Jack is a family name on Laura’s side, and Oliver is a family name on Keith’s side. You may call him Jack, Jack Oliver, the little peanut, or the best baby in the world, which we believe he tries quite earnestly to be.
Late on May 9, I suspected that my water may have broken, but was unsure. I was, however, grateful to have missed out on any dramatic, Hollywood water-breaking events I had been fearing for weeks, and which usually involved some sort of nightmare on the Boston subway. I went to sleep. On the morning of May 10, we went in to see our doctor, who ran a test to determine whether or not the membranes had indeed ruptured. She left the room briefly. Keith and I chatted casually about work, and made jokes about funny things in the exam room. She returned, smiling. ”Well,” she said, “How would you like to have a baby TODAY?” Keith and I both said, “What? Really?” He was laughing nervously. I started shaking and grinning like a fool. We were both in shock.
We went home and grabbed our bags. We were admitted into the hospital. I was given drugs to initiate dilation and contractions, and over the next 18 hours, we waited. NOTHING happened. It seemed our little guy was quite content where he was and in no particular hurry. We took pictures of the labour and delivery room, and texted friends. We had Subway for dinner and watched Glee. It was ridiculously uneventful.
Uneventful, that is, until approximately 3pm the following day. All of a sudden, the pitocin that had been started and gradually increased at regular intervals for what seemed like FOREVER finally decided to work. I was hit with powerful contractions, one on top of the other. Keith was an incredible coach through them, as I knew he’d be, and reminded me of all the coping techniques we had learned in JaLynn’s wonderful natural childbirth class. After such a long road, though, I accepted an epidural, which turned out to have been placed in perfect time. Immediately after anesthesia left the room, the contractions became even stronger, little Jack’s heart rate began to fall, and a stat c-section was called.
Being wheeled down the hallway, I actually remember feeling peaceful and somehow relaxed, knowing that everything would go quickly from here. Our nurses and doctors were phenomenal, and before we knew it, Keith was cutting the ‘ceremonial’ cord, and saying over and over again to me, “He’s just so beautiful.” And he was.
Our nurse, Julie, brought him over as soon as possible so I could meet him, and for a second, he clutched two of my fingers. Then Keith brought him back for our first time together as a family.
What followed were four incredible days in the Center for Women and Newborns at Brigham and Women’s, and how I now know why this is one of the top-rated hospitals in the country. Our nurses were absolutely magnificent: Thank you Julie, Chris, Sandra, Marian, and everyone else. They took care of me, Keith and Jack perfectly, almost like pseudo-mothers, and with no less of the care than my own mother would have taken had she been able to make the surprise delivery. They taught us all the skills we needed. Our pediatrician himself walked Keith through his first (and very dramatically full) diaper change, and Keith has been a pro ever since. A lactation consultant saved the day with great tips and tricks when the little guy was losing a bit too much weight, and I’m happy to report that he’s nursing like a champion and he is back up to his birthweight of 7 pounds now, one week later!
We’re settling in at home, and I am overwhelmed and overjoyed at each new day getting to know little Jack Oliver. He seems earnest, almost like he’s trying to please us. He cries little, and usually stops when you kiss the tip of his nose (and feed him dinner). He tells me that he’s looking forward to Mom and Baby Yoga with Celeste, following the great times we had in her prenatal yoga class. I’m also looking forward to starting my Great Beginnings session soon, and meeting all Jack’s future little friends in Brookline. Most of all, as new Boston transplants, we miss everyone at home, but Isis has been a Mecca of support and friendship and I am grateful to have found it. Best to everyone!
Laura, mom to Jack Oliver