Monday, November 6, 2017

The second time

Monday, October 30, 2017, I hit 41 weeks pregnant and brought another soul down to this world. I hadn't hit true and complete misery yet, so I thought perhaps I was on my way to week 42.

Around 3 am, I woke up with what I thought to be weird stomach cramps, but by 4 am they shaped into distinct contractions. I downloaded a tracking app and tried to rest while hitting the little button every 5-7 min. They weren't too bad, and I could easily breathe through, but when I woke Jared up he suggested we go ahead and call my Grammie over to watch Echo and get ready to head in. Meanwhile the contraction app was telling me to Call! An! Ambulance! (alarmist much?) because I was regularly clocking these mildish contractions every 5 minutes.

Heaven bless my grandmother, who answered the phone completely lucid, on the second ring at 4 in the morning. She was on her way, and Jared and I puttered around, starting a load of laundry and finishing up some dishes.

Once we hit the road, I called the birth center to let them know we were on the way. Apparently I was supposed to give them an hours notice (whoops), so we sidetracked to air up the tires and grab some trail mix from the gas station. I kept contracting regularly, but I felt a little silly heading in when the contractions were so unlike the roaring pain I remembered with Echo. Around 6:15 we met the on call midwife, Brie, and she checked me (a 5 going on a 6) and left us to our own devices in our birthing room.

It's interesting how critical I can be of myself, even in the most extreme circumstances. I paced around the room, eating a banana and snacking on trail mix, slightly frustrated with how low key everything seemed. I wanted to have this baby! Or get some sleep at least, but when I lay down to rest the contractions seemed to lessen and I wasn't having that. My contractions picked up a tiny bit and my midwife suggested the tub. I lasted about 15 min before deciding it was slowing me down and hopping out. I insisted Jared try and nap since we seemed to be going nowhere fast, and tried to get out of my own head. I wanted to be in the present, focused on the experience as it was, not how I thought it should be. I had this deep feeling that this baby would be coming into the world quick, but here I was pacing back and forth with what seemed like hours and hours before me. I layed down to rest awhile, and later paced the halls of the birth center.

Every time I thought about Echo, my eyes filled with tears. We gave her a call and of course all was well at home. Around 8:15 I got what I had been hoping for and incredibly strong waves of contraction started rolling in. I held on tight to Jared and moaned through each one. At about 8:45 I got back in the tub and tried to let my body relax as they came.

In this labor, I never had a moment where I didn't think I could do it. I had a brief period of time where I certainly didn't want to do it, but I knew I could. I hit transition at about 8:30, and I saw it for just what it was. The contractions weren't stopping and I felt trapped in my body. Jared poured water on my belly during the contractions and handed me ice cold cloths in between. I wanted to run but I knew I had to face it, and that it would be over soon. I asked to be checked and my midwife assured me that once I was ready to push nothing could stop me.

She was right - 10 minutes later I felt my body bare down and push and there was nothing I could do to keep that baby from coming. I got into position and gave one tiny half-hearted push. I knew I could do this and that push disappointed me, it felt like a wasted opportunity (in hindsight - again, what the heck was I thinking?).

I remember asking the time - It was 9:45 - and thinking oh good! A baby before noon. And I'm going to eat a burrito bowl later ! (priorities) And OMG this hurts so much!!!! And one giant push later my babies head crowned! I screamed and the midwife was totally taken off guard, and I pushed once more - Cubby was here. Jared grabbed her and scooped her up and I had my beautiful daughter in my arms. She took her time and then she was there all at once, 4 pushes and done.

Lorelai screamed and screamed, and I remember immediately taking  in on her little arm rolls and chubby cheeks. Lorelai lay on my chest while I delivered the after birth and then we all made our way to the bed. She was 8 lbs 7.5 oz of squealing beautiful baby, more then two pounds heavier then her big sister had been. Bruised and banged from her fast entrance, looking like a prize fighter, and I was immediately and totally in love.

Once we got home that afternoon, Grammie brought Echo back over to meet her new sister. She was excited and obsessed and heartbroken as only a 2 year old, dethroned and sharing her mama and daddy for the first time, could be. She only told us once that she didn't want the baby, and has made it up since by bestowing about 100 kisses on her head. She loves her Cubby. She may possibly shun you if you happen to dote upon Lorelai a bit too much.

My recovery this past week has been pretty incredible. I didn't have any tears, and I actually feel like I've gotten more sleep with a newborn then I did the last month of my pregnancy (insomnia is the devil.) Lorelai is shaping up to be jolly, fat, cute as a button and a champion nurser. I also feel like loving Echo prepared me to love Lorelai in a way that's hard to explain. I appreciate having a sweet smelling newborn to hold more then ever, and I feel like that restlessness I had during labor were all heading towards these moments of contentment post-partum.

We are definitely still in the ultra newborn bliss zone over here. There has been a little drama, with Jared banished for a day to his parents with flu-like symptoms, Echo coming down with a tummy bug, and Jared locking us out of the house for an hour or so...but hey! you can't rain on our parade! Being a family of 4 seems pretty sweet so far.

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