Moments after birth!
This will be brief, and thankfully uneventful, but I wanted to document it here since most of my life story seems to be chronicled on this blog. So much for taking a week off, huh?? I guess I just don’t know how to quit you. Don’t worry, next week I’ll have the beginning of my holiday gift guides and curb the baby stuff a bit. :)
We were due on Sunday November 15th and I was sure I was going to be late. So I went to bed Friday night after seeing the doctor thinking we had one more weekend to get prepped for baby. Well, cut to 12:30 p.m. when my water broke. After feeling the most bizarre sensation, I laid there going “Was that what I think it was? Is this really happening? Oh my God”- I woke Andrew up and told him and he was half-asleep and confused saying “What? Are you sure? Really? NOW?” and then woke up a little and looked at me and goes “It’s Friday the 13th!” Earlier in the week we had come to realization that it was possible that Henry could be born on Friday the 13th AND we live on Crystal Lake (apparently that is where the Friday the 13th movies take place, not that I would know since I am too terrified to see them). So I spent a couple days concerned I was about to birth a serial killer, and here I was heading to the hospital on that very date!
So as I tried to gather my wits (and my bags) I kept saying “I’m not ready! I’m not ready! This is not happening!”, but of course it was, and off to the hospital we went. We gave birth at Newton Wellesley Hospital, which is a mere 5 minutes from our house and the most calm hospital I’ve ever set foot in. They whisked us in and hooked me up to some machines and lo and behold, my contractions (which were just like cramps) were two minutes apart and I was 2 cm dilated. So I thought this baby was coming soon-ish! I told them my birth plan (DRUGS. ALL THE DRUGS) and mentally prepared to be snuggling a baby by noon.
Not so fast. As soon as I got settled into my labor and delivery room things slowed down a lot. Contractions spaced out to 4-6 minutes and I just laid there waiting for mind blowing pain to hit me. Andrew took a nap (the man can fall asleep in a solid 60 seconds anywhere) and I stared at my phone and listened to a woman down the hall clearly giving birth without drugs making the most terrifying, horrid noises I’ve ever heard in my life. Finally she delivered (thank GOD) and by then it was about 3 am and luckily one of my best friends is a morning news anchor and was up and texting with me in between segments. :)
As morning broke I started feeling more pain, but I wanted to wait as long as I could to get the epidural because I was scared of it (totally convinced I was going to get paralyzed, my hypochondria in full effect). So I breathed through lots of contractions and took a jacuzzi (the rooms at NWH are pretty sweet) to try to manage the pain. Andrew and I walked the halls- me sporting my fancy johnny which every nurse stopped me to ask about and one even called out- “Hey, you two, whatta ya doing? Going on a date?”. The staff was so awesome and funny and caring, which helped immensely.
I kept putting off the epidural even though the nurses were telling me to just do it. Once my parents arrived and said hi and watched me wince through some doozies, I tapped out and said it was time. Once I asked for it, they swept in and in 5 minutes I was going numb, a feeling I HATED other than the pain relief. I felt like a floppy rag doll the nurses were tossing around (with kindness, of course). And then MORE slowing down! I was so frustrated that things weren’t progressing but rather regressing! The nurses added some Pitocin to the IV to try to move things along. In the meantime we just watched TV and FREAKED OUT that we were having a baby! I may have also ordered some stuff online. My friend Sarah warned me NOT to buy stuff while epidural-ed up, as she came home from the hospital to find some questionable art she bought while under the influence waiting for her at home. :) I kept things pretty reasonable though- this purchase went through right before I delivered. LOL. Never not in search of leopard- I think I was feeling hopeful and excited about buying non-maternity clothes!
They didn’t want to check my dilation often since my water had broken earlier so we just kinda waited for a sign. Finally as the sun set one of the nurses decided to check me because I was feeling no sensations to push or any discomfort at all. Her eyes opened wide and said “Oh my, you’re 10 cm dilated and a plus 2 (basically, baby getting ready to crown)” and we were off. It was so strange because I felt nothing so I didn’t believe it was time to push! I was like “Okay guys, but nothing is going to happen!” Andrew grabbed a leg as did the nurse and we started pushing. Within a couple pushes Andrew could see his head and I could tell he was AMAZED. He kept saying “I can’t believe you are doing this! You’re so strong!” Once the doctor came in I pushed through three more contractions and all of the sudden out he came! I didn’t feel a thing, which I was SO grateful for since I needed stitches (UGH). The doctor (not mine, the on call doc) looked at me and said “What number baby is this again??” and I said my first and he told me I did amazingly awesome for a first baby. :)
My first glimpse of Henry I was totally scared of him. He looked like a purple, slimy octopus. And I could not believe he had been in my tummy just seconds earlier. But he cried right away, they cleaned him off and put him on my chest and all I could think was ” WHOSE BLONDE BABY IS THIS???” I was born with a full head of dark hair, so I expected the same from my own child. But he got great APGAR scores and immediately latched and we were off on our big adventure as mother and son.
Our stay in the hospital was pretty easy- not nearly as Dexter-ish as I thought it would be. I was so glad to have my own pajamas and toiletries so I could feel a little more like myself. I brought too many things, of course (never wore the sweater or tshirts- but LOVED the soft jammies, nightshirt and sweatshirt cardi and leggings). Henry has been an awesome sleeper and feeder since day one, which has helped so much- the night nurses were impressed with his ability to sleep 3-4 hours right away. So we got some zzz’s and just relaxed with him in complete wonder.
Now we’re home and finding our groove, and it’s been great. He’s such a good baby and it’s been more fun than I expected. And breastfeeding has gone incredibly smoothly and successful (he’s gaining so much weight so fast). But of course I have had a night where I found myself sobbing uncontrollably for hours, fretting this “new normal” and what it will be like. I also have found myself wanting to murder Andrew for the way he chews peanuts or looks at me funny. Hormone crashes are NO JOKE, y’all. Watch out. I also am still pretty uncomfortable in my recovery, but apparently everything is a-okay down there. I think I’m just SO impatient. I want to feel 100% better, but as my doctor told me today “Lady, you just pushed a BABY out, you need to take it easy!”
So here we are, a happy, healthy family of three. And for that I am so, so grateful. Those sweet moments when he’s sleeping on my chest and even those sad cries when we change him. It’s such a bizarre, surreal, awesome experience.
(A week down! Top from H&M– another leopard one I ordered while in the hospital. I have ISSUES.)
Congratulations, I’m so happy for you.
Congratulations to you and Andrew on your new arrival…I have followed your journey to becoming a mum through your blog and I think this new chapter in your life will be your best one yet!
He is just precious!
So SO happy for all of you. You have waited so long for this — you deserve all of this happiness so much.
Beautiful — and funny– birth story. That cracks me up that you were ordering stuff just prior to delivery. And that shopping online under the influence of an epidural is a thing, enough for a friend to warn you against it! A relatively short 11 years ago when I delivered my youngest I didn’t even own a cell phone with internet access, and now I’m wondering what the heck I did the whole time I was in the delivery room!
This is so lovely, thank you for sharing! I totally teared up while reading. Thank you for being so open and honest, it’s definitely helpful for women to read who are contemplating starting a family of their own.
Congrats again, ten fold, so happy for your sweet little family!
Congratulations! I am so happy for you and for such uneventful delivery! Good luck with this new adventure!
Congratulations! Welcome to the world Henry!
Congratulations! I have followed your blog, which I love(!), for quite awhile and am so happy for you and your family. Everyone looks and sounds like they are doing so great! Enjoy the holidays!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! So beautiful-Again Congratulations!!
I’m really glad to hear that everything is OK.
You will be wonderful parents.
What a great story of the arrival of Henry.. You look amazing already!!! And so so happy!
You have no idea how thrilled I was to read “DRUGS. ALL THE DRUGS” because YES. Love your honesty and I feel the EXACT same way (mind you I’m mid-twenties and not ready for a baby yet, but still). I love your honesty and it’s refreshing to read a birth story that feels relatable. Congratulations and thank you for sharing you story!
Congrats! What a beautiful and REAL story! I am delivering our first baby at Newton Wellesley in March and your birth story got me so excited. I am still freaking out but happy to know there is a jacuzzi waiting for me :)
I love this laid back birth story! I was the lady screaming down the hall for both of my births so it’s nice to hear about a quiet, happy birth! (Not saying it was easy…no labor is easy!) I’m so glad everything is going well! Best wishes for continued success with very few hormonal interferences. That gets better as the weeks go on…as does any discomfort. The one thing that remains is that insane love for your sweet boy! xo
Wow. You look amazing. I still looked 7 months pregnant when I got home! Ha. What an amazing story. Great to get it all down and have it to reflect on in the coming years. Congratulations.
So insanely happy for you I tested up reading your birth story as I sit here 6 weeks from delivering my second baby.
Teared not tested stupid autocorrect
Congratulations on the birth of Henry. I was born on the 13th, too, and also consider it a lucky date. Check out the blog Lucie’s List for great gear tips and advice. It’s been so helpful to me with my newborn. Warmest wishes.
Not a big fan of hospital tales of any description as they make me come over a little faint but I love the honesty of your account. And move over Kate Midleton because you looked amazing straight after giving birth. Congrats. https://champagneinateacup.wordpress.com/
Good job mama! :)
My water broke first too so a very similar story, lol!
My son was born 8 weeks early on Friday the 13th. I asked the doc if we could wait 45 minutes for the 14th – he laughed and said we’ll see yo in the OR in 7 minutes. It’s been all good luck since. My son couldn’t be sweeter and kinder. No serial killer here. I’m sure Henry will grow to be sweet and kind too. Just don’t move to Elm Street. :)
Erin, thanks for a wonderful story! I never had a baby but after reading your story, and had life pieces come together, I feel like I could have maybe survived through the whole experience. Enjoy these new times and experiences with Henry. You will be a great mom!
Congratulations!! Wonderful story and you deserve a week of happy baby posts!! And if we could all look like you a week after birth our world would be a more beautiful place ??
Congratulations! I know you will handle being a Mom in style;-)
Apparently my dad was born on Friday the 13th so my mom has always said she considers that a lucky day. So now I consider Friday the 13 a positive thing! Henry sounds like a sweet baby, well done Erin!!
I’m cracking up at the idea that you would be shopping while in labor at the hospital! I never had any pain management for my two kids- makes me a bit jealous! Sounds like things went rather smoothly- Congratulations!! You already look marvelous- enjoy all the moments.
I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! God bless your baby, you and your family.
Doesn’t everything change? Take your time. Enjoy the time, it will go by fast.
I love this poem, here is the last part… by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
“Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”
Congratulations! You have a knack for story telling, warm, honest and amusing. Please keep the stories coming as best you can with your gorgeous son. I know how you feel about giving birth to someone you’re not expecting. My first son was the spitting image of my father, which was kind of creepy when I was breastfeeding him….All the best!
Congrats! What a beautiful family, and thank you for such an honest birth story. There will be tough days, and for me it was a shock to the system as “is this my new norm?!” But it will get easier and feel less overwhelming I promise! Congrats again!
Congratulations to your bundle of joy!
Every day millions of babies are born, yet the miracle of birth never gets old. It’s always
special and it’s always an event of true love in an instant – talking about love at first sight :-)
I can’t wait to hear more Henry stories in the years to come. I know it’s a design blog, but
fashion Fridays could turn into Henry days, right?
Please don’t curb the baby stuff! We love it! Love the story – thanks for sharing. You can’t quit us, and we can’t quit you! Enjoy this time Erin!
Congratulations and enjoy this very special time!
Congrats on a successful birth! You both look so happy:)
I like the part where you said you didn’t feel a thing while he was coming out! I’m due in a few weeks with my first, and lordy am I scared! :D
Hooray! So happy to read this sweet story. Sounds like you have been very lucky so far and I hope it continues. Enjoy every minute!
Really love your post!
Love everything in this blog.
Congratulations on the baby!
Congratulations!! What a gorgeous picture of you and your sweet Henry!!
I loved reading your story about Henry’s birth. It reminded me of the birth of my son some 20 years ago.
Congrats Erin. I can’t believe you are wearing jeans so quickly after delivering!!! Good for you. What a wonderful adventure you are on.–my girls are 8 and 5 and I still love hearing everyones birth stories. Brings back such fond memories. They will try your patience at times but worth all the effort for all the sweet things they do. Enjoy!! You are so inspirational and I love reading your blog. :) Keep it up! But please take a break and try to relax and enjoy your little Henry.
You most likely know this, but sitz baths (sit in your bathtub in a few inches of the hottest water you can stand) will help so much with any discomfort and help you heal. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!
Your birth story is remarkably similar to mine….but somehow your delivery is funnier, haha (get it, delivery). “Epidural-ed up” is the most apt term, and I think it’s awesome that you showed us what you bought while under the influence. Your good taste remained intact.
Many, many congrats on having a good baby too. Really! He seems like he’s checking all of the boxes that describe “Easy Baby.” Nice!
Congratulations! I’m so happy for you!!! :D Hold your little one as much as you can.
Thanks for sharing your story. It’s so great to read others’ journeys. And many many congratulations on your beautiful baby boy.
Between Instagram, FB and here, I feel like a crazy person wishing you guys so many congrats – but I’m just so happy for you! I swear I must know you beyond just this cyberspace. :) Enjoy this time, it is precious and speeds by. Congrats and thanks for sharing. Beautiful family!
Hooray for modern medicine! I love that you totally own wanting an epidural. I was the same way and let me tell you: I had a c section and subsequently had 2 easy peasy VBAC babies and it was like nothing even happened delivering my boys vs. my section recovery. I really believe that the physical exhaustion of laboring makes recovery so much harder but that’s just me. Anyway ON TO THE ADORBS BUNDLE! He’s perfect and precious and there will never be feelings like this ever again. The first one is so special. Hold him all you want and don’t let anyone convince you you’re spoiling him. Not possible :) Sending big hugs.
NWH staff (especially the nurses) are the bomb. My daughter was born in March and some of the L&D nurses visited us in our hospital room the next day to meet her (could be because I went through four shifts of nurses while in labor). And those night nurses were saviors! Can’t say enough great things about my experience there. Congratulations to you and Andrew. Henry is a doll. Thanks for sharing your story!
There is not an all woman jury that would convict you of murdering a man who chews his peanuts wrong after you just gave birth….we all would just agree he deserved it!
Loved hearing all about Henry’s arrival!! Best picture of the week!! You are all glowing. Thanks for taking us along in your journey! It has been so special!! xo Kathysue
Thanks so much for sharing. I’m so glad it went as smoothly as possible for you. Congratulations on your beautiful family. Oh, and you look AH-mazing! Hard to believe you just had a baby a week ago!
Happy endings to a birth are a gift , and I couldn’t be more happy for your wee family. Henry will be loved immensely and your hearts will never be the same. Congratulations to your entire family!
A beautiful story and I’m so glad you had a relatively easy delivery. You look amazing for just having a baby. As for recovering, do a lot of the sitz baths. They really help where you need it. And I’m so glad you’ve been blogging this week- keep it coming. Wishing your family a very happy Thanksgiving.
You are AWESOME!! So glad you had a beautiful birth!! And after hearing about it- you could have totally done it w/o the epi!! The worst part is right at the end then you push and it’s done! I didn’t do the epi for the same reason that you explained- did not want to feel numb and the ability to move and keep things going fast.
So glad you had a good experience, and that you shared it with your readers!!
So happy for your family!
Thank you for sharing! I love birth stories – the whole process is so amazing. I totally remember the random crying with my first – I have this clear memory of irrationally freaking out over how and when and what the heck I was going to feed her once she started solids and this was just weeks after her birth. She’s three now and well fed :) My second was born in July and it’s been a lot smoother and I’ve been a tiny bit less irrational. I love all the pictures and updates – Henry is such a beautiful little peanut and you all look so incredibly in love.
What a wonderful birth story! Thank you for sharing.
Ps – I was born on Friday the 13th (February) and 13 has always been my lucky number! I also use it as a “fun fact” about myself ?
After everything it took to get you here, you DESERVE to have an uneventful labor and an easy baby! I have to agree that the floppy feeling after the epidural was the worst! So, so weird!
Thanks for sharing your story. What a beautiful family!
My babies are 20 and 24 and I still love hearing birth stories. Yours was beautiful. Enjoy every minute. Henry is a beautiful boy.
Thank you so much for your honesty! I have 4 more weeks to go until our first baby and all I can think about is how terrible the recovery is going to be and how much crazier I will be!! :/
Loved reading Henry’s birth story and so glad it went smoothly! Okay, also a little bit jealous as my little one’s birth wasn’t quite as easy and my recovery took 3 weeks. It’s amazing how quickly the hard parts fade from your memory though. You look radiant and blissfully happy! The hellish hormone crash eased up around week 6 for me. I don’t think I’ve ever shed so many tears and not be able to come up with a reason why! Enjoy your first Thanksgiving as a family of 3!!
I have loved hearing all about your birthing story (I was under general anesthesia when my daughter was born so I missed everything!). Had to chuckle at your feelings of being unready. I think that is very common! You are an adorable family and I think your public is so very, very happy for you. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
(BTW: I stamped my daughter’s hands and feet each month on paper for the first year to chronicle her growth. I cherish those tiny hand and foot prints. I am sure you could come up with a very stylish way to do this!)
Just roll with the hormonal shifts…they’re brutal! And assure your husband that it’s normal. Mine kept looking at me totally freaked out every time I just burst into tears for no apparent reason. Luckly my mom was there to reassure him that I wasn’t totally losing it!
Congrats on the arrival of your beautiful boy!!!
I had my daughter via scheduled c-section at NWH 5yrs ago-
Such a special place!
Not surprised by your positive experience there.
They sleep alot in the beginning-
The baby coma:)
So enjoy that and nap when you can!
(And, yes, the hormonal cocktail is quite interesting…
My husband and had some silly arguments for no good reason during that time!!)
It’s the best:)
The birth of my son was very similar to your story. The raging hormones do settle down after a week or so. I sobbed uncontrollably one night after my son was born. The second time with my daughter was much better. Enjoy every minute; it goes by in the blink of an eye. Little boys are the BEST. My “baby” is sending out his college applications, the tears are back.
Sounds like the perfect birth story! Congratulations to you and Andrew on your beautiful baby boy!
So glad to hear you had an easy, uncomplicated delivery. And your baby is so adorable! (As for his mystifying hair color, that can change. Mine did. Like you, I was born with dark hair, but then it fell out and I was briefly a bald baby. When my hair came back, it was blonde and stayed that way for several years. It got darker when I was eight, though, and by age nine I was a brunette, and have remained one ever since. So baby Henry’s fair hair could be temporary. Time will tell.)
By the way, you look fantastic — hard to believe you gave birth only a week ago!
Enjoy your beautiful little family. And thank you so much for letting us follow you on this wonderful ride.
Thanks for sharing! So glad it went well.
It made me feel so much better when I heard other women talk about the random crying spells at 2am during the first weeks. I didn’t have post-partum depression, but those first weeks were rough. My daughter is 7.5 months old, and the beginning seems like such a distant memory now.
Thank you for sharing the birth story. I loved reading it and so enjoy his photos. Please don’t stop. Your readers feel they are a part of this wonderful miracle. Loved your shopping choices. I too have a leopard problem/addiction.
What a sweet story! Sounds like you were born to be a mother. No matter how babies arrive when you talk about seeing them for the first time it just makes me cry. What a miracle. God Bless you and this precious new life!
Congratulations!! I had to comment to let you know that my father was born on Friday, November 13th (70 years ago..), and he is the kindest, smartest, most compassionate, thoughtful and humble person I know!! Glad your labor and delivery was relatively smooth- I had my first within an hour of arriving at the hospital, and my second in the hospital lobby (no doctor, just a nurse rushing around the corner to catch her!). Enjoy your snuggly, healthy baby!!
Thank you for sharing your birth story! I will never tire of hearing people’s birth stories! Such a cute family – enjoy every minute of that little bundle of yumminess!!!!
I cannot thank you enough for this birth story. I am one of the last of my friends without kids—but I do want them at some point, and I’m telling you, I swear my friends seem to be on a mission for me to decide against it based on the birth stories they tell. I’ve heard it ALL—40 hour labors, a freak-out before a c-section, and some way more graphic rip stories (we’ll leave it at that). The point is, I know not everyone’s labor can go smoothly, but it is SO refreshing to hear a normal birth story where no one was on the brink of death.
Also, I’ve been following all of your insta posts the last few days and they are just so heart warming. I appreciate the fact that you keep it real with us when you talk about your personal life–but I love how positive and genuinely happy you are with your new family. I feel like mom’s are often so quick to “commiserate” with each other that they make motherhood sound terrifying and like it’s all awful, and so seldom do people take the time to say, “wow, this is amazing”.
I’m rambling, but you have a fan in Texas that is very very appreciative of your positive outlook and grace during this whole process.
Also, where is that hospital gown from??
No matter what horror stories you’ve heard about pregnancy or giving birth, when you REALLY want a baby, like our happy couple Erin and Andrew, you feel absolute JOY when you finally become a mom. Nothing can diminish that absolute happiness. When you are ready, it will be wonderful.
Her gown is from http://www.dearjohnnies.com/lola/ !
This is so lovely – congratulations! I am supper happy/jealous (happealous?) of your experience because it sounds amazing, and because let’s just say my delivery/recovery/nursing/sleep situation was rough & scary – but I did get a healthy baby! I’m hoping for baby #2 (due January) I’ll get to have a happier experience, but of course I’ll settle for another healthy little chubster. When I went back to work after having my baby a partner at my firm asked how he was. I said he was the best baby of all time. He said, “I believe that you believe that.” Best. Response. Ever.
Love that you shared this! As a mom with a 5 week old baby, I am glad that you are honest and not characterizing the first few weeks home as all rainbows and butterflies. There will be tears (I distinctly remember giving my husband the look of death after he sneezed one time after I had just put the baby down) and your courage in admitting as much is what keeps me coming back to your blog. Enjoy every minute of the newborn squeaks and snuggles!
What a totally great birth story! You totally deserved it!! So glad things are going well. He is beautiful. ps. Love the red shoes!
And how totally Erin that you went shopping for a little more leopard in your life while in labor. What? No stripes?
To me, that photo of you snuggling sleeping Henry with a look of pure ecstasy on your face, says it all. So happy no post- birth issues. And that he’s actually sleeping ! And latching on! Although I’m not a mommy (but a grandma instead), I’m perfectly happy to read about baby stuff and see more photos of adorable Henry.
Thank you for sharing your birth story! I love reading people’s birth stories… especially now that I’m expecting one of my own! I also poured over your post about what you were packing for the hospital (and all the comments). Please tell me… what are you so happy you brought? What could you have left at home? What do you wish you brought? Thank you!!
Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful family :-) P.S. My husband was born on Friday the 13th and he turned out totally fine – other than being a typical annoying guy sometimes :-)