Getting out B's baby things is making me nostalgic for her baby days. Even though she didn't give us much sleep in the beginning, she was (and is) an angel--a very spirited one! It still amazes me how much of their personality is intact from day one. I can't wait to meet our new little one and see if he or she looks like big sister. I know he or she will be a little individual and it will be a whole new adventure.
For those who don't know B's labor story, or for anyone who might learn something from it, here goes: I've since learned that I was the classic "posterior" labor--she was facing forward instead of backward, and stubborn little thing that she is, she just wouldn't turn. We had taken a Bradley class and wanted to try for an intervention-free delivery. I went into labor on my own at 41 weeks at 10am--while baking Christmas cookies. After laboring at home with really intense contrax (2 mins long, 90 secs apart--crazy!) we headed to the hospital at 7pm to find that I was only dialed one centimeter. I knew I was in labor and I pretty much refused to leave since the ride there was torturous. And this was Pullman, so we lived five minutes away, tops. :) Anyway, the nurses hooked me up to the monitor and saw how intense my contractions were, so they let me stay. I promptly got into the tub and got into my groove and dilated to six within a few hours. However, since I wasn't wearing a fetal monitor, the nurse had to monitor B's heartbeat through my contractions, even while in the tub, and she was annoyed--BIG time. So I finally decided to get out. The monitor thing totally sucked--I handled contractions unmedicated just fine, but having a monitor pressed to my belly during the height of a contraction was torture. I knew B was fine, so once or twice I asked if we could just skip the monitor for this contraction--the nurse acted like I was the world's worst mom--"You don't want your baby's HEARTBEAT?" Eyeroll. Things slowed a bit when I got out of the tub but by midnight I was at an eight and my water broke on its own. They called my doctor and started preparing for the birth--and then things really stalled. After laboring all the way until 7am the following morning, the nurse finally told me I was a 10, but my doctor said I was still at 9.5. After about 21 hrs with no fluids (I still can't fathom why they didn't give me any) and no food, I was totally exhausted. My contractions basically stopped--my body just gave out. I knew that she was stuck and not coming down any further. I also knew that without major intervention (pitocin, IV, epidural, etc.) I could not handle any more labor. My doctor was also exhausted, having been called before midnight the previous night. We decided on a C-section rather than pitocin and more labor, because my heart was telling me that we would probably end up with a C anyway. When the doctor took her out, she was wedged in so tightly that they literally had to pry her out and they scratched her face in the process--so she was born with a huge scratch across her cheek, but it healed within hours (newborns are so amazing).
So, lessons learned--we needed a different nurse, as ours really wasn't comfortable with an unmedicated labor. And, she smelled like onions. Not cool. :) I know we made her job a lot harder by not wearing a monitor, but I really needed to be able to move during labor. So it just wasn't a good fit. This time I will be wearing one, and I'll also have an IV for fluids. We also have an awesome doula to help us deal with any situations at the hospital, e.g. unsupportive nurse. Our birth plan is much simpler this time--I think (and I have been told this by many health-care professionals since) that nurses are sometimes intimidated by pages-long "natural" birth plans and don't offer help or suggestions because they don't want to offend the parents (for me, some fluids would have been really helpful!). I am a good advocate for myself and I have a great birth team, so I'm comfortable with any suggestions anyone has during labor. I can always say no! This time, I'd much rather have someone try to help me than ignore me.
It was amazing to work with my body through the entire labor, and I'm so glad that I got to experience it. Oh, and if you're not medicated--stay in the tub as long as you can! It helps sooooo much!
A day old. She doesn't even look like she's really sleeping...just squeezing her eyes shut. "This should fool them into thinking that I sleep!"
First smile, seven weeks.
Six months. She developed a habit of smiling for the camera around five or six months. Such a little sunbeam.
I truly can't believe that we're getting ready to do this all over again. When B was born Steve and I were so overwhelmed that we wondered all the time--how do people ever have more than one child? I guess we're about to find out--and we're as ready as we're ever going to be.