Introducing the man of the hour - Brooks Grant Hohman born May 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm.
It seemed like the birth of Brooks was over just as soon as it started for me. (I realize this is a luxury when so many go through hours of labor.)
B was due on May 24, but he wasn't budging. I like to joke that the womb had free wifi. He was still sitting up high and I wasn't dilated an inch. With no progress made, we went ahead and scheduled an induction for Sunday, May 29. Yes, another week of waiting and being huge.
The doctors warned me that first time inductions could take awhile. Being the planner that I am, I had my personals packed well in advance of scheduling the induction. Having heard that I might be hanging out in the hospital for days (eek!) before labor really got going, I decided to pack another bag of activities to keep my mind off the sure to be painful road ahead. We had decks of cards, every Harry Potter movie, and of course Catan to keep our anxiety at bay and focus only on how many sheep I can get for this damn surplus of brick.
Induction day was finally here! The beginning of the end and only a little while longer until I see the one who had been kicking me for months. I was given the royal treatment with courteous nurses (even though I came in right at a shift change) showing me the lay of the land and giving me the playbook for the day. They lassoed my belly with monitors and told me that if anything changes with me or B that I would hear a strange beeping noise.
They inserted the induction meds around 4:30pm, just 30 short minutes after checking in. Within 30 more minutes, that strange beeping they had mentioned started. My nurse calmly walked in and checked the monitors. B's heart rate had dropped, but that isn't too odd if it only happens once.
Ten minutes later the strange beep was back. Two nurses came in this time to check on us, and they decided that it would be best to call the doc just to make her aware that Brooks wasn't reacting to the induction perfectly.
Ten more minutes pass and the beep continues. Four nurses run in and determine that this induction will not go off as planned. They remove the medicines and tell me to sit tight and await the doctor for next steps.
Thankfully, my doc wasn't far away at the time and was there within minutes suggesting a course of action. Apparently, this had been the most gentle induction possible and since B wasn't reacting well to it, odds were high that he would not handle the stress of a natural delivery well either. Since his heart rate had dropped 3 times within an hour or so, a C-section was going to be the safest way to get him out quickly and without distressing him.
In my mind all I could think was, thank God I don't have to push him out and that I shouldn't have skipped over the C-section part of the baby books. My mom had a C-section with me, but that was 25 years ago so I imagined those details were a bit out of date.
Once I signed the papers to consent to the surgery, my delivery room turned into the place to be. Those four nurses and more came back and dispersed - one on monitors, one trying to shave me (thankfully I came prepared), one briefing my husband, and one asking me medical questions. This was when it sunk in that I wouldn't be able to unload my surplus of bricks (just kidding!) , and that I was about to have major surgery - my first.
Nico and I were able to gather a few minutes to talk. We agreed that once in the operating room, we would maintain eye contact. No looking over that curtain for anything.
It only seemed like minutes, but about an hour later, me and my big belly were rolled out of the room down to surgery. I was shaking. The delivery room was an ice box. The doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologist were all doing their thing, and I just looked at the metal table - so unwelcoming and sterile.
I hopped on the table (hop is a relative term) and a nice bald man covered me in the warmest blankets. It instantly helped, but the shaking wasn't stopping. I was terrified that the epidural wouldn't go well and I would be paralyzed.
The anesthesiologist warned me that I would feel warmth down my legs when the meds were on the way. I instantly felt it on my right, but nothing on my left. I told them and imagined that I would be able to feel everything during the surgery. Thankfully, they gave me some more of the good stuff, and I went numb.
Soon after, Nico was coming in the delivery room in his scrubs and the curtain was up over my belly. He was so excited and at the same time I could see that he was nervous. Hospitals freak him out anyway, but he was really handling it all so well.
I began to feel a little bit of movement, and just a few minutes into the surgery I was warned that the pressure was about to hit. I felt a little pressure, and then the doctor said, "Take a look, Dad!"
Nico and I looked at each other and we knew that we both were thinking "Don't look over that curtain, dummy", but he couldn't resist. He got the first glimpse of B at that moment. Brooks wasn't crying immediately and those few quiet seconds seemed to last for hours. He was taken over to a small table under a heating light and I looked over for my first peak at perfection. Still no crying.
Through my panic, I looked over and saw two arms and legs flailing about and I asked if he had 10 fingers and 10 toes. I saw Nico staring at B in awe and then I heard the sweetest sound - B's newborn cry. The nurses bundled up my little man, and brought him over to me for a quick snuggle. I couldn't stop saying how beautiful he was.
It was magic. As cliche as it sounds, it really is the most pure love you could ever know. We had created this tiny little person. He was all ours - to nurture, to love, and to guide.
I was one of those mothers who instantly felt that bond with their child. I never knew a love so deep before I had my son. Realizing how multidimensional love is in that moment was life changing.
Of course, little man was then taken to get cleaned up and cozy while I was sewed back up. This part took forever. I knew his dad was with him, but I didn't realize until later that all my family and my best friend had gotten to see him through the nursery glass.
I realized while the docs were doing their thing, that this was just another day to them. They nonchalantly discussed their weekends. It was calming.
As I was rolled out of surgery, I passed the elevator and out popped my dad and father in law right then. I told them quickly that I was fine and that Brooks was perfect and resting in the nursery.
Back in my room after only 4 hours at the hospital, I had my son. It also felt like I had a hangover. The room was spinning. I was even a bit nervous to hold Brooks because of the spinning. But the nurses handed him over, and I got to hold my son. He was tiny and shockingly tan. (We found out later that he was actually jaundice.) His little button nose and sweet blue eyes were all I could see.
We rested in the hospital for the next 2 days with family and close friends. I guarded him fiercely from strangers and their germs and walked up and down the hallway to exercise and catch a glimpse of him napping in the nursery. There is no pride like that felt when you point out your son to other parents. "Oh, he's the perfect one over there!"
Throughout pregnancy, Nico was always talking about being a dad, but he really transformed into a dad over those few days. Since I was recovering from surgery, he changed the first diapers, he rolled the baby in from the nursery, he took on the responsibilities before I was able to.
He truly is the most phenomenal dad. Selfless, gentle, and playful.
This is our story. It fundamentally changed everything about me. It was scary and beautiful.
Brooks, I can't even begin to explain the love that I have for you. I hope that I can be the person you see when you look up at me. It is an honor to be your momma. I love you, baby boy, with everything I've got.