FINALLY, Holden Hawkins Warren is here! On Friday, November 23rd at 10:33 AM, all 20 1/2 inches of Holden decided it was time to get his groove on.
While his actual birth was as lovely as could be expected (thanks, I’m sure Amber would agree, to the epidural), the events leading up to our final hospital visit were less agreeable. Wednesday night at about 3am we checked in because Amber was having intense, regular contractions that were making it impossible to sleep or eat. Unfortunately, she was only dilated to just over 1 cm, and stayed that way for the next hour, so they had to send us home. But Amber did get a shot of morphine, which allowed her to sleep for the next several hours (until about 12:30 in the afternoon) and let her enjoy Thanksgiving.
We went to Amber’s parents for our holiday meal (which was exquisite) and stayed into the evening playing games. It was during then that Amber’s contractions started coming again every 15 minutes or so. We decided to go home and try to get Amber to bed, but the contractions kept coming. They were more intense and painful this time. While I was researching how to ease the pains of contractions, Amber was working on calming her breathing. We began timing the contractions for an hour, and by 2am Amber was throwing up because of the pain, so we went back to the hospital.
We were determined to not leave this time, at least not without Holden outside of Amber’s body. Good news came when we found out Amber was dilated to almost 6 cm! The nurse came back and asked Amber if she’d like to finally get this baby out. It was great news indeed – I couldn’t stand seeing Amber in any more pain. They quickly got an epidural into her back, which numbed her from the stomach down. She was finally able to get a few hours rest, and so was I, while some antibiotics dripped from an IV in preparation for the birth.
At 9:30 she was dilated to a 9, so we began the preliminary pushes. Our nurses were most delightful and since Amber was numbed we were able to accompany the sporadic pushes with conversation. The doctor came in about half-way through, just as we were able to start seeing Holden’s little head. A short while later, Holden was crying and then resting calmly in Amber’s arms.
On his way out, the doctor heard a little snap – it appears Holden slightly broke his collar bone while passing Amber’s pelvic bone. It hasn’t seemed to bother him in the slightest. He’s only cried twice – once during his first seconds of independent life, and again during his first bath (I think I would have cried, too).
He’s been an unbelievable dream! Always pleasant, instantly taking to breast feeding, lets us change and dress him with little resistance, and shows a lot of awareness and affection towards other people. And unlike many newborns, he was as beautiful as could be. Believe me, I was ready for an ugly newborn – but Holden is as cute and divine as they come.
Amber is doing so great. She’s happy and comfortable, loves breast feeding Holden, looks so beautiful (you’ll see below), and is a perfect mother and wife.
OK, so what you really want are pictures. Here are several I took during the past couple days. I’ll post a little video soon.
Katie (my sister) with Holden. My other sister, Kiera, with her SARS mask. Kiera was just getting over a little cold, so she selflessly volunteered to sport the mask. I thought this was an amusing photo, to show Kiera on the outside looking in. But Kiera will soon become a Holden-favorite – she’ll be watching him on Mondays and Fridays while Amber’s at work.