Last week, Tuesday night, I woke up at 11:30 after feeling a contraction. Nothing especially painful but it just felt... different. I knew this was the beginning. We called our doulas (mine and Jacob's) and prepared to go to the hospital. We debated waking Jacob up, seeing how it was 1 am at this point. I knew he'd be pissed, though, if I had the baby without him being there. So, I kissed him and he woke up, asking "Is it morning?" I said, "No, we're going to the hospital to have the baby." And he adamantly replied, "I want to come too." And off we went.
Labour was harder for me this time around than with Jacob. It was surprisingly more painful, which I was not expecting. Jacob's birth, although hard, felt tolerable throughout. These contractions were way more intense. And even though I was progressing, the baby wasn't dropping. Even though I planned on having another natural birth, I asked for an epidural this time. I admit, I feel a bit like a wuss for doing that. Not that I regret it, but I felt like, having been through one natural birth, I could do it again. I'm proud to have had Jacob without pain meds. However, this labour felt brutal. The epidural was so relieving. Then came the time when the doctor said, 'Okay, you're ten centimeters and the baby has dropped. You can start pushing." But I didn't really feel much; a very strange idea to push when there's no feeling in your bottom. For this reason, I would try to have another natural childbirth. However, after awhile, the epidural wore off and I could feel contractions, urges to push and, eventually, the crowning of the baby. So, all in all, I got to experience the birth while skipping over a bit of pain in the middle. And I was a bit surprised when the doctor announced that the baby was a boy! This one felt more like a girl to me.
Jacob was a trooper the whole night and his doula was invaluable. He took a short nap at one point when I had my epidural, but when it came closer to the baby being born, we woke him up. He wanted to watch the baby be born, which he did. Later, he said it grossed him out and he hid under a blanket. But he also said that he would watch another sibling be born if we had more kids.
I have been extremely impressed with how well Jacob has done this first week. He's been a proud, interested, loving big brother. Very patient and very fascinated by his little bro. It's adorable to watch. He has also already told his little brother that "he's lucky; he never has to have a baby." Get the important advice out first.
Fraser has also been exceptionally helpful, taking on all the usual "mama" jobs around the house, stepping in to help with the baby whenever I need it and giving Jacob lots of attention. Without him around this past week, I would have been a bawling, irritable mess of a person and our transition would not have gone as smoothly as it has. I'm sad that he has to go back to work tomorrow and a bit apprehensive about how things will go, but my mom is coming into town tomorrow, so the timing is very good.
And again, we ended up with a boy and no boy's name, just like with Jacob. We've been pondering this all week, trying out different names. Jacob's top pick was Eyeball, but Fraser and I weren't as keen on it. Finally, after much deliberation, we've made a decision. Benjamin Adam Douglas. Hopefully, we haven't jinxed ourselves by giving him those initials.
Even though it's a definite transition for all of us, it is amazing how the heart expands with love. Just holding the little guy is so special, hearing all those newborn sounds, smelling his new skin, looking at his teeny nails and fingers. Fraser said the other day, "I forgot how incredibly cute newborns are." Indeed... indeed.