To summarize, he's here safe, sound and healthy. Eating well and Laidy absolutely loves him. ALL of my prayers for the transition to a family of four thus far have been answered in the best way that we thought possible.
If you want the longer story, keep scrolling. :) (Maternity Photos Cred: Austin Day)
Baby Boy was measuring small around 30 weeks, so we did an ultrasound to check on several things. I added a few terms to my vocabulary knowledge including Non-Stress Test (NST) and Bio Physical Profile (BPP). The NST checked for his movement and fluctuations in his heart rate. All checked out great every time one was ordered between weeks 30-36. His BPP would measure his umbilical cord flow, fluid level in the uterus, heart rate, and diaphragm movement. Whenever one of these was ordered, things checked out perfectly and they'd also find he was "frank breech" (butt down). This led us to a certain course of action and moved up his arrival date. (OBs prefer that a woman with a breech baby not come into the hospital in labor already, as that is an immediate c-section with no attempt to turn the baby head down.)
At our 37 week appointment, the BPP looked perfect and Lochlyn was still breech. I'd been having contractions regularly the night before in triage and was dilated to a 4cm. So, my OB sent me to the hospital where the best OB at turning babies was on duty. We gave it a good try and Baby would pop head up every time he was close to getting head-down. Dr. Hoeg was convinced he could get Baby turned if we gave it one more try on Saturday morning, July 16th. Dr. Lehman, my main OB, wanted to be the one to deliver and she was on duty at the hospital that Saturday. (With the contractions I'd been having, they doubted I'd make it to the next week and next time Lehman was on duty.) Hoeg had the day off, technically, but was willing to come in and try to turn him once again. If Baby turned, we'd induce right away. If he didn't, we'd deliver c-section.
Needless to say, the week Lochlyn was born, I didn't get much sleep. We'd been to triage Wednesday into Thursday with contractions every 4 minutes, a doctor's appointment Thursday morning, the ECV attempt Thursday afternoon. Friday was my "down day" and last day to prep for anything baby related (Gerard was making a mad-dash to finish getting the popcorn texture off our kitchen ceiling). And I definitely didn't sleep well Friday night, knowing that our world would change the following morning. It felt so weird to somewhat choose our baby's birthday and know that Friday was our last day as a family of three...There were definitely tears involved and a whole lotta fear over how things would go-lots of praying!
We dropped Laidy off at a dear friend's house where we knew she'd have a blast all day with their boys and headed into the hospital ourselves at 7:30am. Now, in triage for the third time in three days, I felt claustrophobic in that little room. Dr. Lehman texted Dr. Hoeg to come on over to turn Baby and Lochlyn obliged us all by flipping in less than 10 seconds of pushing on my stomach. Oh! Sweet relief!! I have nothing against c-sections whatsoever; I was desperately praying for something familiar in this experience as I knew how recovery should go for a vaginal delivery. Laidy's recovery was anything but normal and I wanted, so badly, for another chance at what could be "normal" for me. I hopped off the hospital bed to hit the restroom before they started petocin and when I got back onto the bed, it felt like he had flipped back! So, when the nurse came in to start petocin, we had to wait until Dr. Lehman could confirm with ultrasound that he was still head down. Long story short, the maternity floor was crazy that day and 3 hours later, Lehman confirmed he was head down. 11:45am, petocin started, and 1:30pm, we got our own room!!! That's when things got real:
Remember earlier in the week that I was already dilated to 4cm? When the nurse checked me after 3 hours of walking the room, exercise ball-ing it, and an epidural, and I was at a 5cm, we were perplexed. But, while she was checking me, my water broke and she proceeded to get all the delivery apparati in the room. They were convinced he'd be born before shift change at 7pm. (That's what they'd said about Laidy and she was born at 11:12pm, so I wasn't sure what to think.)
**Sidenote: We started looking at the menu for room service to place our order before they closed at 7pm also.
Around 6:00/6:30, the nurse checked me again and I was maaaaybe a 6cm, but his head was at a +1 station, so she had me do a practice push. That was enough to get him in position to deliver! I was told not to do that again while she called in the Delivering Squad (as I call them) and Dr. Lehman came in quickly too. They took one look and eyes went wide with a "Don't sneeze! Let us get suited up!" (Same as with Laidy, ironically.) Pushing started at 7:00pm-ish and Lochlyn (and our dinner) arrived at 7:09pm. (Photo cred: Gerard Krupke and Casey, RN)
For being 37 weeks, 6 days, Lochlyn Joseph weighed in 3oz more than his older sister who was born at 39 weeks, 2 days. The nursing staff, the OBs, even our anesthesiologist, that we had with us throughout the day were phenomenal. They were all so wonderful to work with, re-teaching me some ropes that you forget about in three years' time. They all worked so hard to ensure that I had a better experience this time around in recovery and I'm assured that there is nothing, no "remnants of conception", left in me. The past two weeks and how I'm feeling are evidenced of that fact and I'm so grateful. Even Gerard has said that he's blown away by how much more alert, flexible, mobile, and physically capable I've been in comparison to how long it took me with our first go-round. Praise God for answers to prayer!
After Lochlyn arrived, we let our friends know to bring Laidy for a brief visit. The look on her face was so wonderful to see! She locked eyes with me, exclaimed, "MOMMY!" and ran to the bed to meet Baby. After showering him in kisses and hugs, it was her bedtime and the remainder of our first night in the hospital was full of those first rounds of checks of vitals for both me and Lochlyn. Between the vitals check, feeding times and pain med rotation times, not much sleep was had, but I was glad he was here and that things had gone so well, I didn't really mind!
The following day, Sunday, Lochlyn's middle namesake, my dad, came to visit. Papapa Joe was pretty proud and totally surprised. :) We Facetimed with family so they could meet him too, while Aunt Katie dubbed his nickname "Lucky" for numerous reasons (narrowly missing a c-section and being a baby after two miscarriages, namely.) Though we'll probably go with Loch or LJ too...
Our last day in the hospital was focused on gathering our things and checking out (and one last dip in the jacuzzi tub for me!). In the midst of those procedures, we squeezed in a few photos of each other with Lochlyn and his first bath/footprints with Anna from Honduras who very readily reminded us both of Gerard's main sitter growing up, Dee. Some from our church might recognize her from our Shalom service at our Downtown location! :)
We're still getting accustomed to saying his name outloud (we didn't want Laidy to spill the beans) and using the masculine pronouns that go along with him. He's a sweet, easy going little dude with an older sister who asks for him first thing when she wakes up in the morning. Quite literally, every single prayer has been answered thus far. Thank you for partnering with us in those prayers and for all your love and support!!! We definitely feel it all coming our way and can't believe he's our's to keep. :)
So, on this day, July 31st, that left us so utterly grief stricken last year, I am ecstatic to say that God has fully redeemed the day and we are rejoicing in His goodness and blessings!
Happy Due Date, Lochlyn Joseph!!!