Aspen Ensley Vance was born Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm. She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 inches long. She has a head full of dark dark hair, just like her brother! Labor and delivery this time around were very different, and much easier!
My contractions started getting worse Tuesday the 27th around 7:30 pm. I walked around the house and sat on the exercise ball for a long time. Around midnight my contractions were steadily 5-7 minutes apart. Not terribly painful, but constant. I texted Anna to see what I should do, then called the doctor. Dr. Miletich said it wasn't active labor, just early labor. She wanted me to try to get some rest if I could and call her back if it got worse, closer together or anything else changed. I labored while Anthony slept until about 4 am. At that point I was really hurting and still about 5-6 minutes apart. I called the doctor back and she said to come on into the hospital. I woke Anthony up and we packed up the car. It was quite different packing dialysis stuff with us this time.
We checked into the hospital around 6 am. I had yucky contractions in a very uncomfortable car seat on the ride there. We stopped at the McDonald's drive through to eat because I knew they wouldn't let me eat once we checked in. I was only 1-2 cm dilated when we checked in. Disappointing! After all those contractions I surely expected they were doing something...
Of course, contractions got steadily worse. They made me lay in the bed for baby monitoring for at least 30 minutes. Let me tell you, that is the WORST place to be when you're in labor. They wouldn't give me an epidural yet because they didn't want me to not progress. They gave me Staydol instead. After trying to rest a while I was still only 2-3 cm. Dr. Harraghy decided to break my water to see if it would help move things along. BOY the contractions surely changed! They became awful and unbearable! Ohhhhh it was no good! I continued to ask for an epidural! So did Anthony and Anna...bless them! FINALLY the sweet drug man came and gave me an epidural. Ohh sweet relief!
Once I got to relax it only took about an hour to get to 6 cm. Then about an hour and a half later I was fully dilated and ready to go! :)
The best part of this labor and delivery?! The delivery!!! I only pushed through three contractions!! Yes, you read that right....THREE (3) contractions! After a terrible 3 hours of pushing with Lincoln, this sweet girl felt sorry for me. She came quickly and easily and was perfect!! It was wonderful.
Oh how I cried....but not nearly as much as when Lincoln came in to meet her for the first time. Anthony was holding Aspen when Nana and Papaw brought him to meet his little sister. I just held Anna's hand and cried. Talk about indescribable love... what a feeling, to see your first born child, whom you love more than anything in the world, love on your new baby that you now love like crazy. Amazing. If you haven't experienced it, you can't understand. But if you have...you know how unbelievable it is.
Our family of four...gasp!
Now that we've been home for over a week we're settling into a routine. She's like a little angel! She hardly cries, she's sleeping like a champion, and breastfeeding is going very well. The crying usually only happens if she's got gas, and that gets taken care of quickly...with many, many diapers! She also cries when she gets super hungry. But most of the time she lets us know it's time just by sucking on her fingers and grunting. She's sleeping fabulously. She's only getting up once a night. There were two nights where she got up twice or so...and I have to say that's pretty perfect! She likes to be swaddled, and I really think that's helping with her great sleep at night. She took to nursing right away. My milk came in fully on Friday and she's been very happy ever since.
Lincoln absolutely LOVES her! The only major problem we have is that he loves her too much! He wants to hold her, squeeze her, hug her, kiss her, play with her, wake her up....and he just does all of that a little too roughly! He truly does enjoy her being here. He runs around the house looking for her if we've moved to another room. Every time he sees her he smiles and says "Sissy" or "Baby Appen." It's absolutely precious! He wants to hold her every day, and he kisses her a lot. He's learning to be easy and can hold her hand without hurting her. He also is increasing the time he wants to hold her..and seems to enjoy it. He watches us change her diaper and change her clothes and talks to us about what we're doing. You know, we forgot what it was like to have a newborn...but it's harder to have a toddler! All Aspen does is sleep, eat, and poop. She spends a large amount of her day sleeping, or eating. Lincoln on the other hand, is never still...he only naps like 1-2 hours a day. He wants to play with you, talk to you, he needs juice, he needs a diaper, he wants to go outside........ Newborns are easier! Who ever thought I'd say that?!
So we're home and happy. And Aspen is perfect. Lincoln is wonderful and totally not jealous. Anthony is still home with me until next Wednesday. He took 2 weeks off again, like he did with Lincoln. It's a truly wonderful time for our family. To be able to spend the time together, to bond, to play, to figure all this out. It's priceless. We are so blessed. I thank God every day for our life, our family, and our time together. It's truly a magical time.
She got to come home with a bow in her hair!! :)