If you’ve been following our journey for a while, you’ll know that it’s been a difficult one. After two miscarriages, including a “missed miscarriage,” we finally had a viable pregnancy and were looking forward to having our sweet rainbow baby come into this world. The pregnancy was also tough from the very beginning. Morning sickness started almost immediately and grew worse each day. With Julia, I had very mild morning sickness, so I was not prepared for or expecting the crippling nausea that came with this pregnancy. I soon learned that I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), and after trying various remedies and medications, I finally was able to control the nausea enough to have a somewhat normal life (I’ll be sure and write another post about that). I would often talk to the baby girl in my belly, telling her that she’s causing mommy lots of trouble now, so she had better be an easy baby when she’s born!
As this was my second birth, I knew what to expect and had a good team ready to help. I had my mom on call ready to rush over to babysit, a great doula team, and a midwife practice that understood my concerns and expectations. My mother-in-law was also in town to help out. Julia’s birth was very quick, only lasting a few hours after I went into active labor. My midwives all knew this and advised me not to try and labor at home with this one; I should get to the hospital as soon as possible. I also knew that I would most likely need a shot of Pitocin after delivering to stop the bleeding, but I wanted to avoid having an IV put in.
Of course, our little one was due in the middle of cold and flu season. And, of course my husband caught a nasty virus just a few days and two weeks before my due date. With Julia, I went into labor two weeks before my due date, so I knew the baby was going to make her appearance soon. I made sure to take my vitamins and used the best supplements to prevent catching a cold. Each night my husband was sick, I told him the baby was coming soon, but he said to hold out until he was feeling better. Ha!
At about half past 1am on January 24th, I woke to my nearly 3-year old calling to me from her room. She had a bad dream and needed comforting. I carried her from her bed to her “snuggle chair” and rocked her back to sleep. As I went to put her back in her bed, I felt the familiar cramping that told me things were going to start moving along. In case it was just Braxton Hicks contractions, I chugged some water and lay down in bed, letting my doula team know what was going on. When the contractions didn’t ease up, I started timing them and called my mom to head over. By 3am, I knew I would be seeing my baby soon. I called our midwife and gathered things to head to the hospital. My husband grabbed a mask since he was feeling pretty lousy and didn’t want to spread germs.
Around 4am, I was in triage trying (once again) to explain that though I was only 4 cm dilated, they had better get me into a room soon. The nurses and doctor did not want to call my midwife in until I had shown more progression. I just wanted to get comfortable in a birthing room so I could get into a labor tub and get my calming music going. They wanted me to walk around for an hour. I was having very intense contractions by that point and the only walking I was able to do was to the bathroom. I had the nurse check me two more times before they decided it was time to get a room ready for me.
I was 5 cm dilated when they called a wheelchair to take me to a birthing suite. It was after 5am and I was livid, in pain, and just wanted to get settled somewhere. Anywhere. As soon as we got into the room, bags were tossed in a corner and the faucet on the labor tub immediately turned on. I felt things moving very quickly now and after one more visit to the bathroom, I was able to climb into the tub. I stepped in, had one contraction and had to step right back out to start pushing. I barely had enough time to climb onto the bed when another contraction came raging on. It was just about 6am. On my knees, clinging to the plastic lined pillows, I pushed through two more contractions. At 6:18am our sweet baby girl was born. She had her arm extended up with her hand covering her face, making her birth a bit more painful than it needed to be. The midwife quickly passed her to me and I held her warm, delicate body to my chest as she let out a weak little cry. Since she came out so quickly, the liquid in her lungs was not squeezed out thoroughly on her way through the birth canal. It took her a few more hours to get it all out. But we had a perfect little girl! She was 6lbs. 2 oz. and 19 inches, just a little smaller than her big sister was when she was born.
I knew in the first hours that she would be a mild mannered baby. She nursed like a champ and was so content, hardly crying at all. I told my husband to go home and get some rest since he was very unwell. Just after he left, I allowed the nurses to put in a catheter in case my bleeding didn’t stop and I needed blood. This was much more unpleasant than the shot of Pitocin I had just received to head off the bleeding. I hate needles and having a catheter in was both painful and gave me a constant icky feeling all over. Having my sweet little baby resting on my chest distracted me a little, but I remember asking a few times how much longer it had to stay in. After dropping off our older daughter at daycare, my mom came to the hospital to meet her new granddaughter. Luckily, she was able to take a couple days off work to help me in the hospital and the first couple nights at home. Jacob was still sick for several days after and didn’t even get to hold his baby girl until she was almost a week old. We were very fortunate to have two grandmas in the house to help take care of all of us.
While I was in the hospital, I was texting back and forth with Jacob, trying to decide on a name. We had narrowed the choices down to two: Jaclyn and Jocelyn. Jaclyn because it’s the female version of Jacob and if we were going to have a boy, his name would have been Jack. But I felt that Jocelyn was a bit more feminine and fit this petite little creature much better. I let Jacob decide on her middle name and he chose Rae.
We are all enjoying having our sweet Jocelyn Rae with us. She is still almost always content and likes to hang out watching us from her swing or bouncy chair. I call her my unicorn baby since I’ve never known another baby so laid-back and just easy. She completes our little family.