She's here! She's home!
In the yard at our house - November 5, 2017
Those really are the most important things. In a lot of ways, it feels strange to think back and relive the delivery and the hospital stay. It still felt weird to fill out a birth plan and set expectations. We told everyone who asked - we want the medically appropriate things to be done. That's the end of our birth plan.
Just like with Everett, Elizabeth was induced at around 38 and a half weeks. In this case, we scheduled it so that bitty would most likely be born in October, leaving the November birthday for Oberon.
Elizabeth's parents came to watch Everett, which was a huge help. It was very nice to be able to relax and not worry about Evie while we were in the hospital.
Elizabeth was admitted on a Saturday around 11 a.m. We got put in a room right away, but then there was a big lull (like, over an hour) with no one coming by. Eventually, Chris started roaming the halls to find out what was going on. Long story short, a bunch of people had just come in and were moving along very quickly, so we were simply at the bottom of the priority list.
We watched football and waited. The doctor came in and explained to us the things that might happen. Elizabeth was already dilated 3cm, so no cervical balloon this time (yay!). They started pitocin at about 4 p.m. Grandma and Grandpa F. brought Evie for a quick visit before dinner and bed. He was enamored with the hallways at the hospital and all the things in the room to explore! Not at all out of sorts from Mommy and Daddy being away.
Later in the evening, about 9 p.m. or so, the doctor talked about breaking Elizabeth's water to speed things up. The pitocin wasn't really getting things moving - still at 3 cm. We talked about it, but opted to get some sleep and break her water in the morning, rather than break it late at night and then get zero sleep. Plus, Elizabeth's OB was on the schedule for Sunday morning, so if she delivered after 8 a.m. there was a good chance her doctor would be there.
So we slept. And no one had to get up to console a whiny toddler. Intermittent checks of Elizabeth's vitals did wake us from time to time, but all things considered a pretty good night's sleep for everyone, including bitty who was doing great.
In the morning, the doctor again brought up breaking the water and also an epidural. Since Elizabeth's labors were very fast with Oberon and Everett (once things got going), they didn't want to miss the window for pain relief. It felt extremely odd to get an epidural before the pain set in, but that's what we did. Elizabeth was having contractions (and had been for hours), but she could only feel them when bitty was in a certain position.
Elizabeth's water was broken in the morning, maybe around 7 a.m. Things did not move quickly. Elizabeth's doctor did come by to check on us when she arrived, but soon after was in an emergency C-section and wouldn't be available for some time. Finally, at around noon, things picked up. Again, they told Elizabeth not to push while her doctor got out of surgery and down to the room. This was the most difficult pushing of the three deliveries (who knew that working out really does make a difference?), but still not too bad. Four contractions worth of pushes, and there she was!
Welcome to the world, Imogen Ruby Fiorani Thoma - Born 10/29/17 at 1:23 p.m.
Just like with Everett, Imogen was put right onto Mama's chest for skin-to-skin. She opened one eye, but it took her a while to get the other one open. No one was in any rush to do checks or measurements, and we got a good couple hours of snuggle time.
Bitty was the biggest beastie at birth - 7 lbs 12.9 oz
We were moved to Mother/Baby and again spent a lot of time waiting for doctors and other people to come by. It felt so different than our stay with Everett where there were constantly people coming and doing checks. It was somewhat unsettling - is this what a typical birth experience is like?
Grandma and Grandpa F. brought Evie to meet his little sister the night she was born. He wasn't very interested and preferred to play on the computer and push around the bassinet - but who could blame him? We would have preferred more snuggles, but toddlers have things to do and we get it.
Troublemaker - October 29, 2017
Grandpa and Grandma F. meet Immy - 10/29/2017
Thoma family - 10/29/2017
Slowly, we began ticking off the required things before discharge. Things like a hearing test, lactation consultant, wet diaper, poopy diaper, and a brain ultrasound. The ultrasound technician remarked that usually she did ultrasounds like this for babies in the NICU, and we felt like responding, "us too."
We didn't see any NICU nurses or neonatologists, a first. The social worker said she remembered us, and Chris recognized one of the pediatricians, but we didn't recognize any other doctors, nurses, or medical personnel in Mother/Baby.
It was bittersweet checking off the boxes on the discharge board. With both the boys the section for the baby was crossed out with the note "NICU" next to it. And there we were, one by one ticking off the must-dos before discharge. Barely 24 hours after Imogen was born, we were being wheeled out to drive her home.
Mommy and Bitty Beastie - ready to go! - 10/30/2017
Everett's delivery was so different from Oberon's, but we still had a NICU experience that was triggering and difficult. With Imogen, it was even more different. So much so that it was in some ways unsettling. Elizabeth had a baby, and then we went home. And no one was worried about her.
She even got to dress up for Halloween and trick or treat at two days old.
Halloween 2017, Yoda, Luke, Ewok, and Leia - May the force be with you.
So far, Immy is doing great. Evie seems to be adjusting well, Elizabeth is feeling pretty good, and Chris is taking care of everyone. We're sure there will be challenges and triggers ahead, but right now we're enjoying this time.