As you all may know by now (seriously it's been 4 weeks!) we welcomed our new little man into the family in the wee hours of October 14. At 10:48 PM on October 13, I felt a contraction. I was cranky and skeptical because I'd been having contractions for almost 4 straight weeks, but I started timing. I had a few hard contractions about 4 minutes apart, and then they stopped for 10 minutes. I settled in to watch Psych with Christopher before bed. When the contractions returned, they were vicious! After 20 minutes, we knew it was time to go. We called Cindy and Kevin, and they decided to send Cindy over here so James could sleep in his bed over night.
By midnight, we were headed to the hospital! When we made it into labor and delivery, I was 7 cm dilated. Our little man was on his way! I had planned to go all natural this time, but I'd forgotten how painful giving birth is. Nothing is quick at the hospital, so after an excruciating 90 minutes, the anesthesiologist finally showed up. I was at 9 cm when he arrived in my room. I don't know if I'll ever be able to describe the reason I still chose to have an epidural after I'd made it that far. Honestly, I was just a few moments from being completely done with the experience. Regardless, I got the epidural and I finally relaxed.
I asked Christopher to take my picture while I was in labor so that I could see what I looked like. This was taken immediately after I laid down and started to feel relief, 2:44 am.
A few seconds later, they told me to try a practice push. I started to push, and the doctor basically yelled, "Wait! Stop!" Suddenly the room was filled with people-collapsing the bed, getting suited up (honestly, did they expect a bloodbath?) and ready to go.
At 2:48, I began to push. That's the end of the story, because he was born that second.
Samuel Christopher Feldmann. My long, skinny, squidgy baby.
I'll spare you the gooey just-exiting-the-womb shot. You're welcome.
Now a sidenote: in the picture you just saw, he looks just like James. While that was the case for a fraction of a second within 5 minutes of his birth, it never happened again. James is the spitting image of his father, and Sam is undeniably related to the Unklesbay clan.
Just a few minutes before Sam was born (ha. All the minutes I was in labor were minutes just before he was born, really.) I explained to the nurses that James was whisked away immediately after he was born, and I didn't get to hold him for over 5 minutes, (I understand that this isn't a long time...but just enough to bug me.) and nobody explained what was going on to me. To this day, I can't watch the video of James's birth because I still freak out when they take him away. The nurses at this hospital, even though Sam needed a little extra care, made sure to put him on my chest and let me see his face for a few moments. They took him away to make sure everything was ok-saw that he needed some extra attention in the nursery-and then let me hold him a little while longer before they took him.
Remember that epidural that I still got even though I was already at 9 cm? It had at least one major side-effect. When Sam was born, I was 100% comfortable. Well, at least as comfortable as one can be with their legs up in the air and something the size of a watermelon being forcibly removed from your body. But because I was so comfortable, and because the hours of pain were over, (4, if you're counting. 4 hours exactly from first contraction to delivery.) as soon as Sam was born, I was SO happy. So. My tiny guy and his dad went off to the nursery to make sure everything was okay, and to monitor him for a little while to make sure his breathing was just right. I was bored, and they were gone for nearly an hour. I took the time to call my dad and Ethan, (surprise! I knew he'd be up!) get changed into a fresh gown, and straighten up the delivery room. (ah! That nesting instinct finally kicked in!) I texted Christopher a few times, and he sent me some pictures of the baby.
Up to this point, I still didn't know my little guy's stats. I was BEGGING to know! The nurse who was checking on me was undoubtedly frustrated with me, because I kept asking every single time she came in. This little guy I KNEW was really long, but I was certain he was a lightweight. 8.5 lbs tops. Finally the measurements arrived!
9 lbs, 6.6 oz and 23 inches long.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I did it again.
So what if my kids are the size of toddlers when they're born.
But seriously, he's the size of a very skinny 3 month old.
Long legs, feet and toes.
Long arms and fingers.
An adorable baby-sized Unklesbay nose...
Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
So. After an hour or so, Christopher finally came back to retrieve me, and we went to our postpartum room. The nurses were all talking about how this 9 lb baby was out in one push.
Ever wonder when you're going to get your 15 seconds of fame? Well, that was mine. Not a terrible thing to be famous for, and I'm telling you...I was the talk of the maternity ward at U of L hospital that night-sometime around 4 am.
After we got settled, we finally got a chance to take a picture of daddy with his tiny guy.
This is my favorite thing in the world, by the way. Christopher with our kids. He's incredible, in case I haven't mentioned it.
The next day, our awesome friends Cindy and Kevin came to visit us at the hospital, and brought James. Now-even though I was 5 days overdue, somehow I hadn't put together a survival kit for James. Honestly, nobody could find any clothes for him. I really need to get a system for the kids' clothes! So Cindy's sweet friend (insert name I've completely forgotten. Sorry!) bought James some new clothes.
We got to take our very first family picture. We look exhausted, but as one of my friends pointed out, more like Christmas morning than like we're dying of sleep deprivation. (A current picture might show something different.) I can't describe how wonderful it was to see James after being away from him overnight. It didn't feel right to be together without him there.
Saturday in the hospital was wonderful. We laid around, went for a couple of walks, and my parents came to visit. We pulled some strings at the hospital, and convinced the doctors to let us go home at 40 hours instead of 48, and then they messed up on something and it ended up being 39. I was beyond thrilled! Nobody gets rest in the hospital. Nobody. Perhaps I could have convinced them to put me in a coma for the time I was there so I could get some rest?
So we dressed up our new little man.
Put on the famous booties,
And went home.
Now for the best part of the whole story. By 10 PM on October 15, 2011, I had my whole family at home where they belonged. We were all soundly sleeping in our beds. Just the way it's supposed to be. Nobody missing.