Tippett Jefferson Stafford arrived Wednesday, June 16 at 5:40pm. He was 7lbs. 6 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long. Other than that he is just PERFECT!
On Monday, Jun 14 we went for my 39 week appt. with Dr. Anya. I had noticed a slight decrease in movement, but convinced myself it was normal due to his cramped quarters. However, I brought it up for reassurance with Dr. Anya. She suggested a Non-Stress Test and we sat hooked up to the monitors for 30 minutes in the office. It was exciting to know I was already having small contractions on my own, but they did not get a clear reading of his heart rate and movement, so we went to Labor & Delivery at Rex for a longer NST. Tipp responded well there with a little ice water and sugary popsicle so we were sent home. Dr. Gunter, the doctor on call wanted us to come back Wednesday for another NST. We were not at all prepared as Ben had left his cell phone at home and I did not have any numbers for his parents on my phone. I finally had my bag packed, but left it at home.
I was already working from home and getting quiet bored waiting on Tipp’s arrival. On Tuesday evening I went to my mom’s house for dinner and a long 2 mile walk to hopefully get things moving along. We also made plans to get a pedicure Wednesday evening and then eggplant parmesan from Daniel’s for dinner as it supposedly can help start labor.
Prior to Wednesday I was not really Nesting, but I spent the morning deep cleaning our stove and it suddenly dawned on me maybe I’ll go into labor Wednesday night.
At 2:45pm we headed to our appointment and spent 30 minutes on the monitors. Other than Tipp’s hiccups I did not experience any movement and his heart rate remained steady around 146. Dr. Gunter seemed a little concerned that it was a “perfect” test and when it comes to babies he wanted perfect. They got us an appointment at Duke Perinatal immediately for a Bio-Physical Profile.
We walked into ultrasound at 3:45pm. Everything on the ultrasound looked great - fluid levels were good, all of his organs were great, and the ultrasound tech estimated he was around 8 lbs. She left the room and said the Dr. would be in shortly. Two minutes later the tech returned and said we should head over to Rex and they were expecting us. She also added I should not eat or drink anything just in case they wanted to admit me. My first thought was “Oh wow – this baby might be born late tonight or early tomorrow morning” And slightly worried about an induction as opposed to going into labor naturally. Again we did not bring our bags to the doctor’s appt.
At 4:10 we walked into Labor and Delivery triage. I was gowned up and hooked up to the monitors again just as we had spent the afternoon 2 days ago. Within a few minutes Dr. Placide came to talk and they heard from Duke, but only that Tipp had scored a 4 out of 8 on the BPP and they wanted at least a 6. He was concerned it could take days to induce me since I was not dilated so he recommended a c-section. Still, I was calm and thought we would schedule it for a few hours from now when the OR would be available.
In between people coming in to talk to us I was able to call my parents to let them know what was going on. The anesthesiologist came in to discuss the spinal and risks while I had a nurse putting in an IV and another nurse taking off my jewelry. I was instructed to take out my contacts and I suddenly lost it realizing the c-section was happening faster than we had planned and there was no time for Ben to go home and get my bag. I am blind without my contacts and I knew it would be hours before I’d be able to SEE my baby. Never mind we did not have our camera and I was upset we would miss those first photos of his daddy holding him, being weighed and getting his first bath.
Our nurse Helen, was amazing and could read me like a book. She knew I was overwhelmed! Dr. Placide came back in and said the OR was ready and it would be an hour before my initial blood results would be back from the lab and a spinal was not an option. I was going to be under general anesthesia. Part of me was relieved since I was very anxious about being awake for the surgery, but the other part knew the consequences of being groggy and a longer time in recovery without Tipp. Luckily, the lab expedited the results and they determined I was able to get the spinal.
Next thing I know I’m being wheeled to the OR and Ben gave me a kiss as he went to get his scrubs on. They prepped me and I sat on the OR table to get my spinal – pretty terrified that a huge needle was going into my spinal column. I really surprised myself and remembered to use the relaxation techniques we learned in our birth classes. The spinal was in place within 2 minutes and by the time they got me lay back down my legs were already going numb.
Everyone finished their preparations while the nurse anesthetist stayed with me and explained the entire surgery and what was going on. I thought they were still getting set up when I heard suction and knew they had already started. I was pretty relieved knowing the incision was already made and I had not felt a thing. Ben was brought in and sat by my head. I was told to prepare for some pressure and then one more round of pressure – then we heard the sweetest sound – Tipp’s cries, then our cries of joy. Someone said 5:40, although I had no concept of time and then I heard "strawberry blonde hair.” Our son was born.
Recovery was a bit of a blur. It took a good 30-40 minutes to get me put back together. I remember hearing Dr. Placide and an OR Tech making small talk and then discussing the new dissolvable staples they were using. I was wheeled to recovery where I met up with Ben an d Tipp. I had given Ben my Iphone to get a few non-professional pictures of Tipp and was finally able to hold the pictures close enough to see our son. Once Tipp was given his first bath where he was still crying, he was handing to me to hold him – it was amazing – the moment I had waited for and I could finally comfort him!
We were finally moved to a post-partum room on the east side of the hospital since the Birth Center was full. At 8pm I was able to nurse Tipp and at 8:45pm our family was brought back to meet their newest grandson and nephew. My mom had gone to our house to get our bags and I finally put on my glasses to officially see my baby…he was perfect and absolutely gorgeous. We are so in love!
Our first night was a blur (as were the first few days now), but one of my favorite moments was finally cuddling and taking an early morning nap with my son the next morning. I was a little sad we never got the initial bonding time right after his delivery, but this moment made up for it!
Ben has been absolutely amazing and jumped right into fatherhood. He even took over the first diaper change and has become a master at diapers and swaddling. I always knew he would be a great father. We shared a special moment the night before we were discharged. We had sent Tipp to the nursery to get a few hours of sleep and Ben gave me a beautiful David Yurman pearl and diamond ring as a commitment to Tipp and our family.
For the next two days we had a ton of visitors stopping by to see us. On Saturday, June 19, Tipp’s due date we were discharged and could not wait to get home. Tipp loved his car seat and slept the entire ride home. We were greeted with a huge “Stork” announcing our bundle of joy from my brother and sister in law as well as a huge blue bow on our mailbox from my parents.
We finally had our son home after looking forward to this day for over a year.
Right now, Tipp is an excellent sleeper, especially at night. We are working really hard on nursing and hopefully within the next week things will start clicking. He has been to the doctor twice for his initial check up and his weight was 6 lbs 13 oz. Our second appointment was with the lactation specialist and he had gained weight back up to 7 lbs even. We have even made several outings to Target, Panera Bread and Babies R Us.
Tipp has already brought so much joy into our lives and we are so happy to finally have him here with us. We are excited to watch him grow and change over the next few weeks, months and years. I feel like he is already changing and growing in just the 10 days we’ve had him!
I’m starting to use our Shutterfly page since we have so many wonderful photos to share. Enjoy all the pictures we are taking as we watch Tipp grow.