May 30, 2012

Dear Lily - One Month

Dear Lily, 

Welcome to the world!  You arrived on Monday, April 30 at 10:48 am.  You weighed 7 lbs., 15 oz. and measured 21 inches long.  You have a full head of dark hair and have been a great eater since then!

Before I get started into describing our first month together, I want to share your birth story with you.  On the Sunday before you were born, Mama felt a little funny and knew that you would be arriving soon.  You had dropped very low and Mama had trouble moving about because you were so low in my pelvis.  I made sure my hospital bag was ready to go.  While I had been having contractions all month long, I did not have any on Sunday.  About  11 pm that night, I threw up and I knew you would be coming soon.  I fell asleep about 11:30 pm and woke up with strong contractions about 2:30 am.  I woke Daddy up and we started to practice breathing and some relaxation postures.  We called your Aunt Sarah and she came over right away to watch Rose.  We also called our doula, Nancy, and she said she would be over soon.

We continued to labor at home and the contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and were strong.  We called the hospital at 3:30 am and Nancy arrived then too.  We described what was happening to the nurse who told us that we could continue to labor at home or we could come in.  Mama wanted to labor at home as long as possible and Nancy said that we could labor at home a little while longer.  After about three more contractions, though, Nancy announced that we should probably go to the hospital!

Daddy loaded the bags into the car and Mama climbed in.  Right as Daddy got in, though, and started the car, I had another contraction and had to get out to breathe through it.  After it passed, I climbed back in and told Dad to DRIVE!  Thankfully, the hospital is only a few minutes away from us and just as we pulled into the drive, another contraction arrived.  I breathed through it and then got out and went into the hospital.  The security guard saw us come in and asked what we needed.  Nancy announced, "She's having a baby!" and the maternity ward nurse was already there to greet us.  She asked if I wanted a wheelchair and I declined - it was much easier to walk and stand through the contractions.  So I walked down the hallway to the elevator bank and up we went to the maternity ward floor!  As the elevator doors opened, another contraction started, so I held on to the elevator handrails and breathed through it.  

We then went to our room and I had to be attached to the monitor which meant laying down in bed.  They got everything attached and checked me out.  I was about 5 cm dilated and definitely having contractions.  I was asked several questions and finally!  they were done checking me and I could get up and labor.  I felt most comfortable sitting on the toilet so I could open up my pelvis.  Nancy suggested the tub and I thought that sounded great!  She began to run water into the tub and Daddy continued to be there to help me breathe and relax through each contraction.  I threw up one more time and then I was able to climb into the warm water and breathe and relax through each contraction.  The water was so warm and soothing and made the next few hours pass smoothly.  The contractions picked up and I eventually got out of the tub and sat on a ball so the nurse could check you.  They had trouble telling your heart rate from my pulse, since my pulse was racing as fast as your little heartbeat!

After a bit, I crawled into the bed so they could check me again.  There was a lot of pressure and we decided to pop the bag of waters.  There was a warm gush and a sense of relief.  Then the contractions really picked up!  I had definitely made more progress and I could feel you pushing down.  I got onto all fours and continued to labor.  They attached an internal probe to your little head to keep track of you. I was on all fours and started to push.  Lily, I don't really remember too much of my labor at this point, although I do remember Daddy being next to me, holding my hand and whispering in my ear.  Nancy was behind me, providing counter pressure to my hips.  And I pushed.  I know Dr. Mahan was there, waiting for you.  I just kept pushing and then I felt your little head crown!  Everyone in the room yelled out, "Look at that hair!"  A few more pushes and Dr. Mahan guided you out into this world.

I looked down at you and your eyes were wide open.  You were so alert and quiet, just looking around at the world.  As I looked at you, I could see such a strong resemblance to your sister.  I asked to let your cord continue to pulse which it did and then they clamped it off.  Daddy cut your umbilical cord and you were scooped up and taken to the table to weigh and measure.

After that, we cuddled for a bit and you nursed for the first time.  You were very good at it from the beginning, hungry and willing to latch on!  After a little bit, we were told that due to a "stork attack" (many babies arriving all about the same time!) we were going to be moved to a different room.  Before we moved, though, we took a bath - your very first bath.  And then we moved to a new room.  

Once in the new room, we settled in and Daddy and I started to make some phone calls and let everyone know the good news that you had arrived!  Later that day, Aunt Sarah brought your big sister Rose to meet you for the first time.  It was exciting to see the two of you meet finally!

Your Aunt Sarah was also very excited to meet you!

Later that night, Uncle Joe, Aunt Katie and your cousin Lucia came to visit (and bring Mama and Daddy some egg salad sandwiches!)

After a few days in the hospital, we went home!  We were so excited to finally be home.  

Your Aunt Carolyn came to stay with us for a little over a week.  She took good care of us, cooking many meals, playing with and helping to take care of Rose, and keeping Mama sane!

Your Grandma Jan and Grandpa Dewey and Grandpa Barry and Grandma Michelle came to visit too!  And lots of other people have been so excited to meet you and have brought us great gifts of clothing, food, and laughter to help take care of us during this time.  We are so lucky to have you, and to also have this wonderful community and family of people who love all of us!

This past month has flown by.  You are a great eater and continue to grow big and strong.  You were 10 lbs, 2 oz, this morning at your weigh in!  You are a wonderful baby, filling our hearts with joy and our minds with wonder.  I was so worried, before you came, about how you would fit into our family.  You appeared and our hearts grew larger and overflowed with love and joy.  I love you so much.  Your Daddy adores you and your sister takes good care of you!  

Our family is that much more complete.  You bring us joy.  Laughter. Delight.  Contentment.  Thank you, Lily.  And welcome to this wonderful, amazing world!  

All my love, 

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