In two days I will no longer be able to say, "I have two kids under two." How is it possible that my first baby is two years old already?
Having a second baby brings back all sorts of memories about your first baby. Family and friends come to visit and hours go by listening to the stories of when their kids were little and how fast the time goes. Finn's arrival rocked my world. My dear cousin summed it up perfectly when she came to visit us last month: "You were in a funk after Finn was born." Yes, yes I was. It took almost a full year to adjust to being a mom and Finn has been so resilient through all of my parenting fumbles, he has graciously paved the way for his little sister. I am so thankful Piper's arrival has felt much more natural.
It was a hot, humid Sunday morning. I hadn't been feeling well for almost a week. I kept telling myself it was because I was close to going into labor...in hindsight it was probably all the various methods I was doing simultaneously to try and induce labor. Walking, spicy foods, stairs, fast food, squats, pineapple, pressure points, mangoes, and anything else I could think of or find on Google. It had been a long week.
I had declined all invitations to do anything remotely enjoyable because, "I might go into labor" and by the time Sunday rolled around I had relinquished myself to the reality that I might as well enjoy the sunshine because clearly my induction techniques were not working. To the pool we went.
My parenting style at this point in pregnancy is best described as survival...as proven by the pictures taken around this time. Popsicle for lunch? Sure.
Our brave friends kindly allowed us to invade their backyard for the afternoon and enjoy the pool despite the fact that I was 39 weeks and six days pregnant. I waddled my way over to the pool and instantly felt relief from my constantly aching back and sides. In fact, it felt so good, I didn't get out for quite some time.
Around 3:30 I slowly exited the pool and realized I was experiencing some rather intense cramps which had been masked by the cool water. Because I had been induced with Finn, it didn't dawn on me that I might be going into labor. About an hour passed before I was in tears leaning over the table telling Zac, "I think I need to go to the hospital." He gave me a look that could only be described as, "I know."
Thankfully my mom was in town and was with us for the afternoon, so she kept our vehicle and took Finn home. Our friends drove Zac and I to the hospital. That morning I had debated about putting the hospital bag in the car or not thinking maybe if I don't bring it I'll go into labor but ultimately decided to throw it in just in case. Between contractions I would try to argue with Zac, "but what if we get sent home and we don't have a car?!"
It was around 5:30pm when we arrived at the hospital. Apparently 5:30pm is the check-in time for Sunday inductions because the woman in front of me was taking her sweet time filling out her paperwork. It felt like a half an hour, but when we got to the desk at 5:34pm I was asked if I was there to be induced, which I couldn't answer. Zac explained that I was having contractions about four minutes apart lasting around one or two minutes each and it was our second child. The pace changed a bit after that. Twenty minutes later I was in a delivery room getting an epidural (after I rinsed off the chlorine from my afternoon swim).
Piper Mae Hogan arrived at 10:28pm on July 26th. 19.5 inches long and six pounds and eleven ounces, a full pound smaller than her brother.
I had been praying for months that this delivery would not end in a C-Section. I desperately wanted to experience a natural delivery, but ultimately just wanted this baby girl to arrive safely. There was no conclusive answer as to whether or not I would have a successful VBAC. Each doctor I spoke with and every website had a different opinion about the risks and likelihood of success. Ultimately I decided to decline scheduling a C-Section.
The evening of Piper's arrival the fear that gripped me during Finn's delivery was replaced with joy and anxiety with hopeful anticipation. Looking back I can see how God was guiding us throughout this pregnancy from the initial decision to see a midwife to the staff who was working the night she was delivered. He brought Piper into our lives at exactly the right time, just an hour and a half before her official due date.
This adventure we are on wouldn't be complete without her.
Photo credit: Shannon Hite Photography