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Caleb’s Story

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This  post is a long time overdue. You’ve seen his photos, but it’s time that you get filled in with details that led up to and right after Caleb joined our family on September 30th.

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Early in the morning on September 29th Elaine said that she began experiencing mild contractions. I’ll speak for myself  but I’d bet that we both began thinking of the next few giant life steps that were coming a week quicker than expected. You see we didn’t have the baby’s bed set up, our hospital bag wasn’t packed, the freezer could still hold more advance food, heck… we didn’t even have a name chosen yet. The deadline was approaching on all of these projects and they all came to the front of the queue at the same time.

IMG_6859In honor of Mason’s birth story, Elaine suggested that we make waffles for breakfast. It was a great suggestion that helped quiet my mind and focus on the present moment (as much as possible). Unfortunately our waffles didn’t turn out so hot. It’s a major side story, but we’ve had issues with our waffles staying together while cooking and not sticking to the grill. The waffles turned out to be more like waffle shavings so the batter then became pancakes. Regardless of the shape and size they tasted great and were enjoyed by all.

The contractions held tight for the rest of the morning and we began double timing the nesting projects. A call was also placed to Elaine’s parents to see if they could come to Santa Barbara earlier than expected. Thankfully they were able and could help care for Mason and Ruby if we had to go the hospital sooner that expected. At the same time I reached out to work and commitments I made for the week and rescheduled as much as possible.

That afternoon the contractions began to quiet in frequency and pain level. We breathed a sigh of relief but than began to wonder… was that a false alarm or was it a warning that our baby was coming soon?

We decided to go out for an early dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Sojourners. It may have been unspoken, but I think there was a moment that we looked at each other and recognized that this would be our last meal with just the three of us. It was a great long dinner filled with quite moments, future planning, and reflection. Mason was a gem and had fun playing with his toys, a giant cup of apple juice, and some pre-birthday pie.

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At Mason’s bedtime we kissed him good night and began to unwind from a long day. Because the contractions had basically disappeared we took the night off from more projects. No extra cooking, packing, laundry, organizing or anything of that productive nature. I went to bed around 10pm fully expecting to go into work the following morning. We had some calm before the we went into action.

I don’t remember the exact time, but around 1:30am Elaine woke me up with intense contractions about 5 minutes apart. Quickly we began to document the contractions, pack bags, and get the necessitates together. We held tight and went to the hospital as soon as Ken and Ida made it to our house a little before 4am.

When we got to the ER Elaine requested a wheelchair and was pushed into the new Labor and Delivery part of the hospital. This was quite a different experience from two year prior… when Elaine was skipping down the hall much in the style of Fred Astaire.  The pain was increasing with each contractions and it wasn’t until the first nurse checked Elaine’s cervix that they got into action… she was 5cm {Elaine is convinced that she was 7cm but to be honest I don’t remember … So I’ll take her word}. She went immediately into the delivery room and was finally able to breathe and rest once her epiderral arrived.

Elaine was a champ the entire time but really began to shine as the baby came closer. In between pushes she was making small talk with the nurses and doctor, cracking jokes, and was very at ease with her breathing. Looking back it felt like she was only pushing for 30 minutes but I bet it was closer to an hour… and our baby was born at 10:09am.

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It is easy to get caught up in each step of pregnancy and delivery process but at that moment it all came together. He was born. He was healthy. He was safe. He was ours. The entire thing is amazing and I hope to never forget the sights, sounds, and feelings associate with it.

Some of the next steps were easy… rest. Some were hard… decide on a final name. Elaine and I have had an unofficial list of names for a few weeks but there were no clear winner. One day it would be “this one” and the next it would be “that one” and then our opinions would switch. It was never a source of contention between the two of us- we had good a few names that we both liked and picture using. You’ll remember that Mason only liked the name Lucas. He was set on the name and regardless of the situation his opinion never wavered. We used his opinion and came up with… Caleb Lucas.

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After two nights in the hospital we were able to come home and celebrate Mason’s 2nd birthday. (Unbelivable how that happened so fast!) It was great to finally be in our own space and start adjusting to life with a toddler and a newborn. A BIG thank you to friends and family for your help with the transition. The companionship, meals, cleaning, and baby sitting have been crucial in our sanity and welfare.

Welcome to the family Caleb.

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One response »

  1. Grandma and Grandpa Watson

    Thanks for the longer version of the story Mark. And there were pictures that we hadn’t seen yet. I’m sure it seems like it was all so very long ago for you two and it hasn’t even been 2 months. Love, Mom

    Reply

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