Our happy ttle surprise girl arrived mid February. I've spent the past month with her cuddled in my arms, nursing, sleeping, and enjoying her random hour of wakefulness here ave there. This is the last little infant I'll spend so much time with and I'm revelling in the experience.
Also, I'm ecstatic to not be pregnant anymore.
Marianne, the icon of Liberty, the dreaming middle sister of Austen, a song and poem.
Hillary, the woman who should have been President.
Spring, because we're alternating last names
In reverse time lapse order, after the last picture, the story of her birth.
Like her sisters, she was born at the women's birth and wellness center in chapel hill. She was born at 41 weeks, 6 days. We resorted to castor oil after every other thing that worked previously did not work and I was approaching the point of transfer to a hospital setting that I very much wanted to avoid. Marty came down for the weekend to stay with the girls and because we were going castor oil and had no idea how long everything would last Madeline did not get to join us for her birth.
We went to the birth center and were a little lost as to what to do. Do we put our bag in the closet? I guess we unpack a bit? Get settled in? Harris mixed 4 ounces with chocolate ice cream and whole milk and I couldn't taste it. From 10:30 until 12:00 nothing really, playing on Twitter, texting folks, taking walks. My mood dropped to the basement because it seemed like this wasn't going to work either. I started crying a little, mostly scared I'd end up at the hospital after all. I only had about 36 hours left until I had to go to the hospital for her birth and it was weighing on me.
Then the castor oil kicked in. My stomach was upset for 2 hours, not horrendously, just like...too much heavy food? It was totally weird to see my undigested breakfast again and also reinforced my belief that I eat fast and very slowly digest my food.
Then contractions started around 1:45 like her sisters at first I was like, hrm, was that? And then within 10 minutes was humming through them. I knew she would be born fast so I tried to stay calm, listen to the midwife, feel what I was feeling and no more. I spent about an hour cuddled with my weight on a birth ball sort of holding Harris by the arms and shoulder. Unfortunately, I moved out of that position too soon. I started having pushing contractions, so moved to a pushing position, unfortunately, my cervix wasn't finished, so labor sort of stalled out for 20 minutes or so while my cervix caught up to my uterus. That was uncomfortable. I wanted to push, asked to push, but midwife made very good point to breathe through them so my cervix could finish because she couldn't get her head out to push yet. Here I was not as good at feeling my feels and no more, my anxiety went up a bit and I started getting frazzled. I don't remember who said what, but I made it through and calmed down. So I breathed through and tried to relax until I felt another change and couldn't not push. More pushing with this girl, she did the come down, go back up movement that was not perceptible with my older girls. Pushing lasted maybe 30 minutes?
She was born at 4:10, perfectly formed, so clean with perfect skin, I've never seen a white baby so clean and peachy rosey from the beginning. She was massive, 9lbs 14 ounces, but looked bigger because of her massive torso/body. She just looked dense. She was perfect color, started breathing easy, cuddled and nursed
Once she was born the midwife Lydia was able to get the placenta to deliver, but then I started hemorrhaging like with Margot. There was some stringy elements to the placenta and clots and lots of blood. I didn't hemorrhage as badly as when Margot was born but it was still pretty intense. Another very experienced midwife came in and assisted and within about half an hour all of the placenta was delivered and the bleeding was more controlled. The midwives and nurse worked together beautifully, administering herbs, giving me instructions on what to do, all while taking care of this beautiful little newborn. It was truly beautiful. I felt so supported and cared for by everyone in the room. Fear did not enter when Marianne was born.
I started shaking uncontrollably because I was so cold or at least felt so cold so they layered me up with blankets. I snuggled up and tried to pull myself together after all of it. I had to tell myself that my body was not cold and thermometer proved it and that I could stop shivering and shaking. It took a few hours for that to fully materialize.
We ate left over gyro and pita and pot roast. Harris gave me chocolates and goat chese and crackers. We napped. They checked on me repeatedly to make sure the hemorrhage was over so we could go home.
It takes a little while to leave, over the course of 90 minutes we filled out paperwork, I took a shower, we packed up our bag, they checked Marianne again, we dressed our little girl, and got everything to the car. It was a very unseasonably warm day in February, but the night was cool again. Around 11:30 that night we left, I'm not sure why we stayed so long it didn't feel like we were lingering or dragging it out while there, but in reflection we spent more time there that day than with either other daughter.
We drove home slowly too, stopping to get me some gatorade that I weirdly wanted. Marty was awake when we got home but both girls asleep. We left them asleep until the morning when they got to meet their sister.
And now my cuddle buddy stirs, so I'm going back to cuddles nursing, and sleeping.