The fear of going to labor with my second child was unavoidable, and yet it was significantly different than the fear I felt upon nearing the end of my first pregnancy with Max. This time around, it involved a whole new set of worries.
Will labor be different this time? How will I balance caring for 2? How will I handle being away from Max overnight for the first time during my hospital stay? Will I be fortunate enough to have another great delivery? Will I ever get to sleep again?
Well, you can't fight the inevitable, and on Wednesday April 23, 2014, the inevitable finally occurred. At 3:51 PM, after being induced that morning due to pregnancy-related kidney stone issues, we welcomed our sweet Ella Rose into the world. Weighing in at 7 pounds 15 ounces, and measuring 20.5 inches long, she made her debut with a gorgeous head full of thick dark brown hair, and a high pitched cry that screamed, "I am 100% girl!".
The induction process was new to me. I had no idea what to expect, what it entailed, or how long the whole procedure would take. Much to my surprise, God once again blessed me with an amazing, and shockingly enjoyable labor process.
My induction began at around 8 AM. I only was given the lowest dose of Pitocin, and never needed more. My body responded instantly, like a seasoned professional; and before I knew it, even though I had had an epidural, I began to feel my contractions intensifying later that afternoon.
Upon leaving the operating room, after performing a c-section for another mom-to-be, my doctor noticed this progress on the monitor and came to my room to check on me. Just like that, I was 10 centimeters dilated, and it was go time.
I almost rolled off the bed, when I heard him call for the nurses, and the words, "we're going to be delivering a baby in the next 5-10 minutes" were uttered. It was a shock to both Mike and myself. With Max, I had only pushed for about 45 minutes, but 5 or 10... I didn't even believe that was possible.
Before I knew it, I was surrounded by nurses and resident doctors. Per their recommendation, I attempted a "practice push" which evidently was enough to get the ball rolling, because I was very quickly told to "STOP!".
3 pushes later, and Ella was placed on my chest. I watched in awe as Mike cut the umbilical cord. Everything had happened so fast that it didn't even seem real, but just like that, I had become a mother of 2, and the overwhelming feeling of love and joy filled every part of me. All of the anxiety and fear was gone. She was absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way, and as I held her, I was instantly brought back to how I felt when Max was placed in my arms for the very first time.
The first time Max met his baby sister was amazing, and being united as a family of four suddenly became the greatest moment of my life thus far. Having just learned how to say her name, Max proudly yelled out, "baby", and then, "Ella, Ella, Ella!", and it hasn't stopped since. He is so gentle with her, rubbing her hair, kissing her forehead, and he expresses genuine concern when he hears her cry. Though there was never a doubt in my mind that my sweet boy would be a fabulous big brother, seeing that relationship come to life with my own eyes has been nothing less than magical.
As we adjust to this new family dynamic, I have every intention of sharing more, but for now I am enjoying every moment and taking it all in. As we all know, this time is very precious, but I couldn't wait to share the news of baby Ella's arrival with all of you. More to come...
*** my apologies for the mobile photos, but as you can imagine, things have been a bit hectic around here lately.