Tag Archives: pregnancy

A Forever Changing Family

First, two became one. And that was the day Milkman and I were married. We were going to wait a year before trying for a baby.

2 months into our marriage we decided to “leave it up to God and see what happens.” We were pregnant the next month. Just two weeks before our first wedding anniversary, we became a family of 3 when Captain was born.

We thought we would wait a year before trying again. And then when Captain was 8 months old, we got another positive pregnancy test. Our sweet Mamitas was born 41 weeks later, and we became a family of 4.

When Mamitas was 11 months old, we had another positive pregnancy test. We were so excited to be a family of 5! We cherished each moment we had, but at my 17 week appointment, our little baby love was no longer. I delivered Ezra’s sleeping body 4 days later, and we remained a family of 4.

4 months later, another positive test! Our rainbow baby was the greatest joy of our lives. Peachy was born that Fall, and then we were 5. We knew after such a difficult pregnancy and traumatic labor and delivery that biological babies would not be in our near future, but we had already completed our foster parenting requirements, so we trusted that our family would grow in time.

9 months later, we received a call for two sisters from our foster agency. Within 24 hours of getting a call, we were a family of 7. Three months later, they reunified, and for two weeks, we became a family of 5 yet again.

It was too quiet, so imagine our joy when we received a call for an “adoptable” 5 day old newborn baby boy. Sweet Warrior. He left us just under 3 months later to a non-family relative home. We were devastated.

And the calls stopped. We were just 5 again. For 6 months we sat by the phone, and no more children came. But then, a call. And we were 6, when little Chatito came to live with us. And 6 we have happily been, and 6 we shall remain for a little while longer. Then 5 again when he reuinifies, but not much longer after that…

And we will be a family of 6 yet again. Because the Lord has blessed us with the gift of pregnancy!

We are grateful to God for giving us another baby to love. Our hands are full, but our hearts are bursting. What a joy to have 4 children at my feet to love on while a 5th steadily grows in my womb! Join us in praying for a healthy pregnancy and a sweet, full of life baby in Summer 2018!

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I Remember Ezra.

I won’t forget the butterflies I felt when I saw those two lines.

I won’t forget the excited look on your daddy’s face when I told him you existed.

I won’t forget the sound of your big brother and sister praying for their “tummy baby” every night at bedtime.

I won’t forget the first time I heard your heartbeat.

I won’t forget my tummy bulging with you growing inside.

I won’t forget you moving around on the ultrasound, dancing like a little sprite on the screen.

I won’t forget the feeling that something was amiss.

I won’t forget when the Doppler was placed on my stomach and came back silent.

I won’t forget when your body was so very still on the ultrasound.

I won’t forget how hard my body shook as I wept for your short life.

I won’t forget picking out the green yarn for your baby blanket, and wanting you to be warm.

I won’t forget driving to the hospital for your induction.

I won’t forget the awful, heart breaking, soul crushing feeling of my water breaking and your body beginning to detach from mine.

I won’t forget the nurse wrapping you up in a wash cloth and exclaiming, “dear God, he’s so tiny!” As she handed your lifeless body to me.

I won’t forget how we bundled you in the little green blanket I crocheted during your labor.

I won’t forget how we sang to you. 10,000 reasons, stay awake, Jesus loves me…

I won’t forget your itty nail beds, precious earlobes, your miniature nose that looked like Captain’s, your absolutely perfect little feet.

I won’t forget parting your mouth as I dropped a single drop of mama’s milk in between your lips.

I won’t forget when we gave you one last kiss, placed your sweet, small body wrapped in that soft green blanket into the white basket so the nurse could take your body down to the hospital morgue.  

I won’t forget any of it. I will remember. I will mourn. I will miss you. I will cry. I will say your name. And I will keep telling your story, so that other people will remember you, too.

My sweet, sleeping Baby.

Happy 3rd Birthday in Heaven, Ezra Eugene. I love you. 

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Their Papa

It all started on a Friday night in July and we were going to get drinks and listen to Brazilian jazz downtown, and I had a strange feeling that I should stick to the jazz and not the drinks. I came out of the bathroom and into the living room in the converted garage where we were living, and I said “it’s probably a false positive.”

And in that moment, your face displayed a joy I had never seen before. I just remember you saying “Babe! Babe! Babe!” and kissing me. I refused to let myself get excited because I was scared of the unknown. After googling “false positive pregnancy tests” I took another and it was also positive. You held me and you said “I’m going to be a daddy.” And that night I got a virgin Mai Tai.

And when Captain was born 9 months later, he was placed in your arms all swaddled, and I watched you from my bed while I cramped and bled and was sore, and nothing was more satisfying than seeing the man I loved the most hold the physical proof of our love– our son.

And 8 months later, I was tired and decided to take a shower after a nursing marathon with Captain, and before I got in the shower, I looked at the test on the counter to see 2 lines. I came bursting down the hall in piles of tears, so scared to be pregnant and nurse a baby, and you held me and told me it was going to be okay, and you once again had that look of joy in your eyes, though slightly dimmed by 8 months worth of sleep deprivation. I didn’t know you were scared about money in that moment, because you never let it show, you just held me and kissed me and said “We are going to have another baby!”

And when she was born after 57 months of pregnancy (okay, it felt like that) you stood over Mamitas’s screaming, pink body and she let out the most ghastly shriek I had ever heard, and you said your baby girl was perfect and beautiful.

And then 10 months later, Captain announced mommy had a baby in her tummy, and you gave me a look of astonishment and once again I saw that light in your eyes I had seen twice before, and you were so excited, you even ate the oatmeal I made for breakfast that day.

When I delivered his sleeping body at 17 weeks, it was just you and me in the room, and you cried with me. I sang “Stay Awake” to Ezra, and he couldn’t hear me, but you did, and you sang me and our still child praise songs and held his tiny body in a green blanket I made just hours earlier.

4 months later, I asked you to get my glasses off the bathroom counter on a weekday morning before work, and after you saw the test on the counter, you came back to me in the living room with tears in your eyes, and you held me and we cried, and I didn’t see your eyes because mine were too clouded from crying, but I felt that light and warmth and joy radiate through my body from yours, because we were going to have our rainbow baby.

And when we met Peach, after a very awful 48 hours of little sleep, and frustration, you cried at the sight of our baby girl– the first birth you cried at.

Late nights, and middle of the nights, and early mornings, you are present. When Captain cuddles up close in the dark of the night and I hear you kiss the top of his head, when you wash Mamitas’s hair in the bathtub and assure her you wont let the shampoo get in her eyes, when you take Peachy from me because I’m tired and put her in your Ergo and sing to her. When I get into bed and begin whimpering, missing our Ezra Eugene, and you hum “10,000 Reasons” in my ear and whisper that you miss him too.

Your children love you. There is some sort of magic in your relationship with each of them. Captain wants to be just like you, Mamitas wants to have your attention every second, and Peach? Well, she wishes she was glued to you 24/7 because you are her favorite person.

I hear so many say that women become mothers the second they see those 2 pink lines, and fathers have to grow into their role as a dad after the baby has born. You were different. I have grown into motherhood, but you were made out of the fabric from which the finest fathers are constructed.

And now that I think of it, it didn’t all start on a Friday night in early July, it started in a church parking lot in April, 14 months earler. We were both nursing confused and broken hearts and we sat on the curb in the middle of the lot and cars began heading home that Sunday night. We talked about our faith, and we talked about how we were raised. We talked about goals in life and morals and values. And we talked about children. And I had never seen a man my age so passionate about the idea of getting married and having babies and raising a family. And though in that moment I didn’t know for certain what would become of our friendship, a little light flickered in my mind’s eye– a little hope, that maybe those babies you seemed so excited to have one day, could be my babies, too.

When you don’t sleep for 4 years and you spend most of your life covered in some sort of bodily fluid from a child, the time that passes seems to grow into centuries. But here we are, babies, kids, family, and so much love.

And when you walk in the door every day after a long day of work, and you drop your work bag on the floor and your children see you, I see the same light in their eyes that I saw in your eyes each time you found out they existed– and that makes all the craziness worth it.

I love you, Milkman. Our babies do, too! Happy Father’s Day.

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An Experiment in Vegetarianism

Food.  Glorious FOOD!  I love food.  Milkman sells food. We love to cook good food.  Food is a big deal in our home, and if you follow me on Instagram you will see that I am also one of those annoying people who loves to post pictures of her food (and of her beer).

 

So, now that we have established that you are talking to someone who really appreciates good food, I gotta tell you about one of the saddest things that happens to me during pregnancies and has thus far lasted.  No!  Not just the physical disability I struggle with on a daily basis, I can rock a cane with confidence. This has to do with food.  

 

I deal with constant nausea during my pregnancies and serious food aversions and even develop food allergies.  During Mamitas’ pregnancy I developed an allergy to raw powdered sugar.  It didn’t go away, I am allergic to buttercream frosting… And all uncooked frosting for that matter.  Totally sucks.  During Peach’s pregnancy, Milkman made me a lovely surf and turf Valentine’s dinner, complete with lobster tail, and guess who went all kinds of Will Smith on Hitch and had to drink benadryl while she horfed and asphyxiated?  Yeah, me.  I still can’t eat shellfish.

 

hitch

 

While I had food aversions with all 4 of my pregnancies, none have been so lousy as I had with Peach, because they stuck around.  No more strong cheeses for me (for the foodie who loves her some good wine, this is tragic).  I don’t appreciate dark chocolate as much as I once did, and I’m only just getting back into cooking with onion again, recently.  But!  These things are all easily avoidable.  What is not so easily avoided is meat.  Well, guess what aversion hasn’t completely seen its way out the door?  Yup. Meat. Chicken.  Mhm, I know, super sucky.  I was just coming around to chicken when my sister cooked up some chicken breast from my freezer and the texture was something akin to chewing on boneless fingers.  I know, I know, WHAT?  Yeah, it was nasty.  And I can’t hang with chicken ever since.

 

I have been toying with going vegetarian on and off for a while.  I had a vegan stint back in college (didn’t we all?), but I can’t live without dairy and eggs, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to go vegan again.  However, the idea of meatless is appealing.  We’ve been doing Meatless Monday’s for a while, and we are always pleasantly pleased at how we don’t miss the meat, but Milkman is a fan of meat, so he’s not been in agreement with us all going vegetarian!  This lead me to make the following proposition to Milkman:  What if we go Vegetarian as a family, just for the first 2 weeks of June?  This way we can see how we like it, maybe it’ll make us want to go Veggie for a little longer, or maybe absence will make the heart grow fonder and I’ll be healed of my meat aversion.  He thought it was a great idea!

 

So!  Starting in a week, the Cradle household will be meatless for 2 weeks.  Don’t worry, I wont turn into a total hippy during this time.

 

vegetarian

 

However, I am looking forward to the challenge of breaking out of my comfort zone with cooking, and making new dishes.  I’ll probably become super annoying on IG with even more food pictures, but I promise I won’t be like one of those diet people on IG, because I won’t be judging what you eat, and it won’t all be health food.  I do love me some cheese!

 

Anyways, do you have a favorite Vegetarian dish you can share with me?  I need some inspiration!  Must be flavorful, hearty, and satisfying!  Are you now, or have you ever gone Vegetarian for a period of time?  Teach me your ways.

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Fathers Mourn Losses, Too.

My beloved husband Milkman wrote this and asked me to share it today for Infant and Pregnancy Loss Day. 

I’m so thankful he put his thoughts in writing– dad’s need to be remembered when it comes to pregnancy and child loss as well.

Here’s what he has to say:
  
Death is a natural occurrence and it’s something that everyone will experience one day and yet, it’s often only talked about in hushed tones. Miscarriages and child loss are much more common occurrence than most people realize and yet they rarely, if ever, are discussed. The issue is even less discussed by or in reference to fathers. That’s why I’m writing today.

 A long time ago I heard that one of the worst things that could ever happen to a parent is to bury their child, and now that I’ve experienced it, I have to agree. Before I was married, I had friends that lost their baby to miscarriage early on in the pregnancy. While I was sad for them, I didn’t truly understand what it meant, until last year, when we lost our sweet little Ezra Eugene at 17 weeks. 

 The searing pain and loss cannot be fully expressed in words. The emotions a mother experiences are often more visibly expressed and realized, because women tend to express their emotions more outwardly. The emotions of the father however, are not as realized or discussed, because men often don’t have the same outward emotional expression as women. This may be because the father wants to be strong for his wife or it could be that he doesn’t know how to express what he’s feeling (I tried crying at various times and couldn’t). Whatever the reason, chances are the father’s hurting just as much as the mother and needs support too.  

To my fellow fathers who have lost a child, by miscarriage or other loss, no matter how you express your grief, know that you’re not alone. Support your wife, love your wife, be a shoulder to cry on, but also share with her because this is just as much your loss as it is your wife’s and chances are she wants to know that you’re dealing with it too.
In honor of infant and pregnancy loss day, I wanted to write to ask you friends and relatives of those who have experienced this loss, please remember the fathers. Don’t stop supporting the mothers who went through the physical pain of carrying their child for whatever period of time, but please remember that for many fathers like myself, a simple recognition, prayer or word of encouragement is needed and can go along way. 

 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

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Mamitas Comes Earthside

Why a birth story? Because that is what women do. As a little girl, nothing fascinated me more than listening to my Tias in the kitchen at family gatherings talking about their births. “…And the head was THIS BIG!”… “My water gushed out like niagra falls while I yelled at my husband, GET ME A BEACH TOWEL!”… “I thought I was dying… then she came out and all the pain was forgotten.” I LOVE birth stories. I read every one I come across, no matter how dull or exciting. I am obsessed with the Birth Without Fear Blog and read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and was so empowered and PUMPED for birth after living through the births of sisters who have birthed before me. Birth stories not your thing? Then move along. Birth junkie? Read on. I say things like placenta, and membrane rupture and toilet. it’s the real deal. So here goes it!

I will not bore you with tales of how badly pregnancy drained me and how much I despise being pregnant. The short story is I was sick the entire pregnancy, I had such horrendous back pain that I was sent to physical therapy (helped not at all), and I had horrendous SPD. There is pretty much nothing I enjoy about pregnancy except not having to suck in my stomach and feeling the first kicks. I say FIRST kicks because my kids are so active in the womb, I do not enjoy the Irish jigs they dance day and night in my uterus for months.

I decided not to tell anyone my Estimated Due Date (EDD) because, your “Guess date” as I like to call it, is really no indicator of when you will have a baby. I told no one. Noah, my midwife and God knew. I always feel bad when a woman is approaching her EDD and everyone starts bugging her about when the baby will come and how she’s gonna have a big baby, and isn’t she overdue… I didn’t want to think about my EDD because I knew if I went over and people were asking me “Has that baby come yet?” I may go mental on them. Your EDD has a 2 week plus or minus swing on it, but in our impatient society, we like to think of an EDD as an expiration date, which it most certainly is not.

So, for all those nosey folks, my EDD was July 31st. And guess what? She didn’t come that day. Nor the day after, or the day after that day. With Captain I tried every natural induction scheme on the interwebs and he came when I gave up, so I didn’t bother this time around. I cried, and I wished her out, but I knew she would come when she was ready. At 40 weeks and 5 days the MEDwife I saw (not my normal, preferred Midwife) told me I would be scheduled for my induction at 41 weeks on the dot. I said that I trusted my body, and as much as I secretly wanted her out NOW, I was not about to have an unnecessary induction that could open itself to a bunch of other complications! She told me I would have a big baby and probably a c section, and I told her I would be fine, but agreed to a Non-stress test (NST) on the stroke of 41 weeks rather than an induction. I told her I would only consider an induction if something was truly wrong with my little Wombling or I was past 42 weeks. She gave me a look of disapproval and said she was transferring my care to the OB because she was no longer going to be responsible for my care after 41 weeks.

The afternoon before my NST brought on another wave of prodromal labor (or so I thought.) I had been in prodromal labor since 34 weeks. Contracting regularly with no baby at the end of it. At dinner I was breathing through the contractions and they were getting increasingly painful. I nursed Captain for what would be his last time not sharing me, and I contracted all through bath time and night time prayers and through my ritual couch cuddles and ice cream with Milk Man. I knew that this could be false labor again and so I decided I should get sleep since I had a 34 hour long labor with Captain and I wish I had slept before. So I slept and every few contractions would get so painful I would have to really wake up and breathe through it. By 2am I was in the throes of it. Breathing, and trying not to wake Milk Man and Captain who were sleeping away next to me. at 2:30 I had one of those where I couldn’t be quiet anymore. And I told Milk Man I needed his help to breathe through it. Of course, little Captain woke soon and wanted in on the fun. Milk Man suggested we call my mom an hour later and she came over to stay with Captain.

I labored on the couch and on the floor, incredibly excited for what lay ahead. See, as much as I hate pregnancy, I am obsessed with labor. I could watch birth videos instead of Hollywood movies every night with my popcorn and be in heaven. I looked forward to that sweet pain that labor brings all pregnancy long and it was really here.

I wanted to labor at home til I was crowning but MM and my mama were convinced I would go much quicker this time and urged me (somewhat against my judgment) that we should go to the hospital since its about 40 mins away. This is the first poor choice I made this time around. Anyway, armed with my ipod and pillow, I sang my way through contractions all the way to the hospital. Waterdeep is one of my favorite worship bands and their songs have brought me much comfort in the past, so I turned it way up and cried, and praised the Lord, and sang and breathed and gripped the heck out of MM’s free hand. He later said he knew I was in pain because it was the first time he’d heard me sing off-key! haha!

We got to the hospital and I didn’t want to go in, so convinced that my labor would stall the second I got to L&D. So we sat in the car and I labored there for about an hour. We went in and got checked in and when the Doc came into check me (my least favorite OB was on call!) I was only a 3. However, given my past experience, and seeing how I was reacting with contractions they advised me to stay. I wanted to leave so badly. But everyone thought this would be such a short labor and with morning rush hour upon us, everyone convinced me to stay.

I handed over my birth plan and turned up my ipod. As much as the staff may have preferred me to acquiesce to their desire to continuously monitor me while I was in bed and stuck to an IV and in a hospital gown, they respected my wishes. I was monitored 10 mins out of every hour while I sat on a birthing ball. I wore my labor uniform—Black tank and black skirt! and blasted techno and metal through every contraction, When I wasn’t on the ball being monitored, I was in the shower. MM and I had assembled a birth notebook with birth affirmations, scripture, songs, labor coping methods and dos and don’ts (Do NOT breathe on my when I am in labor, it drives me crazy… don’t reason with me… don’t fall asleep… DO talk to me… DO have a mint on hand if you are going to be close to me…. etc).

This labor, like my last was hard. And though everyone told me it was going to be a short labor, I knew it would be long. I was right.

For my 50 minutes off the monitors each hour, I labored in the shower. MM read to me and prayed for me, and for the 10-20 minutes I was being monitored, I would blast my music and labor on the birthing ball. The nurses jury rigged my monitors so I could be upright and have more freedom of movement.

When the on call midwife came in, I was stoked. Though she was not a midwife I knew previously, she used to do home births and was LOW KEY. The last person I need in my delivery room is someone who is as crazy as me. I need calm and docile. She was super cool and supportive. I was glad to have her on my side. She said she liked and agreed with my birth plan. She did, however want me to get a saline lock. I had a positive GBS and a negative and she said they might hold us back if I didn’t do the antibiotics. I wanted to hold off a little longer before I made my decision, and she didn’t pressure me.

I labored on. And On. AND ON. Hours went by. It was painful, but I was making my way through. I decided to do the saline lock after the nurse asked for the 5th time. And this is where my story goes downhill a little. First try for the IV: Failed. Second: Blew my vein. Third: Couldn’t get it in. Fourth: Called in another nurse and got that puppy in. Because they couldn’t get it on my left hand, it had to go in my dominant hand which I really didn’t want, but I didn’t have a choice. My wrists hurt so badly that I could no longer bear weight on them. Some where around this time, I told MM I needed back in the shower IMMEDIETLY to relieve some pain. I got in and let the hot water blast. And then it hit.

“No. No, no no, no, NO! OH, NO! NOT AGAIN! NO!”

MM Freaked out “What’s wrong babe?”

“NOOO! BACK. LABOR. NO! I can’t do this again! I can do regular labor, I can’t handle back labor!”

MM began praying. Each and every contraction after that was horrendous. Back labor is really difficult for me to handle. I go insane. At one point after an hour or so of back labor, MM asked what the loud banging in the shower was. It was me hitting my head on the shower bar as hard as I could trying to knock myself out. An hour or so later, I was laboring on the toilet (Yes, I know, so classy, but it is one of the most comfortable chairs to labor in!) and I began whacking my head on the bar on the back of the toilet and the nurse and MM had to tell me to stop. I wanted to get knocked out so I wouldn’t remember the pain.

Because they had jacked up my saline lock (Really not my nurses’ fault… I have lousy veins and they felt awful about it) I couldn’t bear weight on my wrists and being on all fours is one of the best ways to labor during back labor. We tried the TENs machine. Not helpful. Ice. Heat. The only thing that seemed to help was MM shaking my hips VIOLENTLY during a contraction. Almost like shaking the baby down. Sounds weird. Thanks to Ina May for that tip. Sounds strange, but you’ll do anything to get some relief from back labor.

And then the moments came. I began begging for drugs. I was so upset with Noah for following my instructions to not argue with me but change the subject. “Babe, I’m serious, get me the epidural now. Babe, NOW.”

“Hey honey, remember our honeymoon? …”

“MM, you aren’t listening, get the nurse NOW!”

“Um, baby, look at how cute our little Captain is in this picture”.

After a couple hours of that, he gave in and got the anesthetist. I was afraid everyone was going to hate me and judge me. I am sure they all did, but I was losing it mentally from her little skull pounding on my tailbone! It was an hour before they could come in. The guy was nice. And then I realized he was a student and had the anesthesiologist shadowing him. No biggie.

The escorted Noah out and brought in Clyde (the stabilizers for epidurals in our hospital are nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde!) and asked half a million questions. I tried so hard to be still. I tried so hard to relax.

Clean, sting, needle, catheter, OUCH. Something hit my spine in a weird way. He wiggled it around. I heard him and the anesthesiologist conferring. She seemed annoyed. The nurse was trying to breathe with me as I had to remain completely still.

“Its not working. We have to start over.” Okay, breathe, breathe.

New stuff gets laid out. Be still, be still! Clean, sting, needle, catheter, OUCHHHH!! My Body convulsed and I was told to be still (Rightly so, lets not cause any spinal cord damage, shall we?) That little bugger was being moved and swirled for a long time. The anesthesiologist took over and was wiggling it around. “We can’t get it in the correct spot. There’s a barrier, something is keeping me from being able to get it in. We have to try again.”

I began bawling. Did I really want this? YES. YES, I DID!

New stuff, round 3. Clean, sting., needle, catheter and ouch again. It took a LOT of fenegaling. They had to insert it in an abnormal place. Finally.

MM says that all took about an hour. So, MM comes back in the room and in about 15 minutes I am finally getting some relief. About 80% of the pain disappears, but it was enough to let me get some rest. I’d been up for a very long time. In about 40 minutes I begin breathing really heavily again, MM asked what was wrong and I told him the pain was coming back. Within 10 minutes I was feeling about 10% relief. I used the pump to administer more drugs and it did nothing. The nurse came in and asked if I wanted to speak to the anesthesiologist. So they send them both in and they shoot the medicine right into the catheter. I get about 70% pain relief. Within 20 minutes the pain was back in full force. Clearly, my body didn’t want the drugs. They offered to re do the epi for a 4th time, and I just asked them to turn it off since it wasn’t helping. The good news is that it was enough pain relief to make me sane again. The bad news is the contractions felt like a jackhammer hitting my tailbone. I took videos of myself telling my future self to never have a baby again and to remember the only reason to ever go to a hospital again is for the delicious ice chips. They are pretty funny to watch now.

So labor continued and the sun set and I was tired but I kept my music loud and my prayers short and frequent. My sweet Milkman snuck me bits of food and sips of Gatorade.

The MW checked me and said my membranes had ruptured and I was a 7. I informed her they hadn’t ruptured and we went back and forth on that one and I said whatever, maybe they did! About 20 minutes later I had a hard contraction and there was a gush. Water everywhere. NOW my membranes had ruptured. Oh, the pretty parts of labor! I went to an 8 after that. She said I was close to a 9 and as she checked me apparently I had another rupture and a whole bunch more water. Boom. 10 centimeters.

I told her I didn’t want to push until I felt the urge. I have known far too many women who hear “You’re 10! Start pushing!” and 3 hours of exhaustion and a c section later, they wish they had waited til their body was ready, not til a magic number was announced. So I labored down and I breathed through urges and then I called for her and informed her I was ready. That seems simple right? Wrong. Its hard to not push when you want to push. Blowing those contractions out took a great deal of concentration!

So, anyways, ready. She was awesome about not counting or telling me when to push or how hard. I told her I didn’t want to tear and she said she’d make sure I didn’t. So, I pushed when I felt like it, all the while listening to some incredibly motivating Metal on my ipod! (Though when the baby crowned I began singing Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire quite loudly which I think surprised the nurse!)

20 minutes and no tears later, Mamitas came earthside at 8 something in the evening after 24 hours of labor, screaming her little face off. I wept immediately and MM looked crazed with joy (was it joy that his daughter was here or that labor was over?). I exclaimed “She’s so tiny!” and the MW said, “No she’s not! She is a big girl!” (I guess she seemed tiny compared to my toddler! She was a whole pound and inch bigger than Captain, at 8lbs 7ozs and 21 inches long). We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and she screamed and screamed and I cried and cried with happiness. Once the cord was done pulsing, Noah cut it and she was her own little person now. She was super fluidy in her lungs so they tried to aspirate more from her and checked her out a little extra which they don’t normally do, but she was fine. I finally yelled over to MM, “give her back to me now! I want to nurse!” He brought her over and she latched on and we were connected again.

The nurse brought me a giant club sandwich and apple juice and MM prepared my favorite post birth snack: Graham Crackers and peanut butter! I signed a release to have my placenta bagged and thrown in our cooler for encapsulation (more to come in a future post on that one!) and we just stared and marveled at our little one as the room cleared out of everyone but us three. Mamitas was loud and red and squinty eyed and fat. Just perfect.

We ended up in the hospital longer than I had hoped (Making MM more agreeable to the idea of a home birth in the future), but the highlights of our stay were making it really clear to the staff that we didn’t want to be bothered at night so we could sleep, an awesome heart to heart with the lactation consultant about cosleeping and tandem nursing. Staring at our little chublet and soaking in the quiet moments. And the best? Seeing our babies meet for the first time. Sweetest thing in the world.

Was it the birth I had planned? No, not completely, but mostly as planned. I am happier with how it went than my first, probably helps that it was a whole ten hours shorter than my first labor!

Tune in next time for tandem nursing joys and placenta munching. WHAT?! Yeah, that.

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