This has been a complete whirlwind of a week and I want to write it all down before I forget–especially because this is one of those things/stories I never want to forget.
I’m going to preface Leo’s birth story by saying the Isla was nine days late and we NEVER expected Leo to be early. I didn’t think he’d even be a few days early, let alone over three weeks.
I guess it’s true how different each pregnancy and baby is, and the differences between these two new siblings is a perfect example
Anyway, the story.
I’ve been getting over a bad cold for a few weeks that I caught from Isla who had strep throat and an ear infection basically since mid-December. Poor girl. Because of this, I was blowing my nose pretty much constantly, and I’ve been told I blow my nose like a grown man by pretty much everyone who has ever heard me blow my nose. Needless to say, it isn’t gentle. When I was blowing it on Sunday, I must have done so too hard and I felt a pop and then had tons of pressure. I felt like I had practically blown Leo’s head into engagement. That being said, nothing happened and I went about my day like normal without too much concern. After all, they come when they are ready.
Monday was my first day to relax, get some work done, have some time to myself, and basically catch up on life (which apparently had other plans for me). Isla and I spent a lot of time in her new playroom upstairs while she went through her toys, made me “coffee” from her play kitchen, and I got some editing done. Later I talked to my grandma on the phone, made lunch for Isla and me, and put her down for a nap. For the first hour or so that she slept, I continued working and started cleaning up the house. All was well and I felt totally normal with zero cramps or contractions.
During the cleanup, I took my laptop in our room, sat down on the bed before I made it and finished up some work, and all of a sudden I felt a huge gush. After my water breaking naturally with Isla, I immediately thought that’s what had happened. It didn’t continue and there was only one gush, but it was quite a bit. I called my mom who proceeded to tell me my water probably broke or I had a leak, to call my doctor, etc. I did all of the above, but I was only 36 weeks and 4 days and honestly believed nothing was happening, even though I had a feeling (based on absolutely nothing) that he might come early. Nothing could happen–after all, Isla was super late, and I felt fine. No contractions or cramping followed the fluids. Everything was normal.
I called the doctor, was on hold for 20 minutes (they were incredibly busy that day, and for basically the first time ever since I’ve been going there), and I started cleaning up and getting myself together in case I needed to go in. Isla was napping and I made arrangements with Dom and his mom, and the nurse who I spoke with told me to go ahead and go to triage at the mother/baby unit in the hospital I would be delivering at. Dom’s mom came over to hang out with Isla, Dom stayed at work (again, I didn’t think anything was actually happening, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry), and my friend Emily drove me to the hospital just in case something happened on the way or I went into labor. I didn’t.
When I arrived to the hospital I was checked into triage and looked over. I was tested to see if I had a leak or if my water broke, and everything came back normal. That being said, I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart and didn’t even realize it. They checked me and I was dilated to a 1 so they kept me around to monitor, just to be safe.
An hour later (and several more contractions that didn’t let up), I was dilated to a 2. I started to feel light cramping but still wasn’t too worried. They arranged to give me fluids to see if I was dehydrated and maybe my contractions would stop. We went through a bag, and instead of letting up, my contractions grew stronger to the point that I felt them in my back and had a lot of cramping.
At this point my doctor was called and he planned to come in and evaluate me. Until this point my nurse had said I had a 50/50 chance of going home or of having a c-section that night (which I already had scheduled for February 1st). I was told to call Dom and have him come in “just in case.”
By this time, I still didn’t believe anything was happening. Emily even joked that I was so calm that she and my friend Alie knew it would be happening. I was “too calm,” as they put it.
And then Dom arrived, followed immediately by my doctor, and I was told I would be having a baby that night. I was almost immediately prepped for surgery, moved into the operating room, given a spinal, and we began. What I remember about the c-section was that right after the a spinal they had me lay down and started prepping everything. They tested me to see if I could feel anything, and when I couldn’t they went ahead with hanging the sheet, cutting me open (and all the other gory details), and brought Dom in. I was either having trouble breathing from laying flat and having a stuffy nose or I was having a mini panic attack–it could go either way–so they gave me oxygen at my request. One of the anesthesiologists sat back with Dom and me, and my doctor, who is absolutely incredible, talked me through everything, complete with plenty of jokes.
Leo was born at 8:26pm at 5 lbs, 4 oz, 20″ long, and a 13.5″ head. The doctor held him up over the sheet for us to see which was a really nice change from Isla’s c-section, and they moved him to the NICU team to check him and make sure everything was okay–which they do for all c-sections, but especially when they are (even slightly) premature.
When Leo checked out and was good to go, they brought him to Dom to hold, let me kiss him and snuggle him (with only my head because my hands were still down at the sides), and then they took him and Dom to the nursery to check him out further. I was cleaned up, stitched back together, and wheeled to the c-section recovery room and began hand expressing because his blood sugar was slightly low, though not out of range. This was really the only issue we had other than his temperature being slightly low the second day and him having to be placed under the warmer one time for 30 minutes.
Overall, the hospital visit wasn’t bad, I felt about 1000 times better than I did with Isla’s delivery, and Leo has been a dream. My mom watched Isla the entire time we were in the hospital and we were so excited to come home and see her/let her see Leo. Nursing is going SO much better and even the nights aren’t nearly as terrible as they were with Isla. When we introduced Isla to Leo, she was super excited and kept excitedly saying “I see baby!” before we let her “hold” him. She wanted him on her lap pretty much nonstop and melted all of our hearts.
That’s all I can really remember at the moment without going into every detail. We are so glad he’s here and can’t believe we are a family of four. It still feels surreal but in the best way.
Happy birthday, Leo!
All professional photos by Alexandra Lee Photography.