You may have seen by all of the pictures and general gushing on every social media platform that our littlest gal pal, Lucy Anne arrived safe and sound on her due date, November 24th! To say the least, we are thrilled to pieces with her (and I am so, so, SO happy not to be pregnant anymore). She just turned three months old so better late than never (my new motto) …onward for the TMI novella!
This was such a hard pregnancy in every way. In the past, I always smugly (and wrongly. SO wrong.) scoffed at women complaining about being pregnant. Both of my previous pregnancies were a breeze in comparison and didn’t really affect my day to day life until the very end when like all women, I was waving the white flag to get.that.baby.out. Third time around in as many years was hard on my body, combined with a miscarriage the month before I found out we were expecting Lucy and sweet mother, it felt like I had been pregnant for a year. Which, seriously, I had been.
Her quick arrival and sweet temperament feels like a victory prize for enduring such a hard year.
Both of my older kids were born late, 10 days and 4 days respectively, so I was mentally ready to weather the storm and prepared for a December baby, not a late November arrival. My littlest sister (godsend!) had arrived the Saturday before my due date to help with the big kids until baby arrived and watch them while we were at the hospital.
It was the week of Thanksgiving so we were doing last minute errands and keeping the kids busy. I was getting anxious about not having the baby before her departure (she was on break from school) so I scheduled an acupuncture appointment on Monday morning. Call it hippie dippie voodoo but it worked like a charm to kick start Harper’s labor so I was willing to try again. I had a few contractions on the way home of the braxton hicks variety but nothing too exciting.
Tuesday morning…no baby. We walked Hudson to preschool (3 miles!), hit up the park with Harper and even stopped for coffee. I had a few contractions but they felt like all the prodromal labor I had been having for a week. When we got home I decided to finish up the Thanksgiving casseroles and pumpkin pie as it looked like we were going to be celebrating without a new baby. By 11:30, I was still having contractions albeit spaced really far apart (like 1 every hour) and able to function just fine through them. I decided another 3 mile walk wasn’t the best idea, just in case, so I sent Brianne back to fetch Hudson from school while I laid down to rest. I figured that they’d either pick up and I’d be in real deal labor or peter out like the times before.
When Brianne returned home around 1 pm, I figured I was in super early labor. I hopped in the tub and cranked my hypnobabies soundtrack like the crunchy, hippie mother I am. Harper’s labor was about 12 hours from the very early start to delivery, with about 6 hours at the hospital, so that’s what I was expecting this time around. I called Matt and told him to head home but we weren’t in emergency mode and would he be a dear and stop at Whole Foods to pick up the turkey? <—things crazy pregnant women do. Didn’t want to ruin the holiday or anything.
Matt arrived home around 2:30 with turkey in tow. I was still in the tub with contractions only coming about a half hour together and still very manageable. I sent him away and decided to lie down again to rest as it looked like I was in for a long day. At 3:30 pm I just wasn’t feeling great, kind of flu-y but contractions were still 12/15 minutes apart. I thought if maybe I was settled at the hospital I could focus on laboring instead of worrying when we should or shouldn’t head in. Matt agreed and I said we could always come back if I wasn’t dilated very much. Because no one wants to be the baby mama who cried
wolf labor with her third baby.
After packing last minute items and kissing our kids goodbye we took off for the hospital at around 4:10. We ran into some rush hour traffic making our 3 minute drive more like 20 and my contractions really started to ramp up. I had three in the car on the way in. We pulled into the wrong valet parking because of course we didn’t tour the hospital or even know where to check in. Around the block we went and I started to get a leeettle panicky. It was about 4:30 when we hopped out of the car at the right entrance and I was practically sprinting to the door. Matt was leisurely walking over to the valet stand saying, “I’m just going to check in”. I turned to him and just shouted in my best crazy voice “LEAVE THE CAR!” while struggling through two more contractions. Thankfully, the check in desk sent me right over to L&D which was blessedly on the first floor and right around the corner.
The L&D nurses at check in were asking all the usual name/age song and dance questions that you fill out in the pre-registration packet but apparently doesn’t seem to matter upon arrival. I mean, why have we not streamlined this process, America? I was huffing and puffing and not answering while the nurse smiled oh so sweetly while asking, oh, this must be your first baby? We replied, “THIRD!” which got me a fast pass to the triage room with a side of “oh, crap” from the nurses. I was given a gown and checked and it was announced I was already 8 cm dilated. Even with the increase in contractions I was totally shocked. I hunch/shuffled while my water started leaking everywhere as I made my way across the hall to the delivery room. Nothing like birthing a baby to make you check your humility at the door.
Again, I had to answer all of my medical history questions (why?!) while getting an IV put in my hand. It seemed like there were twelve nurses standing around and no one really doing anything. Except the lead nurse who I swear was an angel straight from heaven. She took charge of the situation and was SO helpful. I hopped up on bed again on my side and she checked me again…10! At that exact instant my water exploded everywhere. It sprayed all of the student nurses lined up against the wall. It was ridiculous and sort of mortifying. I had my water broken by the OB in both of my other labors which resulted in a small leak but this was so powerful that for a second I thought the baby had shot out of my body. Sorry for the tmi but that’s why we read all the birth stories, amiright?
The doctor on call still hadn’t arrived (mine was on vacation) and baby was well on the way. The nurses were pleading with me not to push but if you’ve ever delivered a baby without an epidural you know that is not actually an option. Matt was starting to freak out at this point, “where IS THE DOCTOR?!” while one of the other nurses was gowning up for the big catch.
The doctor waltzed in, gave the A-Ok to push and out she came at 5:05 pm weighing 7 pounds, 14.5 ounces (my smallest yet!) and 20.5 inches long. I was asking everyone boy or girl, since we were surprised this time but no one was answering me. Unbeknownst to me, she actually had the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck twice so they were working on getting her some oxygen. The doctor actually had to cut it off of her before delivering her body and Matt said it was pretty terrifying to see her so blue after delivery. Her Apgar scores were 7/8 but after she pinked up and cried, she looked perfect to us. After the smoke cleared and we were settled into our recovery room we were both sitting there stunned looking at each other and wondering, did we just have a baby in a half an hour?
The most difficult part was picking a name for her. Since we didn’t know if we were having a boy or girl we had a short list of names for both. It was surprisingly easy to just not talk about a favorite name my entire pregnancy since we didn’t know what we were having. We were back and forth for the day and then the charge nurse announced we couldn’t leave until we named her. In the end, Lucy just felt right. Her name means light and she really is a little light after a long road. Anne is in honor of some the special women in our lives. Since we had settled on a name for her they checked us out early and we were home 23 hours after delivery.
First family picture of five. Everyone looking a little dazed, confused and hoping for the best. It has definitely been a three ring circus since she arrived but what can I say? It’s our kind of crazy.
And just for the record, everyone was super happy I finished those casseroles and pies!
*first two photos c/o Kendra Maarse Photography