Emilia’s Birth Day!
So let’s talk about the day that was one of the biggest surprises of my life!
Ohhhhh my gosh. So in love with this little bug. Hugest hugest hugest surprise of my life EVER! Get ready for all the words.
Guys. I know this is hard to believe but AGAIN I was in a situation where I didn’t know that I was in labor. LIKE WHAT. Should I have my own MTV show? How is this my second child and I still didn’t know? I felt like such a dweeb.
I woke up last Saturday morning and felt something (how is she already a week old?)… but it felt like… nothing. I mean, honestly, I just thought I had to pee after being in bed all night. I was under the covers and didn’t want to get up. Once I went downstairs I told Eddie that “maybe something was happening… but I don’t know.”
HOW DID I NOT KNOW?!
He has since told me that he thought my voice sounded weird that morning, like something was different.
I have no idea. It just didn’t hurt. It was like this mild twinge, barely a cramp. Eddie asked if I had started to time them and I quickly downloaded a contraction app and did so. They were three minutes apart. Just twinges! Nothing that would even make me think contractions, other than the fact that they were regularly three minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds each. Just a twinge, for 45 seconds. WHAT. How is this real life. I was like… “should I get a shower?” He just looked at me like I was insane.
It didn’t hurt. I didn’t want to go to the hospital too early! I thought contractions would be intense since this was my second pregnancy!
I called my mom and told her that I thought we would bring Max over because “I might be in labor but I don’t know.” She sort of laughed but said “I know exactly what you mean.” (For reference, she basically walked into the hospital and we fell out of her without a doctor ever present while my dad was parking the car. THIS MUST RUN IN THE FAMILY!)
We took our time without freaking out (unlike Max’s labor when we left pretty late since I didn’t think that was labor either) – like actually parked the car and walked in together. I was convinced I wouldn’t be dilated more than 1cm (where I had been for the last four weeks), but figured that since I was past 40 weeks, I wouldn’t be leaving the hospital without a baby. I was just so happy to be getting there before I was 8cm this time and not feel super rushed in how this would go.
This entire time, the contractions (which still didn’t feel like contractions) were two or three minutes apart. Still feeling the same – generally twinge-y and what not. They checked me and said I was 5 to 6cm dilated and that if I wanted the epidural, I should get it now. Like right NOW. They gave me an IV and prepped me instantly.
THIS IS WHERE IT GETS FUN.
If you read my birth story with Max, you’ll know that the epidural sort of sucked (I mean, I got it at 9cm!) and that I swore I’d never get another one. Never ever ever.
Well. I said I wanted it. I was SUCH a baby about the pain this time. I was SO afraid of the anticipation of the pain that I couldn’t handle it. The ancipation was worse than the actual pain. I was way too afraid to push out the baby without an epidural even though people do it every day. I have no idea why. I have tons of friends that have done it.
Eddie was like “are you SURE you want this after the experience last time?!” I was like YES FOR SURE.
There was a midwife on call who would be delivering the baby (she was AMAZING! In fact the entire team delivering that day was awesome.) and told us that if I didn’t get an epidural, I’d probably have the baby in an hour. She figured I was about 7 to 8cm at that point and said I was definitely transitioning. If I did get the epidural, it would be two-ish hours or so.
I still decided to get it. I was just so, so scared of the pain of childbirth. This had to be intensified by the weird anxiety I’ve had for the last few months over this second birth.
The problem was that I wasn’t in much pain from the contractions yet, if any. It was just this uncomfortable twinge. So I was already scared of the epidural and the pain from that (can you tell I was a trainwreck?) – since in most cases, the epidural is no big deal after painful contractions.
Basically I was a giant head case already.
I told my nurse that my last experience with an epidural was pretty yucky and that it took multiple times and pokes and two doctors, to which she said “oh the guy we have today is great!”
My back must be shaped weird or something, because this experience was like 150 times worse. It took over an hour and four different places with two different doctors while I sat there facing Eddie, not moving, and I was TERRIFIED. After 35 minutes of failing I started to bawl my eyes out and I think this is where the bad anxiety began. Nothing was really hurting, but I was scared and it was taking so long and I was generally uncomfortable from sitting there like that. Not scared enough to stop though.
Regardless, after another 35 minutes they got the epidural in and it worked! It was probably one of the more terrible experiences of Eddie’s life too, but we made it. Looking back on it now, of course it doesn’t seem as bad.
The midwife came and checked me and I was at 8cm. My water didn’t break so she went ahead and broke it, and said she’d be back in an hour and I’d probably start pushing.
Within 60 seconds, I felt the most insane pressure of my liiiife (much more intense than Max) and they rushed her back in. I was 10cm already and had to push so this was it!
I didn’t have many expectations of this delivery, aside from being petrified of it and secretly hoping it would be quicker than Max (who was already quick!) because everyone, including my doctor every week, kept telling me it would be quicker.
Ha. HAHAHAHA. That was so not the case. Well – technically it was about the same as Max, but the pain? A LOT more. I pushed for an hour or so and there was just barely any progress being made. The pressure and pain was unreal but it was almost like I couldn’t push and move this baby. Pushing wasn’t a relief! The midwife could feel the head but the baby wasn’t super close to coming out yet. In fact, she was stuck. Like holy hell most pain ever in my life, which was crazy because I had a freaking epidural! I felt like a huge baby and had embarrassing guilt over that.
We tried multiple positions of pushing and it was so painful and insanely frustrating/difficult. After this hour or so of pushing (which I realize is nothing compared to women who push for six or eight hours!), I was melting down. I had so much built up anxiety about this that I couldn’t stop bawling my eyes out, panicking, absolutely freaking out. At one point I screamed “take the effing clock off the wall!” because it was in my face and they kept saying “the baby will be here in minutes!” and this amazing nurse literally RIPPED IT OFF THE WALL. I can’t say enough about how awesome the nurses and midwife were!
The midwife I had was so calming but also tough and exactly what I needed. I now realize that she was very much trying to get this to happen without any sort of intervention, because I saw her reach for the knife to give me an episiotomy two different times (which after the birth, she confirmed she thought she’d have to do), but set it down once she realized I could maybe do this. My friends who have been in this situation did get an episiotomy and the baby flew out, so it might have helped, but I’m glad we made it without one. At one point she also suggested giving me anti-anxiety medicine and trying to relax for a few minutes, but having never taken medication like that, still being in so much pain, it scared that crap out of me and that made me push the hardest and be like THIS IS HAPPENING NOW.
After probably another 20ish minutes of pushing, Emilia came out sunny side up which explained all the pain, but not before getting her little head stuck out of me for almost a full five minutes. Not sure I will ever forget that feeling – HA. Ohhhh my gosh. I have a lot of friends who have delivered a baby in this posterior position without an epidural, so I still feel like a wimp. But man. It huuuuurrrrrttt. It was like my insides were being ripped out as she moved down.
The last few minutes of the birth were so hard that when she came out (and I am pretty sure I felt the midwife literally reach TWO HANDS inside me and grab her), it took almost a full 60 seconds for all of us to remember that we didn’t know what we were having! I peeked through the nurses’ arms and clearly did NOT see a penis and started screaming “OMG IS IT A GIRL?!” with a very confused look because we were pretty convinced it was a boy.
Yep. It was a GIRL! HOLY CRAP.
Eddie and I were already bawling and so happy that the baby was crying and out but at this point started pretty much screaming and crying and just losing our minds while she was on my chest. We could absolutely not BELIEVE it was a girl. It was just as wonderful as the surprise was with Max, but it was definitely MORE of a surprise because I felt so sure that Max was a boy and just KNEW that he was. To find out the opposite here was unreal!
It was crazily enough one of the best experiences of my life.
Nothing they did to me after that birth was even remotely painful. A stitch or two, pressing on my stomach, all that stuff – not painful at all.
Max got to meet her shortly afterwards and was semi-flipped out about seeing me in the bed (especially because I had the IV in my hand from the epidural), but warmed up within a few minutes. I still don’t think he even came close to understanding that this baby was coming home with us, but since we’ve been home, he’s been completely head over heels for her. So much more on that coming soon! It’s been intense and amazing and emotional and wonderful and I’ve only had like 56 breakdowns while then proclaiming how thrilled and happy I am. #emotions
One of the differences over the last few days compared to Max’s birth is that I’ve been in such major pain! OMG. I don’t know if it’s because of her position inside me, the insane ways I was pushing with my legs contorted (and how much harder I had to push than with Max) or just that it’s a second pregnancy, but man, EVERYTHING hurts. My back did hurt again from the epidural, but only for three-ish days or so. After the birth, the midwife said that her positioning made it like birthing a 9lb baby, so maybe that’s also why I have pain.
As for the rest of the pain, it’s like my insides just hurt! The cramping while I nurse is insaaaane and so much more intense that when I had Max. The cramping now hurts 100 times more than any of the contractions did – isn’t that nuts? My hips and legs are also in some pain, but feeling better today. I’ve felt like I could barely walk which is horrible, especially being home with Max all day. But each day it’s getting slightly better. I’m sure it has something to do with inevitably moving more than I did once I had Max, since I now have him running around. Does that make sense? Heh.
Loving on this little munchkin has been incredible. She is SO tiny. At my last appointment, my doctor had said she thought this was a tiny baby like Max. Emilia was only five ounces less, but she seems SO teeny tiny. Just perfection. I want to eat her up. Officially, she came out at 6lbs 5oz and 19.25 inches long. She went down to 5lbs 10oz when we left the hospital but was back up to her birth weight on Wednesday. My milk came in almost instantly so that has really helped.
Oh oh oh and the name! We’ve had the name Emilia for years. Since we got married and first discussed names. It would’ve been our girl name if Max was a girl. Her middle name, Lacy, is after my cousin who you probably hear me talk about constantly and who is basically my sister.
Both of us (and our family!) just can’t even BELIEVE how much she looks like Max. She looks identical to him! I was actually thinking this baby might come out with dark hair like mine and before the birth, I thought how crazy it would be to have a baby who didn’t look like Max. WELL! She looks exactly like him.
She is amazing!
With Max, I think I went six full days without closing my eyes once, mostly out of pure adrenaline. I’m such a worrier and I remember thinking that if I closed my eyes to sleep, something would happen to him. I felt that way with her too, but I only made it four days before being like OMG I NEED SLEEP.
So thankfully, I have been sleeping SO much more this time. She is waking up to nurse every two to three hours but I am out like a light in between, so I’m probably getting five to six broken hours at night and it feels amazing.
The last few days, we’ve spent all of our time on the couch snuggling and cuddling and watching movies. Max still snuggles me so much. The first night in the hospital was so hard because I missed him like crazy. Now that we’re home, aside from feeling overwhelmed at times, I am SO much happier that we can all be together.
And it’s true that I had no idea how much a newborn sleeps. I think I was so flipped out about having a newborn in general with Max that I didn’t realize it. But Emilia sleeps constantly, so Max and I still get to do lots of things together right now.
I’ll be back with lots more updates in the next week or so! This space on the site is like a journal of sorts for me so it’s really important that I write everything down to remember this magic. It’s already going so, so fast and I want time to slow down!
Thank you so, so, so much for all the love here. You guys are the best. xoxoxo