I hope you can forgive our complete radio silence on Vanderhouse as of late, but we have a pretty good excuse. He's little, he's cute, he's a cute, little handful. He's our son, Devon.
We welcomed him into the world on July 6th (missed 7-7-17 by one day!) weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. He was born with his dad's blond hair and blue eyes and his mom's chubby cheeks.
After the long, and at times painful, process that was pregnancy and pre-pregnancy, I didn't know what to expect from the birth experience. I had prepared as much as possible with birthing classes and a tour of the hospital, but I still felt apprehensive and clueless about what lay ahead. The only thing I was certain of was that I was sick of being pregnant and just wanted it to be over.
Luckily, the baby agreed, and on Monday, July 3rd, 9 days shy of my official due date, things began to happen. It was very subtle at first, but as the week progressed, my symptoms ramped up to the point where I finally decided to go to the hospital on the morning on the 6th after being awake all night long with painful cramps. I wasn't sure if they were contractions or not but I wasn't willing to take the chance of staying home and having something happen. The hospital was about an hour away from our house so I was definitely concerned about making the drive while in labor. I was glad that we left when we did because my contractions became much worse in the car. I became the typical movie-mom-in-labor as I yelled at Denny to go faster but also to somehow avoid every bump on the road.
We did make it to the hospital and after a quick check, I was admitted. Even after being in labor all week, it was somehow a shock to find myself putting on a gown and getting hooked up to an IV, knowing this might be the day that I meet my baby. The timing couldn't have been better. We were admitted around 7:30 am so we didn't have to labor overnight and Denny had a full night of sleep so he could fully support me. And best of all, the entire Vanderburg clan was in town for a few days and would be able to be there for the birth! That was a miracle because Denny's brother and sister and their families live on opposite ends of the country and we are very rarely all together.
We settled into the birthing suite for what I thought would be a long day and possibly night, but that ended up to not be the case. Every time they checked me, I had made substantial progress. I opted for an epidural so I wasn't aware of any discomfort at all and in fact, I slept!
My doctor came around 11:30 to break my water and then things really went quickly. I had to call Denny back from the cafeteria at 1:00 because I was about to start pushing already. Again, I was in no discomfort at this point. The epidural, while painful to receive, had eliminated all of the contraction pain and left me calm and able to focus on what I had to do.
Half an hour of pushing later, and Devon entered the world!
He was immediately placed on my chest in all his squirmy, slimy, naked glory. He gave a few ear-piercing shrieks that let us know that his lungs were working perfectly.
I held him skin to skin for about ten minutes until they needed to do a few measurements and put a diaper on him. They brought him right back and then everyone except Denny left the room. Those first few moments as a family of three were such a blur. I just wanted to see what he looked like, but he was too close to focus on. I could see bits of him: a tiny ear here, a little tuft of hair there, perfect little fingers scrabbling around on my skin. I could have looked at him for hours, but we knew that we had family eagerly waiting out in the hallway.
Once everyone left, we were moved to our postpartum room. It was late afternoon, and we relaxed and had some lunch. Everything felt so peaceful. The entire birth process had been quiet and peaceful, just the way we wanted Devon to come into the world.
After such a rocky pregnancy, I was so relieved to have him earth side. Every minute with him has been a joy (okay maybe not the ones at 2:00 am). He's a very content and intelligent little guy (as much as a baby can be). He doesn't cry unnecessarily, and we're beginning to understand him when he does. We're looking forward to some upcoming travel adventures with him, even though he's only three months old. We know there is so much to look forward to as parents. We're only just beginning this new phase in our lives.