Every time I’ve given birth I’ve been completely blown away by the miracle of creating life. Even though Beckham was my 4th baby the amazement has not worn off; if anything, my appreciation and wonder have increased with each delivery.
I look at his little tiny newborn face and am amazed that I created this perfect little being; I grew him inside of my body and pushed him out into the world. What an honor! What a joy!
I’ve been asked by many people what it was like to have a baby during the pandemic. To be honest, it was much better than I thought it would be. I thought I’d be anxious in the hospital and that it would be evident that there was something “off.”
That all I’d be able to think about was this horrible tragedy going on in the world.
But the truth is, that my experience felt very normal. While I was devastated that my mom and kids couldn’t come visit us in the hospital to meet the baby, it didn’t cross my mind when I was in the hospital.
I was able to focus completely on baby Beckham and have a great birth experience. It helped that my nurses and doctors at the hospital were completely wonderful. I could really tell that they were fighting to give me (and all pregnant mamas) the birth experience that we deserve.
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During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I was basically begging my doctor to schedule an elective induction at every appointment.
Under normal circumstances, I don’t like the idea of elective inductions and prefer to let my body do things naturally.
However. Giving birth during a pandemic isn’t a normal circumstance. I was so anxious about going to doctor’s appointments, being in the hospital, and also making sure that we had a solid plan of who could watch our 3 big kids while we were having the baby.
Unfortunately for me, both the hospital and my OBGYN practice had very strict rules regarding elective inductions. I absolutely could NOT have one scheduled prior to 39 weeks, AND I had to be at least 3 cm dilated.
I had my cervix checked at every appointment and even had my membranes swept twice, but at my 39 week appointment, I was still only 2 cm dilated.
I had been having pre-labor signs for weeks at this point and was beyond stressed and frustrated at the situation. I was too uncomfortable to sleep or even rest at home and was mentally so over being pregnant.
My doctor had me come back a few days later to get checked again and I about cried tears of joy to find out that I was FINALLY 3 cm dilated and eligible for induction.
It was scheduled for the following day, Thursday, BUT I was told that if the labor and delivery floor was busy, I’d be bumped to Friday and then possibly bumped to Monday.
When I got out of bed Thursday morning, I felt a small trickle of water. I brushed it aside as normal pregnancy stuff (gross, I know) and went downstairs and had breakfast with Ben and the kids. Ben had made pancakes and bacon as our possible last breakfast as a family of 5 and it was a really sweet morning!
After breakfast, I took a shower and started to get ready for the day. I had nothing to do and was anticipating the hospital calling any minute to tell me when to come in for my induction, so I was distracted with double checking that I had everything packed, etc.
A few hours later, I realized I not only was still slowly leaking fluid, but I had filled up an entire pad. I was GBS positive, meaning that if my water broke, I needed to get to the hospital sooner rather than later so that I could receive antibiotics.
Because of this, I decided to call the hospital to see if they had set a time for my induction. When I called, they informed me that the labor and delivery floor was slammed and that they were actually about to call me to cancel my induction.
When I told them that my water had possibly broken, they said I needed to head into the hospital to get tested at triage to see if it actually had broken.
If it HADN’T, I would be sent home.
At this point, I was kind of a mess. The last thing I wanted was to have my sister come to watch the kids and head to the hospital, only to be sent home! I also did NOT like the idea of being exposed at the hospital unnecessarily.
I decided to call my OB’s office to see if I could go into the office to see if my water had actually broken. When I described what was going on, they told me that it definitely sounded like I was leaking amniotic fluid and to grab my bags and head to the hospital.
Ben and I didn’t want to have my sister come until we were POSITIVE that I was going to get admitted. Since the hospital is only about ten minutes from our house, we decided that I would take my bags and he would drop me off at the hospital; if I was admitted, my sister would head over and Ben would come back to the hospital.
It felt really weird saying goodbye to the kids in the car. I told them that I might see them the next day, but I might see them in ten minutes, haha!
I entered the hospital around 11:00 AM and was screened by security, and then again at the front desk where they also took my temperature. I was admitted to triage pretty quickly and tested pretty quickly as well, which was a HUGE blessing since Ben was waiting in the parking lot with the kids in case I was sent home.
I cannot tell you how relieved I was when they told me that my water had indeed broken and I needed to stay at the hospital. It was a slow leak, and not fully ruptured, but since I was positive for GBS, I needed to start antibiotics and they wouldn’t send me home.
I let my sister and Ben know that I was being admitted (hallelujah!!!) and Bonnie started heading over the watch the kids while Ben got ready to come to the hospital!
Ben arrived around 3:00 PM and I still hadn’t gone into active labor and was STILL in triage waiting for a room to become available for me. I had been waiting at that point for 4 hours!
FINALLY, at 5:00 PM, I was taken to a room at labor and delivery where they started Pitocin an hour later. And then we waited and waited and waited.
They attempted to break the rest of my water, which most likely would have put me into active labor, but I was told it wasn’t safe to do because of the position of the baby’s head.
At 10:00 PM, I still was not dilated past a 3, which is what I’d been when I was admitted. I was INCREDIBLY frustrated at that point! I was really hoping to only spend one night away from my big kids and since I’d spent almost 12 hours away from them and not even progressing, that hope was dashed.
I was too uncomfortable to sleep but not actually in enough pain to get an epidural.
Around 11:00, my nurse and I discussed the possibility of getting an epidural. I still wasn’t really in too much pain, but I wanted to be able to actually get some sleep since things weren’t progressing.
I knew that there was the possibility that getting an epidural would stall my labor… but there was also the possibility that it would relax me and get things going. I didn’t know what to do and finally decided to make a decision based on my previous two experiences with epidurals.
With both of my previous pregnancies, once I got the epidural, my labor sped up incredibly fast, so I decided to go ahead with it.
Guys, BEST DECISION EVER.
I mean, getting the epidural was actually pretty scary. I’ve never received one when I wasn’t screaming in pain, and being somewhat calm it felt very weird and nerve-wracking to have that big needle shoved into my spine.
But a few minutes after receiving it?
I almost laughed out of happiness. I hadn’t realized how TRULY uncomfortable I was, probably because I was so used to be uncomfortable during the last few months of pregnancy.
And once I got the epidural, all those aches, pains, and discomforts absolutely melted away and I felt AMAZING. Seriously. The midwife checked me about 30 minutes after my epidural, and I had already progressed to a 4 or 5 (I don’t remember exactly!). They also broke the rest of my waters, which had resealed.
Ben and I both drifted in and out of sleep and around 4:00 AM (4.5 hours after my epidural) I started to feel a slight pressure and have feeling return to my toes. I called for my nurse and told her that I was in no pain but that I was pretty sure the baby was ready to come.
The midwife was actually delivering another baby at the time, so she told me to hang tight, which was no problem at all.
When the midwife came in about 20 minutes later, I was fully dilated and we were ready to have the baby!
I’m getting goosebumps just reliving this moment. There is nothing more empowering, magical and also scary as bringing LIFE into the world. To be honest, I’m equal parts sad and ecstatic that I won’t ever get to do it again.
I pushed for 8 minutes and at 4:39 AM, delivered a perfectly beautiful, healthy, and chubby baby boy!!!
I’ll never forget the moment I held him for the first time. They lay him on my chest and all I could think was “we did it.”
He weighed 9 pounds, 1.5 ounces, and was 21 and a quarter inches long and we named him Beckham Arnold Rogers.
We chose the name Beckham for 3 reasons. 1, we like the way it flows with our other kids names: Theodore, Josephine, Margo, and Beckham. 2, ever since our kids found out we were having a boy, they decided to call him Baby B. So the fact that we agreed upon a name that started with a B was perfect!
And the final reason, the name Beckham means homestead by the stream. Since he is our first (and only) baby to be born in Rhode Island, the Ocean State, and since the Providence River is at the end of our road, it seemed like it was meant to be.
Choosing a middle name was a little bit more difficult. My dad passed away a year and a half ago, and we knew we wanted to honor him in some way. However, his name was Ralph Arnold Craig Junior and that’s kind of a hard name to use! Theo’s middle name is Craig, so we couldn’t use that, and Beckham Ralph was a definite no.
Even though neither of us liked the name Arnold on by itself, we both agreed that we liked the way Beckham Arnold Rogers flowed together. We’ve been asked if we will call him Beckham, or shorten it to Bex or Beck, and to be honest, we aren’t sure yet! We’re taking things one day at a time for now and seeing what feels right.
There. We did it. We delivered a baby during a pandemic and while I had been anxious and nervous during the month leading up to my due date, we did it.
My nurses, the midwife, and the entire staff at the hospital were truly wonderful and made it a great experience, despite the crazy circumstances. I actually forgot what was going on outside and was able to focus completely on the experience of giving birth.
Once we got to our recovery room, Ben was told that he was allowed to leave ONCE, and that if he left again he wouldn’t be allowed back.
He took the opportunity to run down to Au Bon Pain to get us some coffee and bagels, since I hadn’t been able to eat in awhile, and the food options at the hospital at that hour of the morning were pretty limited.
We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon snuggling Beckham and drifting in and out of sleep. We decided that Ben would go back home for the night so that our big kids would only be away from us for one night.
Ben was really, really nervous about leaving us at the hospital, but we both wanted him to be there in the morning when our kids woke up.
That night alone in the hospital was awful. I obviously didn’t sleep very much Thursday night, so I was already exhausted. Beckham basically slept all day on Friday, and then was awake all. night. long.
I remember being so tired that I was literally shaking and my head was pounding. Around 3:00 AM a nurse came in to check on me and I told her that I was so afraid I was going to drop him because I kept drifting off to sleep, but if I put him down he cried his little head off.
She asked me if I wanted her to take him to the nursery for a few hours. UM, YES, YES I DO!! I was under the impression that the hospital didn’t have a nursery because they state all over their website that rooming in is required because it’s the best thing for babies.
I don’t think it’s something they typically advertise (sorry for making it public info!) but the nurse probably took pity on me since I was by myself and hadn’t slept in two nights.
I got a nice 3-hour nap in and then she brought him back to me when he was hungry. It was at that point that I realized there may be a problem because he was rooting around like he was hungry, but then wouldn’t latch on and would continue to cry.
I realized that’s what he had been doing all night long, and I had been too sleep deprived to realize what was going on.
We had the lactation consultant stop by and she was so helpful. She quickly pointed out that he had a tongue tie that could be prohibiting him from nursing well.
At this point, my poor baby was overstimulated from being checked over by the pediatrician, and was screaming and refused to eat. We hand expressed some milk and she gave it to him with her finger (that was gloved, don’t worry!).
Once he realized that he was getting some milk, he was able to calm down and she showed me a few things to do to help him get a latch despite his tongue tie. He was able to nurse for a little bit and I felt so much more comfortable taking him home.
At around 11:30 Saturday morning I was officially discharged! The nurses wheeled me down to the main floor carrying the baby and Ben had pulled up right by the front door.
I was so happy to see Theo, Josie, and Margo, and introduce them to their baby brother!
Welcome to the world, Beckham. We can’t wait to take you out and show you off, when it’s safe, of course.