Thursday, March 13, 2008

Marching Forth

First Matter of Business:
Here he is.

Roger Lake Cropper
March 4, 2008 at 2:54 p.m.
8 lbs. 20.5 in.

(And you haven't lived until you've heard Blaine call him "Baby Rog.")

Second matter of business:

Thank you all a million times for your well wishes and congratulations. The birth of a new babe is extremely joyful, and is followed by many difficult challenges and an array of emotions. I feel blessed to have so much support.

Third matter of business. If you want to hear all the deets (a la TLC), here they are (note: it is LONG. I don't keep a journal besides this blog, so consider yourself warned):

On Tuesday morning I had an appointment with my OB. Judging by how much pressure I was feeling on my pelvis, I was feeling fairly certain that I was probably dilated even farther than the 4 cm of the week before. For several nights I had gone to bed fearing that I would go into labor in the middle of the night and that we would not make it to the hospital in time. (Not only was I starting at 4+, but I go quickly.) On Tuesday I told Taylor that if I was indeed dilated more, I would like to discuss induction with the doctor. Wanting to be in on that discussion, Taylor came with me (we left Blaine with our friends Lori and Wes). And the verdict? Dilated 5 centimeters. FIVE CENTIMETERS! I told the doctor about my concerns and that I thought I ought to be induced and he agreed. "I don't want to pressure you," he said. "But I would feel really bad if I sent you home today and then found out later that you had your baby in the car." Then came the crazy part. He called over to the hospital and they had a bed so he said we could go right over and have the baby. It was such a bizarre feeling, and rather anti-climactic in a way. Taylor drove home to pick up our things and I marched myself up to labor and delivery.

Me: "Hi. I'm here to have a baby."

Nurse: "Are you the woman who's dilated to a five??!!"

And so she showed me to my room. Here's what I loved about being induced: feeling in control! I took time to fold up my clothes before putting on my gown. I even washed my feet because one of my serious flaws is that I have had stinky feet ever since my mission and what doctor wants to smell those awful feet when delivering a baby? Then I sat on my bed and looked out the window at an incredible view of the blue sky and snowy rocky mountains. I love Utah, by the way. As I waited for the nurse to come in I decided this would be a good time to say a little prayer. So I just looked out the window at those beautiful mountains and told Heavenly Father my thankfuls. Thankful for my health and that I could have another baby. Thankful for my body which had been laboring effortlessly for weeks. Thankful for my husband. Thankful that I had time for an epidural. Thankful that I felt so emotionally in control (I'm a bit of a control freak, you know). Thankful that I had time to put make-up on that morning (ah, vanity). Thankful that Blaine was safe and sound and infinitely happy with his favorite friend, Lucy, and her mother, Lori, who Blaine loves more than just about anyone. It was a fun moment to reflect and be grateful.

Enter Judy, my nurse. She is sweet as honey. She started getting me prepped and as she was asking me all the standard "any medication allergies?"-type questions, she kept apologizing for having to be so impersonal. CUTE.

Then Taylor arrived. He pulled out his laptop and began Wikipedia-ing March 4th--you know, to discover what important things happened on that day in history. There he read, "Marth 4th is the only day of the year that is also a command--MARCH FORTH." "I love it!" I exclaimed.

Next guest: Matt, the anesthesiologist. Dear Matt, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love that you looked a bit like my brother, the anesthesiologist. I love the way you explained everything you were doing, exactly what it would feel like, etc. And most of all I love the way my delivery went because of your magical drugs. Love, me.

At 1 p.m. the doctor came over and broke my water. (Have you ever seen one of those amni-hooks? It's essentially a tiny crochet hook.) And I was in labor. For the first 30 minutes I wasn't doing much, but then they put me on a bit of pitocin and we were in business. The contractions picked up and on the monitor the nurse noticed that the baby was having little variables in his heart rate during contractions so she had me turn on my side and put an oxygen mask on me. (That plus an IV, an epidural in the back, being cathed, and having a baby monitor on, is probably why so many of my friends and family members opt for a home birth. But I gotta tell ya--I love it. I really like the security I feel delivering in the hospital.) Judy checked me and I was a 7. Only minutes later I could feel that it was almost time for baby. Here's what I loved about my epidural: I could feel the pressure of the contractions and the baby moving down, but not the pain. Judy had to go help the woman next door deliver, so Jeannie came in. Looking at the computer she said, "It looks like Judy just checked you and you were at 7." Checking me she said, "Whoa--you're not at 7 anymore. The baby's right here." So she called the doctor and started prepping for the baby. Out the window Taylor watched the doctor running over from his office. I pushed about 6 times and there he was. The doctor gave him to me immediately. I love those rush-of-emotion moments in life. I just kind of laughed and cried as I held this sweet, warm, brand new little babe. It was heaven.
So yes. Less than 2 hours. Pretty fabulous. And no cuts, and essentially no tearing. Which is one of the reasons I'm as in love with my OB as I am with the epidural man.
The rest of the day was spent teaching the babe to nurse, snuggling with him, and receiving visitors. Danielle was the first. She came bearing fruit tarts and cinnamon bread. Smart girl. Beloved friend. Later we had a surprise visit from Aunt Sherri and...Grandma Tillie! That was a real treat. And that evening Lori, Wes, Lucy, and Blaine arrived. Lori made me unbelievably delish chocolate cake and Blaine made me and the baby a card. Melt.
Taylor and Blaine went home that night and I hung out in the hospital with the baby and CNN. Hillary took Ohio and Texas. McCain took the nomination. (I thought that might be an interesting historical bit for my son to know.) By the next morning I was ready to go home. The after part is the part that makes home birth appealing. Spare me being woken up at 3 a.m. to take my blood pressure and give me a break from all that paperwork. I just wanted to get out of that gown, out of that bed, and on with my life! (Note: the after part after an episiotomy is so painful that it was a different story with Blaine. I felt like a MILLION BUCKS this time. It has been an enormously different (better) experience this time.) Finally that evening they had finished testing his ears and pricking his heal, and they let us go home. And finally by that evening we had chosen his name. He is named after my father, Roger, and his middle name is also a family name. James Lake, one of my ancestors, helped build the Kirtland LDS temple. Kirtland is where I served much of my mission, so that connection was particularly meaningful to me.

Now we are in the throes of night shifts, sore boosies, a goopy eye, post-partum cramping, and figuring out how to give equal time to both of my children (I have children. Plural. Whoa.). If you know anything about the first several months after Blaine was born, you know that nursing was a huge struggle, I was in a lot of pain, my baby was quite fussy, and quite frankly, I was an emotional mess who wasn't sure why she'd signed up for this. This time everything is better. EVERYTHING. I feel so blessed that things are going more smoothly and that I am so genuinely happy to be a mother of two. And so we are marching forth.


Barb said...

What a wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm a girl who has heard too many horrible birth stories recently and it's freaking me out and making me very scared of future motherhood. I'm so glad you had such a positive experience.

The Innkeeper said...

Thanks for sharing. I kept checking your blog because I wanted to hear the details! Wish we were closer. Too cute that Blaine calls the baby "baby Rog".

I hope that it continues to go so well for you. I definitely had an easier transition with baby #1, I don't think I was well-prepared to be a mom to two! That might have had something to do with our Nomadic lifestyle at the time!

Such a cute baby and you look so great. So happy for you. Lots of love.


danielle said...


And that was so cute when Blaine was holding him and feeling his soft hair. Too cute!

Sugar... said...

Like Danielle said, Perfect!

I love your stories, and they are never too long! I'm so happy you didn't have to have an episiotomy! (I've had one with all three...I go from about a 2 to a 10 in 2 hours at the hospital, my poor body!) I love that you washed your feet. So funny! I can't even imagine to start thinking how you performed that feat. I can't even tie my shoes at nine months, let alone wash my feet during labor. You are so funny! Love you! Love your sweet baby pics! I'm so happy that all is well with your family.

Vicky said...

I'm so glad it went so well! It gives me confidence that I, too, can be a mother of two boys. And what a literary pro you are: nice wrap-up with "and we're marching forth." I'll be looking for tips from you on how to transition from one to two once you're back to work!

lori said...

Dearest friend, we've been dying for all of these details!! Mostly just anxious to find out how you're currently doing. (Do you still have fam in town?)

I am in love with little Roger's name and with his little face!

Glad you had a chance to chronicle all of this! It was so beautiful! Love you!!

EMILY said...

I am so glad you had a great birthing experience. What a beautiful story! Sweet little Roger...

I would love to come down and see you and your family, but I want to come when it is most convenient for you. Please let me know?

Sarah said...

I love all of the details. I'm so glad that you had a wonderful experience. Baby number 2 is different because you have perspective that you didn't have before. I remember with Samuel, thinking that I was nursing forever, but with William I was accutely aware of how quickly the time was passing. It's crazy, but amazing.

Katrina said...

Thanks for all the deets, Anne! I truly enjoyed it and have been waiting for them! I'm really glad you had such a positive experience and that things are going smoothly with the little ones at home.

Emily said...

March Forth? I love it!

Thanks for all the details; I've been waiting for them. A positive, beautiful birthing experience was good for my anxious maternal heart, too.

You, your baby, your family, this post...lovely. All of it.

jeanine said...

Loved all the details! What a lucky gal you are--only 2 hours! I could only wish for such a great birth!!! Congrats again... he's a cutie! (And two gets easier with time... especially once they can play together!)

Kate said...

Boy you are a good journaler! I loved reading this! Sounds like you had a blessed experience and that makes me happy! Baby Roger is even cuter in real life and I'm here to agree that you are one happy mama! So peaceful, glowing, calm, confident and beautiful! And now you have two of the most darling boys! Do lots of cuddling with that tiny one of yours for me! love you.

Nettie Martin said...

Wow!!!! You look amazing and Baby Roger is stinkin cute! I'm so sad I missed the family dinner last Sunday- but I'm sure we'll see you all at Michelle's wedding in 6 weeks!

Katie said...

That is just such a happy birth story! I had a similar experience my second time around. (Only not so quick, L-U-C-K-Y!) I just loved being induced, and am hoping to do it again this time! Congrats. "Baby Rog" too precious!

Amy Jean said...

this was one of the best posts I have read. so glad everything went well for you. roger is a great name. congrats again!

brittani c. said...

Anne, you have a plethora of great advice I will need by the time I have kids. Washing feet before delivery? What a grand idea! I, too, have stinky feet from the mission. I think it was the nylons we wore day by day in the humidity of Ohio that messed it all up.
Welcome, baby Roger! You are a precious little boy.

Sally said...

Congratulations on such a beautiful healthy baby. I'm so glad everything went smoothly and you are enjoying your children.

Joan Koplin said...

You are blessed, Blessed, BLESSED! I am thrilled to know you are happy, healthy and loving life with two. Could not adore his name more! I think of Perdy's owner...Rog's wife...can't remember her name, darn it? (ps...on 101 DMations) exclaiming (after Roger sings the "Dmation Plantation" song at the end of the movie), "OH ROG! It's truly an inspiration!" and I just smile and feel happy inside.
Oh, isn't birth amazing!? Welcome to the world, Rog!

Albertson family said...

You give me hope for the second one, whenever I have it. He is such a cutie. Blaine will be such a big helper.

Anonymous said...

Hey!! I thought I would be able to find out more about the baby and sure enough I got all of the juicy details. Very cute and fun to read. I am working on getting Steven to read it too. I think Roger Cropper has a nice ring to it, very symmetrical.
Love you guys,

Anonymous said...

Hey!! I thought I would be able to find out more about the baby and sure enough I got all of the juicy details. Very cute and fun to read. I am working on getting Steven to read it too. I think Roger Cropper has a nice ring to it, very symmetrical.
Love you guys,

Traci said...

I LOVED THIS POST!!! Sorry it took me so long to write something. What a cute little family you have. And I love the nurses reaction when you came into the hospital!
ps that last picture totally looks like you!

Eric, Halcyon, Viana and Brooke said...

Oh Anne, that story thrills every bone in my soul!! I am so happy that I was right :) and that the second time around is a DREAM. Can't wait till you guys are back in full swing with us! (But take as much time as you have!!)

Autumn said...

How Happy! He's beautfiul.

Jill said...

Love you, love Taylor, love Blaine, love Rog, can't wait to Love you in person!