Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby Anna is here!

Anna Brielle Harris was born July 22, 2011 at 11:26am. She weighed 7lbs 12oz and was 21 inches long. She is the most beautiful baby. Here is the story of how she came into the world.

Thursday I was having contractions off and on, but nothing regular. My mom and I ran some errands and then that night we went to a card making class. We got home and the contractions were starting to hurt, so I ran to the grocery store to make sure the boys and my mom had some food, just in case. When I got home, I was too wound up to sleep, so we watched a movie. By the end of the movie, I was having some pretty good contractions, so we made sure things were ready to go and then we went to sleep at around midnight.

But sleep didn't come for me. Between the contractions and being anxious to meet my baby girl, I just couldn't sleep. Then at 2am, I got up to go to the bathroom and my water broke. And just like last time, once my water broke, the contractions came hard and strong. So we jumped in the car and drove to the hospital. We checked in just before 3am, and I was dilated 3cm. My contractions were so painful and really close, but Steve was great and really helped me through it all. I got my heplock and blood drawn, and by 5am I was more than ready for my epidural. Thankfully my blood platelets were high enough, so we were good to go. After my epidural, my nurse checked and I was 5cm. Things were looking great.

I was trying to get some sleep since I had been up since 7am the day before, but I just couldn't. So I just spent some quiet time with just me and Anna (Steve didn't have any trouble falling asleep once my epidural was in). At 8am, my new nurse (they had a shift change) checked me, and I was still only 5cm. We were both a little worried that I was going to stall, but she was super positive and encouraging. Right after she checked me, I felt the contractions get much stronger, and I really concentrated hard on opening up.

At 10am, my nurse came in and said that Anna's heart rate was dropping with each contraction, and because she was such a wiggly baby, they wanted to do an internal monitor to keep better track of her heartbeat. But when she went to check me, I was 9.5!! So she said it wasn't necessary and went to tell my doctor we were getting close. At around 11, I could really feel the contractions. They were painful even through the epidural and I started feeling the urge to push, so I called my nurse and sure enough, we were ready.

I pushed for about 15-20 minutes, and it was so hard!! I had forgotten how hard it was. Labor is well named. But again the nurses and my doctor were so encouraging, and Steve was amazing right there with me pushing me along. And then she was here!!!

Her cry was just beautiful, though very different from Erik's and David's. I don't know why, but I really expected her to look and sound like one or the other. But she's just her own beautiful little person.

The doctor put her on my chest and she snuggled right in. Even all messy she was the most beautiful little baby. Then a nurse wiped her off while I got stitched up. And then I got to hold her for an hour before they took her to get a bath. It was just so wonderful and healing to have her in my arms. I was smiling and crying and laughing all at once.

And it is amazing how different my recovery has been. I'm still very sore and tired of course, but nothing like last time. Last time I felt (and looked) like I got hit by a bus. But this time I felt so energized somehow. Which meant that I still couldn't sleep even though I knew I should. I finally did get some rest at about 10pm while Anna was in the nursery.

Our hospital stay was so great. The nurses were wonderful and so encouraging of my VBAC. My original nurse even came to check on me when her next shift started because she wanted to see how our birth went.

We came home Sunday afternoon, and we are loving being a family of five. Anna is such an angel baby. She is a great nurser and a great sleeper. I hope she keeps it up. She already has her daddy wrapped around her little finger, and David and Erik are very proud and happy to be big brothers.

Anna less than an hour old

So happy to finally have her in my arms.

I'm so in love with our tiny miss already.

David holding Anna.

A proud big brother. (Ignore the cookie crumbs on his mouth. It was hard to keep 2 three-year-olds entertained in a hospital room, so we resorted to bribery).

Erik likes to pet Anna like a puppy.

He also really enjoyed drinking from my big hospital mug.

Steve is so in love with his little girl.

Mommy and Anna, ready to go home!

Daddy and Anna. They are just smitten with each other!!

Everyone loves Anna, but Anna does not love her car seat. :)