Man do these two keep me busy.

And with that, someone is demanding to be nursed again, so I'm off. I'll be back soon with something of substance.

She Sure Knows How to Make an Entrance

Now that it's been two weeks since Sophie decided to come out and join us, I thought it high time to share her birth story. It's short and sweet, because that's pretty much how it went.

Just a few days before Sophie's birth, I looked like this:

Which, holy cow! No wonder I was ready for her to come out!

On the 22nd I was feeling pretty miserable, and not only that, I was feeling really anti-social which is totally unlike me. My sister, her boyfriend, friend, and my brother were here and all I wanted was a quiet house, so I'm sure I was a blast to be around. I should have known then that something was up, but I was pretty sure the baby was never coming out.

I was up late that night - I didn't get to bed until ten and it took me a while to settle in to sleep (clue number two that I ignored). I was completely restless and irritable; one large, crabby pregnant lady. And I felt horrible about it.

At about 11:45 I woke up to a weird popping feeling, which I thought was gas, but then I noticed that things were a little, well, damp.

I went to the bathroom, peed, stood up, and then sat back down because I had just soaked my pants. My water was definitely broken this time! I called for Aaron, who got me a towel and some other wetness-catching implements, and then started to run around like a crazy person. Luckily, my sister was still here to stay with Gabbie, so we woke her up to tell her the good news, and were on the road by midnight. My contractions started in the car, and were coming approximately every two minutes and lasting for nearly a minute (the same exact way my labor started with Gabbie - at least I'm consistent!).

So, one annoying side note, after whatever time, the front of the hospital is locked up tight, and they don't really have any good directions on how to get into the damn place. It was a little annoying to say the least, since I was wearing wet pants and it was freezing cold outside. Aaron found a place to park near an open door and wheeled me up to labor and delivery.

I spent a very short time in triage, and because I was reportedly 4 centimeters dilated, my water was definitely broken, and my contractions were two minutes apart. They wheeled me over to the delivery ward and into my room, where the nurse checked me and declared that I wasn't a 4, I was really just at 2-3 centimeters. Talk about disappointing. I got all set up in the bed with the monitors and settled in to labor away.

I should let you know here that my plan going into this was to go without any pain medication or epidural, and luckily the staff were very supportive of that - offering me anything I wanted but not pushing it when I said no, which was great.

At about 2:30 they checked me again and I was only at 3 centimeters. At three the shift changed, and we got our second awesome nurse of the night. Shortly after that she came in and said the doctor wanted to give me some pitocin. I really didn't want it, and asked if I could labor a bit longer on my own, and they said yes. Since Sophie was responding well during my contractions, they also let me get off the monitors and move around, which was wonderful. I stood for a little while, sat on the labor ball for a while, and then on the edge of the bed so that I could lean into Aaron during my contractions. This whole time my contractions were about 2 minutes apart but totally bearable. I figured if this was it I was in for a long ride. I even felt well enough to take cheesy pictures in which I look approximately the size of a whale.

They checked me again at around 3:30 and I was at 5 centimeters.

At around 4:30 it started getting painful. Really painful. I thought my back was going to rip in half kind of painful. Since I figured I was only at a 5 or so, and I knew I couldn't deal with that pain for too much longer, I called uncle and asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist was in shortly thereafter and set up shop quickly. She managed to give me a couple of locals and to get in the spinal catheter before I declared, "I HAVE TO PUSH!" Also, "WHY IS THIS NOT WORKING? I CAN STILL FEEL EVERYTHING? WHEN IS IT GOING TO KICK IN?" (It wasn't working because she didn't get any medication in. There wasn't enough time.)

The nurse checked me, and then calmly hit the call button and said, "Please send in the doctor immediately." All this while I'm loudly moaning (I hope I didn't scare any of my neighbors) and asking why it still hurts so bad. Probably because I was in transition and the baby was coming out. Soon.

The doctors got there, set up shop, and I got in position to push. Five minutes and two pushes later, our second beautiful daughter was put in my arms.

I heard the nurse tell the doctor thank you for hurrying, because she doesn't "mind delivering babies, but  prefer it when the doctor is there if possible." Yikes!

I got to do kangaroo care (skin to skin cuddling) right after she was born, and nursed shortly afterwards as well. I know many people don't put much stock in birth plans, me included, but this birth went exactly as I would have planned it if I could.

Both Sophie and I were doing so well that day and the next that we got to go home at 2:00 the next afternoon so we could be home on Christmas morning. Two weeks later and we're still doing great. Tired, but really, really great.

Happy New Year!

After closing out 2010 with all that wonderful craziness, I'm looking forward to 2011 with peace in mind.

This one will be quick tonight ( almost time to nurse Sophie again), but I thought I'd hop on and post my resolutions for the year, all of which are intended to make my life more peaceful.

1. Be more organized (first part of this - deal with mail as soon as it comes in the house - I'll add a new part each month)

2. Eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day (feel more peaceful about my health/body)

3. Read 26 books (cut in half from last year; maybe I can reach this goal, and it helps me carve out me time)

4. Take time each day to think about all I have for which I'm grateful.

5. Take a picture every day.

Five seems like a nice number. I think I'll stop there.
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