We’re coming up to almost four weeks since our sweet little Rosemary was born and time has just flown by. She’s already over 9.5 lbs and no longer fits her newborn clothes. Tucking them away in the cupboard was bittersweet because it makes me realize how brief this newborn stage really is.
Before time starts to cloud my memory, I wanted to share Rosie’s birth story. I’ll warn you that this post is long, but I want to capture everything as I remember it in this moment, just as I did with Lucy’s Birth Story. If you’re not into birth stories feel free to skip this post and I’ll be back next week with some new holiday posts.
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With Lucy, I was a full week overdue and actually went into labour the day I was to be induced. So this time around I was in no way convinced I’d go early…especially not ten days early.
It all started the week after Canadian Thanksgiving. We’d just had a busy long weekend full of Thanksgiving dinners with family, as well as workshops for the flower business and selling our annual pumpkin arrangements. On the Tuesday afterwards, I finally felt like I had a chance to catch my breath and get the house cleaned up again. I went to my obstetrician appointment in the morning and was pleased to hear I was 2cm dilate and 20% effaced already but was told I could be like that for weeks. The doc made a joke that I might not see him at next week’s appointment, but I felt pretty confident I’d be there. I came home and had a big urge to do load after load of laundry. Talk about nesting! By that evening I started to feel crampy but brushed it off as I’d had it on and off for weeks.
That night I woke up around 2am with mild contractions that were about 10 minutes apart. Maybe this really was it? They kept me up until about 6am and then I fell back asleep until Lucy woke up at 7:30am. I had them on and off all day – sometimes as close as 8 minutes apart or as far apart as 20 minutes. There was no real pattern so I just kept going.
That night the same thing happened – mildly painful contractions from about 1-6am. They were painful enough that they were not Braxton Hicks and there was no way I could sleep through them. They tapered off by morning, then came back in the late afternoon. Then the same thing happened again that night and by the time I woke up on Thursday morning I was exhausted.
That day Garrett’s uncle had come over to plant our garlic cloves in the back garden. There was no way I could work outside in the garden, so I stayed indoors to work on pulling the garlic cloves apart for him to plant. They were a very welcome distraction through the contractions and by the time lunch hit we’d pulled apart and planted 700 cloves!
The contractions were bad enough on Thursday night that Garrett took the Friday off to help watch Lucy and try to give me a chance to rest. On Friday afternoon, after 3 nights and 3 days of all over contractions, I was just miserable and called the nurses at the hospital to see what I could do. They suggested coming in to see if there had been any progress. They checked and I was still 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. That’s when I learned that what I was going through is called Prodromal Labour. It’s not Braxton Hicks or False Labour, but it’s not the real deal either. It’s basically this horrible limbo where things hurt but you’re not quite going anywhere. They had me walk around the hospital for two hours and then checked again to see if there was any change. I’d made no progress, so they sent us home and told me to take some Tylenol and Gravol to try and help me sleep.
Friday night was much of the same and I tried to sleep in 7 minute intervals (very unsuccessfully). We spent Saturday trying to keep distracted. We took Lucy to the park, puttered around the house, attempted to nap and by dinnertime I was so miserable that my mom and Garrett thought we should go back to the hospital and see if there was something they could do to help me sleep. Garrett’s parents kindly offered to take Lucy for the a sleepover that night too.
When we got to the hospital around 6pm they checked and there had been no progress. Nothing. I was so disappointed because it felt like all the pain and lack-of-sleep was for naught. They decided around 7:45pm to give me stronger pain killers to see if I could at least get a little rest and then send me home. While the contractions were still painful enough that I had to breathe through them, it at least helped me shut my brain down a little bit…and that’s when things started to change.
Very soon my contractions started to pick up and the nurse suggested moving to the tub to see if the warm water would ease them a little. Almost as soon as I got in there, they started to pick up even more and I was begging for an epidural like I had last time. I got out of the tub and sure enough I’d progressed to 5cm. They said I was being admitted and I could get an epidural as soon as they could get an anesthesiologist up there.
Well…I didn’t exactly have that much time. I was admitted at 10:33pm, was in the room shortly after that and by then the contractions were one on top of the other. I was using gas and air, which had made me nauseous during labour with Lucy but was a godsend this time. At 11:38pm I was full dilated and two pushes later our sweet Rosemary was born at 11:40pm on Saturday October 13th at 7lb 12 oz and 19.5 inches long.
After the traumatic delivery of Lucy and then the miscarriages we’d had in between, all I wanted to do was hold our little baby on my chest in those moments after she entered the world. My heart just exploded and my eyes still well up whenever I think about it.
The nurses kept her on my chest while I delivered the placenta, but then about 10 minutes after birth they noticed she’d gotten a little floppy. They checked her breathing and sucked out some mucus, before taking her to the NICU to observe her. Garrett went with her and a couple hours later I was finally able to see them both again. She was rooting around like crazy and thankfully I was able to try nursing with her right away.
That first night she stayed in the NICU for observation and we settled into our room around 2:30am. I tried to go to sleep but I still had this intense “runners high”. I tiptoed back in to see her around 4:30am and just stared at her. She seemed so tiny and I couldn’t get over all the dark hair.
The next day I surprisingly felt amazing and more like myself than I’d felt in weeks. While I was quite happy to have had an epidural when I was in labour with Lucy, I do think it contributed to me feeling so groggy and sluggish for days after she was born. Not being able to have the epidural this time meant I was back on my feet right away.
By Sunday afternoon, Rosie was in the room with us and we stayed one more night for the nurses to observe her. We soaked up this time in the newborn bubble, enjoyed some take out and watched cheesy movies on the tiny hospital TV.
Monday morning we were discharged and made our way to Garrett’s parents to pick up Lucy. She was so excited to meet her baby sister. She actually thanked us for giving her Rosie – my heart just melted right then and there.
That week we were at the family doctor for Rosie’s first check up and the doctor was concerned that she was jaundiced. We were sent to the hospital for tests and they admitted us again so Rosie could have some light therapy. It was a tough night for me – I felt like I’d just gotten home and settled, then here we were back at the hospital. There was a whole load of mom guilt for leaving Lucy (who was quite alright hanging out with my parents and barely knew I was gone), which I should have known was really just postpartum hormones and lack of sleep. Garrett went back home to Lucy and I stayed at the hospital with Rosie.
By morning she was doing great and they took her off the lights and we were to stay around that day for observation. I’d noticed a slight droop to Rosie’s face when she was born and mentioned it to the paediatrician while we were there. She ordered more tests which came back fine and then sent us home that evening.
We’d only been home a day when the paediatrician called us back in to talk about the droop and more tests. We went back to the hospital the next day and found out that she was pretty sure the droop was nothing but we’d be going to SickKids in Toronto for a consultation with a neurologist as a precaution. As much as we were fairly confident it was nothing, knowing we had to take our newborn there was concerning. I kept my phone with me at all times waiting for the call about our appointment.
We went into the city last Friday to meet the neurologist and were happy to learn that it was nothing to be concerned about. They were worried it was potentially a pinched nerve from the fast delivery or a heart condition related to a drooped face, but she tested negative for both. It turns out that some people can have a small muscle on the corner of their mouth that is missing or underdeveloped and they think that’s what it is. Over time the other muscles around the mouth make up for it and you’ll never notice. It’s already starting to go away as her facial muscles develop from nursing. It was a HUGE relief to learn that this was nothing to be concerned about and as the doctor put it – we could go home now and just focus on our beautiful healthy baby.
So here we are, almost four weeks into being a family of four and I can’t help but feel like I’m on cloud nine. Yes, it’s been exhausting and stressful the last few weeks, but it’s made me realize what really matters in our lives. We have two beautiful daughters and have so very much to be thankful for.
When we started thinking about names for this little one we knew we wanted something a little more old fashioned to go with Lucille and that we could get a cute nickname from like Lucy. I can’t remember when the name Rosemary popped up but it stayed at the top of our short list throughout the pregnancy. We loved the idea of her formal name being Rosemary, but that we could call her Rosie and when she is older she could decide if she wanted to be Rose or Mary or Rosemary instead.
Her middle name is Anne, which is Garrett’s mother’s middle name as well and can be traced back through his family tree for generations. Lucy was given the middle name Marian after my mother and great aunt and is a family name on my side for hundreds of years, so it seemed fitting to find something equally meaningful on Garrett’s side too. It’s also special for me because it’s the name of one of my cousins I’m close to.
Being a mama to these two girls is one of the best things I’ve done with my life and I want to soak in these precious years when we’re all home together. xoxo