I went through a rough miscarriage back in August of 2015 before my pregnancy with Violet, so she's always felt like a special blessing that we've been extra grateful for. The pregnancy went pretty well generally! Of course, I felt horrible in the beginning. I was extra sick until I started taking a new medication, Diclegis. Then I only felt moderately sick. ;) Diclegis made me extra sleepy though, so I developed a newfound love of Diet Dr. Pepper to help me get through those super exhausting days.
We found out at the 20 week ultrasound that the umbilical cord was a single artery cord. (Usually there are two arteries and one vein.) Sometimes there are associated heart and kidney problems, but there weren't any with Violet. They worry about slow growth and placenta function with single artery cords, so they monitored me a lot near the end of the pregnancy with weekly non-stress tests, having me monitor Violet's activity, etc. But overall, my doctor assured me it would probably be a "perfectly boring" pregnancy. Of course I was super stressed about it for a few weeks after we found about it, but then I felt fine about it. They induced me at 39 weeks because of it, but no other issues really came because of it. However, it definitely was a more stressful pregnancy for me because of the previous miscarriage. It's like I realized something bad actually could happen, and I didn't stop worrying the whole pregnancy. I was always stressed she wasn't moving enough, etc. I was SO grateful when she was born and felt like I could finally stop worrying.
The birth generally went great! It was a Monday morning and we just had to wait for them to call us to come in. Of course I slept through their first call at 5:30AM. But then they called again at 8:30AM and told us to be there at 9. We got all hooked up to pitocin and everything by about 10. The doctor came in a while later to break my water. I think I was 2.5cm dilated when they checked me in. Progress as actually pretty slow and it took quite a while to get to 4 cm. (A few hours? The details are a bit hazy.) I was frustrated because with Max things moved along much more quickly and I fully expected them to be the same this time. I tried walking around to get things going. Eventually things started picking up and got more painful. I got an epidural I think around 2 or 3 PM. (Side note: Epidurals are the best thing EVER. I'd been so miserable in every way and I felt like I instantly was able to enjoy the birthing process.) I had to be on oxygen quite a bit, which I really hate. Violet just wasn't handling the contractions very well and her heart rate would drop quite a bit with each contraction. She tended to do better if I was in certain positions. so there were always moving me around, watching her heart rate, putting me on and off of oxygen. Eventually they felt like they needed more accurate monitoring, so they put something on her head inside of me to track her heart rate and they also put something inside of me to monitor contractions more accurately because they wanted to be able to measure the intensity (not just the frequency) of the contractions. Basically, they were constantly playing the game of giving enough pitocin to keep things moving, but little enough to keep Violet happy. Around 5PM I was 9.5cm dilated and almost ready to push when after a few strong contractions right in a row her heart rate plummeted and everyone was all of a sudden VERY stressed. Of course I was terrified and thought they'd have to rush me in for an emergency C section. But they turned me and her heart rate started coming back up. After that I was 10cm and started pushing. I pushed for 10-15 min. and out she came! She was born at 5:19 PM, 6 lbs 15 oz, and 19.75". It turns out she had the cord wrapped around her a few times--her neck, her foot, and her tummy, I think?--which was why she wasn't tolerating contractions very well. She surprised us with all her dark hair! As I was pushing, Dr. Parrett said, "I see some dark hair!!!" I didn't believe her. We'd totally assumed she'd be a tow head like her brothers. But she was right! Some of it has fallen out since then, but she's still pretty dark. Her eye color wasn't clear from the beginning, but her eyes are looking pretty brown now.
The hospital stay was generally great! Our families helped out a ton with the boys so that Cam could stay with me in the hospital. It's actually the first time he's stayed with me, and it helped me feel a lot more calm. Violet didn't nurse very well, so I mostly pumped and syringe-fed her while there.
We really went back and forth on what to name her. Our favorites were Violet, London (I love that one, Cam doesn't), Margo, Quinn, Zoey, and Scarlett. Once she was born, we narrowed it down to Violet, London, and Quinn. The boys really wanted to name her Violet and so did Cam. I actually liked other names better, but it really just seemed like her name. And I do love that the boys love it so much. I actually think Andy thought of it while on a field trip with his preschool back in the spring? Anyway, it suits her and we love it! Her middle name is Jean--Jean is my middle name, my mom's name, and my grandma Bonnie's middle name. I love middle names with meaning like that.
I'm surprised at how different it feels having a girl. From the beginning Violet has had the sweetest, gentlest temperament. We LOVE her. All the pictures loaded in a strange order, but here they are:
|On her way home from the hospital!|
|Kathy brought the boys to meet Violet.|
|Max's smile! Such a proud big brother.|
|I think this is actually the only pregnancy picture I took! We just arrived at the hospital, ready to be induced!|
|Cam giving Violet her first bath the second day in the hospital.|
|Meeting Grandma Jean.|
|Meeting my baby for the first time. This is always the coolest, most surreal experience.|
|Mid-labor picture! In pain and hating oxygen.|
|Freshly born and screaming!|