Mary! (and Moab)

Mary is a month old today. She is the sweetest little baby we could ever imagine, and we just love her to pieces. She is so, so calm and self content–exactly the opposite of what I was expecting, given the amount she kicked in the womb. But it turns out she just likes to stretch her limbs. She is so easy that Abe has already made comments about the four other kids he hopes we have!

And since I never posted her birth story, here is the quick (graphic and gory–SERIOUSLY, so don’t read if you don’t want the gritty details!) run-down, with pictures of Mary throughout:

At 4:30am on September 27th, I rolled over in bed. All of the sudden, my water started to break. I didn’t realize it at the time (since Mary’s due date was October 16), so I just thought this was another pregnancy first–incontinence in bed!  But then when I got up at 7 and checked, I noticed that there was blood in my pants. I called Abe to come look, and as he entered the bathroom, my water totally broke. I know this is gross, but it becomes super relevant later in the story because if Abe hadn’t actually witnessed my water breaking, I would have thought I was crazy and gone home from the hospital on the assumption that I had been wrong about being in labor.

Guess all of the SEVEN negative tests were wrong!!

Anyway, first things first: We hadn’t yet set up the diaper station for Mary or the IKEA boxes for her clothes, so Abe and I spent the next hour doing that. After an hour, I started having more painful contractions, so we headed to the hospital. It was a beautiful day, and I have vivid memories of how happy I was to be there with Abe. Between contractions, we talked and laughed and felt so excited to soon meet Baby Mary.

Compare and contrast! Here is Mary…

…and here is Lydia when she was about the same age!

The only damper was that the hospital nurse kept taking tests that indicated my water had not yet broken. They were just about to send me home when the final test they took registered that my water had indeed broken. It was great that they discovered that, because by that point I was in serious pain and ardently hoping they wouldn’t send me home. I explained to the nurse that I wanted an epidural right away because I progress fast and last time they barely got the epidural in on time. The nurse explained that the anesthesiologist was tied up in a c-section but would be available in an hour.

At that point, I cried. I knew that I would have to do most of the labor naturally, and I really, really hate pain. But I tried to resign myself to my fate, and sure enough, the anesthesiologist took so long and had so much trouble with my back (which was messed up by pregnancy) that by the time he got the needle in, I had pushed twice in total silence. (I didn’t want them to stop trying to give me the epidural, so I didn’t say a thing.) I guess the pregnancy had so tightened up my back bones that he actually thought I had a curvature in my back and couldn’t get the needle in. But finally he got it in. Once the needle was in, I asked the nurse to check me, and she realized I was ready to push. They asked me to hold off until the doctor came at 2pm, which I did.

What a good big sister!

When the doctor came, she joked that we better make it quick because she had a 2:45 pm appointment. She then got me in position and told me to push–and out popped Mary! In one contraction and less than a minute, our sweet baby just slid easily into the world. Abe joked to the doctor that she could make her 2:45 pm appointment because it was only 2:04.

The sisters meet for the first time!

Before Mary came, Abe and I had a hard time imagining a more special birth than Lydia’s. Lydia was born in the hospital I was born in, and I will never forget the wonderful nurses and doctor who welcomed her into the world. The spirit we felt at Lydia’s birth was so overwhelming, and we just couldn’t imagine anything better.

Mary’s beautiful eyes!!

But Mary’s birth turned out to be equally special. Overall, the tone of the whole experience was just so happy. It was a beautiful day, and I have connections to LDS hospital too. Not only is it 5 minutes from our house, but I used to take sick sisters there on my mission–never dreaming that one day I would give birth there! Because I tore much less this time around, I was in pretty good shape after the labor and just thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the time there. I loved that first night with my baby after all the visitors had gone home and it was just Mary and me. I was so happy to have her that it was hard to sleep.

Also, it was hard to sleep because I was excited for the hospital kitchen to open again. At LDS hospital, the food is complimentary and you can order a meal every hour–which I did! The room service was soooooo happy to see me go, and the kitchen was starting to ask questions when I ordered my third lunch (after two breakfasts) right before I was discharged. What can I say? I am fully capable of thoroughly enjoying free hospital food.

Three weeks later we decided to see if the girls and I can still travel with Abe, so we took a trip to Moab.

Here we are at Balanced Rock. It was a perfect hike on a perfect day!

Lydia played with the sand and rocks until we pulled her away, kicking and screaming. She loved, loved, loved the hike!

And here’s a sneak peak of Halloween this year!

Monkeys!`