I am finding that I have entered the newest sweet spot in my time spent involved in this industry. Some of my clients from 2-3 years ago are expecting their second babies, and I am extremely fortunate enough to call them REPEAT clients.
I was super excited to hear from Mikey back in the beginning of March. She and her husband, Ben, would be expecting their second child, a baby girl, on April 18th, and I jumped at the chance to document another momentous occasion in their lives. If you were to look back in my blog section you can find their son Frankie's entry on July 1, 2017. The story of his big arrival could not be more different than that of his little sister Lucy.
The idea that first born babies give us all a run for our money, and by the time you get to number two, we as parents are considered professionals, has held true for every parent of multiples I know. Usually, when you are pregnant the first time you have all the time to look forward to, and absorb, every hiccup, kick, and doctors visit without another little one at home to hold your attention. It seems like time couldn't possibly move slower. From what I understand, when you are pregnant while having a little one at home, you're lucky if you remember to take your vitamins and drink enough water. The weeks fly by, and before you know it you're dusting off the baby toys and unboxing old baby clothes.
In the case of Mikey's first labor and delivery, it sort of played out the way first pregnancies seem to feel, really long and usually terribly uncomfortable. After walking in to her induction at 0cm dilated one day after her due date, Mikey spent 31 hours..... 31 HOURS, in labor, if you can name it, poor Mikey dealt with it over the course of those hours..Hers was one of my first births where I actually had chunks of time where the mama in question was so sick or exhausted there was no opportunity for capturing images, since as far as I know, most people don't want their morning sickness documented in high resolution. Frankie made his debut quickly once it was time to push, making up for, in a small way, the almost two full days of intense labor.
I spoke with Mikey on Friday at about 1pm to check in and see how her 39 week visit had gone and to see if she had dilated more since her last visit the week prior. Lucky for her, she did, and her doctor felt confident that she would, deliver before her 40 week appointment. I kept my fingers crossed that this time around she would avoid induction all together and that being 3cm dilated already would increase her chances of a much quicker labor compared to what she endured her first time around. At 8:40pm she informed me she had been having contractions for 45 minutes and they were already consistently 3 1/2 minutes apart., I quickly changed my clothes and headed for the door. Mikey and Ben recently purchased their first home, moving from Bergen County to Monmouth, so my commute was a little more than an hour, and the thought of getting there late had consistently given me agita since I was hired back in March.
Lucky for Mikey, her contractions, while strong and consistent, were bearable and she and Ben were able to hold off leaving for the hospital until her Mother arrived to look after a sleeping Frankie. For once my anxiety worked FOR me rather than against me when I arrived at the hospital before they did!
With first time clients I always feel a bit odd blurting out my predictions, but because of our working relationship I was able to comfortably tell Mikey how I THOUGHT her labor would go. I joked she would probably be 5cm by the time she made it to the hospital, so she had better tell me the second she started to feel ANYTHING, since she pushed so confidently and productively with Frankie. I told her that I thought her labor would only end up lasting three hour, and with the distance I had to travel I would have to leave the moment she felt like it was actually happening.
After having to wait a bit for baby coverage, Ben and Mikey were able to leave for the hospital by 10:50pm. By the time they were checked in, and Mikey was made comfortable, Ben came down to grab me about an hour later. Mikey was already 7cm!! She blew that prediction out of the water in the best way, having that time to labor in the comfort of her own home, not stuck in a hospital bed made a world of difference, and I couldn't contain my happiness for her.
Within a few minutes of our catching up and my settling in, Mikey was checked again and found to be about 9cm dilated. Her physician then made the call to break her water. That was all it took, and the pressure went from being bearable to so intense that her doctor was right back in the room moments later to check her and prep for delivery.
I made my way up to Mikey's room at midnight and by 1:09am, Lucy James was born at a perfect 7.2lbs and 19 inches long.
I've never seen such a QUICK labor. I've had clients with Braxton Hicks, false alarms, and days full of contractions leading to fast deliveries. The time leading up to, and including, Mikey's delivery was pretty much what any mama would hope for, and after her first delivery being as intense as it was, there was not a mama more deserving. I'm sure the time spent laboring at home from 8pm until almost 11pm was no walk in the park, but by the time I arrived Mikey was still full of humor (between contractions, and honestly even during some of them), she was even making me laugh while she was pushing, Talk about personal conflict, no one wants to laugh while a woman is literally doing the hardest thing any person could do! Good God the things she was saying, coupled with the awesome light hearted staff, I had to reign it in and at least pretend I was a bit professional.
It was once again an absolute pleasure to work with, and for, such a wonderful couple-turned-beautiful family of four. I thank them for allowing me to take part in another amazing, life changing moment in their lives,
Welcome home, Lucy.