(Disclaimer: This is the birth story for our new bébé so if you’re one of those people who reads this blog just for the cupcakes, this story might not be for you. But don’t worry, I only wrote down the funny bits so it’s safe.)
This little guy has been surprising us since day one and in every way: from finding out we were expecting to his semi-dramatic delivery, this baby has a style all his own. I’ve been very conscientious to try to treat each of the boys as their own person and not assume that because something worked with the first, it would work with the second. But I still was not expecting them to be such complete opposites (especially because they look so similar-no denying these two are brothers!). I also didn’t realize just how similar Saurus was to Husband until I had a baby who was a mini version of me. Saurus sweats to death if he even looks outside (Husband!) ; Little Fox would be happiest in a sauna (me!). Saurus was not a fan of blankets; Little Fox can’t have enough-the thicker and fuzzier the better. With Saurus, I had a long, horrible labor/delivery; Little Fox, not so much.
Everyone told me second babies come more quickly so I figured maybe 12 hours of labor instead of 20; 2 hours of pushing instead of 4. I was so, so wrong. After waiting an extra two weeks for this dude (at least he was like his brother in it taking forever for him to finally make his debut), Saturday morning rolled around:
Me: It’s Baby Day!
Husband: How do you know?
Me: Because I want all the drugs and having children was a terrible idea. Also, I’d like to punch you.
Husband: Yay! It’s Baby Day!
My contractions were about 3 minutes apart but that’s how they started (and continued to be for like 12 hours) with baby number one, too, so I figured I’d better settle into the pattern and didn’t feel much urgency in getting moving. (I’d discussed this with the doc and she said to judge them by strength, not by length this time around.) So I decided the plan would be to hang out at home until I could no longer carry on a conversation, then make our way to the hospital. I figured this guy would stay true to pattern and that we had several hours to go. We’d eat breakfast, get ready, pack our bags, have the babysitter and doula come over around lunch, then maybe have a baby by that night. Plan made. I had intentionally left myself an “in labor to-do list” with lots of things to distract myself while I waited for it to be hospital time. Because I’m brilliant like that. Things like packing the hospital bag…..which was, in retrospect, a terribly stupid idea.
Thus, I started the plan: I stumbled through a shower while Husband made us waffles (which are THE BEST) but by the time they were ready, I couldn’t sit still long enough to eat them. (9am) So I just walked laps around the house staring longingly at my waffles and coffee with each pass through the kitchen. Then all at once (9:30am, if you’re keeping time), I realized I had made a terrible tactical error. I told Husband he should probably have the babysitter come, like, NOW, and maybe put some stuff in a bag.
Husband: Okay, what do you need me to pack?
Me: Um, clothes.
Husband: Which clothes?
Husband: What shirt?
Husband: You have 16 black shirts.
Me: Shirt. Black.
Husband: Where is the black shirt you want?
Me: Shirt. Laundry.
Husband: Black shirt in the laundry room. That narrows it down to 9 shirts.
Me: Shirt. Bag. Don’t care.
And so we went for what seemed like hours but was probably only about 10 minutes: poor Husband scrambling and me being zero help whatsoever. Also in the labor plan was to distract Saurus with movies and new Legos but he wasn’t interested and I’ll never forget that sweet little voice talking to me (he was pretty much just copying what he heard Husband say all morning) and his chubby little hands giving me back rubs. I predict that one winds up in some sort of caregiver profession.
Saurus: Your don’t feel good, Mama? (Saurus has yet to master the pronouns)
Me: Yeah, not so much, buddy.
Saurus: Oh. I made your coffee.
Me: Thank you, sweetheart, but it’s going to have to wait. We’re going to meet your brother today.
Saurus: Oh. I got to help you feel better. I’ll rub your back.
Me: Good job. Thank you.
Husband: Saurus, I set up fun stuff in the playroom for you-why don’t you go in there and I’ll stay here with Mama?
Saurus: No ganks, Dad. I got to stay with Mama. Her needs me. I helping. Your can do it, Mama!
Anyway, our amazing friend who drew the short straw for babysitting that day was halfway through a 15-mile run (because he’s ridiculous like that plus I told him we wouldn’t need him til lunchtime)….poor guy, he sprinted 7 miles back home to get his keys to rush over to our house, the doula rushed over too, Husband grabbed as many black shirts as he could find, and I was sprawled out on an exercise ball, completely useless.
(10:20am) So far the plan was working marvelously and I was congratulating myself on being a genius and was definitely not wishing I had all of the drugs modern medicine had to offer. (Or any form of medicine, really. Or maybe not even medicine. Legality wouldn’t have been an issue either.) Oh, and the other not-flaw in my genius plan was that the hospital I was supposed to go to was an hour away….
Husband: Alright, everyone’s here, let’s go!
Me: Yeah, not going to make it.
Doula: That last contraction seemed…pushy.
Me: Yeah. That.
Thankfully there was another hospital about 15 minutes from our house so we raced to the ER there, while Husband mentally prepared for delivering a baby in the car and I wondered why teleportation wasn’t a real thing. (Side note: crossing your legs does NOT work.) The doula called ahead to have L&D ready for us and from there it was pretty much like a comedy movie:
We pull up, wheels screeching to the ER. (10:45am)
Husband: My wife’s having a baby, like, NOW.
Orderly, to me: So are you here to be checked or is it actually time?
Me, nodding vigorously and clearly about to have a baby in the hospital entrance: Mmhmm. Time. Mmhmm.
Orderly: Okay, I’ll take you to the waiting room and have registration come register you
Labor nurse (who thankfully ran out at the right moment): NOPE. She’s coming with me.
And into the delivery room we went, 37 seconds after arrival.
Doctor: Alright, let’s do this.
Registration lady (who followed us into the delivery room): I need your ID.
Husband: Yeah, let’s just hold off on that for a second.
Me: I AM UNHAPPY (paraphrased)
Doctor: Almost there.
Registration lady: What’s your name and address?
Me: I can’t do this for 4 hours.
Husband: You got this.
Doctor: It will not be 4 hours. It will be 4 seconds.
Me: Oh. Okay then. I can do 4 seconds.
Registration lady: Do either of you have ID?!
And then, quick as a fox, he was here.
Doctor: Wow. That’s a big baby.
Me: I noticed.
And then I got to hold the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen. Well, tied for first place with his brother. I’m not sure if it was the lack of drugs, the less miserable labor, or being able to hold him right away but I finally got that mom moment thing you see in the movies where everything is just perfect and you completely forget what happened .3 seconds earlier.
Me: Thanks! Sorry I was so whiny earlier.
Nurse: ….you were birthing an 11-lb baby. Without drugs. You were a hero.
Me: Well still, I’m normally a pretty happy person and that wasn’t exactly how I wanted to meet everyone.
Nurse: I’ll be right back. The lady down the hall is trying to birth a 7-lb baby WITH drugs and IS being whiny. I need to tell her about you and to suck it up.
Me: 7 pounds. Bless her heart.
Turns out, I didn’t bring an ID of any kind to the hospital (See? The “don’t pack the hospital bag til you’re in labor” plan worked flawlessly) so Husband had to go back home and get all the stuff I forgot. And procure coffee. Priorities. Which was about the same time the Pediatrician came by to officially pronounce the little dude perfect.
Pediatrician: You just had this baby? Well, or toddler. He’s huge.
Me: It’s been an hour or two.
Pediatrician: Was that your husband in the hall?
Me: Tall guy? Probably looked lost?
Pediatrician: Yup. That’s the one.
Me: Yeah. He’s on a coffee and breakfast mission. I didn’t get my waffles this morning.
Pediatrician: And you’re already up and dressed?
Me: ….was that bad? Was I supposed to stay in bed?
Pediatrician: You’re just awfully perky for someone who just birthed an 11-pound baby.
Me: I got a baby today. I didn’t push for 4 hours. It’s a happy day. Except for the part where I didn’t get waffles or coffee.
Nurse: Whenever you’re ready, we’ll move you to a regular room.
Me: I’m ready! Let’s go!
Nurse: Okay, I’ll call for a wheelchair.
Me: Thanks but I’m good. I’d prefer to walk.
Nurse: Have you thought about teaching birthing classes? You’re not normal.
Me: I’m in if it includes breakfast.
Take heart, moms who’ve had terrible labors, there is redemption in second babies!
Me: This whole labor thing was not nearly miserable enough. Now I’m going to want more of these cuddly things.
Husband: Not a chance.
Being a mama to two little boys is just about the best thing I could have dreamed of. I never worried about loving a new baby as much as I love Saurus (although, sometimes, when he’s throwing a tantrum and Little Fox is snoozing sweetly, I wonder if I can love Saurus as much as the new one…) and am enjoying learning and experiencing (most) things as a new mom all over again. I feel like I missed out on those initial bonding moments with Saurus and am so grateful to have had them with his brother. And watching the two of them together melts my heart. Saurus is the most helpful, kindest, gentlest, sweetest big brother (except when he’s not paying attention and trips over him during tummy time or throws a wild pitch and pegs him in the face…) and loves Little Fox just as much as he loves dinosaurs. And I love both of them a whole lot more than I love dinosaurs.