I put away all my maternity clothes last week; I don't have much of a belly left and my old school Lululemon groove pants have a high enough waist to keep me sucked in so I'm quite happy to be done with the full-panel jeans and baggy shirts. Except, I'm not dancing in the street about it. I'm actually a little melancholy about the possibility that this might be the last time I ever see my maternity clothes.
It's not like I'm one of those women who does pregnancy well; I don't 'glow.' The miscarriage anxiety follows me every day, the physical limitations bum me out, the shots suck giant hairy balls and towards the end it's all I can do to put one foot in front of the other. Is there such a thing as pregnancy depression? Antepartum depression? If so, I'm pretty sure that's how I feel. Birth is the best thing in the world for me because I feel like I can finally exhale and be like "Whew! I'm back! I can be me again!"
I'm recovering well and I'm adjusting to having two kids and things are pretty decent (knock on wood.) So why in the world would I feel wistful that this chapter is potentially closed? This is a normal feeling right?
Naturally, please stay tuned for my surprise pregnancy announcement on the eve of my 40th birthday, because God likes to laugh at me.
At any rate, I have some final thoughts on the whole birth/hospital experience and in the interest of wrapping up this chapter, let's get on with the gettin' on, shall we?
I got to go into labor by myself and ended up having a fully unmedicated hospital birth with a majorly cool doctor that was probably the closest thing to a midwife I'll ever get to have. Even though it was crazy intense, it was an incredible birth experience and I'm so grateful that everything happened the way it did.
Look Ma, no IV!
Since I didn't have an IV, I wasn't pumped full of fluids, making me swollen and uncomfortable. I got one injection of Pitocin immediately after delivery to help my uterus shrink down but that was it. When we got to the post-partum room, I was up and about right away. The nurses said I was 'independent.' I'm going to take that in a good way.
Andrea was with me the whole time; the hospital didn't even have a formal nursery because they really want to focus on that mother-baby bonding. I didn't have to fight with anyone to give me back my baby because no one ever took her from me and that was pretty much the best thing ever.
I watched her sleep pretty much the entire time we were in the hospital.
We didn't have any visitors in the hospital, partly because I was there for such a short time. Plus, I wanted some one on one time with Andrea, so we could get to know each other. We spent all night Friday together and Saturday it was time for her to meet her big sister.
Sofia ran in and stuck her hand down my shirt because even though she hasn't nursed for nearly a year, she still needs to touch my 'nursings' for comfort and that was the first time we'd been apart for an entire night. I had a cute robe and loungewear but I was still bleeding like a stuck pig so I opted for the hospital's finest.
Aimee, my honorary doula.
She was an absolute lifesaver and it was such a blessing to know that Sofia
was well cared for while Drew and I were away from her.
While we were in the hospital, the nurses kept pestering me to let them bathe Andrea and I kept putting them off. I couldn't understand the obsession; it's not like she was dirty and the vernix was good for her. I was in no rush to bathe her but no lie, they asked me practically every hour if they could bathe her. I finally relented, but the funniest thing was that when she was done the nurse was like, "She still has some vernix on her; I didn't want to rub too hard because the vernix keeps their skin soft and supple." I was like, then why are you washing it off?? SMH.
They even bathed her in the room with me; for real, she never left my side!
It was awesome!
Andrea isn't so sure about this bathing thing.
I really wanted to honor Drew in some way when naming this baby, but for whatever reason coming up with a name this time was incredibly hard. With Sofia, we knew her name the day we found out she was a girl and we never wavered. This time it was a little harder and nothing stuck. We went back and forth for the longest, throwing names out there to see which one resonated.
For a while we thought she was going to be Olivia Ryan. I love Drew's middle name (Ryan, not Olivia) and before I was pregnant I told him that if we had another baby I wanted the middle name to be Ryan. His brother's wife suggested Olivia and at the time I loved it. Yet, as we started referring to the baby as Olivia it wasn't sticking with me. I didn't love it like I loved Sofia's name and soon it became a back-up name. But I didn't want to give my baby a back-up, secondhand name, even if it was a great name. I needed something that spoke to me.
Andrea Luz came to me one night and it resonated, I heard the angels and I knew that was the one. The only issue was the pronunciation. Like her big sister, I wanted Andrea's name to be spelled and pronounced Spanish-ly (that's a technical term.) The only challenge is Andrea is spelled the same in Spanish and English so there's no clue or signal for pronunciation, so I've kind of set myself up to correct everyone for the rest of forever. But I'm okay with it because I love her name and I'm already used to correcting people who want to spell Sofia's name with a 'ph.'
If you speak Spanish, you already know what's up. Fear not if you don't; it's not a big deal. You just say Ahn-DRAY-ah, emphasis on the second syllable. Her middle name is pronounced 'loose', as in the opposite of tight. See - easy peasy!
Side note: Drew seriously wanted to consider Maeve. I told him as gently as possible that I didn't think there were any Blacks or Mexicans on the planet named Maeve and I wasn't really interested in my child being the first one, no matter how White her daddy is, please and thank you.
Sofia is an amazing big sister. She constantly wants to kiss and hold Andrea and be near her as much as possible. Of course, since she's a rambunctious toddler I'm constantly telling her to be gentle with Baby Sister, that Baby Sister doesn't need your finger directly in her face, careful with Baby Sister's head, stay seated when you're holding Baby Sister...
But overall, she's handled the transition extremely well. We haven't really had a lot of visitors since Andrea's been born, in the interest of keeping things as normal and routine for Sofia as possible and I think that's helped a lot. Sofia has accepted Andrea into the fold and I'm hoping that it'll last as long as possible. Now, this will be whole different story when Andrea starts getting into Sofia's things, but for now I love watching them together.
She's always telling me "I have to say hello to Baby Sister!"
She will also climb into the crib every chance she can.
My mom freaked out when she saw this picture, saying that Sofia was going to crush Andrea.
For the record, I never leave the room if Sofia is in there and if I have to leave, I take Andrea with me. You know, before you go calling CPS on me.
Besides, I told Sofia that she had to get out of the crib and she said
"But I have to read her a story Mom!"
Like I can do anything with that but let my heart melt and take a picture.
As for me, I pretty much feel like my old self again. I wrapped my belly like I did with Sofia but I wasn't as religious with it this time around and I can definitely tell. I'm definitely going to need to get down with some ab work as soon as I get the green light to exercise again. Having a weak core is a recipe for a bad back and I'm too young for all that nonsense. Now, I'm not trying to be Maria Kang and I want to remain healthy every step of the way. I just want to be strong again; I want to run after Sofia in the park and toss her up in the air and not get winded or throw my back out; that's the only goal I have.
So that's my little hodge podge wrap-up for posterity. Only time will tell if this particular story is over. Even though pregnancy is not my friend, I'm not ready to say that I'm done forever and ever but for now we're doing all right, our little family of four. That's so crazy to say that!
Which reminds me, I'm going to have to update our family picture in my sidebar....