Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Ballad of Josephine Louise

Here it is, the birth story!

[fast forward past some prenatal care drama which I may grouse about here sometime because I think there are some pearls of wisdom to be gleaned, and everything turned out just fine]

I woke up at 4:45 a.m. on Tuesday* thinking

"I'm feeling... a feeling."

Either my water broke or I had become a little incontinent, both good reasons to drive myself to the hospital. (With Clementine I had contractions at home for 24 hours and had an epidural when an amniotomy was performed, so I was unfamiliar with the sensation). By the time I sloshed into L&D, I was pretty sure I was going to leave with a baby very soon. After Doris came over to watch C (huge thanks!), Luke joined me at the hospital. As I was only have light, intermittent contractions, I opted for a Pitocin drip to get things moving.

*little aside: it was July 1st so several very-first-day interns came to see me. LOOK BUT DON'T TOUCH, NEWBIE.

And, about 4 hours later, an epidural. Things were progressing nicely aside from increasingly painful contractions (with C I had no pain whatsoever, and if these contractions were the blunted version of the full blown thing, YES PLEASE EPIDURAL ALWAYS EPIDURAL.) Around 5 pm the OB wanted to place an internal monitor and upon checking my cervix, said, nope, we're not going to do that because you are going to deliver this baby RIGHT NOW.  [People putting on gowns, peds nurse coming to room, etc].

I pushed through 3 contractions for a total of about 10 times and 7 lb 2 oz Josephine 'Josie' was here! This was similar to C's delivery and it's nice to know that given the following conditions:

1) Heavy analgesia
2) Smallish infants

I can really squeeze out some babies.

Black hair!

We stayed in the hospital until Thursday afternoon. The epidural took a long time to wear off my left leg - hours and hours longer than the right. Other than the continued nuisance of a Foley catheter and being unable to reposition myself easily in a wildly uncomfortable hospital bed this was no big deal. I eventually changed into some pajamas that I brought (oh, that reminds me - guess what I forgot to pack in the hospital bag? Any clothes at all for the baby. Or a blanket. Or any baby supplies at all) because I was flapping around in the hospital gown with boob holes in the front, looking like a crazy person. Also every other phrase out of everyone's mouth was SKIN TO SKIN, SKIN TO SKIN, SKIN TO SKIN! so there I am skin to skinning as modestly as possible until I just gave up (on the modesty, not the skin to skin). I can really see why people go a little nuts during hospitalizations - it's disorienting even for a completely healthy person.
Given the hospital bag fiasco (big fail there, Julie, my labor coach said) it's not surprising that we only have phone pics of the little lady. 
I have the analogous pic with Luke and C - so sweet

Netting to soften the blows of any big sister launched projectiles
Cluster feeding is real and YES there is an app for that.

Josie has given me glimpses of a very doable sleep pattern (up only once, at 3 am! Then back down until 7) only to dash those hopes by staying up all night. We have been very spoiled by Clementine, who's been a rock solid sleeper since 8 weeks (she actually sleeps like a baby, what a laughable simile that is) and sleeps now from 7 pm to 7 or 8 am almost without fail. So this up all night business is a blow to my system, a system that runs smoothly on 7 to 8 hours of sleep and starts sputtering when it dips below 5.

This is the imprint of her ear on my arm, plus a freckle

she has the same Darwin's tubercle as C and Luke!

My mom stayed with us for about a week and departed last week, leaving us with a man-on-man childcare defense (I know, I think it's weird when I use sports metaphors too). Before she left we managed to sneak away for a date night at Fleming's, my request, because childbirth makes me meat-hungry.

I am THRILLED to report that breastfeeding is going swimmingly. With Clementine it was the worst, most painful, most agonizing experience of my life, the emotions of dread/fear/resentment attached to her feeding obviously detracting from the fun of having a newborn. I am able to relax and enjoy this time so much more because I'm not in tears or grimacing/wincing/shouting expletives or wondering a la David at the Dentist, is this going to be forever?!! I've been able to pump and freeze milk for my return to work (1 month away!), which I referred to as 'squirreling milk away' and now Luke calls the baggies in the freezer my 'squirrel milk' - disgusting.

In addition, I was very sore and had a lot of residual pain after C's birth and was popping Motrin q8 hours for weeks. Now I am taking Motrin occasionally for the soreness and cramping in my neck, shoulders, and back from poor nursing posture and cuddling the snugglebear when I should be sleeping. The second time around, for whatever reason - experience, a baby who is a better feeder, knowledge that I will sleep again, someday - is so, so, so much better.

So that's how it went down! Sorry to dash this off, I would love to have a thoughtful essay to remember such an important event by but if that going to happen...


  1. I love your writing style! Thanks for the details. I can't wait to hold little Josie!

  2. First off, Josie is ADORABLE!!! (and I love the name Josie) Second, I can only hope my upcoming delivery will go as smoothly as yours. Third, I laughed till I cried about you forgetting baby clothes...omg Stu thought I was losing my mind. Ha! I can so see myself doing that same thing!