Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My 1st Birth Story

In July of 2004, I gave birth to my amazing daughter, Chloe.  I placed Chloe for adoption.  This is my story of her birth. (from a journal entry in August memory is not this detailed!)

The short version:
July 30, 2004 at 12:28pm
8 lb 4 oz
21 inches long
33 cm head

The long version:

It started Wednesday night, July 28th.  I started feeling contractions about 11pm that night, just as I was going to bed.  I was able to lay down and rest/doze for a couple of hours.  About 1:30 or 2am, I got up because I couldn't quite sleep through the contractions any more.  I ate a bowl of cereal.  The contractions weren't SO intense, but uncomfortable enough to keep me awake.  I went downstairs with paper, pen, and watch in hand.  I started timing the contractions.  From the beginning they were very regular and consistent.  Every 5-10 minutes.  I thought that was weird.  But I knew they needed to grow in intensity and frequency before I called the doctor.  I had my pen and paper in the kitchen.  I would lay down on the couch in the den in between contractions.  When I would feel one, I'd get up, walk to the kitchen and write down the start time and then by the time I moseyed back to the den, it'd be over.  They only lasted about 30 seconds at this point.  By early, early morning I was very tired because I hadn't slept, but little did I know I had only BEGUN to feel tired!  Dad woke up around 5am like usual.  When he came downstairs I filled him in on what was going on.  I didn't wake him or mom up because there was no reason to yet.  So I continued to pace around and lay down for the next few hours.  At some point in the evening I did have reddish/brownish mucousy discharge.  Maybe the mucous plug?  I dunno.  I remember thinking "Eewww."

I had my weekly OB appointment at 11am Thursday morning.  I knew we'd get some more information then.  Eventually I paused from my pacing to take a shower and get ready for my appointment.  The shower felt good!  Mom drove me to my appointment.  We left about 45 minutes early for the doctor's office because we were so eager to see what they had to say!  We anxiously awaited the doctor's report.  The car ride was very uncomfortable because of the pressure in my pelvis at that point and the regular contractions.  Dr. Henderson said I was still only 1 cm dilated, 80% effaced and -2 station.  I was so disappointed!  Such consistent contractions for so long and so little progress!  They hooked me up to the fetal monitor/contraction monitor thing for about 30 minutes to get an idea of what kinds of contractions I was was having, how often and how baby Chloe was handling them.  She was doing fine throughout.  They wanted to see me back at 3pm for a recheck.  So...disappointed, we left.  Mom wanted to get me to eat something, but I wasn't really hungry.  I don't recall if I had a bowl of cereal then or later in the day.  But cereal was about the only thing I'd consider eating.  After a few more hours of pacing, timing and trying to lay down and rest (unsuccessfully), we headed back to the doctor.  Again, Henderson told me I hadn't really progressed.  :-/  Both appointments, by the way, were very very painful when he checked my cervix.  Ow...I tell ya what...ow!  He said we needed to wait until I had "rounded the next corner" before we called the doctor.  Translation: the contractions needed to step up in intensity pretty significantly before we thought about going to the hospital.  Either that or my water needed to break.  Something needed to change.  Again, our spirits deflated, we left the doctor's office.  I wanted to sleep so badly, but couldn't.  This, of course, made me emotional.  So mostly I just wanted to cry.  Mom and I went to the mall after we left the office.  We figured maybe walking around would help.  I should've known better than to go the mall!  I hate the mall on a normal day!  Much less when I'm in pain and over tired!  We weren't there too long.  We walked very slowly around half the mall before I'd had enough.  Perhaps if we had kept going things would've moved along quicker, but I was hurting and didn't want to be there any more.  So...we went back home.  I resumed my pacing/trying to rest/lying down routine.  I didn't time the contractions so much at this point.  I was waiting for them to pick up in intensity or something before I started keeping track again.  Still hadn't really eaten anything.  Food was definitely not a priority.  I felt nauseous intermittently and was not interested in eating.  I tried to keep drinking water, but that was about it.  By 10pm, mom, dad and I were getting ready for bed.  I was hoping (again) to be able to rest.  I went up to my room and just sat on the edge of my bed and cried.  I was so very tired, knew I wouldn't be able to sleep and had no end in sight because things weren't progressing enough to call the doctor yet.  Dad and mom came into my room.  Dad just stood beside me and hugged me.  Mom rubbed my back and we all prayed.  Mom prayed that God would allow me to rest.  Dad carried in a rocking chair for mom to sit in at my bedside.  Dad headed off to bed, mom took up station in her rocking chair, and I paced around my room during a contraction and rested on my bed in between.  I couldn't tell if the contractions were getting stronger or if I was just more tired of them.  Regardless, my attitude continued to decline as the contractions progressed.

From 11pm - 12 am, the contractions were longer than they had been.  45-0 seconds.  They seemed more intense, although it might have been me wishing them that way.  I also started to leak small amounts of fluid here and there.  Not with every contraction, but sometimes.  So we decided it was time to call the doctor.  Henderson called me back pretty quickly and said come on it and let them check me out.  So YAY!  We were on our way to the hospital.  Mom and I both fully expected to be sent back home, so we didn't wake up dad.  We did take my hospital bag, just in case.  We got checked in and the nurse, Dawn, took us into one of the delivery rooms.  She had me take everything off and put on a hospital gown.  Dr. Henderson came in to check my cervix.  STILL 1 CM.  He said at this rate we'd be here til next week.  I didn't appreciate his humor.  Nor did I appreciate the cervix check.  It hurt!  THey told mom and I to go walking around the hospital for an hour.  They would recheck me after that hour.  I put on another hospital gown (wearing 1 forward and 1 backward) and mom and I went walking all over the hospital.  I kept wanting to sit down or lay down (where?!), but mom wouldn't let me.  She knew we needed to make some progress during this hour!  During a contraction, I would lean facing the wall and mom would rub my lower back.  The hospital halls were pretty empty at that time of the night (about 1 am)  Some doctor stopped to talk to us on his way down the hall.  He wanted to know if this was my 1st baby.  I wanted to know if he could mind his own damn business because I was in no mood to be social.  :)  Anyway...  after that seemingly endless hour, we were back in my delivery room.  Henderson checked me again (ow!) and I was up to 2 cm.  Yay!  I had progressed!  It was at that point they decided to keep me.  Henderson asked me how we were going to do this:  natural, unnatural, or supernatural.  Mom and I answered at the same time.  She said "supernatural" and I said "unnatural." I told him I was up for an epidural as soon as he'd let me have one.  He told Dawn to get my labs running, IV started and then we could do the epidural.  Woo-hoo!  That was music to my ears.  PAIN RELIEF.  I was almost excited about getting blood drawn/IV started because it meant being one step closer!  Dawn did an excellent job placing my IV.  She said it wouldn't take long to get lab results.  They got me all hooked up to ons of machines and things.
I had a blood pressure cuff on my right arm, pulse ox on my left pointer finger, IV catheter and fluid set attached to my left arm, fetal monitor and contraction monitor around my belly.  I was so wired up I couldn't hardly move!  (even if I wanted to)  About 2:30am they started the epidural.  I remember thinking right before Dr. Henderson started, "Oh man, is this gonna hurt really badly?  I don't know!  I haven't heard people say?!"  But they talked me through the whole thing.  "This is going to sting."  "Lots of pressure."  "Be real still."  I jumped a little at the numbing shots, but then it was just pressure and weird feelings, not so much pain.  Within 10 minutes or so, I was mostly numb.  I was sooooo relieved to not feel anything.  There was a small section on my left side of my belly that still had feeling, so they rolled me to the left to see if that would work.  It didn't.  They dosed my epidural again with me laying on my left side.  Still had feeling.  So Dawn untaped my back, withdrew the epidural catheter just a teeny bit, taped it back up, dosed me again on my left side and it worked!  No more feeling!  I was so much happier then.  They left me be for a while, so I dozed off for ~2-3 hours according to mom.  I was so thankful to be able to sleep.  It was just great.

Oh...I forgot to mention...after they decided to keep me, mom called Dad to let him know the situation.  Dad called Nikki and Melissa and Alvin, the adoptive parents.  Nikki was there by ~2:30 am, right in time for the epidural.  Dad told Melissa and Alvin to wait several hours before coming because nothing was going to happen for a while.  Dad got some more rest, too.  I don't know what time he got there.  Maybe 7:30 am or so.  I was napping on and off throughout the early morning, so I don't remember a whole lot.  My sister-in-law Laura came at some point in the morning too.  Mom, Laura, Nikki and Dad all rotated through the delivery room during the "down" time.  Whoever wasn't in the room with me was downstairs juggling my 3 month old niece, Raegan.  When Melissa and Alvin got there, they came up to see me.  That was neat to say hey to them.  :)  Especially because I wasn't in pain, I was quite social.  They had to come up one person at a time because only three visitors could be in my room at once.  Usually mom and Nikki and one other person.  After spending the evening with us, Dawn got off at 7am, so she traded off with Crystal.  Crystal was awesome, too.  I remember at some point in the morning we started (and finished!) watching What's Up Doc.  That was good comedic relief.  In my 2-3 hour nap I had gone from 2 cm to 6 cm.  Woohoo! More progress.  Mom and others would point out really big contractions on the screen beside me.  I would just respond "don't care!" since I couldn't feel them.  Crystal kept saying we were waiting on Henderson to come break my water.  But time kept passing and he wasn't there.  He had to do some surgery from 8:30-9 am, so they didn't want to break my water and speed things up in case he was in surgery.  Finally, around 10 am they decided it was time to push.  Crystal thought I was only 9.5cm instead of 10, but Henderson said push so she said okay!  From 10-10:30 I pushed with each contraction.  By 10:15 I was completely spent!  I didn't want to push!  It was too too hard.  I hadn't eaten in forever (unless you count the 2 popsicles during the night that turned my mouth blue).  I hadn't slept much in a while either.  I was on empty from the beginning!  Not a good way to enter the most intensive part of labor.  After 30 minutes of pushing, they had me chill for 30 minutes to let my cervix go from 9.5 cm to 10 cm.  So I zonked out for 30 more minutes.  About 11 am they said it's GO time.  Time to push again.  I was not excited about this.  Crystal was explaining to me how to push, but because of the epidural, I couldn't really feel what I was doing.  It's hard to push like you're having a bowel movement when you can't feel anything!  That was the only time the epidural worked against me.  The top portion of my abs were so sore and we had just begun to push!  They said they would give me an hour of pushing before they intervened with forceps or vacuum.  I wasn't really motivated to push before they mentioned "intervening".  I knew I didn't want them to have to use any of those measures.  I became a little more motivated.  They wheeled over the mirror so I could see as I pushed, hoping it would help me tell what was a "good push" and what wasn't.  It was a little bit helpful to be able to see her hair and that she was so close!  Laura was my primary pushing coach.  She was the one holding my shoulders and talking me through it all.  Nikki would play with my hair some during the down time between contractions, helping me to relax.  I was discouraged because even though I was pushing with all my might, Chloe wasn't moving so much.  After the initial hour, they even let me go 30 more minutes on my own because I told them I didn't want them to use the vacuum.  But after little to no progress, Chloe's heartrate was dropping, so they needed to help me out.  After less than 10 minutes with the vacuum, at 12:28pm on Friday, July 30th, 2004, Chloe was BORN!

During the final pushes, mom, Laura, and Nikki were all cheering me on.  They really made all the difference in the world.  I felt so defeated from the beginning of the pushing process.  I didn't think I could do it.  But they all seemed to think I could!  At the end I was relying on them and what they thought I could do as opposed to my own perceptions of me.  For future reference, it was very helpful and encouraging to have Laura telling me I was doing a good job, b/c I really didn't think I was.  Nikki paying with my hair or just the sense of touch overall was very soothing as well.  I remember Laura hugging me so tightly and kissing me on my cheek and forehead saying "You did it Betty Anne, you did it.  She's beautiful and you did it!"  That was really special and I appreciated that a whole lot.

Anyway, back to Chloe!  She weighed 8 lbs. 4 oz.

When she was born, I was in total AMAZEMENT.  My tears were tears of relief.  I was so glad I didn't have to push any more!  I was absolutely stunned looking at her as Henderson clamped off her umbilical cord and handed her to me.  I couldn't believe how BIG she was!  No way that just came out of me!  I was overwhelmed with how beautiful she was too.  She was perfect!  I couldn't believe I had any part in incubating something so incredible.  I was in awe.  I was also so very over-exhausted.  While they did some initial stuff w/ Chloe, I just layed there.  Completely zapped of any inkling of energy.  As soon as Chloe was wrapped up, she quieted down and just looked around at everyone.

She was so sweet from the very beginning.  Henderson sewed me up from the small tear I received during her birth.  I didn't care, though, because I was numb.  And it was all finally OVER.  I couldn't believe it! Whew!  37 hours later, it was over.  I had a daughter!  That still sounds so weird to me!  "My daughter", but it's true!  I'm a mom!  These things will take a little while to sink in, I'm sure.

During the labor process I kept thinking "Why would anyone do this more than once??  I can't even imagine!"  But then, as soon as she was born, I realized THAT'S why.  Because the end result is SO worth it.  The pain was worth it.  The pregnancy was worth it.  She is an amazing, beautiful, incredible girl and she made it all worth it.
Here's a few more pictures from our time in the hospital.
Such tiny hands!

Those lips are too cute!

Daddy Alvin feeding his baby girl.

Meeting big brother Shiloh for the first time.

Momma Melissa, Big Brother Shiloh, and Baby Chloe.  
This family is so precious to me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birth Story

If you want the short version:

James Benton Davidson 

6/8/11 at 5:23am
7 lb 15 oz
21.5 inches long
36.5 cm head

The slightly longer winded version:

Since I was 37 weeks pregnant, I would routinely have contractions, typically on a night before I worked the next day.  Scott and I would time them on his iPod touch contraction app.  They would be anywhere from 4-10 minutes apart.  Not really painful, but noticeable.  Sometimes they would last all night, sometimes just a few hours.  All this would do is confuse me!  How am I going to know when the REAL DEAL is happening when we have all these false starts all the time??

Fast forward to Tuesday, June 7th.  I went to my weekly appointment at my OB.  Side note: At 36 weeks, I was a fingertip-1cm dilated and 70-80% effaced.  At this appointment, I'm 2 cm dilated.  Hooray!  At that rate of dilation, my baby would be born sometime in August...  I was having contractions on this particular Tuesday, but again, who knew if they would lead anywhere or not.  When I was checking out of the OB office, they made me an appointment for the next week, in case I was still pregnant.  I made it abundantly clear that I would NOT be coming to that appointment.  I had zero intentions of making it to 41 weeks.  

That afternoon, I met up with my sister Nikki to take some pregnancy pictures.  39 weeks, 6 days pregnant.  I figured that was a good time to document my hugeness. :)  We went to the Rose Garden near NC State.  It was 5:30pm and a million degrees outside.  If I have a "glow" about me in the pictures, I assure you it's sweat.

I was having some more contractions all during the photo shoot.  Sometimes we would have to wait a second to take a picture because I was having a hard time SMILING during the contraction.  Deep down I was hoping this was the real deal, but I'd gotten my hopes up before and it didn't lead to labor.  Soooo....I tried to ignore the contractions and not think about it!  Scott met up with us at the Rose Garden and we went to dinner at Cantina 18, my new favorite restaurant.  During dinner I asked him to bust out the iPod and time some of these contractions.  They were about 4-7 minutes apart during dinner.  I had a hard time eating dinner.  This was hugely disappointing, since I was so excited about eating there.  We boxed up the rest of my dinner to go and headed home.  I just wanted to be home.  Scott and I had driven separately.  I was very sad about that as I drove home.  During that 15 minute drive home, at least twice I got white-knuckled on the steering wheel during a contraction.  I have a stick-shift car, by the way.  YOU try shifting gears and negotiating a clutch, gas and brake while contracting.  Fun times.  Despite the increasing intensity of the contractions, I was still in denial.  I figured this would fizzle out, as it had before, and I would be at work the next morning.  

When we got home, I asked Scott to take a walk with me.  We'd walked miles and miles around the neighborhood and surrounding area in the past few weeks.  This walk was a bit slower than usual.  We would stop during contractions.  We really focused on timing the contractions during the walk.  If this WAS leading somewhere, I wanted facts to be able to tell the doctor when I called.  After our walk, I continued timing things until about 9pm-ish.  I knew I needed to go to bed if I was going to work in the morning.  Problem:  I couldn't sleep through these contractions.  Scott said I should call the doctor.  I wasn't sure if I should, but I did.  I called and left a voicemail for the on-call doctor.  The person that returned my call was one of my coworkers that works in the Birth Center Operating Room.  

Renee said: "Betty Anne, why are you calling up here asking if you should come in when you know you need to be here?!"

I told Renee:  "I'm NOT sure I need to be there, that's why I'm calling to ask the doctor!"

Renee said Dr. Beatty wanted me to come in and be checked.  Alright!  I hung up with Renee and got in the shower.  My thought:  "If this is for real, I'm gonna be CLEAN!"  Scott gathered a few last minute items left to pack in our "hospital bag".  As we were walking out the door, I told him I forgot to eat!  We both knew they wouldn't let me eat once I got to the hospital, and therefore I should eat right before I got there, but I had no appetite (just like at dinner).  Foregoing the eating, we headed to the hospital.  We were fully prepared to get checked and then sent back home.  See how I was still having trouble believing this was happening?!

I called my friend, Sarah, an L&D nurse who happened to be working that evening.  She said she would be available for me by the time I got there.  Sarah and I went to school together at Wake Tech.  I was VERY excited that she could potentially be my L&D nurse.  We got to the hospital just before 11pm.  When Sarah checked me, I was 3.5 cm!  

My cervix was actually changing!  
They weren't going to send us home!  
And finally the false alarms were OVER!  
I was NOT going to work in the morning!  

So much to be excited about!  Oh, and also, these contractions HURT.  That is not exciting, but a reality of labor.  Sarah got us moved into our L&D room, started my IV and fluids, and got me situated on the monitors for a bit.  Dr. Beatty came in and checked me about 45 minutes after Sarah did.  I was 5 cm.  Things were MOVING!  For some reason, I felt it was important to go for a short walk while I was in labor.  Sarah said after I had been on the monitor for about 20 minutes and the baby looked good, I could go for a walk.  Sarah and Dr. Beatty both mentioned that my bag of waters was bulging and might break at any moment.  If it broke, my labor might speed up.  My concern was that I would miss my opportunity for an epidural.  I had NO DESIRE to go au naturel for this experience.  So off we went to walk.  Scott pushed the IV pole.  I was solely responsible for putting one foot in front of the other.  We stopped to talk to some of my coworkers in the hallways as we walked, my face contorting with each contraction.  That must've been a pretty sight. :)  We walked for less than 15 minutes before I was all done and ready for an epidural.  We got back to the room (the very SAME room that I delivered my daughter in, how cool is that?!) and Sarah called for the anesthesiologist.  He was in the OR and would be a few minutes.  Oh joy.  Sarah checked me again:  I was 7 cm.  Moving right along!  <last time, I got an epidural at 2 cm.  I felt accomplished that I made it much further this time!>  I was sitting up on the side of the bed, ready and waiting to receive the glorious relief of the epidural.  I was practically levitating off the bed during contractions.  I was thinking "You so damn stupid. <said in best Dr. Bailey voice from Grey's Anatomy>  Why did you go walking??  Now you're hurting more than ever and you have to wait for an epidural!!"  It wasn't too long, in reality, before the blessed epidural-placing doctor arrived.  I just happened to be measuring time in contractions.  As in, "I hope he gets here before the next one..."  I said that at least a handful of times.  I offered for Scott to leave the room for the epidural.  Our goal for this labor and delivery experience was for Scott NOT to pass out.  I didn't mind at all if he skipped this part.  He insisted on staying.  Sarah had him sit in a chair in front of me, so he couldn't see anything happening to my back.  Sarah was great and told me minute by minute what the doctor was doing and what to expect.  I was a little nervous that the epidural would hurt a lot, but it wasn't bad at all.  Some funny feelings at times, but nothing like the contractions I was feeling.  I guess it's all about perspective. :)  Within moments of having the epidural in place, I felt relief. AHHHHHHHHH.  So. much. better.

Scott said he got a little swimmy-headed briefly from Sarah's descriptions of what was happening and what I should expect, but he hung in there.  Good job Scott!  After retrieving a recliner for Scott to nap in, and making sure my vital signs were stable and baby looked good on the monitor after the epidural, Sarah let Scott and I rest/sleep for about an hour and 15 minutes.  I'll let you figure out which one of us rested and which one of us SLEPT.  Sarah said Dr. Beatty was coming at 3:30am to break my water.  At 3:29am, it broke on its own.  Eewwwwww.  Even with the epidural, I could tell I was sitting in a swimming pool of fluid.  Yuck.  Scott woke up to hear Sarah saying "Yep, your water definitely broke!" and watching her change out all the padding beneath me.  Again, he didn't pass out.  Yay!  They checked me again:  9 cm.  In a few minutes, it would be time to push.  Scott got on the phone to Jacqui and Nikki, both of whom wanted to be there when the baby was born.  We told them if they wanted to be here, they better hurry!  

We waited to start pushing until both Jacqui and Nikki got there.  (less than 30 minutes)
my doulas, Jacqui and Nikki

Just after 4am, we started pushing.  Whereas before the epidural was providing me great pain coverage, during the pushing part, it hurt all the time.  This was very unfortunate for me!  On the up-side, I could feel a little better how to push.  But on the down-side, it HURT!  During this phase, I felt like my knowledge of how this process goes worked against me.  What I mean by that:  After the first few pushes, Dr. Beatty left the room.  Because I work in this environment, I know that when the doctor leaves the room, it's because they anticipate pushing will take a little bit and they are not immediately needed.  When Dr. Beatty left, my heart sank.  This was not going to be 4 pushes and the baby is born.  Bummer.  Guided by my brilliant nurse Sarah and encouraged on by my "team" of Scott, Nikki and Jacqui, the pushing continued.  Dr. Beatty was in and out of the room periodically.  Sarah and Dr. Beatty assured me the baby was making progress and was moving (slowly) down.  I accused them of lying to me.  Note to self:  it's ALWAYS a good idea to throw out wild accusations at your health care providers when you are in a most compromising situation <stirrups>.  I asked, in an accusatory tone, if this baby was making progress, why is Dr. Beatty still in a sweatshirt instead of gowned up?  And why is the L&D table still covered up?  Again, my knowledge worked against me.  I should've just listened to them and kept pushing.  I did keep pushing, but it was with much skepticism.  When you are at this point in the labor process, it's really important to keep in mind that 1) bazillions of women have done this before you.  It HAS been done before. It CAN be done again.  and 2)  YOU. CAN. DO. THIS.  I wasn't feeling so much like I could do this.  I thought I needed help.  More than once I requested Dr. Beatty use a vacuum extractor.  Nobody in their right mind REQUESTS the doctor use a vacuum.  There are risks to mom and baby with such a device.  They are only used when necessary.  But I requested one.  That gives you an indication of how less-than-hopeful I was feeling about this situation.  After an hour and 9 minutes of pushing (I know, that's really not that long...) Dr. Beatty agreed I was a good candidate for a vacuum.  After 3 pushes through 1 contraction with the vacuum on his little noggin, James Benton Davidson entered the world at 5:23am.  Scott, who had been so amazingly encouraging throughout the whole process, was even more so now.  Whispering sweetly in my ear, he assured me I did a good job.  For a multitude of reasons, I could not WAIT for my baby to be born.  One of the reasons?  I was anticipating MUCH relief of the pain I felt all through the pushing phase.  This did not happen.  As soon as he was born, my pain level shot through the roof.  I started sobbing.  Some thought it was tears of joy that my precious son had been born.  But mostly, it was because I was hurting so badly!  I'll have to ask Sarah and Dr. Beatty their thoughts on why my pain went UP after he was born.  Fairly quickly they numbed me up with some lidocaine, which provided me almost instantaneous relief.  My breathing slowed.  I stopped sobbing.  I could listen to the greatest sound, my baby boy testing out his lungs.  Now I was crying tears of joy.  He was finally here.  Scott was in awe, I'd say.  He did NOT pass out.  He didn't watch the birth, but at least he didn't pass out.  He held my shoulders during each push and would strategically place his head right behind mine.  His voice was right by my ear during every push.  Nikki was holding one leg, Sarah held the other.  Jacqui was Nikki's pinch hitter when she needed a break.  This was truly a team effort.  Everybody was on camera duty when James was born.  My coworkers from Special Care, Lori and John, were in the room for delivery since a vacuum was being used.  Oh, and James pooped (meconium) right before he was born.  The presence of meconium also earns you a Special Care Nursery team at delivery.  Thankfully, James screamed the moment he was born and didn't let up for a little bit.  His lungs were great.  He hardly even had a red mark on his head from the vacuum, since it was only on his head for about a minute.  Apgars (for those that care) were 8 and 9.  Pretty standard. :)

As soon as he was deemed fine and dandy by the Special Care team, they handed him back to me.  We tried breastfeeding first and then just spent some quality time skin to skin.  I was completely head over heels in love with this boy.  He just got here, but that didn't matter.  All it took was a second. :)

I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to be present for James' birth.  Both on the coworker side of things as well as the family/friends side of things.  I was so grateful for each person there and the role that they played.
Dr. Beatty and Sarah

All in all, the process went much faster than last time.  We got to the hospital around 11pm and he was born around 5:30am.  Last time, I was in the hospital for 12 hours before my sweet little girl made an appearance.  

We're doing well at home.  Getting to know each other.  Enjoying being a family.  Feeling very, very blessed.