Two weeks ago, our world changed – we have second son and Jude has a brother! Isn’t it crazy how you walk into the hospital as one person (Olivia: very miserably pregnant, missing my other little guy already, nervous that my contractions are three minutes apart and we haven’t checked in, feeling pretty certain we forgot our bag of toiletries…spoiler: we did, anxious and mentally preparing for labor) and you walk out as another person (Olivia: mother of two, heart expanded to infinity, running on adrenaline and Tylenol, dying to pick up Jude from my moms house, feeling strong and tired and happy – oh so happy! Our lives are forever changed).
On August 26th, my due date, I’d given up hope that mr Ezra was going to make his appearance. As soon as I hit 38 weeks I felt so sure he’d come early. Then we hit 39 weeks and then 40 weeks and I succumbed to the thought that I would be eternally pregnant. I was a miserable bowling ball, moving slow and barely sleeping…bouts of tears here and there as the discomfort heightened each day (ohh pregnancy, so glamorous, right?).
^^Hours before my water broke! I had just gotten back from my OB appointment where they said I still had a couple days left to wait…
That morning we took Jude to the pediatrician for his 18-month checkup. On the agenda: four shots. Hello, anxiety! When Jude’s in pain, mama is in pain. It went as smoothly as a visit to get four shots can go…let’s just say we were both ready for a nap. A few hours later I had my 40 week OB appointment. The sonogram technician mistyped some numbers and I left the room thinking we had a six pound baby ready to make his debut, but then she came and grabbed me out of the waiting room to let me know he was actually projecting a little over eight pounds. OMG. Very big difference! God bless us women. When I finally met with my OB, we had the lovely cervix check and I was three centimeters dilated. She projected we’d meet him by Friday – it was Wednesday. I left the office, called Blake to let me know we still had a couple days to get our lives together (realization: you are never fully prepared to have a baby, ha!) and headed home.
My mom was over at our house painting the downstairs while Blake played with Jude. I remember Jude came up and touched my belly and I said aloud “Okay little man! We’re ready to meet you!” – so thankful my mom snapped a photo this moment, what a treasure. Little did I know, just a few hours later he’d be in my arms. I popped a pizza in the oven (toddler + exhausted parents = pizza night) and said goodbye to my mom as she headed home. Just as Blake got Jude situated in his high chair, I grabbed my plate and made my way to the table. As soon as I sat down, I felt a pop and a surge of water run down my legs and onto the floor. It just kept coming! I shouted “Oh my gosh my water broke!” and we sort of went into panic mode because my first labor was so short…so we knew the clock was ticking! I ran to the bathroom to let more water out and called my mom. She quickly turned around and was back at the house to pick up Jude within five minutes. The whirlwind began!
Blake got Jude in the bath while I double checked our hospital bags and prepped Jude’s overnight bag. A hospital delivery in the time of Covid means no visitors, so I wouldn’t see Jude for three days (heartbreaking! I definitely cried about this the most). I knew he was in the best hands, but we’ve never been away from him for that long, such a doozy emotionally for me. We got him settled in my moms car, said our farewells and power walked (er…power waddled) to our car to get to the hospital.
My water broke at 6:30pm, it was nearly 7pm now and I was already gripping the console and passenger door for dear life as we neared the hospital. Contractions were picking up and I knew I still had to be checked in and given a Covid test before they’d give me an epidural. Around 8:30pm and once the nurses confirmed I was actually in labor (I could have told you that, ha!) and dilated to 5cm, they moved us in to our room and when I saw two more nurses rush in and turn on the baby warmer, I knew things had kicked into high gear. Just like with Jude, I tested positive for Strep B, so they were doing their best to get a bag of Peniscilin through my IV before I delivered Ezra. Contractions hit a new level of pain (like, otherworldly pain) and were coming every 30 seconds. At this point, I could literally feel Ezra’s head about to pop out and I was clutching the hospital bed with all my might, shaking and crying. In the midst of my pain level-1000 contractions, they gave me a Covid test. It’s not that the test was even that bad, it was just so overwhelming how quickly my labor was going and then to have someone stick a giant q-tip up both nostrils while wearing a mask and feeling like you’re being tortured (#contractions), I just started sobbing. Poor Blake, he was trying so hard to soothe me but nothing was going to help except drugs, ha! The Covid test took 30 minutes to process, but we didn’t have half an hour to spare…this baby was coming! The anesthesiologist can choose whether or not to administer an epidural if someone’s Covid results aren’t back yet – and thankfully the nurses were very convincing that my results would arrive ANY time now but that I NEEDED it asap. As we waited to hear back from the anesthesiologist, I had reached 10 centimeters and the nurses said it was time to start pushing. That’s when I came out of the fog and pleaded for an epidural…I was not mentally prepared to do this on my own!! (If we have a third, you betcha I will be in Lamaze classes asap, ha!). They called the anesthesiologist one last time, lied and told him I was dilated to 7 and to get there as soon as possible. (God bless those nurses who did that for me! I am forever grateful!!!). Finally, like an angel sent from the heavens, in walks in the anesthesiologist and through a few more insane contractions and as I held tightly onto Blake, the epidural started working. Within 10 minutes I was a different person, body relaxed, laughing with Blake and the nurses…I could speak coherently. At this point, one nurse asked us if we were ready to meet Ezra now or if we wanted 20 minutes to rest before pushing. Isn’t that such a funny question? “Would you like to completely change your life now? Or do you want to stay in this chapter of your life for 20 more minutes?” We chose to change our life right then.
At 10pm, in walked the OB on call and it was go time! After two rounds of pushing, Ezra started crowning and Blake turned to me and said he has blonde hair, just like Jude! Another two rounds of pushing and at 10:13pm, he was HERE! After a quick towel rub to get the vernix off (which made his hair look blonde for a minute there), we immediately noticed he actually had brown hair – lots of it! Oh goodness, meeting your baby and filling in those blanks you’ve been wondering about all pregnancy is just the best. Hair color? Brown! Skin tone? Olive! Weight & length: 7lbs 10oz, 20.5” long. While Jude favors the Printy side with his coloring, Ezra is certainly a Watson. Genetics = wild and SO incredible!
I’d been looking so forward to that first encounter – Ezra on my chest, calm after hearing my voice (truly amazing how they recognize their moms instantly), staring into my eyes and soul. Oh gosh, I cry just thinking about it. Meeting your baby is the most heart-exploding feeling in the world. It’s love at first sight. Here he is, this baby I grew and nurtured for nine months, the baby I sang to, who I talked to everyday as I rubbed my belly. So innocent and pure, secure in my arms and content with my touch. We finally got to meet our Ezra and he was perfect.
We stayed in the hospital for three days and without visitors allowed, I was actually able to rest! Of course I missed not having family be able to come by and meet Ezra, but it was honestly really nice to have that quiet bonding time with Blake and the baby – no interruptions (and a lot more time for us to nap!). Delivering during Covid was not something I had anticipated (in March, I kept thinking, surely this will pass by August!), but the nurses and doctors were all fantastic and wearing a mask 24/7 just felt normal after a while. In sum, If you’re delivering in the time of Covid, fear not – you’ve got this!!
When we finally got to bring Ezra home, my mom and sister brought Jude over and were waiting with dinner at our house. I missed Jude SO much I immediately started bawling when I finally got to hug him. Blake had Ezra in his arms and when Jude met his little brother for the first time he shouted “BAAAH!” (baby, in Jude language) and wanted to give him loads of kisses…then he was over him and ready to play, ha! Over the past two weeks, Jude has adjusted like a champ, we are so proud of him.
Who would have thought this girly girl would be a mom of not one, but TWO boys?! We are overjoyed to be a family of four and feel the love in this house grow beyond measure. The love of a child is unlike anything else, and the love Blake and I have for our babies is hard to put into words. Our hearts are so full…sure we are tired and we are learning every day, but what a gift to grow our family and raise these boys we love so dearly! In an instant, our new house became a home filled with toys and baby gear and laundry and dishes and joy…SO much joy. We are grateful!
Thank you to everyone who followed along in my pregnancy journey – your kind words, prayers and well wishes for a safe delivery were appreciated so much!