ON FEBRUARY 25, at 9:10 in the morning, our sweet Atticus came into the world. It was such a special moment and an experience I never want to forget.
As I mentioned in this post, Finn was ready and rawring to come out... he was born at 37 weeks and surprised me by breaking my water. Atticus however was a smaller baby and was a little cozier inside of me and wasn't as keen to come out. By the time I hit 38 weeks I was really over being pregnant. At that point I was getting up to pee so much in the night and start having issues sleeping that I figured I might as well be up with a baby if I am going to be awake. So on Tuesday, February 23, I began "Operation: Bring On Labour".
I literally did every trick in the book. I had a stretch and sweep on the Monday. Tuesday I went on a 10km walk - half of it uphill! I ate pineapple, eggplant parm, did pressure points, bounced on an exercise ball all day, everyday. I even did 100 jump squats throughout the day on Wednesday to try and make my contractions (which were happening sporadically throughout the day) more consistent. I don't know what one of the previously mentioned tricks worked, but something did.
My contractions were inconsistently 8 minutes apart all day on Wednesday, February 24th. I'd have a few hours where they would be consistent and then I'd get distracted with Finn or with tasks around the house, and it would be more like 30 minutes between contractions. It was a crummy, cold and wet winter day outside, and being as pregnant as I was, I wasn't up for venturing out with Finny to try and walk the baby out. So I did jump squats and bounced on that ball all day. Sammy got home around 6pm and we hung out for a bit and we got Finny to bed and that's when things started to progress. We were hanging out and decided to start timing my contractions while I bounced on a ball, from 6-8pm they were roughly 6 minutes apart. Then at 9pm the pace picked up dramatically and they changed to every 2-3 minutes, but I could still talk through them which is unusual at that rate of contraction. At 9:45pm we called my mom who was on standby to come watch Finny if we needed to get to the hospital. We called an uber and made it to the hospital by 10ish.
A fun twist to this story is that my friend Amanda is a labour and delivery nurse at Mount Sinai, and we had planned it out that I would text her when I was in labour and going to the hospital to see if she was around and could connect me with a nurse that I would like. So I texted her and she contacted triage so when we arrived at the hospital they knew we were coming in! I was brought into a triage room right away to monitor my contractions. I was only 3cm dilated but since my contractions were strong and frequent they admitted me and it was such a relief to know that we were going to meet our baby within the next day or so!
It was about 11:30pm at this point and I walked laps around the cafeteria for about an hour before we decided to head upstairs to our room to rest up for when it came time to push this baby out! They checked and at 12:30am I was about 4-5cm dilated and not effaced at all so we knew it was going to be a while and both decided to try sleeping. After an hour of sleeping my contractions had slowed to 6-7 minutes apart so we agreed it was a go ahead to break my waters (around 2am). The contractions came strong and quick after that, every 2-3 minutes for 45 seconds or so. I laboured like this until 4:30am, gripping the bed and trying every labour trick in the book to no avail. I started vomiting at 4:30am so they checked me again and I was only 5cm and 80% effaced. My mantra, which had been "It's hard work. It hurts a lot. You can do this." went RIGHT out the window once the vomiting started, ha! I opted for the epidural which arrived about 5am. Bless that thing... I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's like a baby angel kissing your uterus! Once the epidural kicked in around 5:30 we decided to try and get some rest so I could be in top form for pushing this babe out! I slept until about 7:30 and woke up to see that the nurses had changed over and that my friend Amanda was going to be our nurse! She was so great. I obviously made some jokes about the fact that she would know me better than most people, especially since 5 minutes after she walked in the room she had to check how dilated I was! Ha! At about 8am I was 10cm but still didn't have the urge to push. Sammy and I hung out and talked for the hour until I got that classic urge to push and we decided to give one push a try with Amanda to see how far along the baby was (and since there were four women across the hall pushing! A busy day at the hospital!). Well, one push later and he was RIGHT there! She marched out of the room, grabbed one of the doctors by the arm and brought them right back in since this baby was coming right then! 10 minutes later, at 9:10am our sweet Atticus was born. Since we had waited to find out the gender (and I was SO sure it was a girl, as were all the nurses), when Sam said "It's a BOY!" I literally laughed out loud and said "What!?! Ha! Of course he is!" and looked at him, laying on my chest and said "Of course you are, my sweet boy!".
Once he was on my chest I just looked between him and Sam with big shiny tears in my eyes and felt so overwhelmed with how special this was, how incredible birth is, and how blessed I feel to have another son.
We took the next two days really slowly, having short visits from family and savouring our time alone with him at the hospital before we went home to begin life as a family of four.
As much as I love to write, there are just not enough words to fully describe this feeling. You can't prepare for it. You can't prepare for the love. Or the fear. You want to give them everything you can, and you just have to wake up every day striving to being the best you can for this little person to make them even better than you could ever be.
Oh Atticus, how we love you. I am so proud to be your mom!