The Dean intro

Dean is here! He came on Thursday evening, February 4, at 5:55 p.m. (compared to Kent's 1:11 p.m., ha!), 6 lbs 12 oz, and 20.5 inches long. I had an intense natural labor, the last ten minutes of which were in a birthing tub with Jack right behind me, and Dean came out after only five minutes of pushing. In. Tense. The cord was wrapped around his neck and he had some trouble breathing at first, and even though you'd think it would have freaked me out, I honestly looked at him and thought, "Okay, we're in a hospital surrounded by medical professionals. They know what to do, and he's going to be fine." And he was. They took him to the NICU after we had a very brief chance to hold him and say hi, and after I was stitched up, we started getting reports that he was doing well. I was able to breastfeed him in the NICU after about an hour and a half, and he latched right on — he was obviously ready, and he's been nursing like a champ ever since. He got to come back to my room after about 4 hours (the minimum amount of time they have to keep a baby who's been admitted to the NICU), and everyone who checked up on him after that was really impressed with how well he was doing. No lasting effects from the wrapped cord. Happy sighs.

We just got home from the hospital a couple of hours ago and are enjoying the simultaneous naps of our two little boys, probably the only time they'll ever nap at the same time. Jack is snoozing next to me on the bed as well, but we were eager to get some photos and stories posted. We're tired but happy, relishing the newborn-ness again. It's so different the second time, knowing what to expect and how to deal with most of what comes up; I feel like it's much easier to appreciate all of this time instead of feeling overwhelmed and crazy. I'm healing a lot faster too, though I still definitely feel the effects if I'm on my feet for too long.

When Kent came to visit the day after Dean was born, he immediately wanted to jump onto the sofa next to us and hold him. He actually started pulling him out of my lap, but we've had lots of reminders about gentleness, and he's been so affectionate and great. He's also been noticeably overwhelmed by being shuttled around to different friends' houses and spending his first two nights away from us, so I'm glad we're home now and can start to make our new routine.

More later, but here are some photos from the hospital to get you started...

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So sweet! Can't wait to meet him and see you all again soon.
What a wonderful family. Bless you.
Oh my gosh, look at your two boys! They are already great pals, that's so cute. Thanks for the update and the photos! We're thinking of you all and sending love.
So awesome! Mwa!
Very cute! Isn't it neat how he's a new completely different person to enjoy? (I promise that makes sense.) I hope we get to meet him soon.
Adorable! You have such a beautiful family!
Ah..this is most excellent. I'm glad you were able to labor in the tub like you planned. I'm also glad you are recovering quickly. Dean is a great looking guy--I thought the first pic looked a lot like Kent! Glad your two boys are bonding with each other and that you are an at-home family of four. Heather :)
Beautiful pictures! Dean looks like a little baby doll with Kent holding him. I love it!
Congratulations Erica, Jack, Kent on the arrival of your newest family member, Dean. A lovely group of family photos - how exciting!
Dorothy & Pat from VA
O M G Erica! I have "glanced" thinking you must be overdo - then I actually took time to read Dean has been here now for awhile. Congrats. He is BEAUTIFUL and so glad all is well.
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