Read Part 1 Here (The day before birth and 1st & 2nd stage of labor, 2:34-6:34am)
This second part of Harvey’s birth story is about the 3rd stage of labor (passing of the placenta) and the check-ups during Harvey’s 1st week of life.
6:34am: Neither of us cried when Harvey was born (we didn’t with Stella either!), but I kept wanting to kiss Charlie and kiss Harvey and just marvel in the fact that this little baby was here and was ours! The first thing I thought was that his lips looked just like Stella’s, and that made me really happy because she has great lips. 🙂 We both thought he looked tiny – smaller than Stella had been (8#2oz) – but Bill & Karen laughed at us and said to check out his arm & leg rolls – they were certain he was a big baby.
For the next half hour I continued to to sit in the warm water, just holding Harvey in my arms and marveling at his little features. He cried a tiny bit, but not much. It was such a relaxed, peaceful vibe in the room. We were comfortable in the warm water (it was about 98 degrees at that point), and we just hung out and waited for the placenta to detach.
About 30 minutes later there was suddenly a gush of blood into the tub (I didn’t even notice), and the midwife told me that meant my uterus was contracting and the placenta was detaching, so with the next contraction I should give a little push and see if the placenta would come out. He had me push very slowly to make sure nothing tore and the entire thing would come in one piece. I easily delivered the placenta with my next push, and it was incredible to have Bill show us this organ that has supported our baby for the first 9 months of his life!
They double bagged the placenta in a ziploc bag because we still hadn’t cut the cord (it was still pulsing), and I handed Harvey over to Charlie. He moved over to the chair in the corner of the room and held Harvey in one arm and the ziploc placenta bag in the other. A multi-tasking Dad already. 🙂
At that point Bill helped me out of the tub and into out bathroom in order to take a shower and wash off all the blood. I was pretty light headed, but it felt SO good to wash my hair and clean up a bit. A few minutes after that I was scrubbed clean and laying down in the bed, and Charlie handed me the baby. I was ready to cut the cord because I didn’t want to deal with holding the ziploc bag and the cord had finally ceased pulsing, but Charlie had just stepped out of the room to grab Stella. I had sent the photographer up to our bedroom upstairs to grab my pillow, but I had forgotten we had locked the dog in our room, and he barked his butt off at her when she walked in (thus waking Stella up). Since it was 7:15 though, it was easily time for her to get up, so Charlie went to grab her and bring her down to meet her little brother!
Stella was pretty sleepy when they first walked into the room, but she brightened right up when she realized that her baby brother was actually IN the bed with Mommy, and she immediately asked to sit next us. Words cannot describe how amazing it was to sit in that bed with both of my children!
Our midwife hung around another 45 minutes or so, doing paperwork and a few of the standard mom & newborn checks. When we weighed & measured Harvey, we realized he was actually quite a bit bigger than Stella! He weighed 9#5oz (4220g), was 21.5″ long, and had a head circumference of 14.5″. For comparison sake, Stella was 8#2oz, 21″, 13.25″ head circumference. The coolest part is that even though he was quite a bit bigger, I only had one tiny tear from pushing him out, and that was it. No stitches, no painful recovery, no fear of pooping. Yay! 😉
I had to get a Rhogam shot (thermisol free) since I’m A neg / Rh neg, so we did that quickly, and that was about it for me other than checking my temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. We also had 1 day, 3 day, and 7 day checkups (Bill came to our house for these) during which they checked the firmness of my fundus (I had to massage this intermittently to prevent a “boggy uterus”), temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. This has honestly been such an amazingly easy recovery for me physically, and for that I am incredibly grateful! At one week postpartum, my bleeding is almost stopped, I have no perineum soreness or pain, my uterus is shrinking down nicely, and I feel great!
At our 7 day checkup (actually 6.5 days from birth), we did the PKU test on Harvey, and he was a total stud for it. Stella screamed bloody murder for that heel prick, but Harvey pretty much fell asleep! When we weighed him he was up to 4230 grams (10 grams more than birth weight), so he is gaining weight nicely! My milk came in at 48 hours, and he has been a champion at breastfeeding, so things have been going pretty darn smoothly around here.
Every day this past week I have made a conscious effort to really look around at my life, and though we’re often tired and overwhelmed and constantly working at adjusting to our new family dynamic, we are also beyond happy and know how very blessed we are.
So there’s our story… Harvey’s story.
Welcome to the world, little man.