Bridget Ruth Baareman - Born May 12, 2014 - 6 lbs. 13 oz. 19 3/4 inches
Wow! So much to write about! Since my last post I became a mom "again" to a beautiful angelic baby girl we named Bridget Ruth Baareman. I also got thrown to the wolves and have been parenting two kids by myself for the last five days - I'm convinced this is why I'm just now getting around to writing this birth story. I don't think I've ever been so exhausted in my life...but that calls for another post.
About a month or two ago, we made the decision that I would not be returning to work after Bridget was born. This led to a month or so of working full time (more than my typically 25-30ish hours/week) to hire and train my replacement. My boss kept asking me over and over, "When do you think you'll have the baby?" I would laugh and think "Boy I wish I knew!" The best answer I could come up with was, "Well, Lucy was born exactly 1 week early at 39 weeks, so if Bridget is the same, she'll be born at exactly 39 weeks too, on May 12." So that's what we all planned on - turns out my guess was right! I needed to finish my job and training by Friday, May 9 just in case Bridget decided to show up 1 week early just like her big sister. The last few weeks were pretty hard since I was busy with work, didn't see Lucy all day (which I wasn't used to), and we were also trying to get ready for the baby with any spare moment we had. By the way, spare moments are MUCH more rare when you have a toddler! So we basically spent all of our evenings and weekends doing things like painting Lucy's new bedroom, switching furniture around, going through old baby clothes, buying last minute supplies, packing bags, etc. Even though we were pretty tired with all the preparations, by Sunday, May 11 we were prepared. It was probably the first day we were prepared, but we were. On Saturday we had hung out with friends and even were a little wild and crazy and took our kids out to the Evans Amphitheater to watch fireworks until 9:30! We ignored Lucy's bedtime because we knew in a few days it would be nearly impossible to do something fun like that. Well Lucy had a blast staying up late on Saturday night and we were hoping that she would be so tired that she would sleep in on Sunday morning....no such luck. She woke up bright and early which made me worried that she would surely ruin Mother's Day Brunch because by that time she would be so worn out. So... we decided to go to Sunday School, then return home instead of going to the main church service to give Lucy an early nap before my family came into town for brunch. She slept for a little bit and we were all able to enjoy a wonderful Brunch at Manuel's in North Augusta. Although I really had no clue that labor was imminent I was REALLY slow doing pretty much anything (walking, doing chores, helping with Lucy, etc.). I had taken Lucy on a walk that Saturday while Jason mowed the lawn and I think it took me about 30 minutes to walk not even a mile - very sad! After brunch the whole family hung around our house, we did some face timing with other family members like the Texas clan and Kristen. My mom also treated Stormy and me to pedicures. They left around dinner time and we all knew the next time we would see each other was when Bridget arrived!
That evening was the last evening as our family of three. Lucy and I went out on the deck and watched while Jason finished up Lucy's side rail for her big girl bed. After Lucy's bedtime, Jason and I cleaned the house and watched Cosmos, because we're nerds like that. I told Jason that I would 100% for sure take some Miralax when I thought I was in labor, because my doctor had recommended that. We went to sleep at 10:30 and I woke up at 2:00am with contractions. At first I didn't want to get too excited about it, so I just assumed it was a false alarm. But with each new one I felt, I was more convinced this could be it. I never had had Braxton Hicks or any contractions prior to actual labor, so by the time I had had about 3-5 contractions and timed them at 10 min. apart using my Iphone app, I was convinced and got my Miralax - mixed with orange juice at about 3:00am. This is when Jason woke up and asked "Are you in labor?" - he said he knew because my orange juice concoction lol. I said yes but that they weren't that close together yet. In stark contrast to my labor with Lucy, Jason was wide awake by this point and decided to take a shower while I continued to try to have these "easier" contractions while lying down in bed. They kept getting closer and closer together and soon I had to sit up in bed to deal with them. Then I would lay down in between to try and get some rest. I was more prepared this time in the fact that I KNEW I HAD to be as rested as possible by the time I had to push, so I wanted to get as many hours or minutes of sleep in my own bed as possible! Jason wondered why I didn't want to have my contractions sitting on our exercise ball - since that is known to speed up labor, but I kept telling him that I didn't want to speed up labor, I wanted to slow it down as much as possible so I could rest as much as possible. While I was still trying to rest Jason convinced me to throw the last few items into our hospital bags so he could pack the car. Around 4:00am we decided to go ahead and take Lucy to our friends house so that we wouldn't have to worry about her when the contractions got worse. After we dropped off Lucy, I still wasn't sure I was more than 2 cm dilated. I wanted to make sure I pretty dilated by the time I checked in to the hospital so that they would admit me. So we returned home for another hour or so and then drove to the hospital around 6:30. My contractions were worse this time when we arrived at the hospital than they were with Lucy. I probably had 3-4 contractions while walking into the hospital, then another 3-4 while checking in. They admitted me and wheeled me up to the labor and delivery area. When our nurse came in, I again had more contractions that were pretty intense. I had to really breath loud and hard to get through them okay. I made it very clear to her that I wanted an epidural as soon as possible. I think they checked me and I was 3-4 cm dilated. With my contractions coming so regularly, my nurse was AWESOME and let me skip all the checking in/screening questions and took my blood work and got an IV in right away to get me ready for an epidural! yay! Unfortunately, by this time it was 7:00 or 7:30 and the anesthesiologist was busy with a scheduled C-Section. My nurse called in another anesthesiologist from another area of the hospital to help me out so I wouldn't have to wait until the C-Section was over! By the time the anesthesiologist came in, I was SOOO ready. I think I was probably 6 cm by this point. All I was thinking and praying was that the epidural would work. Last time it was super fast going in so that's what I expected this time too. Unfortunately the guy had a hard time getting in in because a) he said I was small boned, b) I wasn't in the right position and it took finally sitting Indian Style for him to get it in and c) I was having lots of strong contractions and kept having to delay getting the needle in until the contraction was over. Long story short it, I ended up getting 3 pricks in my back! 30 minutes later he finally got it in and I got a few hours of pain relief! The two or so hours that I had the epidural in were pretty uneventful. Jason decided to go and visit our friends Ryan and Mary Beth who were in the same hospital and had had their baby girl the day before! At one point my nurse from Lucy's birth came in to say hello and also give me a little oxygen. They had me switch the sides that I was laying on a few times too to make the baby more comfortable.
One thing that I wanted to do differently with Bridget's birth was get more epidural meds since my epidural was obviously running out of juice during the key time of pushing Lucy out and getting stitched up. I was afraid that the same thing would happen again so I was a huge nuisance to my anesthesiologist and kept asking for another dose. When it was time to push her out I made him come back and give me one final dose because I was afraid of it running out like it did with Lucy. It was very obvious that he didn't think I needed it, but I KNEW I needed it and had absolutely no shame begging for meds at that stage in the game. Just like with Lucy things started really happening fast after my mom showed up - I think around 10:00am this time. The nurse started bringing in all the tools and equipment for her to be born, and they told me my doctor would be there shortly. There was a hold up in getting the results for my Group B Strep test, so once those results got back there wasn't really anything left to wait on. Once the doctor got in and I had had my last dose of meds, we started pushing. They broke my water, I pushed probably 5-10 times, and she was out in 9 minutes! I was so surprised that she was born so fast but also so thankful since that is definitely the most uncomfortable part for me. The moment they held her up for me to see was so amazing, not any less amazing than from the first moment I saw Lucy. I was so thankful to see that she was perfectly healthy. They gave her a quick bath and handed her to me and we had skin to skin time for about 1 hour. For the first 30 minutes she just hung out with me and didn't try to eat, which surprised me since Lucy had tried to eat immediately. Just when I was about to start worrying about the fact that she wasn't trying to eat, she started and continued to eat for the next 30 minutes. It was such a sweet time, and I have continued to have many sweet special moments with Bridget.
All in all, things happened faster this time around. With Lucy I labored from 11:00pm and had her at 12:00 noon the next day - 13 hours in all. With Bridget, I labored from 2:00am and had her at 11:00am - 9 hours in all. Honestly, I'm not sure if I would want it to go faster than 9 hours since I noticed that the contractions progressed faster this time - and they were plenty fast enough for me! I was glad this time that my contractions progressed better on their own. With Lucy we had to walk the halls of the hospital for an hour or so to make the contractions speed up - which was not fun. I had less stitches and less overall pain during Bridget's birth than with Lucy. They told me afterwards that one of her arms came out with her head, and if it hadn't been for that, I probably wouldn't have needed any stitches at all. After she was born Jason went and got Jimmy John's for the three of us (me, Jason, and my mom). I couldn't believe how good I felt after she was born - probably thanks to the extra epidural lol! That day was just perfect, I spent as much time as possible holding my sweet sweet baby girl and thanking God for the indescribable blessing of another healthy child - something I could never possibly deserve. That day we just relaxed as much as we could. Jason was super excited to pick up Lucy so she could meet Bridget, while I admit that I tried to put it off since the hospital room was so quiet and peaceful and I knew that as soon as we picked up Lucy, we would be in charge of taking care of two kids from that moment on - an overwhelming thought! Lucy was excited to see me and that baby. Although Lucy didn't realize the significance of the moment it was so so special to see two sisters meet for the first time. I'm so thankful that they both get a friend and playmate for life. Right now, most of my attention is on keeping Lucy from inadvertently hurting Bridget, but I'm hopeful that that fear will ease as time goes on, Lucy gets older, and Bridget gets bigger and stronger. My dad drove back to Augusta with the kids just to see Bridget on her first day of life, and although their trip was very short, it was very special for them all to meet her that day.
I'll be back with another post on how life has been with two kids since Bridget's birth. Plus, Lucy is now 23 months old and deserves a blog post of her own!