Elliott Shields Swicker
Born Monday, January 14th at 7:22 pm
5 pounds, 10 ounces and 18 inches long
Elliott impatiently burst into the world on Monday night. He was three weeks early and did not waste a single second getting into our arms. Despite all my worries and extra monitoring, he arrived in a pretty basic way; I had regular contractions all morning, did some shopping, checked in at the hospital for an already-planned ultrasound, and never even made it past the registration before it was clear that things were moving along. I was confirmed to be in active labor at 5:30 and Elliott was here less than two hours later. Poor Laurel was barreling down Route 2 in a Zipcar, but she came to hug and hold us both and be a part of the Swicker kiddo tradition of being snuggled by Aunt Lulu.
It’s funny that people ever criticize choices about birthing plans, because it has never been more clear to me that this process was something that was completely out of my control and based on my body and not my mind. I was downright shocked to find out that I was as far along as I was (at one point I was 9 centimeters dilated, texting my friends and joking with Ben on the birthing ball) and refusing drugs was not bravery of any kind. It just wasn’t necessary. It’s okay to smack/hate me, I’m confused myself. Now, if there were any kind of drugs to help the pain of pushing, I would have gobbled them up in an instant. I only pushed three times but it hurt so badly that I screamed at the top of my lungs that I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it. I’ve been hanging out in Labor and Delivery a lot over the past week, and I’ve heard laboring women- I was the loudest and most insane.
But he’s here. And we’re home. Ben’s amazing mom was here with Milo from Monday night to last night, and we came home to a sparkling house, beef stew for dinner, and a napping toddler. I’m so grateful that Milo was having a blast with Nona while we were stuck in the hospital. Last night we had our first night as a family of four, and it was more of a juggling act than I thought. Poor Milo was a little confused, and as much as we tried to say “Look at the BABY awww!” he would raise his eyebrows and quickly turn his head in the other direction. We’ve changed tactics and just take turns giving Milo praise and attention (and ice cream) while the other is taking care of Elliott. I thought he was too young to feel replaced, but he definitely seems unsure, and it’s kind of sad. He also seems like a giant rockbiting monster, with huge hams for hands and feet, after cradling his practically-preemie brother for a few days.
We’re four now. Four with daycare (thank God) and nursing schedules and dinner and Toy Story 3 and circumcision care and doctors appointments and visitors and furniture arrangements and taking turns and a nursing app and everything coming together in a haphazard and lovely way. Ben is still home, we’re still eating off of the generosity of friends, and I know things will get much, much harder before they’re moving in a perfect routine. But so far, so good!