Monday, February 27, 2017

Lilly's Birth Story

Lilly turned 3 weeks this past Friday! I can't believe I haven't taken the time to sit and blog about her birth story but its just been so much more fun cuddling with her on my lap rather than a computer! But I'm finally ready! So here are all the details that no one has asked for but I know you want to know ;)

In my last pregnancy update I left you getting ready to go begrudgingly make a dinner that I didn't want to make because I wanted to be in the hospital having a baby. All of the start and stop labor I'd had over the last week had left me exhausted and I snapped at my husband when he first got home from work and was a little too short with my toddler when she woke up from her nap. Thankfully God's grace penetrated my dark attitude and I was able to turn the evening around and enjoy it with my little family. After we put Reaghan to bed that night, Mark and I sat on the couch talking and I told him we should just start planning the Super Bowl party because I was pretty sure I was going to be pregnant through the weekend. I wasn't upset saying it either, just resigned to the likely fact. Erin called me around the same time to ask how I was doing and encourage me to just be patient and let it be. She encouraged me to rest and stop trying so hard and maybe even go get a massage or visit a Chiropractor the next day to help relieve stress and relax so my body could work. I was all for the massage idea so when I got off the phone I told Mark that I was going to try and make that happen the next day. I went to bed feeling more content and repeating a verse that God had put on my heart the week before... "He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast on him..." Perfect peace. No contractions since before my nap, but falling asleep with perfect peace.

Only a few hours later I was woken up by a contraction around 3am. Nothing crazy and I was able to fall back asleep. About 4am I was awakened by another contraction and this time this one was MUCH stronger. I could feel it in my low back and thighs and it lasted a good while. I could tell this one was different. This was the intensity level that I had been waiting for. I told myself if I had another one that strong I would wake Mark up and let him know... sure enough 11 minutes later it came again and was even a little stronger than the one before. I stayed laying on my side and breathed my way through it and then woke Mark up. I told him if one more came like that then it was go time! A little less than 10 minutes later the third one came and was so strong I had to get up on my hands and knees to breathe through it. We got up to start getting ready and I noticed it was 5am - I smiled remembering how my water had broken with Reaghan at 5 in the morning! Funny how I was starting labor at the same time of the day! I called Erin to come sit with Reaghan and when I called she said she was actually already awake and didn't know why but hadn't been able to fall back asleep. (I love including these little details because I feel like they are the intimate ways that God takes care of us. He had her prepared.) Before we left the house I had 2 more contractions that stopped me in my tracks and caused me to lean on something for support or get on my hands and knees. I'll admit I was getting a little nervous that I was going to start feeling the urge to push before we got to the hospital, thats how strong and painful these puppies were coming on and they seemed to be getting a little closer together each time! It was hard to breathe through them sitting in the front seat of the car on the way to the hospital and we had to wait for one to pass after we parked before walking inside.

It was 5:55 when we stopped at the desk to check in. I was so frustrated that they wanted me to fill out some paperwork because I had already pre-registered. Isn't that the point of pre-registering? Mark said I was little short with them and I'm sure they thought I was being overly dramatic as I leaned on their counter to breathe through a contraction while a lady holding out a clipboard waited for me to sign the papers, but they didn't know I was already towards the end! When they finally got me into a gown and in the triage room the nurse checked me at 8cm dilated and 100% effaced and little miss Lilly already at the +1 position! You should've seen Mark's face when they said 8cm. Eyes as wide as saucers! He came over to hold my hand, shaking his head and said "we're having this baby soon, aren't we?" He was so relieved to be at the hospital. With all of my prodromal labor he was afraid I was going to wait too long to go in and have the baby in the car or something haha I just told him "See? I knew exactly when to come!" He just rolled his eyes. : )

I had to have an IV for antibiotics because I was GBS+ again and they said told us they didn't want labor to go to fast because they needed to give me a second dose of antibiotics again in 4 hours. I nodded my head but I knew there was no way Lilly was waiting 4 more hours. Laying in the triage room with the IV while being asked a million medical history questions (hello! sharing the details of my grandparents cancer history isn't exactly easy with contractions happening every 4-5 minutes!) I started getting a little light headed so they had me lay on my side. I definitely felt better and they said Lilly's heart rate was better in that position too and strangely enough I really just wanted to stay on my side even when they got us to the labor and delivery room. Laying on my side isn't exactly how I thought I'd labor but each contractions was zapping my energy and I felt so exhausted after each one that I just wanted to be able to lay my head down and rest. I did try to sit on a ball at one point because it had really helped me with Reaghan's labor but as soon as I sat down the pressure increased 100x over so I was like NOPE! and back into the bed I went. I was way past the point of walking and sitting on a ball. In hindsight I maybe should've stayed standing or at least gone on my hands and knees but on my side Mark was able to rub my back and put pressure through my SI joint which really helped and I could really rest after each one. I thought I had had back labor with Reaghan but I had no idea what I was talking about then! With Lilly each contraction brought so much pressure through my low back that I'm pretty sure I strained something. My back hurt so bad the first few days after her birth. At one point it felt like she wanted to come out through my low back! It was unexpectedly painful. Which sounds dumb when you're talking about childbirth because hello, of course its painful, but Reaghan's labor pains didn't even compare to these!

A little before 7:30 I started to feel the urge to push. I told the nurse, who at that point was still entering things into the computer and had pretty much been in the room the whole time just getting things ready and probably not expecting things to progress so fast. She checked me and I was 9 1/2 cm so she called the Dr to come in. Unfortunately when I flipped on to my back to get ready to push the next contraction took a while to come so while we were waiting the Dr went ahead and broke my water. She noticed some meconium in the fluid so had to call the NICU nurses to come in to check on Lilly after she was born just incase. When the next one finally did come the urge to push definitely wasn't as strong. I kind of did a little baby push and the Dr looked for the baby and then looked back up at me and asked if I was pushing. I said "sort of"... and all the nurses and the Dr were like "What?! Girl, push next time!" I wanted to explain that I wasn't really feeling the urge to push anymore but at the same time I was really ready for the pain to be over so when the next contraction came and I felt the little urge I went ahead and pushed harder and I felt Lilly drop fast! I also felt myself tear! With Reaghan I pushed for about an hour and it was a very controlled stretching, burning sensation as she gradually came. With Lilly, after giving more oomph with the second contraction, BAM! there she was crowning and also still very sunny side up. The Dr said to get ready because we were going to have a baby with the next contraction and sure enough I pushed 3x with the next contraction and Lilly was born into this world at 7:42 am! A little less than 2 hours after arriving at the hospital.

They put this beautiful, squalling baby on my belly for a few seconds as they cut the cord before the NICU nurses took her over to the table to assess her and clean her up a bit. She was perfect so I got her back quickly. As the Dr. cleaned me up she said I had a 2nd degree tear which really bummed me out because I was hoping to avoid tearing at all this time. But with her coming so fast and uncontrolled when I pushed, and being sunny side up until she twisted as she came out, I guess the tearing was inevitable.

Thankfully when I got her back on my chest she started nursing quickly and easily. Such an answer to prayer! I kept thanking God out loud for answering that prayer because I had really struggled with Reaghan in the beginning.

When they measured her she weighed in at only 7 pounds 8 ounces and 21 inches long! So little for being 6 days over due! I couldn't get enough of her little smushed nose and face. The poor girl had been trying to come for over a week and had started to run out of room in there!

We got to spend a couple of hours having skin to skin time and bonding time with daddy while we got moved in to our recovery room.
We've had the privilege of bringing babes into this world together twice now.
Grateful for the beautiful moments we don't deserve.
Grateful for his love.
This is my favorite picture of her little newborn self.
Swollen and smushed from delivery, but so, so perfect.
My mom, dad and Erin brought Reaghan up to meet Lilly a couple of hours later. Mark went out to get Reaghan to let her come back first and her face was so precious when she walked in. Her eyes bright with anticipation and smiling from ear to ear. I hope I can always remember that moment. My heart melted watching my big girl walk in. She got up in the bed with me and Lilly and she instantly fell in love. She couldn't stop touching Lilly's face and she was being so very gentle. We gave her a little present that "Lilly" got for her and she was very excited about it!

After a while Erin and my parents came back. They brought us Chic Fil A breakfast and a beautiful bouquet of Lilly's. :) My mom helped me shower and I couldn't believe how good I felt! Other than being tired, getting up and moving around wasn't nearly as daunting as it had been after Reaghan. I think the second time around your body isn't as traumatized by the whole event since its done it once before? Thats my theory anyways! The rest of the family came up a little later as well as Mark's family and everyone got to meet sweet Lilly Jean.

Also, we got a celebration steak dinner courtesy of the hospital that night. I mean it was still hospital food so the steak was a little over done, but how fun is that?!

We got to go home Sunday morning before lunch and my parents were waiting for us at home with Reaghan. I was so happy to finally be home with both of my girls. It was so hard having Reaghan leave the hospital each day and she had a couple of meltdowns when she had to leave mommy. After cuddling with Reaghan for a bit Mark and I went to take showers and lay down for a nap while my parents watched the girls. That 2 hours of sleep was heavenly. I'm so grateful for my parents being there to help. Call me crazy, but we totally invited our brothers and sisters to come over that night to watch the Super Bowl! Mark pulled down the big screen, everyone else brought the food and I sat on the couch with Lilly while people brought me everything I needed. I was tired, but it was fun!

Matching "coming home" outfits!
Because every pair of brand new sisters need to have matching outfits.
The last 3 weeks have had their ups and downs as we've adjusted to life with 2 kids, but the ups far outweigh the downs! After the first week Lilly got into a good sleeping pattern at night and while Reaghan has wanted a few more cuddles than usual, she hasn't been jealous at all and has been my right hand helper! Always so willing to get me a diaper or a blanket and is on paci patrol 24/7 whenever she hears Lilly cry. It only took me 2 hours to leave the house the first time I tried to take both the girls somewhere due to having 3 newborn wardrobe changes, one caused by a blowout happening just after buckling her into her carseat... but I've shaved that time down a bit AND I took both the girls all by myself to run a few errands yesterday and it was a success! Don't laugh. It's a harder than it looks.

Lilly loves to be held and loves to eat. She also loves to spit up everything she eats and then want to eat again. She's got blonde hair and dark eyes. She loves when I place her in Reaghan's bath. She opens her eyes whenever she hears Reaghan's voice. We love everything about her and we're so grateful she is here and healthy. I'm still in awe sometimes when I realize I'm a mom of 2.

What a beautiful life I'm getting to live.

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