Sunday morning I woke up and hopped in the bath to try and ease some of the tension and fatigue from a night full of sporadic contractions. I had contractions about 10 minutes apart all day. That evening, Jake and Kate invited us over for some corn chowder and a movie, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get out of the house. I just wasn’t feeling well. Nate took Jace and I watched ‘The Bean Movie’ and had a bowl of Ramen Noodle. That’s finally when things started happening. This was the text conversation that I had with Nate:
6:52pm Nate: How you doin’, baby?
6:53pm Luisa: I’m doing alright, sweetie. I’m about to start timing these. I downloaded an app… Hope it helps, because I hate lapping thru the timer. I mess it up. How is the fam? Is it cool that I didn’t come?
6:54pm Nate: Hi baby! That’s awesome. Let me know how it goes! The fam is great and they totally understand. I’ll bring home some soup.
7:17pm Luisa: I just found one of your African pictures on Pinterest!
7:18pm Nate: That’s too funny. Which one? And how are you feeling?
7:19pm Luisa: I’m doing ok… contractions are 6 mins apart, but manageable. ; )
7:20pm Nate: 6 minutes!! Holy cow! That’s amazing baby! Keep me updated.
7:33pm Nate: Hey so would you like me to come home now? How long have they lasted 6 minutes apart?
7:34pm Luisa: Yes. I think you should come home. They are getting closer together. 3:50 apart. This hurts… I’m jumping in the tub.
7:35pm Nate: Would you like some soup?
7:36pm Nate: On our way!!!!
7:49pm Luisa: It’s time sweetie. This is it.
7:50pm Nate: ON MY WAY!!! HURRYING!!
Nate got home and we started getting together the last minute things that couldn’t already be packed. My contractions were getting pretty bad. They were finally the intensity that I remembered with Jace. I really tried to focus on my breathing rhythms, but I couldn’t quite find one that worked for me. Finally, my biggest aim was to just push the breaths out as hard as I could. Eventually I started throwing up, just like I had with Jace. That was when we knew for sure, FOR SURE that this was finally the real thing. We got Jace all bundled up back into the car, and headed BACK to Jake and Kate’s house to drop him off.
When the nurse came in to ‘check me’, I almost got nervous that she was going to tell me that I was STILL only dilated to a 3!!! There had to be SOME kind of progress!! And there was!! I was a 7cm! I almost started crying, I was so happy!! When my epidural finally started kicking in, I could relax and sip on water. After that, the real fun began. It was a quiet and sweet experience this time. When Jace was born, there was the ordeal with all the meconium, and the entire NICU team and the student were there to observe, etc. etc. This time it was just Nate and I, my nurse and Doctor West. He came to break my water, because I was almost fully dilated and it still hadn’t broken yet! And then…. it was time to push!! I felt like: “Woah, woah, woah!!! I’m not ready yet!” I had all the time in the world with Jace and this time I had none at all. When it was time to push, I just couldn’t believe it was time already. I anticipated this moment for so long!! I pushed for a total of 10 minutes, which was about 4 pushes. And then, Dr. West said: “Alright, just one more time… just a small one.” And then there she was!!! He gave her a good rub down until she had this healthy vibrant glow…. and then she started yelling at him. She let everyone know just how angry she was, and how uncomfortable that whole ordeal was on her. Dr. West put her up on my chest and OH! That feeling was incredible! I felt SO joyful and SO full!! I was brimming over with happiness and excitement and love for that precious little girl. They let me hold her as long as I wanted and she just cried and held onto my finger and I kissed her and told her how much I loved her from the bottom of my heart. It was a divine experience.
It wasn’t much later that Nate and Sofia fell asleep. I couldn’t believe how wonderful I felt!!! I was really steady on my feet, and I just felt like a million bucks!! I didn’t have a baby in my tummy anymore, and that feeling is such a wonderful relief. I wasn’t in any pain or discomfort… it was just wonderful. But I didn’t sleep that night; she was born a little after midnight, and I didn’t sleep until 1-2pm the next day. For some reason, I wasn’t tired and I just wanted to see her and be with her and hold her. I couldn’t get enough of her. I breathed in her beautiful smell and kissed her face over and over again. I whispered to her how much I loved her, and how badly I had wanted her to arrive and join our family. Every single time the nurses would bring her to me to nurse, I was just SO dang excited to see her! I would say: “I MISSED YOU!” That night at about 7:00pm, Nate brought Jace in to see me and to meet Sofia. This was the moment we had all been anticipating. We knew that his world was going to get rocked, but we just didn’t know how it would manifest itself in his behavior. When he walked into the room, he yelled: “MAMA!!!” And that nearly made me burst into tears. And then, he was all about Sofie. He loved her from the very first moment he lay eyes on her. He came to the bed and gave me hugs and kisses, but then he tried to climb into the bassinet with Sofie. It was adorable. He gave her kisses too and pet her softly. This started one of the most beautiful nights of my life. We got Jace some presents from Sofie for becoming a big brother. He was so excited about the cars and the new book, but he was ALSO very psyched about all the buttons that were in the room. We brought a movie and some snacks, and all 4 of us climbed into my hospital bed, and fell asleep together. I don’t think I had ever been that happy.
Those days in the hospital were sacred to me. Some might think that all that cleanliness and whiteness in a hospital is just because a hospital is sterile. Not at all. It was a sacred place, because a sacred thing had happened there, and I felt like I was glowing. Maybe I was? My bond with Sofie began THE moment that she was born and they put her on my chest. I would venture to say that our bond began when I was about 6 months pregnant. Sofie has been SO calm and gentle from the time that she was in the womb, until now. She is tender, and kind and calming and peaceful. She is just incredible. Her eyes are intensely alert but they are also so intelligent. Everything about her just calms me down. She has been SO good to me…. and I hope she feels the same about me. This birth has brought me closer to Lord. I know better, with each child, what it must be like to be Him. Some parents worry that when they have a second child, that their love will be divided between the two children or that they will never be able to love that second child as much as they love their first. They worry that they will have love the first child less in order to make room in their hearts for the second. But that is not the case. The reality is that their heart grows…. it doubles in size. Their capability and their capacity to love has been magnified.
When my second child was born, I didn’t love less. I loved MORE.