Lauren is TWO today! I can't believe it's been two years since she was born. Her birth was the most amazing birth I could possibly have imagined. Everything went exactly how I had wanted it to go. There were tiny things, like the meconium, but those things didn't end up important to the story at all. The things that were important to me- my perfect birth list, if you will- went like this:
Labor between six and eight hours- check. While the time from first contraction to birth was about 14 hours, I wasn't in active labor until six hours before she was born, almost to the minute!
Labor surrounded by people who love and support me- check. While I planned so many support people so they could work in shifts, it worked out that everyone got to be there when Lauren was born!
Labor without interruption with "medical" things (no cervical checks, no one telling me how to push, etc.)- check. I had heart tones checked once or twice (at my request) and reminders to breathe while I was pushing. Otherwise, as far as interference goes, I might as well have been alone. That's a good thing!
Touch the baby's head as it was crowning- check.
Chris catches- check. Made his year, too!
Chris discovers the sex of the baby- check.
Skin-to-skin with baby- check.
Maddie was there- check.
Emily sleeping upstairs- check.
Baby latches on to nurse all by herself- check.
I know it might seem odd, checking a checklist for a birth, but that's how it felt to me when I thought about it in the days and weeks after. I really had made a list, a set of preferences I wanted my birth helpers to know I wanted. And it really felt like almost every one had been checked off. It was beautiful.
I don't really have the words to explain how Lauren's birth, and her life, have changed me. She is absolutely, without doubt, a gift from God. She is the most joyful, amazing, cheerful little girl. In her first weeks of life, she cried less than ten minutes total. She smiled at two days and laughed by a week. And hasn't stopped. We have our moments, of course, but she is very easygoing and not much bothers her. Which is good with two older sisters!
And now, pictures!!
The placenta, and the true knot in the cord that somehow didn't make it into her birth story!
Getting weighed! Her cord still wasn't clamped or cut at this point, and she's at least an hour old.
Emily came down to join us! She's just a baby herself. She'll be two in six days in this picture.
Meeting their baby sister for the first time.
Daddy bonding with the baby while Mommy gets cleaned up. The girls were back in bed.
And, my birthday girl!
Not the best picture, but all she was willing to sit still.