Ila's story starts with Eden. Sorry, Ila.
When Eden was born, she came FAST! The entire labor took less than three hours. The doctor had to break my water, but after she did, Eden arrived less than forty-five minutes later. So as my due date approached this time, I started panicking that I wouldn't make it to the hospital since everyone kept telling me that the second one usually goes even quicker. Two and a half weeks ago, at one of my check-ups, the doctor examined me, and (sorry for the TMI) I was 100% effaced, 3 cm. dilated and Ila was in position. She told me that when it happened, it would be quick again. I voiced my concerns about not making it to the hospital if my water broke on its own this time. We live an hour from the hospital, and that's when there's no traffic. She admitted that that might be a possibility, so she decided we needed to pick a day to induce. She suggested October 10th, and I was really happy about that day because of the whole 10/10 thing. She sent me home with instructions to take it easy to try and keep me from going into labor on my own.
My mom came up on the 9th. She asked me that day if I was going to miss my belly. I laughed and was like, "Heck no!" I was thinking how nice it would be to be able to easily put on my shoes again. That it would no longer be difficult to strap Eden into her car seat. That once it was gone, I would be able to sleep comfortably at night again. Later that night, as I was tucking Eden into bed, she kissed my tummy just like she had every single night for months. Every single night she would kiss my tummy and then say, "Night-night, Ila. I love you, Ila." When it hit me that that was the last time she would ever do that, I started bawling. Through my tears, I told her that the next time she saw me, Ila would no longer be in my tummy, and she would finally get to hold her. Later that night, I laid in bed feeling Ila's little kicks. I remembered laying in that exact spot a few years earlier feeling Eden's little kicks for the last time. I stayed awake for the longest time, just feeling her move, knowing that it was the last time I would ever lay in my bed and have it be just us - just me and her. I realized I would miss my belly after all.
Dustin and I left for the hospital the next morning at 7:00. My mom stayed behind to wait for Eden to wake up, and then they were going to go stay at my grandma's house (which so conveniently is just a few minutes from the hospital) and wait for me to call.
I was super nervous on that drive. I was really nervous on the way to the hospital when Eden was going to be born, but this time it was even worse. This time I understood EXACTLY what was fixing to happen. With Eden, I went in blind. I explained it to Dustin like this, "It's like getting bit by a shark twice, but the second time, you know it's coming."
We arrived at the hospital a little after 8:00, filled out some forms at the front desk and were led to a room. I wore the same shirt to the hospital that I had worn to the hospital to have Eden. Nothing special... just a long-sleeved white shirt. Paired with jeans and a sweater for Eden's January birth and paired with shorts and flip-flops for Ila's October birth. With Eden, before I changed into my gown and climbed into the bed, I had Dustin take one last picture of me. I had planned to do that this time too, but the nurse who took us to the room was very no-nonsense, and in my opinion, RUDE. She was so bossy about me hurrying up and climbing into the bed that I chickened out of saying, "Wait, I need my husband to take my picture before I change!" Now I regret that I didn't speak up and get that picture.
Also, Dustin wore a pink shirt again. :)
Okay, so I climbed into the bed and they hooked me up to all of the monitors and IVs.
With Eden, I had a completely natural birth - no epidural, no pain medicines of any kind. That was NOT my plan, but again, because she came so quickly, by the time I asked for the epidural, it was too late. Dustin told me to get the epidural this time, but I was like, "Hey, I did it once without. I can totally do it again." That didn't last long. The nurse came in at one point and told me that my doctor was going to be in shortly to break my water. AH! I had forgotten about that part. With Eden, I thought that getting my water broken was about as painful as the actual pushing a baby out part. I panicked, and was all, "I NEED AN EPIDURAL RIGHT NOW BEFORE SHE COMES IN!" So the anesthesiologist comes in, and as I'm sitting there with him putting a giant needle into my back, I'm thinking, "Well SHIT! This is painful too! This isn't any better than having my water broken." After he finished, he informed me that whatever level he inserted the epidural at into my back wasn't working for me for some reason, so he needed to start over and insert it at a higher level. So then I had to sit there and have him do it AGAIN!
Okay, so I hated the whole epidural experience. I thought it was extremely painful to get. Then I had a reaction to it, and my entire body started itching. They had to give me a shot which made me extremely sleepy and high as a freaking kite. Like seriously. I swore up and down for two hours that there was a cat in my room. I kept hearing meowing and told Dustin repeatedly that if he would just go check in the bathroom for me, he would find a little kitten. I hated losing control of my legs. At one point, one of my legs fell off the bed. It just FELL OFF. And just dangled there because I couldn't pick it back up, and I was like, "Um, excuse me. My leg fell off the bed, and I can't pick it up." And the nurse had to pick it up and put it back on the bed for me. Then it did not wear off slowly over time. It was like boom, all of a sudden it was gone. I had a contraction, and I was like, "Dustin, it's so weird, I know I'm having a contraction right now, but it doesn't hurt at all." Then thirty seconds later, I had another contraction, and I was like, "MOTHER F*&$#@, HOLY S@&$! DUSTIN, PUSH THE BUTTON, PUSH THE BUTTON." Because I had a little button to push to get more of the drugs. Dustin pushed the button for me and said, "You remember he said it would take twenty minutes for this to kick in after you push it, right?" And I don't really feel that anything ever kicked back in. Because EVERYTHING after that was pure hell.
And my husband... I'm pretty sure there are husbands out there that hold their wives hands through contractions and tell them it's going to be okay. My husband took photos and videos of me.
There are lots of videos on his phone of me asking him if he heard the cat. We keep watching them and cracking up. I love that man. He keeps things interesting.
Moving along... about ten minutes later, I had to push. "GET THE NURSE, GET THE NURSE, ILA IS COMING." Dustin said, "I doubt it's time yet, you're fine." "GET THE F&#$@*^! NURSE!" So he gets the nurse, and she comes in, and said, "Is it time?" I just nodded. They paged my doctor, but she was in the OR and couldn't come, so they tracked down another doctor. Meanwhile, the room filled with a bunch of other people who all just stood there watching me cry in pain in my bed while my nurse kept ordering me, "DO NOT PUSH, DO NOT PUSH, A DOCTOR WILL BE HERE IN THREE MINUTES, DO NOT PUSH!" Now if you've never had a baby before, trust me when I tell you, it is IMPOSSIBLE to not push. When that baby wants out, she wants OUT! Waiting on that doctor to come and trying not to push absolutely is the most painful experience of my life.
My aunt asked me if I liked the doctor who ended up delivering Ila, and I told her that I didn't care who delivered her at that point, that if the devil himself showed up to deliver her, I wouldn't have cared.
So then a doctor shows up, and I was finally allowed to push. And this is the part in both Eden's and Ila's stories that I don't really remember. Both times, the pushing part is hazy. I mean I remember it, but it's blurry. I DO remember that the doctor kept telling me, "Just one more time, and she'll be here." And I kept getting excited and thinking, "THANK GOD, IT'S ALMOST OVER." Only it wasn't. And she told me "one more time" probably twenty times. Dustin told me later that that was pissing him off because he could tell that I kept believing her and then it kept not happening.
But finally at 2:19 p.m., Ila Faith entered the world. And now I'm crying remembering that moment. That beautiful, precious, amazing moment that words will never be able to fully describe.
When Eden was born, her lungs weren't clear, and when she entered the world, she wasn't crying. She didn't make a sound at all, and I panicked that something was wrong with her. They had to clear her lungs before they brought her to me, and then I held her for less than five minutes before they had to take her to the nursery to observe her. I prayed this entire pregnancy that it would be different this time. I wanted to hear that newborn cry. And I did. Ila came out yelling and crying, and it was beautiful. Dustin got to cut the umbilical cord, something he didn't get to do with Eden either. They put a little hat on her head and gave her to me right away. She was messy and covered with stuff and not even wearing a diaper, and it was wonderful.
And I held her just like that for TWO HOURS. TWO GLORIOUS HOURS. I never even called my parents to tell them she had arrived during those two hours. I just laid there, looking at her. And she looked at me. And Dustin sat in a chair right next to the bed, watching us. And it was the most amazing experience. And I've thought about those two hours so much over the past week. And how special it was. And how it would be super great if somebody could invent time travel because I want to do those two hours again. Words cannot describe it. Just getting to hold my brand new baby right against my skin for so long. Oh my heart. She never once cried. She was completely comforted by me.
Here she is holding her daddy's finger for the first time:
Eventually, the nurse took her and cleaned her up and weighed her and swaddled her.
And the proud daddy finally got his chance to hold her.
We moved to our new room, and we finally called everybody to let them know she had arrived.
My dad and Susie arrived first, followed by my mom, grandma, aunt, mom's cousin and most importantly, Eden. I could not wait for her to walk in that door.
She knew EXACTLY why she was there. She walked in that room looking for her baby.
And when Eden climbed up on the bed with me, and the four of us were finally all together, it was the sweetest moment of my life. Great, now I'm crying again remembering it.
While Eden was holding her, she told us everything about her. "Her has a hat. Her has two eyes. Her has a mouth. Her feet are in there. Her come out of your tummy. I love her."
After a while, she remembered she had a present for Ila.
She showed off the dress, made sure the unicorn was tucked into Ila's bassinet for her, and we had to read her the book of course!
After that, Ila made the rounds, getting passed around the room. Dustin's parents arrived shortly after that, and since everybody was now there, it was time for our pink champagne toast.
My mom gave a beautiful toast that made me cry (of course), and I left a teeny-tiny amount in my cup so that big sister could have some too.
The nurse came in to examine me and Ila, so I asked everybody to step out of the room.
hehehe, this picture cracks me up
Ila's body temperature was just a little bit low, so they wanted me to feed her and then have her spend some time in the baby warmer. So everybody came back in to say good-bye. I asked my mom to let me have a few minutes with Eden before she took her, and Eden crawled back into the bed to kiss Ila and tell her "night-night" and "I love you" for the first time NOT in my tummy. It was hard for me when Eden finally left, but I was also happy to have the rest of the night be the three of us. I remember the day Eden was born, and how happy I was when everybody left so that it could be just me, Eden and Dustin, and Ila needed that too.
She spent some time in the baby warmer.
And after taking turns holding her for a while, we finally put her into her bassinet for the night.
And then Dustin and I finally ate for the first time all day. My aunt had pizza delivered to us, and my mom had brought us Ooh-la-la cupcakes when she had come. It's amazing how good that stuff tastes after you haven't been able to eat it in over two months!
It was another perfect, beautiful birth day.
One week later, and I still can't believe how lucky I am. I have two beautiful girls.
I was never worried about not loving Ila as much as Eden. I know a lot of moms told me when they were pregnant the second time, they didn't know if they would love the second as much as the first. I was never worried about that. I knew I would love her just as much. I did wonder HOW that would be possible though. But I'm pretty sure that my heart just doubled in size the day Ila was born.
From start to finish my labor this time took just under four hours. Longer than Eden's, but still, I'll take it. My body sucks at getting pregnant, then it gets sick for weeks and months when it finally does, then it gets freaking diabetes, BUT my body is awesome at labor. If four hours is my LONG labor, I'll consider myself extremely lucky.
Time to go nurse and cuddle my girl!