I am sitting in my office, after midnight on a Friday (finishing this on Tuesday if that gives you an idea of what things have been like), with a snuggly baby on my chest. I’m hoping that she is really, certainly, asleep, and not going to fool me and then puke on me like last night. I figured I should write while I had the chance.
She looks, strikingly, like her sister. So much so that it freaks out her dad and I frequently. As she starts filling out (12 days old, over half a pound over her birth weight, yay boobs! ) I am looking for the parts of her that differ from her sister. I owe it to both of them to be able to recognize that they are different, beyond their arrivals.
M’s arrival was one fraught with drama, pain, and ultimately great joy. When people used to ask if we were going to have more kids, before we had totally decided, I used to tell them no. M nearly killed me, so I wasn’t going to risk it again. For the record, I blame M for none of that drama. It was simply my body’s reaction to pregnancy. This time I attempted to weight the dice in my favor, being more active, more fit, from the start. This time, I got my victory delivery.
Saturday the 11th, I started feeling contractions. My Twitter feed involves me asking a lot about what contractions feel like, and keeping track of them and ultimately being a little bummed that they weren’t organized. A assembled a dresser, and M and I reorganized the linen closet, mostly. My sleep was uncomfortable, I got up a lot, finally getting up at 4:45 when my water broke. It was quite the experience, being part of the 10% who gets to have that happen outside of the hospital. I was very thankful that in the linen closet reorg, I found the giant pads I had leftover from last time. We showered, we packed, we tried to get in touch with my brother, we called my in-laws as backups, and headed off to the hospital.
While my OB did not get to deliver either of my kids, I have been extremely fortunate to have lucked out entirely with the OB on call. The first time she was a relatively no nonsense Dr. who had a lot of experience with high risk deliveries. She herself was my OB’s doctor for both of her pregnancies (including a vaginal delivery of twins!). This time I got a younger OB, youthful, a mom of two herself, who encouraged us to try for a vaginal delivery. My agreement with my OB was that we would determine the Pod’s exit with the OB on call should it come to that. I knew that if I was going to have a good birth experience, everyone in the room had to be in agreement. After that decision, our next nurse, Jodi, came in and announced before anything else that there would be no shoulders that day. This baby was going to just slide right out.
Back labor convinced me to get an epidural, and while natural would have been all kinds of granola fun, I was happy to be able to make the choice to get one. Unlike last time where it was something I got to lower my dangerously high blood pressure. Jodi, the wonder nurse, positioned me so that H turned, and I even managed a nap. My being fully dilated ultimately came as a shock. You see, the Pod has always taken up my right side more than my left. This continued as I contracted, which may have led to my confusion about contractions. I could never tell if she was stretching or I was contracting. Her preference for that side had us thinking she hadn’t really descended. It wasn’t until she was crowning that we realized that what was taking up my right side, to the point of getting involved with my ribs at more than one occasion, was her feet. The kid was trying to kick off of my ribs to get out.
Pushing this time was so different from last time. Last time I had help holding my legs because of my weakness from the BP issues. This time I had to do all of the work myself. Which I didn’t realize until Monday & Tuesday when I was all kinds of sore in places like my arms. I pushed for less than 45 minutes. It ended when I got another (very small) episiotomy. H’s heart rate was rising between contractions, and I wasn’t able to get her past just crowning. They thought maybe her shoulders were stuck, and while the doc said I would have torn eventually, she didn’t want to risk it. Turns out that was really all that was holding her back because once she did that I had her out. I don’t even remember pushing her out. Jodi got to be right, no shoulders. She just slid right out. Looking for the life of her like a cheese ball. She also pooped on me immediately. I thanked her for waiting until she was out.
Her name is again our backup name. Picked out of a book of names while in the hospital. Unlike last time where our first pick absolutely wasn’t right, this time we weren’t sure. So we let her pick. She opened her eyes for the H name twice, keeping them closed for our first choice. She has a long name, a preferred nick name that will be used, and a variation on her inutero name. M is the Bean Sprout, H is the Pea Pod. I mess up their names all the time.
I will be going with privacy again and not posting pictures of H. However, since babies tend to be generic looking, I’m making a few exceptions while she’s still in the squishy newborn phase. She was nine and a half pounds last Friday at her 2 week checkup, and already developing adorable fat rolls. I may only bake my kids for 37 weeks, but my boobs really know how to fatten them up fast. In fact, nearly all we do around here is eat.
She weighed nearly a full pound more than her sister at birth. We are pretty sure she actually got the curly hair (A & I both have very curly hair, M’s is at best wavy). Her eyes may not be brown (M & I have brown eyes, A has green). Her hair is lighter than M’s was a birth, but M never kept hers, we’ll see about this one. She doesn’t have M’s olive skin, looks like she’ll have her dad’s skin tone. She is perfect, we think we’ll keep her.