Today is my second daughter’s 12th birthday! How does that even happen? It seems like just yesterday she was my bald baby with the big smile and sparkly eyes that could light up a room.
I had to change midwives for my fourth pregnancy and was not happy with the new set that I had. My midwives for my first three pregnancies were phenomenal. They all had many years of experience, and it showed.
We had moved though by the time I was pregnant with Elisabeth and the midwife practice in our area had several midwives who were still fairly new. I don’t know if this affected how I felt, or if I just clashed with their personalities. Whatever the case I have the least happy memories from this pregnancy and birth.
It was still a good birth though, right? It ended with a precious baby girl. The pregnancy was pretty straightforward. My previous pregnancy had gone nine days overdue which I had found very distressing. I was ready this time mentally if that happened again. It did – eight days over.
A few days prior I was pretty sure that I was in labour. The midwife even came over to our house, but then the contractions petered out to nothing. I began to wonder if my body was waiting for my husband’s birthday to have this baby. As it turned out I wasn’t far off the mark.
My husband’s birthday is February 23rd. That afternoon I had a visit with my midwife, and she did a stretch-and-sweep. We had plans to go to a buffet with my parents to celebrate my husband’s birthday. By about five that evening I knew I was in the early stages of labour. I don’t know how it is that after lots of “false” labour you somehow just know when it is the really thing – finally.
We decided to go ahead with our plans. I thought some distraction wouldn’t hurt, and I figured nothing dramatic would happen anyway until my little ones were in bed. It felt weird to me to be counting and timing contractions and walking around a buffet.
My mom came home with us, and we started the bedtime routine. Around nine my midwife thought she would come over. I had tested positive for Group B strep, and we needed to get the antibiotics started.
It was a pretty straightforward labour. I was itching to get into the birth pool, but it took a while to fill. We should have started filling it as soon as we got home, but I was more focused on getting the children in bed.
Anyway, I finally got into the pool even though it wasn’t quite full. It felt good at first and helped, but then I started into transition.
I remember saying over and over again, “I don’t want to do this.” The reason why I was saying this was because at my last birth I was saying, “I can’t do this.” Everyone kept telling me I could and wouldn’t listen to me. I guess I figured if I said “I don’t want to do this” they couldn’t contradict me.
My water broke and almost immediately I was ready to push. Somehow I ended up on my hands and knees. I only needed a couple of pushes before her head was born. At that point my midwife asked me to stop pushing because the cord was wrapped around her neck, and they needed to take care of it. It was only a matter of seconds before I was allowed to push again, and she was born.
Before we weighed her the midwife thought she was about eight pounds. We were totally surprised when she weighed in at nine pounds eight ounces – at that time my biggest baby. She was also my longest at twenty-two inches which is why she looked smaller. Her baby fat was spread out more.
We were so excited to have another girl. Eva-Joy was beyond excited to have a sister. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it would be a while before they could actually play together. Twelve years later they are best friends. They’ve especially bonded over their common love for all things 40’s.
Elisabeth was an easy, happy baby with a beautiful smile and big sparkly eyes. She was my earliest walker at nine months! Although the downside of that was that she had no depth perception and was constantly running into things.
Today she is becoming a beautiful young lady who is very interested in baking and in fashions. She’s a terrible speller but a great babysitter. She’s taller than me, and for someone who started out life bald for the first two years she has beautiful long hair now.
I so look forward to seeing all that Elisabeth will become and accomplish.