It turns out yesterday was an excellent day to have a baby. Although, he would have been happy with a boy, Rob finally has the baby girl he always wanted. Parker was also hoping for a girl and since we only had a girl name picked out it all works out well.
The picture above is the last picture of my pregnant belly between contractions around 9:30am (the one below is during a contraction and I'm shushing Rob). We had a friend (she just started a photography business) take maternity pictures 13 days before Josie came into the world and you can see them here. I started contracting (not the Braxton Hicks contractions I've had for a while) when I woke up and when I noticed they were somewhat consistent, I went to tell Rob in the boys' room around 6am. Rob asked if he should take the day off and eventually we decided that was best. I had Rob start writing down the timing of the contractions around 8:30am (mostly to give him something to do). I called my sister Karen around 9:15am since I figured it wasn't going to be the quick labor I had with Dema (3 hours from water breaking to birth) and the kids might want someone to play with. She was great and brought me some Vitamin Water too for me to drink between contractions and later went out for almonds for me to eat. The boys were in and out throughout the labor and really great.
This labor was different in many ways because the contractions were more in my back for a lot of the time and they would come close and farther and then one on top of another. I was also kind of antsy. I would pace the hallway, sit on the bed, get in the pool (Rob filled it up around 10am), get out of the pool, pace, etc. With Dema once I was in the pool, I never got out. I was more distracted and less focused this birth. My mucus plug came out around noon and after a while I asked Rob to check how dilated I was (big joke because what does he know about this, but what the heck it gave us something to do). He said about 1cm and I thought "You have GOT to be kidding!" What does he know! Then he looked it up on the computer and said he was pretty sure...men! You just don't tell a laboring woman she is only 1cm when it has already been hours...even if it is true. Around 12:45pm I was in the pool and felt a little "pushy" and I knew it wasn't a head and out came the bag of waters...weird. It is like birthing a water balloon. Since I was in the pool it didn't break. We called a friend who has several kids of her own and knows a lot about birth and she reassured Rob that was okay. We'd just never experienced it like this before and Rob was pretty nervous from the start so this made him feel at ease. I stayed in the pool for the rest of the labor and pushed her head out around 1:30pm. I had to tell Rob and call the kids and my sister in the room. Rob took great pictures of Dema's birth, but this time I had to remind him to get the camera. It seemed like a long time between pushing out her head and the body and then I picked her up and nursed her. She was pretty purple and had vernix and there was more blood than with Dema's birth. I kept looking to make sure I was right and she was a girl. I've just never had a girl before. Dema kept looking too and asked if she was going to turn into a boy when she got bigger.
My sweet friend Alicia came over maybe 10 or 15 minutes after Josie was born and sat with me for the TWO freaking hours before I birthed the placenta. What is up with that? Same happened with Dema's birth. Josie's cord was shorter so it was kind of tough to maneuver until we were able to cut the cord (I didn't want to cut it before the placenta came out). Dema clamped the cord, but let Parker do the cutting since he has done it before (took three cuts with the scissors we had). Dema was amazed by the cord cutting and still is talking about it. He was very worried it might have hurt his little sister. My dad came over too and helped weigh Josie on our kitchen scale. We think she weighs about 7lbs. 12oz., but it was kind of a funny scale so we could be off. Dad also took the towels home to dry them since it ended up raining yesterday and looks like it will for a while so line drying wasn't going to happen. Rob buried the placenta yesterday (we still have Dema's in our freezer since we didn't want to bury it at our old house...we knew we weren't staying there long-term) so we'll have to think of something to plant on the spot. People have commented on the amount of pink in the pictures. It is ironic since we aren't big into gender colors (Parker's first "big bike" was pink) that Josie is already brimming in pink, but I sell bamboo baby clothes and so when she needs something I send the kids into the inventory to pick something out and they keep coming back with the pink. I am very nervous about having a girl. I know what to do with boys, but girls is a whole new world. The testosterone level in the house did get a little high at times so maybe Josie will help even this out.
The boys adore their new sister and Parker is an amazing help. Parker is seven and a half (the same age difference between me and my older sister) and very responsible. Parker talks to her all the time teaching her about everything. Right now he is explaining beds to her and clothing. Dema is 3 years and four months old and loves her and has really stepped up to the fact that he is not the baby anymore. He is really sweet about her. Most of the time he is really gentle and loves to "pet" her, but only holds her for a short time. He loves to watch her nurse. She is a great nurser. All my kids have been champion nursers so I didn't expect any different from her and she took to it right away and my milk was in pretty much immediately so she is happy with a full tummy. She loves to be kissed and I swear she smiles when you kiss her neck. She found her thumb and is happy to suck it...neither of the boys did this.
We have the best friends, family, and neighbors. When Dema was born our washer broke down (we cloth diaper) and our next door neighbor then (Joann) was so wonderful helping us out with laundry and our friend Judy convinced a repair man to come and fix it that day. For this birth we had our neighbor Vicky (the kids adore her) come ask the kids over to swim in her pool. Although Dema fell asleep and didn't make get to go, it was great for Parker. Our neighbors Scott and Deborah were so willing to have the boys over and Deborah's mom ended up playing with the boys at their house in the afternoon. This way the boys had some time to play outside and Rob and I had time to be with Josie without any interruption. Thanks to everyone who helped out and called, emailed, etc.
We love Josie so much already and are so happy she is here!