I could have handled it better if I had been able to move. And maybe if I had chosen to not have an epidural instead of expecting to have pain relief and then it not working. But as it was I was a hot mess! After a while (hard to tell how long, felt like forever to me haha) the anesthesiologist gave me a local anesthetic at the epidural site. Finally I got some relief! I was still in pain and feeling contractions but it was totally manageable. After each one I kept saying to Tyler, "Oh my gosh, that's SO much better!" The nurse checked me at that point and said baby was right there and ready! So they got everything prepped and called the doctor. The baby was still in a weird position - with every contraction I could feel his bum pressing hard against my ribs on my right side. Once the doctor got there she said he would probably straighten out easily once I started pushing. She was right. I pushed through 3 contractions and then he was here!!
One of the nurses found some unique features while checking Harvey out. His 2nd and 3rd toes on both feet are webbed! On one foot it's all the way, and in the other it's just up to the knuckle. He also has a cute birth mark under his left ear.
Harvey constantly sucked his hand/thumb At first. The hospital gave him a binky the day we went home and he loves it.
Gigi brought the kids to meet Harvey the morning after he was born. They were so sweet with him!
Grammy, Poppy, Heidi, James, and Wes also came to the hospital at different points.
We waited until the morning after he was born to decide on his name. I loved the name Harvey throughout my whole pregnancy and Andrew is Tyler's middle name, my dad's middle name, and Tyler's brother's name! So it's special for a lot of reasons.
We brought Harvey home on Thursday! The timing of it all couldn't have been better - Tyler was able to stay with me in the hospital and then was off that next week (Thanksgiving week) as well. I am so thankful for him! He was a rockstar and took such good care of all of us. We also had lots of help from Gigi and other family. It definitely takes a village and we are sure grateful for ours.
My recovery has been good. After about a week I felt great! Harvey is a great baby during the day. His fussy time is at night which is a challenge, but I'm trying to remember that it won't last forever! It's so fun to have a newborn at Christmas time. I'm enjoying doing less and having a good excuse for it haha. It's also so fun to snuggle Harvey by the tree. Millie and Max are so sweet with him too. We are so glad he is here!!