Last Tuesday marked my original due date and Rigby's 16th day of life. Despite having to endure labor contractions, we feel so lucky that Rigby chose his own birthday and, particularly, that he chose to arrive early. My last weeks of pregnancy were pretty uncomfortable. As expected, the days are slipping past so quickly; I wanted to capture some memories, along with many photos, of course, of Rigby's first few weeks of life.
I unexpectedly went into labor at 4:00 in the morning of April 26th. Jack, quite thankfully, was spending the night out at a dear friend's house so despite not being able to tell him in person that his little brother was coming, we knew he would be well taken care of which eased our worries for him. We got ourselves and things ready (since I had a c-section scheduled for May 5th, we had not yet packed our hospital bags or even installed the infant car seat!) and headed to the hospital around 8:30am. After being monitored and checked in triage for about an hour or so and learning (with great joy and relief) that my OB, Dr. Flum, was the OB on call that day, I started being prepped for Rigby's birthday!
Rigby arrived at 11:31am on Sunday, April 26th. To say that the actual c-section was as different as night and day when compared to Jack's isn't quite doing it justice. It was strangely peaceful in the OR and I was completely pain free. The whole surgery was brief. They were able to pull Rigby's head out without any trouble (even though his eyes and face were bruised to a bluish-purple like he was working really hard to try to push his way out), but his shoulders were wedged in pretty tight and they all commented that he was like a little line backer. When he was finally pulled out, he let us all hear how well his lungs were developed and when he gets mad, he still has this same very loud cry! When they showed him to us, our tears started flowing as we squeezed each other's hands a bit tighter. There is nothing quite like meeting your babe for the first time.
I only had to wait a few minutes until I was able to hold him skin to skin, and I just drank in that newborn smell while falling in love as his eyes met mine and he peered up at me as if he were thinking, "Oh, there you are! I've been anxious to meet you, Mama". I was moved from the OR to the recovery room where we stayed for 2 hours under the care of a wonderful nurse, Allison. After recovery, I was moved down to the 4th floor, which became our base for the next two days and nights.
Shortly after being settled into the room, Jack was brought up to the hospital to meet his little brother. The meeting was such a sweet exchange between brothers that I hope was the beginning of a close lifetime bond between Jack and Rigby. I was holding Rigby in the bed as I was still unable to get up and Jack came right over to snuggle with us and then requested to hold Rigby himself. The love he felt immediately for his brother was so touching as he showered him with kisses and snuggles. Jack came back for a visit on night 2 and this time he ate his dinner with us before returning to another dear friend's house for a 2 night sleepover. So thankful for such a wonderful community!
We were discharged on Tuesday, a week before Rigby's scheduled arrival, and we enjoyed a Thai food lunch with a beer to celebrate our homecoming. David picked Jack up from school that afternoon and we kicked off our life as a family of four. Jack has had some trouble adjusting to his role as big brother, but with every day, things seem to be getting a little better. And, despite, some unusually mean behaviors towards us which drives this hormonal Mama to near daily sobs, he has shown nothing but adoration towards Rigby and is always wanting to be close and to help. We have taken extra care to carve out some special activities for him like an ice cream outing and to uphold some of our typical routines like bedtime and morning book reading and drawing, but I know he is not so fond of Rigby being in my lap so often for nursing and the undeniable changes that have impacted his world, for good and bad.
After a few days of just the four of us, our visitors began to arrive. First, came my Mom and Dad along with my Aunt Diane and Uncle Wayne. We are so appreciative of my parents for agreeing to spend their summer here with us. It's been so nice to be able to do the simple things like take a shower every day, to have help with errand running and meals, to have a clean kitchen at the end of the day, and, most importantly, to have their company. Next, my sister arrived for nearly a week visit. And, Mother's Day weekend, brought the arrival of my wonderful sister-in-law, Martha. Having such great visitors was a treat for all of us, particularly for Jack.
So far Rigby is a dreamy newborn. He nurses well, when I can keep him awake, and he is sleeping so well swaddled in his crib at night that we keep pinching ourselves and waiting for the day when he really wakes up and decides that he no longer likes sleeping or his crib!
Rigby Joseph is now 3 weeks old and growing even faster than the weeds in our garden which we are currently not tending since we are busy tending to him. He entered this world at 6 lbs and 11.2 oz and lost down to 5 lbs and 15 oz before his weight regain began. Now he weighs more than he did at birth.
He's had a busy two weeks and checked off a lot of "firsts" for being such a little guy...he has been to his first doctor visit (twice, actually), his first tee ball game x 2, swim lesson x 2, a trip to a brewery and several meals at a restaurant, a stroller walk, Trader Joe's shopping, his first holiday celebrations - both Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day, and his first picnic. The second child always achieves these firsts much sooner given life's structure, I presume.
And, he has already earned several nicknames: Rig, Rigo, Rigster, Moonshine, and Rig-a-ma-roll.
Oh, how all of our lives have changed in two weeks! I still have trouble believing that I actually get to kiss and hold and mother these two beautiful boys. I feel like the luckiest Mama, especially, since I have the most amazing life partner to share it all with. These boys have a great Dada.
Welcome to the world baby Rigby...we love you so!