You have arrived. As was planned, around 5am on Wednesday, October 15, 2015, Momma and I were awakened by the lab technician, who came into Momma's room to take her blood so it could be analyzed to be sure there were no complications or significant risks in going ahead with your delivery that morning. By 6am, Momma's nurse had her all ready to go, and she was taken to a room just outside the surgery operating room, where she was placed on monitors and asked a lot of questions in preparation for her Cesarean surgery. The anesthesiologist stopped in to make sure all of Momma's paperwork was ready to go and to explain to Momma what he would be doing for her during the surgery to make sure she was comfortable. Everyone who cared for Momma that morning treated her very well, and , because Momma had been such a sweet patient during her long stay at the hospital, a couple of the nurses stopped by to see her and tell her they were praying for her and happy she was finally going to get to deliver you. It was so nice to see her get so much support and attention.
one last bump shot
Jen checking her social media accounts at 6am
before being moved to the room outside the OR
before going into surgery
While Momma was being prepared for the surgery, I was given a pair of "scrubs" to put on and wear over my clothes. They were huge and could have fit a 400lb person. One cool thing about the scrubs was that the shirt said "COACH" on the back of it. That was appropriate since I was going to be right next to Momma during her surgery so I could keep her calm and experience your birth with her. I still have that COACH shirt.
Right at 8am, the nurse and anesthesiologist took Momma into the operating room. While they get her full prepared for the doctors, I stayed back in the pre-surgery room. Around 8:20am, the nurse came to get me. When I entered the OR, Momma was well into the surgery. There were two nurses in the OR, the anesthesiologist and two OBGyns - Momma's doctor named Wendy Kendrick and her partner, Dr. Monica Lopez (who delivered Boston since Dr. Kendrick was out of town when he decided to enter the world). It was somewhat of a fun environment. As the doctors worked together to perform the surgery, Dada talked to the anesthesiologist, and sometimes with the doctors. I recall talking to them about the two Dallas nurses who had contracted Ebola while treating a man who'd contracted it in West Africa. It was the biggest news story for weeks.
Throughout the surgery, Momma did great, and at 8:35am, the doctors pulled you out of Momma's belly. They held you up so I could get a good look at you over the curtain they had set up above Momma's chest. I immediately announced to Momma and the room, "That's a boy." I captured that moment on video and in a few pictures. It was a very proud and wonderful and joyful and peaceful and satisfying moment. Momma and I kissed, and she shed a tear or two, especially when she heard your cry as the nurses cleaned you up on the other side of the OR.
The single greatest moment was getting to see you lying naked on Momma's chest while the doctors worked to sew Momma back together. Momma had finally gotten to experience that. With Boston, because he was born so early (preterm), as soon as he was delivered, and after a very short look by Momma, he was taken by a team of nurses into the NICU, so Momma did not get to have any skin-to-skin contact with him in the OR. In fact, as you'll learn, Boston's delivery day was very difficult and somewhat scary. Needless to say, your delivery was dramatically different and pleasant. We are eternally grateful to God for His Mercy in giving us another son and allowing your delivery to go so very well.
While in the OR, the nurses took a few measurements of you. You weighed 7lbs 10ozs, and you were 20.5" long. This means you were a good-size boy, especially since you came 2.5 weeks before your due date. Momma and I were, and still are, so very pleased and relieved that you were born so healthy. Praise God.
After the doctors finished with Momma, she was wheeled back into the surgical prep room. I followed behind, pushing you in a hospital bassinet. You were nice and warm, all swaddled up in a blanket. Within minutes, the nurses handed you to Momma and she began to breastfeed you. That was a huge deal, especially to Momma. She takes great pride in being able to fully mother her children, and being able to breastfeed is a core part of that. I will always be in awe of, and proud of, and thankful for, the many ways in which your mother sacrifices her body, her time and her own desires to ensure she gives her children the very best chance to eat well, grow and stay healthy. I know you will love her for that, too.
While Momma and the nurse took care of you, I went to the waiting room to announce your arrival to our family members who'd gathered there. All 6 of your grandparents were there, as were Momma's cousin Gena and her boyfriend Josh. Boston was with them, too, while we were in surgery. Before announcing your arrival to everyone else, I pulled Boston into Momma's hospital room and told him privately. I was able to video our discussion about you. I look forward to the day you get to see that video. After telling Boston privately, I then let him announce your arrival to everyone else. He yelled, "It's a Boy," which drew many cheers and applause. That, too, was videotaped, of course.
After spending a few minutes with our family members, I returned to Momma and you. Boston stayed in the waiting room, but only because the nurses wouldn't let him into the room where they were holding Momma and you while they waited for a post-pardum room to become available; there were so many babies being born at the hospital in that timeframe that it had caused a frequent shortage of rooms. Fortunately, before the surgery, the nurses did let Boston come to see Momma after she was all prepped for surgery. He brought along with him, and left, a toy for you - your very first one - a stuffed millipede toy that could be stretched out so that it played music as it retracted. We'll keep that toy forever.
While Momma and I and you waited in the post-surgery room, your grandparents, Boston, cousin Gena and Josh waited in the waiting room. After a very long couple of hours or so, we were able to move to a post-pardum room. During that time, as we waited, the nurse got you all cleaned up, you spent a good long while sleeping on Momma's chest, she nursed you for a bit and I got to hold you. It was a wonderful time of bonding for you, me and Momma.
A very fun moment was when your grandparents met you for the very first time. This happened in the hallway just outside the waiting room. The path from the post-surgery room and the post-pardum room to which we were assigned took us right past the waiting room. Momma and you were wheeled in the same bed y'all had used in the post-surgery room. As we neared the waiting room, your grandparents came out and set eyes on you for the very first time. It was a glorious moment. They all told Momma how proud they were of her in being so strong and producing such a beautiful little boy. They all studied your face, comparing you to how Boston looked as a newborn - much like you. There were lots of hugs and many congratulations. I'll always be grateful to your grandparents, Gena and Josh for being there for our family and waiting so long to get to meet you.
The whole crowd of us followed Momma and you to the post-pardum room. After Momma, I and the new nurse we were assigned got the room set up, everyone came in for a short visit. Most of them held you, at least for a few minutes, and Boston came over to your bassinet and talked to you - a moment we captured on video. Josh was also able to take many great pictures of you and our family. It was such a blessing having him there.
We spent the next three-and-a-half days in the hospital, so that the nurses could help Momma heal as she recovered from the surgery and we could see that your weight loss - a normal occurrence for newborns - leveled off and you began to make gains. You entered our home - your home - on the afternoon of October 18, 2014. From that moment and until you leave us as an adult, where we go, you will go. You are a part of our family, and you always will be.
Your pregnancy challenged Momma significantly and forced us to adapt in many ways. I'm very proud to know that we - as a family - rose to the occasion and were successful in bringing a healthy, beautiful and sweet baby boy into the world. If we do nothing else in life, we will have already made the world better, because you are in it. We will never forget your birth story, and we hope you enjoy reading about it someday.
We Will Love You Forever & Ever,
Momma, Dada and Boston
PS-Here are a bunch of other pictures from the day of your birth
Bossy got tired of holding you so he quickly turned and laid you up on the arm of the chair. The whole room filled with a loud "gasp," but, of course, you were fine... and, what else would you expect from a four-year old, older brother. Not likely to be the last time he's rough with you. Ha.
Naturally, your mother posting the announcement on social media... while holding you.... Priorities!
This day will forever be etched into our memories.
We love you forever and always.