Welcome to the World, Baby Boy

One of the three cutest babies ever conceived was born last week. His name is Dane Jed Stringham. He was born on Friday, June 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm. He weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long. He is possibly one of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen. And I’m sure my mommy-love isn’t clouding my perception one bit! His birth was attended by his very proud father, Casey, his Aunts Amanda and Emily, and his Grandma Stringham. His Uncle Victor came in very soon afterwards saying he wanted to miss “the blood bath.” A few hours later, Dane’s adoring big sister Reilley and big brother Cole came to meet the baby brother they had been looking forward to holding for months. His Grandpa Stringham, Uncles Kyle, Ryan, and Bryce, and Aunt KayLee also came to visit him.

Of the three children I’ve given birth to, I think Dane’s labor and delivery was the easiest and most pleasant. My doctor decided to induce me at 39 weeks, and after hearing how much Dane weighed, I was very happy he didn’t make me go until 40 weeks. Casey and I got to the hospital about 5:30 that morning. After doing all the paperwork and crap that goes along with everything, they finally started my pitocin drip at around 7:00. I’ve always heard that being induced was worse than going into labor on your own because the contractions are stronger and come more frequently. I didn’t find this to be the case. Maybe because it was my third child and I knew what to expect as far as contractions go, but I never got to the point where I was begging for an epidural. Casey and I were able to play a couple games of Scrabble before I couldn’t concentrate anymore. Before I knew it, I was 4 centimeters dialated and my doctor said he was going to come in and break my water. The nurse told me it would be best to get my epidural before that because once your water breaks the pain intesifies. I knew that was true because my water broke at home with my first-born and the pain after that was unbearable.

The guy who did my epidural is a genious! Not because he took away my pain but because I could still feel and move my legs, even though they were tingly. I still felt my contractions but without the pain. I felt like I was in control when it came to pushing and I felt the “ring of fire” when Dane crowned, only this time it stung a little instead of making me wish I was dead. It didn’t take very long after my water was broken for Dane to be born. My sister, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law all got there in time to watch him being born. My brother came before it was time to push, but quickly left the room when they started setting up all the stuff for delivery. Despite my littly guy being a chubba chunk, I didn’t have to push for very long at all – maybe 5 minutes tops.

Before I knew it, Dane was born. I started crying the minute I knew he had made it into the world, but my tears and emotions intensified the first time I heard his little cry. It was so cute! The doctor held him up and I couldn’t believe how beautiful he was. I’ve seen a lot of newborns and most aren’t very cute, but Dane is just gorgeous. I watched the entire time as the nurses wiped him down, weighed him, and did all the other stuff they do before they let you hold your baby. I couldn’t believe how much I loved this little baby. It didn’t seem real that a few hours before I was cursing the fact that his head was constantly on top of my bladder.

I thought about my Mom and how much she would have loved her little namesake. We named Dane after my Mom. Her maiden name was Degn (pronounced Dane) and I was fortunate enough to find out I was pregnant before she passed. I asked her what she thought about us naming him Dane if he were a boy and she said she would be delighted. As I laid in my hospital bed watching all of Dane’s new relatives hold him, kiss him, and love him I couldn’t help but think of my Mom holding him and loving him. I doubt if she would have let anyone else hold him. All I can hope is that she was holding him in her arms before he was sent down to us.

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