After several discussions about whether or not we should orchestrate the delivery of our newest miracle, Richie and I ultimately decided to schedule an induction date ~ October 18th, 2013. We were first told to be at the hospital at 6am… ugh! I politely (with a smile) suggested that perhaps 7am would be an option as well… since this is my third… and I'm actually pretty good at this whole birthing thing. They accepted my proposal - and even allowed us to push it back 30 minutes more to avoid a nursing shift change. So, in true form, we walked into the hospital at 7:40… just because that's how we roll.
The night before the baby's arrival felt like Christmas Eve at our house. The boys had an energy and excitement bursting out of them that can only be found in those moments leading up to a milestone event. It's a feeling that should be bottled up and sold. That's been my blessing and my curse throughout this whole process… the acknowledgement that this is the most definitely the final time we will walk this walk. It's that realization that has me narrowly focused on making the most of every single moment, while also having it crush little pieces of my heart as each minute slips away…
I love going to the hospital to give birth. I just love it. Is that weird? I would prefer giving birth over going to the dentist any day of the week. It hurts. It definitely hurts. And it's not pretty. Not at all. But, my gosh, it is so beautiful and profound… I can't imagine ever feeling more of God's presence than you feel when you are bringing, from your own body, a new human being into this world. A human being that can breathe, move, see, hear, think on his own. A human being that has unlimited potential to become anything he chooses to be ~ to make a difference in the world.
Richie and I spent the early part of the day relaxing, listening to my Eva Cassidy Pandora station which graced us with absolute beauty in every note, every lyric. I don't know as though noises, beeps, people, and needles have ever been so drowned out by music as they were that morning.
Around 2:30pm, I could tell things were starting to progress. I asked Richie to call Ali who was at our house with Sam and Charlie. I wanted to see them before the baby's arrival. Ali was there at the hospital soon after.
I had to get one more kiss, one more hug, one more smile from my sweet boys before bringing their baby brother into the world. They were sweet. Curious. A little concerned with the needles and wires. But very mature about it all.
About 20-30 minutes into their visit, my contractions were coming on with more intensity. I suggested that the boys should probably head out. Moments after that, my contractions had me in a great deal of pain. It was a little strange. I had an epidural. I avoided getting the full dosage of it and instead opted to have it slowly turned up as needed. The problem is that my legs were as dead and numb as they could possibly be, but I swear I was feeling every pain of each contraction. It didn't matter how many extra doses Richie sent through those tubes, the contraction pain never stopped. It eventually had me rolling around, moaning in agony, grasping at the bars on the bed every 120 seconds as a new wave of pain hit my abdomen.
"Turn up the music please" was all I could think to say.
Then it was time to push. I was very present during this process. While the pain of the contractions had me in a bit of a whirlwind for a while, I would actually prefer feeling it in this way over being entirely numb. I liked the control of it. I liked telling them "Okay, there is another one coming…" while I was pushing, instead of them telling me "you're having a contraction, go ahead and push!"
Every person in the room during my delivery was amazing. They were all encouraging and positive. They helped make it my favorite delivery so far.
About half way through pushing, Dr. Glover asked me "Do you want to see?" I absolutely did want to see!
So he leaned to the side, revealing a mirror against the wall, with… well, with me…my vag... completely exposed… and with the top of my son's head partially out of it.
Oh. My. Gosh.
I looked for about .23 seconds before saying "Okay. I'm good." I don't know what I expected it to look like… but it was just… well… large… weird… and a little less attractive than what I pictured in my head. It was a strange realization knowing that is what the 7 or 8 people in the room were looking at. I think I'm going to make an effort to remove that image from my memory and go back to thinking that it just looks cute…
As I mentioned before, I'm pretty good at this whole birthing thing… I think I pushed through 6 contraction cycles, maybe a total of 12-15 minutes before baby Luke was in the doctor's hands. I clearly remember instantly feeling this loss of pressure and the immediate emptiness in my abdomen. I didn't feel that with the others ~ I guess because I was numb with them.
It was a little chaotic in those first few seconds after birth. The doctor was holding a slippery Luke when all of a sudden this gigantic burst of fluid shoots out of me and all over the doctor, only to be followed by baby Luke immediately peeing straight back at me and all over his daddy. Lots and lots of activity.
Lucas Michael Hatcher was born at 3:52 pm on Friday, October 18th, 2013 weighing 8 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long. October 18th - one day prior to the 11th anniversary of our wedding day.
These are the first pictures of my sweet baby Lucas in my arms.
One of my favorite parts of the whole experience was actually a moment shared between Luke and Richie. When the nurses took Luke from the doctor's hands and over to the baby table where they suction, clean, and wrap him, he was crying of course. His daddy walked over there, leaned his face in, and in the most soothing voice said "Hey Buddy…." at which point Luke instantly (and I mean instantly) stopped crying. He turned his head to Richie and looked up at him. Richie lightly touched Luke's hand with his finger, and Luke grasped it, feeling completely settled by the sound of his voice. There is no doubt that he recognized Richie's voice. Richie would talk to Luke like this all the time when he was in my tummy. He has been absolutely smitten with this child ever since that moment.
Not too long after, Sam and Charlie got to come in to meet their baby brother. They were in awe.
Very sweet, as I expected they would be.
The remainder of our hospital stay was lovely. Well, it was lovely in that Luke was absolutely calm and precious, Richie and I got to enjoy many uninterrupted quiet moments together with him, and I was fully taken care of without anyone expecting anything of me. The boys came back to visit the next day too!
It was not so lovely in that I had completely lost all bladder control (literally dropped the entire contents of my bladder on the floor 2 or 3 times at the hospital while trying to walk to the bathroom, and have done it now 5 or 6 times at home…) and then there are stitches, hemorrhoids, extremely sore breasts, little sleep, etc… Those are the not so lovely parts of childbirth that are still very much a part of this experience.
But are all still so very worth it.
Welcome to our family my sweet angel ~