My baby girl, Penelope Ann, was born on September 26th at 2:36am. She is unbelievably perfect in every way and I am in love :)
My "big" little girl getting weighed...
Labor started early in the day, so we just tried to go on and treat it like a pretty normal day. I'd kept hearing all kinds of stories from people about how their 2nd baby just shot right out....labor was 20 minutes, etc. I didn't think I was in for anything like that, but I still didn't want to be caught off guard on the opposite end of the zoo, with Ezra, and have Jordan be at work. So, with that in mind, we decided that Ez and I would go up to La Jolla while Jordan treated a few patients. It turned out to be really nice -- Ezra got to take a nap in the car and afterwards, we spent about an hour at the beach, at my request. It was lovely and exactly what I needed to recenter myself.
Unfortunately, the calm that I gained from the ocean also helped to calm down those contractions. After dinner, I managed to convince Jordan that we should go walk around & push Ez on his bike. By the time we were about 5 blocks away, the contractions started back up again and this time, were much stronger. We kept going, at my request, and by the time we got home, they were about 5 minutes apart and pretty intense.
I managed to get Ezra put down to bed...somehow...in his race car bed...while I tried to maintain composure during contractions. As soon as he was down, I laid down and listened to some of my hypnobabies tracks. It wasn't too long after that that things started happening. I had no idea how long this part of labor would last, so once again, I was hesitant to call Vickii.
At some point during the end of a contraction, I felt a pop...and realized during the next contraction that it was my water. I'm about 90% sure that it was shortly after that when Jordan called Vickii...but much like with Ezra's labor, I was on another planet.
Things heated up again and I could feel a lot of downward pressure, like I was pushing...but I wasn't. I went and knelt on the floor, using a stability ball to rest my head and chest on. This was amazing. SO much more comfortable than the postures I took with Ezra (lots of sitting and ultimately lying down). During contractions, I remember needing to have Jordan help pull me forward to "balance" the pressure I felt moving down/back. I felt so much more with this labor and because of that, I felt like it didn't hurt as much. Moving around was productive (though, I didn't like to change positions once I was in one for awhile). During this time, Vickii and Nicole had arrived and they'd begun monitoring baby and whatnot.
I'm sure that I'd been down there for awhile when Vickii suggested that I try lying on my side. I did, and it was another relief to change positions. By this point, I was pushing and it seemed that I could feel her moving down, little tiny bit by little tiny bit. I stayed in the this position for another good while until, once again, I was encouraged to try standing, squatting, something else.
By this time, the contractions were coming nearly on top of one another, so changing positions was not an easy feat. I got down to the floor and made it to the foot of the bed, another contraction hit and I was stuck there. I remember that being another double one -where I had no break in between - and at that point, the baby's heart rate had slowed pretty drastically. I think it was Vickii that said that I had to push the baby out...in a rather stern voice (for her). I squatted, pushing, and could feel her head come down and I'm pretty sure she was crowning at that point.
Once that contraction was over, there was a bit of a mad rush for me to get back up on the bed and get her out. I remember getting on all fours and pushing like I'd never done before...because there were no more contractions to help. I could hear in Vickii's tone that she was serious and that in no uncertain terms, this baby needed to get out. If I had to guess, I'd say I pushed 4 more times (full-on, holy crap, kind of pushing) and out came her head. She let out a cry, much to everyone's relief, and a push or two later, the rest of her was out too :)
On her way out, she left me with a little parting gift of a giant poo -- although, I had no idea she'd done that -- we were both covered ;-) Considering the circumstances under which she arrived (it was a little more intense and scary than I'd expected), it was quite a relief to lie back and hold her in my arms. A couple minutes later, Jordan lifted up the towels around her and confirmed what I was already pretty sure of -- that she was our little girl. I got my Penny :)
Weighing in at 9 pounds and 21.5 inches long, she's my "big" little girl. She's got blue eyes (that I imagine will stay that way) and dark brown hair, just like her brother, though, she's definitely got less of it than he did. Oh, and she's absolutely beautiful.
I managed to walk away from her birth relatively unscathed, thankfully. No crazy tearing (just a couple minor ones) and no coccyx issues. Yay! Seriously, that was awful last time and I was hoping against hope that it wouldn't happen again.
I should also mention that, while I was laboring on the bed, Ezra woke up and required me to help him go back to sleep. I kind of had a feeling this was going to happen and there's really no way to plan for it -- since he only allows me to help him back to sleep. So, the lights were off in my room anyways, so he just crawled in bed next to me and fell back to sleep while I labored away. And because of that, he was right next to me when she was born. He managed to stay asleep the whole time and only woke up when she began crying just after she arrived. He sat up, still groggy, and said "A baby is born?" He then proceeded to fall in love with her alongside his Dad and me :)
So, she's here. She's perfect. She eats well, she sleeps pretty well, she's awesome. She's a great snuggler. She's a happy baby. She loves to look at her brother. I just love her to pieces.
Here's some pictures from right after she arrived.
Jordan gave her her first adjustment...
My "big" little girl getting weighed...
And here's a few more...
One day old
Two days old
Three days old
My little girl, smiling while she sleeps (5 days old)
10 days old
Little Penny with her big brother...he loves her so much!