Our sweet Golden Louise arrived a little over a week ago today after 41 weeks of waiting, and we have once again fallen head over heels for a beloved daughter. The beauty of this post is that it doesn’t have to be long and explanatory like our post about Penelope’s arrival (although I can’t resist more details)! The point is that I went into labor last Sunday morning, she was born on Sunday night, and we all checked out of the hospital together on Tuesday.
I will provide a few more details, however, because it’s me and I have a ton of photos to share so why not?! I learned last time that birth plans can be valuable for psychological preparation, but it’s crucial to recognize that birth plans can go to hell real fast and it’s more important to be prepared to be flexible. So going into this delivery I had three main hopes: 1) to go into labor without induction 2) to deliver a healthy baby regardless of delivery mode (induction, no induction, c section, whatever needed to happen to get her out safely) and 3) to check out of the hospital all together (I did not want another NICU stay).
By last Saturday night I had pretty much given up on my first hope, which was to go into labor without induction. I was scheduled to be induced on Sunday night, but on Sunday morning, miracle of miracles, I was having contractions. Javier made a heaping stack of pancakes while I folded laundry, and I had just enough time to eat one pancake before my contractions jumped from 8 minutes apart to 2 minutes apart, so we hopped in the car and headed to the hospital (leaving my mom with Penny at home).
I’ll spare you the details of the day, except to say that contractions really suck, epidurals are a medical miracle (even though mine didn’t completely work on the right side and that was…ahem…unpleasant), and the whole process lasted about 14 hours. We checked in at 9:30am and Goldie was born at 11:30pm, just under the wire for a 1/12/2020 birthday (which we think is a pretty cool sequence of numbers). Oh, and one kind of fun thing that I do actually recommend to any pregnant ladies – this time around I brought my own hospital gown. When I bought it I felt like it was a silly superfluous purchase, but it was SO COMFORTABLE. On a day when pretty much EVERYTHING is uncomfortable, it was nice to have that one supremely soft bit of fabric around me, and I was very glad to have it. That and my pillow. Of all the things I took in my hospital bag, those two items were the most helpful.
So this time around, all three of my major hopes came true. We checked out together, came home together, got to start newborn life at home together. And how is Penny taking all of this? Well, when she came to visit in the hospital she was supremely uninterested in Goldie. She gave her one look, declared she was, in fact, “baby sister,” and then pretty much hid from her the rest of the time. Not exactly the picture perfect moment I had in mind! But since we got home she has slowly but surely warmed up to the idea of this new creature, and I know soon she won’t remember life before Goldie. She started asking for “baby sister hugs,” and she gets pretty distressed on Goldie’s behalf when Goldie is crying. She mostly refers to her as “baby sister,” and although we’ve had more meltdowns than usual, I’m pretty sure she’s working through her emotions and she’ll stabilize soon enough.
Javier’s paternity leave officially started last Monday and I already feel like it’s moving too fast. On Wednesday (yes, the day after we got home!) he made a 4-layer meringue and raspberry cake with raspberries from our garden…it’s been the perfect snack every afternoon while I pump! Ha! Now I associate raspberries with the birth of both of our daughters; our neighbors across the street also baked a raspberry cake with raspberries from THEIR garden for Penny and Goldie’s official birthdays.
Life at home is a blur of playing with Penny, pumping, changing diapers, wrangling the dogs, feeding children, feeding ourselves, trying to scrape together hours of sleep, and soaking in life as a family of four. My mom stayed here for an entire week like a saint to play with Penny and help us out, and my dad drove up on Saturday so he could get some newborn snuggles over the weekend! I love seeing how tiny Goldie is in his arms. Penny was on cloud 1249870 to have them around to play with her. Now we’ve been living a few days with just the four of us, and we’re feeling like we’re slowly falling into a routine again. More on our new normal soon!