I can't believe my sweet little doll is already almost 3 years old! I have had quite the roller coaster of ride, and I am officially a law school graduate, but more on that later. Let me at least update this post so I have it for posterity sake.
When I had her big brother, Zain, I was apprehensive. Worried I wouldn't fall in love with him, worried I would feel like I had sacrificed too much too young, worried that I would not be that good at this bonding/mother thing. With her it came instantly. Once you know that love and its potential with the first one, the second you know another is on the way you fall in love. I was finally going to get to meet my baby girl, who I always knew I was going to get. In my heart of hearts I knew I was going to be a mother of a little girl, and I was so excited the moment had come.
By my calculations we conceived her sometime around October 23rd, 2014 and I was due on August 10th, a date we marked on the calendar with anticipation.
Thursday August 7th rolled around, and we were getting so close. I couldn't wait but the random contractions and back ache were starting to hinder me. I was uncomfortable and this was something I had not experienced with Zain. You will recall that with him I had no contractions, just the pounding feeling on my bladder that eventually broke my water. I was induced at the hospital several hours later with a epidural almost immediately. This time I could feel my body gearing up for days. They were so random and without rhyme or reason, so I figured after a few false hopes that I needed to be patient and wait it out. That evening Manda hosted a vegan chocolate making night at her house (modelled after the vegan chocolate workshop we had for her high tea bridal shower at the Fairmont Hotel). A handful of us gathered with our significant others up on their towering apartment condo, with a stunning summers night view of the river and down town, and noshed on various applies while Manda made the chocolate for us to dip strawberries, bananas, and all other forms of delectable treats in. Truly a pregnant woman dream. But I could barely stand and I resorted to sitting at a chair pulled up to the counter and just tried to shuffle around and ease the pain. It was totally bearable, but just not comfortable. We bowed out early citing said discomfort, but we also had a little guy to pick up from his grandfathers house. I was thoroughly enjoying the company, but I won't lie, I was glad to be home and lie down.
At 9:00 a.m. the next morning I had my prenatal appointment. I was holding out hope that all the contraction were moving me along to further dilation as I knew she had already dropped several appointments ago (along with my gait changing to accommodate the awkwardness of that sensation!) Unfortunately, I wasn't the 10 cm I had hoped for, and was a little disappointed how little things had progressed since my last few appointments (still stuck at approximately 2 cm). At that point he said he was going to sweep my membranes, which was what I had been hoping for. SO uncomfortable being prodded so forcefully, and it hurt a little, but it wasn't that bad. He was very matter-of-fact about it, and as soon as it was done I felt horrible. Akin to severe menstrual cramps, back aches, random contractions. I called DM and complained adequately, like a good wife should. Then I went home and lay in bed with a hot water bottle feeling like this babies entrance into the world was imminent. Around 11:49 I started tracking my contractions with my Contraction Master App that I had purchased with Zain and never used (much to DM's amusement). Having not done this contraction thing before, I felt like a first time mother trying to figure out how this was all supposed to go. The duration of the contractions were all over the place. Sometimes 20, 30, 40 or over a minute long. There seemed to be no pattern emerging or any type of movement towards the 'go to the hospital' notification the app gives you when its time. We finally went to sleep and I must have been exhausted because I actually remember sleeping, but I constantly would be jolted awake by the sensation of a contraction and grab for my phone to press the start and stop button on my app, and then roll back to sleep. It wasn't the most restful sleep. By this time it was early in the morning on August 9th, and DM was snoring away next to me, totally dead to the world.
At 3:39 a.m. it happened. I had a 16 second contraction that broke my water. Unlike last time, it was way less fluid, but I knew what to expect and suited myself up and woke up DM to let him know. I was expecting the second gush of absolute torrential rush from my nether regions, but it just never came. I guess her head must have been in the way or something, but we did not need the towels in the car this time around. I let DM know I was doing my usually shower and get ready routine and he asked if he could sleep and be woken when I was ready, and I agreed that was the most logical arrangement. I was relieved to have my water break because I wasn't expecting it twice in a row, and then I knew how things went. However, this really kicked my contractions into high gear, and I was clutching the counter in between straightening my hair and trying to get ready, but still nothing I couldn't manage. I was alarmed to note that I had meconium in my amniotic fluid this time around.
We go to the hospital several hours later - all 5'5" and 198 lbs. of me. I was checked in the admitting room, and the nurse informed me about the meconium and I told her I already knew, and off we went. I got to my room and, like last time, was hooked up to get my antibiotics. My contractions were still erratic and all over the place, and I just wasn't dilating very fast. Sometime in the morning my contractions reached a point where I was finally experiencing the real pain of contraction (for what was really the first time, considering my last experience). I asked for my epidural and the sweet angel of a nurse at some point mentioned I could use the gas until the anesthetist got there. I was in so much pain sitting set up ready for the epidural, and that gas saved my life. The only problem is that after every contraction it made me lose my sight and black out (still conscious) and have my head fall to my chest too heavy to pick up. It passed quickly, but it was a incredibly odd experience. The anesthetist was someone who DM had trained (or something, I didn't care at the point) and after all the required liability speech he got me set up and life was good again.
The whole while I was getting antibiotics and being told I would probably have to be induced with the oxytocin (pitocin) again. So I didn't expect anything very soon to happen, but sometime around 11:15 a.m. the nurse came in with the same story and I said 'are you sure I am not having contractions? I keep feeling my stomach get hard...', which prompted her to check the chart and agree that I was indeed having my own contractions. She decided to physically check my dilation, and at that point a incredibly stricken look passed her face and she exclaimed, 'I see hair!' Before I knew it things got crazy. All of a sudden my quiet room was filled with a army of people, including neonatal specialists to deal with any post-birth meconium issues. There was some back and forth about the doctor just having headed into the OR for someones c-section, and such a insane flurry. Next thing I knew, the doctor was there in full OR gear and I was being told to push. I fell like I may have barely pushed (about 1-2 times) and I was told her head was out. It took one to two more pushes at there she was at 11:34 a.m., whisked off to be checked by the neonatal team and cleaned up and weighed. This took a bit longer, but soon enough she was against my skin, on my chest, and I was in awe.
After that I was donating my stem cells, and the resident tried to ask about it and was abruptly told by the doctor, "figure it out, I have a OR to get to' and was told that it all happened so fast they didn't even have time to take the bottom of the bed off before I started pushing, so there was a bit of clean up required.
Unlike with Zain, there was no apprehension on my part about my connection to this baby. She and I were instantly in love. She weighed 7 lbs, 7 oz and was 49 cm long.
We got a expensive private theme room this time in order to have privacy we didn't with Zain, and this gave me a spacious and secluded experience. We had more visitors allowed this time, and of course Manda and Princess S. were one of the first to show up and hang out. It was an incredible experience. When Zain finally met his baby sister after months of anticipation, he was immediately smitten. It set the tone for their relationship.
I sent DM home to spend the night taking care of my other baby, who had been shipped off early that morning to DM's dads house on our way to the hospital.
Since then, baby girl has turned out word topsy turvy and upside down. I am looking forward to updating you all on what I have been up to!