Thursday, June 20, 2013

The arrival of Baby Alice - The Birth Story

I think I had a pretty good guess when New Baby would arrive. On Memorial Day (May 27) Alice Grace was born at 9:15 pm. She weighed 7 pounds, 4.5 ounces, 20 inches. Can you believe It's a Girl?! Enough with the boring stats. Here she is...
Turning from blue to pink

Alice on the scale, delicates discretely covered.
I knew the baby would come over the long weekend when all our friends were out of town and we would need to use our backups for child and dog care. Things went pretty similar to Miles' birth, except we knew which hospital we were going to and when we walked into the maternity ward there was a full staff and no boxes stacked in the hallway. I started having contractions around 3:00pm on Memorial Day. I was actually at Hugo's (local grocery store) when I started feeling them. I had been feeling similar contractions all weekend so I wasn't too concerned yet. I started timing them when I got home and realized this was it.! Aaron and I took a walk around the block with Miles in the wagon to keep my labor moving. We thought we would be able to keep walking to the park, but I realized the contractions were progressing and we cut our walk short.

We had had our bags packed for two weeks, so we were ready to go. We took Miles to Teresa's house (our daycare provider who is wonderful and said she would take care of him over night for us). Miles was a little confused as to why he was going to her house in the afternoon, but he was happy to stay with her.
At the hospital, before the puking. Contractions still manageable. 

After the puking, contractions getting stronger. That smile is really forced.
We got to the hospital about 6:00pm. I was 4 centimeters dilated and the contractions were consistent at about 3 minutes apart. We probably should have gotten there sooner, but we just weren't sure exactly how fast it would go. The nurses put us in a room right away and I settled in for the ride. Aaron was a great coach. He helped keep me relaxed and calm during the contractions. He thinks he can be a professional birth coach now. So ladies, if you are prego and need one, Aaron is available.

I moved around a lot, I brought my yoga mat and was on my hands and knees on the floor for a while. This position worked well when I was in labor with Miles too. My body just seems to know what to do during birth. I didn't have any pain meds so I was managing the contractions by breathing and listening to Aaron's voice telling me to relax. I had a few rough patches and kept repeating out loud "I can to it, I can do it" and I heard Dr. Sorlie saying, "yes you can Jen, yes you can." Another great part about the experience was our friend Janelle was my nurse. She was great, she was also talking me through contractions and being a supportive part of the team. 
All swaddled up and resting.
Oh yah, and there was puking. I don't understand why my body does this, Dr. Sorlie said "that is just part of the process." But it sucks! Why does there have to be puking during labor? From our experience with Miles we learned that I shouldn't eat a big garlic and sausage filled meal before I go to the hospital. So I only had a small snack. But up came my stomach contents shortly after we got to the hospital. I had a respet from the puking and could concentrate on "opening my lotus flower" (sorry if that is too graphic, it's an image they used on my yoga DVD).

I wasn't keeping track of the time, that was Aaron's job, but honestly I didn't want to know what time it was. I was at 8 centimeters and everyone was just waiting for the pushing urge to come. I could hear Dr. Sorlie and Janelle asking me questions, but all I could do was focus on me and wait for the next contraction. I think I heard Aaron answer them, but I was in no shape to talk. Then I experienced this weird lull where I could catch my breath and even speak a few sentences. Janelle said this happens a lot during labor right before the big push at the end and the final birth of the baby. I was happy to have this time to catch my breath. Then there was more puking and as soon as I asked for the puke bag everyone jumped into action. Apparently you use the same muscles to barf as you do to push the baby out and vomiting is a sign that the pushing is going to start. Again I asked "why must there be puking?"

Mom and baby soon after birth.
Aaron told me there was a lot more screaming (from me, not the Doctor or Nurses) this time than there was with Miles. I remember at one point feeling the baby's head move down then retreat back in. It is a little hard to tell, but I think I had three good pushes and she was out! Like I said, I think my body just knows what to do when it comes to birthing a baby. I feel pretty fortunate.

Dr. Sorlie put Baby right on my chest and I was so happy to see her. Aaron announced loud and clear this time, "it's a Girl!" I couldn't believe it. It is really an indescribable feeling when you give birth.To finally see the little being that has been growing inside you for 9 months is really incredible. It is also a little surreal to think that Aaron and I created this little person.
Mom, Dad and Alice a few hours after she was born.
One of our first impressions of Alice when she came out was the length of her fingernails! It was so weird! They were like cat claws. We were also a little relieved to find out she was a girl because we didn't have a boy name picked out. We just couldn't decide on one. So luckily, we didn't have to deal with that issue. 

Another cool thing that happened was soon after she was born, maybe 10 minutes, she started rooting and looking for food (i.e., my boobs). I couldn't believe it, I don't remember Miles having that instinct right off the bat. She also latched on right away!  It is probably a combination of my experience and her ability, but with Miles it was a lot different. He had trouble latching and he didn't have a very powerful suck. Breast feedings with him would last over an hour. But Alice is a Champ at breastfeeding. We go about 20 to 30 minutes and she latches great. We do have to use a nipple shield like we did with Miles, but so long as she is getting good milk and I'm happy.
Taking of the footprints, look at those little black feet.

It was late before we settled down and were able to get some rest. Aaron stayed at the hospital with us and tried to sleep on the fold out bed in the room. My mom arrived the next day to see Alice and stay for a while to help out. Miles needs a lot of attention and Grandma was happy to give it to him. Miles also got to meet his little sister the next day. He didn't warm up to her right away. I think it was a little much for him to take in at the time. But once we got home he started to hug and kiss on her. He is going to be a great big brother.
Grandma Kross and baby Alice the next day.

Miles' first look at his sister.

Our friends Lori and Murray came to visit in the hospital and deliver cute girl clothes.
The next night in the hospital was a bit restless. It seemed like as soon as I got Alice to sleep and myself settled one of the nurses would come in disturb us. They were just doing their job, but I was longing to go home.
The ride home from the hospital
At home with Dad.

He's got to feed the Monkey, Man! (Miles practicing feeding his sister)

First family photo.

So that's the long story. We are all adjusting to the new life with baby. The dogs seem to be doing ok. The Grandmas (my mom and Aaron's mom) have all come an gone. They were great to have here. My house stayed clean but now it's up to us to manage everything. This two kid thing is going to be a challenging change. But we can do it! We can do it!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful story, Jen. You are so brave, and I agree, why does there have to be puking!