His birth story:
I was never quite sure of my exact due date because I never had an early ultrasound. According to my "dates," I was due on July 23rd, but according to my first ultrasound at the doctor's office (which was when I was twenty weeks), he was measuring to be due on July 16th. Just like his four older siblings though, he was in no hurry at all to make his appearance. Both of those dates came and went, and even though I was huge, swollen and miserable, I was having no labor pains at all. I went to my doctor's appointment on Tuesday, July 28th (5 days past my due date), and was bummed to hear that I was still "almost at 2 cm." and 50% effaced (that is what I was two weeks earlier when they checked me). Dr. Andrews asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes to see if that would help me to go into labor, and I said to do anything that she thought might help bring labor on. She did, and then said I was now at 3 cm. and 70% effaced. She told me to come back in on Thursday and I began asking her about when they would want to set up an induction. I did not want to be induced, but Jackson and Ansley start school on August 3rd, and Elsie begins Kindergarten on August 4th, and I was so afraid that I would be in the hospital on their first day of school, plus I already knew he was HUGE and I didn't know if my feet, ankles and legs could possibly swell anymore without just popping. When I said all of this to her she says, "Oh, I can induce you tonight." I was not expecting to hear that, or the immediate "YES!" that came from Eric before she could even finish her sentence. It was about 3:45pm when all this is happening, and I was trying to figure out how I could get all the kids, who to shuffle them here and there, go home and get our bags, and be back at the hospital by 6:00. I asked her when she went off call and she said that night, and that she wouldn't be going back on call until next week. When she told me that (and since she is the one I was really hoping for to be on call when I went into labor), I decided that I would just go ahead and agree with the induction. I leave (a nervous wreck) and Eric and I go to the park to meet his mom that was there watching Vada Belle. We pick her up and then drive out to Tweetsie to meet Tiffany because she was there with her girls and our three big kids. We picked them up and then rushed home, I tried to walk a little bit up and down our road to hopefully get things started since she had already stripped my membranes, made sure the kids bag was packed and ready to go, and then grabbed mine and Eric's bag and the camera case. We said our good-byes to the kids (that seemed just as nervous as I was) and rushed off to the hospital.
By the time we got there and through the long line in admissions, we finally get to our room just a few minutes before 7:00pm. Dr. Andrews checked me and I'm still just at a 3.5-4 cm., 70% effaced and at a -2 station and they told me that I could walk up and down the hallway, bounce on the birthing ball, etc. and that at 8:30pm she would come in and break my water. I did what they told me to, but I still wasn't having regular contractions. Dr. Andrews broke my water at about 8:20 (and there were lots of fluid!) and I was now at 4cm. All of my other four had meconium in the water, but thankfully this time there was none. I continued walking and bouncing on the birthing ball, but still was not having any regular contractions. My amazing nurses, Shiloh and Lana, told me that they would check me again around midnight and if I was still at a 4 that Dr. Andrews wanted to start pitocin, which is what ended up having to happen. At midnight I was still 4 cm. and -2 station, but once they started the pitocin my contractions finally started getting more regular and much more intense. My nurses knew exactly where to push on my hips to help ease the intensity of my contractions, and Shiloh told me how to sit and rock back and forth that would help open the cervix, and said to try to get through 5 contractions doing that. I got through 5 and we decided to go through 5 more. By this point the pain was terrible and I told them that I thought I would go ahead and get the epidural. They wanted to check me before I got it, and I was now at 6cm. The anesthesiologist came and put the epidural in around 1:30am, and while he was doing that I told Shiloh that I felt like I needed to push. She said that she would check me as soon as he finished, and when she did I was at 10 cm.! Everything started getting crazy with getting the room ready and I started pushing around 1:50 (I think??) and at 2:02am, our not so little man made his appearance. As soon as he came out we all were laughing at how big of a boy he was and one nurse guessed that he was 9lbs. 2 oz., and another one said 9 lbs. 7 oz. I instantly got to hold my precious baby boy, and Eric cut the cord. Another nurse came in and said that my mom and dad were there and wondered if they could come in. I told the nurse that my mom could, but we would wait just a few moments before sending dad in. The last that they had heard from me was when I was still at the 4cm and that they had just started the pitocin, so I knew that they had no idea that he was already here. Mom walked in and kind of peeked around the curtain and I said, "You want to come meet him?" She said, "What? He's already here!" Then a nurse brought in a scale so we could weigh him. 9 lbs. 14.4 oz. and 20.5 inches long!
They handed him back to me and asked if I wanted to go ahead and try to feed him, and he instantly latched on.
Daddy then got to hold his baby boy for the first time, and then Mamaw had went and got Papaw from the waiting room and they got to meet grandbaby #7.
I had such a wonderful birth experience with our little man, even though he was on the big side. I know for a fact that it went so wonderfully because of my fantastic husband helping me through the pain,and I seriously can't brag enough on my nurses- Shiloh and Lana. They were right there with me from the time that the labor pains became unbearable, and their encouragement through the whole process was just amazing. Dr. Andrews was also such an encouragement, and I'm so glad that she was even willing to induce me that late in the day.
By the time all the excitement started winding down, it was pretty late- I'm not even sure how late. Our little guy nursed several more times through the night, but was also ready to cry, too. We really didn't get any rest that night, but I think we were so excited and had so much adrenaline going that it didn't bother us- yet.
The next morning Eric and I couldn't wait for our other four kids to get to the hospital and meet their new baby brother. My mom and sisters brought them by along with my two nieces, and they all six ran to the hospital bed. Jackson was shaking with excitement and screamed out, "I FINALLY HAVE A BABY BROTHER!" I told him that was quite a different reaction than the last time he came and met his new sibling at the hospital (when he found out Vada Belle was a girl and buried his head into the bed to keep from crying). They all couldn't wait to hold the newest addition to the family.
We then took a picture of our family of seven:
What a lucky little boy to already be loved by so many little kids! He also got to meet one of his great grandma's- Granny Ollie and his grandma Winkie.
We had lots of family and friends that dropped by the hospital to meet the new baby, all while still trying to figure out a name for him. We had it narrowed down to Felix or Emmett for the first name, and it seemed like the majority was cheering for Felix. Tiffany then made a chart of some of the middle names that we thought sounded good with Felix, and she was taking a poll of visitors and texts with cousins on which middle name they liked best.
That night after everyone left, Eric and I were still trying to decide on a final name, but I was so exhausted by this point I kept drifting in and out of sleep. As you can tell from the picture- I wasn't the only one that was exhausted:
Baby boy decided not to sleep that great again, and at about 4:00 that morning Shiloh came in and told me to let her take him for a while so we could get some rest, and that she would bring him back to me if he got hungry. I didn't argue with her at all, and I slept wonderfully the next couple of hours. When we woke up and were still discussing the name, Eric said, "Let's just go with Phipps since there aren't any other guys besides Austin to carry on that name." He handed me the birth certificate paper and told me to write it down fast before we changed our minds- again.
Felix Phipps Clifton:
We were dismissed from the hospital around 10:30 on July 30th, with Felix's weight dropping down to 9lbs. 6 oz. The doctor had laughed and told us it felt as if he was examining a two month old and that babies are okay to lose up to 10% of their weight in the first few days, which would mean he could lose a pound and wouldn't be anything to stress about. My doctor came by soon after and released me, and we couldn't wait to get home.
When we pulled into the driveway Eric and I knew that we weren't the only ones excited for us and baby Felix to be home. Gramma Winkie had stayed at the house with the other four kids, and we didn't get all the way into the driveway before they were outside waving and grinning from ear to ear. Eric got out of the truck and the girls started screaming, "Where's baby Felix?"
We rested for a little while before we took our first outing as a family of seven, and a very full van. We dropped the big girls off at Bible School and then went to the pool for Jackson's baseball banquet, where we only stayed a little bit because thankfully my friend Debra was there and volunteered to watch Jackson and bring him home.
Once we were all home for the night the kids were so excited still about baby Felix being there with us, that they all begged to have a sleepover in our bedroom so they could spend the night with him. They each pulled their little couch as close to his bassinet as they could, and Jackson even made his bed up for me.
The next morning on July 31st, Eric had to go to work and I had to take Felix into the pediatrician's office for a weight check and to make sure he wasn't jaundice. I did get a bit nervous about taking all five kids out by myself this soon since I was still pretty sore, so I called my mom and she was more than happy to watch the other four for me. Felix checked out wonderfully and was weighing in at 9 lbs. 4.5 oz., which the doctor said was still less than the 10% that a lot of newborns lose.
We are all doing great and getting settled in as a family of seven, and Eric and I are continuously thanking God for blessing us with these five precious kids.
Felix Phipps Clifton- even though you took your sweet precious time to get here, you are so worth the wait. We love you!