***I had more detail in here, but the computer killed it while trying to save and I am not going to try and redo it, because it has taken me long enough to finish this post that I need to just get it done. ***
It was a typical Tuesday morning, on January 29th. I woke up at 7am and took a load of whites down to the washer to start just before waking Kaelyn up. Much to my surprise while filling the washer I had a contraction that hurt enough for me to start counting seconds in my head. About 20 seconds. I continued on with my morning and when I got back upstairs I wrote down the time I guessed that first contraction was at (7:15am) and how long it lasted. Ten minutes later I had another contraction that lasted about 15 seconds. I figured that I had better go and get my phone to start actually timing them and writing them down.
7:15 (20 sec)
7:25 (15 sec)
7:38 (51 sec)
7:44 (50 sec)
7:56 (26 sec)
8:01 (57 sec)
8:06 (...I quit timing and started calling people, this is where my morning ceased being typical.)
Her very first picture
Because of our experience with Alyssa's birth (where I was in labor for a total of about 2 1/2 hours, but only in the hospital for about 31 minutes) Jon and I planned to meet each other at the hospital if we were not together when I went into labor. I am grateful for the people who were willing to be on that call list so that I was able to feel prepared. Naturally, Jon was the first person I called. I had to let him know it was time to put the aforementioned plan into action. He later told me that as he was shutting down his computer at work and closing up shop so to speak one of his co-workers made a funny comment. "I can tell this isn't your first. If it were me I'd be running around like a chicken with its head cut off."
Yup, not his first. He is a pro!
I then called Katie and asked her to come and pick up Kylie and Alyssa after she picked up Steven at 8:30 in the morning. She asked me why and I responded with a rather confident, "Because I am going to the hospital and I am NOT coming home this time." A relevant point because the Wed. night before Jon and I had gone to the hospital sure we were going to have a baby and rather disappointed to learn that you can sit dilated to 4cm for weeks. I now know what it is like to get sent home from the hospital, not fun.
Is there anything cuter than tiny toes?
Finally I called my ride to the hospital, my visiting teacher. (The one didn't call on Wed. night.) The plan was that she would drive me with Kylie and Alyssa down to the hospital in my van then return the girls to my house where Katie would be waiting to pick them up. She had to make some last minute arrangements with some painters that were scheduled to be at her house at 9AM. I told her to give me a call back soon if it wasn't going to work out for her to drive. I then went back to getting Kaelyn ready for school and dressing Alyssa. Kylie, all the while, was sound asleep on my bed.
Kaelyn made me laugh because she was with me while I was getting Alyssa dressed. During which I had another contraction. She asked in a voice that said she wasn't sure that she wanted the answer, "Mom, what is a contraction?" I kind of laughed and did my best to try and explain about contractions and why they hurt. Her response was a look on her face that said something to the effect of, "And you are okay with this?"
I am only okay with it because of the priceless end result.
8:54- Arrival at triage in the hospital
9:24- Moved out of triage to a hospital room
9:46- Checked and at 10cm
It was only 2 contractions and 7 pushes before...
9:49 AM- Our beautiful baby girl was born.
When my water broke they noticed there was a hint of meconium in it so the doctor didn't give her to me right away when she was born. That was a little hard for me, especially since I didn't have a sweet baby to hold and look at distracting me from everything that comes after the baby is delivered. However, when I did get to hold her she was beautiful. So perfect and tiny. I was glad when all of the hospital staff cleared out of the room and it was just me, Jon, and the baby. There was peace and quiet.
The only thing we were unsure of was what to call this new baby girl. After we had all eaten lunch we got on the Internet and made another list of possible names. After much discussion we settled on the name Ami. It comes from the Japanese kanji meaning "beautiful love". Adorable in meaning and unique without being out in left-field, right? So when our visitors arrived at 3:30 in the afternoon we told them that we planned to name her Ami. However, after about an hour of listening to a room full of people calling her Ami Jon and I were in agreement that was NOT going to be her name after all. It just didn't fit. It felt wrong.
Now I want to tell you about our visitors, Jon's parents, Katie, and Steven came with our other girls after picking Kaelyn up from the bus stop.
There is no way that I am going to be able to put the moment our girls met and held their new sister into words. Words don't do it justice, but the pictures come close. In my experience when my older kids meet their new sibling is the most perfect and rewarding moment of any pregnancy or delivery. There is an excitement very different from normal childhood excitement perhaps a reverent enthusiasm?.
My girls who are normally quite loud are quiet, but brimming with joy and for lack of a better word excitement. It never fails though that their eyes sparkle in a way that I have only ever noticed in those rare, special, and prefect moments when we have had our family grow. That first time when we are all together with a new little one. I cherish those memories.
By evening Jon and I had settled on Danielle as the name for our new little one. I shared it with my parents and a couple of my siblings over Skype. Jon told his family and our other girls when he went to pick Kaelyn up for the night. He joked with them that, "It'll be a rainy day in Seattle before we change her name again!"
Wouldn't you know it, when I woke up the next morning it was raining. We did end up changing her name again. This time we actually filled out the paperwork, so it was official. So it is with great joy (and a fair amount of relief that we finally figured out her name) that we announce our newest baby girl...
8 pounds 2 ounces
19 3/4 inches long
My hospital stay was really short, just about 26 hours after delivery. That day Jon picked my mom up from the airport then came and took me home. We dressed and bundled up our new little angel and headed for home. We have been here a week and are excited to be starting on life's next great adventure.