Anna's birthday will be on Sunday, so in honor of that I thought I'd finally write her birth story.
On December 24, 2007, I found out I was pregnant. Jack was just a day shy of five months old, and we decided to wait a day and tell Erik on Christmas morning. Jack wrote his daddy a card-with my help of course(ha!)- telling him he was going to be a daddy again, and stuck it in his stocking. When Erik was let in on the good news, we were all so excited. Though truthfully I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of having children less than 13 months apart. But I decided not to worry too much about that, for the time being, and just rejoice that the Lord had seen fit to give us another blessing.
Anna's pregnancy was very similar to Jack's. I wasn't too sick, but I did have the gestational diabetes again. Anna was also the only child that we decided to find out what we were having before delivery day. We were so excited to be having a little girl!
The summer leading up to Anna's birth Jack went through an odd period of being sick almost once a week. About a month before Anna was born, Jack even wound up in the hospital for a few days. But when Jack got sick literally the hour before I was suppose to go to the hospital to be induced, I was surprised. He acted happy, but couldn't keep anything down. I felt so guilty, I was torn between being excited to hold my precious little girl in my arms, and not wanting to leave my son. We decided there wasn't anything that could be done, I was as far along as my doctor would allow me to be, and we did hold on to the fact that Jack didn't act sick. We just hoped it wouldn't turn into the stomach flu.
Since my water had broke on its own with Jack, we had assumed this would happen again with Anna. We were wrong. The next morning nothing was really going on, and Anna was laying really strange. They did a quick ultrasound to make sure she wasn't breach, and thankfully she wasn't, but she was posterior. We hoped she'd turn around before she was delivered.
Erik called my mom and dad to see how Jack was doing, and they told us he still wasn't keeping anything down but was acting happy. We had in our heads that things were going to be the way they were with Jack's birth, and we desperately wanted him to be with us. We told them to come over. But by the time my parents and Jack made it to the hospital, we realized it wasn't wise to have a sick toddler around other newborns, so my mother- in- law took Jack back to her house.
The contractions came slow, and I was progressing about a half centimeter an hour. They had started the pitocin around seven and around one o clock I decided to get the epidural. I opted this time just to get the epidural since I hated being so loopy when Jack was born. I wanted to remember everything about Anna's birth day!
We spent the afternoon watching TLC(my station of choice!) and sleeping. Our family would come in and visit every once in awhile, but they let us get some rest. Around 5:30 I started feeling really strange. My legs had been numb from the epidural, but it seemed as if my legs weren't numb anymore. I asked the nurse if this was normal, and she didn't seem to concerned. About fifteen minutes later, though, the epidural had worn completely off. I was in "transition" and was feeling everything. I was scared. Natural births weren't really an option for me since I have to be induced, and I wasn't sure what to do. Erik, my doctor, and my nurse were all really encouraging. At some point they had the anesthetist come back and get the epidural going again. But by that point it was time to push, and the medicine wasn't helping me any.
At 6:29 I heard my little girl cry for the first time. That one moment made everything worth it. Anna was gorgeous and a healthy 7 pounds even. She nursed right away, and was a natural. The lactation nurse even commented that nursing isn't suppose to be that easy! My family and Erik's family got to meet her and pass her around, and then my parents went home to get Jack so my mother in law could come over and meet her granddaughter.
The only problem was shortly after Anna was delivered my epidural kicked in again. And I was now pretty sick from not eating anything in over 24 hours(at least that's what I thought at the time!) Around 11 o'clock that night the epidural finally wore off and Erik and I decided to call it a night.I still wasn't feeling well, but figured I'd be fine by morning. When two o'clock rolled around, I was feeding Anna and suddenly Erik shot up and rushed to the bathroom. He was sick now too! Anna's first night was very long, and it wasn't because she didn't sleep well, but because her mom and dad were sick!
By the next afternoon I was feeling a little better, but Erik and Jack were still sick with the stomach flu. Anna and I got a lot of time to bond in the hospital, and thankfully she didn't get sick. By the time we brought her home, Erik, Jack, my mother in law, father in law, my mom, best friend, and me all had come down with the stomach flu! Poor Anna's homecoming wasn't quite as eventful as her older brother's had been.
Thankfully we were all over it by the time she was a week old. Anna was an excellent sleeper and good eater. She was a very serious baby up until she turned a year. Jack had some moments here and there where he got a little jealous, especially when I was holding her, but it didn't last very long, and before long he was trying to give her kisses and hugs. The fears I had about having 2 children 13 months apart were never realized. Yes there were some crazy moments(and it still can be crazy), but they quickly became each other's best friend.
While Anna's delivery and homecoming didn't go the way we had planned, the only thing that mattered in the end was she had arrived and was healthy. Becoming a family of four was unbelievably special. That was the time in our lives that I really began to feel like we were our "own" little family.
And a year and half later when I was about to give birth to Lily, I doubt it will surprise any of you that I obsessively cloroxed anything my children touched. Because even though everything worked out fine, bringing home a newborn to a house full of sick people isn't something I'd like to repeat.