Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments on Avery’s birth story :)
That post was super long and I missed a few things that I wanted to capture, so I thought I’d follow up with the “extras”.
I rushed the end of the birth story because I was watching the word count creep higher and higher and I didn’t want to end up with a novel. As such, I didn’t mention when my water broke and that’s one of those details I’m always curious about in other birth stories. Fortunately it didn’t break on my couch or in my bed which was my fear! In fact, I got to the hospital and into the birthing bed without it breaking. I was so desperate to be done with labor that when my midwife asked if I wanted her to break the water to propel things forward even more, I answered with a resounding YES. Turns out the contraction/push immediately following my answer was the one that broke my water! So it broke on it’s own right before Avery made her entrance :)
As Wendy was delivering the placenta and getting me all cleaned up, she mentioned that post-birth pain with a second baby is usually worse than with the first. At that point I was so happy that labor pain was behind me that I didn’t even care about post-birth pain, although I made a mental note to be prepared for a painful recovery. Much to my surprise, I have had almost NO post birth pain whatsoever. Going to the bathroom wasn’t painful like last time, bleeding has been very minimal and I haven’t even had much cramping. The nurses and doctors kept pushing Motrin on me and I had to keep telling them that I didn’t have any pain. I’m still surprised at how well my body is recovering, but I’m thankful!
If you recall, I was concerned about interfering with my midwife’s New Years Eve plans. Yes, in the midst of all of my pain, I was worried that she’d have to miss her party on account of my birth. She never made me feel that way, it’s just how I’m wired. So you can imagine how happy I was that the whole thing only took 47 minutes from the time I got to the hospital! Wendy was out the door and on her way to celebrate by 9pm. Plenty of time to get to her party before midnight. AND, she didn’t have to worry about keeping an eye on her pager all night. Thanks Avery :)
I’m so thankful for my wonderful mom and that she was able to stay with Grace while we were in the hospital. She’s an amazing grandma and both Andy and I felt so happy knowing that she was caring for Grace while we were away from her. The whole experience had to be intense for Grace but she had her grandma to dote on her and play with her and talk her through all of it. I can’t think of anyone better to ease Grace through everything than Grandma :) When they showed up to the hospital the day after the birth in matching outfits, my heart smiled. Thanks mom, you’re the best :)
That first night in the hospital with Avery was exhausting. I hadn’t slept well the night before and I’d labored for 14 hours so I was worn out, but also high on adrenaline from all of the excitement. That meant that as tired as I was, I couldn’t sleep. Avery took a nice long nap just after midnight and I should have napped too but I just couldn’t. Of course by the time I was starting to drift off, she woke up and wanted to nurse non-stop so I stayed up. It wasn’t until after 7am that we all settled into a nice nap…only to be woken up by an abrasive pediatrician making her rounds. Talk about a crappy way to start the day!
After the pediatrician left we were all wide awake and I was feeling discouraged. My mom texted me a picture of Grace and I broke down. I missed my little buddy so much! She sent a video too and it made me cry even more. Andy suggested that mom and Grace come to the hospital sooner rather than later to pay us a visit and when they arrived at noon I was SO HAPPY! They spent 4 hours with us that afternoon and mom treated us to a delicious lunch of Chinese takeout. Chicken and broccoli never tasted so good as it did after a crappy hospital breakfast! All of that quality time with Grace was like medicine to my weary body. I can’t really even put words to it other than comparing it a car being on empty and getting filled up with top quality fuel.
So many doctors and nurses in and out of our room made me remember just how awful it is to be stuck in the hospital after birth. I had to stay for 2 days after Grace was born and I remember being SO FED UP with all of it by the time we left. This time around I begged to go home as early as possible. Avery needed to complete a few tests (hearing, cardiac, PKU) before we could go home, so our wonderful nurse pushed to speed things up for us which was awesome. The PKU test had to be done after Avery was 24 hours old, so at 25 hours old we survived that horrid experience (I still can’t believe there’s not a better process for that test!) and then we packed up and got the heck out of there a mere 27 hours after we walked in the door!
When we got home I felt so relieved and also like a fish out of water. I was still super sleep deprived and hormonal so everything felt very surreal. We had to forgo our New Year’s Eve appetizers to get to the hospital, so once we got back home we celebrated by sharing some ice cold beer (oh how I missed it!), fresh shrimp cocktail and yummy seven-layer mexican dip by the light of the Christmas tree. I even think Avery was happy to be home because she settled right away into a very peaceful nap :)
The second night was also a little rough. Avery, like most newborns, is nocturnal. She loves to sleep all day and eat all night which means not much sleep for me! I can handle most things like a champ…
Pain? No problem!
Poopy diapers? Bring it on!
Sore nipples? I can handle it!
Not enough sleep? That’s my kryptonite!
I am a girl who needs sleep! I could sleep 12 hours every night and probably still take a nap now and then. I can sleep just about anywhere and tend to be cranky if I don’t get enough Z’s. The sleep deprivation was definitely the hardest part of Grace’s newborn phase too, so I knew it would be tough this time around. But I think I forgot just how much it would challenge me.
Two days in and I had my first little meltdown. I was running on fumes as it was and after feeding Avery to sleep, I took her upstairs and laid her in her bassinet so I could crawl into bed and sleep for even just a little while. Not 3 minutes later I was drifting into dreamland and she started crying. I stumbled out of bed, picked her up and headed back downstairs to set up camp on the couch. And I started crying. I was just so very tired and started feeling like I would never be able to sleep ever again. God bless Andy who heard me and took over after Avery had a snack feeding. I didn’t get a very long nap, but it was just enough to take the feeling of despair away.
There’s so much more I could say, but this post is long enough and my little one is waking up to eat. I’ll be back again to talk about life as a family of four :)