Well this took some time to write. Who knew having a newborn and a toddler could leave you with no time to yourself! Someone needs to rewrite the warning labels on this whole pregnancy thing. But happy that now we’re coming up on one month living life with Camden that I finally get to share the story of his “Zero-eth Birthday”, as Chris refers to it.
Pictures from the birth are included throughout the text and well…it’s birth. Not all glamour pics. You’ve been warned!
We were so lucky with our first pregnancy to have a really amazing hospital experience.
Colton Birth Highlight Reel
I’ll give you the short version of it:
Colton was born in Arizona at the same hospital that Chris and his mom were born at so it was a really unique experience! His delivery was beyond easy, induced at 40+4 days. I got the epidural immediately after starting pitocin, sat back and relaxed, and 4 hours later pushed 10 times and he was out. Amazing experience!
After the fantastic experience I had with Colton labor didn’t scare me as much, but I just hoped that this second baby would have just as great of a birth story. And he did.
Inducing Baby Haines 2
Because I was taking steps to feel in control of my fertility after the miscarriage, I was very actively tracking our fertility. So when we got pregnant with Camden we had it so accurately tracked that we basically had the conception date. So with the well-tracked pregnancy and lots of ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy to check on babies weight and development we were very confident with inducing at 39 weeks.
I know some people are controversial about inducing. I’ll briefly share some of our reasons for inducing before 40 weeks.
- Accurately tracked date and baby measurements. Felt confident in health and development
- 39 weeks is the absolute optimal time to have your baby. At 38 weeks that final neuro development is happening. At 39 baby is fully-formed and ready to enter the world. At 40 weeks baby is just getting bigger (making its exit possibly harder), and risks of still-birth actually increase greatly. Here’s a great article if you want to learn more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/863383.
- Having a baby in a car on the side of the road = not good. Having baby in hospital with life saving equipment = good.
We set the induction date for Wednesday, April 12th. The technical due date was April 18th.
As much as our family wanted to be with us, real life kept everyone grounded in their respective states (Arizona & California). We were however blessed with one gem who truly saved the day!
On Tuesday, April 11th my sister Hannah flew in. Can I just rave about her for a second?! Hannah’s an amazing musician. She’s the singer and songwriter of her band The Slvr Tongues. Her band had their first performance in Nashville on Monday night. A total success. But she got no sleep as her flight departed at 6 am the next day. She’s totally exhausted when she lands from her lack of sleep not only from this night but also several days of some tough bartending shifts/hours that she took in order to get the time off to see me. And when she landed in Austin she didn’t go to sleep as tired as she was–no, she plays and runs around with her nephew, goes with me to run all the last minute errands, and is basically an all around savior. We are so so so grateful for her coming out and all of her amazing selfless help–especially Colton who enjoyed sleeping with his Nana with no regard for bedtime, eating candy for breakfast, and being generally way too spoiled ;).
Welcome to the World Camden
I didn’t think I would be able to sleep the night before but I did. I actually crashed pretty hard! We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 6 am. Buttt we left the house right at 6 am instead. Interestingly enough the Coffee Bean by our house doesn’t open until 6. Basically it was a sign that we needed coffee and sustenance before any big things could happen. You know. Like having a baby.
We got to St David’s North Women’s Center here in Texas a little after 6:30–coffee and bagel in hand. Even though this wasn’t our first rodeo, we had still done the hospital tour a few weeks prior which in such a big hospital I was grateful for! It greatly helped us know where to go.
Our nurses changed shifts right at 7 am which is exactly when I received the first step of the induction–cervidil. Cervidil is inserted and helps soften and dilate to get things moving along. Time went on with no real contractions to speak of. When my doctor came by a few hours later we hadn’t dilated at all. We were at a 2 cm dilated barely.
Really this is how we spent most of the day…reading, napping, and discovering the horrors that is basic cable television (all praise the Apple TV!)
I did use this time to poll everyone on social media about the Boy/Girl votes. Just like with Colton’s birth, we were pretty evenly split 50/50! But with Colton all of my close friends and the women I’m closest with in my life thought boy. This time, that same category of women were split 50/50! It definitely threw me through a loop!
Finally a little past noon we started pitocin. Immediately I started getting contractions, For the most part they didn’t start off as painful. The nurse came in and up’d our dosage. And. Holy. Hell. Like HOOOLLLY HELL.
To each their own but I personally never understood wanting to feel that pain. Give me those good drugs that make me happy to have my baby and in touch with my labor and not sucking my energy and all my happy. I’ve never been anything but induced by I’ve heard induction contractions are a beast all their own. And these contractions truly were miserable. And so close together. My doctor was worried that once I got the epidural I would stall my labor. I didn’t share his concern lol; I wanted the epi! But in deference to his advice, I stuck it out and tried to endure as long as possible before getting the epidural.
By 3:30 pm my water had broke on it’s own. The contractions increased even further in intensity. After 30 more minutes of intense back to back contractions I wasn’t waiting any longer!
Once again, I didn’t find the epidural painful. Just a lot of pressure.
With my first, I felt instantaneous relief with the epidural from my contractions. This was not the case the second time around. It took about 5 minutes to start feeling my legs go tingly and jelly like. But while they were on their way to happily numb I was still feeling full force contractions.
I hadn’t really prepared too much to feel contractions. I expected to get one or two and then have my epidural. But I had read that the best way to handle them was not to tense up and just relax as much as possible through them. My husband was truly the best breathing coach I could ever ask for. He’s better at life than I am and actively meditates. Also. Yoga. So he’s pretty knowledgeable about breathing techniques, moving your focus, and promoting a positive thought process. He helped coach my breathing and had me counting to keep distracted. And while I refused to squeeze his hand because I was trying to relax, there were points I was in so much pain I couldn’t think. He took over those moments and guided me through them, mostly with distracting positive affirmations about me and the labor (really I think he was brain-washing me to have future children because the number one thing he would say is, “Sam you were made to have babies. That’s your calling” haha!). The contractions went on for 2 hours, despite having the epidural.
My sweet husband decided to document mid contraction. As you can see…no yelling. I made an effort to just breath properly and keep my face and body as relaxed as possible.
Finally a little after 6 pm sweet baby jesus in a manger– the epidural fully kicked in. The relief I felt in not having to “just get through” those moments was everything. Lucky it happened right then to…because 10 minutes later it was time to push.
It was also time for last minute gender guesses. Our nurse was adamant this baby was a boy. But earlier on someone had mistakenly come into our room with a “Congratulations it’s a boy balloon.” As soon as she left Chris said, “that it this is a girl!”. So he thought girl. And quite honestly I think I thought girl.
Interestingly enough with Colton’s birth our doctor had said, “this is a girl right?” at a 34 week check up. Then the night of delivery, while reading a chart, our hospital nurse said, “this is a girl right?”. So we felt very confidently Colton was going to be a girl. Yet I still feel as if I was more surprised at the outcome of this baby’s gender than Colton’s.
We were blessed to have my mom in the room taking photo’s the first time around. This time we were concerned about how we would be getting our birth pictures done. We lucked out when a local photographer was looking to build her portfolio with birth photography and chose us! Jerra arrived in the nick of time and was able to document everything!
Just like Colton had, I knew this second baby was going to come out quick. I could just feel it. What else could I feel? Pressure. I told my nurse Laura (who was so incredibly sweet and funny we just loved her!) I was feeling a lot of pressure. My doctor was in another room getting prepped. Laura wanted me to practice push so I laid back, grabbed my legs and pushed. I could feel the baby was seconds from popping out. Laura quickly had me stop, ran out and got Dr. Thoppil.
One long strong push, a lot of pressure, and no pain — and we welcomed baby Camden into this world at 6:22 pm, April 12, 2017.
With the angle I was laying down at I couldn’t see the baby being born. We had previously discussed having Dr.Thoppil announce the “It’s a boy/girl” moment. But in doing his doctorly duties like quickly assessing babies health, there was no quick announcement. In fact that were just silence in those first few moments!
Eek! After a long pause I finally asked Chris, “is baby okay?” Everyone quickly reassured me yes baby is doing fine. I looked at Chris and said “what is it?” He smiled, leaned down and whispered in my ear, “it’s a boy”. And I just broke down sobbing. I would have reacted that way if it was a girl or boy, as we were so excited for either option. But that moment of having your baby be born and healthy and learning who they are or rather who they have the potential to be...knowing that this baby was no longer just “baby” but a person. A him. Experiencing that discovery moment and meeting that person a few instants later…words can’t describe the sensation.
Even though I knew the gender from Chris, when Dr. Thoppil made the announcement to the room once more that it was a boy, I was again overcome with emotion. We did it. We made a person. And his name was Camden Michael Haines.
With that announcement, I finally saw Camden for the first time as they put him skin to skin on me. My first thought was that I couldn’t believe how little he looked! I figured he must’ve been really tiny but nope, he was 7 lbs 11 oz. The exact weight Colton was.
Colton and Camden Meeting
We told Hannah it was time to come to the hospital. She immediately shushed us and wouldn’t allow us to reveal the gender. But she was sure it was a girl. We asked her to pick up food because lord was I starved after not eating all day. And can we just talk about that. I mean…what’s worse, having some food in your belly during a c-section or passing out because you have no energy to push after hours of labor and no food! Crazy talk I tell you. Anyhow, Hannah is not local to the area and went the wrong way adding time onto their trip.
But she and Colton finally made it. Burgers and milkshakes in tow. It was late, Colton hadn’t really napped beyond a car nap and was a little uncertain. But we had prepped him with lots of YouTube videos of siblings meeting. Being that he’s 3.5 years old, his comprehension was pretty great in what was happening. We also made sure that I wasn’t holding baby when he came in. I very much wanted to be able to hug Colton as I always do and then present him with the baby.
Ironically enough Chris, Hannah, and I were all filming Colton about to meet baby at different points. But we all managed to put our phones down right when they actually met!
To recap it was sweet. I think Colton was very very tired when he met him and emotionally already on high alert. He talked sweetly to him and hugged and kissed him then it was, “okay that’s enough holding baby– time for mommy cuddles”
All in all, Colton has handled this transition to big brotherhood amazingly. He’s a great helper with getting pacifiers, blankets, diapers, etc. I’m so proud of him! Chris is always in top-dad mode but he’s noticed the small attention seeking changes in Colton (look at me! moments) and stepped up even further to give him more attention and focused and intentional play time with dad to make up for the fact that I’ve got a little person semi-permanently attached to me.
Final Hospital Pictures…
The hardest part of life with two? Getting out the door in time. I like to think that it’s my “thing” now. Being pregnant and getting a toddler out the door was practice. The trial run if you will for becoming a late mom. I mean, you know how with some people you’re like, “Oh she’s always so put together” or “She always says the nicest things!” Well my thing is “Oh her! Yeah she’s always late don’t worry”.
But late and all I wouldn’t change a thing as mama to these boys.
This post is already so long I’ve decided to make Camden’s one month update, though brief, in a second post! Keep your eye out for it to learn more about how we’ve handled this first month, nursing struggles, and things I did to help my post-partum body heal!