I haven’t posted in a few weeks, mainly because we’re all totally wrapped up in adjusting to life with our new baby girl. Eliza Rose was born at 9:51 AM on Friday, August 24th and Paul, LP and I are totally in love.
I posted previously about making the decision to have a repeat C-section this time around. The entire experience was so different from LP’s birth! To refresh your memory, I was induced at 37 weeks with LP due to low amniotic fluid. They started the process on a Friday night, but by early Monday morning I hadn’t made any real progress despite having contractions from Saturday morning on, the doctor breaking my water, etc. So I ended up with a C-section in the middle of the night. It was all exhausting, stressful, and scary for everyone involved.
With my second baby 2 of the 3 doctors at the practice I go to suggested that I was a good candidate for a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section for those of you not up on the lingo!). The 3rd doctor though was the doctor who delivered LP, and the one I felt knew my situation the best. At the time of LP’s birth he’d told me that chances were good that I could end up in the same situation with subsequent babies, and so after talking to him a few months ago I decided to go with a repeat C-section.
And so a date was set. August 24th at 10 AM. I was told to report to the hospital at 8:30. After a night of fitful, nervous sleep (for me anyway- Paul always sleeps like a rock), we dropped LP off at my mother-in-law’s house and headed for the hospital. The whole thing was very surreal. We walked in to labor and delivery and got set up in the pre-op area. I changed into a lovely hospital gown and Paul changed into some Daddy scrubs. The nurses came and put in my IV and prepped me for surgery. There were 2 nurses with me, Janet and Kara. They kept saying I looked so familiar to them so they checked my chart and it turned out that they were both my nurses through my first C-section! So funny! Kara had switched to a day shift from the night shift a while ago but Janet had just switched the week before and they’d been scheduled to work together. I barely had time to get too nervous- when we arrived Janet told me that the 9 AM C-section had been cancelled so as long as the doctors and anesthesiologist were available we’d probably go in early. Sure enough, by 9:30 I was being wheeled into the operating room.
This time around, since I was much more aware of what was going on since it wasn’t 2 AM, the operating room seemed so much smaller. Paul thought so too. We both remembered the operating room as being a vast, cavernous space the last time, but Janet told us we were in the same room. It was freezing cold and brightly lit, and I was pretty glad when the anesthesiologist was done with my spinal so I could lie down and be covered with warm blankets. The spinal definitely felt different from the epidural I had last time but the procedure was done pretty quickly. I got pretty woozy at one point but the anesthesiologist fixed me right up.
Within minutes of Paul coming into the room the surgery was underway. At one point my doctor looked over the screen at me and said that I’d made the right decision to have a repeat C-section. He said that the scar tissue on my uterus was so thin that they could see the amniotic fluid through it, and that there was a 95% chance that it would have ruptured if I’d attempted a VBAC. That made me feel better about my choice (and the doctor doing my surgery was one of the ones encouraging me to try for a VBAC!). Moments later the baby was out and we got our first glimpses of our beautiful girl. She was almost 21 inches long and weighed 6 lbs., 10 oz. A bit bigger than LP but she also had 2 weeks longer to incubate than he did!
We were still debating between the names Eliza Rose and Cora Elizabeth, so we kept calling her “Baby Sister” for a while. Baby Sister screamed and screamed and screamed in the operating room. The doctors and nurses kept commenting on how loud she was and Paul and I thought we might be in serious trouble after LP who was such an easy baby. By 10:30 we were all in the recovery room and Baby Sister was nursing. She latched on like a pro. Paul and I just watched her for a while and then decided she was an Eliza for sure.
A little bit about the name: when we had LP we knew he’d be named Paul Thomas after Paul’s father and my father- it’s tradition in Paul’s family. So we wanted our daughter to have a family name as well. We ended up choosing Eliza after all of the Elizabeth’s in our families- my mother’s father’s mother was an Elizabeth along with my mother's mother's mother (my great grandmother in briefer terms- she was alive when I was little and I have fond memories of visiting my great grandparents.... I also had a Great Aunt Elizabeth on my dad’s side (although we called her Aunt Mick or Aunt Hee Hee). Paul’s father’s mother was an Elizabeth as well. Rose was after my mother-in-law’s mother. We wanted to make sure we chose names that were on our mothers’ sides since LP was named after the fathers.
A couple hours later we were in a regular room on the maternity floor. I was starving and thirsty but just ended up feeling sick when I ate anything so lived on ice water and saltines most of the rest of the day. By 2 or so my in-laws brought LP to meet his baby sister and he was in love immediately as well.
I was in the hospital from Friday until Monday. They let me go home a day early as I was insistent on getting up and walking around as quickly as I could so that I could get home as quickly as I could. I have to say that the recovery this time around has been a bit tougher. Even though I was in labor for 2 days before I had LP, my mother and Paul were there at the hospital with me most of the time, and so when the baby needed to be fed someone would change his diaper and hand him to me. Because Paul was dealing with LP he wasn’t at the hospital as much and I was on my own a lot more and up and out of bed a lot more. The second day was definitely the worst, and I’m still feeling some discomfort when I do too much (it’s pretty much impossible to rest enough when you have a newborn and an almost 4 year old!), but I’m feeling pretty good in general.
Fortunately for us (knock on wood), we’ve been blessed with another easy baby. Eliza hardly cries at all (perhaps she got it all out of her system in the operating room?). She only cries if she’s not fed quickly enough once she wakes up from a nap. And when she naps, she NAPS. A marching band going through the room wouldn’t wake her up. She seems to do everything with 110% intensity- she’s a champion eater, eating way more than LP did (and sometimes wants to nurse for 2 hours straight and then crash for a few hours), a great sleeper (or will be once we manage to switch her 4 hour afternoon nap to a nighttime schedule), and is happy and very alert when she’s awake. The only negative thing I could say is that because she sleeps so soundly we can't wake her up to feed her in an attempt to shift her schedule at all. With LP we were able to wake him up every 2 to 3 hours during the day so that he'd sleep longer at night. Eliza won't wake up no matter what we do!
My biggest concern about having another baby was LP’s reaction. He’s been the only (spoiled!) child for so long that I was worried that he’d have a hard time adjusting. He’s done so much better than I expected though and I’m so proud of him. He loves to snuggle Eliza and help change her diaper and give her baths. He’s always kissing her and petting her and talking to her. The other day she was fussing in her pack and play while I was in the kitchen. When I came in to get her LP was standing next to her singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to calm her down. There’s been no evidence of jealousy, and his behavior, while naughty at times, is no worse than it was before she was born- all just typical almost 4 year old type stuff.
I’d say we’ve settled into being a foursome quite nicely. The hardest part for me really has been keeping my cool when LP is naughty or sassy- I’m so tired from being up at night that it’s hard for me to stay patient with him.
Today is the first full day I’ve had no help- Paul went back to work last week but my mother was up from Sunday to Friday to help out. Now I’m officially on my own until Paul comes home at 5 (and he leaves for work at 4:45 AM so it’s a long day for everyone!). I think this week will be the worst as I still can’t really do too much and LP longs to be running around outside and being more active but I can’t keep up with him yet.
So far so good though, and our thanks to all of you who have sent your good wishes and congratulations for our new baby girl!