I woke up at about 4:30 am with contractions. Since this wasn't the first time I had been awoken by contractions, I was not alarmed, but taking note of how close they were together, how strong they were and if I could fall back asleep. By about 6 am I knew this was it and I woke Nate up to tell him. We packed our bags, and the kids bags so everything was ready to go for when they woke up around 7.
We got to the hospital at about 9:30 and the nurse at the desk was getting everything ready for me to go to the room where they check you to decide if you are in labor. Thankfully a seasoned nurse walked by at this time and witnessed me contracting, and while silent, she knew I was farther along than it looked at quick glance. She asked if this was my first, and I told her it was my third. She asked if I thought I was getting pretty close and I said yes. So, she suggested bypassing the assessment room and we took a short cut to labor and delivery.
By the time we got to the room and got settled it was about 10:15. The nurse checked me and informed me I was 8 cm. The doctor came in shortly after and we made as quick a plan that we could. 1. Get epidural or intrathecal 2. Break water 3. Have baby.
When the anesthesiologist came, we decided to go with the epidural. So, he got it in place and let me know that I should only feel 2 more contractions and then the epidural would kick in. I specifically remember this moment because when there is an end in sight, enduring what comes next doesn't seem so bad. It's finite. I even said back to him, "then I will enjoy these last two." Then, the doctor broke my water.
By the third and then the fourth contraction that passed after that, I knew something hadn't gone as planned. I remembered the relief I felt with Griffin at 10 cm when the epidural kicked in almost immediately. The relief didn't come, only the urge to push. I told this to the nurse and I caught a quick glimpse of panic in her eye. She calmly mentioned she'd get the anesthesiologist back to fix it. Then she checked me again and said that instead of the anesthesiologist she was going to get the OB. It was time, and the epidural didn't work.
This was new. Hattie's labor and delivery had gone so similarly to Griffin's, and we had timed the epirdural/intrathecal so perfectly both times, I had done much of the labor but still had some relief for the actual delivery. I had thought I could time it that way again, but Archie was coming too fast and his head was too low that it somehow blocked the epidural from taking effect. As the pain and pressure increased, I was scared, but tried to keep in mind that there still would be an end, he would be out soon.
It was not that I didn't enjoy Archie's birth because of the pain, I did. It was even more emotional because of the pain. There was more at stake to get him out and meet him. I remember cherishing Nate's supportive words and using the look of excitement on his face to focus on our sweet boy. After a few minutes of pushing, it was all over, but it had only just begun. We met Archie.
All 8 pounds 13 ounces of Archie. His amazing hair, and his striking handsomeness. When we met him we were almost shocked at how much he looked like Griffin. Minus the dimple chin, we were sure they were twins. As the minutes and hours passed after he was born, he started to look less and less like Griffin and more and more like himself.
On the day he was born he got to meet his big brother Griff and big sister Hattie, almost all of his grandparents and his Aunt Elissa. We cherished our time with him in the hospital and home alone with him before the kids came back and we fell in love, as parents, for the third time.
Tomorrow he will be 4 weeks old. And in this short time we've had to get to know him, we have gotten to see him become his own little baby. While he may follow in his brother's footsteps, he will not be in his brother's shadow. He is already an amazing little boy, all on his own. In the words of his grandma Shelley, "He looks like Archie, no one else."
Welcome, Archie. Our lives are forever changed the day we welcomed you. Our sweet baby boy. We are beyond blessed to meet you.