Tucker Michael, 1 week old. This was taken on April 25th, the day we got to bring him home from the hospital.

On April 18th at 10:10pm, while I was only 34.4 weeks pregnant, we welcomed Tucker Michael Capan into the world and my heart was forever changed. 

It was early on a Tuesday morning and I was on the couch with our dog Fisher who had been up sick all night. Around 7am I felt a little trickle of fluid. I wasn't worried at first because I didn't think it was that much but when Jeremy woke up and came into the living room around 7:15 I mentioned it to him. He was a little more concerned than I had been and when I stood up to go to the bathroom I realized that it was a little more fluid than I had originally thought. Jeremy said we needed to call the doctor and I immediately entered denial. I was only 34 weeks and 4 days. Our baby was not ready to come out yet! I proceeded to call my sister in law Kat and good friend Liz who are both nurses. I wanted them to tell me it was ok, completely normal, and that I did not need to go to the doctor. Neither one of them gave me that advice and Jeremy ended up calling the doctor for me since I was not ready to get on board quite yet. 

Since my doctor's office didn't open for another 45 minutes or so my doctor told us to head to the hospital so I could get checked out. I was nervous but kept telling myself there was nothing to worry about and I'd get checked out and they would just send me home shortly after. Once we arrived, Jeremy prayed for us and Tucker before we went inside. (So thankful for his strength and the way he leads our family!) After we checked in they took us into a little room where I could get checked out and sure enough, my water had broken. We were waiting to hear what our next steps were from the doctor. There were three options, but regardless I was being admitted and would stay in the hospital until Tucker arrived. Y'all, I didn't even brush my hair before we left the house (so happy I at least showered the night before) and we didn't have a hospital bag packed or anything. Our poor dogs were still at home and we hadn't fed them breakfast but thankfully our good friends just moved in around the corner and were able to take care of my first babies the week we were in the hospital! We hadn't finished the nursery and I can probably come up with a lot more reasons why we weren't ready or it wasn't time, but God had other plans for our family.

They moved me up to labor and delivery and we were pleasantly surprised by how nice and large the room was, especially since we didn't know how long we would be waiting. Surprisingly, just a couple hours later we got news that the doctor wanted to induce labor and Tucker would arrive probably sometime the next morning. I remember just staring out the window and trying not to cry. I think I was in shock. Everyone kept telling me it was ok and everything was going to be fine but it was definitely scary and I felt like, after a smooth and healthy pregnancy, my body had failed me and my baby. Once it started to sink in that this was happening regardless of how "ready" I felt, I knew I just had to trust God. I kept praying that everything would be OK and Tucker would be born healthy and that there wouldn't be any complications with my delivery.

My mama stopped at our house to pick up a few things on her way to the hospital to be with me and Jeremy. Once she got there I decided I wanted to curl my hair. As I mentioned, I hadn't even brushed my hair that morning and if my hair looks bad, I feel bad. With contractions on their way I didn't need anything else making me feel that way!😂  Mom and Jeremy of course thought I was ridiculous and in the end my hair still looked bad but it made me feel better nonetheless!

Shortly after I was given Pitocin I began to feel contractions. The pain of course grew and grew and it got so bad I threw up a few times. I didn't realize how an epidural worked and thought that it only relieved the pain for a certain amount of time so I was trying to hold out as long as possible. As soon as the nurse explained how it actually worked I said sign me up!🙋  I was measuring 4cm and the nurse said she would be surprised if I didn't have the baby that night. The epidural experience was terrible but I knew I had to get through it or what was coming would be far worse. I was finally getting some relief and could get some rest. I had hardly slept the night before because our dog Fisher kept getting sick (he was fine the next day, he's just always eating something he shouldn't).

After a few hours the pain was coming back and all I could do was curl up in a ball and moan. I've always thought I had a pretty high tolerance for pain but I kept thinking man, I must be a bigger baby than I thought because I can not handle this. I threw up again and finally told the nurse that I needed more medicine. She decided to check my progress and when she did her eyes got huge and she said, "you're already at a 9, this baby is coming soon"! I couldn't believe it but also was happy to know that I had a reason for being in so much pain and I wasn't just being a baby!😂

By this time my family from Tennessee and Jeremy's parents (they had been camping in the Smoky Mountains and had to cut their trip short) were all in the waiting room and my mom and Jeremy were with me. My mother in law texted to see if she could come back too so she was there for the delivery as well. It all moved pretty quickly and before I knew it, it was time to push. At first I couldn't tell what I was doing because the epidural started working a little too well. They turned it off so before it was all over I could feel the contractions and delivery pain but it was still not nearly as bad as a natural delivery would have been. Thank ya Jesus for modern medicine!🙌

Jeremy and I were both surprised by how calm it was. Our only experience with child birth is from TV shows and movies and generally there is blood everywhere and the women are sweating really bad and screaming that they hate their husbands.😂  I was laughing while pushing and we were all talking between contractions. Granted, I know I had an epidural so that does make it a bit easier.😉

I was in labor for 6 hours and only pushed for 1 and on a day I had planned to schedule maternity photos, we brought our son into the world. The moment they laid him on my chest is one I'll never forget. He was here and he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I only got to hold him for about a minute because they needed to get him checked out and ready to be taken to the NICU and I got to hold him once more before they took him away. I had to stay in the room recovering for two hours and even though I had family come in to see me I felt so lonely. Jeremy went down to be with Tucker in the NICU (which is where I wanted him to be) and so after this whirlwind of a day there I was exhausted, emotional, and without my new little family. It was definitely not how I had imagined it all but I kept reminding myself that Tucker was healthy and that's all that mattered.

Once I was ready to be moved to our new room they wheeled me down to the NICU so I could see Tucker again for a few minutes. By this time it was after midnight and we had nurses and lactation consultants coming in and J and I were so tired. I got a couple hours of sleep but was up and back in the NICU by 5am. I finally got to really hold my sweet baby boy for longer than a minute. It was dark, warm, and quiet in his NICU room and those first moments alone with him are so precious to me.

A fashion blogger I follow gave birth to her son about a week after I did and in all of her photos she has a full face of makeup and her hair is perfect. I seriously do not know how women like that do it! Ha! I hate how I look in all of the photos from Tucker's birth but it's how I looked and it was one of the happiest I've ever been so ultimately, who really cares what I look like?😜

These photos were taken in the NICU by our talented friend Jessica (Jessica Lyon Photography) when Tucker was just two days old. I'm so grateful that she not only came to see us in the hospital but that she shared her talent with us. I will treasure these photos forever (he's already changed so much!).

Something else that happened that I don't want to forget... I was so hungry the day of Tucker's birth. I hadn't eaten before we went into the hospital and once they induced me they wouldn't let me eat anything incase I had to have a c-section. I'm rarely a follower of these types of rules so I don't know why I didn't sneak some sort of snack but needless to say by the time it was all over I was hungry and all I had been wanting was a cheeseburger. My dad went to three different places that night to try and get me one and for one reason or another he wasn't able to find one. I was just going to have to eat a turkey sandwich from the hospital and wait until the next day for my burger.

The next night, Jeremy's parents were coming to visit again and asked if we wanted anything for dinner. J told them I wanted a cheeseburger and fries from McDonalds and that he "wasn't hungry" and "didn't want anything". Well, I know my husband better than he knows himself and I knew that in about 10 minutes he was going to change his mind. Sure enough, he did and called his parents to see if they would pick him up some Chipotle. They were pulling into the hospital when he called so they had to turn around (with my warm McDonalds) to go get his food. By the time I got my cheeseburger that I had been craving for over 24 hours, it was cold. And we all know that Micky D's is not real food so when you microwave a hamburger and fries it tastes like crap.

In the NICU there is a family snack room where you can eat and so I went in there to eat my dinner while J stayed in Tucker's room with his parents. Not only was my food cold but J forgot to tell them I wanted a plain cheeseburger so it was loaded with ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onions. Yuck. I immediately burst into tears and had THE biggest tearfest/tantrum I had had since I was 6 years old. I'm not kidding. The hormones just exploded and as I sat in the quiet room by myself sobbing I was really hoping there were no security cameras. Tears rolling down, I stuffed my face with my cold, yucky McDonalds. While it was happening I knew I was being completely ridiculous and there was no reason a grown woman should act such a way but I was so upset and could not stop crying. I was so angry at Jeremy for ruining my meal and made sure to tell him when I got back into Tucker's room. That poor, sweet, sweet man. The look on his face was priceless. I was able to laugh through tears at how ridiculous I sounded as it was all coming out of my mouth but man, those hormones are no joke because I was sincerely upset. Not only was Jeremy supportive through this hamburger tantrum but he was so great the whole day. He was calm and made sure I had everything I needed. I couldn't have done it without him.

We had to spend a week in the NICU but are so fortunate to have had a great experience. The nurses and doctors were so wonderful and took such great care of Tucker. I'm so thankful T never had to be put on oxygen and never had to use his feeding tube. I'm still upset they put one on him in the first place because it was pretty painful. He ended up ripping it out himself and thankfully they didn't put it back in.

On April 25th, a beautiful spring day, we finally got to take him home with us. It was perfect.

Tucker has been here 86 days and it's been more fun than I ever imagined. For the first month, if I stared at him too long I would just start to cry because I can't believe I get to be his mama. He's already grown and changed so much in these three short months and I can't wait for his personality to shine through more and more.💙

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