Lily has arrived!
Obviously I have so much to share in this post. I have been thinking about it all week and putting it off all week because I know there's a lot to write but I think it goes without saying I've been a little bit busy as a new mom of 3. Still, I don't want to let it get too far away from me before I share the big news that we are now a family of 5.
Lily Elizabeth is one week old already. How did that happen? I am already wishing she would stop growing up. She's already chubbier than she was just a few days ago and I can see time going by so fast. When I stop to really think about it, I still can't believe that she is actually here.
But she is!
I hadn't really thought that the baby would come early since I went all the way to 40 weeks with my last pregnancy, but then towards the end of last week I was starting to wonder if maybe we were going to meet the little one soon. Life was going on as usual and I was keeping busy with the boys. Can't say I felt any obvious signs that labour was imminent, but I was getting a niggle that maybe within a week we'd meet our new addition. On Thursday I managed to get to the gym one last time.
My boys were both born on Fridays. I had always thought that it would be cool if this baby were born on a Friday too, and then I would have 3 Friday babies (and 3 first birthday parties that would fall on Saturdays!). Well, on Friday morning I woke like it was any other day. Didn't think anything was amiss. I would never have believed it if someone had said that was the day our baby girl would be born. Good thing I had spent that whole week getting all the things we would need for our planned homebirth. I think the only thing missing was a pack of newborn diapers.
The labour with Lily was, for the better part of the day, exactly the same as it had been with Finn. I started feeling contractions around the same time in the morning, and I remember having the same feeling all day trying to figure out if they were going anywhere. They were consistent for the entire day, mild and short, and coming anywhere between 5-10 minutes but not stopping. This is where I got confused with both of my labours, because the time of the contractions never becomes consistent for me until the very end. But then again that's why you can't judge a labour by a textbook, they are all different and it doesn't always go the way 'they' say it should.
We did some usual stuff. Took the boys to gymnastics in the morning, then had lunch, then they went down for a nap and I relaxed and tried to get a sense of what was going on. Still nothing really seemed obvious. After the boys were up from their nap I was noticing the contractions more and wanted to stay home, but I had planned to drive to Wasaga Beach to drop some maternity and baby stuff off at a consignment store so I decided to still go ahead with that. Yes, I was selling pretty much all my maternity clothes before the baby had even been born. I didn't ever want to wear them again.
The contractions were getting a bit more annoying especially when I was driving. Since I was still confused as to whether or not to call the midwife, I actually stopped by the clinic on the way home as I was driving by it anyway, just to ask what they thought. The last time I was waiting for a distinct pattern that didn't happen until the very end of labour, and almost called too late. I was paranoid about doing the same thing, but at the same time didn't want to call if I wasn't actually in established labour. Lynne-Marie said there was no harm in paging the midwife on call, Ilse, just to have a chat, so I decided that when I got home that is what I would do.
It was about 4:45 when we got home and I wandered around feeling a bit confused. In hindsight this was silly as I was very obviously in labour, but just like last time because I wasn't actually in pain I felt like it wasn't really happening. Silly really, it should have been obvious at that point that things weren't going to slow or stop. The contractions were still coming and getting stronger, though not particularly long. It was enough to make me feel a bit scatterbrained though. The boys were in the yard and I finally paged Ilse and spoke to her at about 5:15. I told her I wasn't sure what was going on, and she asked if I wanted her to come by. I needed to figure out what to do with the boys so I said I would call her back after dinner. I called Tyler and urged him to come home. I couldn't focus enough to start dinner, and he told me to sit down and he'd pick something up. When I'd have a contraction I'd want to sit, but as soon as it was over I was restless and needed to get up and do stuff. I was pretty sure at that point that we'd be sending the kids over to Tyler's parents for the night, so I packed some stuff for them.
It felt like it took Tyler forever to get home. I really wanted him home, but I had to send him on a few errands to pick up the last few things we needed. Then I realized we'd need a pack n play for Finn to stay in at John and Laurie's, so I quickly asked my friends if one of them had one for us to borrow and then sent Tyler over to Corrina's to get it. By the time he picked up all the stuff and then dinner and got home, it was 6:30 and I really wanted the kids out of the house so I could focus. Tyler rushed them through dinner, but I didn't feel like eating. Just sat on the couch breathing through each contraction, which were getting more intense but I was still managing. I paged Ilse again and spoke to her at about 6:45, and she said she'd be there in about 10 minutes.
Around the same time Tyler hurried the kids out the door and over to their grandparent's house around the corner. I felt guilty sending them away so quickly without any explaination. Even though we were planning a homebirth, we didn't really figure out what we were going to do with the kids. I guess I figured if I had the baby during the day they'd be at their grandparent's but then come home, and if I had it during the night they would just sleep through it. With the timing of it they had to go stay overnight, but I hadn't prepared them for it at all. Tristan had only ever spent one night away from me and he was with Tyler anyway, and Finn had never been away from me. It made me nervous, but I knew they'd all have to deal with it (kids and grandparents!). But much to our surprise they had no problems staying there.
Ilse arrived at 7 and Tyler shortly after. When she checked me she announced I was pretty much fully dilated and said the baby would be there in 20-30 minutes. No time to set up the pool we had borrowed for a water birth. No time to administer the antibiotics I was supposed to get because I was group B strep positive. No time for the secondary midwife to get there. The midwife and Tyler quickly set up the living room for the birth, and I got down on the floor to avoid lying on the couch to have the baby. One contraction and my water broke, another and the baby was born.
To say we were excited to find out that we had a baby girl was an understatement. Probably the best moment ever, especially because this time around we had been patient and waited the whole pregnancy to find out. It was so very exciting. The rest of the birth went so smoothly, and I was up on the couch cuddling her long before the second midwife even walked through the door.
Ahhh the beauty of a homebirth. Tyler and I just sat on the couch for a good hour and a half with our new baby while the midwives cleaned up and did the paperwork. It was so quiet and peaceful. No nurses, no bright lights, no being asked when we were ready to go home. We were already home, it was brilliant. I was able to breastfeed easily right away, and Lily was so quiet and content right from the get go. She didn't even cry when she was born. Pretty much the perfect birth and the perfect baby.
She weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and was 20 inches long. She was, according to the midwife's files, 2.5 weeks early (but according to me, 2 weeks early). But Lynne-Marie said that we may have been farther along than I thought since Lily was a good size and had the appearance of a fully-term baby. I guess when I had those ultrasounds and they pushed my due date a week earlier, they may have been right!
Ilse and Lynne-Marie were amazing midwives and once again I am so happy I used midwives instead of doctors. The care throughout my entire pregnancy and birth was just amazing, and it continues to be with them coming to see us at home.
So that was the labour and birth, something I hadn't planned on getting much into but then if you know me then you know once I get started talking about labour and birth I can't stop. What can I say, it doesn't get any better than that!
And what about this past week? Pretty much heaven. Lily has been an absolute dream and I think all of us, including the kids, are just so thrilled to have her.
I couldn't wait for the boys to get home on Saturday to meet her. When they finally did it was so amazing. Tristan seemed a bit nervous at first, but only for a minute. He just lingered back and stared at her. I was worried Finn would be put off but I was pleasantly suprised when he walked right up to us with the world's biggest grin on his face. Then as soon as Tristan saw Finn get close he came up too, and next thing I knew they were crawling all over me trying to get close to the baby. They have been that way ever since, always wanting to hug and hold and kiss her. Tristan has told me so many times how happy he is that Lily is here. He looks for her first thing in the morning, and asks to hold her all the time. Finn always asks where she is too, and he loves holding her as well.
Of course there has been some acting out from both of them throughout the week, not towards Lily in any way but more to get attention. Tristan especially seems to be a bit of a handful, but to be honest we were expecting some behaviour changes so we are handling it fine, as frustrating as it is. We know that it's only natural that the boys might act this way with the addition of a new baby to the family. So we've been trying to make as much time for them as we can and make sure they are still getting to do some of their activities, so they don't feel their lives are on hold because of the baby. We've taken to them to the early years centre and on walks. Tyler has taken them to the farm with him. Today Tyler took Finn out for lunch, just the two of them, and then in the afternoon took Tristan to his first ever movie at the theatre. I have to make sure I spend time with each of them too. The nice thing is that Tyler has been able to help out with Lily a lot, so I can still do some of the things for the boys that I did before, like read them stories and put them down for naps and bedtime. I don't want them to feel like I only spend time with the baby.
As for Lily, she has been an absolute angel. Hardly a peep out of her. She eats and she sleeps. When she is awake, she just looks around. If she cries it's easy to figure out what she wants. Her cues are very easy to read. She is breastfeeding fabulously and is growing and is healthy. Even nights have been fine with her. She sleeps in my bed and I feed her when she's hungry, but essentially she sleeps all night long. No long periods of wakefulness or fussing. I feel like I'm getting more than enough sleep and haven't been tired at all. Every day this week everyone in the house has slept in past 7:30 which is just amazing.
It's so exciting to have some pink in the house. My friend Hillary gave me a huge bag of girl's clothes from her daughter and I'm pretty sure Lily has a full wardrobe for at least a year. Of course that hasn't stopped me from wanting more! What is it about little girls that you just want to go out and buy all the cutest stuff for them? I can't wait to get her some clips and headbands for her gorgeous hair.
She is the most beautiful baby ever, so perfect. She's got lots of hair, but not too much, and it's a really cool colour. For the most part it is dark, but has blonde streaks in it too. I already know she is always going to be a gorgeous girl.
And me, I feel like a million bucks. I don't know how Lily got here because I don't feel like I gave birth to her. The birth was so effortless and so easy that it caused no trauma to my body whatsoever, which is a huge difference from my last birth where I endured tearing and repairs that left me uncomfortable for weeks afterwards. I have been out walking, and have basically been able to keep up with everything around the house. I haven't slowed down one bit. In fact I have found myself wondering if I could go to the gym soon, but my reasonable side keeps telling me to give myself a few weeks, if for nothing else just to relax.
I am curious to know though what the scales say, because I'm pretty sure I could fit into all my larger pre-pregnancy clothes (ok, maybe not the super skinny jeans yet, but soon enough!). Good thing I don't need all those mat clothes I just sold! I'm already back into normal pants. I guess staying active during pregnancy really does pay off!
Tyler has been the most amazing husband ever. This is the first baby where he has taken a proper amount of time off work, and he has been so helpful with everything. We've made a really good team. But amazingly I've felt ok most of the time handling 3 kids that he's been able to putter around and go to the farm a bit, and do other little errands. Don't get me wrong, things are SO much easier with him around, but Lily is SO easy that I have feel able to take care of the boys' needs as well. That is such a good feeling.
So my house is not a disaster, my laundry is not piling up, my kids are clothed and fed, we're all well rested, I've managed to shower just about every day, and Lily is only a week old. What kind of weird universe is this?
I don't kid myself that it will always be this easy. Newborns are pretty sleepy, and even Finn my fussy baby didn't get fussy until closer to a month old so know this could all change on me overnight. But for now, I am enjoying it, before the inevitable chaos hits.
With my first baby I had no clue and was just very go with the flow, and then when things got tough around 4 months I looked to books to help me figure it all out. Then I got really into certain styles and routines, which worked so well for us then. So of course with my second baby I thought I had it all figured out to do it right from the start, I would get him right into a routine and he would sleep better than Tristan did. But Finn had other plans and all I really did was stress myself out trying to do things against how he really was. I was so worried about his routine and not creating bad habits. This time is so much better, and I'm just enjoying it for now and going with the flow, with the knowledge that when the time comes I will have the tools to get us onto a good routine and get her sleeping well. Chances are if she is anything like her brothers sleep will not be great for the first year, but I know from experience that we get there in the end.
You know, I still can't believe we have a girl. I can't believe we have two boys and a girl. When I was pregnant with Finn and was going to find out what he was, I remember thinking that it would be amazing if we had a second boy so that Tristan could have a brother, and then later on have a little girl. Of course at that time I couldn't have made it happen like that. So to know that we did try for another baby and got our girl makes me feel so lucky. To me it's the perfect family, two big brothers to take care of their little sister. Yes, of course I would have absolutely loved another boy, babies are a blessing no matter what. But the fact that we did have a girl is just very exciting.
So I had a million and one things that I have wanted to write about from this past week since Lily has been born, and although it feels like I have written about a million and one things I'm fairly certain there is a million and one more things I have missed. At any given point during the day I want to record something that I have thought, or felt, or something that has happened. I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of things, but hopefully at some point will remember to write them down somewhere.
This was my last pregnancy, we are fairly certain of that now. I had such a fabulous experience with this pregnancy and birth, but in so many ways I am ready to move on. Plus, while you always forget how horrible contractions are after the baby is born, the truth is they are horrible and I would be happy to never feel one again. I will always love being pregnant, and I will always sort of wish I could do it 'one more time'. This pregnancy was the most amazing one even though they all were great. And it ended with an amazing birth and an amazing baby. What more can someone ask for.
I consider all my births positive experiences. I also consider myself very unique in that I have experienced 3 very different types of births. Tristan's was a planned c-section because he was breech, and it went as amazing as a c-section could go with no complications. My recovery was great and I felt great. With Finn I had an unmedicated hospital VBAC, and although the recovery was rough the labour itself was smooth and I was so happy I was able to accomplish my goal of having a VBAC. And finally with Lily, to end it all off with the most positive birth experience of all, my wonderful home birth. I'm very proud to say I trusted birth and my body and had an HBAC, and I'm so happy that my husband although skeptical of the homebirth at first, trusted my instincts as well.
Well, without further ado, I better add some pics. I so wish I had a better camera and was a better photographer, but as long as I'm remembering to take them that's all that matters.
|Proud biggest brother|
|Proud big brother|
|Mommy of 3!|
|Peek a boo!|