The last YEAR has just flown by! Adding a fifth child to the family has been pretty smooth, but busy! That’s why I’m just finally getting a chance to write down Croix’s birth story.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, adding a fifth kid to the family brings out all of the crazy questions from everyone around you. But to set the record straight, Mark and I WANT to have a big family. We also WANT to have kids close in age. Because we did not get married until we were in our 30’s and we knew we wanted a big family, we’ve just been popping kids out one after another because we don’t have the luxury of lots of time to space them out. So, after each baby is born, we do not go on any birth control. I exclusively breastfeed, so it takes about 6 months for my fertility to come back, and then usually another 5-7 months until we are able to get pregnant again. So, we had baby number 4 (Callum) in October 2016 and found out we were pregnant with baby number 5 in September 2017.
So back to Croix’s story. When I found out I was pregnant with him in September 2017, I was so excited to be back on the pregnancy journey. All of my pregnancies are easy, so I was looking forward to carrying this new life and bringing another beautiful baby into the world. I was also looking forward to eating Cheeto’s whenever I wanted again! Since I was going to be 35 when the baby was born, I was in a new category called “Geriatric Pregnancy” or “Advanced Maternal Age”. WTF? 35 is like the new 25 right? I’m not geriatric, you are! Anyway, being a pregnant old person gave us the opportunity to do a blood test early on to check for any issues with the baby, and to find out the sex of the baby early! We talked about it for about 10 seconds, and then decided that we’d forego the early testing. We were going to love the baby no matter what so we chose to skip that step.
It was another LONG 9 weeks until the fetal screening ultrasound where we would find out if our little Cheeto (this is what we affectionately called the baby until he was born) was a boy or a girl. Of course we also wanted to make sure he was healthy and growing properly, but lets face it, the point of those 20 week ultrasounds is to find out the gender, right? I just had 2 boys, so I was hoping for a girl (shh, don’t tell Croix). As the ultrasound tech was moving around on my belly, I was so nervous. I was trying to prepare myself for either possibility, and knew I’d love the baby no matter what, but I had my fingers and toes crossed for a girl. Then I saw it. A giant penis. Seriously folks, it was as if the power that be were giving me a big F-U. Not only was I not having a girl, but the baby was totally spread eagle with his weiner in clear site. He was not giving me any hope that maybe I’d be surprised that he was actually a girl when he came into this world. And so, I started crying. 3 boys in a row. 3 boys within 3 years.
I let myself sulk for about 24 hours, and then I put that in the past and focused on the fact that I was having a beautiful baby boy! Boys love their mamas, so I had that. AND, we had so much boy stuff out and ready to go that we didn’t even need to prep much! Woo hoo! This was going to be awesome!
The rest of the pregnancy was easy, and I found out that since I was an old pregnant person, I had the option of scheduling an induction! Now, I’m the type of person that likes the universe to guide how things go, and at first I wanted to just let the baby come naturally. Then I realized that I have 4 OTHER KIDS to plan all the logistics for when it was time to have the baby, and I was like Hell No! I am totally going to get induced and take a little bit of stress away from this whole situation. Mark and I (and the doctor decided on a May 24th induction date, just slightly before the May 29th due date.
On May 24th, we dropped all the kids off at school, had a little “mommy/daddy time” (wink wink), and spent some time together at home before we had to go in to our 1pm induction.
INSERT RECORD SCRATCH
At 10am, I got a call that too many people were having babies that day and I needed to reschedule my induction for the 25th! I was all psyched up to have a baby. Now what? I felt so disappointed. Obviously, it was just one more day, but it was like someone moved Christmas to December 26th.
So the new birth date was May 25th! This time we had to be at the hospital in the morning, so we dropped the kids off at school and headed straight there. I love being induced because it’s like you are checking into a hotel stay. We casually sauntered to the front desk with our suitcase, they told us to go to the 4th floor, we waited for our room to be ready, then we got in and got cozy. They started me on some Pitocin and checked on me every 30 minutes or so. Eventually, I got an epidural once the contractions started to be a bit much, and they broke my water. I was super comfy, and we were trying to figure out what to watch on TV while we waited for my body to do its thing.
This is when Mark started to become the most annoying husband in the world. So here I was, after enduring some intense labor pain, and then getting a needle shoved in my back, feeling like I had to keep asking Mark if HE was ok. He was grunting because he was uncomfortable in his chair. He kept mentioning how hungry he was, and asked if I could hear his stomach rumbling. He was getting fidgety and kept asking me questions about the tv show that was on. And then, he wouldn’t stop yawning. At this point I was channeling all of my energy into my cervix, hoping it would open and he baby would come out so my annoying husband would just stop being so annoying.
Speaking of my cervix opening, it actually got stuck. It was time for baby to come, but because of a small surgery I had on my cervix because of a cancer scare a few years ago, there was some scar tissue that kept it from fully opening. This was new. So, as my lovely nurse Lauren noticed this was happening, she literally stuck her hands up my hoo-haa to massage the little scar tissue out so the baby could be born. Delivery nurses should be paid like a million dollars a year for all they do (especially helping with that first after birth pee!).
Once that little setback was taken care of, I pushed through two contractions and Croix Douglas Cowen was born. The nurses kept talking about what a big boy he was at 8 lbs 13 oz. Mark and I looked at each other and laughed. He was the runt of our family! The two other boys were 9 lbs 6 oz and 9 lbs 9 oz, so Croix seemed so small! AND he was blonde! I had a beautiful, blonde haired baby boy and he has been such a blessing to our family.
We were discharged right about 24 hours after Croix was born, and reality hit us as we were driving home. We have 5 kids. Holy shit.