Welcome, Carson Bryce! Birth Story

Our boy is already a week old! We are a family of four and couldn't be any happier.

I'm seriously loving having this little boy. He is pure sweetness and I just want to snuggle him all the time. I forgot how amazing having a newborn really is. Finley is the BEST big sister. When my Mom brought her to the hospital to meet Carson she walked in saying "baby brother". She kissed him so many times. We let her sit down and "hold" him and she couldn't have been a more proud big sister. Seeing them meet really was a magical moment. It made my heart smile. It was one of those "what life is all about" moments and will be one of mine and Joe's top memories, for sure... During it all happening I actually reminded myself to really soak it in. I've done that several times within the past week. Being wheeled out of the hospital holding my new baby included. It was surreal...with having these babies I've learned that nothing is forever and that time passes so quickly. I know that one day I will look back on these moments and they'll be a distant memory, but for now, they're happening and I need to eat them up!
Now for my birth story. I need to get this all down before things get mixed up.
Leading up to the big day, my MFM specialist and OB finally decided that it was time. Carson wasn't growing well due to my high blood pressure and the placenta was not functioning at best, also due to the high BP. Things were just getting too risky. After an almost failed non-stress test on Carson, they decided that as soon a we hit term, we weren't risking things anymore since my BP continued to increase. Also, with Carson's slow growth, more cooking time didn't make much sense.
I was set to be induced on Thursday 7-25-2013. My induction with Finley went quickly so we had the same hopes. Since I had the most "issues", I was first in line for the day. I was told that I could get the phone call as early as 4 am but that if I had not heard from a nurse by 5, to call and check the room availability situation. I didn't sleep a wink. I called at 5:20 after not hearing from the hospital and was told that all labor and delivery rooms were full but that things should start moving along soon...if I hadn't heard from them by 8:15 am to call again. At 7:23 am, they called us to come in! At around 8 my parents came to pick up Finley and we left.
I told my girl goodbye. This was my first overnight away from her. I didn't get too emotional telling her goodbye for the last time as an only child because we had done all that the night before when I put her down for bed. I had explained everything to her and told her how much I loved her and that we would be coming home with baby Carson from my tummy for her to love and for him to love her too. I told her that I would still love her more and more every day. We read each of her books as many times as she wanted and sang "Twinkle Twinkle", over and over. She kissed Carson in my tummy one last time before she would finally meet him in person. Who knows how much of this she understood at two years old.
The hospital is about a 45 minute drive for us. After arriving, waking up to labor and delivery, waiting in a small waiting room, being shown to our delivery room, meeting my nurse (loved her), getting my IV and waiting on my OB to come over from her office,  my water was finally broken at 10:43 a.m. The process was started...
Going in I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. Carson was at a station -3, pretty high up there. He was at -1 the prior week but moved up. My contractions came pretty quickly after having my water broken. I would guess within 30 minutes. They started off light. I was given a little pitocin. This scared me but I trusted my OB and nurse who both assured me it was just a boost to my already progressing body. After all, we already knew that I progress quickly. They were just getting the ball rolling. Soon after, my contractions started to get a bit more intense and I asked for the epidural as I was aware how fast things went with Finley and was honestly scared of waiting too long. I knew it would take some time for the anestesologist to make it to my room and get set up. I asked at a great time because as soon as he put that epidural in things were getting to a really painful point where I was happy to be poked by a huge needle. He said I did amazing and that I sat so still I could have been a model in his instructional video. haha. It was probably the threat of it not going in right and it not working if I moved too much that kept me still! The epidural was placed at around 12:30 in the afternoon, about an hour and fourty-five minutes after getting my water broken. At 1:40ish I was checked and had progressed 2cm, to 4cm. This was discouraging to me. Since things went so quick with my prior birth, I expected to increase more than 2cm in almost three hours. Dr. C worked my cervix and they upped the pitocin some more. She said she still expected me to have a baby within 5 hours of starting....
Only an hour after being told I was still at 4cm I told my nurse I was feeling a weird sensation in my back side. Nothing hurt. It was just weird. I never felt anything at all with Finley's birth. The epidural was stronger last time. The nurse asked if it was the urge to push. I didn't know. I told her it was the urge to do something. Maybe squeeze my cheeks together? lol. We all laughed. As I was questioning if this was "it", it became more clear to. It got stronger. I told her "Yeah. This is it. I'm pretty sure it's probably time". I was in disbelief. It couldn't be time. I was JUST at 4 cm. She calmly checked me and very casually said I was at 9.5cm! They called my OB (who was next door at her office) and the room quickly filled with more nurses and my OB. The nurses were doing a shift change so the new one was there as well as the prior. They got everything set up and it was push time! My nerves really hit me then. I was SO nervous. Joe kissed my head. Both our Mom's came to my bedside with him. They counted to ten during each of my pushes and after two and a half pushes our boy was born, at 3:10 p.m. The birth lasted a total of just under four and a half hours. It really was amazing. He was so so tiny. I'd never seen such a tiny baby in real life. He was just perfect. I kept asking if our baby was ok because surely a baby so small couldn't breathe on his own. He let out the tiniest little squeal cries and I got to hold him right away. He got a nine on his apgars. Not too shabby for a three week early, 5lb 8.5oz baby. He was 18 1/2 inches long. He had to be put under the warmer for a while in our recovery room. He was having a little trouble regulating his temperature and blood sugar but after only a few hours, he was fine. My biggest fear was not getting to take him home with us when I was discharged but he did great and was discharged with me on Saturday, less than 48 hours later.
 So how has the first week been? Better than I could have imagined.
Nursing is going great. Carson was 5lb 8.5oz at birth. He was 5lb 4oz leaving the hospital. A small drop in weight is common during the first few days. Three days after leaving the hospital, on Tuesday, he had already put on 2.5oz weighing in at 5lb 6.5oz. I do have to remind him to eat at times and try my hardest to keep his sleepy self up during feeds (common for early term babies) but his gain is going well and he is having plenty of wet/dirty diapers. He is constantly hungry when he's awake.
Sleep: The first few nights this sweet boy had me terrified. I got literally NO sleep. He would.not.sleep. unless he was on me or in the bed. I've always been pro co-sleeping, but with baby next to the bed, not in it. Finley slept next to our bed for a year. After those three nights of terror I researched safe methods of co-sleeping and haven't looked back. We're all sleeping amazing now. I'm talking ten+ hours with quick feeds and diaper changes thrown in. He falls right back asleep during or after the feeds and we all get a full night sleep. I sleep in between Carson and Joe, he is on his back and has no pillows or blankets around him. He is not directly against my body. This isn't something I ever imagined us doing but for now it's working and I'm comfortable with it. I really had no idea about all the amazing benefits of co-sleeping or how it really is natural human instinct and can be done safely until I ventured to do some research...
Joe is still home from work. He goes back on Saturday, in two days. I've been trying to take on certain tasks alone to get the hang of being outnumbered. It really has been nice having him here.
We ventured out of the house on Monday for the first time at four days old. That was interesting. I was feeding Carson and he needed a diaper change. During the change he poo'd and pee'd all over his clothes. Fun stuff. Joe and I couldn't help but laugh. I was then told by Joe "Come on Mama. You're not an amateur. You got this".
Newborn pictures are being taken this afternoon so be on the lookout for those very soon :)
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