So as I mentioned in previous posts, we were expecting. Yay! Well, we had our sweet baby boy on July 1, but I still haven't blogged about it at all. So, I'm going to back track a month and write down the story of his arrival. :)
Just as a heads up, this post is long. And I mean really long. It's my journal after all and I want to remember everything. So, it's detailed, and did I mention long??
First, so that I don't forget I have to mention that throughout this pregnancy Topher and I talked a lot about if we thought this baby was going to come on time, early or late. When I was about 5 months pregnant, we both were in agreement that we felt like he was going to come early.
There was even a specific experience where we were booking camping reservations and one of them was going to be the last weekend in June, leading into July 1st. I had booked the dates, entered in our credit card information and asked Topher if he was good with all the dates and if I should click the "confirm" button, and he stopped me. He said, "No, maybe not. Maybe we shouldn't do that weekend.". When I asked why, he said he wasn't sure, he just didn't feel good about it. I remember gasping and saying, "Does that mean that's when the baby is coming?!!" He played it off and said it didn't necessarily mean any such thing and that and I shouldn't put so much stock in his thoughts. But from that moment on, I was 99% convinced this baby was coming early and might even be there that specific weekend.
Another reason I felt like he'd come before his due date was because I'd had contractions fairly early on with him, he seemed to be growing faster and a bit bigger than Grace had and I just was impatient, and so my wishful thinking led me to think he was coming earlier.
However, Grace on the other hand...she DID "know" he was coming early. AND, not only did she KNOW he was coming early, but she knew the exact. day.
Let me explain. Ever since we told her we were pregnant, we had been telling her the baby was due in July. Well, July was so far away for her, and she didn't understand dates and such so for 8 months, I just told her July, over, and over, and over again. "Your baby brother is coming in July Grace, in July." Well about a week or so before July, someone said, "Wow, it's almost July!" Well to Grace that translated as "Wow, it's almost the day your baby brother is coming!". She asked me each day, "How many days til' July?" And when I would respond with "5" or "4" or "3", she would respond with "Only 5 (4, 3,) more days til baby brother comes!!!" We tried so hard to explain to her that he wasn't due until July 11th. We didn't want her to get her hopes up and then be disappointed for 11 days that he hadn't made his appearance yet. But, no matter what we said, she didn't believe us. She was convinced he was coming on July 1st. Even on the night before he was born, she went to bed and told us "Tomorrow baby brother is coming!!!!" I remember just sighing and saying "uh-huh" to appease her and make her go to bed.
Well, the next morning, July 1st, I woke up to contractions. I immediately knew something was up, because each time I had had contractions throughout my pregnancy, going to bed had always made them go away. I had never had contractions in the middle of the night or while I was sleeping, and here I was waking up to them. I had an inkling, I'll admit, that maybe "this was the day"...but I'm much too proud to voice that out loud and then be wrong and be embarrassed. So when I mentioned it to Topher and he gave me "the look", I just tried to brush it off like it wasn't a big deal. The contractions were definitely uncomfortable but I was able to shower and get ready for church. In the hour and a half I was getting ready however they did get progressively more uncomfortable, to the point of painful, and about 15 minutes before we left I asked Topher to start timing them. They were regular and consistent and getting closer together and more intense. Hm. Topher asked me if I thought we should still go to church or if we should just go to the hospital. I played it cool again and said, "No, I'm sure it's nothing. I don't want to go all the way to the hospital just for them to tell me its false labor and to go home. Besides, our back up sitters for Grace aren't even home, they're going to church now too! Let's just go to church and If I'm still having contractions when church is over, we'll go in." At about this time, I had a very distinct impression that I should pack my overnight bag, (I should also mention I had had this impression EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for the past week and a half. I ignored it and didn't pack it). Well, I mentioned this to Topher and he felt like even if I was in labor, we could come back home and get an overnight bag after church.
SO...off to church we went.
We got there a couple of minutes late, but could have slipped in to the chapel, but as we got there my contractions got a little stronger and I didn't think I wanted to go in to the chapel after all. We sat in the foyer instead and I sat next to Topher, gripping his arm something fierce for every contraction. It was actually a good system. I didn't need to say a word for him to know when to start timing them or when they were over. He knew. He could tell when they were done because feeling would start returning back into his hand.
I remember a couple came into church and sat down on the couch next to us. They had their brand new baby with them, only 6 days old. I said congratulations, and they asked when we were due. I said July 11th, and Topher looked at me with a look like, "Really? You're still going with that??" I just smiled and knew that was a load of beans. After Sacrament meeting, (the first 1/3 of church) Topher asked me if we should go to the hospital, but I said we should wait until Church was over to see if the contractions really lasted that long or if they went away and it was a false alarm. I did mention to the Primary President that I thought I might be in labor though and so I was sorry if I wasn't very helpful getting everything ready in Primary. She looked at me sort of in shock and asked why I was there at all and I just said I wasn't sure it was true labor and didn't want to get sent home, and even if it was labor, I could labor at church just as easily as at home.
This was my first Sunday being in Primary and they sang the "welcome" song to me. Sister Young (Primary Pres.) wouldn't let me come up to the front because she could see I was gripping my seat with a pained look on my face. She told the Primary "This is Sister Andersen! She's our new first counselor, let's sing to her, but she's gonna stay where she is, because she's in labor!! We probably won't see her for several weeks, because I think she'll be having her baby pretty soon!" The Primary laughed and all looked at me excitedly and I just sat there gripping my chair and smiling back.
I made it until there was only about 20 minutes left of Church before the contractions were getting so intense I couldn't sit down anymore. I went to the restroom and saw I was bleeding a lot and decided it was time to go. I grabbed Topher, had a mild panic attack trying to think what to do with Grace, but her back up sitters were so sweet and said to just leave her car seat there and they'd take her home and we could bring her overnight things as soon as it was convenient.
Topher and I got in the car and started to head home to pack an overnight bag, but as I got more and more of a pained look on my face Topher got more and more convinced that there wasn't time to go pack our bags after all.
He headed for the hospital instead. We didn't have phones, lap top, ipad, camera, clothes...NOTHING! I couldn't fathom going into labor and not having anyone in our families know about it! But, that's what happened. :)
We got to the hospital, checked in and got put into a room. Topher was going to go home and get our bags, but the Nurse said maybe he should wait and see where I was at in terms of dilation and such. I was at an 8. Sooooo Topher decided to stick around. I was also in a lot a lot a lot of pain the likes of which I was NOT familiar. I asked the nurse if I could get an epidural, and her answer?...That there might not be time. WHAT?!! She said it would take about an hour for my OB to put in the order for it and for the Anesthesiologist to get there. I say again, WHAT?!! At this point I went into the bathroom and cried. I did NOT think I could have this baby natural. No matter the fact that I had WANTED to try and have him natural, now that I was faced with it, I didn't think I could do it. Topher came in and comforted me and got me out of the bathroom and I started to calm down...but not really. I squeezed Topher's hand even more and even harder, paced the room and said "ow" a lot. :) Luckily the OB got the order in and the anesthesiologist got there a bit quicker than anticipated and I got an epidural, which was surprisingly a lot more unenjoyable than when I had one with Grace. The guy was mean, abrasive and threatened me more than once that If I moved I could be paralyzed. Um...thanks. But its really hard to hold completely still in the middle of a ridiculously painful contraction!! Ugh.
One good thing about the epidural was that i asked them to do a smaller dose. I wanted to still be able to feel when I was having the contractions, just not so much of the pain associated with them, and it worked! I could still tell when I was having contractions and if they were strong or not, but no pain. Ahhh it was nice. :)
The epidural seemed to slow me down a bit, but I didn't mind. By 4:00 I could tell it was time for me to push and so my sweet Dr. came in. I asked her if Topher could help with anything and she said of course, and we got to be pretty involved. Topher watched the whole thing again and I got to feel the baby with my hands a bit before he came out, (I know, kinda gross, but it was also super cool). I pushed only a couple of times and he was out, screaming a quivering little cry and Topher quick snipped his umbilical cord. They held him up a little for me to see and I was immediately in awe. It was the "birth" experience I had always heard about but didn't think really existed. They wiped him off just a little bit and immediately put him on me. I had previously thought this sounded disgusting, but I loved it. He was crying and as soon as they laid him on me he immediately quieted, opened his eyes and tried to find me. Topher was right next to me and we both just stared at this perfect little being and cried. It was such a sweet sweet experience and I loved every minute of it.
In hindsight, Topher and I decided we liked not having our phones. It was so nice to relax and to just be the three of us enjoying each other. It was quiet and peaceful and we got to just sit and stare at our new little guy and stare at each other and grin from ear to ear. We didn't have to worry about calling 30 different people to give them a status update, we just got to relax and be in the moment. I think we'll be leaving our phones at home or off for all future babies from now on. :)
I should point out that several hours after his arrival we still hadn't named our little man. His name was quite the dilemma for us. We had had our list of favorites which was the following: Max, Thomas, Samuel. We also had our list of backups: Dex, Oliver, and I don't even remember the other 2. haha. But we had had those names for months and none of them seemed to fit as perfectly as we were expecting them to. Grace's name had just fit and we didn't feel like we even needed to see her to know that was her name. But with this pregnancy we had really felt like we just didn't know and we'd have to get a good look at him.
A name I had liked a few months back had been August. I had liked this name and thought Augie and Gus were adorable nicknames, but when I had mentioned it to Topher he had shot it down. He did not like Augie as a nickname at all. Ok, ok. So, I forgot about it and didn't mention it again...until the day before he was born. Saturday afternoon Topher and I were again discussing names and I threw August out there again. I said "are you sure you don't like the name August? I think it's really really cute." This time Topher surprised me. He sat and mulled it over for a few minutes and said that he didn't mind it so much anymore and that actually he thought it was pretty cute too. So, it became a "back up" name. :)
Anyway, I'm getting side tracked. At about 7:30ish Topher finally pried himself away from me and our new baby and left to fetch our overnight things and the big sister. :)
Grace was overjoyed to meet her baby brother and it was a really sweet time to have her come and see him and hold him for the first time. She was very gentle with him, and yet still her very eager, and energetic self. It was really nice to see her and have us all together but she very quickly got rowdy, hyper, restless and bored and wanted to play with all the Dr. things in the room and get into all the cupboards and drawers and finally just wanted to sit and play the iPad. Topher decided she was probably good for the night and so he took her back to the sitter's before we all got annoyed at each other. :)
Just as a place to have his stats, baby brother was born at 4:15p.m. he was 7 lbs. 9 oz. and 19 inches. He was a lb. heavier than Grace had been and an inch longer, but he still seemed so tiny to me!
Anyway...The next day we still hadn't named him. However we had eliminated all our back up names except August, and also eliminated Samuel. He just didn't look like a Sam. So we were at a crossroads with Max, Thomas and August. I liked Max, Topher liked Thomas and we both liked August. But it was such a different name and we had only been considering it since the day before!!
Anyway, Topher went into work for a few hours that day and afterwards he went and picked Grace up for a Daddy daughter date. They went and saw Brave together, got food, and went shopping together. She got a new doll and was very excited. Then he brought her back to the hospital for a little more sibling bonding time and that was again fairly short, but fun. :)
The food at the hospital was terrible, lol, but the nurses, staff and pediatricians were really really sweet and I hope we can have our next baby there as well.
The day we left the hospital was July 3rd and we only decided on the name Auguste about an hour before we checked out. Topher said he really liked the 'e' on the end, and I wasn't really swayed one way or another so I said ok. So we left the hospital with his name officially as Auguste Christopher Andersen.
I'm still not sold on the 'e' on the end. But, I figure I ought to let Topher win a battle occasionally right? ;)
So, we brought our Auguste Christopher home and have been in love with him ever since!!