Sunday, March 11, 2012

our warrior princess

I've been purposely delaying writing this post just so it wouldn't feel like I was checking something off of a to-do list, which is forbidden for the next few weeks.

Because, on Friday, March 9, at 9:20pm, we gave birth to our baby girl. She weighed in at 7lbs 6 oz and 20 inches long. A few months ago, I referred to her here as Kublai, to match Genghis. But now that we've met her we know that her true online pseudonym is Xena. If you'd like to know her real name, just send me an email.

I've also been delaying writing this post because I have a million thoughts in my head and have had little success in trying to put them together into a coherent story. Instead, I'll just ... make a list.

Thought #1. Being mother to a newborn the second time around has felt so different from the first.

The clearest example I can think of is that, when Genghis was born, Abe and I had this extensive ritual around nursing. I would get mostly undressed and sit in my special rocking chair. Abe would set up several pillows and the boppy around me and then bring Genghis in. We would both work to maneuver him into an optimal eating position, and then spend 15 minutes trying to get him started. We would time and record feedings, making sure that he was at 10-12 minutes on each side, but wondering how to really start and stop the clock since sometimes he sort of dozed off and on. No more than 3 hours from the start of this process, we would begin it anew, per the pediatricians' recommendations.

This time, I get Xena, get myself cozy in a chair, on the bed, or on the coach, and within 2 minutes have her nursing peacefully. I talk to Abe, read a book, or talk with Genghis while nursing. I don't keep track of the time, but just have a sense for when she's done (or when I need her to be done so I'm not too sore). We do usually have to wake her up to nurse, but we wait until she's at the 4-5 hour mark. And we don't plan on waking her up at all if she happens to decide to go longer during the night (one can dream, right?).

Thought #2. Every new mother who loves to read should own a Kindle.

My parents gave me a Kindle Touch for Christmas and I have absolutely loved having it for the past few days. It is the perfect size to use while nursing, with the added bonus of being able to zoom in on the text if I want to set it down a little farther away. I have several reading options at my fingertips. Plus, I can do audiobooks on it during nighttime feedings when I don't have enough energy to put into reading. Love it!

Thought #3. Babies each have their own personality.

Xena sleeps basically all the time. When she's awake, she looks around with interest but is very calm and quiet as she takes in the world. For those of you who may not know, this was not our experience with Genghis. Xena's personality so far seems to be a great compliment to Genghis's independence, willfulness, and energy. I'm sure she will soon move out of this sleepy newborn stage but for now I'm loving every minute of it.

Thought #4. If it's your second birth, when given the choice to walk around the hospital or go home, walk around the hospital.

Genghis made quick work of his delivery 18 months ago. So this time when my contractions were about 7 minutes apart and fairly intense (about 12 hours into labor) we decided to head over to the hospital. After being asked my birthday approximately six times, we got checked in to triage and the midwife measured me as dilated to a 1 - basically, not much progress being made. It was a bit discouraging, and we were given the option of walking around the hospital or going home to come back later. Walking around the hospital sounded extremely boring and somewhat uncomfortable. So we got some carry out dinner and went home. It was about 1.5 hrs after we left the hospital that I told Abe it was time to go back. This time, before they could ask for my birthday, I told them I felt like I needed to push. About 1 minute later the midwife had me on the bed and measured at a 9. Talk about efficient! Thirty minutes later, Xena was born.

I'm just glad the hospital is only a 6-minute drive from our house.


Sherry said...

Wow. You made quick work of this new baby/birth story post. I'm impressed.

She looks super adorable. I'm glad nursing seems to be easier this go-round.

Also, I want an e-reader. So much.

Janssen said...

I am really happy to have a kindle for the next baby. Er, for ME for the next baby.

She is darling! Welcome to the world, Xena.

Megan said...

Congratulations! She is adorable. You have such clear thoughts for having such a new baby. Having a Kindle sounds awesome for nursing.

Shalissa said...

Congratulations on Xena's happy arrival!! Good work!

Dawn said...

She's beautiful, congratulations to the whole family! Glad you made it back in time!