If you follow me on Instagram, this is not news to you. But, if for some reason, you don’t, please allow me to introduce you to our son, Sterling Archer Banks.
If you’re one of those people that is going; “wait…like….Archer…?”
We’ve found people either absolutely love the name or just roll their eyes at us.
Either way – his name started as a joke several years ago because, while we were watching the show, Devon said he wanted to name our first son Archer. I rolled my eyes (as most do) but then it evolved into: “you know Sterling Banks actually flows really well”…..so here we are with Sterling Archer Banks.
We did drop Mallory, though. We couldn’t do THAT to the kid.
We do, mostly, call him Archer, though. We really only call him Sterling when he’s being ridiculous.
Sterling was born via scheduled C-Section on May 24th at 2:14pm. I actually have pictures of the very second he was, literally, brought into the world.
Don’t worry – I will spare you of those.
Archer was born earlier than we had intended (he was due June 10th) due to me developing pre-eclampsia in my last trimester. Luckily it was mild, but because the risk to him grew exponentially the longer I carried him, the decision was made for him to be born at 37 weeks. The original part of that decision was for my doctor to induce labor at 37 weeks and to have a vaginal birth.
I will admit, the thought of labor did make me nervous. But I did also have two friends who had babies in the past year – both of whom were induced for various reason – and both had…less than desired births and both wound up in emergency C-Sections.
I know every situation is different, but both of them, coupled with my nerves of being induced and the uncertainty of how it would turn out, knowing it could wind up in a C-Section anyway; Devon and I made the decision to just do a “voluntary” scheduled C-Section. While this is major surgery, at least I knew more of what to expect and there was a structured timeline in place so I wouldn’t be laboring for a long time to no result. Yes, it also meant a longer, possibly more painful recovery, but at that point I was willing to live with that to have a healthy baby and to get the “scary” part (aka birth) over with.
I know a lot of people have very strong opinions about various forms of birth – my way or my decision may not be for everyone and that’s fine. Devon and I were in agreement and that was/is all I needed.
Because we were able to schedule his C-Section, we were also able to give more concrete end dates to our schools, so they knew what our last day of the year was (as we both planned to take family leave for the remainder of the school year) and we were able to make sure everything we needed to do before we left was taken care of.
It also gave us time to get things ready here at home. We had taken the few weeks prior to really set the house up for my recovery: making sure the pantry and deep freezer was filled so we wouldn’t need to worry about going to the store, making sure I had recovery supplies (though the hospital did send me home with so much), and making sure bassinets and baby stuff was in place.
My best friend also made a suggestion that I’d never thought of. She said to us, “since you know when he’s going to be born, take the day before, or A day before just for the two of you, do whatever you want, nothing baby related, just enjoy the fact that it’s just the two of you for the last time (for awhile anyway)”.
So the day before he was born, we did just that. We went to breakfast, did a little shopping, came home and took a nap (37 weeks pregnant means not a lot of energy) and then went back out and went to dinner. Since I wasn’t able to eat after midnight anyway, I made sure that my “last meal” was decadent and filling.
I wound up not eating anything for 48 hours after that meal…but….let’s not jump ahead.
We got to the hospital on the 24th at about 10am. My anxiety level is through the roof, because of course it is. This, of course, also raises my already higher blood pressure so between getting checked in and going back to surgery (which was supposed to be scheduled for 12:30 but emergencies pushed me back to about 1:45 – which didn’t help my anxiety, obviously) I was given two larger doses of my blood pressure medication in the hopes of lowering my BP to a “safer” range.
At this point, I could make an entire post about how I believe my doctor’s didn’t handle my blood pressure issues correctly, but let’s just say, I was not fully in agreement with the two doses, but it happened anyway.
I do have a great appreciation for the hospital, for our nurses, the anesthesiologist was amazing, Devon was there the whole time, and I feel like they helped make this surgery easier. I’ve never had surgery before so being in an OR was weird. But the whole surgery from start to finish, I think was about 30 minutes. I felt nothing (just some pressure) and Sterling was born very easily and, most importantly, healthy.
I finally really got to hold and see him once we were in recovery. Sterling weighed a “whopping” 6lbs, 6oz and was 19 inches when he was born – so he was so tiny. When they put him on me, I literally felt like I was going to break him. We got him nursing a bit….the nurses put more medication in me as well as hooked me up to a magnesium drip to “ensure” my blood pressure came down after birth……
And then we were finally able to be wheeled into our room.
Then I felt like utter shit for the next several hours. (Sorry for the language, but it’s literally the only way to describe it.). If I had eaten anything that day, it would have no longer been in my stomach and would have come out violently. As I’m begging for meds to help my nausea, they’re still adding medications to the point that I refused to allow them to do anything else until anti-nausea meds could be given.
I’m still not sure why it took almost 45 minutes to get the meds, but….
When I finally did, they finished my medication cocktail and I finally fell asleep for about an hour. Sterling was in the room with us, but obviously Devon was tending to him. I wasn’t in a place to do that.
It was probably about 5-6 hours after he was born that I started to feel better but I had to be on the Magnesium drip for 24 hours, which meant I couldn’t eat, couldn’t get up, or do much of anything until that was gone. I spent that time in bed, trying to hang out with our new little boy when he was awake and also sleeping (aka passing out because that drip made my blood pressure drop to dangerously low levels – again….not talking about that right now).
Because Sterling was born early, he was having some minor blood sugar issues. His levels were a bit low, even after feedings, so we started supplementing with formula to make sure he was getting enough nutrients. Luckily that all resolved before we were discharged – he hasn’t had any issues since we got home, so his pediatrician really thinks it was just a fact of him being born a little early and me not probably being at full capacity with my supply yet.
I came off of the magnesium drip late on Wednesday night (the night after he was born) and I was finally able to get up (gingerly), use the bathroom on my own, eat, all the things. I also slept better that night than I had the night before.
I felt so much better when I woke up on Thursday. So much so that I got up and took a shower. Hospital shower stalls leave a lot to the imagination, but at least I got all the crud off of me.
I literally felt like a new person after that shower. I put on my own comfy clothes, had clean hair, all the things. I even got a full meal for the first time since Monday. The doctor came in and said my incision site looked great, my pain level was tolerable to the point that they took me off narcotics and put me on RX strength Motrin which was enough for me.
Life was amazing.
Devon’s mom (aka the new Grandma) came to visit for a little while. It was good. I basically just spent the day ensuring that I would be able to go home the next day because I was SO ready to be out of there.
Sterling and I managed to keep it together throughout the night and I wound up being able to be discharged that morning. However, we had to wait until later in the evening until Sterling could be discharged because of his circumcision (again another topic I know many feel strongly about – I’m not debating mine and my husbands decision on the matter here). A couple of emergencies delayed the OB’s ability to perform it and once it was done, we were required to stay for a couple of hours to ensure Sterling was healing well.
We left the hospital about 9pm that night. Right in the middle of a thunderstorm.
In hindsight, should we have stayed another night at the hospital?
But I was desperate to get out of there. I thought I was going to go crazy if we had to spend another night there. I just wanted to be in my house, in my bed and out of there.
Devon drove so slowly home. We were both so anxious. Not just taking a tiny human with us, but the fact that it was storming wasn’t helping. But he got us both home, he got us both inside, got us both upstairs and took such good care of us for the next several weeks while I was on low-no activity in recovery.
I feel like I want to talk about taking care of a newborn in greater detail in another post, so I’m not going to do that here. But, I feel like we got lucky, for the most part, he’s been a really easy baby so far. Typically happy and content (unless he’s hungry) and he sleeps really well – we’ve been doing some loose sleep training which is helping immensely there.
Despite the first day after he was born when I didn’t feel that great, I’ve actually had a pretty easy and speedy recovery. I spent the first week or so at home in bed, for the most part, and took it really easy when I came downstairs after that. We spent the first few weeks, mostly at home, really quiet, really took the time for us to acclimate and recover and it was really nice and I think really helpful for me to get back on my feet.
I was fully released to normal activity 5 weeks after Sterling was born. My incision looked really good, my energy level was coming back, I felt really good, my blood pressure had been pretty normal for a few weeks at that point (not on meds anymore either), so I was given the all clear to do whatever felt comfortable.
Sterling is 8 weeks old now and I already feel like I barely know a time before he was here. Having a baby is a lot of work, but he is so much fun and he is so sweet. We are looking forward to seeing his personalty develop and watching him grow. I feel like he’s already gotten so big (he’s actually growing out of some of his 0-3 clothes already) and it’s been so fun to see him explore and learn the world around him every day.