We have a baby girl!
Is anyone else as surprised as me? It's been ten days since she was born and sometimes I still can't believe that I have a daughter. A Daughter! We're mother and daughter. Father & Daughter. Big brother, little sister. It's crazy and amazing and I couldn't be more thrilled. Read on for Anna's birth story, or just gaze at the amazing photos taken by my friend and doula, Melissa-- whom supported and encouraged me throughout labor--- even walking endless miles with me around the hallways of the Labor & Delivery floor. She's amazing and I couldn't be more thankful for her.
Saturday, September 20 2014:
After spending the beautiful day with friends & family, we headed home for a quiet evening alone. Charlie helped Mason put together our new outdoor patio heater while I tidied up the house and noticed that my ankles were suddenly really swollen! The evening was uneventful and we fell asleep believing that everything would still be the same the next morning. But around midnight, my water broke. I hadn't experienced this with Charlie-- so I wasn't quite sure at first. It only took a slight shift in seating positions to know for sure-- yes, water has definitely broken.
We had several people "on call" in case Baby came in the middle of the night-- and really, do babies ever come during a more convenient time? We called contact #1 and then #2 and then #3-- but everyone seemed to be zonked. For some reason, I wasn't panicked in the slightest-- and things ended up working out fine. Our #3 contact came over and slept on our couch while my parents took a little midnight road trip to Spahnville. When Charlie woke up and saw my parents.... he knew what was going on right away.
Meanwhile, Mason and I were at the hospital anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby. Although my water had broken, my contractions were not intense and still about 3-4 minutes apart. Because I had tested GBS positive, I needed to be given a dose of antibiotics--fortunately, this didn't hinder my ability to walk the hallways-- which Melissa and I did for hours. While the walking helped somewhat, things just weren't progressing as we had hoped. Eventually, Melissa convinced me to head back to the room and "get this party started". (Yes, that's a direct quote from her.) She had asked me to bring my breast pump because pumping has been known to help induce labor. Although it was not the most comfortable thing I've ever consented to, I hooked myself up and 'pumped' for about 15 minutes. Amazingly, during that time, my body got the message and sent me into pretty active labor.
I labored in the tub and desperately tried to get comfortable. (Is that an oximoron when talking about labor?) Mason was by my side the entire time, encouraging me and talking me through each contraction. He held me and soothed me and rubbed my back.... and then stepped away when I may have mentioned I didn't want him touching me.
I lost all sense of time and awareness of others in the room. I focused on breathing. I focused on Mason. I focused on visualizing this baby moving downward.
After only about twenty minutes of pushing, Anna Rose was born. Her umbilical cord was very short (as was Charlie's) and had wrapped between her legs and around her neck. Because of this, there was resistance when pushing. My midwife ended up cutting the cord before she was born-- which was all that was needed for her to make her entrance into this world. I think my midwife said, "It's a girl!" and then Mason looked at me with the sweetest, most excited face and said, "We have a little girl!" I couldn't have been more surprised-- I think my exact words were, "What!? Really!? A girl!?" and I admit that I'm still getting over the surprise of it all.
Anna was immediately taken over to the warming table because she was pale and had a low temperature, due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around her. Fortunately, her daddy was right there to check her out and reassure her that all was going to be well.
My body shook uncontrollably as my hormone levels spiked and crashed and it felt like she was on the warming table for hours-- all I wanted to do was see her and hold her and verify that it really was a girl! But finally... after all the waiting, someone placed her in my arms and all was well.
We couldn't be prouder parents-- and are totally completely one-thousand percent in love with our little girl.
And later, when this happened, everything felt right. My heart is full, our family is complete. So very blessed and grateful.