Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy, happy birthday, baby...

Today was a big day at our started with singing at 7:04 a.m., the exact minute that Amelia first graced us with her presence three years ago. After gifts and breakfast, we headed off for a playdate, bearing the pink cupcakes with sprinkles that she had requested. Then we visited with Papa and Grandma (more presents, more sugar) and then on to Gramma's, where a house full of people waited to celebrate with the birthday girl (even more presents, even more sugar.) Finally home at around 10 p.m., Milly collapsed happily into bed, three years old, a BIG GIRL.

Although it was a fun day, and I enjoy spoiling my babies on their days, I don't know of a mother anywhere who doesn't celebrate her child's birthday with just a twinge of sadness. Who gave these babies permission to grow up so stinking fast, anyway? Has it really been three years already? And holy cow, in a couple of months, my other baby will be seven! Quelle horreur!

I briefly considered reposting Amelia's birth story as a way to commemorate her special day - after all, she didn't exactly enter this world in the typical fashion. Upon reviewing, however, I decided that it's a little too personal to share I'll revise the narrative into an informational Milly timeline instead. (If you're squeamish about birth stuff or just don't want to know, feel free to scroll down quickly until you see the pictures of my little beauty at the end!)

November 27, 2007 - heard a distinctive wooshing sound as Milly's due date flew by.
December 1 - felt odd sense of relief that my baby girl would have a prettier birthstone than she would have if she had been more punctual.
December 3 - Milly officially more overdue than her sister had been.
Friday, December 7 - ten days overdue, and rather miserable. Had a midwife appointment that morning, and every intention of begging them to do something to get this show on the road. Appointment canceled because of sleet and freezing rain between me and the midwife. Rescheduled appointment for the following Monday morning if still no baby. Cried a little.
6:50 p.m. - in desperation, chugged a vile concoction of two ounces each orange juice and castor oil. Midwife had mentioned it, after all, although she wouldn't expressly tell me to try it. Had tried it with Rachael to no avail, so didn't really expect anything.
8:00 - nothing.
9:00 - nothing.
10:00 - nothing.
10:30 - hey...ow...that hurt a little...
11:30 - hmm, these bad boys are five minutes apart. Called midwife (Alicia) to report. She told me to call her back around 1 with an update - meanwhile, she'd load up her car and take a quick nap.
11:35 - yelled at Gene to clean up the living room before the midwives came.
Saturday, December 8, 12:00 a.m. - Gene goes to bed, telling me to wake him up when there's something new to report. Mama in labor + quiet house + everyone else asleep = GRRRR.
12:02 - decided to take a shower. Gotta be clean to have a baby, right? Thought the water would feel good too. Didn't help as much as I'd hoped. Contractions actually started coming closer together.
1:00 - Called midwife again. Contractions five minutes or less, and regular. She said she'd pick up my doula (Sam) and be on her way. It's about a two hour drive, so I estimated that she'd be here around 3:30.
1:15 - decided to get some rest until the girls arrived. Went to bed.
1:16 - well, that was a stupid idea. Out of bed and into the rocking chair. Much more comfortable. Rock, breathe, rock, breathe, rock, breathe...
2:30 - barf.
3:00 - midwife/doula should be here any time.
3:30 - no sign of them yet.
3:45 - where the heck are they?! Woke Gene up and demanded that he start inflating the birthing pool, about ten minutes ago would've been good, and I want some grapes, STAT.
4:10 - midwife/doula had gotten lost (oops) but finally found me. Checked in, then left me alone while they hauled all their stuff in from the car.
4:15 - well, CRAP. Hot water heater not up to the task of filling a birthing pool. Midwife/doula fly into action, boiling water in every available vessel and dumping it into the pool. Felt vaguely sorry for them, being called out in the middle of the night to boil water, but I had bigger fish to fry.
5:30 - midwife came to check on me again. Listened for baby's heartbeat (good) and checked for dilation (6cm).
6:00 - into the pool. Expected immediate relief (water being the "midwife's epidural" and whatnot), but not so much. However, the novelty of being both in a pool and in my living room was pleasantly distracting. Hung out draped over side of pool, chatting with midwife/doula. Gene hung around in background, trying to be invisible.
6:20 - ohmigosh, gonna barf again. No trash can in living room. Doula Sam scurries off in search of receptacle.
6:20:05 - Sam finds large bowl in kitchen.
6:20:06 - can't hold it any longer...
6:20:07 - Sam does very cool slo-mo run from kitchen, hands holding bowl, outstretched, and
6:20:08 - makes it just in the nick of time. Whew.
6:45 - ooookay, things are getting serious now. Can't possibly be time for her to come yet, though, I was just at 6cm...?!
6:50 - nope, it's time. Fleeting notions that this drug-free thing might not have been such a good idea. OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW...
7:00 - oh crap, Rachael is awake! Gene rushes upstairs, phone in hand, to call his dad to come and pick her up. Doula Sam sends Gene back downstairs and offers to help Rachael get dressed. Nope, Rachael wants to see her Mommy and doesn't care what else is going on.
7:03 - Rachael comes downstairs and sits by the side of the pool (zero visibility of the action, of course.)
7:04 - Holy relief, Batman! Beautiful baby girl is born into the water, and MY hands - not a random doctor's latex gloves - are the first things to ever touch her little body. Lifted her out of the water and onto my chest, wrapped blankets around us both, fell in love.
7:15 - out of the pool, into my favorite (waterproof pad-lined) chair, where Milly had her first meal and nursed like a pro.
7:30 - cord clamped and cut. Score full benefits of delayed cord cutting for Amelia!
7:35 - finally let Gene hold her while midwives helped me (very wobbily) up the stairs and into the shower.
7:50 - clean, dressed, and in my own bed with my new baby girl. Midwife looked Milly over and checked stats - 9 lbs, 6 ozs and 19" long. APGARs of 8, 10 and 10. Incredibly perfect. <3

3 days old:

One year old:

Two years old:

Today...three years old:

My little girl is growing up too fast. Although I'm amazed by the beautiful girl she's turned into, it seems like no time at all that she was a baby. So here's hoping that the next year passes by just a little more slowly...


  1. Amelia is such a beautiful girl. I can't believe how fast time flies by! I love reading her birth story and I get tears in my eyes every.single.time I've read it. You are such an inspiration and both your girls are so lucky to have such an awesome Mama!!

  2. I'm in tears too.
    What a wonderful birth story (I barfed too). It's so beautiful to know that the first hands to touch Milly were her Mama's.