Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And then, we were four...

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Little Pau
  • Little Pau

The Stats

Paulo Ulises Arreaza was born on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 10:22 a.m. He weighed 7 lbs 15 oz and measured 21.5 inches. We call him Pau.

The Details

I started having contractions sometime after midnight, but I'd been contracting on and off for days so I didn't make a big deal of it. I went to bed and tried to sleep through intermittent pain until around 4:30 a.m., when I realized the pain was consistent and coming every five minutes or so - it was time.

I woke up Tony, who woke up my mom and called his sister so that she could come stay with Luki. He also sent a few text messages to some key folks and, of course, updated his Facebook status.

We got to the hospital by 6 a.m. and the contractions were about three minutes apart. My nurse midwife checked my cervix and saw I was seven centimeters dilated. "Looks like you're going to have a baby this morning," she said. "You think he'll be here by noon?" I asked. "I think he'll be here by 10," she answered.

I labored quietly, with my eyes closed most of the time. I stayed in bed, despite being offered a Jacuzzi tub and a birthing ball and not being connected to an IV so that I could walk around if I wanted to. I just wanted to plow through the pain, I didn't want to think about ways to ease it. It was there, it was intense, and I just had to get through it.

At around 10 a.m., the midwife told me I was fully dilated. My water had not broken yet, but one big push took care of that. Three more big pushes, and he was here.

The inevitable comparisons: Luki v. Pau

The moment I saw him I thought, "He is so tiny! Much smaller than Luki was when he was born." In actuality, Pau was ten ounces heavier and an inch and a half longer than newborn Luki. It's funny how quickly we forget how tiny they once were.

They look remarkably alike and we've been doing side by side comparisons of Pau with Luki's baby pictures. They were both born on a Thursday. They were both inside my uterus for 40 weeks and three days, exactly. They both pooped and peed on us by the time they were 48 hours old.

Still, within minutes of Pau's arrival I began to notice differences. Luki was born screaming, bright-eyed, ready to nurse; Pau was quiet, pensive, he kept his eyes closed, tested the waters before diving into this big deep world. I wonder if they'll stay this way. I wonder if I'll end up with an Odd Couple of brothers. I can hear them now, upstairs, arguing because Luki's playing the drums too loudly while Pau's trying to study for a test that's not until next week.

  • Brothers

During the most intense moments of labor all I would think about was Luki's face, his big smile and bright eyes. I wanted to let Pau know that there was a magical little boy waiting for him out in the world, I wanted to remember that Pau was the greatest gift I could ever give Luki. And that's what helped me get through it, the knowledge that I wasn't about to just become the mother of two sons, but also - and most importantly - of two brothers.

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