Beckham Charles Hammer was born at 1:40 pm on Friday, August 22nd.
we cannot get enough of him! all i want to do all day every day is hold him and love him. he's the sweetest little baby, hardly ever cries (knock on wood?) loves to sleep, and loves to cuddle. we love our baby boy and are so blessed!
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it was a wednesday and we had a dr. appointment that day. i'd been having mild cramping and some back pain up to that point, but i didn't think much of it. back pain was kind of my thing. i wasn't expecting much at the appointment, but lo and behold, 2cm dilated 90% effaced. woohoo!! my dr. reminded me that because it was my first, i could go into labor soon or way later. either way, he said, because of where i was already it was going to be an "easier than average labor." eek! i was so excited that i nearly jumped off the table.
the next day (thursday) i was still crampy. but at least i knew what was going on! so i hung around the house, got work done, and sat on the glorious exercise ball (bless that ball. bless it to high heaven.) around 8 that night, i was getting more and more uncomfortable. i was really in the mood for brownies, so we made some. my mom so rightly named them "labor brownies" because two for two she made them for her friends and they went into labor after eating them. well now she's three for three because of me.
i noticed that the back pain i'd get every so often was turning into 20mins apart. i thought okay these have to be contractions. so i downloaded an app that timed contractions, and it was! 20 mins apart and getting closer together. from around 11pm to 1am they were roughly 8 minutes apart but not getting any closer together. nick always falls asleep before i do, so sometimes i'll text him so when he wakes up for work he'll get my message before he leaves. so i sent him a text:
"Hi! Wake me up before you go and make sure I'm okay. I've been having contractions, like intense ones, 8 mins apart for almost 2 hours. (It's 1am right now.) but I don't expect it to get much worse overnight... just in case I can sleep through them wake me up and we'll see how I'm doing. I love you!"
weird how only 12 hours after i sent that message we'd have our baby in our arms!
At 2am I woke him up and asked Nick for a blessing. and let me tell you, it was the most beautiful blessing i've ever been given! i felt such peace afterwards, and even got some sleep! nick was so sweet and stayed up with me and helped me breathe through the contractions. when he fell asleep, i woke up and started timing them again for another hour and trying to sleep as much as i could. an hour and a half passed and contractions were 5 minutes apart and getting closer together. so i told nick i was going to hop in the shower just in case this was it. and while in the shower, i decided that we were definitely going to the hospital because, wow.
there were so many emotions! i was elated, then nervous, then super excited, then demanding that nick hurry up and get in the car. (and i only yelled once!) nick was the typical cute husband running around getting things ready to go and make the house welcoming for the baby. it was cute when i wasn't in pain ;) we finally got to the hospital around 7:40am Friday morning. we walked into labor & delivery and i said, "i think i'm in labor. this is my first, so i'm not sure but i wanted to get things checked out."
so we get into the room, put on the gown and the nurse checks me. "oh wow." i was 6cm dilated and 99% effaced. holy moly! (she later told me that she was preparing to send me home before she checked me because of how calm and collected i was. that made me feel like a champ. Nick calls me a birthing machine, haha!) so we got checked in and prepped, i called my mom to let her know that this was really it and she better start driving!
i'd been preparing to have a natural birth and do hypnobirthing. so far so good, and labor was moving right along. i got into the jetted tub because things were getting more intense. it was at that point that my legs could not stop shaking and i was getting nervous. apparently the baby was pressed right against the nerves in my tailbone, and i literally could not control my legs. so much so that i couldn't rest in between contractions, and by the time a contraction came around i felt like i couldn't handle it. i hadn't prepared for this.
i needed to make a decision. they told me that at 8cm i could no longer get an epidural. so i asked for one, which was good because when they checked right after i asked i was at 7cm. so my legs are shaking, i'm trying to hold it together just a bit longer, and i get the epidural. (almost passed out, like oxygen mask and everything.) but afterwards. oh sweet sugar it was the most calming feeling. my legs finally stopped twitching and everything felt amazing. nick even took a break to shave so his face would be "snuggly" for the baby ;)
they checked me an hour later and i was still at 7cm. the epidural was slowing things down. bummer. they suggested breaking my water and starting me on pitocin (two big things i didn't want during labor) and i asked if we could wait an hour and if things hadn't progressed we could break my water.
well i napped and breathed through the contractions, and an hour later i was at 9cm! the nurse goes "okay i'll come back in an hour and we'll start pushing!" oh man oh man, this was it!
and my mom showed up! it was a good thing that i got the epidural for more than one reason. if i hadn't, i probably would have had the baby before my mom got into town. it was so nice to have her there with me! not only was i able to share the experience with her, but she took over as photographer. i'm so grateful that i have these images as a reminder of everything that happened.
at 1pm everyone came in for the delivery. my regular OB was out of town that day, but the doctor who delivered was exceptional so i was okay with it. my water hadn't broken on its own, actually it looked like a water balloon coming out of me. tmi? whatever, i thought it was weirdly hilarious. a little poke and a prod and it finally broke. they asked if i wanted a mirror so i could see what was happening, and originally i didn't want one but i said yes. and it was SO COOL. i could see a head of hair! nick helped hold my legs, and after 30 minutes of pushing, out pops this little head. i was so impatient because the dr. had me stop pushing so he could suction out the nose and ears and he let nick cut the umbilical cord because it looked like it was wrapped around the neck (it wasn't), but one swift push later and out comes baby.
"it's a boy!" nick said, and i started bawling. of course it was! it just had to be!
they placed him right on my chest. my sweet boy! he was mine. i did it! i birthed a baby! and it was the sweetest most amazing experience i'd ever had. nick got to cut the cord again (i mean who gets to do that?) and Beckham cried for a second and then he was quiet and content. i got to hold him for awhile before they took him over to weigh him. 6 pounds 2 oz and 19 inches of sweet baby.
and then he was all ours. he just looked into our eyes and i couldn't stop crying. there was so much love in the room! this was the spirit that for 9 months lived and grew inside of me, loved me, and encouraged me. he was finally in my arms. he was so alert and his eyes were wide open. i don't think i'll ever get tired of looking at his sweet face or forget that precious moment.
we were so blessed to have such a great labor & birth, and come out with everyone happy and healthy. i couldn't have done it without nick either. he was so so supportive the entire time. after i had my fill i gave the baby to nick, and i cried again. seeing him as a dad is the best thing of my life so far; he loves Beckham and is so excited to have a baby him to hang out with and teach. he is also the diaper changing king. i love my boys more than i ever thought possible.
we're a family. my family. mommy, daddy, and baby Beckham. ❤