harvey penn.

harvey penn petersen
may 28, 2017
7 lb. 7 oz., 20.5"

harvey's birth story is waaaaay down, below all the photos from his first 24 hours...
harvey’s birth story 

(written 6/2/17)

it’s 75 degrees outsite, elle is at school, jude is on his bed watching at least his 4th hour of who knows what on the iPad in the tent mike made him. mike is resting on the couch, and harvey is miraculously sleeping in his crib. my eyes are heavy and my contacts are dry. i sit here for the 4th time today wondering who it is that actually gets to “nap when your baby naps-” i don’t think i ever have in 7 years. i’m exhausted, hormonal, overwhelmed, but so happy. i can’t believe how perfect harvey is, and what a perfect addition he’s been to complete our family. he’s incredibly beautiful, sweet, and his presence has been such a relief to my soul. i feel like the knowledge that i’ll never have this again is making me appreciate the moments a little more. i’ve been slacking on the chores, i’m slower replying to text messages and phone calls, i’m ignoring normalcies more than i usually do. i’ve held harvey more than i probably should, and feel like i’m breaking all the “rules” i firmly set with elle and jude. it was an internal battle to get up and start typing this- his birth. i know it’ll take more than 1 sit-down session (i’ve already been interrupted twice in 3 minutes), but it was so wonderful i feel like it would be a total disservice to not document our story.

it’s no secret i wasn’t a huge fan of my obgyn. at my 38 week appointment i told her i had been up the night before with contractions 8 minutes apart for over an hour- i debated going to the hospital at 1am, but as i got ready, they stopped. disappointed, mike and i went to bed, and i woke up the next day with only residual pain from all the cramping, and frustration. she told me bluntly, “if you’re in labor you’ll know it.” i kept active and did everything i could think of to get him out on his own- i had an induction set for the night of may 30th, but i really didn’t want to wait until then, and at that point, i didn’t even want her delivering the baby. i was hardly sleeping, and another bout of close contractions kept me up all of friday night into saturday morning, and saturday night into sunday morning. as i walked our halls in silence at 2am sunday, sobbing, exhausted at an entire lack of sleep for who-knows-how-long, i told mike i was past my breaking point. i was feeling so much pressure; my stomach was rock hard, and my body was starting to get all tingly. emotionally, i was done. as the sun came up i decided i would make a call to the doctor and just see what the on-call ob said. fully expecting her to tell me to suck it up for 2 more days. she called me back, and as i told her my frustrations she calmly, eagerly said, “oh, hun, just come in! i’ll meet you at the hospital. you’ve done this twice- i trust you, and your body. you’re close enough, let’s get him here already!” i hardly hung-up the phone before the sobs began. we packed up our bags, got the kids ready for church, and headed out the door at 8:30. 

we arranged to meet friends outside our church building just before 9- the kids would go to church with them and play at their house for the day. we walked together as a family. it was quiet and 60 breezy degrees outside. after the kids went inside, mike and i walked the remaining blocks to the hospital.

labor & delivery triage was quiet. it was memorial day weekend. they told us they were expecting us. they told us our timing was great- friday had been busy, and tuesday would be slammed. they monitored the baby for a bit before the doctor came in and said she had officially admitted us- i breathed the biggest sigh of relief. then, we were brought to our official labor & delivery room. the window looked uptown. mike stared out the window while i got situated. it was 10:30. the nurse gave me my iv, and the anesthesiologist gave me my epidural. they started me on a bit of pitocin and we waited…

at 2:00 i was only at a 4.5 (i arrived at a 4), so the doctor broke my water. immediately she said, calmly, in her thick accent that the baby had pooped- the water was dark- it was at least 24 hours old. she told me that was likely why i had been contracting, and she was glad i followed by instinct to come in- if i had waited until tuesday, “it may not have been good.” i interpreted the worst, and spent the next hour(s) incredibly concerned for our little baby. i could tell the nurse monitored his heart rate a little closer, and i prayed things would start speeding up faster. 

3:00: i was dilated to a 7. our nurse went on her break, and the doctor said she’d come back in an hour. within just a few minutes, i started feeling pressure, and called a nurse in. quickly, the doctor returned and announced that i was a 10, and this baby was coming fast. they paged the pediatrician to come quickly. she had me do a test push, which turned into a real push, and after 1 “real” push and 2 half-pushes (so she could more closely monitor the miconium situation), she had me look down and see our blonde baby born just before 3:25. 

he was here. screaming. perfect.

they scooped him up a minute later, and the pediatrician came running in to confirm all was well- which it was. miraculously. 

we spent the next couple hours in the room with the sun shining in. our nurse came back from break, shocked he was born while she was gone. the only name we had was harvey- which worked out well since he immediately looked like a harvey. his sweet apricot face was old, wrinkly, and hairy. he looked sweet. and sounded strong. 

the recovery rooms are shared in nyc, but i was excited to get to my room and see it was empty. i got the bed by the window, with the most amazing view downtown- the world trade center in the distance, and everything in between. mike went to get the kids at dinnertime and brought them back to meet harvey. elle was the first person we told his name to- she smiled. she held him first. both kids were amazing with him. 

mike & the kids left for the night (which i hated- i've never done this without mike!);  i kept harvey with me in my room. mike and i talked on the phone and both watched 'the bachelorette.’ i tried to doze off with the tv on, until just before midnight when all the lights flipped on and a cleaning lady announced that a roommate was on her way- she came, along with her family and new baby. i didn’t sleep much at all- harvey choked a lot throughout the night. they took him around 1am to get checked. between he and i, and the roommate and her baby, it was constant commotion. 

monday (memorial day) we had to do a little sitter shuffling, so harvey and i snuggled until mike came in the early afternoon. my awesome nurse helped us get ready to check out right at the 24-hour mark- meanwhile, the pediatrician on-call and the doctor who delivered harvey cleared us both to be discharged. harvey rode in his first taxi home, followed by his first ride in the ergo when we walked to river run to meet the kids (who had been playing with the friends). 

mike took the rest of the week of work, and it has been incredible. i didn’t realize how much his physical presence would mean to me. we tried to get out each day on little walks and adventures since the weather was perfect- the park, times square, bryant park, chick-fil-a, joe's pizza... only the most random of things.  friends stopped by to bring treats and meals and meet harvey. the first couple nights home from the hospital, i found mike on the couch at 4am, rocking and talking to him. it’s been hard to balance the needs of a 7 and 4-year-old, and a newborn, but with mike’s help it’s been totally doable. the kids never stop talking, and are incredibly needy, but i’m trying to be as patient as mike:) harvey is already an unbelievable blessing. i'm constantly almost in tears as i see him grow and change- like he should! but it's hard to watch this sweet little squirmy, jumpy, squeaky newborn calm and settle and focus his gaze...

harvey penn, we are SO thrilled to have you here. 


1 comment:

  1. Such a lovely baby story! so glad everything went well for you and baby! If I lived closer I'd bring a meal to you guys, and take the kids so you can have some bonding, quiet time with Harvey Penn! Such a strong east coast name! Take care! xo


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