I’m finally finding some time to write out little Miss Andersyn’s birth story. Between cluster feedings the past 2 nights and attempting to figure out life with a toddler and a newborn, there hasn’t been time for much else. But I want to write this down while it’s still so fresh in my mind. I’m going to attempt to put into words just what a wonderful day September 22nd was. But when you have memories of moments like this one below, when you see your child for the first time, it is truly hard to express in words how I feel about our daughter, Andersyn Joy Eberspacher.
A few weeks ago, I tested positive (again) for group B strep. That, combined with the fact that my labor and delivery was extremely fast with Nora, that we live about 40 minutes away from the hospital, and that I was 3-4 cm dialated and 70% effaced at 39 weeks, Dr. Freisen suggested that we induce at 39.2. Eric and I were thrilled with this option, as we have both been worried about getting to the hospital in time and having our due date so close to harvest, so we whole heartedly agreed and had our date set up for September 22nd to deliver at Brian LGH in Lincoln.
We got to the hospital at 645 in the morning and got checked into our labor room – went through labor history, got changed into my glamorous, booty-showing gown, had my IV started and got an initial cervical check (still 3-4 cm). Our nurse for the day was Adrienne and she was wonderful right from the start. We also reviewed that my platelets came out at 110 that morning, so I was cleared for an epidural when I wanted one. Yay!
At 8am, Dr. Freisen came in and broke my water and they started me on some Pitocin and my antibiotics for my strep B. He said the Pit was mainly to help me keep moving in the right direction since I was already so dialated and effaced. I forgot what that instant “gush” feels like when your water breaks. Ew. Just ew. Almost instantly, my contractions picked up big time, they were pretty hard, but not close together. I opted for my epidural right away. This angelic, wonderful anesthesiologist came in and placed the catheter in my back and from then on my contractions were incredibly manageable. I could still feel pressure and tightening from them and move my legs and hips, but no dramatic pain. He did such a great job and even came back a couple of times over the next 2 hours to check and see how I was doing. I also had a foley catheter placed at this time, too.
Over the next 2 hours, my contractions continued to get closer and closer together and I felt more pressure down below. They checked me a few times and I was progressing nicely. I even dozed off and on for about 30 minutes in between contractions, as I was pretty tired from being up in the middle of the night the night before with Nora (who obviously knew something was up, the little stinker tried to keep me awake all night!). Just a few minutes before 11am, I knew something was different. I looked down at my belly and there was significant room between my boobs and the top of my tummy; boy had she dropped! Then all of the sudden, I felt it – she was going to come out NOW.
I called the nurse in and said, “Um, she is right there. She is in my butt and she is coming out.” Sure enough, Adrienne barely had to check and yelled out for Dr. Freisen to be paged immediately. They broke down my delivery bed, got my feet in the stirrups and Adrienne led me through one set of contractions before telling me to stop pushing or else the Dr. wasn’t going to make it for the delivery.
Um. STOP?!? You want me to stop pushing? This baby’s head is right there, I can see it in the mirror and you want me to stop pushing?
I think they understood the look of confusion on my face, so they told me I could do “little pushes” with each contraction. Oh, my those little pushes saved me; it took a tremendous amount of pressure off of my bottom. It was so hard, because I could look in the mirror and see her head full of hair, knowing she was just a few pushes from in my arms, and I had to wait. Three sets of contractions later, Dr. Freisen and his student walked in and got ready. One and a half sets of contractions and pushes was all she needed to come out, for a grand total of 5 active minutes of pushing and a little over 3 hours of labor (cutting my labor time down by 2 hours compared to my labor with Nora, whoo!).
I could feel her little body coming out and it was a phenomenal experience! It was different than with Nora’s birth; I didn’t know what to expect and my body didn’t know what to do. More like I didn’t know what my body was capable of. The last set of contractions were happy ones. We saw her little head come out and right before the last push, Eric looked at me and said, “We get to meet our daughter now! She’s right there!” One last push, and out she came with a loud pop (her right shoulder got stuck on the way out and she pooped all over the place – total Janzen move, right there). A miracle had happened before our very eyes. Our baby girl was here!
She didn’t cry right away and her color was really purple, although she was flailing her little body all over the place, so I knew she was ok. After what seemed like forever (it was really just 10 seconds or so) she let out her first cries and they placed her up on my chest. All I could think was what a beautiful baby she was, and holy smokes did she look like Nora! We immediately did skin to skin, and she quickly quieted down and snuggled right into my chest. I was instantly in love and my heart was overflowing with completeness. I kept looking up at Eric, both of us in awe of her perfection and grateful for a beautiful labor and delivery. We continued to do skin to skin for about 20 minutes, then they took her over to do her measurements and all of that other fun stuff. 7 pounds, 15 ounces, 19.5 inches long, head circumference of 13 inches. Her APGARs were 8-9-9. While they were doing everything with Andersyn, they finished up with me; delivering the placenta, stitching me up (just 3 small internal stitches where her shoulder got stuck) and getting me cleaned up. I was slightly nervous, as the med student was the one with the needle and thread. It sounds terrible, but all I could think about once they took Andersyn from me was, “Girl, you had better not mess up my vagina.” Come on, you know you would have been thinking the same thing, too if YOU had a first year all up in your business down below.
After getting Andersyn and I cleaned up, Eric finally had a chance to hold her. Ladies who are reading this, there truly is nothing like seeing your husband with their baby for the first time, is there? It’s so cool to watch them fall in love with their child and be completely enamored with them instantaneously. Those are two of my most cherished memories with Eric, the birth of our girls. There is something so intimate, so pure and raw about those times of our lives together. It just makes me fall in love with him even more (as if I ever thought that was possible).
Our families arrived shortly after Andersyn was born, and both Eric and I were eager to see Nora and introduce her to her new life long friend. She ran into the room and hopped up onto the bed. To my surprise, she instantly knew who the baby was and seemed interested. We took the blankets off and let her look at her and poke around a bit, she was so curious! The first thing she pointed out was that Baby Andi had boobs. Way to go on knowing your body parts, kid. She kissed and patted her head a few times, and then went through all of her other body parts, pointing them out and touching them. It was so cute! After about 5 minutes, big sister Nora was more interested in the fact that she could move Mommy’s bed up and down with the buttons on the side rails and only had intermittent interest in her new sis.
After that we invited our parents in and let them meet their new grandbaby. It’s so fun being able to give the gift of grandchildren to our parents. All 4 of them were instantly in love. But honestly, with kids as cute as we make, how could you NOT be in love right away?
There truly are no words to describe what it feels like to meet your child. You have been carrying this life inside of you for 9 months. You have loved them from the moment you saw those 2 pink lines show up on your pregnancy test, fell more in love with them the first time you heard their heartbeat and watched it flicker on the ultrasound screen, then fell even more in love with them when the doctor lays them on your chest. This is going to maybe sound odd, but I wondered if it was possible for me to love another child as much as I already love Nora. I was overjoyed to find out that from the moment I watched her enter the world that I felt the exact same feelings of instant love and profound attachment to Andersyn that I had with little Nora. Like I said before, there are just no words to describe it.
What a joy it was to welcome our little Andersyn into the world this past week. We are so incredibly blessed and grateful to God for a healthy little girl and safe delivery. She is so fearfully and wonderfully made! I will forever cherish the day that she came into our lives.