Friday, July 29, 2011


it's hard to believe our "baby" is officially a toddler. i still treat her like a baby--lots of snuggles and (gasp!) a bottle each morning.* and her round cheeks and bald head still make her look like a baby, but she's two!** 
i think i will always remember the little details of quinn's birth, but i've never actually written them down. i suppose her birthday is as good a time as any...

we knew quinn was going to come early. the doctors had already moved up my due date twice and i'd been having contractions on and off for weeks. at my last appointment i was dilated to 4. on a sunday, as we were getting ready for church, i went to the bathroom and my ______ plug came out. (that is the grossest term so i refuse to write it.) that hadn't happened with piper so i was surprised and assumed she was going to be born soon! i started  having regular, painful contractions so i told mr.a i thought she was on her way! his response was hilarious--straight out of a sitcom. he starts nervously pacing, saying we need to pack our bags and call our parents, grabbing random was comical. i, on the other hand, felt pretty calm as i gathered our things together. we decided to go to church anyway because i figured it may be a while before we needed to go to the hospital and i didn't want to just wait it out at home. we sat in the back row and i continued to have strong, consistent contractions. but slowly, throughout the service, they became less painful and further apart. i knew it probably wasn't going to happen that day.
my last outfit pic before she was born.

on monday i had sporadic contractions throughout the day and just felt uncomfortable. my sister came over for dinner and the kids played in the yard. that summer the weather was mild and beautiful and we would have camp-fires almost every evening. we toasted marshmallows and i continued to have contractions. i was pretty certain it was for real this time. i specifically thought, "i do not want to go through labor smelling like camp-fire!" so i took a shower and then soaked in the tub for a while. before we went to bed, we called my mom to give her a heads up that she may be getting a mid-night phone call. i drank a glass of wine*** and was able to sleep for a couple hours before waking up to intense contractions around 1 a.m.

i really wanted to do most of my laboring at home because i knew once we got to the hospital, i would have a lot less freedom to labor how i wanted. i got in the tub to soak for a while. i had back labor with both girls so the hot water felt amazing and really helped me relax and focus.  after about a half an hour i called for mr.a to wake up and bring me some makeup. he teased me for being mid-contraction, in the tub, trying to make myself look "presentable."
eventually i felt like she was getting so low, i got out of the tub to get ready for the hospital and told mr.a to call my mom. i made it through another contraction and had barely put on some underwear and a big t-shirt before another contraction hit. this time it was taking all i had to manage the pain. i remember kneeling on all fours in front of the air vent in our room, just letting the cool air blow on me. i told mr.a if my mom wasn't here by the time this contraction was over, we were leaving. piper was asleep in her crib but in my crazed state i'd decided she'd be fine until my mom arrived.
sure enough, when that contraction was over, i headed for the door in my big t-shirt and slippers. my mom pulled up as we walked outside (apparently there was no convincing me to wait) and mr.a followed behind, loaded down with a mug of coffee and our bags. i remember my mom asking, "how are you?!" which i totally ignored, making a beeline for the car.
the drive to the hospital was awful. i sat on the edge of the seat, gripping the dashboard. mr.a is a notoriously safe driver, and i remember each red light we came to, he'd look over at me, look at the light, look back at me, debating whether to run it. i won't tell you what he decided.
we pulled in to the hospital and he asked if i wanted him to park or drop me off at the door. i told him to drop me off. i waddled inside in my slippers and t-shirt, obviously not caring who saw my granny panties. there was a security guard at the front desk who took one look at me & said, "third floor." i got in the elevator and headed upstairs, leaving mr.a behind.

anyone who knows me won't be surprised that we hadn't yet filled out any of the paperwork necessary to check into the hospital. so i get to the front desk, empty-handed with no pants on and the nurses there just stare at me. "i'm in labor," i say. of course they don't believe me (why don't they ever believe you?!) and they start asking me all sorts of questions as i'm hit with another major contraction. i'm buckled over and they continue to ask if i'm there alone ("no, my husband is coming"), if i've registered ("no, but he has the paperwork"), if i'm having contractions ("uhhh, duh.") if my water has broken ("no, but it didn't last time either.") and all sorts of other questions that just served to annoy me. finally mr.a made it upstairs. when i told them i'd been dilated to 4 for a few days they started taking me seriously so they got me a wheelchair and we made our way to a room. one of the nurses asked me to try & go to the bathroom. as soon as i sat down my water broke and gushed all over the place. they got me into bed to see how far along i was and i was dilated to 8.5! that snapped everyone into action and they alerted my doctor, who just happened to be finishing up a delivery down the hall! i was so relieved that the majority of the labor was over & i'd been able to do it at home on my own. the next hour or so is sort of a blur. i remember my nurses were wonderful and encouraging and even as i was in so much pain, i remember thinking, "this is so much better this time!" i knew i didn't have much longer.
at one point they brought my doctor in because apparently the bag of waters had sort of divided into two. (early on i had placenta previa and when it moved, it sort of caused the bag to be smushed in a way that there was one large portion and then a smaller part...or something like that.) so basically, there was still a small part of my water that hadn't totally broken so the doctor came in to break it. she told me that on my next contraction, she'd give me the go-ahead to push and would break that smaller bag. when she said "go" i pushed as hard as i could and, no lie, it shot all the way across the room. totally sprayed the doctor and splattered the floor behind her. gross. and totally embarassing had i not been completely consumed with pain. luckily everyone laughed.
finally they told me it was time to push. i was so ready. on the first contraction i pushed 3 or 4 times. they said they could already see her head! it's so amazing when everyone is cheering you on, you know they're seeing your baby and all you want is to see her too. with piper, i labored very quietly. it wasn't until i pushed that i made much noise at all. i was very inwardly focused. with quinn, i was much more vocal and loud. on the next contraction i remember the doctor saying she hardly had any hair. i remember thinking i couldn't do this for much longer. or, at least i didn't want to. on the third contraction i screamed, "get her outta me!!!" and pushed as intensely as i could. the doctor said her head was out and if i wanted to i could do one more push on this contraction or i could wait until the next one. i hesitated for a second which made everyone think i was going to wait. but then i pushed. one last push. mr.a says that no one was watching or ready for it and she basically shot into the doctor's arms!

mr.a describing the doctor "catching" quinn!

i knew she was out and it was over. it was so fast and intense and wild compared with piper's slow & steady delivery. quinn was born just two hours after we arrived at the hospital. the sun was just coming up over the city and we had a beautiful view of the sunrise as they cleaned her up and checked us both over.
i had forgotten how painful the delivery of the placenta is. i had some complications there and mr.a said it was a little scary for some time while they tried to get the entire placenta out and also get me to stop bleeding. but the doctor and nurses did a great job of keeping me in the dark until everything was okay. (which...i think was for the best.) 

from the beginning, quin was quiet and peaceful. i remember people often saying, "it's like she has this inner calm about her." and it was true. she and piper were different from the very beginning. she was happiest when she was close to my body whereas piper was independent from the start, content to lay on her own. i can picture wearing quinn in the sling as i leaned over a steaming sink of dishes, just so i could get something done. but she has truly been a joy and a blessing since that first day she entered the world. she makes us smile all the time. even when she's naughty. she still loves to snuggle and touch. since she was old enough to walk, throughout the day she will just come up and stand next to me with her arm around my leg. she has the sweetest little voice and is incredibly talkative for her age. (yes, i'm bragging.) she is so sensitive and she idolizes her big sister. she also has a surprising amount of spunk for as sweet as she is.

it's hard to believe two years have gone by.
a year ago i wrote
this on her birthday.
and two years ago i wrote
this on her birthday.

happy birthday to you, quinn margaret.

*no judgment here. she loves it and i don't care. it's not like i'm putting grape soda in it.
**my mind flashed to molly shannon here:"i'm two yeeaz old. i like to walk, throw tantrums and walk! i'm TWO!"

***we can talk about this if you want to, but i promise you're not gonna make me feel bad about it. my friend (who has delivered three times without any medical intervention) said her midwife recommended it. pretty sure a glass of wine is no worse for your baby than narcotics.


  1. This post made me cry! I love hearing moms talk about their babies.

    And just to set your mind further at ease (even if you don't need any reinforcement), MY obstetrician (who is completely amazing) said to me a couple of times, "Wine is fine." And then she would smile at me sweetly. Pretty sure she wouldn't say that to just anyone, but still. ;)

  2. Happy birthday sweet Quinn!! :)

  3. Little Quinn is my favorite 2 year old!! I love this post. I love your daughter!!

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