You want to know something weird? I should still be pregnant. For another week at least. My original due date was January 22nd. But here we are, a week before my due date with a 2 week old baby! All “thanks” to high blood pressure, just like my pregnancy with Knox. And let me tell you, that’s not the only thing that caused deja vu to my pregnancy with Knox.
Before you find out the gender of your baby [IF you find out] lots of people will ask you how similar your pregnancies feel or if you have some idea as to the gender of your baby. [As if pregnant women have some kind of telepathic connection with the baby in their womb…] Most times the answer is “oh I don’t know, I’d love either! I just want a healthy baby.” [Even if you do want a specific gender, that’s the blanket statement given most of the time.]
However, practically EVERYTHING about my second pregnancy felt exactly like my first one. From the nausea in my first trimester to the induction in my third. I had high hopes I wouldn’t suffer from high blood pressure this time around, but sure enough, right around the beginning of my 3rd trimester, those two numbers started creeping up.
When I was at 35 weeks, my doctor sent me to the hospital to get monitored, making sure my blood pressure didn’t get too scary high. When she said “if you were 37 weeks, we’d be talking induction,” I knew it was serious. And when I left that night, I was put on “unofficial” bedrest, which, let me tell you, is SUUUUPER easy with a 2 year old little boy running around. [Thankfully, since college classes were out for the semester, Stuart’s job was very flexible, and he could be home the majority of the time with me. All the praise hands for amazing, helpful husbands!]
As much as I could, I went from bed to couch to bed, with bathroom breaks and the occasional trip to the kitchen for a snack. I was going to the doctor twice a week with a non-stress test every appointment [which monitors the baby, to make sure everything is ok with him] pretty much just waiting it out until I was 37 weeks, when my induction had been scheduled.
So when I went to the doctor’s on Friday, December 30th, without even saying bye to Knox, I had the anticipation of coming home and having 4 more days to prepare for baby. Until my doctor saw my blood pressure numbers. Again, she sent me to labor and delivery to be monitored, and it was there I learned that she decided it was safer to induce me right away, instead of waiting 4 more days.
Now of course, my hospital bag was at home, I hadn’t eaten in HOURS, and our car seat was in our garage. [Although I will say, the hospital bag was packed and the car seat was all set to be installed that weekend, so we weren’t in bad shape.] So while I went to my room to get prepped, Stuart ran home to get my hospital bag, install the carseat and grab anything we may have forgotten. My mom drove up to the hospital so I could say bye to Knox [see Monday’s blog post for more on my emotional goodbye with Knox] and my induction began.
Throughout my pregnancy, I talked to some friends who had more than one baby about whether it was “easier” going into labor with your first or your second. What was better: not knowing what was coming, or having very clear memories about what was about to happen. At first I voted the former, but since my labor and delivery with Knox was really painful in ways that it shouldn’t have been with an epidural, I knew more about my body this time around.
Evidently, my body metabolizes anesthesia faster than normal, so I need more than the average person, AND it wears off faster. [Sounds fun huh?] When I got my epidural with Knox, it was so painful, and I was screaming bloody murder trying to tell the nurse how much it hurt, to which she replied “it’s not supposed to!” [Yea, that really helped take the pain away…] But this time around, I knew to tell the anesthesiologist about my “condition” and she was able to give me something to calm me down and extra numbing stuff before inserting the infamous huge needle. I didn’t feel a thing! It was glorious.
Just like with Knox, the epidural didn’t take 100% to my left side [my left side hates me!] and the little button they give you to push for more juice didn’t touch the pain, so the anesthesiologist had to come back in twice to give me another shot of epidural, which knocked the pain out each time!
I don’t know if it was the epidural, or the calming stuff they gave me before the epidural, but I’m pretty sure I slept more during my labor than Stuart did. I literally thought “I’m not going to be able to push if I’m this drowsy when the time comes!” Luckily that part wore off [or adrenalin kicked in] by the time it came to push.
With Knox, pushing was the most painful part, probably because the epidural was almost completely worn off, but this time around, I couldn’t feel a thing! Again, glorious. Once we got the green light of 10cm, we waited for my doctor to come in, and one and a half pushes later, little Zekey was out!
Little man showed us right away how well his lungs worked, and was laid on my chest for a few minutes before Stuart cut his umbilical cord! [And let me tell you, I was so surprised and so proud of him for doing that!]
The nurses checked Zeke out, cleaned him up and I got to hold my sweet boy again. And my first thought was, “did I just give birth to Knox all over again?!” They are TWINS. [Knox is on the left, Zeke on the right.]
For the next few hours, we got lots of time to bond, lots of skin-to-skin, and lots of snuggles. We had some issues with his weight in the hospital due to him being 3 weeks [and 1 day] premature, but little man and I worked hard to chunk him up and 2 weeks later we’re in the clear!
Then came the time for Knox to come meet his little brother. Let me tell you, I had so many exciting expectations of this meeting. I wanted pictures, I wanted kisses, and I wanted lots of emotions. And after Knox’s visit we were 0 for 3. Knox wanted pretty much nothing to do with Zeke, only noticed him when he cried, wouldn’t get near him, and just wanted to run around the hallways with Daddy. So the only emotion I really experienced was disappointment. But Knox is 2, and it’s not the last time life will go unexpectedly with him ;) We did manage to get one family picture [notice how Knox isn’t smiling though…] Ha. Life.
But in the weeks since, Knox has gradually warmed up to Zeke, and now cries when we take his little brother away!
[The picture of Knox kissing Zeke’s hand gets me in the feels every time.]
Now for his name. Stuart had picked out Zeke from early on, but I wasn’t sold at first. It reminded me of the grandfather from the show, Parenthood, and even though I loved that show, I didn’t know if I wanted to be constantly reminded of it when I said my son’s name. But Stuart loved it and it eventually grew on me.
Choosing Isaiah as Zeke’s middle name was really special to me, since we chose to honor the life of my little nephew who went to be with Jesus too early, after needing to be born at only 22 weeks. We love sweet Isaiah so much, and hope that it being Zeke’s middle name will constantly remind our family of him, and help us to excitedly anticipate meeting him in Heaven someday.
Zeke Isaiah together means “the strength and salvation of the Lord is generous,” and we chose Isaiah 12:2 as his life verse:
“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
So now we’re home, a family of 4, and finding our new normal. I haven’t ventured out very much, partially because it’s been so cold, but also because, scary! I know I’ll get there, but for now, I’m getting my bearings taking care of 2 little boys at home.
And all those things in my previous blog post about not knowing how I could possibly love another child as much as I love Knox? Mind. Blown. Your heart really does just double. Knox will always be the sweet boy who made me a mommy, but boy am I so in love with our new little Zekey boy. I cannot wait to see who he grows into, but man am I enjoying his newborn snuggles, noises and sweetness. I’m told second babies grow up even quicker because of how fast life moves with an older child, so I’m eating up these sweet days, and trying to enjoy every second.