I'll try to make this as short as possible, but knowing me, it will probably be much too long with too many details, so I'll apologize in advance.
After having contractions and cramping for a week (not painful...just annoying), I awoke at 12:50 am on Tuesday morning with my first "real" contraction. And by real, I mean strong and painful. I waited a while and after having my second contraction ten minutes later, I woke Phil up and told him this could be the real thing. The poor guy had heard this speech about three times in the past week, but he knew when he saw me having a contraction that this was the real deal. Phil called my parents to come over since all the kids were asleep in bed, and then the midwife to give her a heads-up. She said to call when we were on our way to the hospital. I took a quick shower and got dressed and my parents arrived. We were out the door at 2:00 am and arrived at the hospital 20 minutes later. My midwife was already there with three other women in labor. I guess it was a good day to have a baby!!
I was only at 3 cm when she checked me, and I labored on the bed for a little before having to stand with each contraction. They were intense, and my midwife suggested I get in the jacuzzi around 3:30 am. I happily got in and felt much better. She checked me and I was at 6 cm...things were moving fast. At this point, my midwife just stayed with me and stopped checking her other patients. I guess she knew I was going to give birth first. I labored in the tub for about 40 minutes. With each contraction, I would roll onto my side and Phil would rub my back, and then I would swat his hands away because he was rubbing too hard...or not hard enough...or too fast...or too slow...we laboring women are fickle like that!
With every two contractions, I was dilating one cm, so very quickly I was at 9 cm. It was so painfully intense, I really don't know why we moms have more than one child - we're crazy! I told my midwife that she was going to have to tell me when it was time to push, because I never can tell when it's time. She promised she would let me know.
And then the vomiting started. At this point, I was saying things like: "I'm going to die!", "Can someone please help me?", "I can't do this!", "Give me something!" (drugs - which is funny because my midwife doesn't give drugs) and the popular "I don't know what I'm doing!" Phil was trying to be very reassuring, and my midwife said I had to get out of the water and onto the bed to push...which put her immediately at the top of my hit list ;)
I got onto the bed and she asked me what position I would like to try and I told her "None. I can't do this." She smiled and suggested I try all fours, but I didn't like that, then she said to try my side, but my leg felt too heavy that way, so I ended up in the typical-sitting-in-bed-position. A contraction came and she told me to push, but I told her that I wasn't ready to push...that the baby was too high still. She assured me that it was time to push...I was fully dilated and the baby's head was low. I tried to push, but felt like I was going to go to the bathroom, so I didn't really try to push too hard.
On the next contraction, it hurt so bad that I decided I didn't want many more of those, so I really gave it a push (and, yup, I was right about going to the bathroom) and she said she could see the hair. On the next contraction, I tried to push with everything I had and it hurt so bad that I started screaming, and not pushing, so she (lovingly) yelled at me to bear down and push...and out came his head! Then she told me to stop pushing so that I wouldn't tear...but that's like telling the Pope to stop praying - it's just not gonna happen, and so I kept pushing and out he came at 4:34 am.
The cord was wrapped around his neck twice but after she unwrapped it, he started crying and they threw him (again, lovingly) right on top of me.
They actually didn't weigh him until about 5:30, after he had been laying on me (the uber important skin to skin contact) for an hour. He nursed right away and hasn't stopped since ;) Phil cut the cord and the nurses kept talking about how incredibly long it was...3 feet! We all guessed how much he would weigh, and my midwife came the closest with her 9 pound guess. What a chunky hunk!
He looks like Daddy, and they bonded right away (how can anyone say babies can't smile right away?)
(yes I still looked pregnant!!)
The kids all came in with Gammy and Grandpa that day, and they were so excited to meet Alexander Blaise.
Speaking of his name, we actually had two names picked out. One for a light haired baby and one for a dark haired baby. Obviously, Xander was the dark haired name. We'll keep the other one in the vault in case we ever have another boy.
On the morning we were supposed to be discharged, they figured out that Xander had jaundice, so we had to stay and keep him under the lights for 3 days. Poor baby hated being in that box, and he was in my room, so we could see/hear him scream when he was awake in there. It was awful. I started losing it on the second day after they kept promising us we could go home, and then taking it back saying his bilirubin levels needed to be lower. Both John-Paul and Maggie have been through this before, but the pediatrician on call was such a witch and wouldn't let us leave even when it was reasonably low enough to send us home. Phil and her sort of got into an argument and she almost made us sign an AMA to leave. When we finally could leave on Saturday night, it felt so good to go home with all my kiddos. Thank God my parents and one of my sisters really helped out taking care of the older four kids for all that time.
He has a birth mark on his forehead, nose, and eyelids. I guess it's common, but none of my other kids had it. It will most likely fade, but if not, we will get it taken care of early on. Good thing his godmother is a dermatologist and she will keep an eye on it :)
We had to get Xander's levels checked for the next two days we were at home (his poor heels had 17 blood draws!) and I just nursed him round the clock and laid him in the sun until he was out of the woods.
I look at this sweet boy, and can't believe that he grew inside of me for nine months and now he's part of the family. The kids are helping out very well (especially Eamon and Maggie) and are always trying to hold him and keep him happy. Last night he slept from 9 to 1, and then from 2 to 7! That probably won't keep happening, but it was nice to catch a break. No matter what, we are so excited to have him around, and we love him so much!