She’s here!!! Roberta Jr. has arrived and is doing great!
I’m so excited to share the highlighted version of her entrance into this world. I won’t be sharing her given name or the date/time of her arrival on the blog for privacy reasons. Like it or not, I’m going to continue calling her Roberta Jr. for now, even though that’s not her real name! 🙂
Regarding what we did name her, we chose an Indian name that resonated with us. A friend of ours has the name and since we spent some time in India and it made such a huge impact on our lives, it seemed fitting even though we aren’t Indian ourselves. I also cleared the name with a few of our Indian friends to make sure it was “ok” to name a little white girl an Indian name! Ha! We got the seal of approval, so it’s done! Her middle name is a family name on Rob’s side.
My overall feeling with her entrance into this world is, “I DID IT!!! I FREAKIN DID IT!!!” Of course she’s beautiful and amazing and perfect too, I just have never felt more proud of myself than in the moments just before and just after she was born.
To be honest, the thought of going through labor again made me shudder. Yes, I wanted another baby, but did I really have go through the whole labor thing to get her? I did lots of mental prep and worked to get myself pumped up for delivering a baby again, but I knew what I was in for. I just couldn’t get myself ready.
With Pookie, I had pitocin and did no epidural. The pitocin was needed to get my labor started after my water broke but I had no contractions and was already 10 days overdue. No epidural was a personal choice based on that fact that I’m a bit of a control freak and am terrified at the idea of an epidural. Call me crazy, but the epidural fear was stronger than the fear of unmedicated child-birth. To each their own!
With Roberta, I was undecided about what I was going to do. “Natural” childbirth was no picnic for me, and I couldn’t decide what I wanted more: less pain/intensity or more control over my body. I really wanted to want to get the epidural, but it just kept not feeling right for me.
So here’s how it ended up going down:
I started into labor a few hours before Rob’s MICU shift (medical intensive care unit) – the shift that lasts 14 hours! My contractions were regular and intensifying. By the time Rob got home, it seemed like a good time to head to the hospital. Poor thing – he was so tired and was facing a night of no sleep!
We showed up and I was doing good but then my labor stalled. Enter pitocin. I really was hoping this wasn’t necessary this time, but it seems that my body likes to have a little “jump start.” However, this ended up not being a jump start. I kept needing more and more pitocin because the contractions weren’t regulating or intensifying. Once we got to the max dose of pitocin typically allowed, I was very discouraged.
I felt like I was rushing this. We had gone to the hospital too soon. I felt there was no way I could do a natural labor maxed out on pitocin. With Pookie, I had the smallest dosage possible and the labor was still overwhelming. I called for someone to come do epidural pre-op just in case I decided to go that route.
My spirits were low and I was starting to lose heart. But THEN…
There was a shift change and I had a new midwife come in. She also had a student midwife with her. That team of midwives was like being given the golden ticket and I’m so in awe of how we lucked out.
These midwives came in and turned the whole situation around. They pumped me up, gave me some very effective tools to get things going (like specific exercises and stretches), and assured me that we just had to get through this early stage and once I hit active labor, things were going to fly. They reassured me that I could do this.
It also turns out that it was a light evening for them patient-wise, so the student midwife asked if she could just stay with us to help. She had been a doula before deciding to go to midwifery school and had just finished six weeks of home births. She was in Galveston for her next 6-week internship as part of her training. Lucky, lucky me!!!
I honestly feel like I was able to go through the labor with such confidence and control because of her assistance. Specifics on how she helped is a topic for another time, but the difference between this birth experience and my first was huge.
Here’s how: Since I knew what to expect, I was much better prepared than I realized. I was more relaxed, inward focused, and clear-minded. My body would be overwhelmed with the contractions, but I could hear myself say, “You got this. This one’s almost over. Your baby is almost here.”
I almost started crying during the last phase of labor (transition/completion) because although it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever gone through in my life, I was doing it and not losing my sh*t.
Once I pushed Roberta out, I just started bawling. I couldn’t believe I did it! I couldn’t believe she was here when I thought I’d be in labor for days. I F-ING DID IT!!!
The craziest part was when they placed Roberta on my chest, she gave out one cry and then immediately stopped and starting looking around in wonder. She looked at me and then at Rob with this, “Oh hey guys, what’s up?” look on her face. It was incredible. Island babies, I guess!
So there you have it. The simplified version of her birth story and how I rose to conquer one of the hardest tasks of my life.
Apologies if you are reading this and are about to have your first child, or are trying to do a non-medicated birth. I don’t mean to make it sound horrible. If it was too horrible, I would have never done it again!! I was challenged and it was crazy hard, but it’s doable. You can do this, just like I did!
So for the coming days and weeks, I’ll be soaking up all this new baby love and marveling at how it all transpired. We are now a family of four and it couldn’t feel more perfect. My heart is so full!
Sending baby snuggles out into the world!! xoxoxo