Henry William Fuller
Born May 21, 2009; 10:11 a.m.
8 lbs. 2 oz.; 20 inches long
And the lucky winner of the contest is Tara! Her exact quote: "I'm guessing May 21st at 3:47 p.m. Weight 7 lbs 11 oz. Good luck Kristine! I am jealous you are so close!!" She's jealous because she has 3 more weeks to go until her own little sweetie boy is born. Hang in there, girl. (Brittany and Emily, you were both so close. It came down to hours--Tara's guess was a few hours less off the actual time. But how fun that Henry will share a birthday with both of you)
It was so fun to read all the guesses. Trust me, I was wishing that some of you who guessed Saturday and Sunday were right, but I guess this little guy wanted to take his time and then make a seriously quick, intense trip out when he was good and ready.
I'll try spare the nitty gritty, sometimes gory, and TMI details that make up mother-to-mother birth stories, and just sum it up like this: Monday afternoon we went to the doctor for the final checkup, and found that I was about as far along as you can be without actually being in active labor. I had some pretty regular contractions that night, but nothing that could actually be called painful, and eventually those sort of fizzled out. Doctor agreed that if baby wasn't here by Wednesday, he would break my water on Thursday morning at the hospital. So on Thursday morning, it went like this:
7:00 am: got to the hospital
7:40: broken water
8:00 ish: regular, painful contractions set in
9:15: really hard, intense contractions set in
9:20ish: asked for some kind of drug to take the edge off, found out it was too late, baby was about to make his entrance
9:40ish: had some serious doubts about being able to do this drug-free
10:11: Henry is in my arms.
It was a crazy, awesome and truly amazing experience. Jeff was such a helpful, positive coach through it all, and the two nurses and my Doctor were also so incredibly helpful and encouraging that I can honestly say it was one of the most spiritual and even pleasant experiences I've ever had.
Now that I can sit back and compare a non-epidural experience with an epidural experience (which I had with both of my other boys), I don't anymore think that people who do it drug-free are crazy. I went into the birth without a specific decision on whether I would use pain medication or not, but knowing my low pain tolerance, was leaning more toward medicating. Because I wasn't decided either way, I just wanted to let my body and my mind make that decision for me during the actual delivery so that I wouldn't be disappointed no matter what happened.
I just realized that up in that paragraph I called the experience pleasant. It seems like a ridiculous word to use to describe such an intense, painful thing. But honestly, with supportive people who encouraged me all the way through, (trust me, I had some serious, serious moments of doubt and terror) I guess the word pleasant could describe the environment around me, and not the actual pain and intensity. Henry was lucky enough to be born into a room full of peaceful, helpful, loving people on a sunny, blue-skied morning.
That said, it was extremely fast, and had it been longer, it most likely would have been a completely different experience. I wouldn't say it would have been a worse experience, just different.
As I sit here typing with Henry in the sling (I think he likes it!), it is overwhelming and amazing that someone such as myself is allowed to fall completely in love for the third time with a precious little person. I am so incredibly thankful that he is here and healthy and for all the love and support that brought him and us to this point.
***(Tara, leave me your address in the comments, and I promise your prize will be there sometime in the next few weeks.)