Only 17 and a half months after bringing Evelyn into this world I came back to the same hospital, the same OR, and the very same room, to bring my son into this world.
October 25th, 2022. The date was scheduled. I knew I would opt for a planned c-section and roughly what to expect; after all, nothing could be as traumatic as Evelyn’s heart crashing and me on my hands and knees being wheeled into the OR.
The morning was laid back, I gave Evelyn her morning milk, and we snuggled for a minute before Ian put everything into the Touareg. I had everything in order, even a gift basket for the day and night nurses who would take care of me complete with Starbucks instant coffee sachets and chocolate protein bars and saltwater taffy. They laughed and agreed I would be looked after very well because of my thoughtfulness, though that wasn’t my intention. I just wanted to thank them for this time around!
Ian took out our camera and took some photos and videos to remember it all, if you’d like to see his perspective in the video made you can watch it below.
We unpacked our bags and got our room ready for an easy transition after the operation and recovery. It was so much more peaceful and calm leading up to his birth.
The birth story itself is another thing entirely.
I was tickled pink to find out that the first nurse to take care of me also had the nick-name, Evy, though her name was Evelina. She was sweet and explained all the steps leading up to my operation.
My midwife Natasha and I reminisced about all the moments leading up to this birth, how we as mothers go through seasons and it never gets easier; we simply pray God is with our children wherever their feet take them.
I love this small moment Ian captured of Natasha sitting at the foot of my bed.
The wait between the spinal and the numbing, the tugging, the talking amongst staff felt like forever, much longer than Evelyn’s fast and furious birth. I thought to myself, are they just going to nonchalantly take him out and I will be caught off guard by his cry?
No, I had two doctors pushing my ribs downward to encourage his big head to push through the incision. Several pushes from them and a pull from Dr. Deacon resulted in someone saying “Hi there, happy birthday” and suction proceeded by a cry that almost sounded like Evy’s, but as he cleared his lungs, his cry sounded more masculine than her.
As Ian watched them clean him up he asked me “what color do you think his hair is?”
Our nephews were white blonde so I guessed that first, No.
Evelyn had darker brown hair so I guessed that second, No.
I laughed and said “He’s not a ginger?!”, Ian laughed “Yes”.
I knew Ian’s dad and grandfather were redheads, and Ian has red in his beard but I said “I’ll believe it when I see it”
Now that I see these pictures it’s undeniable he has copper hair.
Natasha came around and explained how baby boy had probably swallowed some amniotic fluid as they pushed and pulled him out and he needed to be monitored and clear that from his lungs before he could stay with me.
All of a sudden I wasn’t going to experience the golden hour like I had been promised, they didn’t even put him on my chest in the OR. What’s worse, I was all alone in the OR while they stitched me up.
They all assured me he should be fine, and I would see him back in my room after my recovery downstairs had been cleared.
Ian and our son had skin-to-skin in the nursery wing and I am so blessed that they could stay together, that bond a father and son have solidified even more in these tender moments.
Those little eyes opening their first few tired blinks to find daddy, listening to his fathers heartbeat In place of the heartbeat he’d grown to know inside of me.
As soon as they brought me to the recovery wing I met my nurses with a smile and humour, after all I couldn’t stay in a negative mindset. My son was with his father, safe, and I was in the best hands.
My primary nurse was Ken and he joked about being ginger himself and raising a ginger son. I talked about my late uncle Ken who would’ve loved to know that my boy was a red head too.
Within 15 minutes I was wiggling my toes determined to get out of recovery and meet my boy. When all of the sudden I heard a strong little cry and my husband come around the curtain with my little man.
I looked at Ian and said “he’s a Noah right?! It suits him” and Ian nodded with a softness in his eyes “yes, it suits him”.
I needed to see the hair, to confirm what everyone had told me, those little copper locks made my smile.
After being wheeled back upstairs and soaking in those newborn snuggles my parents brought Evelyn by to meet her little brother.
It was a quiet moment or two as we tried to help her process baby was no longer inside of mommy. This was baby brother.
After they left and we ate our sushi the room felt calm and warm. It was time to adjust to the newborn unpredictable clock.
The next day I had lots of the ‘extras’ detached, happy to be untethered to an IV or a catheter I had my first shower and felt the freedom of walking around my room, however slow that was.
Noah had his first bath as well and Ian and I giggled as the fall sun spilled in through our window and lit up his copper hair. A small flip of hair at the front of his hairline made Ian say “oh my god he is me”
Our little tin tin look-a-like.
Later that night when I felt adjusted and ready Ian went home to make sure Evy felt her routines were still there and they snuggled watching Bluey and reheated a freezer meal I had prepped in my nesting frenzy.
I photographed the flowers my parents and Ian had bought for me in the hospital with a lovely card, Noah’s wooden birth announcement piece, and his very first hat.
I also remembered how the last time Ian left the second night I felt overwhelmed and overcome by the transition of becoming a mother. So I made sure my nest was set with blankets and pillows, snacks and such, with my baby boy within reach.
I’m glad I had all those things because Noah clusterfed for almost 3 hours straight. Until an Angel nurse named Maria came in and swaddled him so perfectly he slept from 2:30am to 6am and I woke up refreshed and full of love and grace for this new day.
They discharged me right before lunch and Ian made sure everything was ready for us to come home.
My mom helped us photograph this departure and carry our belongings to the car.
Later that afternoon when Evy came home from Daycare she booked it up our stairs so fast the moment she heard my voice.
Her curiosity and careful cuddles were just what my mama heart needed. She may have a lot still to learn on how to be safe with baby, but she’s genuinely happy he’s here.