July 19th. The day that completed our family and brought us the greatest bundle of joy. Although ten days early, we welcomed Theodore “Teddy” Robert Solt with open arms on the morning of the 19th and have been living in newborn bliss ever since.
Teddy’s actual due date was July 29, or the 27th, or the 24th. At one point we had three different due dates so we just told everyone the last week of July. I knew by six months he was going to be early (I literally felt so huge) and that was confirmed at our 34 week appointment when he was already weighing 6 pounds 3 ounces (Lilly was 6 pounds 14 ounces at 39 weeks!!). We actually thought he would be a week earlier than the 19th, but T wasn’t ready yet.
I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks for weeks (probably since the middle of the second trimester). For a few days leading up the 19th I knew they were starting to change, but I also knew they weren’t quite labor contractions yet. I woke up around 2:00 a.m. on the 19th with what I thought were pretty significant Braxton Hicks. By 4:00 a.m. the contractions were becoming slightly more intense and lasting 15-20 minutes apart. I woke up Rob around 4:15 and told him what was going on. Within an hour my contractions were pretty severe and coming every 5-10 minutes.
The plan once we went into active labor was to have my parents (who luckily live a mile from us) come pick up Lilly. For about two weeks prior to this my parents had been sleeping with their phones on in the event we went in the middle of the night. Well, in the wee hours on the morning of the 19th when we knew it was go time, we called my parents 15 times with no answer. Rob had to drive over and bang on their bedroom window to wake them up! We laugh about it now, but when my contractions were coming five minutes apart, I was not so amused!
Rob was gone a total of 15 minutes getting my parents but I knew once he got back we would need to jet out the door. Apparently Gryff, our 90 pound labradoodle, felt the frenetic energy and as Rob and I were leaving, bounded out the door and right into the front seat of the Jeep. Again, not so amused while having significant contractions, but we had a great laugh about it after T was born.
Thankfully there wasn’t any traffic on the road since it was still early and we rolled into the Toledo Hospital around 6:00 a.m. We parked in the wrong parking garage (in our defense it was the parking garage where we parked when we had Lilly, but the hospital had changed the parking garage to employee parking only). Luckily a very nice healthcare worker was entering the hospital at the entrance (of which you needed an employee pass in order to enter) at the same time and took pity on us (I was in A LOT of discomfort by this point) and helped us to labor and delivery.
By this point my contractions were lasting about a minute and coming every two-five minutes. We checked in at triage and I barely made it through all the questions and check up. And at this point I was already 7 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced (I had actually been 3-4 cm dilated for about two weeks prior to this). Rob on the other hand, in all the excitement of the morning, became rather queasy watching them insert the IV in me (which took them about 15 times) and he decided to take an unplanned nap! Good thing that they keep juice and crackers at the ready!
We were in triage for about an hour to an hour and a half and it was the longest moments of my life. I was begging for the epidural at this point. My labor did not progress this fast with Lilly so I don’t recall the intensity of the contractions with her. This is definitely something I never want to experience again!
Once they finally got us back to our labor and delivery room the epidural arrived and I was much more comfortable, although I could still feel the contractions pretty significantly since we were so far along. I tested positive for Strep B so the plan was to wait as long as possible so the antibiotic could get in my system. After about an hour or two the doctor came in and said it was go time, there wasn’t any more waiting! He broke my water (it still hadn’t broken) and within an hour I was actively pushing and five contractions later Teddy was born! The doctor laughed as he was delivering him and said, “Wow! This is a big baby!” I knew Teddy would be bigger than Lilly, guessing him to be about 7.5 pounds, but I never imagined I would birth a 9 pound baby!! I am still so amused by it.
But let’s not forget about Rob! The nurses gave him some water and peanut butter with crackers after he felt faint in triage so he was doing much better and doing a good job keeping me comfortable with a wet washcloth (my face was on fire right before and during the active labor). During labor, he was “overcome with joy” and had to sit down again. He has been a steady rock since then and I can’t imagine the last four weeks without his support.
Teddy was born at 10:20 a.m. on July 19, weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces. Only four hours had passed from the time we got to the hospital until the time we had him, and less than an hour had passed once my water had broken! My fear throughout this entire pregnancy was that he would come very quickly and we wouldn’t have enough time to get to the hospital (my family has a history of having babies quickly!). But thankfully everything worked out beautifully and I wouldn’t have wanted to labor any longer than I did!
If you made it this far, I thank you! We had quite the exciting birth story to share. I’m so glad we are home and settling into a routine. Now we just need to get T to sleep and feed longer than every two hours!