As I learn how to do this whole "providing sustenance for another human being" thing (i.e. breastfeeding), I seem to have a bit of time on my hands as I sit here with nothing to do. I thought that before I forget some of the details of the birth I would share them.
My sister and mom were able to join Mr. Howard and I in welcoming Connor into the world and they were there through the entire labor to keep me company, cheer me on, and even helped me push (they'll tell you that the next day their jaws, backs, and arms were sore from clenching and trying to help me push...hehe). After he was out, the doctor let Mr. Howard tell me if it was a boy or a girl. I can't remember his exact words, but I don't think he ever said, "it's a boy." Instead he said something like, "Mommy, this is Connor James!" When they put him on me I was so incredibly overwhelmed. What an absolutely amazing experience to see the baby that you've been baking for so long there, in person, on you, breathing, blinking, crying, and trying to figure out where on Earth his swimming pool just went.
As I was admiring my new little man, Mr. Howard was cutting the umbilical cord and my mom and sister were standing there in shock. Because I pushed for so long (2.5 hours) the doctor had recommended that we use a vacuum and so when he finally did make his entrance into the world, he had to be taken to the warmer to be examined for abrasions, bruising, etc. So I only got to see him for a few short minutes before they moved him away. I spent the rest of the time before they brought him back to me, asking questions from across the room: "how much does he weigh?", "why are you putting that in his throat?", "did he swallow any meconium?", "does he look good?" Then Mr. Howard, my mom, or my sister would shout out the answer to me. Mr. Howard came back and forth between the baby and me, kissing me, giving me little updates about what they were doing, and telling me how handsome he was.
The details after that are a little fuzzy. I can't remember when my dad arrived, but at some point he came and we all took turns watching Connor get his first bath, get weighed, do his Apgar test (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration test). At one minute of life he scored an 8/10 and at 5 minutes of life he scored a 9/10, obviously meaning he was healthy and doing well. The only slight hiccup for him was that he had a Cephalohematoma (essentially bleeding where the vacuum was) and the doctor had to prescribe him some antibiotic ointment for his head where the cut and blisters were (poor little guy). Other than that, he was born absolutely perfect from head to toe.
After the birth, my temperature was very high (over 101) and so his risk for infection was something we had to watch. So later on July 7th they took him to draw blood. Thankfully all blood tests came back negative for any infection. Also because he was a vacuum assisted delivery, he had a higher risk for jaundice. On July 8th they tested for that and it also came back negative.
Since his arrival into the world, he has done soo well! He had four poops before even the first 24 hours of life (isn't it funny how you suddenly have a baby and poop is an acceptable conversation piece), nursed really well (he latched within the first two hours of his life), sleeps really well, and is altogether very healthy. I speak for Mr. Howard when I say that we feel so blessed to have such a beautiful, healthy baby. It is such a miracle, really - to create a life and then have him join you in the most amazing way and then, on top of it all, for him to be born healthy and whole. We do not, for one minute, take that for granted!
P.S. As proof that he is as wonderful as I say he is (for all you naysayers), I was able to write this entire blog with him in my lap nursing and sleeping and not once did he fuss. I know Daddy appreciates that as he is sleeping soundly in bed. :-)