He was due on Thanksgiving day in 2009. Which I believe was 11/26. I was working full time up until that week and was MISERABLE. I'm learning that I'm just not one of those women whose body is cut out for pregnancy. Plus, we make big babies with giant heads. A big baby on a size 2 frame is not a good mix. I spent the last month unable to sleep or eat or breathe. Which miiiight be a minor exaggeration, but still. You get the point. My HG had also returned so along with terrible heartburn I was also vomiting again. I slept in a recliner that we borrowed from a friend because my back hurt so much. I counted down every single day until my maternity leave and felt like it would never get here. Working 50 hours a week plus commuting almost 3 hours a day was not pleasant when I was so miserable. And then Thanksgiving week arrived!!!! Finally!!! But....still no Harrison.
I tried everything to get that kid out of me. Rick googled every old wives' tale but none of them worked. I even walked a few miles at the Nutcracker Market trying to get labor going, but nope. Thanksgiving came and went. And I'm pretty sure I was not the most pleasant person to be around at that point. The last week of my pregnancy I was in a dark place. I was one of the naive ones who thought that surely my baby was going to come early and when he didn't, I was not. happy. Every hour felt like days and I'm pretty sure I was breathing fire at anyone who attempted to even look in my general direction :)
|Last belly shots|
|Harrison, GET OUT ALREADY!|
And as a side note, I didn't get a single stretch mark...until my very last few days of pregnancy. Which was a week past my due date. Go figure. Such a stubborn boy!
I had a doctor appointment the following week on 12/1. My OB knew how miserable I was and called the hospital and let them know he was sending me over because he though he heard some heart decels. He winked at me as he mentioned the heart decels part. If I didn't love him before then, I certainly did at that moment ;) He was on call all that night and knew how much I wanted to be sure I had my own doctor at delivery, so he was trying to make sure that happened. So, I left his office and headed across the street to the hospital where they began monitoring me. I was dilated to a 4 and while they didn't hear any decelerations (wink wink), an ultrasound showed he was measuring in the 90th percentile and also that my amniotic fluid was low. The nurse turned to me and said, "looks like you'll be having a baby today!" And my heart rate SHOT up. Ha!
Rick was a mess. It was very entertaining. He was so flustered and obsessed with the fact that we didn't have our hospital bag with us, so he wanted to go get it. I told him we could easily get my mom to go grab it, but it was really bothering him, so off he went. Pretty bad timing, because they started the pitocin right after he left. If you have never had pitocin, it is a drug straight from hell! I started instantly having back labor and was literally in tears from the pain. My contractions were so strong and I didn't have a break in between them. Thankfully my mom was there (since my husband was MIA worried about the damn hospital bag) and I remember telling her I had NO idea how she managed natural child birth with no drugs because I seriously felt like I was dying!
Thankfully the anesthesiologist showed up soon after to give me my epidural. Which unlike pitocin, is a drug straight from heaven. Leading up to birth I was so anxious about getting an epidural. I was extremely needle shy (which is not the case anymore since having kids and getting poked and prodded a bajillion times) and the thought of a needle in my back was incredibly intimidating. But in the moment I welcomed that doctor with open arms and begged him to stick that needle in my back. Ha! I felt a million times better after the epidural and was able to relax and even joke around with friends and family (Rick eventually showed back up with the bag, in case you were wondering. lol).
|my mom and me...after the gift of an epidural :)|
|Ashley...this girl dropped everything and drove 2 hours just to be here when he arrived. She slept on the chairs in the waiting room. That is a committed friend right there!|
At some point (I can't remember if it was before the epidural or after), Dr. Klein came by to break my water. After that it only took about 8 hours to dilate the rest of the way to a 10. I was nervous but at least not in any pain. Rick, however, was snoring on the couch next to me. We have total opposite personalities, obviously. Haha. Between sleeping and freaking out, Rick was a mess. Poor first time dads...it's a lot for them! Thankfully my mama was in there with us because she was really nurturing and knew exactly what to say and do.
When it was time to push, my epidural had worn off enough to where I could feel the contractions and knew when it was time to do my job. It took about an hour of pushing before he made his debut. They brought out a mirror and I promptly told them to take it away. I've witnessed firsthand my best friend's babies being born and I can truly say it is an amazing thing to see, but when it's your own lady bits in the mirror it's just too much to handle. :) Rick swore all along that he did not want to see anything below my waist, but the nurse convinced him to take a peek and then he couldn't look away. I remember the look of amazement in his eyes and it still makes me tear up picturing it. I remember him telling me, "he has lots of hair!" I remember the doctor saying his head was out. I remember that last little push and how I immediately felt like my old self again. I remember hearing his first cries and the doctor commenting that he was a big boy. I remember him being placed on my chest and falling in love instantly. That sounds cheesy, but it was so true.
|Born on 12/2 at 4:05am|
I was crying and laughing at the same time because the very first thing I noticed about him was his cowlick. Rick and I had joked my entire pregnancy about which features he might inherit and I always told him that I didn't care what he looked like as long as he didn't get his daddy's stubborn cowlick. Hahaha. Harrison's cowlick is about 1000x more stubborn but it is absolutely one of my favorite things about him!
Dr. Klein delivered my placenta and held it up for me to see. So gross! Then he got busy stitching me up, because thanks to my kid's ginormous head, I had 3rd degree tearing. Yep, I was lucky enough to be in that 3% statistic group. Suuuuper fun! The rest of our 2 days in the hospital was kind of a blur. Lots of visitors came by. I don't think I slept more than an hour. Not because he was crying, but because I was afraid if I went to sleep he would stop breathing or something. I'm a very rational person like that. Plus, I was just in awe of him and couldn't stop staring at the perfect little baby that was just given to us.
|this view is how you fall in love with your husband even more than you thought was possible|
|Harrison meeting his mamaw|
|Rick took a picture of this pull out bed because he wanted it documented how uncomfortable it was. I MEAN, REALLY? Poor, poor pitiful man. It's awful everything he had to go through.|
|Allen & Jon|
|My brother in the front and a former coworker on the left|
|Beda with her first grandchild|
|I wish I could smell him through this picture. So yum.|
|What I wouldn't give to be able to hold him as a newborn one last time|
|throwing up gang signs|
|It snowed the day we left! Pretty big deal in Houston. He slept through all of it though.|
|Getting ready to leave. He didn't fit in the going home outfit I bought him so we had to go to Plan B.|
|not a fan of the car seat!|
Harrison, meeting you was one of the best days of my life. I look back with such fondness on our birth experience together. You made me a mommy and have taught me and grown me SO much since that cold December day I met you. Love you BIG!