Ledger Bennett McSwain

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the chance to sit down and play catch up but I have thought about it a lot. I wish I could mentally write blogs because the crap that goes through my head as I try to navigate being a new mom of 2 would be REALLY interesting to read, that’s for sure.

I know this part may bore some people but I wanted to document the birth of baby #2 so this blog is really just for me & my memories! Everyone says baby #2 doesn’t get the same attention as the first and to some extent I can already vouch for that but I am going to try my best to keep up with myself from couple years ago.

So here’s a fair warning-this is a lengthy post and I apologize but I want to remember the details of another one of the best days of my life!

Ledger Annoucment

Everything about my pregnancy and birth with baby #2 was different. Once you pop out one kid you immediately think you are a veteran mom and can handle anything thrown you way( at least I did)  but I’m here to tell you that number 2 can completely change everything you thought you knew and leave you wondering if you were ever meant to be a mom in first place.

Little Ledger made us work harder for parenthood than his brother did. After experiencing difficulties getting pregnant again and having to be on those god awful fertility meds for almost a year followed by many failed fertility procedures-We found out a couple of days before New Years 2017 that were finally going to be parents again!! Within weeks of finding out I was pregnant-things were different from what I remembered. My first pregnancy was picture perfect. Although I was extremely paranoid because he was a rainbow baby-I was one of the select few who enjoyed being pregnant and had never felt better.

This time around-not so much. I started to experience extreme heartburn/indigestion around 6 weeks and it only got worse. Some days I could barely talk I was in so much pain but I had to continue to push through because not only did I have a rambunctious toddler to take care of but I also worked full-time as well. The days were long and I remember wishing them away because of not only the physical pain but the guilt of not being the best mom I could be to Beckham. The pain never really let up and affected me throughout the entire pregnancy. I basically went to work, suffered the whole day and came home and faced major mom guilt for laying in the bed for most of the night but there really wasnt much more I could do, it was THAT bad. I finally experienced the ugly side of pregnancy and have a new-found respect for moms who push through despite the pain. I had no idea how lucky I was the first time around.

I also started bleeding around 9 weeks and was told it was a threatened miscarriage due to the separation of the yolk sac from my uterus wall. We went through this exact same thing with Beckham around the same time. It’s so scary and one of the worst feelings because there is NOTHING you can do. You literally sit and wait to see if this little life inside of you is going to survive. I think the waiting and wondering is 100% the hardest part of pregnancy especially early on because you really look or “feel” pregnant. Luckily, our little Ledge made it through and as my bump got bigger and I started to feel those little flutters around 13 weeks, I finally allowed myself to breathe a little.

View More: http://ashleyhalesphotography.pass.us/mcswain-maternity-session-1

Fast forward to my last trimester and I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and  this totally threw me for  loop because I did not have this with the first pregnancy. It is 100% the TRUTH that each pregnancy is totally different. I had no idea how much I would struggle with the diagnosis and not because of the diet but the finger pricks. Everyday was complete hell because for some crazy reason these finger pricks were brutal for me. I am not even scared of needles and have been poked and prodded for the last 5 years of my life trying to have these babies so they don’t scare me anymore BUT these little tiny needles were almost the death of me. With a supportive hubby and wonderful doctors, I was able to get my blood sugars under control but there were days that I wasnt sure how I was going to get to the next because of the overwhelming anxiety and guilt I felt every second of everyday. Mad props out there to all the mamas that had to go through this as well because mentally, it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through. The responsibility is overwhelming having to obsess over everything you eat/drink because your unborn child’s health depends on it.

One thing that was similar this time around, was how quickly I dilated. I was at 4cm around 36 weeks which is a big deal because most women are not dilated at all by the time they actually go into labor. Beckham came 11 days early so I had a feeling that Ledger would too. Due to the gestational diabetes, most OB’s induce GD mom’s at 39 weeks. It has proven to prevent many complications including still birth. I was somewhat excited about this because it made me feel somewhat in control. Beckham’s birth was chaos and I felt this way, everything would be planned. I should have known better!

At my last doctor appointment, the OB told me that I would more than likely not make it to my induction date. She told me not to mess around and that as soon as I started feeling uncomfortable to call because the 2nd baby always comes quicker. I am SO thankful for this doctor for telling me this because if she had not given me this advice- Ledger probably would have been born in our living room or on the side of the interstate, no joke!

Big Brother

I woke up on Monday, August 28th with slight cramping which I knew was the beginning signs of labor at this point. However, this was my first day of maternity leave and also Beckham’s first day of Pre-School so I had too much to do. I ignored it and carried on with my day. I took the obligatory first day of school pictures and whisked him off to meet his new teachers. When I got home- I had so many errands to run. With my induction date being that Friday, September 1st- I had a lot of last-minute things left to do. First thing on my list was TARGET. I had some returns to make and of course last minute things to buy. I noticed myself moving slower due to the cramps getting slightly worse by the hour. Mark called me and asked why I still hadn’t gone to Target and  I told him I had  strange feeling and that I was scared to go. At this point-he knew something must be up if I was putting aside my long-awaited Target run. I decided to call the doctor and of course with me being so many centimeters dialed they asked me to come in right away.

After seeing the doctor on call at the office- she told me to go straight to the hospital because I was 5 cm and she could feel his head. (UM WHAT?!) This was shocking to me because while I was slightly uncomfortable- it wasn’t THAT bad. I hadn’t even packed my hospital bags ( complete slacker I know) so I asked if I could go home and do this and then head over to the hospital. Once at home and with Mark on his way back to the house from work,  lets just say-shit started to get real. I started to make phone calls to each family member who had specific job to do. It was so strange to me packing my bags and knowing I would be walking into the hospital this time.

Of course, this was one of the days I did NOT want him to come because of Beckham’s first day of school. I didn’t want to create anymore chaos or change in his life this week but Ledger didnt really care about that. He was ready to meet us and I was SO ready to meet him. It’s so different the 2nd time around because you have another child that you have to make plans for and it makes it THAT much more emotional and stressful.

We arrived at the hospital around 2PM and were told to unpack our bags because I would not be going home. My cramps/contractions were happening more frequently but still around the same pain level. When the OB on call checked me he said he didnt think I was quite 5 CM so there was nothing he could do for me and contemplated sending me home. I wanted to murder this guy! Our whole plan was in motion and we completely unpacked and already in our hospital room. I begged him not to send me home because that was exactly what happened with Beckham and I almost had him on the side of the road too. He decided to let me walk around for 2 hours to see if that would speed up my labor. Those were the longest most frustrating 2 hours ever-I thought he would send me home and my pain was only getting worse so I knew I would have to go home and lay in agony until he was ready to pop out.

Luckily, my speed walking out of anger paid off and my contractions vamped up and before I knew it was in full on labor. They were unable to find a vein to start my IV which prolonged my epidural. It took them HOURS to find ONE vein that would work. Before I knew it, Ledger’s head was forcing its way out and I thought he was going to pop out at any minute. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. Mark had gone to grab food, my mom was still at work-I totally freaked out and realized that I may deliver him without anyone around.

When the anesthesiologist finally arrived-the nurses were telling her not to give me an epidural because it was too late but I begged her. Thank god for that woman and trusting me. I never planned to deliver without any pain medication. I labored NATURALLY until I was 10 CM and then got the epidural which I’m pretty sure is unheard of but again, bless that lady! Once the epidural kicked in, I was able to buy myself some time and hold off pushing to allow Mark and my mom to get there.

At 9:29 PM, Ledger Bennett McSwain made his grand entrance into this world (14 days early) He was 7 lbs 13 oz and 21 inches long. The moment that I saw him-it all made sense. My biggest fear was that I could never love another baby more than Beckham but in an instant, everything I thought I knew about loved changed.  I think this is truly something you have to experience to understand.

View More: http://ashleyhalesphotography.pass.us/ledger-mcswain

If someone would have told me 5 years ago that I would be a mother of two happy, healthy and perfect baby boys, I’m not sure I would have believed them. A dream that was crushed a few years back has turned into a bigger and better dream.  Beckham made that dream come true. Ledger has given me my dream and that much more. He is now 4 months old and the sweetest baby. His personality is coming more to life each day that passes and I am so so in love with him. Beckham is an amazing big brother and I love the way that Ledger looks up to him already. It’s truly amazing to wake up everyday knowing that you get to live the life you always dreamed of. 

ledger birth collage

Mark and I are blessed beyond measure and do not take a single second for granted. Although we gave these boys life, they have showed us what it truly means to live. I ask myself daily what I did to deserve this kind of happiness and realize that I have a picture perfect life and family and I am forever grateful.

View More: http://ashleyhalesphotography.pass.us/ledger--newborn

View More: http://ashleyhalesphotography.pass.us/ledger--3-months

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Until Next Time..

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