So I had a baby.

It’s been about a month since I posted and that’s because I’ve been a little busy… Because I had a baby!

This past month has been a whirlwind. I’ve been incredibly busy getting to know my little man. Oh yeah – it’s a boy! Maxwell Keene was born on the 10th of January at 9:30pm. I went in to the hospital as planned on the 9th for my induction. When we pulled into the parking lot that night, we realized that there seems to be some truth to the idea that women go into labor when there’s a full moon! The parking lot was packed and the labor and delivery unit was hopping. We were settled into our L&D suite and I was hooked up by an IV by 7pm after registering and answering a million intake questions. I expected to be started on the Cervidil right away, but they were so busy that it didn’t get done until around midnight! Unfortunately, that meant that by 8am the next morning when they expected to be starting the Pitocin, my cervix hadn’t made much progress.

My doctor came in around 9am to do an exam and decided that since I had dilated a centimeter and my cervix had softened a bit, he’d go ahead and break my water. Let me tell you, that internal exam was painful. The Pitocin was started, my water was broke, and we were on our way to having a baby!

Or so we thought. Unfortunately, my little guy was pretty comfy cozy where he was. He wasn’t descending into position and my cervix was making very little progress. As a result, they kept increasing the Pitocin, which was making my contractions incredibly strong. Getting through a contraction was doable, but not when they were coming right on top of each other. They were coming at a pace that you’d have at the end of labor when it’s almost time to push, but the baby and my cervix were nowhere near ready. So I gave in and asked for an epidural. I was so thankful when the epidural kicked in. I did get itchy from it, but the pain relief was so worth it. Unfortunately, they kept increasing my Pitocin and I eventually started to feel the contractions through the epidural – so they increased my epidural. Then the baby’s heart rate started to drop during contractions. It was like the scenarios in “The Business of Being Born” coming to life. After the nurse put me on oxygen and left the room to talk to my doctor, I said, “They’re going to tell me I should get a C-Section.” Sure enough, when the doc came in the room he advised us that he’d suggest a cesarean at that point.

Alex and I talked about it and decided to go for the c-section. We felt that it was better to just go ahead with the section while the doctor was there and ready to do the surgery, rather than try and wait it out and then end up needing it in an emergent way. Once we gave the go ahead for the surgery, things moved incredibly quickly. The anesthesiologist came in to increase my epidural to the level needed for surgery. I asked him if the itchiness would go away. “Ohh… You’re itchy?” he said. “Unfortunately, that will probably only get worse.” That was not what I wanted to hear. By the time they wheeled me into the overly bright and white operating room, I was feeling pretty low. I felt like everything was out of my control and I felt really removed from the whole experience.

Alex came in and was sat by my head. He held my hand and told me that I was beautiful and he was proud of me and assured me that everything would be fine. He told me that I was going to be a great mommy and it really helped to have him give me that pep talk. It helped to bring me back to the moment – as much as I could through the haze of drugs they’d given me. The itchiness hadn’t gone away, but now it was trumped by uncontrollable shaking. They’d told me to expect that, but I didn’t expect to feel so out of it. Every c-section I’d seen on TV seemed like the moms were still pretty alert, so I wasn’t prepared for feeling like I was seeing things through a heavy fog.

Not long after we got into the room, we heard the first cries of our little baby! The doctors and nurses knew that we didn’t know the gender, so the anesthesiologist asked my doctor, “Well, doctor, what is it?” “Hold on a minute…” he replied. They told me where to look, “Look up here – in a few seconds you’re going to see your baby!” And then we heard my doctor say, “Oops he peed on me! Well, I guess I gave the sex away…” and then I saw my little boy for the first time – screaming, legs and arms splayed and generally looking pretty pissed off to be evicted from his warm little home.

I turned my head to Alex, “It’s a boy! We had a boy! We have a son!” He kissed me while I laid there smiling and staring at him. They brought our son over to us and gave him to Alex. I stared at them. The anesthesiologist grabbed my hand and moved it to my baby’s head, “You can touch him…” he said. It didn’t occur to me that I could move. I was elated but just so out of it. After a few minutes, they wheeled Alex and our son to the recovery room while they finished putting me back together. I stared at the ceiling. It didn’t seem to take all that long, but Alex said he thought it was about 45 minutes before I was wheeled into the recovery room to join them. That’s when Alex handed me our baby and I really got to meet him for the first time.

I stared at our little man – it was an incredible and overwhelming moment. He was exactly what I imagined. A familiar little stranger.

And now it’s almost a month later. I can’t believe how quickly time has passed! Max has grown and changed so much already. He’s gone from a teeny tiny squishy little newborn to an adorable and alert little one month old baby. He’s the center of our universe and we’re loving every minute of getting to know our boy!

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