Tuesday marked one month since giving birth to my second boy, Yohan. I know im biased, but isn't he adorable?
My first was born a week early and I (stupidly) thought my second would be early as well. I spent that last week certain I was in labor nearly every evening. My mom was in town and we would watch Father of the Bride 2 or Columbo while she rubbed my feet then I would go to bed thinking, "this is it". Every night we reminded Elijah that we might not be there in the morning and every morning he would come in disappointed we were there... without his little brother. I am sure I was more disappointed than he was. I was beginning to get rather grumpy despite the fact that it wasn't even to my due date yet. This is us on Wednesday. I was so sure I was in labor. but was only 2 cm....
I tried to eat a whole pineapple to bring labor on, but all I got was a raw mouth and angry stomach.
Finally on Friday afternoon I realized my contractions were consistent again so i began timing them. After about 2 hours of them being 3 or 4 minutes apart we left for the birth center. I wanted to stay home longer as it felt more natural to me to labor at home. Last time we had a home birth and it just seems like the right place to be. However, I knew my parents were worried I wouldn't leave in time and would have the baby at home. Unattended. No thanks :O)
Also, bad weather was coming so it made sense to head out.
Before we left my mom rubbed my feet between contractions and then my dad prayed for me and the baby. Those are two of my favorites moments in this experience. So thankful to have had them here.
I was not nearly as far along as I had hoped by the time we got to the center, but I was far enough for us to stay. I look back on those first few hours fondly. I was the only one in labor so we had the place to ourselves. We walked the halls, stopping for contractions and frozen grapes. By the way, I highly recommend frozen grapes as a snack during labor.
We had a photographer there and she captured some really beautiful pictures from the labor. These are some of my favorites.
A few hours later the bad weather arrived. There were tornados just outside of town, some not too far from where our photographer lived, which brought some anxiety to all of us. I knew Elijah and my parents were fine, but I still worried some. It was quite surreal being so far into labor (9cm) and watching an electrical storm light up the sky through the glass french doors. I am certain this slowed my labor down. I don't know how long I was stuck at 9cm for, but it was a number of hours. Our sweet photographer ended up needing to go home before the delivery, but I am so thankful for the pictures that she got. Mike was amazing the entire time and I feel like many of the pictures she took really capture that. I don't know how he knows what to do, but he does. Seriously, he is a better birth partner than I would be.
It wasn't until after they broke my water, which I am generally not an advocate of, that I progressed to 10cm. My main memories of the labor experience after that point are of me loudly calling out to God to "PLEASE GET THIS BABY OUT" no joke. I was so quiet and calm with my first labor and this time I think I spent a couple of hours pleading with the Lord out loud to pull him out. Right.Now.
And then it happened. At 2:20am my sweet little boy was born. Pulling him up out of the water and onto my chest was amazing. It is bizarre the energy rush you get after giving birth. I went from falling asleep sitting up in the birthing tub between contractions to being wide awake and excited within minutes. The first thing the midwife pointed out when I lifted him up from the water was his chin dimple. I still can't get over how much I love that dimple. My guess is I never will.
He was 8 pounds 14.5 ounces when he was born and 22"long. Plus, he was born on his due date!
Sadly, we didn't think to have anyone take a picture of us just after he was born, but we do have these two. In the first one I am on the phone with my dad telling him about the birth. It's not a great photo but I like it and the second is right before we left the center.
My parents got to stay with us a full week after he was born and this was a HUGE help. I am so thankful for that time with them.
Then the next weekend my sister and her kids got to come stay with us and that was so wonderful as well. It was so fun having all 5 cousins together.
He is now a month old and on one hand I feel like time has flown by, yet at the same time I cannot imagine not having him here. There is a small part of me that remembers how good I had it sleeping through the night and doing whatever I wanted much of the time with just an independent 4.5 year old to hang out with, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Yohan is sweet with a raspy voice. He is wide eyed and is curious about what goes on around him. He has just started intentionally smiling this week and most of his smiles are reserved for his big brother. You can already tell he looks at Elijah differently than he looks at everyone else. It is beyond precious.
With the assistance of Mike, Yohan spent much of his third day in the outside world inside of this dump truck being pushed around by Elijah who "delivered" him to us over and over. Then we did a similar picture with our photographer :o)
Elijah loves being a big brother. He loves to hold him, bounce his baby seat, and even helps clean up his ever present spit up, which I don't even like to do.
I am tired and sometimes a little cranky and I miss having a personal space, but I am thankful and happy and so blessed to have such a wonderful group of family and friends and especially my beautiful boys.
Our first family photo.
And last but not least, just for kicks, a picture of our tree that fell over, bounced off the house and onto our fence during the storm. Thankfully it didnt do too much damage to the house, especially since my parents and Elijah were in the room where the tree hit.
*our photographer is Emma and if you live in the Knoxville area, she comes highly recommended!*