Thursday, August 9, 2012

And then there were TWO...

Vivian Josefine has arrived! We are so excited to have this new precious little girl in our lives. Vivian's name came from a love of classic names by Eliot and I, like Lydia. Josefine is in honor of my dad's mom, Josefa. I never was able to meet her but she was an amazingly strong woman whom I have been told to have inherited a lot of my personality, strength and smile from. I wanted to honor my father who has always worked harder than imaginable, loved silently but strongly and would move mountains if he could for his family.

The birth story was so lovely. Labor pains began erratically a couple of weeks a head of time. Once week earlier to her arrival my ob had said that I was dilated 2 centimeters. Contractions had progressed off and on throughout the following week. At about 1am contractions became fairly regular being about 20 minutes about with a duration of about one minute. 4am I woke up Eliot and told him to call into work that I was in labor. I had my weekly ob appointment that morning at 8:30 and decided to go to the appointment and have them take a look. The verdict was that I was 4-5 cm and that I should head to the hospital.
By the time we were checked in and given a labor room, I was at 6cm and I asked for the epidural. I wish I had developed some fantastic philosophical stance on this issue, but my first birth experience I labored for 18 hours with pitocin without pain medication, it was brutal and I was exhausted. This time, even though I was progressing well, I wasn't going play the martyr. So I went for the drugs and I am glad. By the time, anesthesia came in I was at 7cm. There was no need for additional medications at all. I continued to progress rapidly, now feeling comfortable. A couple of hours later my ob, who was fantastic, came in with a team of nurses which I can't say enough nice things about either, and took a look. She wanted to see how I pushed. I pushed once, Vivian flipped into position, then I pushed twice more and she was here. They placed her on my chest. Vivian latched almost immediately and she nursed for a full hour before even been assessed. It was amazing.

Considering that one of the issues with gestational diabetes is the size of the baby, Vivian was actually almost an entire pound less than Lydia. I never once had a high blood sugar result in the 8 weeks of testing. I actually will say in all honesty that having the diagnosis actually made me a worst patient. Since I never had a high result and I didn't gain a pound in the last 6 weeks, I ate what I pleased. I know and I am sorry to all my girlfriends that have struggled on so many of the issues of pregnancy weight and medical intervention, but I didn't do anything special. Despite a lifetime of being weight conscience and dealing with genetic dispositions to body types and metabolism, pregnancy apparently is my golden ratio, the perfect biological storm, so to speak.

My biggest fear about having a second child was how it was going to effect our first, Lydia. I have to say that she is doing great. She is young and doesn't quite understand her own strength but she really seems to love her sister. Lydia is a strong extroverted personality and has previously shown clearly the emotions of jealously and loves to be the center of attention. Thus a new person on the stage could have been a real struggle for her. Mind you it has been 72 hours, we are just getting into our daily lives. So far our strategy has been not to talk about Lydia being jealous OR the center of attention OR anything else negative around her. Kids are smart. She is young not dumb so we don't want to reinforce ideas that need not be at the forethought of any one's mind.

The other thing, I really feared that picture where the older sibling holds the baby sibling. For years I have seen toddlers holding infants in that pose and I have been thinking that is just crazy. Who does that? Who lets their babies hold a baby? Just as Lydia gets bored of Mickey and tosses him over her shoulder I figured that would be Vivian flying over the very same shoulder. What I learned is that Lydia needed to hold her. She watched family and friends visit and everyone wants to hold the baby. She needed to be able to hold her too. Lydia needed to see what the big deal was. So slowly we have let her. I think it helps her be a part of things, mind you, I don't leave the scene to get coffee or see something shiny at that moment but, I take deep breath and let the sisters have their moment.