Joshua Matthew joined our family on January 23rd at 7 lbs and 20.25 inches long. We are so blessed to have him with us now and are so thankful for a quick safe delivery! If you don't want the details, just skip the next part... :)
Joshua was born on his due date, which only happens about 3-5% of the time, so they say. It was a Sunday and that morning I started having contractions about 20 minutes apart. Though I'd had contractions since week 28, I think, these were actually on the mark, every 20 minutes. That gave me the first clue that we'd probably have a baby within the next 24 hours. They weren't bad; I didn't have to stop what I was doing or anything. Throughout the day, they got closer together... every 15 minutes, then every 10 minutes. They were about every 6 minutes by the mid-afternoon. I decided to lay down for a nap on the couch and they went back to every 10 minutes.
Contractions aren't comfortable, but they are even less comfortable when your 4 year old is trying to brush your hair and your 2 1/2 year old is climbing in your lap and pushing on your belly. I was having to push them away sadly, but they weren't understanding. So I sat there, after my nap, in labor with my girls glued to my side. It was very hard to concentrate on being relaxed as they got more intense!
I went ahead and told my parents that they could make their way here since they had a 3 hour drive and it was getting late in the day. Matt's mom called just before 6pm to see if she could take the girls for us. Matt declined since we didn't really know how much longer it would take. Well, not 5 minutes later, I had a very intense contraction and my water broke! I immediately hit the floor, on my hands and knees, thinking first about messing up my couch! I quickly realized that was the least of my concerns because my contractions went from 10 minutes apart to 1-2 minutes apart!! And they became VERY intense! I could hardly get to the bathroom. Matt called his mom back right away and I finished gathering a few things, barely able to walk, and then headed to his truck to wait. Lyn got there within 15 minutes, if not sooner, but it felt like an eternity. All I could think about was trying NOT to have the baby in the truck as I had contraction after contraction with only about 30 seconds in between them.
Finally, we headed for the hospital and I made Matt keep his hazards on. (Some people are just so rude by the way. You'd think that a person coming up behind you with their hazards on and on the road that takes you to the medical center, that MAYBE you should move over and not create a blockade with the car next to you!) Anyway, Matt pulled up to the ER entrance because we knew I couldn't walk; the security guard tried to tell us that we needed to drive around to L&D, but Matt wouldn't have it. Matt had to go park the truck so the security guard, who I don't even know, talked me through the two or three contractions I had on the way to L&D. He was very kind. Within 10 minutes, I was in a delivery room. The nurses hopped to it once they realized how quickly I was progressing. I was only dilated 5 cm once they finally checked me, but within 15 minutes, as I let my body relax more, I was already to 10. I asked for some pain meds but no epidural; there wasn't time anyway. The nurse said it'd only take my pain level down to an 8 from a 10, but I really prefer them for the effects they have AFTER delivery. Thankfully, the doctor on call, who we couldn't get a hold of initially was found and he got there just in time.
At 7:05pm, I started pushing, but it took a few times and lots of readjusting to get comfortable. Once I was where I needed to be, it took two major pushes and out he came at 7:25! The doctor let Matt announce to me that it was a boy and I was thrilled! ... also a little bit scared as our new life of raising a little BOY flashed before my eyes! Matt had picked Joshua's first name, but he let me pick the middle name, so I chose Matthew, after his daddy.
Here are some pictures...
My favorite moments after having a baby are finally holding them in my arms and being face-to-face with the one you've been getting to know distantly, in a way, for the past 9 months.
The girls LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their new brother! Hannah kept singing Happy Birthday to Joshua and Chloe kept saying, "I finally have my brother! See? I told you it was a boy!"
Hannah had separation anxiety from Mommy, so she sat in my lap most of time they were visiting. She didn't want to leave my side for a while.
Chloe feeding Josh. I made a bottle especially for the girls to have this experience.
A funny story... I was burping Josh one time and Chloe said I wasn't doing it right (I guess because it was taking a while for him to burp). She asked to hold Josh so she could show me how to do it. As I supported him, she showed me how to pat his back, which is exactly what I was doing, and now takes full credit for teaching me to burp him. She said, "I showed you and now you can do it by yourself next time!"
Hannah and Josh. These two are going to be great together! Hannah already says, "I can't wait for Josh to get bigger and he can jump wif me on de bed!"
Mommy trying to spend time with the girls and keep things as "normal" as possible, although they really aren't.
Our new little family of 5!
The girls are adjusting well! Chloe is always incredibly happy having Josh around. Hannah has more of a rough time not being able to come sit in my lap when she wants to all the time. But I've tried really hard to make it a point to snuggle with her when I have empty arms!
Joshua is sleeping fairly well. He's now making it 3-4 hours at night versus 1-2 at the beginning. At first he was constantly hungry and I thought I would never make it if that was how he'd always eat, but he's leveled off now.
We are excited about the dynamic a little boy will bring to our family! Thanks to all of our family and friends who have provided meals and child care over the past few weeks as we adjust! We love you!