Three weeks ago, my darling Amelia was born. Three weeks man. At times it feels like a minute ago, at times I can't remember what it was like just with one.
I expected everything to be a carbon copy of my experience with Claire. Going into labor a week early, laboring for 24 hours, birthing this sweet little E.T. looking (a beautiful E.T., mind you...) creature.
Instead, I was surprised with an on-time baby (why am I even using these "early" and "on-time" labels... I don't even know, as I've never believed in "due dates"), a 3 hour labor, and a completely different baby. This one is not a carbon copy of her sister Claire, she's a carbon copy of her Mama, Lindsay.
Three hour labor... yes, I said it. I woke up on my "due date" (there I go again...) with no signs of labor, so we did what most normal people do when they're 40 weeks pregnant... they go to Ikea.
OK, I make it sound more dramatic than it actually was. In reality, it was a Sunday, and we got there just when they were opening, and we had a very specific shopping list. We were in and out (including a frozen yogurt!) in 40 minutes, a new record. (Also: I will NEVER go to Ikea again unless it's Sunday when they open. Empty, I tell you, EMPTY! A Scandinavian miracle!)
We rounded off the shopping trip with a stop at Plum Market. During both trips, I had a few contractions here and there, nothing to write home about. It didn't even dawn on me to call my sister (our designated Claire-sitter) to warn her "this might be the day". The contractions seemed too sporadic and not even close to consistent.
The day went on... Ikea furniture assembled (I do believe it was our 12th and 13th piece of Ikea furniture my poor husband put together post-tornado), a trip to Target and Whole Foods under our belts (I apparently was trying to shop my baby out of my yute), and we retired home to watch the Lions game. I laid on the couch while Nick cheered on our football friends, and eventually fell asleep for almost the entire game.
My theory is that perhaps I went into labor during said "nap" during this 8:00 pm football game. Not that I woke up or anything, but when the game was over and Nick woke me up to go upstairs to bed at 11:30 pm, I think I made it to bed without noticing contractions or anything (I'm a pretty deep sleeper and thus zombie-walked to bed in a stupor, I'm sure). Less than an hour after going to bed, I woke up at 12:30 am with contractions.
I stayed in the bathroom for about 1/2 hour timing the contractions, and was like "well dang, that hurts" and "well dang, there's another one" and then "well dang, I'm going to take a shower because OW".
So I woke up Nick to let him know "hey, no big deal, I'm just taking a shower at 1 am because OW" and he was sort of like "eh okay? are you having a baby?" and I replied "don't know?"
It only took about 5 minutes of the shower before Nick made the Executive Decision to call my sister, because we were having a baby. I don't know what it is about me, but I was so indecisive about whether it was happening or not. HELLO DENIAL. Being that my sister lives 45 minutes away, I'm so glad he called her when he did.
I spent another hour laboring in the bathroom, draping myself over an exercise ball every 2-3 minutes. Eventually I started to sound like a zoo animal. I won't lie, I was kind of embarrassed on my own behalf. I know having a baby is this natural, albeit primal, mammalian thing to do, and I was definitely playing the part, but I was muy embarrassed at my "owwwwww" moans.
So, 30 minutes laboring by myself. 60 minutes laboring with my husband up while my sister drove over here. We're talking 90 minutes total at home from the time I wake up in hard-core labor (without ever really being in non-hard-core labor) and then we're off to the hospital.
There was no way in HAIL I was going to SIT in the front seat, because remember? OW? So I laid in the 3rd row of my minivan (hello I'm a mom of two now, of course I have a minivan) and made more embarrassing sounds every 2 minutes or so. With about 5 minutes left of the ride to the hospital, my water broke in a gush. Lovely! Once we got there, Nick grabbed a wheelchair but like with the car, I was like "nope, not sitting on that" and ended up kneeling on it backwards. I don't think I opened my eyes more than three times between leaving my house and giving birth. I was just In The Zone trying to survive each contraction (have I mentioned it before? OW!) and trying not to die.
So now we're approaching 2 hours of labor. 1.5 hours at home, and about 1/2 hour for the drive there and the ride up to triage.
In triage, they checked me within a few minutes, and told me I was complete. Which means, labor is just about over & done with. UM, HELLO, WHAT? I mean, thank you for saying that, because if you told me I was 4 cm or some bullshit number like that or something, I would have died from pain. (And gotten all Hollywood and been one of those woman screaming and begging for the Anesthesiologist NOWWWW.) But of course, the fact that I was thinking those things means of course I was done, the worst part was over, now it's just time to have a baby.
Now, I think they really did get kind of Hollywood on me, because I swear (and this was probably the 3rd time I actually opened my eyes to see what was going on around me) they RAN my gurney down the hall. I swear I think I felt my hair blowing in the wind. It's not like I was pushing the baby out or anything? Nonetheless, I got a kick out of that. I kind of felt like a Big Deal on the maternity wing, if that's possible.
In actuality, I think I spent a total of 30 minutes in triage, between kneeling on the bed for a few contractions waiting for the resident, to getting checked, to getting admitted and what not. So in the 2-2.5 hours I was awake and in labor, I got to 10 cm and "ready to push". W. T. F.
The rest is pretty much storybook... push, push, baby. Crying, sweet, baby. My first thought was "OMG, she's different from Claire!" because like I said, I was expecting a version two point oh of my first daughter.
But this little sweetie pie, she had my rosy complexion, my fair skin, my red hair. She nursed immediately, and was easy to console. In a matter of 3 short hours (and 40 long weeks...), our family grew.
"Life as we knew it" had already changed when we became parents the first time, so the experience wasn't as... drastic and life-changing as our first go around. But the love was just as plenty, the awe at the miracle of life renewed, and the feeling that life as we know it just got a lot better.