BABY | Caleb's Birth Story Part II

Caleb's birth story continued. See part one here.

At about 5:45, my doctor had me get ready to do a practice push and said she could see a head full of black hair! It was go time! She estimated that the baby would be born by 6:30 pm. 

My epidural was turned off so that I'd feel some pressure and make the birth portion more productive. I have nothing else to judge by obviously, but this seemed to be a great choice.

I got really emotional at this point. I think the greatness of the moment just hit me. This child was something I wanted for so long and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever have, so just to know he was almost here was overwhelming. God is so, so good!

Everything began to accelerate now. Tables were rolled in with tools for the delivery along with the baby’s bassinet and everything else needed for him. It was so surreal to me that this was finally happening!

I felt really good during this part of delivery. I pushed for 10 seconds, three times, during a contraction and rested for one contraction. Everyone in the room was laughing because I kept talking about how great the endorphins felt! Not working out since May, I really missed the rush provided by them!

I continued to push, getting more and more excited each time. This part of labor was drastically different than what I expected it to be. I expected to be anxious, in a lot of pain, and just having to work hard, but having Caleb was a hundred times easier than I thought it would be. I was smiling, talking, and laughing. I don’t even remember getting tired during this part.

I remember Emily telling me to give a few more good pushes because he was coming, and it was like I gave one big push and out he came. He had good lungs for sure!

Caleb Byrnes was born at 6:35 pm on Monday, January 16, 2017 (MLK Day), weighing 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 20 inches long.

Emily immediately gave Caleb to me and it was the best feeling in the world - one I wish I could experience over and over again!

Just a few minutes old!

We spent about 30 minutes with Caleb while they cleaned him and me up, then around 7, Kevin went to get the boys so they could come see their brother. Seeing their excitement over their baby brother’s birth was incredible. They just looked at Caleb. K.C. kept touching him. It was so sweet! They both got out their iPods to take pictures of him, too. Kaden had requested for months to be the first person outside of Kevin and me to hold him, so he was, followed very quickly by his big brother K.C.

After they walked in, our parents and Stephanie came in. Everyone was so excited to meet the newest member of our family!

Later that night, I was starving and wanted breakfast food. I had two bowls of cereal in the room and my parents went and picked up pancakes and sausage for me. It was so weird to eat without getting (or feeling sick)!

We enjoyed spending time with our sweet baby boy and our family. Kevin's sister and BIL and two of our nieces came by later that night. I get excited just thinking about everyone as they met Caleb for the first time!

We decided that we'd send the baby to the nursery overnight in order to get some rest ourselves, so around 11 pm, he went to the nursery. After he left, I was able to get up and walk a little. I felt much better than I imagined I would after giving birth. My right leg did stay numb a little longer than my left, but otherwise, I felt as good as I could have expected and only took a Motrin for the pain. 

The nurse brought Caleb in to nurse once in the night and then back the next morning to stay with us all day. We had some family and friends come by to visit all throughout the day and night Tuesday. Caleb slept great that morning, but we joked that he knew school was out as he woke up right when the boys got to the hospital that afternoon. From day one, he hasn't wanted to miss anything!

He and I were both doing really well, so we had the option to leave that Tuesday night, but chose to stay since we wouldn't have been able to leave until late that night (the hospital likes to keep babies for 24 hours). I'm glad we made that decision as it gave Kevin and me another night and day to rest before going home. 

He had another great night Tuesday night and we got ready to leave Wednesday. I was discharged by lunch, but we had to wait for Caleb to be discharged after seeing the pediatrician later that day. His bilirubin was slightly raised and he lost a good bit of weight, though not quite enough to stay. (We later learned that I wasn't producing enough milk. That's a story for another post.)

Getting ready to go home!

We left late Wednesday afternoon and got home to a great meal my mom prepared for us. My parents, in laws, and SIL were there to greet us. K.C. and Kaden were beside themselves with excitement that their baby brother was home. They couldn't wait to hold him again!

My mom stayed with us the first few nights which was a huge help. Though Caleb slept really well, we definitely were able to use the help for school drop offs and pick ups for the boys, groceries, and just having an extra set of hands to help. 

On his first morning at home, he woke up bright-eyed and unswaddled. Our boy does not like to be swaddled. We tried the sleep sacks, swaddlers, and regular blankets. He seemed to do semi-ok with his hands out, but we gave up on that when he was about a month old. 

Caleb has just been a joy and fit into our family so well! While my pregnancy was nothing like I imagined, labor and birth as well as adjusting to life with a newborn were drastically different - but 100 times easier - than I expected. He is just the sweetest baby, and I thank God each day for blessing us with him!