Mae's Birth Story
I've been meaning to write this post for weeks now, but every free moment I get is usually spent catching a few extra ZZZ's or scrubbing the toilets. With both girls napping, I decided to do a quick blog post so I don't forget the details of bringing Mae Valentine Hammonds into the world.
After holding on for 42+ weeks, I was STILL scheduled to be induced. I didn't want to be considering that with Jane, my labor was super painful due to the pitocin. I didn't want that darn stuff again! But lo and behold, my "pit" drip started at around 2 am on March 5, 2017. The nurse assured me it would be just a small amount since I was already dilated to a 3. Mike and I thought for sure we wouldn't deliver Mae until that night, but as the early morning hours crept past, I was dilating quickly. The overnight nurse couldn't believe how quickly I was progressing. I woke Mike up at around 5 and told him "babe, my contractions are super strong and feel myself dilating fast." When the nurse came in and checked me, I was at a 7! We couldn't believe it. I was so happy that this labor was promising to be quick and easy. The next few centimeters did take some time, however. Mike went and ate some food with his dad in the lobby, Mike's mom came and helped me through those really tough contractions. Meanwhile, my parents were at home with Jane who sadly contracted a fever that day. What timing!
I have to say that this labor was so different from my first in that I was so mentally more present this time around. I feel like my mental calmness helped me through the contractions a lot more efficiently. I feel like I wasn't so freaked out about the baby being born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its head or me losing blood after delivering, or any of the other scary, possible outcomes when enduring childbirth. Also, modesty be-gone. You really do not care who is coming in and looking at your vagina or touching your vagina or discussing the happenings inside your vagina. In fact the word "vagina" and "cervix" are used so frequently, they almost echo.
When Mike came back, it was getting pretty close to start pushing. Of course, my doctor was on the other side of town, so they advise you to "hold it in" for a while. I can't believe this is an actual thing. You're going to tell a woman who has a baby crowning out of her vagina to "hold it in?"
Luckily, my doctor came quickly and in a few quick pushes, Mae was born. I then birthed the placenta, which the doctor held up to Mike and I so we could examine it closely. I am not sure if this was really cool, or really crazy. You can tell my doctor has a true respect for childbirth, which made me feel empowered and respected. Thanks to an amazing team, this birth was so intimate, calm, and beautiful. Mike got to cut her umbilical cord and the doctor laid her on my chest. We started breastfeeding immediately. Mike and I looked at each other with eyes full of tears. We were just amazed at her beauty and her sweetness. I have never felt more connected to my husband in my entire life.
The nurse came into our suite and gave her a quick little bath. She never left my sight. I was so thankful for that. Of course, as I am holding my new, beautiful, healthy girl, I am worried about my other girl who was at home with a fever. And just like that, you realize your heart just grew twice its size to accommodate that new baby. I couldn't actually be at rest until I saw my two girls meet for the first time. So, after we settled in our "mama suite," Jane came for a visit. She shyly waited at the door of the room, as she held back a grin. She was nervous to meet her baby sister. All the months of anticipation and mental preparation finally set in for her. You could tell she didn't want to mess up. After she held sissy for the first time, the nervousness wore off and Jane was already laughing with Mae, tickling her feet and squeezing her cheeks.
Mike took Jane home for a bath and bedtime, while I stayed in the hospital with Mae. When Jane said goodbye to Mae for the first time, you can tell it pained her. They were bonded immediately.
The following hours and days were quite the blur. I remember my sister-in-law left a tray of brownies and I stayed up the whole night tending to Mae, watching HGTV and eating the entire tray. How's that for Cloud 9? When you are so overjoyed that you don't know what to do with yourself, the adrenaline keeps you chugging away. Sleep sounds nice, but you really don't need it. You're too interested in this new person.
I could go on and on about the incredible events of March 5th, but for now I will end this post with the truest statement of all time. I am forever grateful to be the mother of Mae Valentine Hammonds, born 7 lbs 10oz, on March 5. 2017.
Ps, how perfect is Mike's Bass Pro Shops hat in these photos? Haha.