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Meet Thomas Daniel Birth Story

On the morning of March 9 2018, our alarm went off at precisely at 6:15 a.m.… I awoke with a huge smile on my face. After nine long awaited months, today was the day that Ryan and I would welcome another sweet baby BOY into our family. It felt like Christmas morning! I laid there in bed for a few more moments just rubbing my huge belly, soaking in those last little kicks and hiccups that I would routinely feel every morning.

While it felt like my pregnancy went by in a flash (thanks to an on-the-go toddler keeping me distracted!)… it seemed the last month of my pregnancy took foreverrrrr… Despite the sciatic nerve pain, swelling, nightly heartburn, and waddling around… I loved being pregnant. But, I was certainly ready to meet our little man. I spent the last several months nesting, decluttering, organizing… the house was clean, pantry was stocked, bags were packed. We were ready!

Our hospital bags were already packed in the car and ready to go! My parents spent the night so they could watch Michael before our babysitter arrived (so they could then join us at the hospital). We spent the next hour fixing Michael’s breakfast, playing in the playroom, and snapping a few photos of Michael’s remaining time as an only child. It was 7:45 am and time for Ryan and me to head to the hospital. After giving Michael one last big hug goodbye (my last as a mama of one!) we hopped in the car, and off we went! A few happy tears were shed (by me!) as we drove off because I knew the next time we walked into our home it would be forever changed. Michael would officially be a big brother and we’d be raising two under two!

I remember it being such a surreal feeling during that 12-minute car ride to the hospital… Ryan looked at me as we drove off and said, “Okay! Let’s go have a baby!”. It was a sunny Friday morning, 50°, with a slight breeze in the air. The roads were clear. We both chatted about all of the anticipated excitement that was to come in the next few hours. “King of the Road” was playing on our Coffee House Sirius radio station.

We parked and arrived with 3 minutes to spare prior to our check-in time. A nurse greeted us and walked us to our triage room where the C-section prep began. If you heard or read Michael’s birth story then you may recall we ended up having an emergency C-section due to Michael’s heart rate dipping and my irregular contractions (we later found out his umbilical cord was wrapped around his foot). While an emergency c-section wasn’t at all part of my birth plan at the time… we were blessed with the birth of a healthy baby boy and that’s all that matters. No matter how babies enter this world… birth is birth is birth. So, when we found out last August that we were pregnant (read more about that here!), we decided to go the C-section route again this time around since the birth and the postpartum recovery was all that I was familiar with. A small part of me wanted to try for a VBAC just so I could experience both… but the unknown of the concerning risk of having a uterine rupture (when the uterus tears open along the scar line from a C-section I had just 16-months prior) was something I definitely wanted to avoid. Yikes! So, early on in my pregnancy we scheduled our C-section for the morning of March 9th, 5 days prior to my actual due date. I was at peace with it.

I slipped into my labor & delivery gown (polka dots, of course!). Our nurse hooked me up to an IV and various monitors to watch baby’s heart rate and my vitals. Shortly after we were settled in, my parents and Ryan’s mom arrived at the hospital. It was almost time!!! Again… such a surreal feeling! No crazy contractions, no epidural, no pain at all… yet, I was about to have a baby within the hour. What?! I was starting to really enjoy this whole scheduled C-section thing! Everything was going to plan which you can’t always say that with the uncertainties of birth.

My OBGYN greeted us with a smile and was excited for our baby’s arrival (she’s the same doc that delivered Michael). We met our anesthesiologist and she talked us through step-by-step on what to expect throughout the surgery. I was told in advance that she was the gatekeeper in allowing me to have one extra person in the delivery room (in addition to Ryan)… she was super nice and gave my Mom permission to be in there with us! That meant the world to me since she couldn’t be in the room with Michael’s birth. It was time for Ryan and Mom to slip into those fashionable scrubs!

I walked down the hall and into the operating room (Ryan and my Mom would soon join me once I had my spinal block). The operating room was as clean and bright as I remembered it… just 16-months ago with Michael’s emergency C-section, I was being wheeled into this room on my hospital bed with an entirely different perspective on how things would unfold. This time around the birth team was moving at a much slower pace… I was calm, cool, and collected… with no fear as I knew I was in great hands by the Henrico Doctors medical staff. Coming from a girl that used to be terrified of needles, blood, surgery… I must say I was one tough cookie that day! I remember saying “girl power!” as I looked around the room… all women doctors and nurses on my birth team today! I slid up on the operating table and my hands started to get a bit clammy… time for the spinal block. As I said, I’m not a huge fan of needles. For this medicine to be administered you have to bend over, stick your back out, and remain completely still (much easier to do this time around without having contractions)… my nurse was amazing – she gave me a pillow to hug and as I hunched over she wrapped her arms around me. One of my favorite hits by James Taylor “You’ve Got a Friend” was playing quietly on the radio… my Dad used to sing it to me when I was little so it immediately put me at ease (insert “God wink”). I felt a cold chill go down my back and seconds later my legs were totally numb. Man, that stuff works fast! I laid down on the bed, they pulled the drape up, and it was showtime!

Ryan and my Mom joined me at my bedside. My hubby looked so cute in his scrubs. He grabbed my hand and kissed my forehead. He was quiet… I could tell he was a bit nervous. Mom took my camera and started documenting video. “Mac the Knife” was playing on the nurse’s playlist – I was diggin’ the music that day! Roughly 15-minutes went by… strangely familiar feelings of pressure, tugging, pulling… it was in that moment on March 9, 2018 at 10:36 a.m we heard the sweet little cries of our baby boy, our Thomas Daniel.

My doctor opened the flap to the drape in front of me and immediately passed Thomas through and onto my chest. My sweet Thomas… finally in my arms! Happy tears streamed down my face! He was 7 lbs., 4 oz. and 19.75” of pure perfection. My heart exploded with immense JOY! I was so surprised and happy to see that he had much of my features as a baby — Michael came out as Ryan’s mini-me! When I was pregnant with Thomas there was this quiet fear inside me thinking… How could I possibly have more love to give when it’s all wrapped around my first son, Michael?? A recent birth story article I read sums it up beautifully on how I felt welcoming Thomas into our family… “But as any parent of more than one child knows, your heart, instantly, inexplicably, miraculously, graciously, and magnificently expands with more love than you ever believed was possible, as soon as you lay eyes on your baby, and hold {him}, and feel {his} body on your own body…”. It’s unexplainable, raw, love.

Once they stitched me up and the spinal tap had worn off they wheeled us up to our Postpartum room where we stayed for 2 nights. Thomas was so alert those first few hours exploring the world around him, meeting his grandparents, and lots of skin-to-skin snuggles!

The following morning my parents brought Michael to the hospital so he could meet his little brother for the first time. Those first few moments as a family of four… it’s a memory that I will forever cherish. The look in Michael’s eyes, his gentle and lovingly touch, his smiles just warmed my heart! They became instant buddies.

The following day we packed up our room. We were so grateful for the incredible care the nurses provided but we were ready to head home sweet home. Many, many thanks to the family and friends that visited us during our stay to celebrate our new addition!

A huge thank you to my Mom for taking my camera into the birth room so Ryan could be fully present for the birth of our son. I will forever treasure those memories captured. We’re also so very grateful to Kathryn Ivy Photography for visiting the day after Thomas’s arrival to photograph Michael meeting his little brother and those special moments as a family of four. And last, but certainly not least, thank you to Andrea Pesce Photography for documenting our in-home newborn portraits!

Welcome to the world Thomas! We love you bunches! XO!

I loved putting this slideshow together of our time in the hospital (*** this does include a few beautifully graphic moments from the birth ***)
and some favorites from our newborn session once we got settled in at home.

 

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  • Emily - May 17, 2018 - 2:08 PM

    I so loved reading your post and seeing the video! I really felt like I was there with you guys again! What a perfect addition he is 🙂ReplyCancel

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