Sunday, July 1, 2012
Henry Paul Schaffer
It's hard to believe our baby boy arrived a whole month ago. Henry Paul was born on Thursday, May 31st at 3:46 in the morning. I wanted to be sure and document what's left of my memories of the experience as to not forget his entry into the world entirely. I had a doctor appointment on Wednesday, May 30th (my due date) in the morning. I was shocked that I was still pregnant on my due date as both girls were 2 days early AND I had been dilated since 36 weeks. I had been having all sorts of weird pains - but nothing that was an actual contraction (at least that I noticed as one). After the doctor did his exam, he told me he thought I would be in later that night. Jeff and I both kind of chuckled with the doctor - as if he could ACTUALLY predict that. As we were walking out the door, my doctor casually called to us, "See you at 2am!" The rest of the day I spent walking on egg shells. Jeff was at work and I was on my own with the girls...afraid to venture out of my neighborhood should my water break or contractions begin. But I was determined to stay on my feet and try and walk that baby out. I called my friend Jessica to see if she wanted to meet us at a park with her kids. Mental distraction + kids exerting energy was the perfect recipe...not to mention it passed the time and meant good company...so off to the park we went around 4. Jeff met us at the park after he was done working at 5 and we decided to grab dinner on our way home. We stopped with the kids at Broder's near our house and were enjoying our pizza when I started feeling uncomfortable. It didn't take me long at all to realize they were contractions. There was no 'tightening' feeling like early contractions feel like, these were uncomfortable contractions that had my mood changing quickly. I told Jeff I was having contractions and minutes later told him I thought we should go as I didn't feel like sitting at Broder's while laboring. So we headed home, Jeff bathed the girls and got them ready for bed while I took my time getting the house put back together and breathing through contractions. He then went out and mowed the lawn while I took a shower and threw the last few things in my bag. By this point, it was clear that tonight was going to be THE night. We didn't say anything to the girls before they went to bed. I didn't want them to wake up early excited that Grandma and Grandpa would be there or worry about anything in general. So after they fell asleep, I snuck in their rooms and gave them the biggest hugs and kisses...knowing this would be the last night I ever tucked TWO kids into bed instead of THREE. By about 9pm, the house was put together, car was loaded, lawn was cleaned up and we were ready to go when the time was right. We sat and watched TV and timed contractions (there's an app for that you know;-) until about midnight when things were picking up speed. We placed the fateful call to my parents (I had given them a head's up once the contractions had started) and they headed over to our house. Once they arrived, I called the on-call doctor at my clinic to let them know I was heading over. During the car ride to the hospital (about an 8 minute drive), I had 4 contractions - things were starting to move quickly! We headed up to the maternal assessment area where they hooked me up to the monitors to confirm I was in labor. I laughed to myself because I was 100% certain they weren't going to be sending me home telling me I wasn't in labor. I was right, I was already dilated 6cm! So they admitted us and we headed to labor and delivery. I spent some time laboring in the room and moving around before deciding to order my epidural. My water hadn't broken yet and they warned me that once it did break, things were going to progress extremely quickly...especially considering this was my third baby. At 2:15am, my doctor walked into the room and said, "You're 15 minutes late!" We all laughed (although I was NOT laughing at this point), but how crazy was his prediction! At about 3am, my epidural was administered, my doctor broke my water and by the time I was laying back down, it was time to push. I pushed for about 20 minutes and there he was - 6 pounds 15 ounces of perfection. One of my requests for the delivery was that I got to cut the cord...and I did! It was a wonderful delivery despite the fact that it went so quickly and I didn't feel God gave my epidural nearly enough time to settle in;-) But it was amazing and beautiful and a perfect first meeting of our one and only son. It was a little weird having a baby at 3:46 in the morning. Normally, we would have been on our cell phones dialing up our family and friends...but we didn't want to wake anyone, so we decided we'd wait until the sun started shining. So we called just our parents and let them know he was here, we were doing great (although exhausted) and that we'd tell them his name when they came to the hospital later that day. Around 7, the calls and texts started coming in from eager brothers and friends and we were able to share the news of his arrival. The day was filled with visitors and I even captured this video of the girls and my parents meeting Henry for the very first time. God is so incredibly good.