After two months, which today I realized I could just declare a maternity leave (isn’t that convenient), I’m showing back up at Homegrown Volkmans. I knew the last month of pregnancy would be exhausting, and also the first month postpartum. I mean, I’m still tired, but not feeling that “must-sleep-every-time-the-kids-are-sleeping” kind of tired that I’ve felt for the last few months. Woohoo!
So a little update. Charles Gunner Volkman. To answer a few questions we’ve gotten a few times: Yes, we’re calling him Charlie. No, Gunner isn’t a family name. Yes, we’re going with the “-er “spelling. No, we’d rather you didn’t call him Chuck. Moving on…
Charlie was born at 7:24 on a Friday morning (the 26th of May, to be exact) by a scheduled C-section. His birth was such a special experience. The staff at our hospital are so kind and (I feel like) make the c-section delivery really great. A few of the memories that come to mind when I think back to that day:
Driving to the hospital at 5 o’clock that morning. I remember telling Alex, “No matter how much I anticipate it, how many times we do this, and how much I look forward to the moment of our baby being born, there’s just no way to wrap my mind around the fact that in a few hours this baby in me will actually be in our arms.”
That moment when Charlie was delivered and the doctors exclaimed how surprised they were at how big he was (just over nine pounds big, in fact). Hearing that first cry from him behind the curtain before I can see him, the tears always immediately come. So happy. It took them about forty minutes to finish the surgery but I was so surprised with how fast it seemed to go (as it had with the other two) in anticipation of getting back to our room and holding him.
When Chloe was born, she had low blood sugar counts and we only got to have her in our room for a couple hours after she was born before she ended up having to be in the NICU for a couple days. I was praying this wouldn’t be the case with Charlie, and though they did have to monitor his levels for a couple days, he never had to leave our room. So thankful!
The big kids came to visit and meet Charlie for the first time just a few hours after he was born. Dustin’s first words were, “He has a tongue. He has a face. God made him!” Oh, my heart.
This being our third baby, third c-section, we really enjoyed a lot more laid back atmosphere while we were at the hospital. There was a lot less checking in, instructing, reminding (they took great care of us! just less need for this). We enjoyed a really relaxed stay and couple days to bond with Charlie before getting back home with the big kids.
Our first days home were filled with a lot of sitting on the big bed as I recovered from surgery, and the kids taking turns holding and kissing (sooo many kisses!) their new brother. Alex was awesome and also took the big kids to do some fun things while I laid in bed, cuddling Charlie, and watched Anne with an E and the second season of Poldark. This time around was the most time Alex has ever been able to take off work when one of the kids were born, and it was so wonderful and worth it.
Charlie’s life is such a blessing to our family. We keep asking each other, “did we ever not have three?” It feels like he’s always been a part. There have been some hard moments in the past month, usually when all three kids are crying at once. But there’s been so much joy, so much learning, so much togetherness. We’re so thankful!