Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome, Alexandria Leigh!

Our family's newest addition was born on August 24, one day past my due date. Alexandria is a big name for such a little person, so we’re calling her Ali.

I already wrote out Ali’s birth story to share on my fav discussion forum, so this may be more info that you want to read (LOL). But as you parents know, time is limited (I’ve been meaning to update this blog for a couple weeks now and am just now getting around to it!) so I’ll just copy what I posted earlier.

On "Labor Day" verything went smoothly and actually, relatively quickly. Sunday morning (the 23rd) I had slight cramping, which progressed to irregular, very low-key contractions. This continued all day, not becoming regular until about 7 pm. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart then, but still not very strong at all, and only in the lower pelvic region (not the back). When they were about 4 minutes--around midnight--apart we went into the hospital, as per my OB's instructions. It still didn't really hurt though, so I wondered if they'd send us home. After the nurse checked me and said I was at 6 cm and 90% effaced, though, she said she was pretty sure we were there for the duration.

Since it didn't hurt really, still, I didn't ask for any medication. I was even able to walk the halls, which was nice. This also seemed to intensify the contractions a little bit, but they were manageable if I just concentrated on getting through one at a time. The next time the nurse checked me I was 8-9 cm dilated and she went to call the doctor. By the time she got there it was time to push. I don't think I pushed more than 10 minutes, probably less actually, before Ali entered the world at 5 a.m. exactly...7 lb 5 oz and 18".

This experience was sooo different from when I had Madison. I think I just got lucky with a relatively short labor and no real pain until the last hour or two. If the labor had been longer and more intense I may not have been able to do it naturally, but I'm very grateful for this experience! And I had an awesome nurse (Thanks, Trish at BroMenn!), she was very supportive. And of course, a great partner, Kevin. He let me squeeze the crap out of his hands, arms, or whatever happened to be near me during the more intense contractions.

I also have to credit an awesome book I read called Baby Catcher. It was written by a midwife and detailed her patient's experiences...all natural births. Many were at home, but some were in the hospital. These womens' frame of mind during childbirth was very inspirational, as was the fact that they all seemed to be up and about doing things...walking around, frying bacon and eggs, even fishing on a fishing boat (!)...immediately after childbirth. And in my limited experience it's true...I felt much better after giving birth to Ali than after Miss M was born.

So far it’s been going well at home. Madison is a great big sister and really seems to enjoy having Ali around. She will play with her and “read” to her, and loves patting and kissing her head. It has been a little difficult juggling two kids, but not too stressful. The hardest part is that Ali, when awake, pretty much just wants to nurse. That’s when Madison needs something and of course I can’t get it for her. I fear the novelty of being the big sister will wear off when she hears, “not now, I’m feeding the baby” for the zillionth time.

More updates about both kids to come as time allows…but for now, enjoy the pictures!