my mom gave ari not one, but two babies and about six books on babies to help him prepare for the arrival of his new sibling. ari was too young to understand that there was a baby inside my belly and didn't seem to be phased by the fact that i was getting larger. i was pretty confident their first encounter was going to be just fine. it took forever for us to get moved into a postpartum room so ari didn't meet ezra till later that night. 

he was quiet and cautious as he walked into the room. i decided it would be best to have ezra in the basinet when he walked in. we spent the first few minutes pointing and watching the baby from my bed. i asked him if he wanted to hold the baby and he said yes. in fact, my hands were not to be involved in the holding process. ari wanted to hold him all by himself and kept moving my hands back to my lap. there were a few minutes of excitement and then he wanted to move on to investigating the room.

he doesn't like hospitals or doctors so after a while he let us know he was ready to leave by climbing into the stroller (and it's usually a mild wrestling match to get him in there).



photos by chelsea duerden. ari's hospital photos can be found here



when i told david i was writing about the birth he told me to just write THERE WAS BLOOD EVERYWHERE in all caps.

the week before my due date i went to visit my doctor. when i was pregnant with ari, i was already dilated 3cm by 38 weeks so i was expecting my body to be at the same point. to my surprise, i was barely dialed 1cm. i scheduled another appointment to see my doctor a week later. i was totally disappointed and left the office without an induction date and went home and ate my feelings.

the next week i didn't do anything to try to go into labor because my mom was coming on saturday night and the broncos were going to the super bowl. admittedly, i was also slightly scared to go into labor on my own after being induced with ari. i deep cleaned our apartment on saturday, watched the broncos win the super bowl on sunday and was back in my doctors office on monday afternoon.

i headed to my appointment with pretty low expectations. i knew she wouldn't make me go past 41 weeks so at the very least we would be scheduling an induction. she checked me and i was 3cm or "a squishy 4cm" (i'm guessing you have to have felt a cervix to understand what a squishy 4cm means). she asked me if i wanted my membranes swept and i said sure why not. i had my membranes swept with ari and it did absolutely nothing so i assumed it wouldn't work this time either (spoiler alert: my new doctor is really good at sweeping membranes). she told me she would email me to schedule my induction once she talked to the doctors working on wednesday or thursday. she was working on friday so i would for sure be induced by friday.

that afternoon i had random contractions every so often. i decided to skip my girls bachelor night and do some grocery shopping with my mom to prepare for the week. i was having a few more contractions but nothing serious and had no problem walking around target. we got home at around 9:30 and i was still having inconsistent contractions. they started picking up, so at 10:30 i thought i better start timing these bad boys. we decided that now would be a good time to pack a hospital bag as well.

i told david to go to sleep and i sat down to watch my recording of the bachelor with my mom. my contractions were pretty regular and coming about every 3-4 minutes. and then they just stopped.  but 15 minutes later they hit and they hit hard. they were about 2-3 minutes apart and intense. so at 12:15 i called the hospital and told them we were coming and woke david up.

at about 12:45, david dropped me off at the ER and went to park the car (only after he asked me if i wanted to be dropped off or walk up the hill with him). a labor and delivery nurse came down and got me and brought me up to the third floor. i changed my clothes and started answering the never ending questions. i met the anesthesiologist and continued to answer questions. i met the doctor and i immediately liked her. david described her as chill and confident which was exactly what i needed. i was dialated 5cm so i was obviously staying.

the nurse could not get the IV in. she tried my left arm and then tried my right arm (both of which were bruised for 2 weeks after these failed attempts). she went and recruited another nurse to help. the IV was the only thing keeping me from getting an epidural at this point. nurse two was able to work some vainy magic and got the IV in. i had group B strep so i needed to get at least one dose of penicillin before the baby arrived. now, at 1:45am the anesthesiologist could finally come back and give me the good stuff.

wearing my fancy hair net for the epidural that does nothing but make me extra sweaty.

then it was time to play the waiting game. this part is always fun because david falls asleep and it's just me and the beeping machines. the nurse told me i would be checked every four hours or if my water broke.

an i'm bored selfie 

the nurse came back and told me i needed to go on oxygen because there wasn't enough fluctuation in the baby's heart rate. she also noticed that i was bleeding and told me it was probably just from my tear from ari. in hindsight that actually makes no sense because i hadn't even started pushing so there was no reason for my old tear to open back up. but at 3am this didn't dawn on me so i just said okay. 

the doctor came in a little before 4:30 because ezra's heart rate was still not fluctuating enough. she checked me and i was dilated 10cm. she told me the baby was still a little high so i could wait an hour and sleep or i could push him down myself. i obviously went with the latter option despite the fact that david was snoring away next to me. 

right before we got the party started

the nurse started to prep the room and i immediately got nervous and really shaky. she discovered that there was blood in my urine when she went to take my catheter out (blood is the theme of this birth). i don't remember what she said caused this. perhaps i should clarify at my postpartum appointment.

it was pushing time. and pushing time was the only time i was allowed to take the oxygen off. the doctor explained that i was bleeding but that there was no need to be concerned at this point. she mentioned the possibility of a vacuum or c-section as potential outcomes just to warn us. (i talked to my doctor later and she told me if this was my first birth, it would have likely ended in a c-section).  i had to push while slightly laying on my side because babies heart rates always do better when mom is laying on her side. laying on your side while pushing however is really awkward and uncomfortable. i felt like i wasn't getting any leverage or making any progress.

they brought in an additional nurse and the supervising doctor since things were on the verge of complicated. i couldn't see how much blood there was so i kept looking at david's face to read the situation. my water finally broke and a few minutes later, there was a baby on my chest. he didn't cry right away, putting everyone on edge so it was several seconds before david told me that it was a boy.
out with my baby boy came blood clots. my placenta was separating from my uterus sooner than it should have, hence all the blood and ezra's low heart rate.

after the room was all cleared it was time to remove my epdidural catheter. when i moved forward to let the nurse get to my back, the pillows behind me were covered in blood. blood had been dripping down my back from the insertion point probably since i got the epidural. the nurse pulled the tube out and david said it looked like a faucet leaking blood. (i asked him to take a picture so i could see but not everybody's into that so i'll spare you). the nurse had never run into this problem and told me she might have to get the anesthesiologist but after 10 minutes she finally got the bleeding to stop.
when my epidural finally wore off and i could walk around, i saw splatters of blood in the corners of the room giving me a glimpse into just how bloody things were. 


. . .



is finding joy in a costco box for 45 minutes...

it has also started to mean some pretty intense emotions. ones that involve rolling around on the floor while kicking and sobbing.



before the holidays ari started getting really upset and cried every time he took a bath. it was really bad when we were traveling and he was in an unfamiliar tub. luckily, bath time is bringing back the smiles. fingers crossed it stays this way. 

a sad bath time in utah. 



things have been really busy over here and i kind of forgot about this thing. oh and we're having a baby in like a month so there's that. maybe i'll play catch up. maybe.



jack and ari both love the beach. and ari loves jack. but they had never gone to the beach together. taking jack to the beach is kind of a mess but it needed to happen. and i'm glad it did. ari was so pleased to have his best buddy with him and kept squealing with excitement. those two would be more than happy if we moved closer to the beach.