It still feels so surreal to me that we have a little boy! It’s one thing to think you’re carrying a boy but it’s another to actually have it happen. We decided to wait to find out the sex of baby #2, @LittlerAmazing (just like with Milly) but the anticipation was so much higher this time around. Part of me wanted a little boy because that meant Milly would be our princess forever. Another big part of me thought we were having a boy simply because Mr. A and I thought we’d have one girl and one boy even before we were married. Then there was a huge part of me that knows the incredible value and bond of a sister and how unbelievable that would be to have two girls. All I know is I am so grateful we have two healthy children and I was so blessed to have two swift and gentle births. However, my pregnancy journey and their birth stories couldn’t be more different. Even in utero these siblings were total opposites!
When I was pregnant with Milly not only did I have an easy pregnancy but when she moved around it felt 100% magical. I loved, loved being pregnant with her. It was everything you could dream of. She did give me normal symptoms like back labor the last month of pregnancy and I had braxton hicks for about 6 weeks but it wasn’t too bad. Sonny, on the other hand and I had an adventure of a time! It’s hard to tell if pregnancy was harder because I was chasing a toddler or because I’m two years older but there were a few things that were challenging.
When Sonny moved inside my belly sometimes it was legit uncomfortable. Like now I understand when Mamas jump when their babies kick them. He would move around and I’d kick my leg or jolt up because it felt so uncomfortable. The boy was always hiccuping which is super telling now because he does it still. He also tried coming into this world very early at 34 weeks so that was scary and I had to be put on bed rest and then before I knew it we made it full term and he still wasn’t there. I guess there’s something to be said about Leo’s (I’m one of them)-they are very very determined and strong willed! I went from stressing about him making his appearance too early and him being in the NICU to wondering if I’d have to have any interventions because he was overdue! Fortunately for both of us, he decided to come Earthside 40 weeks and 3 days and this is where his birth story begins…
On Sunday July 28th, we had plans to go to Music in the Park in our town. I was so excited because a few weeks prior we wanted to go but I had to work and we hosted a get together in the backyard so we were exhausted from all of the hosting. That morning we went to church and while we were there I kept thinking “I wonder if this is the last time we’ll be a family of three.” Truthfully, we hadn’t been going to church consistently and it really made me sad. Part of me wondered if I needed to have a real heart to heart with God in His home before this baby was ready to join us. Sure enough, the Priest blessed my belly after mass and that night Sonny was born!
So back to Music in the Park -Milly had been napping since 1:30pm and it was 4:30pm. While she was sleeping, Mr. A had packed the most amazing picnic basket of cheese, meats, crackers, sparkling water (my favorite) and chocolates. Everything was ready. We had the outdoor blanket packed in the stroller and we were dressed and ready to go. I had been having contractions off and on the last week so when I started having stronger contractions while he was packing the bags I didn’t really think anything of it. Then they started getting more intense and consistent. I remember texting our friends that we weren’t going to make Music in the Park and I was legit annoyed thinking that if this isn’t it, I’m missing something really fun! We’re ready for you, baby! Let’s do this.
From 5:00-7:00pm contractions were about 10 minutes apart. We decided to wake Milly up around 5:30pm. Meanwhile, they ate dinner and I just kept walking around the house and then pausing and leaning over the kitchen island anytime I had a contraction. Around 8:00pm contractions were around 3 minutes apart and were intense. Mr. A had reached out to our midwife to give her a heads up and she immediately told us to come to the birth center. I just kept thinking, “I really hope this is it!”
As Mr. A loaded Milly into the car and grabbed our bags I looked at the sky and realized it was super misty and overcast. Anytime I visualized my birth to @LittlerAmazing it looked exactly like that. I knew right away we were going to meet our baby very soon.
It took about an hour to get to the birth center so when we arrived it was around 9:00pm. Our midwife and the midwife student (who delivered Milly) greeted us and brought me into the exam room. When they checked me they said I was 4 centimeters. I was so upset. I knew it wasn’t time yet and the last thing I wanted was to have to labor at the birth center instead of my house. But they all reassured me that the reason I was there was to have a baby at the birth center and not in the car like what almost happened with Milly. Then our midwife asked me if I wanted her to break my water. With Milly my water broke in the middle of the night at home so I just assumed my water would break with this baby. I decided to let her do it since there is zero harm in it and if anything-it would help encourage the baby to make their way down to meet me.
As soon as she broke my water, I felt a warm rush of liquid. It was bananas! Immediately I started contracting and the feeling was getting intense. I started to get focused because I knew I wanted to be in labor as short as possible and meet my baby. The anticipation of being so close to knowing what we were having was getting me pumped up! My contractions felt even stronger than when I was in labor with Milly. Some people say labor is easier your second time around. Other people, like my midwife said it can be more intense because your body remembers since your uterus has done it before so it can be tighter and stronger. For me, I definitely had sensations this time that I didn’t have with Milly so I would say this labor was definitely more challenging.
For the next two hours I labored in the living room of the birthing center. The way it is set up I have my own birth room with a living room, bedroom with the large tub and bathroom. I stood in the doorway connecting the living room to the bedroom the entire time. I couldn’t sit. I didn’t want to lay down. I just wanted to stand and rotate my hips a bit and lean on the doorway. Mr. A was behind me 99.9% of the time giving me counter pressure massages on my lower back and hips encouraging me with affirmations and reminding me to breathe. I could not do it without him 100%. He was my rock. I just kept surrendering to my body contracting and moving the baby down. My hips felt so tight and the sharp pains from the back labor were nonstop but I just kept breathing and imagining my baby rotating down with every contraction.
Meanwhile, I would look over at Milly as she hung out on the couch playing with her toys, eating snacks and watching nursery rhymes . She was so good. I remember just being so proud of her and knowing that we were so blessed to have our daughter there with us. I mean, for a 2 year old, she was absolutely incredible. We had always planned on her being with us when I went into labor but so many people couldn’t believe it including our friends and family. Mr. A and I on the other hand, couldn’t imagine not having Milly with us. It wouldn’t have felt right without her there. She joined me at every appointment and would help listen to the baby’s heartbeat, help check my blood pressure, hold the doppler, etc. We even did a few rehearsal run throughs in the birth room and walked through what it would be like when Mommy has the baby. At home, I practiced my birth breathing and she even would practice doing skin-to-skin with her baby doll. We talked about her little sibling’s birth day all the time. We prepared her as much as we possibly could of the 10 months I was pregnant and guess what? It really worked. She was calm, interested and acting like my little doula when I was actually pushing the baby out! Around 11:00pm our midwife came in to check on me and said I was fully dilated. Hallelujah! I was THRILLED. It’s game time baby! I couldn’t wait. The last two hours were brutal and super intense but I got through each wave with the help of Mr. A and Milly. The girls started to fill the birthing tub and I prepared my mind with all the powerful thoughts and affirmations I had wrote about this delivery.
When I got into the tub my body relaxed and my contractions slowed down. Part of me got worried that maybe I was too relaxed and that meant I was slowing down labor. I ignored that thought and waiting for the next contraction. I wanted to make sure I really made the most of each push and worked with my body. Chris called Milly over and she held my arm and gave me the sweetest look. By the way-I couldn’t believe she was even awake! She usually goes to bed between 7:30pm and 8:00pm but I could tell she was so excited. I was too! We’re ready to meet you baby. A few powerful pushes later and I helped pull the baby onto my chest. I couldn’t help it and I immediately looked down and yelled “there’s a penis!” Then the midwife helped me turn the baby around and Chris said, “it’s a boy!” I was so happy to meet him. I was so grateful! He was so tiny and looked so much like Milly. My tiny twin babies! I couldn’t believe it. I had just delivered another beautiful, healthy baby without any interventions, medication etc.. I screamed with excitement I was so proud of myself and happy! Welcome to the world Sonny Cole Simon! He weighed 6lbs. 15 oz. and was 19.5” long.
If you go to my instagram and click on Birth Story under my highlights you can actually see this moment happen and if you look closely Milly is reaching for her brother and he’s reaching for her. It took my breath away the first time I saw it. After I got to hold him and we cuddled for a bit, Dad cut the cord and they placed him on his chest. Next it was Milly’s turn. Poor thing couldn’t take her shirt off quick enough to hold her brother. I will never forget the moment she held him and the way they looked at each other. It was magic.
We all hung out together on the bed for an hour and I fed baby boy. Then Mr. A’s family came by to meet him. When grandma held him he smiled up at her and she told us he had dimples on both sides. Yes!!! Oh my goodness little dimples! The staff had ordered some pizza so we had some pizza and I had brought some yummy banana muffins so I forced everyone to try one and then we packed up and headed home. The beauty of having the baby in the birth center is being able to go home and sleep in our own bed. We got home before 2:30am. I have the cutest photo of both of them passed out in their carseats. I looked over at Mr. A and told him “We have two kids! Can you believe it?” It’s the best and I’m so grateful.