Welcome to the World, Decker!

We checked into the hospital just after 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 26. Our night nurse, Tori, came in and introduced herself before getting all kinds of information from me for my chart. She mentioned it was a good thing we were here tonight since Dr. Shreck would be out of the office the entire next week. Kyle and I were shocked and said at the same time, "So THAT'S why he wanted to induce us." It was all making a little more sense now, but I wasn't thrilled about that omission.

They gave me cervidil that night to prepare for my induction in the morning. They also hooked me up to two monitors, one for the baby's heartbeat and the other to monitor my contractions. These monitors would end up being a nuisance throughout the night since they'd stop reading each time I turned over. That meant the nurse had to come in and adjust them. As you can imagine, that's not great for your sleeping schedule.

After two attempts, they finally got my IV in place, so we were free to settle in for the evening. I wanted to start a movie, but instead we opted for Big Bang re-runs while Kyle raided the refrigerator.

At about 10, we decided to try to get some sleep so we turned the lights off and began the long night ahead. I was able to sleep some each hour so I wasn't totally exhausted when the nurse change happened at 6 a.m. Before Tori left, she tried giving me some fluids, but the IV didn't take. That meant they had to try yet again. I am much better with getting pricked now than I used to be, but it is still one of my least favorite things. An IV is the worst because they leave it in your arm. Stephanie, my new nurse, was able to find a good vein and even covered the IV in gauze so I didn't have to look at it. She also gave us the OK to order something light, like a muffin, for breakfast. I didn't think I was going to get to eat, so I was glad for that!

Around 7:45 a.m., Dr. Shreck came in to check on us and break my water. I had been having contractions regularly throughout the night, but they were slight. Other than one stretch between 2 and 3 a.m., I was able to sleep through them. The next contraction immediately after he broke my water was different. I could feel it a lot more. Still nothing unbearable, just a very noticeable change. We watched The Today Show and just after 8 a.m., Kyle's parents came into the room. They hung out with us for a while, and Kyle's dad kept joking that he'd like this baby here by lunch time.

My contractions got more intense, so I asked the nurse about pain medicine. She said there is some they could administer through my IV if I needed that before the epidural, but she warned me that the first dose is most effective, hinting that I should wait as long as possible. So I carried on. When my parents walked into the room around 9, I was done waiting. I buzzed the nurse and asked for my epidural. Since I was clearly in pain, the parents excused themselves, and I told them we would call them back in after I had my epidural. Then maybe I would be in the mood to chat.

When Stephanie came in, she delivered some bad news. Even though I had heard my doctor tell her I could have the epidural whenever I wanted, she told me I had to wait until I had had a bag and a half of fluid. I was only about halfway through the first bag as it was, so I would have to wait a bit longer. She turned up the drip to help. Kyle had finally made his way over to the hospital bed and was holding my hand through contractions. He kept doing that as they got more and more intense. We tried changing positions, asked for an exercise ball and he rubbed my back, but nothing seemed to help much. Our nurse came in again and showed Kyle where the fluid level had to be for her to call the anesthesiologist. We weren't far away! She said she was going to leave us to it, but that if I got the urge to push, we should call her back in. I told her I already had that, so she decided to check me.

Once she did, she said, "OK, it looks like we're complete and at a 10 so it's time to have this baby." I said something about the epidural, which it was obviously too late for. So I told her I would take the other medicine through my IV. She said I couldn't have that either because it would make the baby sleepy. Even though I hadn't planned an all natural birth, it looked like that's what we were in for. I took a deep breath and said, "OK, can I start pushing?"

"No!" she said. "Let us call the doctor and get things set up first." I had a few contractions while that was happening. These were by far the worst. But fortunately, it didn't take the doctor long to get there, so we were ready to push by 10:15 or so. Labor got a lot more bearable after that because I was able to focus on something else other than the pain. The nurses and doctor gave me lots of direction and encouragement. They kept saying the same things over and over, which was slightly annoying, but looking back, I'm sure I needed reminding to be most efficient. Kyle was by my side the whole time, holding my hand, getting me water and a cool rag for my forehead. (It was very hot in there!) I didn't see him much because I kept my eyes closed, trying to focus on what I needed to do. After only about 15 minutes of pushing, the doctor said, "One more push and we will have a baby. Just wait for the next contraction."

Then, everything slowed down. The next contraction didn't follow the same pattern and there was more time in between. Not only was this pretty uncomfortable, but I was starting to get a little concerned. The nurses looked at each other and checked the monitor. I don't think they were alarmed, but for a fleeting moment there, I wondered if everything was OK. Before I could worry about it, the next contraction was here and shortly thereafter, so was Decker!

He started crying, and they laid him on my chest while they checked him over and wiped him off. Kyle and I stared at him in disbelief. He was so tiny and perfect. We laid there like that as the doctor finished everything he needed to do. (I will spare you the details here, but, needless to say, this wasn't my favorite part. Fortunately, I had a new baby to stare at as a distraction.)

I looked down and noticed that right by Decker's head, just under my chin, was his tiny little foot. In every ultrasound photo, this boy had his feet over his head. So much so that we never did get a good look at his face. I kissed his tiny toes as the nurses and doctor made a guess at his weight. They were thinking somewhere around 6 lbs. We were shocked because both Kyle and I were big babies. This whole time, I have been worried that our child would be huge and a little unfortunate looking at first (given that we weren't the cutest babies either). Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Decker turned out to be pretty dainty and absolutely beautiful. From his perfectly round head full of hair to his tiny little feet.

They didn't actually weigh him until about an hour and a half after he was born to allow for plenty of skin-to-skin time. During birthing class, I remember thinking 1-3 hours of skin-to-skin time seemed like an eternity. Especially when the baby hadn't had it's first bath yet. In reality, though, that hour and a half flew by for me and seemed like only a few minutes.

Kyle took pictures for me and sent messages to family and friends to let them know the baby was here. In his excitement, he had forgotten to share the name. We were keeping it to ourselves until Decker made his arrival. So after many requests, he sent that out, too. Decker Gene Fox was finally here!

 Decker Gene Fox born at 10:32 a.m. on Friday, January 27, 2017. 
6lbs. 8oz. 20.5in long

I had visions of keeping friends and family up-to-date as everything unfolded. I assumed it would take all day because I was being induced. However, Decker came so quick there wasn't really time for that. But our parents weren't completely in the dark thanks to Ruth.

Ruth is Tom's aunt. We occasionally visit or go to dinner with her when Tom is in town. She is great, and we really enjoy her. She had joked earlier in the pregnancy that we should arrange to be at the hospital between 10 and noon on a Friday so she could stop in and say hello. (She is a volunteer there once a week.) When she got there that day, she had seen our names on the list. She came to our room to say hello, but they wouldn't let her in since we were delivering. When she heard that, she went out to the waiting room and asked if anyone was there for Abby Fox. Kyle's parents said they were, so she told them to deliver a message to us and said they wouldn't let her in since we were having the baby. Kyle's parents were a little confused since they'd just left our room not more than 45 minutes earlier. But they called my parents, who had gone out for brunch, to tell them they might want to get back to the hospital.

Kyle went out to share the news with them once he was born and, of course, they were eager to meet Decker. Around noon, they got to do just that.

 Of course Mamo volunteered to be the first one to hold baby Decker! 

 Proud Nana

 When our nurse saw Kyle's Dad, she said they'd followed his instructions. He'd be holding that baby by lunch time! 

Pretty quickly after I delivered, they were ready to move us into a regular room to free up space in labor and delivery. We were supposed to be headed to room 226, but, when Kyle got there, it was still being cleaned, so we headed to room 225 instead. Kyle insisted it was much smaller than 226 and wanted to trade back, but he didn't get his wish. Since it was such tight quarters, our parents took shifts for the rest of the day so we'd have some space. We didn't have many other visitors until later in the day when Michal, Kristy, The Lesters and Krissi stopped by. 

Overall, that first day was pretty low key. Decker slept most of the time and, other than a low body temperature, didn't have many issues. The low body temp called for a little extra skin-to-skin time, which I didn't mind at all. Decker had his first sponge bath, got measured and tried out nursing. By that evening, we were feeling pretty peaceful and tired. I finally got to take a shower while Kyle held Decker. When I got back into the room, Kyle said I had my first diaper change to attend to. I told him we were doing this together, so we called in the nurse and the three of us tackled that first one. I thought a little instruction couldn't hurt. :) 

 First sponge bath. 

 Dad got to help. 

 One of many temperature checks. Decker didn't appreciate those very much. 

 Decker and his nurse, Stephanie. 

 Beautiful flowers from OSUF.

 The new family of three! 

 Decker in his stylish outfit provided by the hospital. 

 Aunt Kimberly just couldn't hold him long enough! 

Morgan was so sweet with Decker! 

 Dad soaking up some snuggles at the end of a long first day. 

Tori was our nurse again that night and told us she would be happy to take Decker back to the nursery if we needed her to. We took her up on that since neither of us had gotten a good night's sleep the night before. She brought him in a few times to nurse and snuggle a bit. 

That next morning, they woke us up early to take Decker back for his circumcision. I finally felt like getting into some regular clothes, which turned out to be a good thing since we were ready to check-out by noon. Decker was back in our room by 7 a.m., and we had just enough time to do a hearing check, meet some new visitors (Amanda, Donna, Amber and Emerson) and watch the required PURPLE Period of Crying video before hitting the road. 

 Early morning cuddles. 

 He passed his hearing test with flying colors! 

Getting on his going home outfit. His poor face got a little scratched up overnight.

All strapped in and ready to ride!

It felt so surreal to be going home with a baby! I had imagined this moment for almost two years and now it was finally happening. I had no idea what we were going to do when we got home or what our new routine would look like, but I was so excited for this new adventure. And so grateful to have the blessing of this precious little boy.


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