hey friends. i just wanted to take a quick moment here while i (think) i have a snug sleeping baby down the hall to thank you all so much for all the kind words on my last post!!! you are all really something. i appreciate so much that you were thinking of us and wishing the best. i loved reading each one of your comments so much.
to answer a few questions: dorothy bird weighed in at 8lbs, 11oz. she was kind of a hefty little thing. i guess that's what happens when they hang out in the womb for all that extra time. i had heard that girls were typically smaller than boys, but not this time. henry was a lovely 7 pounder. i think when the nurse called her weight out after the birth, i turned to matt and said something like, "that is ridiculous".
the night she was born was a whirlwind. she arrived at 3:09 on sunday morning, but contractions actually began for me sometime on friday. nothing painful, nothing worth timing, but enough that i remember it as being different, and i was certainly hoping it would amount to something. on saturday, we ended up keeping ourselves really busy around the house (i was doing nutty stuff like wiping down/dusting baseboards and radiators and spraying pollen off the windows of our house while matt and henry did yard work and such). throughout the day, i was having something like a contraction that lasted 20-30 seconds every 20 minutes or so, but by the time 6 pm rolled around, my mom arrived and we started to seriously time them. my mom is amazing with this stuff. she was an absolute miracle person during henry's birth, counting + coaching me through every contraction- i have told her that she would make an amazing birthing coach. so basically, i drank a ton of water with fresh lime squeezed in it and paced laps around my house while matt and mom sat at the dining room table and made notes on the frequency/length/peak of my contractions.
we finally phoned the hospital around 7:30 and asked if we should head in. the nurse that i spoke to said to just keep doing what we were doing till we were ready to come in, i think we had decided on heading over when the contractions were pretty close- i did not want to labor much at the hospital, staying home where i could walk was much more appealing. by the time we arrived at the hospital, it was 9:30 and my contractions were pretty much one on top of another. there was a team of like 5 nurses in there just trying to get an iv started for me- which was an absolutely miserable experience. i am an iv wimp, and have only had one in my life before this experience, and i passed out. imagine having screaming contractions and being stabbed like 10 times because your veins keep blowing. nightmare.
i'll spare the rest of the nitty gritty, but i will say these few things to those of you who are pregnant for the first time, or hoping to be one day:
* move as much as possible through your laboring, and for the love of god, do not let them lay you in bed on your back! it might be a real easy position for the doctor, but gravity is not on your side when you are laying down. if you can work your way through most of it by walking, rocking in the chair, using the yoga ball or the tub, that is ideal.
* having your wits about you is really your best tool for pain management. if you allow yourself to go down the road of "omg, i can't do this!" and you start to panic, it is hard to get through 2 minutes of a contraction. just try your best to breath (and not hyperventilate) and stay calm. mind over matter!!!
* make sure you know what you want ahead of time- in terms of pain management, drugs, etc- and have someone in there to really speak for you when you can't quite speak for yourself. otherwise, you might have a real medical event on your hands as opposed to a natural thing that women have been doing for a zillion years. watch the business of being born, and you will get a better idea of what i am talking about here. and i will say this in the same breath- it is also important to remember that you don't have anything to prove, and you don't have to go in there dead-set on one thing. it is ok for it to all be too much and to ask for help. don't feel badly about yourself if this is the case. the most important thing is that you get through it ok and that you give birth to a happy, healthy little pooper dooper.
* having a great nurse means everything. i was very fortunate to receive some amazing, loving care from a nurse who was with us through the entire birth and also the following day. and as fate would have it, her grandparents names were henry and dorothy. i mean, really- what are the chances!? this woman was everything that weekend- and she probably doesn't even really know it. i told her a few times how amazing she was, and hugged her the following morning after like 1 hour of sleep, but i do plan of fully thanking her with a special letter and gift. i really do feel like i will remember her forever.
* if you are breastfeeding, do not get discouraged!!! don't be afraid to consult the lactation consultant, and know that for every day you stick with it through that first week or two, you are that much closer to it all being super easy. babies can really latch on with an amazing Super Grip that you feel like might just kill you. but it won't. and the breast is best, as the saying goes, so do what you can do stick with it- you will be glad you did. you and baby will find a groove, i promise. and the icing on the cake is that you will burn up to 500 calories a day just breastfeeding alone!
* this is sort of minor, but, it helps to remember that HOSPITAL FOOD IS DISGUSTING. try to remember to pack some yummy cereal bars/fruit/good juice/nuts/something that you like to get you through those 2 days at the hospital. i felt bad every time a nurse would come in and collect my tray that still had the entire meal sitting on it. but the weird spongy eggs and mystery meat was just not working for me!!! you would think that a hospital would serve quality foods, but. no.
anyhow, that's it for freckle's tips and advice for birthing a child and being in a hospital. if anyone has any other questions (don't hesitate to be more specific/personal) you can email me directly.
the short of it is, i left with this:
and i came home with this:
i mean! does it get any better than that?