wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities

Photo by Jen Smith

I am completely enamored with my new baby girl, Penelope Wren. I know this is long overdue, but I have been thinking a lot about how quickly time flies and I dont ever want to forget my beloved memories of my labor and deliveries of any of my children. So here is Penelope's birth story...

As many know by now, my labor with Penelope was so much easier than my labor was with Preson. With him, I was in labor for 56 hours- with no drugs-at birthing center, only to end in a c section at St Pete General. It was a very humbling, growing time in my life, needless to say. A natural labor and delivery was my goal with Preson, whereas with Penelope, it was to have a VBAC. With my pregnancy with Penelope, I went to a midwife group again, but this time they encouraged me to use the epidural once the pain got to be too much. They explained that now that I know my body cant relax enough to push the baby through on its own, it would help me relax enough so that I could have my baby vaginally if that is what I wanted.

On November 12 at 3am I went into labor. My labor progressed very quickly- when I got to the hospital I was 3 cm- and by the time I was given relief for my pain, I was at 5 cm. I was definitely feeling those contractions. I was focusing on my breathing and meditation techniques to get through each contraction. Once I was given the epidural, I was able to relax. Because I was trying to have a VBAC, I was monitored the entire time. There were a couple of times her heart rate slowed down and when I changed positions, went back to where it was supposed to be. I sat at 10 cm for a very long time but had no urge to push, because she hadn't dropped down enough yet. Finally the nurse told me to give it a push just to see what would happen. As I did, she gasped and exclaimed that she could see Penelope's little head! She got so excited and ran and got my midwife to deliver my baby.

Right as she went to get my midwife, my mother arrived from out of town (just in the nick of time!). There were so many women in labor that afternoon, that my midwife was tied up with delivering another baby, so she was not able to be there. Right as I was about to give my final push, she came running into the room and tag teamed it with the other doctor who had been assisting me. My mom, my sister and of course my amazing husband was holding my hand as I gave the final push and that baby went flying out into my midwife's hands. She almost didnt catch her- Praise God she did! Turns out the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck 2 times, which is why the heart rate had continued dropping. That evening as the sun setting out side my room at Tampa General, I was able to deliver my sweet angel with no complications. She weighed in at 7lbs 4oz. and was 20" long. I felt it was an amazing labor and delivery.

I was such a control freak with the natural labor with Preson- and with Penelope, I just let go. I did whatever I was advised to do and decided to be "ok" with whatever happened. Lo and behold I had a beautiful experience.

She is so beautiful. She took us by surprise with her head full of soft light brown hair. Wren is an appropriate name as she has a cowlick that makes her hair stand up into this little faux hawk. It has been getting lighter and lighter, and when the sun hits it, has this beautiful reddish sheen to it. She has big, dark, blue-grey eyes and a little round face Her cry is a sweet cry- her mouth tightens into this little "o" shape and she furrows her brow. It is the cutest, most pitiful little cry I ever did hear! At her 2 month well visit, she weighed in at 10lb. 4 oz and was in the 90th percentile for her height! Long and lean- She is mommy's little super model! haha

One thing that I was not expecting is how much the girl sleeps! I knew she would sleep a lot in the first few weeks, but she is literally just now starting to come alive during the day. She is still sleeping great at night-only wakes up once or twice to eat and then she is out until about 9am! She is a kicker-when I stop to play with her, she just kicks and kicks and smiles and laughs. It is the funniest thing! It reminds me of how I first felt when Tommy and I started dating- except she doesn't hide it. SO sweet!

Even from the beginning when she first came home with us from the hospital- just 2 months and 2 weeks ago-she has always had this very gentle essence. I have the fondest memory of laying in bed with her in my arms, while my husband prayed over us thanking God for her. He spoke as if she was already daddy's little girl, talking about what a sweet spirit we can already sense from her. It is in these moments of reflection that I find meaning and peace.


jen smith said...

sarah, i'm so glad to finally read this - even though i know it was a perfect occasion. :)
i was so happy and honored to be able to come photograph that sweet little lady. i just wish i could see her more!
love you guys to bits. :)

TheSheCoski said...

*tear turned into blubbering cry..... love a momma's love.

cathistegall said...

oh muffin, thanks so much for this post...I'm in the personal debate right now between natural birth and pain meds...I have NO CLUE what to do let alone what I want or what the kid needs...there are way too many theoretical debates for me to think this through rationally - thank you for putting your heart's approach to this post.
thank you.

she's a beauty.
congrats, love