Our second son arrived early in the morning on Tuesday, February 5th. Leading up to his birth-day, we were excited to meet him and eager to begin life as a family of four. The weeks and days prior, I had been trying to figure out the logistics of going into labor, laboring at home and heading to the hospital with our two-year old present and in tow. Thankfully, the Lord had every detail planned and the timing was perfect.
*I’m going to share more details of Owen’s Birth Story, so if it’s too much or you’re not into that sort of thing, be warned!*
On Mondays, Jeb commutes an hour and a half to grad school (it’s his last semester! YAY!). Since he drives through our hometown, Cade goes with him and spends the day with Nana. This has been a huge relief and source of rest for me! It was the week before my due date and I had a scheduled appointment on Tuesday, so Nana suggested having Cade spend the night and them coming up to hang out the next day. We were thrilled! Jeb and I had a relaxing evening: I finally packed my hospital bag and we were catching up on the latest Downton Abbey episode. At about 10:30pm I was complaining about back pain and just couldn’t get comfortable so I started a warm bath.
Thirty minutes later, I started having my first contractions. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t want to alarm Jeb or anyone else until I knew that I knew that I was in labor. This process baffled me. I had been in labor before and had an excellent time of managing contractions and finding comfortable positions, but this was definitely not the same. It was as if each contraction was wildly unpredictable and I couldn’t get in “the groove” of each stage. So, I would have a decent contraction lasting about a minute and then a few mild ones and then a really painful one and then nothing for a minute or two. Poor Jeb. From my memory, I was walking around our house like a mad woman randomly leaning on our counter, or pacing briskly or lounging in the nursery… He was extremely patient and encouraging and loving, by the way!
Around 12:30 am I decided that I needed to call my mom. I was needing clarity to know if this really was labor (and not Braxton-Hicks) and also to get a game-plan on her coming and helping with Cade. It was great hearing her calming voice and to assure me that Cade would be cared for and that he wouldn’t be at the hospital until I was ready. Once again, Jeb was watching and following me pace around our house. I would lean on him and grab his arms for the duration of many contractions. Then, thirty minutes later we decided to call Debs, our dear friend and my doula, a birthing coach. Because of the time, I was really hesitant to call or text anyone, but by this time I knew I needed someone to coach me! From their conversation she was planning on coming to our home, but as soon as Jeb hung up I knew that we needed to go to the hospital.
It was 2:07am and we were in the car headed to the hospital. We checked in and made our way to Triage. When I was changing, my water broke and I felt tons of emotional relief. This was confirmation that I needed to be at the hospital and that this was going down! We would see our son soon! The nurse checked me and I was dilated to 8cm. Praise the Lord! I was so relieved and comforted by that news. As they were wheeling me to the delivery room, Debs met us in the hallway. Again, another great relief! Jeb texted our moms an update. Once we made it to the room, I was double-teamed by nurses starting IVs and checking my progress – already to 9cm. I remember they asked me not to push and to wait on the doctor.
The doctor arrives, after I successfully called-out a nurse for chatting on her work cell phone… not my most peaceful moment! By this point, I’m exhausted. Emotionally drained and physically tired. In my mind, I was expecting this delivery to be somewhat similar to my first but much smoother. So, I’m thinking I still have hours until this baby is born… I push twice and they are commenting on his hair. Then two pushes later, he’s born!! It was quick. Like super quick. They immediately toweled him off and handed him to me. He stayed on my chest for over an hour – he nursed and we just chilled for a while. He was born at 3:08am, not even an hour after we checked in.
Then they weighed, bathed and swaddled him up. My mom didn’t make his birth, but was able to come early that morning. I remember it being extremely peaceful and calm. We were each taking turns holding our new sleeping baby and Jeb and I were trying to sleep! Melanie was at our home with Cade, which made it so much easier to focus on Owen.
We had about a four hour labor and delivery. The meaning of Owen’s name is young warrior and “well born.” I was holding onto “well born” as a literal interpretation and wasn’t disappointed!
As I’m writing this, Owen is almost six weeks old, in a sling on me and is growing healthy and strong!