It's almost 2 months late, but before I forget most of the details I want to document Parker's birth and the days before and after.
Our last picture as a family of 5.
I was certain Parker would be born earlier than his actual due date. Several things that factored into those thoughts were: 1)I was huge! If you saw me at all during the last 3 months of my pregnancy you would have thought he was coming sooner too (I had people asking me "any day now?" for months before he was born). 2) All 3 of the other kids were born early. 3)Parker was measuring large. 4) to the best of my knowledge and calculations I thought they had the due date off a week.
My mom planned to arrive a few days before his due date and stay for 5 or 6 days. I really wanted Parker to come on because I wanted her to be here while I was at home after his birth, not just hang out with me still pregnant. About 4 days before my due date there was still no sign he was coming anytime soon. My doctor suggested an induction for 2 days after my due date. She felt comfortable with that and so did I, but I still wanted him to come sooner on his own. The date came and went and still no Parker. So Tuesday morning, August 21st, I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. We woke up early, got ready to go and headed out. My mom stayed with the big kids which was really helpful. It was nice not having to worry about them while we were away. The hospital, Beth Israel, is just a few blocks from our apartment and since I wasn't in the throws of contractions it didn't make sense to jump in a cab, so we walked (my choice). I'm really glad we did that. It was a fun little walk. The dark of night was just barely fading and there wasn't anyone out in the neighborhood, kind of like we had it all to ourselves. Freddy and I talked, reflecting on the other times we were heading to the hospital for the birth of our kids and anxiously anticipating what the day held for us, it was just a sweet time.
I was quickly admitted to the hospital and in no time hooked up to all the machines and started the Pitocin. When I was first examined I was only 2, maybe 3 centimeters, no real change since my last appointment. The nurse said I could request an epidural at any point and when I reached 6 cm my doctor would break my water. After an hour my contractions were picking up and strong, so I went ahead and requested the epidural. As it turned out there were 2 emergencies in the OR that required the anesthesiologist. Two hours later he finally came in. My contractions were really strong and I was very uncomfortable. The epidural was great and I was able to relax a little after I got it. It didn't take away all the pain, but it certainly took the edge off. As time went on the doctor broke my water and once that happened things sped up. Around 3 p.m. I was checked again and at that point fully dilated. I really appreciate my doctors approach this time. She told me that soon I should be feeling lots of pressure and when I did to call her and I could start pushing. As soon as she left the room I started feeling more pressure. I felt kind of dumb telling the nurse because it seemed weird how it happened soon after the doctor left the room. The pressure was increasingly getting worse. In no time the doctor was back and we were ready to have this baby. I pushed for a total of 1.5 minutes and Parker was born. It was the most painful birth out of all my kids, but the fastest by far. I can't explain the emotions that came over me as soon as he was born. I started crying and could not stop. I was relieved and happy and amazed and exhausted. Here was this little boy that caught us by surprise the December before and the baby we've been waiting to see for 9 months. I was sad that this was probably the last time I would ever experience a moment like that again and so thankful that he was healthy and perfect. Since he is our 4th child my perspective was so different than with the other kids. I knew this was a sweet moment that would pass all too soon and that these first moments of meeting our son were precious and priceless. Some of the feelings come back even writing it down in words.
8 lbs. 15oz. Wow! That explains a lot!
Very proud Daddy!
We did it! What a relief.
The next hour or so passed by and the doctor and nurse had finished all the post delivery "chores" and it was just the 3 of us. My mom was on her way to the hospital with Jack, Elliott, and Lillie and we were waiting to get moved to our room. We used Freddy's I Pad to Skype with Gran (Freddy's mom) since she was in Tennessee and could not be there to see Parker. Can't believe we were able to do that, kind of crazy. Once I got moved upstairs we settled into our room and the rest of our crew showed up. Jack was excited to see Parker, but a little reserved. Elliott asked a hundred questions and could not wait to check Parker out. Lillie was nervous and a little taken back by it all. She was quiet and didn't want to hold Parker because she said she was scared. After about 30 minutes Freddy took the kids home and my mom stayed back with me. It was good to have her there, but a little bittersweet since I knew she had to leave the next day before we could go home. I'm just grateful she got to meet Parker.
Jack, Lillie, and Elliott meeting Parker for the first time.
Me and my Mom
Elliott holding Parker for the first time
Jack holding Parker for the first time
Parker and Nay Nay
Family of 6! I still can't believe it.
Parker was a champ in the hospital. He was so good. He immediately ate well and our stay there was pretty normal. Once while I was feeding Parker, in the wee hours of the morning, I had the TV on trying to keep myself awake and the show Friends was on. It was a very old episode and I'm not sure exactly what the story line was but Phoebe was in the hospital for something. At one point they showed the outside of the hospital and it was a shot of the main entrance to Beth Israel, the very hospital I was in. It was kind of funny and sort of weird! We were able to come home mid morning on Thursday the 23rd. It was a beautiful, sunny day and since I felt pretty good we strolled (very slowly) home, same route we had walked a few days before. Parker was in his stroller and it just felt good to be outside and out of the hospital.
Lillie holding Parker for the first time. She finally warmed up and asked if she could hold him. I think she was proud of herself.
In the days/ weeks to follow my aunt and uncle came for a several days followed by Freddy's parents. A few weeks after that my grandmother came and spent time with us. Our church family provided meals here and there for a few weeks. I'd say the transition from a family of 5 to 6 has been pretty smooth. It feels like Parker has been here forever. We are so grateful for him and for the Lord for his faithfulness.