I'm excited to finally be writing this post because it means I have some free time- or well, time that isn't consumed with changing, feeding, pumping, cleaning, rocking, or trying to sleep. (NOTE: This is not a complaint. Though more sleep would be welcomed!)
I also need to just admit upfront that in these days of mommy-wars and all the comparison that goes on over social media, I am partially hesitant to write about this- simply because I went pretty conventional. Haha- but seriously, birth is such a special event and there are so many options out there now for pregnant women. Had I not had a great experience the first time around when Knox was born I would probably sought out a different "birth plan".
Speaking of birth plans, I saw this post floating around a few weeks before Liv was born and thought it was hilarious. Mostly because I do have a crunchy/organic/homeopathic side…but also a low pain tolerance. :) So, my birth plan was pretty much "let's do the same thing we did before".
At around 37 weeks I was, well…….done. Just done with pregnancy. You would think someone who waited and prayed so long to be pregnant with this child would just be relishing every last second- but nope. I wanted to meet this baby!
So, when I went for my 38 week appointment, I told my OB I was ready when she said it was ok. I was induced with Knox, and the "scheduling" aspect of it completely satisfied my inner control freak. It was totally relieving for me to know when I needed to have a hospital bag packed, and what the plan for Knox was during our hospital time. Whew! So, miss Liv's birthdate was scheduled for that next Tuesday.
I also need to mention that Shawn and I were smack dab in the middle of moving our clothing store to a new location. Painting at 37 weeks pregnant? Check! We were also hanging new shelves, building a new checkout counter, installing a wall mural, etc. Thankfully, we have a bunch of sweet friends that helped Shawn move all of the actual merchandise, so I didn't have to be involved there. Let's be honest though- I couldn't not help. And maybe God knew it was some good distraction for me. But the stress. It was definitely there for both of us. So much so that "having-a-baby-hospital-time" was looking like a paid vacation. You can check out some photos of the new spot on our Facebook page. We have loved being at 26th & Boston!
So, the day before Liv's birth date, we checked in to the hospital at midnight so that I could take the medicine that would help prepare my body to give birth. They also gave me an Ambien at that time- which was totally amazing. I haven't slept that well in years! We went to sleep and woke up about 8 am (also amazing, considering Knox usually wakes us up about 7). My OB was there and we were literally in the middle of a normal conversation when she broke my water and then started me on Pitocin which would initiate contractions. She also said I could get an epidural at that point so I ordered it up right away! Getting the epidural was a little scary (he had to stick me twice), but not as bad as I remember feeling when I had gotten one with Knox. Once that epidural was in, I was super comfortable. So much so that I took a nap! The nurse turned me on my side and positioned my body on this huge peanut-shaped yoga ball, which was also incredibly comfortable, and I was out. Around noon, the nurse came in and said, "Honey, do you feel like you need to push at all?" To which my response was, "No- why? Am I having contractions?" Haha- apparently I had been having some pretty serious ones. My OB was in pretty quickly after that, and I pushed for about 20 minutes. At 12:24, Liv Caroline Anglin was born!
I will never forget how loudly she cried, or that smooshy swollen face, or how I couldn't believe that she was my child. She didn't look anything like me! They immediately placed her on my chest and she calmed down. This was probably my favorite part. I could just tell that was where she wanted to be. It was wonderful. We got to stay like that for quite a while. Our families came in to see her, and then they bathed and weighed her right there in our room.
The rest of the day and night was a blur of semi-sleep, blood pressure checks, sweet visitors, and nursing. It was an answered prayer to have had an awesome lactation consultant who really helped me, plus a patient baby who has turned out to be a great eater. I remember being so scared the first night with Knox. I wasn't sure he was breathing. Was he warm enough? When will they take him to the nursery? This time around was much more peaceful. I was so, so thankful for that!
The next day, my OB came in to check on me, and told me that she would clear me to go home that day if we didn't want to stay another night. Her words were, "This isn't your first rodeo!". We jumped at that chance (our bed vs. hospital bed? No brainer!). Liv was also cleared to go and we got out of there as soon as we could. Don't get me wrong- we had excellent care, but there is no place like home! I still sit in amazement at the great birth experience we had- and that we got to take home a beautiful, healthy baby. It is still unreal.
One of the most frequent realizations I've had this time around is how scared I really was the first time. I feared each new stage my child would grow into as if it wouldn't be that much sweeter. Now I know better. And that's made this experience so much more full.
Knox has adjusted so well- honestly, I think it's been harder for me- knowing that I am having to split my attention and much of the time he gets way less than he's used to. But so many times I have looked up to see him entertaining himself and I just say a thank-you prayer- I love to see his imagination, and I'm also glad to know he is ok! His affections for his little sister couldn't be sweeter. He truly loves her and I can't wait to watch them grow together.
One thing I am sure of- is that I wouldn't be sane right now without the selfless help of my husband. He has gotten up with me in the middle of the night, been oh-so-patient while our house becomes invaded with baby toys and all the other things I haven't had time to pick up, taken Knox to school and delivered lattes at my request. You guys, I married a very patient man. And he loves his kids so well, too. He frequently feeds Liv for me when he gets home and is always sure to roughhouse with Knox, who is usually chomping at the bit to play.
We've also been well taken care of by our friends and family, who have brought us food, given us grace after grace, and loved on our kiddos. My mom stayed with us about a week after Liv was born and pretty much cleaned our entire house, cooked a delicious dinner for us every night, and also found the time to organize my disaster of a craft closet. Speaking of selfless people, my Mom is one as well.
Liv is two months today and every day she gets more expressive and more fun. Her looks change constantly, I feel- but she is beautiful all the time. I feel like as a mom I am always asking, "Who are you going to be, child?". I have a few small clues about this one so far- she is happy. She is patient. She is affectionate. And we love her!