I was due with our second baby girl on June 6, 2015. Now, her sister was 10 days over due, so even though I was REALLY hoping she would make an early appearance I knew in my heart of hearts that it would not be the case.
Large and in charge at 38 weeks
Her due date came and went and still no baby. I was doing everything in my power to get things moving. Yoga, walking, spicy food, sex, EVERYTHING.
On the morning of Sunday June 7th we woke up and, after a few text messages back and forth with some friends, decided to go out for a picnic lunch at 1230. Spoiler alert: we never made it on our picnic.
I felt my first contraction at 10AM. It was not much, but it was something and it was much more intense than the braxton hicks contractions I had been feeling. Stephen immediately asked if he could go mow the lawn (this is SO a second kid birth story, right?!) in case we went to the hospital later.
I told him to go ahead while Ella and I got suited up to take a walk. We went for a short walk and this was when things really started to pick up. My contractions started becoming really hard and intense, but they were still between 15-20 minutes apart. I texted Stephen’s mom to come get Ella when she had a chance, and started getting her things together.
Around 11:30 Ella was picked up, and Stephen and I were in the house laboring. I asked if we could head to his parents house and labor there since it was 10 minutes closer to the hospital and I really wanted one final picture with Ella as a family of 3.
As soon as we arrived at Stephen’s parents house my contractions came on fast and furious. I got through each one by leaning my head into Stephen and swaying my hips back and forth while humming. We had a great thing going and really fell into a nice rhythm. Just like the first time around , Stephen was an incredible coach and I do not think I could have gotten through it without him!
After about an hour of laboring in Stephen’s old bedroom we took our last picture as a family of three and headed to the hospital.
One of my favorite pictures of all time. I am so glad we took it between mind numbing contractions.
This is where things get hairy. I had no idea that the Puerto Rican Day Parade was happening in Hartford that day, but it turns out that most of the city was shut down for the parade and after party. Every where we turned streets were either closed or so full of people that we could not get through. Meanwhile, I was getting slammed by contractions every 3 minutes that were lasting 45 seconds. I finally cried to Stephen that I absolutely could not have this child on the side of the road during the parade. He immediately pulled over to ask a police officer what was the fasted way to the hospital around the parade route. This officer, aka: my new best friend, dropped road barriers and radioed to his colleagues to let us through all closed roads on the way to the hospital.
Everything started to go REALLY fast as this point. We got to the hospital at 3PM, we were checked at triage and checked in by 4PM . At this point I was already 5 cm.
We labored in the hallway, in the room, on the birthing ball, everywhere! Since the epidural all but stopped my labor last time, I was trying to wait as long as possible before getting one administered this time around.
At some point my contractions were coming on so hard and fast that I could not catch my breath in between and I started to alternately hold my breath and hyperventilate during the contractions. At this point, I knew it was time for the drugs.
I had the epidural administered at 7CM. Immediately after I closed my eyes to sleep and my water broke. Within a half hour I was checked again and was 10 cm. I started to push and less than 20 minutes later our baby girl was born. Seriously, it happened that fast.
I was so shocked when she was born and even uttered the words “Wait? That was it?”. It was such a different experience than with Ella. The epidural was still in full effect and the only thing I felt was intense pressure as Addy moved down in the birth canal.
Immediately 7 pounds and 7 oz of pure perfection were placed on my chest. I got her to latch immediately as the placenta was delivered and I was sewn up. Again, this was so different. I did not feel the placenta being delivered and only needed 2 stitches as opposed to 15 last time.
She was so calm, and so wide eyed. Every worry I had about not being able to love another child as much as Ella immediately vanished. This baby proved to me that love truly grows, it does not divide . She was my second born, my Addy, and I was so in love with her.
I was able to walk within an hour, and had a turkey sandwich in my hand within two! I could not believe how great I felt despite having just given birth! It just goes to show that each pregnancy, delivery, and baby can be so different.
The next day is one I will never forget. Ella was able to meet her new baby sister and I thought my heart would literally explode. She was obsessed with this new baby and I honestly felt like Addy had always been a part of our family, and had not just been born within the last 24 hours
We really tried to enjoy our time in the hospital. We rested and nursed and took full advantage of the nursing staff and lactation consultants.
Eventually we made our way home to begin our journey as a family of four. As we were leaving the hospital I was reminded of what it was like to drive home with Ella as a newborn. I was so scared, so nervous, and felt like I was in way over my head. This time I was scared and nervous but also eerily calm. I was armed with the knowledge that everything about babies is so fleeting. The hard times pass just as fast as the good, and you do EVENTUALLY find your footing in everything.
As we drove home that day I decided to simply surrender to this season of life and take it as it came. I knew I would be tired, I knew I would be overwhelmed. But what I did not know was the amazing love I would feel for my girls and the calm I would feel walking into our home. I could not wait to see what would come, and I could not wait to see Addy evolve into her own little person .