Jeremy Peterson, MD, a provider at Fairview Clinics – Princeton, and his wife, Heather, shared their pregnancy journey with us throughout the spring and summer as they prepared for the delivery of their third child.
The last time we checked in with the Peterson family, they were days away from holding their baby for the first time. Below, Dr. Peterson and Heather share their baby’s birth story and update us on how the first few weeks are going.
Ethan arrived eight days after his due date. Our first two kids were late, too, but this time seemed so much longer because Heather was getting significantly uncomfortable with every passing day. At 41 weeks into the pregnancy, we consulted with our doctor, Kathleen Abrahamson, MD, and together decided to schedule an induction. We’ve experienced both labor induction as well as spontaneous labor with our previous two children, so we were prepared for either option with our third child.
We arrived at The Birthplace at Fairview Northland Medical Center the night of Aug. 22 to begin a medication to help soften the cervix. The medication actually put Heather into labor. Heather only needed Pitocin, a medication to start or strengthen labor contractions, at the end of labor—which was 24 hours later! It took a long time to get to the point of pushing, but the pushing phase went quickly, lasting just about 20 minutes. We met our son at 7:39 p.m.
We didn’t find out the baby’s gender ahead of time, but had a girl and a boy name ready. When the baby arrived, Jeremy announced his name, Ethan Roy.
We've done this with all the kids and it’s one of Jeremy's favorite parts of the delivery.
We were excited to finally meet him. For the past nine months he was always with us but it was hard to imagine what it would be like once he was here.
There was always a little mystery not knowing the gender. Now that he was born and we knew he was "Ethan" it made it more real.
Ethan weighed 9 lbs., 15 ounces and was 20 inches long, so he looked bigger and older than a typical newborn. Jeremy jokes that Ethan was born with his backpack ready for kindergarten.
On meeting the siblings…
We knew the kids would be really excited to find out that the baby finally arrived. However, it was late, so we waited until the morning to let Isaac, 6 and Anna, 3, know their new brother was here. They couldn't wait to visit him that morning and loved taking turns holding him. They also each gave Ethan a special gift they picked for him. They begged to come back to visit him before going to bed that night.
On recovery and feeding issues…
Recovery and healing has been slow. Eight weeks after delivery I was still experiencing some abdominal muscle pain. This did not happen with the other two deliveries. It’s tough to balance taking time to care for myself and caring for a newborn and two other children.
Ethan is doing well now, but he was slow to gain weight at first. He is not a very fussy baby, which is great, but we also didn’t know he was still losing weight until his first clinic check-up. We worked on feeding Ethan more often, supplemented with pumped breast milk and worked with Char Dekraker, a lactation consultant at Fairview Northland Medical Center’s The Birthplace, to help with some breastfeeding techniques.
Ethan continued to lose weight and ultimately we were referred to physical therapy where we discovered he has extremely tight muscles that prevented him from breastfeeding well. This was surprising for us, as our other children each breastfed for more than a year without any issues. This just shows that each baby is unique in their own way. After making some adjustments and continued physical therapy, Ethan is growing and thriving well.
On life with three children…
Crazy and so busy. But lots of fun, too. We forgot how much planning goes into getting out the door to do anything that has a scheduled start time. Getting enough sleep is challenging and nearly impossible.
The kids kept telling us how much they loved the baby before he was born but we didn't know how accepting they’d be when he arrived. Anna struggled more than we expected at first, but now the kids completely adore their baby brother. They are excited to see him after school and tell him about their day. They also help "coach" him during his physical therapy exercises and give him words of encouragement.
It is wonderful to see how our newly expanded family of five is finding its groove.
I am proud that all three of our children were born at the same hospital where I care for patients who are going through their own pregnancy journeys. It was truly special to receive the same exceptional care from the nurses and doctors that I highly respect and work with every day. I know that our patients at Fairview Northland Medical Center will get the same outstanding labor and delivery care that I experienced first-hand with my own family.
Whether you are expecting a baby yourself or just starting to think about expanding your family, Fairview has all the care you need. From family planning to fertility issues to nausea, fatigue and the rollercoaster of emotions and questions that come with being pregnant and having a baby, our experts will be with you every step of the way. Meet our pregnancy care team.