On December 21, 2015, Corey and I welcomed our son, Xavier Thomas, into the world! He was 3 weeks early, but strong and healthy. If you have been following my pregnancy journey, you will remember that I was having some signs of early labor starting at 32 weeks and was put on partial bedrest. I had a few monitoring sessions, steroid injections (for baby’s lungs), and then I had high blood pressure for the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy, which added more concern to the mix.
So, on December 20th, I sang in the cantata at church (sitting down of course!) and then went back home to resume my position on the couch. Meanwhile, Corey went to see the new Star Wars movie that afternoon. When he returned home, I told him that I had been having some cramps, but I wasn’t too concerned since that tends to happen late in pregnancy. However, by 11:00 that night, they were stronger and coming at intervals…so I waited them out until 2:00 am when I decided to call the doctor on call who wasn’t too concerned unless they were 5-7 minutes apart. Then, I managed to fall asleep until 8:15 that morning! But when I woke up, I realized that I was probably going into labor and called the doctor’s office. We packed up our car, hospital bags and car seat in tow, and drove the hour to the hospital. Along the way, I knew without a doubt that I was having contractions. When I was examined by the nurse practitioner, her response was, “I’m surprised that you’re not in more pain than what you’re telling me because you are dilated 5 cm and I can see hair!” So…off we went to labor and delivery to prepare to have our baby! I had to laugh at the fact that they were wheeling me down the hall in this huge wheelchair with one of those waterproof pads under me because they were worried that my water was going to break! My mom arrived a short while later. I received an epidural (woo hoo!) and spent that part of labor watching Christmas Vacation and Sex and the City DVDs. Finally, around 8:00 pm, I started to push…and this lasted for over 3 hours (ouch!!!) until finally, little man made his appearance at 11:33 pm! Corey, my mom, and my dad were there with me the whole time, coaching me and encouraging me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without them!
The whole thing was and is so surreal. This whole bringing new life into the world thing is simultaneously the most challenging and beautiful thing there is. So is parenting, as I have discovered over the course of these 2 weeks. Being a new mom/parent has its share of ups and downs, frustrations, exhaustion, and times of feeling inadequate, yet there are many beautiful moments, laughter, cute baby sounds and faces, and moments of sheer happiness mixed in between. There are TONS of diapers, late nights, odd hours, and lots of Netflix. I have been more emotional than I have ever been, and tears (both happy and frustrated ones!) have been a normal part of every day life over these past few weeks since our son has entered our life. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this new mom thing is easy or all sunshine and roses. But do listen to those who tell you that it gets easier and it gets better. And love is what keeps you going.
Corey has been an amazing father and husband to Xavier and to me. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in all of this. I don’t know what I would do without him! My parents have also been a huge support, as well as my sister (all the way in CA!) We also have appreciated the support from my congregation in the form of meals, cards, thoughtful emails, and phone calls. I also have some great friends who have called to check in on us and have offered a listening ear.
Welcome to our world, little Xavier. We love you!