If you follow me on social media (and if you don't, please do!), you've probably figured out that I've recently had a baby! We welcomed Zachary Bruce to the world on September 21. He tipped the scales at 8 pounds, 9 ounces. He's a delightful baby, and I'm enjoying the 12 weeks I get to stay at home before returning to work.
My four-year-old son, Dominic, was born at 36 and a half weeks – almost a month early. You can imagine my surprise when Zachary was overdue and I had to be induced.
Everything about this baby is different than Dominic – down to labor and deliver. Dominic was unexpected – my water broke and I was having no contractions. We hung out at the hospital, watched the Olympics and ate chicken fingers until they finally to give me Pitocin. I got an epidural early on because at that point it was really late at night and the anesthesiologist was about to be occupied with another patient for an unforeseeable length of time. I pushed for a couple of hours. We were joking around between pushes. Dominic was a peanut – 6 pounds, 3 ounces.
I was expecting Zachary to be a bigger baby because he was in the oven an extra month. I scheduled my induction and they got me going on Pitocin. Contractions escalated quickly, and with each contraction, Zach's heart rate was dropping. They experimented with Pitocin levels, and turned it off for awhile before turning it back on again. The only position they could get me where his heart rate stayed normal was laying far over on my right side. Those contractions sucked because I couldn't move around. Our doctor was dealing with an emergency, so it took longer than I expected to get the epidural – which was fine… I was thankful we weren't the emergency he was dealing with. When it came time to push it was super painful, even with the epidural. We found out afterward this was because Zach turned around in there and was born “sunny side up”, or face up. Apparently, this makes for a really difficult labor and delivery because the plates in the skull that are supposed to be able to squish together are on the wrong side. The entire top of his head was bruised!
Our doctor is amazing. The nurses are amazing. I think that having a child is a humbling experience in so many ways. And one of those ways is the care you receive by the doctor and nurses. We felt this way after Dominic was born as well. We feel like we chose our OB/GYN office and hospital well!
Baby Zach is wonderful. He is an easy baby compared to Dominic. He figured out how to nurse from the get go, he gets up in the night (of course), but he isn't up screaming. He's pretty chill and just wants to cuddle. And we know he's our last, so I'm trying to soak up those cuddles and not wish these early moments away. I have another post about this brewing in my brain, but for now I'll say that it's been wonderful to actually get to enjoy maternity leave instead of spending the first 2/3 of it feeling completely overwhelmed and barely above water. We're having fun.
Dominic loves being a big brother. He kisses Zach's head and says he's his best friend. After a somewhat difficult week where he was acting out (sharing mom and dad's attention is hard), he's settled down and eager to be a big helper. I think he's watched and assisted with every diaper change thus far. Dennis is a super dad. Zach loves to sleep on his chest. To make Dominic feel special, Dennis is taking lots of time to make sure he gets to do big boy stuff. He's taking him on special trips to the store, to the park, to indoor play parks. It's been so appreciated.
For the most part, I feel wonderful. I'm getting plenty of sleep if you count the hours, but it's interrupted. So I'm tired but not miserable. When Zachary wants to pull up a seat at the milk bar I have been occupying myself with lots of reading and podcast listening. My alone time is limited, I haven't been back to the gym yet, and we're eating more take-out and/or meals that are pre-made than usual. But I have some perspective and I know that I'll be back to yoga soon enough and will eventually have time to cook more complicated and healthy meals. I've come to realize that having this perspective is everything. I'm quite aware at just how fleeting these moments are.
My maternity leave adventures and lots of cute baby pics are flooding my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Feel free to follow on one or all three! Thanks for reading!
Kate’s Library www.kateslibrary.blogspot.com