Ronan’s Birth Story

Dear Readers,

Well, this is about two months overdue, but that’s what happens when you have a newborn and a toddler at home, on top of two major holidays. We. Are. So. Tired.

(Photos by Bumblebee Boots Photography)

But life is good, really good. And I still wanted to share Ronan’s birth story, if only to give myself (and him) something to look back on someday. Ronan’s arrival couldn’t have been more different than Caroline’s: she came into this world fast and furious, a week overdue, while he patiently took his time, even though I induced at 39 weeks. Both were memorable in their own ways (you can read Caroline’s birth story here), and I’m so happy to share Ronan’s with you guys today.

Let’s back up a little. We found out at my 37-week appointment that Baby Mac #2 was already measuring over 7 pounds, and I knew we’d be looking at a 9-pounder if I went full-term. It had became so uncomfortable to sit, walk, sleep – basically function on any level. After checking my progress and declaring my cervix favorable, my doctor suggested an elective induction, and I knew it was the right choice for us. I was ready.

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, we checked into the hospital at 7am. Now, I’ll be honest here and say that my expectations for the day were unrealistic at best. Having talked to many people who said the second time around goes SO much faster, I fully planned on having this baby by lunchtime. Spoiler alert: This baby arrived hours after dinnertime, and I am officially not listening to anyone ever again about anything. (I’m kidding, but lesson learned? Every birth experience is different, so go into it with the mindset that what will be, will be. Baby comes when he/she is ready, so sit back and enjoy the ride.)

But I digress.

After almost three hours of prep-time, we finally started the Pitocin with the plan to increase the dosage every half hour. To make a long story short, my nurse missed a two-hour window and my contractions completely stopped. By 3pm, I was no further along than when I arrived at the hospital that morning. Cue major meltdown. We managed to get the Pitocin on track and an epidural in place. By dinnertime, they broke my waters to get things moving along and in less than two hours, I was ready to push. At 10:38pm, our son Ronan Patrick MacNamara was born! Weighing in at 8 lbs, 9 oz and measuring 18 inches long, he was the sweetest chunky monkey we ever saw. I said, “Hi, buddy!” and he immediately put his hand on my face, leaving it there the entire time we were in recovery. Best friends forever.

Our first photo with Ronan, taken by my doctor.

Ronan’s first selfie, minutes after giving birth.

A lot of people have asked me what was so different about Ronan’s birth compared to Caroline’s. When I went into labor with Caroline, things happened so fast, I couldn’t really process it all – I just knew that I was in tremendous pain and needed an epidural. Once I had it, I felt amazing- no pain, no pressure, no exhaustion. In less than 12 hours, she was here.

With Ronan, the day felt so long. Part of that was all the waiting. Waiting for the Pitocin to kick in, waiting for the doctors to check my progress, waiting for the moment when I could finally push. And truthfully, I was much more scared this time because I knew the inevitable pain that lie ahead once contractions started. (When they gave me my epidural, I saw them prepare it and freaked out so badly, my blood pressure dropped dangerously low, resulting in an emergency infusion of fluids.) When the epidural kicked in, I no longer felt pain, but I still felt intense pressure and believe me when I say that I felt every single push it took to get him out into this world. (Again, it didn’t hurt, but let’s just say I absolutely knew when his head was out.)

But here’s the funny thing – as much as I thought I wanted to be completely numb like last time, it was incredible to experience pushing that way, feeling that physical urge to do so and knowing exactly what was happening with each try. Call me crazy, but it was so beautiful and empowering. I had an amazing team of female doctors and nurses cheering me on and laughing with me in between pushes, and it was such a happy atmosphere to welcome Ronan into. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but I think Mac feels pretty good about stopping at two. (We’ll see.)

Going from one to two is equal parts joyful and challenging, which I plan to cover in my next post. I will say that the second we met Ronan, our love for him was instant and overwhelming. Our family is complete with him in it, and we couldn’t be more thankful for this little guy. No matter how hard things get sometimes, seeing him with Caroline makes it all worth it. They already have this bond that I can’t even put into words, but it’s beautiful. So, yeah, I rarely shower, live in old Victoria’s Secret PINK sweats from college (you guys, they’re flared sweatpants – I’m firing myself as a style blogger), and am always behind on at least five things, but we’re really happy. And so, so tired.

Next up? How the transition has been from three to four! I’ll also share more on introducing Caroline to Ronan at the hospital and our family photo shoot at home with Bumblebee Boots Photography. (Thanks for sending in your questions – I’ll be addressing them in this post, and there’s still time to send more in the comments below.)

Live in Cleveland and expecting a baby? Bumblebee Boots Photography takes the most beautiful newborn shoots at the hospital and in your home! Contact Amanda at amanda@bumbleebeebootsphoto.com to learn more about the Fresh 48 and newborn sessions.