Finally...she is here. After months of carrying a baby around in my belly, of being kicked and prodded and bruised, of feeling little hiccups and movements, of wondering if the baby would be a boy or a girl...Oliver or Maia...that moment came. On April 22nd (Earth Day, how wonderful), at 7:11pm, our daughter Maia was born into this world. A girl...we had a girl. She weighed 6lbs 12oz, and measured 20.5" long with a 12.6" head circumference. And she was so beautiful!
She had dark hair, with little wavelets in it, decent lungs, and perfect little fingers and toes and nose and lips and shoulders and...everything. And she's mine. Well, ours...mine and my husband's, of course.
She was an effort to give birth to...not sure why. My braxton hicks started ramping up Tuesday afternoon (19th), and by 12:30am on Wednesday I could tell they were really labor contractions instead of Braxton Hicks. By 3pm I needed to find some relief and got into the bath, and we called my mom and back-up doula. For some reason things slowed down after I got into the bath...and well..let's just say things slowed down and picked up in waves over the next two days. My doula, Jodi, got back from her trip Wednesday evening and stopped by, but left after a few hours. By Thursday evening I was having to moan through the contractions because they were hurting so much in my back, and Jodi showed up again to help keep me calm (I was doubting my ability to hang on and go natural after all this time). It took until early Friday morning for me to have frequent enough contractions to be able to go to the hospital (never thought I would make it that far given the pain level I was experiencing, but apparently I have a level of strength in me I didn't know I possessed (or that any human could possess, for that matter).
We arrived at the hospital at 6:45am on Friday and I spent the next few hours experiencing labor pains that I don't think most people usually do, hanging on, just waiting to feel that urge to push so that I could finally have my natural delivery. When I found out a few hours later (noonish?) that I was only 5cm dilated, I realized that this couldn't be done, not for me, that there was no way I could make it to the end without passing out or having my back and uterus literally explode out of me. So I had to get the epidural. I fully endorse women going natural and being able to labor without epidurals and I DON'T want my experience to affect the decision of others, but I think I was given a bad deal for some reason and it just wasn't in the cards for me. I am proud of what I did to get to that point, and know I made the best choice here. I progressed pretty quickly after that, getting to 9cm within 2 hours of that, and soon after being ready to push (couldn't really feel things enough to feel ready to push, but I was at 10cm). Pushed for a long time, because Maia's head was turned to the side and she kept tipping her head back when I would push, so I didn't make much progress. Finally, the OB made the call that if we wanted to get her out without a c-section, he would need to use forceps. Not my ideal, but I think it DID save me from ending up with a repeat section, which is what I wanted to avoid most of all. A quick turn and then a dozen more pushes and she was out, pretty quick (that's all she needed). And then she was on my belly and I was touching her. It wasn't long before I was holding her close and feeding her and loving her. And I had my successful VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), so I am yet another success story to inspire those who have had a previous c-section.
Big brother Liam is really tickled to have his new baby sister. I am sure there will be some adjustments and growing pains as he gets used to her presence in the house, but so far he has been happy with her and just asks questions...mainly why she keeps crying.
Obviously, Grandmom and Grandpop are thrilled to have another grandchild. And Grandmom is really happy that she finally gets a granddaughter, one that she can (and already has) spoil with girly things. (I am pretty sure their local Target no longer has any girl baby clothes left right now).
It's great to be home but definitely has been an adjustment. She is a bit of work to feed as she falls asleep soon after latching on and is really hard to wake up. She also has to be woken for feedings, which I suppose isn't the worst thing, since it means we usually can space the feedings out and not be woken too early at night. (right now anyway)
I could sit here all day and post tons of pictures, but it's actually taken me all day to get this post written, given all the breaks and interruptions I have had. I totally plan to create a blog for Maia, just like I have one for Liam, and I will post a LOT of pictures there, plus this original post most likely. I will update this post with a link to it when it's created, and there will also be a link on the right side of this blog, right there with Liam's link.
Happy Birth Day, lovey little Maia. Welcome to our family!
Here is the link to Maia's Journal!