I’m AWFUL about posting birth announcements on anyplace besides Facebook and Twitter! (At least Nathan’s was only a month or so late, this one is closing in on three!)
Emily Michelle was born on October 23. (True to “second time Mommy” form, I have no idea what time it was. Sometime around 8ish, I think?) She was born via C-section, as I was slowly starting to develop pre-eclampsia again. We had held off as long as we could (hoping that I’d go into labor naturally and get to have the VBAC I wanted), but I wasn’t showing any signs of labor and my blood pressures were very gradually trending higher and higher and my lab results were coming back outside the normal limits. I was at the doctor’s office for my non-stress test when my doctor called to say it was probably time to get the baby out (it was convenient that I ended up being right there, though, so she could come in and talk to me in person! I think there might have been something happening with Emily’s heartrate on the monitors at that point too, but since the decision was already made to head in for a C-section, we never really talked about that. Hm. I should probably find out someday what was happening!) In any case, they said I could meet J at home but then I should grab my bags and head to the hospital! (We owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to our friends, family members, and babysitter, who all managed to cobble together a schedule to take care of Nathan until my mom could fly in! That had been the thing I was MOST anxious about, and while it was stressful making phone calls and setting it up as I was trying to pack a bag for the hospital, it worked out better than I could ever have planned in advance).
We ended up delivering on what was one of the busiest C-section days EVER! I’m not exaggerating, either. They usually do 5-6 C-sections in a day, and I was number 11. We spent a few hours in the waiting room, hanging out with people whose family members were having babies, because they didn’t even have a spare room to monitor me in. Once I was in a room and ready for surgery, I got bumped multiple times for more emergent cases. They ended up bringing in a fresh team to operate on me, which was nice because the ones I was supposed to have looked EXHAUSTED! That’s never a good sign! It was also nice because we ended up with the same anesthesiologist and doctor who delivered Nathan! (And I later found out that the doctor is next in line to head up the department, and usually only does complicated surgeries! How I got him for two fairly routine C-sections, I’ll never know, but it was definitely nice to have him!)
Emily was 19 inches long (the same as Nathan was at birth!) and despite making it almost all the way until her due date (4 days shy!) was 6 pounds, 4 ounces (just 1 pound more than Nathan was, when he was born 3.5 weeks early!) I apparently just make tiny babies, even WITH gestational diabetes! (So if we have a third kid and I get GD again, maybe we could just stop the incessant worrying about the baby getting too big? Because my babies clearly aren’t big at all!)
The surgery went off without a hitch, and while Emily had slightly low blood sugar at birth, after a little bit of formula and a lot of skin-to-skin and breastfeeding, everything else went fabulously! We only stayed in the hospital for two days before coming home (the standard stay after a C-section is three days, but we weren’t pleased about the addition of a roommate to the tiny hospital room on day 2, so our night nurse helped set everything up so we could leave early!)
So far she has been a DREAM baby – started breastfeeding like a CHAMP (to the extent that I’ve been concerned multiple times that perhaps she isn’t getting enough to eat, because she spends feeding in an entire DAY the amount of time that Nathan would feed in ONE SITTING! She has been consistently gaining weight appropriately, though, so it just goes to show, every baby is different!) sleeps awfully well for a baby, and is generally just super mellow and calm. I’d always thought Nathan was a low-maintenance baby, but I was wrong! Emily takes the cake, and we couldn’t be more grateful! (It’s particularly appreciated since Nathan has been having a rough transition into toddler-hood. I’m thankful to only have one troublesome child at a time!)
Nathan has taken remarkably well to being a big brother. While I was pregnant we’d bought him a baby doll to start getting used to seeing a baby, and started teaching him to touch people gently. Other than that, we didn’t do much to prepare him.
It’s amazing to see Nathan with Emily. He has his times where he’s angry that he can’t sit on my lap because I’m feeding her, and doesn’t always understand why we can’t help him with something immediately because we’re dealing with her first, but most of the time he is excited to see her. Our biggest problem is actually that he’s TOO helpful sometimes! If he hears her crying, he’ll bring her a pacifier or put his blankie on her (which is nice, except that she doesn’t always WANT a binkie crammed into her mouth backwards, or a blanket piled up on top of her head!) If he’s having a snack or a drink, he tries to share it with her. After diaper changes, he loves it if we lay her down in his bed so he can lie down next to her (being extra super careful to lie up against the very edge of his bed-rail) and pat her tummy or point at her ears. She’s turned into quite the smiler, and will go from frowning to grinning when he pays attention to her. He gets SUPER MAD if we take her away for any reason, and will cry and run after her signing “baby” and “again”. It is the biggest blessing to watch the two of them interact, and I am so excited to see their relationship develop as she gets more interactive (and robust! I’m always worried about leaving her anywhere within his reach, because he has tried to pick her up before. It’ll be a relief when she’s heavier and her head isn’t quite so wobbly!)
I guess the moral of the story is that I really stink at being pregnant (I’m just SO miserable and always end up with so many high-risk complications!) but I think my babies end up being pretty awesome If we decide to have a third (because I’m already forgetting how sick I felt right up until the day I delivered! DANGER!) I’ll just have to keep that in mind – pregnancy is rough, but being able to watch your kids kiss each other and play together is REALLY worth the effort! (But if anybody knows a magical way to make pregnancy more fun, I’d still be interested to hear it!)