That Sunday around lunch time I started feeling waves of contractions. Because I’d had a whole lot of regular-ish and uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions in the weeks prior, it took about two hours for me to be sure that they weren’t stopping. Both other girls labors started with water breaking – no mistaking that! This time I wasn’t sure how I’d “know” without that event- but when I realized that the pain was radiating down my legs I knew that this was the real thing.
My mom was here to take care of the big girls, so my husband and I headed for the hospital and got there around 2. Contractions started out painful and consistent at 2-3 minutes apart and stayed that way. The timing never changed. I’d always heard they’d get closer together and more intense, and mine didn’t fit that mold. They happened the same way with the other 2, 2-3 minutes apart and intense, but I thought for sure that was because my water broke first. Now I know. Apparently that’s just how I do labor.
I was sure I wanted an epidural, and that happened around 4. My mom arrived after calling in backup for the girls, and she and my husband were each there for the delivery. By 8:04 pm she was out! The delivery itself was beautiful. Calm and quiet. The midwife didn’t turn on the broadway stage lights or do that bed Transformers thing that’s kind of scary, she just sat down next to me on the bed. My husband was able to help “catch” her and put her on my chest. She was so quickly soothed in my arms after delivery that the nurse actually got upset with me because they wanted to hear more crying. Oops. She’s my biggest baby, probably related to being the latest, gestation-wise– over a pound bigger than either of the other two at 8 lb, 5 oz.
Given that I had more time waiting for delivery than I knew what to do with, I used some of it to put some scraps to work and made a gumdrop bunting for the bassinet and our hospital room door. Decorating the door felt like decorating my dorm room door in college and was even less useful given that I was there for less than 48 hours, but was so fun.
Her name, Larke, means “light hearted and playful song bird”. While I didn’t intend (and still don’t) to put a bird on everything she wears or plays with, I saw this fabric and loved it for a nursery project. And used a few scraps for the bunting.
I wasn’t the only crafty one around the hospital. One of the nurses told me that another nurse began making these bow hats after seeing them on Pinterest. It’s two hats combined– one is sliced twice in the front and another is gathered and threaded through the slices to make a bow. I’m not generally a giant bow lover, but I loved that these sweet nurses were so thoughtful and kind throughout our stay. I think the hat was fashioned by the same nurse who saw that we’d been given a blue pacifier and promptly replaced it with a pink one.
I took my Olloclip (affiliate link) with me and boy was it fun to play with! It’s a set of 3 lenses that snap onto the iPhone. First I used the macro lens to take a series of teeny tiny features that I love…
… and then a few fisheye views. These first few days fly by so quickly. I took about a thousand photos, 975 of which are just for me to enjoy years from now. I know I’m still awash in an ocean of hormones, but any thought of my kids or my baby growing up right now starts the cryfest. I just want to freeze everything about these moments.
There is much to love about being a mom this third time around. I’m more relaxed and confident in it than I’ve ever been. I wasn’t scared to leave the hospital’s safety net this time. Well, the second time I was not so much afraid that I couldn’t handle the baby as that the first child might succeed in accessing the baby when I wasn’t looking. She was (and is) persistent. This time the greater age difference between the big ones and the little one means that we can communicate a lot more clearly about what’s okay and what’s not. And I’m still eagle eyed and eared for the 4 year old’s attempts at sneaking in to see and manhandle the baby.
This is the first baby I’ve made and brought home in an outfit I’ve made. Success! It fit! Also, she looks like the old man in Up! in a cute tiny dress.
We’ve had more than a week at home and much of it has been an adventure. The day after we came home from the hospital we had two feverish and then vomiting big sisters. Who tested positive for Strep. Fortunately strep isn’t something that babies get, and so far none of the adults (the one that live here or the ones that were visiting) have gotten it either. In the same pediatrician visit, the baby’s first, we found out that the reason nursing has been so challenging so far is that she’s tongue-tied! We’re scheduled to see an ENT tomorrow who’ll likely “revise” the baby’s tongue and lip tie and should make nursing much more comfortable for both of us. These things have worried me a bit, but haven’t stopped me from soaking up the tiny baby sweetness. So I’m going to get back to that. There are crafty things in the works, as always. More on that when I can convince myself to take another baby holding break. Eventually.
P.S. Just after I was in the hospital with my baby, Adrianna was in another with hers. All ok now, but what a week!