It’s been a hot second since I sat down to actually write this out. And by a hot second I mean, my girl is a month old already and I am JUST NOW getting to finishing and posting. But, that just about sums up the difference between bringing home baby number one and baby number two.
It has been a transition, to say the least, but one we have enjoyed figuring out together.
On April 4, 2020 we (finally) got to meet our daughter, Adelaide Grace Hovey!
The Pregnancy That Never Ends
The last few weeks of pregnancy are the worst. They also somehow are the LONGEST part. Throw in a worldwide pandemic and a stay at home order and you have the perfect recipe for a never ending pregnancy.
Throughout this second pregnancy I thought, for sure, that I would go earlier than I did with Isaac. Especially since these two are only eighteen months apart. But I sat at home as week 38 came and went. Followed by week 39. Then my due date passed and I thought for sure, I’m just going to be pregnant forever.
We were stir crazy there by the end. The weather was starting to warm up, the sun was shining and everything was closed (as you all know) 2020 has been something, hasn’t it?
I had an 18 month old who had a lot of energy that needed letting out. Just before the stay at home order, Isaac and I had developed a weekly routine. We got out of the house at least twice a week by meeting a friend for a play date and hitting up toddler story time at the local library. It took a year but we got this routine down and it was great for both of us. I got out of the house, we both had the chance to socialize and Isaac was able to get his toddler energy out.
And then the world stopped. And I was 38 weeks pregnant.
My Worries Toward the End
As things heated up with COVID-19, I began to worry. Not about the virus, we did as we were told even as it drove us all nuts. I was worried about what was going to go on with the hospital. Before things fully shut down, we knew we wouldn’t be allowed to have other guests in the hospital. We were okay with this and so was our family.
But as things went on and I read news articles, I began to worry that they wouldn’t allow Ben as well. This thought really scared me, I couldn’t do it without my husband there to hold my hand.
I was also so worried about Isaac. It worried me and made me really sad that I would have to leave him for 24-48 hours. I have only gone one day without seeing him since he was born, and I was still asleep in the room next to him at night. Would he miss me? Think I abandoned him?
And who was going to be able to stay with him overnight? It was supposed to be my mother-in-law but issues arose there along with the virus. (That’s too long to go into). Would we have time to go over his routine/schedule with whoever would stay with him? Should we just plan on Ben coming home after the birth?
There were just so many moving pieces with this birth, because it was our second and because of COVID-19.
Then we figured it all out; we would move my 17 year old sister in law in!
My SIL Moves In
Ben has a little sister, Annie, who is 17 years old and a junior in high school. I get along great with her and Isaac adores her. She was always on the plan for a babysitter during the day of the birth, so it just made sense that she would take the place of her mom.
Of course, Ohio was put under a stay-at-home order and we really weren’t sure what that was actually going to look like. Things, throughout this pandemic, have been a little confusing. To say the least.
To avoid any issues, we moved Annie into our house the day the stay-at-home order would be going into effect. This way she was already at our house when I went into labor, she would have the chance to learn Isaac’s daily schedule, we didn’t have to worry about her NOT being able to get to our house in the event things went into full lockdown.
Plus, I had someone to talk to. Ben was working from home by this point but it was SUPER nice to have Annie to keep Isaac occupied.
Looking back, I am so happy we did this. Spoiler alert, Isaac didn’t even realize we were gone until we got home.
Labor Finally Starts
On April 3 around 8:30 PM, after Isaac had gone to bed, I had a hankering for something sweet. Annie was just a doll and made me a mug-cookie and we all sat down to watch a movie. I honestly don’t even know what movie it was.
I ate about half of the cookie and made it through fifteen minutes of whatever movie it was, and felt weird. So I went to bed.
I don’t know why, but I had a feeling (different from all the previous feelings) that I was finally going to have a baby.
At 5:30 AM I was woken up by a contraction. Actually, I woke up and thought i had to go to the bathroom and was pleasantly surprised that contractions had FINALLY started. Because we were already 2 days passed the due date! So much for going earlier with baby #2.
After half an hour of regular contractions, I let Ben know that we were probably in labor. The contractions were lasting 30-45 seconds and were coming 8-10 minutes apart.
I couldn’t sleep, I’ll blame excitement, so I double checked the hospital bag and then jumped in the shower.
That’s when the contractions jumped in intensity. They started coming 5-7 minutes apart and were just under a minute long.
With Isaac, I labored at home for 12 hours before we went to the hospital. And even then, I didn’t actually feel like we needed to rush there. I labored for a total of 26 hours before that boy came, so I figured we had a long time before we needed to go.
Boy was I wrong.
Rushing to the Hospital
When I got out of the shower I got dressed, turned on Netflix, and sat down on my medicine ball. Ben asked if he should get up and I told him to sleep, it was about 7 AM at this point.
Not one episode of Criminal Minds later, I called into the bedroom and told him he should start getting up. My contractions were intense and had begun coming every 3-5 minutes. He, of course, started to just throw on his clothes, but I told him no rush. I told him he should shower and make a pot of coffee. He didn’t shower, but he did make a pot of coffee and handed me a cup. I was still able to move around at this point and headed into the basement to throw in a load of laundry.
As I was walking back upstairs from the basement, a contraction came one right on top of the other.
“We’ve got to get going,” I yelled to Ben, through a contraction. My heart started racing at this point. I wasn’t able to walk through our kitchen without another contraction coming on and stopping me in my tracks. Seconds before I had been fine, loading the washer and throwing in soap. I was so not chill now.
Ben ran upstairs to wake up his sister, and she came down as I leaned over the counter and breath/yelled through a contraction.
“You guys better go, she’s going to go fast,” I heard Annie say to Ben as he started grabbing everything to throw in the car.
I slowly made my way to the car, which is at most 100 feet away from my front door, and we were on our way.
I won’t lie, that ten minute drive to the hospital scared the crap out of me. There were a few contractions where I thought, I am going to give birth in this car. Ben drove fast, don’t worry only like 10 over the speed limit, looking over at me with a worried face at each light.
SPEAKING OF LIGHTS. This Black SUV STOPPED AT A GREEN LIGHT. Right in front of us! We are coming up to a light just as the road goes from two lanes to one. I am not lying. This SUV literally slowed down to a stop when the light was still green. We were stopped already when it turned yellow and red. The string of curses coming out of my mouth would have made a sailor blush.
At the Hospital
We arrived at Bethesda North just before eleven. My wonderful husband offered to drop me off right by the door but my stubborn ass thought I could walk. We started walking and I continued on through two contractions. As the third one took me over, I grabbed onto Ben’s shoulder and leaned forward, again yelling through the contraction.
A woman offered to help us just as a nurse came sprinting across the parking lot with a wheelchair.
“We could see you from the front,” she told Ben, “She is definitely active!”
Because of COVID-19 we were stopped at the front doors. Our temperatures were taken and we were asked the typical questions you have probably all been asked. Any contact with anyone that has tested positive or been suspected? Been out of the state in the last 14 days? Had any respiratory issues, coughing? The nurses were quick with us and got us into the elevator and to the third floor quickly.
At check-in on Labor and Delivery, we hit the only real frustration. Ben was told he had to go back to the car while I went into triage. Typically the father/support person stays in the waiting room while mom goes to triage, but they had closed down waiting rooms to keep everything clean.
Ben went down as I was wheeled back. We actually didn’t go to triage as typical. Instead they wheeled me right into my L&D room and started hooking me up to the monitors as they asked me the typical questions. There were also a ton of extra personal coming in and setting up for the delivery already!
If you have read our birth story with Isaac, you will know that I had back labor. I could feel the contractions only in my legs and lordy it was terrible. I made it through 18 hours of back labor before finally getting the epidural. This time around I had a bit of back labor again, and while I was at home had decided I was doing the epidural.
As soon as I was hooked up to the contraction monitor I asked for the epidural and my nurse called Ben to have him come up to the room. He had just gotten into the car by the time they called, he wasn’t gone more than five minutes.
When they checked me in at “triage” I was 6 cm dilated. By the time they finished getting me hooked up to monitors and my IV in, I was 9 cm. In less than 45 minutes I dilated 3 cm!
Like I said, WAY different with baby #2!
OH! I almost forgot, while everything was moving around me, a sonogram technician came in to check Addie’s position. I got worried at this point because she was so active throughout the pregnancy. I really did not want to have a C-Section so thankfully she was right were she was supposed to be!
A Quick Delivery
This time around, I got a way low dose of epidural since I was so fast. The pain was absolutely numbed but I was able to feel a lot more of the delivery. This was awesome, and we will get to why in just a little bit.
My doctor came in and checked everything out, asking how I was doing. At this point I was 10 cm and we got setup to begin pushing. Addie wasn’t quite through my pelvis when the doctor checked me so my nurse got me pushing to move her down further. This was weird for me because, honestly, I could not tell if I was doing anything. I didn’t feel like I was moving her at all. The only sensation I had was that I was either pooping or going to poop. I kid you not, after every push I kept asking “Am I pooping?”
My nurse and my husband confirmed that I wasn’t. I didn’t believe them though, I thought they were just trying to make me feel good. Then my nurse explained that if I was completely natural that is all I would be able to feel since babies head is just pushing against all of that down there. So be prepared for THAT sensation mama’s to be!
After about fifteen minutes of this pushing, which felt useless to me, everyone suddenly jumped back to attention.
“Wait!” my doctor called just as my nurse said, “don’t push!” and Ben said, “there she is!”
Her head crowned very suddenly and my doctor wasn’t even gowned yet! I stopped pushing instantly, but apparently Adelaide was coming anyway.
“Don’t push, sweetie!” My nurse repeated.
“I swear I’m not,” I replied. “She’s coming anyway!” I could literally feel her sliding right on out. The nurse put her hand right on Adelaide’s head to keep her there as my doctor got gowned and gloved. As soon as he was ready, the nurse moved her hand, I was told to push and Addie was laying on my stomach.
This was 12:36 PM. Just over an hour and a half since we had arrived at the hospital!
I looked at Addie’s big round head on my stomach and thought, oh yeah I could feel how round that was! The excitement of finally meeting her was great. Even better was the feeling of having no one in me anymore! I turned to Ben and told him, “I am so happy I’m not pregnant.” My nurse laughed along with me and Ben smiled down at our beautiful daughter.
Adelaide Grace Hovey was born at 12:36 AM on April 4, 2020. She weighed 8 lbs 5 oz and was 21″ long. And goodness was she dark and beautiful!
Mommy + Baby Recovery
The best part of this experience was how quickly everything went. We were in our room by 2 pm that day and were soaking in having her in the room with us. Because of the lower dose of epidural, I only had a tiny tare and feeling returned to my legs faster than last time. I showered as soon as I got the all clear to get out of bed and felt like myself by the time our dinner was delivered to the room.
Adelaide and I did great with starting nursing, she was quick to latch on and my milk came in right on time. She slept great, which is typical within the first 24 hours, and so did we. Ben and I actually decided to send her to the nursery for the first few hours of the night. The nurses would give her a bath at midnight anyway, so right after they brought her back into the room for a nursing session.
The hardest part about our time on the Mother Baby Unit was changing her diaper. See, Isaac was in the NICU so we really didn’t get many diaper changes in while we were in the hospital. I had forgotten how stiff newborns are! Her legs just didn’t bend the way I wanted them to as I pulled the diaper wings around her little waist.
And oh my goodness, changing a girl is so much more stressful than changing a boy. Two months in and I still stand by this feeling. We, as ladies, have so much more going on down there to be mindful of. With Isaac I could wipe any which way, just had to make sure to clean out and around his little peeper. With Addie you need to push things around and back and wipe only front to back. It’s stressful.
Other than that, our first 24 hours with our girl were perfect and we were so excited to bring her home.
Because of COVID, they are getting mama’s in and out of hospitals as quick as they, safely, can. We let our nurses know that we would want to leave at 24 hours if everything was good with both Addie and I. So April 5 was all about getting us out of the hospital. The doctors came around to do their checks, which we both passed, and Addie was wheeled off to get her jaundice check.
Of course, little miss had to be JUST above the normal level and needed a blood test, pushing out discharge back an hour. Thankfully, her blood levels were just low enough to go home!
Within 36 hours we had checked into the hospital, had a baby, and were on our way home.
Overall, this second pregnancy was way harder on me than the first. I was so darn uncomfortable and chasing around a toddler at the end didn’t make that any easier.
As soon as we found out we were having a girl, Ben joked that we could be done at two and have our kids out of the house by the time we were 43. During the pregnancy I began to agree, I was good with two because I didn’t ever want to be pregnant again. I thought that as soon as I had her I would be down for two more. With Isaac, it hadn’t even been six hours before I was saying I would do it again.
Now it’s been six weeks and I still feel good about two. I can’t fully explain it further than this: i feel complete. I know that sounds crazy. When I am sitting on the couch with my two beautiful children I just feel beyond perfect.
But, I guess time will tell. For now, everything is as it should be. My children are beautiful, I’m still in love with my husband, and we are a statistically perfect family.
I hope you enjoyed this very detailed look into our birth story. If any expecting mama’s have any further questions about anything, my inbox is open! And heck, if anyone thinking of starting a family of have questions about any part of pregnancy I am here!
Until next time,