It still feels surreal that we have a second child, a son! It has been two weeks since James has entered our little family’s world and I can’t imagine it without him now. Just like I did for Hazel, I am writing down his birth story so I can remember all the wonderful details of this special day.

The meaning of the name James

As soon as we found out we were having a boy, it was pretty clear we would name him James. We both have loved it since we first started dating. The only thing I had ever found about the meaning of the name “James” was “supplanter” which I didn’t really understand. After some more searching, I found that it comes from the Hebrew verb עקב (abaq), which means to follow at the heel, or He Who Closely Follows. I just love that phrase and I hope we can teach James to closely follow at the heel of God and be a great disciple of Jesus.

James’ Birth Story

We had planned to have an induction Thursday the 22nd at 10:00 since Ryan’s school has limited personal days and my mom was in town. We called at 9:00 PM to make sure there was a room available for us, and luckily there was! I took a quick shower and before we knew it, we were in our room at the hospital. Once we finally got settled in, the midwife checked me and I was only a “fingertip” dilated. It was pretty frustrating since I had also been told a 1, 1.5, and almost a 2 in the weeks prior so it felt like my body was closing rather than dilating.

Around 11, they gave me Cytotec to help soften my cervix and an hour and a half later I was having pretty uncomfortable cramps. There was no way I was going to sleep. I wanted Ryan to get a good night’s sleep so I suffered through the most painful part of labor alone. I almost woke him up a few times to just be miserable with me but there was not really much he could do so I just watched boring hospital TV in between contractions.

Once we got to 3:00 AM, they checked me again and I had gotten to a 2-3 and was 50% effaced. They were happy with the progression but wanted to give it a few more hours. At 5:00 we started on the lowest dose of Pitocin.

For two hours, I labored through the Pitocin contractions. At 7:00 I finally got the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in and did his work and it was seriously the most amazing epidural I could have asked for. I was completely numb but I could still move my legs well.

After about 4.5 hours of switching sides and laying with the peanut ball, they checked me and I had dilated to a 5. When she checked me, my water had broken and then she broke it completely.

At 1:20, not even 2 hours later, I was dilated to a 9.5! This same thing happened with Hazel’s delivery: as soon as my water broke, I was ready to push 2 hours later!

The midwife came in and we started pushing around 2:10. It was such a chill vibe in the room, we were just chatting away together and she did an amazing job coaching me when to push hard or slow down. They were very encouraging and maybe it’s because this was my second delivery but I could remember all the sensations and my pushes were apparently very effective. At 2:20, 10 minutes and 4 contractions later, James Ryan Rucker was born! He was perfect and healthy and had the biggest chubby cheeks.

I couldn’t have asked for an easier delivery. I only tore 1 degree and the midwife used skin glue that completely sealed any tears that I had and that has made the biggest difference in my recovery.

James had some fluid in the back of his throat and so we spent a lot of time trying to get him to cry it out but he was just too chill and didn’t want to cry or cough it out. Eventually he did and after almost an hour of holding him skin to skin they finally weighed and measured him.

Details:

Born 2:20 PM | 38 cm head | 20.5 inches

A few details I want to remember from the first few days at the hospital:

The first food I ordered after my delivery was hilarious. I ordered whatever sounded good to me and when it came we couldn’t stop laughing at the theme — cheese! I ordered Mac n’ Cheese, Alfredo pasta, and a quesadilla.

James’ ears flopped out at the bottom because he has no neck.

He has two dimples with his right one big and deep!

His first pee diaper I changed was comical. He sprayed everywhere and got my hands covered in pee, as well as all his bedding. It is so different than changing a girl and I couldn’t help but laugh at the scene when the nurse came in. Luckily she was just walking in to take and bathe him so it was perfect timing.

The cramping you get while nursing your consecutive children are no joke. Luckily it only lasted the first 4-5 days but they were just as bad as the contractions during labor!

We are obsessed with our sweet baby James and it has been a world of newborn bliss over at our household. Hazel makes the best big sister and has become very protective of him.

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