Hi friends! It’s currently 5am on the 18th of May and I’m writing this while cuddling my SON at the hospital. I figure what better time to write out his birth story while it is all fresh.
If you have been reading my bump dates you might remember that towards the end I was really wondering if I was going to make it my scheduled date. The last week and a half of the pregnancy I was getting pretty regular contractions and feeling like the baby had dropped lower and lower. I would time them and at times they were as close as 6 minutes apart, but weren’t increasing in intensity and would eventually stop. Since I never went into labor with Leighton I wasn’t sure what to expect though, so I tried to really keep an eye on them.
My mom got into Brisbane on Monday morning, and Leighton and I were so excited to see her. We spent the next three days running last minute errands, getting flu shots and spoiling Leighton before she became a big sister. All the while I was feeling progressively more uncomfortable.
My c-section was scheduled for Thursday at 2:15pm, so my goal was to keep busy until then. I wanted to try and keep the day as normal as possible, so I wouldn’t go crazy waiting around. After a very restless night’s sleep, I hung out with Leighton in our bed and read books. It was so crazy to think it was her last morning as an only child. Since my surgery was in the afternoon, I was able to eat up until 8am before fasting. That was seriously my biggest concern about an afternoon cesarean. My mom spoiled me with homemade banana bread and a caramel latte before I had to get ready for Leighton’s swimming lesson.
I probably looked so ridiculous in my bikini about to burst, but I wanted to do the lesson with Leighton one last time before my mom takes over for the next month. Neither Travis or my mom had seen her in class in almost a year, so I was glad they got to see how far she’s come. After the lesson we came home and got ready to go to the hospital. My bag was already packed, so I took my time showering and even did a hair and face mask.
We showed up at the hospital at 12:15 as instructed to check in. Per usual for doctor’s offices there was quite a bit of waiting around before we got to head up to our room and change for surgery. The waiting around is absolutely the worst part.
Once we were changed and prepped we walked to the operating rooms and did some more waiting. In the meantime quite a few different people came to talk to us and go over the procedure. Finally after what felt like an eternity, it was our turn to go into the OR. I’m pretty sure there is nothing more strange than just strolling into the operating room of your own surgery completely coherent. The room was so white and bright, it felt like there were so many people milling around prepping everything. They put in my catheter, numbed up my back for the epidural and tested it out to make sure all was working and I was numb. That’s my biggest fear in all of that, not being numb or not realizing it until they start. Luckily that wasn’t the case and my legs soon became super heavy and I couldn’t feel anything from my chest down.
I do have quite a few more pictures from the delivery, but they are a bit graphic for the blog.
My OB predicted the time of birth to be 2:58, which was 20 minutes from the time they began. I tried to focus on the clock and make small talk to keep from freaking out. Travis had already said he wanted to be the one to announce the gender. Before we knew it they were lowering the drape and our baby was staring back at us. They lifted him up and in genuine shock Travis shouted “LEIGHTON HAS A BABY BROTHER!”.
We both were pretty convinced we were having another girl because a. That’s all we knew and b. Travis thought our Dr had slipped at one appointment when he called the baby a she during a scan.
I honestly couldn’t believe that we had a son and I could tell from Trav’s face that he couldn’t either. It felt pretty amazing. I would have loved for Leighton to have a sister so close in age, but knowing I will get a chance to raise both a son and daughter is so fun.
Another reason it was a bit emotional is that we knew we were finally getting to use the name we had been talking about for 6 years. When we were merely boyfriend and girlfriend, the baby name convo came up and we discovered we both loved the name Houston. Not because of the city, but the city’s namesake, Sam Houston.
I was teaching 4th grade Texas History at the time and loved the idea of a nod to our heritage (my Dad’s family has been in Texas a looooong time). Travis’ late father, Lance, had a similar idea and had wanted to name him Houston but ended up choosing to name him after another Texas hero, William B. Travis. So at a Mexican food restaurant one summer evening we decided if we were to have a son we would name him Houston Lance Alkek. Clearly we were confident in our relationship because he hadn’t even popped the question at this point.
So as you can see, it was really a special moment knowing that we were getting to honor his father with our son’s name.
Annnnnd back to OR 8 where they whisked Houston away to clean him up and let Travis “cut” the cord (ceremoniously because it was already cut). They took his measurements and weighed him. He was 7lbs10oz and 19in long. My boys quickly returned to me and we took our first picture with our son. We couldn’t get over how much he looked like Leighton but with lighter and less hair. They have the same button nose and round cheeks. It felt like deja vu.
After some skin to skin, they headed to the recovery room while I got sewn up and made small talk with the remaining medical staff. After what felt like ages I was wheeled into recovery to join them. We let our families know that all went well, although it was almost 1am in Texas and they were asleep. We didn’t tell anyone the gender and it was so fun for a bit to be the only ones who knew. We texted my mother to let her know it was safe for her and Leighton to head up to the hospital to come find out for themselves.
They made a pit stop at the gift shop where Leighton picked out a cute elephant for “the baby”. I handed Houston to Trav before they came in per the advice of multiple people on the internet. That didn’t seem to matter though, once the door opened and Leighton saw me in bed and Trav holding a baby she burst into tears and ran to the door yelling “home!”
We eventually got her calmed down and showed her the gift that the baby brought her, an Abby (her favorite Sesame Street character) doll and a new book. Gradually she progressed from completely ignoring Houston to talking about him and showing him things around the room, including her toes. When it was time for them to head home she was giving her goodnight kisses and said “Houston, nose kiss!” and went in to give him an Eskimo kiss. I wish I wasn’t bound to my bed so I could have gotten a better picture.
Once they were gone we settled in for the night. Houston was a dream and only got cranky a bit because he was having some gas. He woke up and fed (and pooped) a couple times throughout the night, but overall was quiet. Travis seemed to be quite comfy on his window seat bed. One would think I would have taken this chance to rest up, but nope. I was too excited to sleep. I just wanted to stare at my perfect little boy. I also spent a lot of the wee morning hours looking at boys clothes online. Good thing for the time difference is I had plenty of friends to text with back home and share our news with.
The next couple days were spent hanging out, watching the royal wedding coverage and getting to know our boy. My mom and Leighton came to visit everyday and slowly Leighton became more comfortable with her new sibling.
The standard stay for private c-section patients is five days, but by Sunday we were ready to get home. Luckily, both Houston and I were doing great so they let us check out early. They did send a midwife to check on us at home on our actual discharge date, and we got a clean bill of health then too.
We’ve now had our little Houston for a whole week, and I can’t believe just seven days ago we didn’t even know if he was a boy or girl. He’s the perfect, sweetest, laid back addition to our family. Leighton is warming up to him more and more everyday and loves to “share” her toys with him and help me with nappy changes.
And for fun, here are a couple comparisons of newborn Leighton and Houston. It’s crazy to me how similar they look.
That’s all for now. I am going to go soak up some more newborn cuddles. I am appreciating them more this time around since it will most likely be our last baby. Hope everyone has a great weekend!