A week ago today baby #2, Halle Yen Wagner, finally made her grand entrance! In true princess fashion, she arrived last minute (one day before her due date)! The labor and birth was like Noelle's in that it was 6 hours from beginning to end (very short, I'm lucky), however it was very different. Noelle's birth started with my water breaking at home, horrifying back labor, no pain medication for my water birth, and a ring of fire to top it all off. Halle's birth was much, much smoother than this, although still painful!
Moments after having my sweet baby!
The contractions started at about 11:00 pm on Thursday the 27th, just like the week before. They lasted until 1:00 am and started to get more painful. We were timing them though and they were not consistent like the books and doctors always tell you they will be. I had some that were 10 minutes apart, then 5, then 4, then 8 minutes. We really didn't want to get to the hospital to be sent back home again. We reluctantly got our things together and decided to go to the hospital because the contractions were starting to really take my breath away. We got to the hospital close to 2:00 am and what did we find out? I was STILL dilated to a 4!! A 4!! After a whole week and I hadn't dilated at all. Joey and I looked at each other and thought we were going to lose our minds.
The nurse told us to walk around the hospital for an hour and then come back to get checked. Deja vu! Just like last Thursday. We miserably went for our hospital walk, but this time it was different. Within 15 minutes I was bracing myself on chairs during contractions and leaning against the wall for support. Every time I had a contraction I thought I was going to puke. We did not walk for an hour. We "walked" (aka sat on a couch in the waiting room) for 40 minutes before I threw in the towel. We got back to the room and (drumroll please) I was dilated to a 6! HALLELUJAH.
We were officially admitted and sent to our labor room. Nurses after nurses laughed when they asked me what I did last time (water birth) and asked me what I wanted this time (epidural). They hooked me up and got me ready as soon as they could for the epidural, and let me tell you, it wasn't soon enough. I was dilated to an 8 before I got it and my god, it was painful. It was just like having Noelle all over again, except without the water. Truly, god bless women all over the world. Labor is no joke.
I endured two horrible contractions while I got my epidural (thought I was going to throw up all over Joey and the nurse who were holding my hands) but then voila! I was on cloud 9. Epidural = Miraculous, amazing drug. I went from shaking and trying not to cry during my contractions to sleeping through them. Joey and I got to fit in a one hour nap before the nurse came back to see if I was ready to push.
She told me that we were going to do "practice pushing" just to give me an idea of what we were going to do and where to push. I spotted a mirror in the corner and remembering when I witnessed my friend Dawn's birth and she used a mirror, I asked to use it too. They rolled it over, Joey grabbed a leg, and we began our practice pushing. Well, apparently I didn't need any practice because 11 minutes later, Halle Yen was born!
Noelle meeting her little sister!
She came out at 6:39 am, weighing 7 lbs 11 oz (bigger than Noelle) and 19.5 inches (shorter than Noelle). She cried automatically (Noelle did not) and was brought straight up to my chest for skin to skin. This was super cool because with Noelle they were concerned with her breathing and took her right away and I ended up not holding her until much later, even after her bath. Overall, the birth was great. I have no complaints. I didn't even get one tear (Noelle gave me 5 stitches).
The one thing I wasn't prepared for was how exhausted you are after having an epidural and IV! After I had Noelle I was still pretty alert and wanted to focus on my child. I felt a tinge of guilt because after Halle, I was so wiped out that I could barely hold her. I thought I was going to drop her! I felt weak and could barely keep my eyes open. Luckily, after I had a huge breakfast I felt much better.
Sue, my mom and Noelle came to visit pretty soon after that - only a few hours after Halle arrived. Noelle was hesitant at first but she knew what was happening. We had been reading a book for the last couple months about a little boy staying home with grandma while mom and dad go to the hospital to have his baby sister, so Noelle was prepared. She came in and asked me right away "Is that baby Halle? The doctor take her out?" She was quiet and very observant, wanting to sit with me right away. Within a few minutes she was over it and asked daddy to go with her to walk around the hospital.
We had so many visitors when we had Noelle and didn't realize how taxing that was on us until afterwards so this time we kept the visitors light. Only our moms stopped by and that was it. We had a short stay at the hospital (only a little over 24 hours) and were discharged early since we all were doing so well.
Noelle's actual words: "Look mama! She has two feet!"
It's been a week now and we haven't had any real issues. Halle had a little jaundice, not as much as Noelle, but with the sibling background they wanted to be safe so we had to get her bilirubin checked on Monday. She's just fine! Her coloring is almost back to normal and her weight gain is good. She dropped 6% of her weight after leaving the hospital, which isn't bad to begin with, but has already gained that all back. She's doing super!
I'm recovering very, very well - much faster than with Noelle and have already ventured out of the house with Halle quite a bit (a trip or two to Target, the library, the mall...).
Halle is a sucker, wanting to eat all the time. It gets difficult with her wanting to eat every hour, which I was doing for a couple days because I thought feeding on demand was best, but now I try to make her wait every 2 hours before a feeding (for my sanity and sore tatas). I am nursing this time (going much better than with Noelle, although a new and tough challenge) and we are still trying to get the hang of it. Joey and I didn't want to introduce the pacifier until at least 2 weeks to establish breastfeeding but we've already given in because this girl just wants to suck all day!
She sleeps really good, although it's mostly during the day. It gets tough on mama getting up so much at night for feedings and to rock her but she's still such an angel. She hardly cries - really only when she is hungry) and she doesn't seem to care or mind where she sleeps. Noelle's infant challenges had prepared us and given us a chance to do things over, and we are much more relaxed this time around. Being second time parents helps a ton. Although every child is different, just having lower expectations, and being more prepared (or more, prepared for the worst) has really helped. For only having a baby a week ago, Joey and I are doing way better than we thought we would be.
We love, love, love our Halle sooo much! She's truly a gift. She squeaks like a little mouse and whimpers like a little puppy and is just so sweet. Noelle looked a lot like me at birth, and while Halle looks a lot like Noelle too, she also resembles her daddy! She has his forehead and his hairline. She also has much darker and fuller hair than Noelle. Her hair is black and thick, while Noelle's was and has remained dark brown and very thin. She smiles a ton in her sleep and when she's awake her eyes are so big and she's so alert. She's just a miracle.
Her first bath!
She LOVES this. I did the same thing at home and she just loves the warm water on her head!
Joey's sleeping digs during our stay. Abbott is so nice!
We are so, so thankful for this beautiful, sweet, perfect (to us), little baby girl! Halle Yen, welcome to the world! We love you so much and can't wait to spend the rest of our lives with you!!
Mama, Daddy, & Noelle