Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcoming Weston Charles!

It’s probably a testament to the whole “second child syndrome” that it’s taken me a month to sit down and write this. If I’m being honest I think today might be the first day in a month that I haven’t had to squint to see through the lack of sleep in my eyes. And, it should be said that I’m existing this way because I sat (not laid) down on the couch with Weston and accidentally woke up two hours later. So, the introduction to welcoming Weston could be summarized as; having two kids is hard. I realize that there are millions of people who do it and even more who have more than two kids but I say this with the utmost sincerity… I have no idea how you do it!

Back to one month ago …
I began noticing some contractions as I dropped Nora off at daycare. They weren’t yet painful so I headed to work for the morning, and quietly tallied the contractions  during meetings and conference calls. Around noon I decided that I should head home.

Once home I finished sending emails for work and even took a nap – knowing that if things continued to progress I would need the energy. Once I woke up, I finalized plans for Nora and went for another walk as Andy made his way home and my doula, Melissa, headed to our house. Everyone rallied at our house around 4:30 which is when I think active labor really picked up!

I was so thankful to labor at home for a few hours. It was nice to chat between contractions and to feel comfortable as things progressed. One of my favorite moments was when – between contractions – Andy asked Melissa and me what it all felt like. I’m not sure either of us were able to give him a great description – I think we likened a contraction to a Charlie Horse?

Photo by Heart Shot Photo

Around 6:00 Melissa began to talk to us about heading to the hospital. All through my pregnancy I was nervous about getting to the hospital “too early.” Because I wanted an un-medicated birth again, I feared I would think I was further along than I was and head to the hospital earlier than I would prefer. Melissa, being the expert she is, was tasked with helping me determine when to go to the hospital. And, despite my knowing that she is the expert (for a reason), I still felt she was crazy when she began urging us to get moving!

During the first part of the drive to the hospital, I talked with Andy about how I didn’t want to be frustrated if I hadn’t progressed very far, and by the end of the drive that whole conversation was null and void. As we pulled into St. Luke’s my contractions were coming one on top of each other and it was clear that things were picking up.

Photo by Heart Shot Photo

We checked into triage around 7:00 pm and I was 6 cm dilated. At some point we moved to a labor and delivery room and the nurse asked if I wanted the doctor to break my water. I discussed the pros and cons of this with Melissa and ultimately heard “it will get more intense but will be over more quickly.” The doctor arrived pretty quickly, checked me (8 cm) and broke my water. He also made the comment that he’d “wait outside the room” as it was clear things were moving quickly.

Melissa was once again correct, the contractions did get more intense but it wasn’t long before I felt the urge to push. This was a huge a relief as I never got this urge with Nora (and subsequently pushed for almost three hours). The nurse was very relaxed as I began pushing and allowed me to push on my side. Multiple people in the room told me excitedly that I would be meeting my baby soon and I didn’t believe them. I was wrong. After about three contractions with pushing (and twenty minutes after they broke my water), Weston Charles Wendling was born!

Photo by Heart Shot Photo

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe the feeling I had when they placed him in my arms. Weston was born about an hour and a half after labor intensified and we arrived at the hospital which meant I got to experience the rush of joy without the exhaustion from a long labor or prolonged pushing. I was ecstatic to meet our son and was overjoyed by the love I saw in Andy’s eyes. We made it. We made it through yet another full-term pregnancy and an un-medicated birth to finally meet our son.

Our last appointment with the doctor we have been working with for over three years – the one who saw us through fertility tests, surgery, a confusing diagnosis and now two high-risk pregnancies – was the Wednesday before Weston was born. Unlike when I was 38 weeks pregnant with Nora, I was able to have a sensible conversation with her (beyond “get this baby out!”). It felt significant to have a reflective conversation about how far we’ve come. She reminded us that the odds were stacked against us both in terms of getting pregnant and carrying two babies to term!

It’s crazy the way the lack of sleep, countless nonsensical conversations with a toddler and the overall chaos that exists with small kids clears the memory of the pain that infertility can cause. The gratitude comes back in quiet moments when you remember how you thought you’d never get here. 

November 6, 2013 was supposed to be the date when we would have our implantation for a round of IVF. Almost exactly two years later we have two healthy kids under the age of two. We blinked and created a family – against all the odds.

Photo by Heart Shot Photo

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