Clementine Joins the Family
If I’m going to be honest, I was not actually prepared to get pregnant again so soon after Mabel. This was completely a surprise. It was a surprise we were willing to take the risk would happen, but neither one of us thought that it actually would happen. Getting Mabel was difficult and so we assumed the second time around would be just as hard. We were wrong!
The second pregnancy went by so much quicker than the first. Especially the beginning. The first trimester is never fun, but with the distraction of having to take care of Mabel, it went by much faster than I remembered the first time. I was also a lot less stressed out and more at ease with myself. It wasn’t until the last couple of months when it started to get really bad. The completion of Mabel’s pregnancy was great. It almost went by too fast! With Clementine, I couldn’t wait to get her out! It was so hard to take care of a growing toddler while also working and being sooooo pregnant. My back hurt much worse this time around and the heart burn was really awful.
Added to that, our house was undergoing some major reconstruction due to a flood that had occurred in November. We didn’t have a kitchen for two weeks and I was really stressed out. Our contractor kept assuring me that we would have the kitchen finished before the baby came. The day before the due date, our counter tops were put in and at 7 pm that night the kitchen sink went in and the final touches were all made. I joked with Marti (who had graciously come over to entertain Mabel for a bit) that it was a good thing the baby didn’t come early. I had felt some pains earlier the week before, but that night I felt pretty good. No cramping or any other signs. Having never naturally started labor before I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would there be a hint that things were going forward? In any case, I was done being pregnant. The next morning at 8:30 AM I was having my 40 week appointment and I fully intended on setting an induction date for later that week. I did NOT want to go over 41 weeks. We joked that I had to go into labor tomorrow. The contractor told us the house would be done by the time the baby would be here (i.e. the due date). John’s parents would be around tomorrow but would be leaving for a week the day following. John said, “No pressure, but everyone is expecting a baby tomorrow.”
In the early morning, around 5:30 am I noticed I was feeling some cramps. They felt vaguely like period cramps. I’d been in so much pain at the end of this pregnancy that it didn’t occur to me that they kept on coming back ever now and then until about 6:30 am. At that point, I got kinda excited. Maybe this was it! I went downstairs because I could no longer sleep through them. I played on the computer while I timed the length of the contractions. They didn’t seem very consistent. They were mostly about a minute long. Sometimes less than 5 minutes apart, sometimes 12 minutes apart. Some of them were really painful, and some of them weren’t. At about 7:30 am I went upstairs to take a shower. I thought I’d go into my appointment at 8:30 and the OB would let me know if I was in labor and how much I was dilated. I had been 3 cm dilated since 38 weeks already. John woke up about this time and asked what I was doing awake and in the shower. I told him I thought maybe I was in labor but no need to rush! I was handling the pain fine so it may be awhile yet. He said he would call my parents anyway just in case (they were going to watch Mabel for us). I got out of the shower and put on my robe and had some cereal for breakfast. Mabel was there eating too and it was about this time that the pains started to get really uncomfortable. I made my way to the room. John was rushing around the house trying to finish packing Mabel’s things and running across the street to get the neighbors. Mabel was sweet and could tell that I was in a lot of pain. She was very quiet and would just watch me. I was in child’s post on the bed for what felt like forever. The pain was getting bad and I was moaning through each contraction. It felt like as soon as one ended another would begin. I wasn’t even bothering timing them anymore. The neighbors across the street made it over to watch Mabel until my parents arrived and John helped me out the door. This was around 8:30 am.
Sitting in the car was awful. John started to drive quickly as he could tell this was serious. I felt every bump and turn and told him to take it easy. When we got to the hospital the valet parking guy grabbed a wheelchair and wheeled me up to L&D. I was being very vocal. It hurt A LOT. Once the nurse got all my info they brought me to a room. She told me that I’d have to take off all my clothes in order to get checked. No problem. I flung everything off immediately. They checked me and told me I was at 7 cm and did I want an epidural. YES! I vaguely remember my dad coming in at one point to get the car keys from John for something. The anesthesiologist came pretty quickly I think around 9:15. It was all really a blur. The epidural helped a lot, but I could still feel a lot of pain “down there.” Once the epidural was placed the OB checked me and told me it was time to push. WHAT?! I had just arrived and was fully prepared to have a break with the epidural. I was already tired from dealing with the labor pains and did NOT want to start pushing. I wasn’t looking forward to pushing. I pushed for a long time with Mabel and it ended with a forceps delivery so I was ready for the long haul. I was feeling good enough to joke with the OB that I hope his office didn’t charge me for the appointment I missed. I pushed for about 15 minutes (it felt like forever) and was given another episiotomy. It burned! It hurt so much as she was coming out; I was so happy to have it over with. She was born on a rainy Tuesday at 9:40 am, only 4 hours after I had woken up that morning and on her due date!
John told me it was a girl! I was so happy labor was over and so happy to have another little girl. She looked SO different from Mabel that I honestly couldn’t believe she was mine the whole time we were in the hospital. She has her dad’s eyes while Mabel has my eyes. Mabel was completely bald and she came out with (what felt like to us) a ton of jet black hair. Who was this little thing that had stormed her way into existence? We agonized over a name for over 24 hours. We decided on Clementine Jane. I knew it would be Clementine all along. She was so relaxed in the hospital and seemed to take everything in with ease. Already so different from her sister. The grandparents and Mabel came to see us later that afternoon. I felt in shock still. The next morning we finally settled on a name and we went home.
We are now a family of four! I have to say that I had a hard time adjusting to having a new baby in the house. I felt incredibly guilty. That I couldn’t give Mabel all my attention any longer. I also felt guilty that I couldn’t give Clementine the attention I had given Mabel as a baby. The first month was really hard. Clementine is now two months old. She’s struggled with reflux, but in the good moments she gives us these huge smiles and I feel that, once she grows up, she’ll be the biggest smiley baby. I’ve finally adjusted to being the mother of two under two. Mabel isn’t very helpful (she’s still very young herself), but she shows no jealously towards her new sister. She seems to understand that the baby belongs with us now and likes to have her with her all the time. She won’t watch tv without the baby or read a book without her. I can’t wait to see them grow up together and play together.
Clementine, welcome to our family! We always knew we wanted more kids and you couldn’t wait to join us! You’re going to have an amazing time living life. We love you and want the best of everything we can offer. We love our little darling!