Rowen Maria will be 4 weeks old on Monday. Today, I recount her birth day.
It’s no secret that I am not a fun pregnant lady. Just ask my husband…or my mother…or my two year old.I hoped and hoped that Rowen would come early, but as my due date approached, began to feel like I was setting myself up for disappointment. I willed myself to accept another month of pregnancy, just in case.
Sunday evening, Drew’s family gathered at Allison & Rich’s house to celebrate the engagement of Drew’s youngest sister, Adrienne, to her charming boyfriend Taylor. We were all so excited! While there, a few of us joked about how ironic it would be if my water broke and I announced I was stealing Taylor’s thunder. I had a good laugh.
Fast forward to 1am. I got up to go to the bathroom, as usual. When I returned to bed, I sat down under the covers and leaked…something. I cursed my weak bladder and headed back to the bathroom. When I sat back down on the toilet to a big gush, I started to realize that I did not, in fact, pee on myself, but there was a good chance my water had broken. Enter the following conversation with very sleepy Drew:
Me: Drew, wake up!
Drew: What’s the matter?
Me: I think my water broke!
Drew: Really? Are you sure? How do you know?
Me: Well, it’s coming down my leg currently.
He got up in a hurry and, because I had been terrified that I would go into labor faster than we could get to the hospital and because we hadn’t packed anything, we left in a big hurry. I threw some socks and the iPad in a bag and Drew very smartly grabbed a towel for me to sit on in the car. We left sleeping Jolie’s monitor with Tom and Renata and made the late night phone calls to our parents on the way. Because I was trying not to disappoint myself by preparing too soon, I had not even finalized plans for Jolie! Drew and my parents are truly wonderful – we worked out the details at 2am (Drew’s parents were to pick up Jolie when she got up in the morning) and my mom got out of bed to come to the hospital with us.
When we arrived, I had no contractions, but was consistently leaking a good amount of fluid. (If any non-moms are curious, your water breaking and leaking feels like you’re peeing yourself over and over. Super glamorous.) They confirmed quickly that my water had broken and admitted me to a room. At that point, it was about 3am and we decided to wait for an hour or so to see if labor would kick in by itself. At 5am, nothing was happening and a pitocin drip was started. Oh, I know that pitocin sucks, but I was ready for that baby! :) Drew and I slept about an hour and, at that point, I began to be in pain. Can I just say it? Contractions suck. A lot. About two and a half hours later, I was feeling much better with an epidural. Then, we waited. Since the epidural was considerably lighter than with Jolie, I got to experience the super fun (read: completely, utterly unfun) time in labor that is transition. My mom was in the labor room with Drew and me this time and she made me feel a lot better with that mom touch; I’m pretty sure she rubbed my hair and face for an hour. I was so glad to have her.
While in labor with Jolie, I had no feeling in my legs and pushed for three hours! I was expecting the same kind of wait for Rowen. To my pleasant surprise, I began pushing at 12:50p and she was born at 1:25. I also had a lighter epidural so I could feel pressure and pain, which was not super fun, but helpful. Rowen emerged nice and purple and started squawking away.
Now that we’re almost a month out, I can say with confidence that the second time around is much easier! The first week, I kept waiting to crash and burn…and I didn’t. Sure, I was a little tired and a little sore, but I felt like myself. My recovery time was really fast and, unlike the first time, I didn’t look pregnant anymore. I didn’t take home any pain meds and haven’t even needed a daytime nap in the past 2 weeks!
Nowadays, Rowen only wakes twice in the night to eat and immediately go back to sleep, which only takes about 20 minutes. I have survived almost 4 weeks of having 2 children and being a stay at home mom. I am enjoying seeing the differences in my daughters, and especially seeing the similar mannerisms and facial expressions.
Rowen’s birth and existence still feel very surreal to me most days. She is already challenging my spirit to grow in good, hard ways. I am so very grateful for her.