Isla and Sonora Meet

We decided that Isla would meet Sonora at home instead of making the long trek to MGH. We thought it would have been confusing for her to leave while we stayed at the hospital. We had a master plan of having Sonora in the swing when Isla arrived and focusing on her first and then presenting the little sister. Of course, just before Isla got home, Sonora was bawling to be fed so I was nursing her when she came in.

When Isla saw Sonora, at first she looked like she wanted to cry. I think that the reality of what we were talking about sunk in and she realized you were real. After a bit of distraction and receiving some doll accessories as a present from Sonora, she started warming up and now she doesn’t want to stop kissing her!

We’ve have a few hard days while Isla adjusts to another little person in the house. She is nothing but loving towards Sonora but has had some very uncharacteristic meltdowns – as in, crying so much she can’t breathe. She also decided to stop napping which has not helped and bedtime has become a struggle. We know this is all normal behavior but it still tugs at our hearts. Every day we are trying to make sure she gets alone time with each of us without the baby. We’re also trying to help her put her feelings into words because you can see her struggling with trying to verbalize what she is feeling. It is a tough age to introduce a sibling and will take a few weeks to adjust. Thankfully we decided to put any big changes, like potty training, on  hold for now.

We know that one day Isla will not remember feeling like this and will only remember life with her BFF Sonora!

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Sonora Beverlie: A Birth Story

Dear Sonora,

It seems like we’ve waited for your arrival forever! I can’t believe that just last week we didn’t know if you were even a boy or a girl and now you are here having captured our hearts … I can’t imagine not knowing that I was carrying another perfect little girl.

Let’s talk about how you arrived! It was probably one of Mommy’s biggest accomplishments. I had a wonderful c-section with Isla but I didn’t want to have the surgery recovery this time around and I very much wanted to experience a vaginal birth. You allowed mommy to have the VBAC of her dreams.

I think the story starts when I was 39 weeks pregnant and was very sick. Daddy had to take us to the hospital in the middle of the night; Mommy had a fever and your heart rate was so high – in the 200’s! After a long night of testing and antibiotics we were diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home to rest. I had been so ready to meet you but then I was hoping you would stay inside a little longer so that I could get better enough for the trial of labor. Little did I know we still had over 2 weeks to go…

After false labor and many “last” OB appointments, we decided to schedule an induction on June 14th. I still held out hope that labor would start on its own, but it didn’t. So on that day Auntie Mikayla came over to pick up Isla while Gigi headed to Mass General Hospital with Mommy and Daddy to get the ball rolling.

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When we got to MGH, a nurse took Mommy to our room and started to get me prepared. I still felt like we were in a dream until I got into the room and saw the baby warmer. Then I knew that in a matter of days we would be meeting you! Finally Daddy and Gigi were allowed to join me back in the room. Our nurses for the day were Lois, Paula (who it turns out lives right near our house), Janet, and Robyn. They were all so wonderful. Since I started at a good dilation, the plan was to start pitocin and gradually increase it. It would be a gentle induction to reduce the risk of rupture of my c-section scar. That also meant that there was a limit to how much pitocin I could have so I was very nervous that it would not be enough. Finally, they started the medicine around 11:30 am.

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When nothing happened for hours as the nurses upped the pitocin dose and Mommy still did not feel contractions, we knew we were in for a long process. Mommy sat in bed for a bit and then went for a walk and moved to the chair. The contraction monitor never seemed to be picking anything up accurately. Dr. Jolin stopped in to see us around 5:30 pm and I still was not really feeling much of anything.

As soon as she left it seems, contractions started to pick up – although the monitor still didn’t reflect them. Mommy finally got the  “oh this is what contractions are like!” feeling. Then it started to pick up and Mommy was in a lot of pain, especially in her back. She got really shaky and couldn’t walk around anymore and started to have to be silent through the contractions. I debated what to do about the epidural. I felt like a wimp for only doing 2 hours of the contractions but I also knew that this could last all night and I wanted my strength for pushing since I still had some residual effects from the pneumonia. Finally I got the epidural and was so glad that I did. I was able to get some sleep.

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Throughout the night nurse Ali (who was amazing) kept checking on me and upped my dose while Daddy and Gigi slept. I didn’t feel the contractions but I felt a ton of pressure – so much that I couldn’t sleep. At some point I was checked and was 7 cm dilated, 100% effaced and you had further dropped. Yay! They were to check me again in 2 hours.

2 hours later, I was very discouraged to still be a 7 but you had dropped a bit more. The doctor was all business and said I might need a c-section. Ali was much more encouraging and focused on the progress we made. Mommy was starting to feel sad since I had been feeling so much and felt like we had come so far. The pressure I was feeling was so painful that I also couldn’t relax. The monitor continued to be inconsistent with picking up my contractions. A few hours later, I was checked again and I was a 9. Wahoo! They wanted to give me 2 more hours and the nurses put me on my side to help things along.

At this point, my rectal pressure was severe with each contraction so that 2 hours ticked away ever so slowly. The day nurse, Suzanne, came on and told me that it was busy so they may not be able to check me for longer. When she saw the tears in my eyes and that I was ready to push, she went to advocate that someone check me now. Thank goodness they did because we were ready to go!!! We knew it would still be awhile though because you were sunny side up. Just what mama needed to hear-that I would have to work even harder.

Pushing was nothing like I would have imagined. It was not frantic and it took a long time. Prior to that, when I heard about someone pushing for 3 hours, I didn’t realize there would be so much downtime between contractions. It was super hard work though! For so long I felt like I was making no progress. I was coughing like crazy from the pneumonia so I really couldn’t take good long breaths. i finally got the hang of it though. The tough part was that the monitor was not picking up my contractions and they were irregular. With the epidural, we needed someone’s hand on my stomach so that we knew one was coming.

I finally was getting really discouraged after over an hour. I felt like I was tiring and that I just couldn’t do it. Our nurse went to get a midwife to check my progress. This is the turning point. Enter Kim – she just changed the energy. She checked things and felt I was pushing correctly, had a good baby who was cooperating, and was completely confident that this baby was coming out – and soon! She gave me the encouragement I needed and then found a better position for me to use to push and get leverage.

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After a few more pushes, I had retreated inside myself to focus, but I could tell things were happening. Everyone started to get excited and the room flooded with people. They started preparing the baby warmer. Kim said she thought you would be born in 4-5 more contractions. It turned out being more than that. We would make progress and then you would pop back in. At one point, Kim said that the OBs were going to probably cut on the next contraction. I said to myself that you would be born NOW. Then I coughed. Everyone laughed and said do that again. I recall thinking, are you serious? So I coughed again and out came your head! One or 2 more pushes and you were on my chest wailing away.

We had wanted daddy to announce if you were a boy or a girl and he said – it’s a girl! Mommy was convinced you were a boy for some reason so I was surprised but overjoyed to have 2 beautiful daughters and for you both to have each other for sisters. You stayed on my chest for a whole hour before they weighed you. I knew you weighed more than your sister. My guess was 8 lbs and I was close – 7 lbs 15 oz, 21 inches long and born at 11:02 am.

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We stayed in the hospital for 2 more nights. We had a few guests and lots of snuggle time getting to know you! Poppi, Mimi and Papa joined us and Gigi a few hours after you were born. On Thursday, Jen, Auntie Kristen, Mike and Deana came to visit and of course, Dr. Jolin. On Friday we headed home!

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You look a little like your sister as a newborn, but I think you have different noses. Your hands and feet are just so long! You are 3 inches longer than Isla was so you do not fit into any of the newborn clothes we have but you are very skinny. We will need to bulk you up a bit.

You have this little screechy cry as if you are just so offended any time we try to move you or burp you. You picked up nursing right away but continue to spit up A LOT and are not gaining weight as fast as we would like so you are keeping your mama and dada up at night with worry. We’ll figure it out though. Update since last draft: you are now spitting up normal amounts and gaining weight!

We can’t wait to start this new adventure with you!

A big thank to Mass General Hospital for yet another amazing birth experience. The nursing staff was exceptional and we felt so supported in our goal of a VBAC.

Sonora Day 6

I can’t believe that a week ago from right now I was in labor experiencing some strong contractions and debating when to get the epidural. Now almost a week has gone by and Sonora has yet to make her official blog debut. Well get birth story will be up later this week so for now, here are a few pictures from today and yesterday.

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What’s Been Happening – the Last 2-3 Weeks

It has been both an eventful and uneventful few weeks as we wait for the new addition to arrive. We are overjoyed to finally meet the little one but are also trying to soak up these last few days as a family of three.  Between exhaustion, we are also trying to make sure we fit in a lot of fun special time with Miss Isla. Here are some things we have been up to followed by some pictures:

  • Start of maternity leave!
  • Lots of family time – including a cookout at Auntie Mik’s house for Memorial Day.
  • Midnight trip to MGH at 39 weeks pregnant with pneumonia. It was a crappy night but we were glad we went since mommy was in rough shape and baby’s heart rate was ~210. Thankfully we have mostly recovered.
  • Pool project continues to take forever but the patio was finally poured and we are starting to see how awesome it will be this summer.
  • Hit 40…and then 41 weeks pregnant. Had false labor for almost 24 hours. Induction will be 6/14 if nothing happens before then.
  • Fun stuff with Isla: visiting the Baudreaus, seeing Auntie Kristen’s new house, lots of time on the swings, World War I park, Capron Zoo, walks, library time, Miss Stacy’s music class, running around Briggs, finally trying the Farmer’s Daughter in Easton which is a spot we will surely be back to.

Silliness at the Baudreau’s

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We were all quite entertained by watching the cement guys work

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It is coming along!

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School pictures came in!

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Nebulizing the pneumonia away…

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Capron Zoo with Mimi, Papa, and Parker! These girls are too cute together.

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Gigi and Papa brought us dinner and then had story time with Isla before bed.

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Silly picture of mommy trying to do what she can (with no success) to get this labor thing started.

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Rocking 41 weeks. Need to capture some of these silly selfie bump shots even though I hate selfies.

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