Lovely Dagmawit (aka Daggy, aka Dags, aka Dagmi) was born on April 9, 2010 at 4:25 am! She was one week early (the same as her sister) and arrived after about 13 hours of labour. Supposedly the second baby should come faster than the first, but Daggy only beat Zizi by one hour! I really think that I was just tooooo scared of actually HAVING this baby that I didn’t let myself progress.
The day before Daggy was born, I decided to wear the husband’s ‘Effoi’ tshirt. (For anyone that doesn’t know, Effoi means a sense of relief or satisfaction after completing some task…or at least that’s how I think of it). I think somehow I knew things might start happening. We were out that day and driving around town and, again I must have known things would start happening, I started counting all those false Braxton Hicks contractions. I had about 30 before noon. Then, sans details but very similar to Z, I knew labour was starting around noon, just after lunch. I called the husband to let him know and he wasn’t sure what to – whether he should come and get me where I was or what. But we continued to stay out (Oh, ‘we’ is me and my mom and Zizi) and even bought a new thermos and tea cups for the guests that would be coming by after the new baby was home.
Finally we got home and some small contractions started around 3:30. I wanted to have a shower and get all lotioned and feel like a fresh human being. I remember the light being super bright and I enjoyed this time to myself and thought about a new baby in our family! All this build up and we’d have a new baby soon. I thought about taking the pregnancy test and telling my family and that first ultrasound that’s just a bundle of cells and starting to show and feeling the first kicks and feeling guilty over taking too many tylenol for a migraine and trying to eat healthy and feeling those big alien-like kicks and all the things that had led up to this day.
The husband came home, we tried timing some contractions but it didn’t seem to go faster than every four minutes. They weren’t particularly hard contractions either. And if I stopped walking around and sat down, they slowed right down to every fifteen minutes. We stopped doing any timing just to take some pressure off because I felt like I should be going faster than I was. Around 7 p.m. we started timing again, the contractions were a bit harder but still every 4 minutes and slowed down if I slowed down. So we stopped timing! At 11 p.m. we tried timing again and at this point I was laying down on the couch to conserve some energy. They were every six minutes and not particularly difficult to get through. So feeling entirely discouraged and feeling like I was failing everyone who was watching me NOT progress, I decided we all needed to go to bed. And we did. Contractions were pretty hard when we layed down, to the point that the husband had to massage my back and breathing required lots of concentration, but only every 15 minutes! I couldn’t figure out why it was so inconsistent so I searched my brain and I knew that I was just really really scared of having this baby. I cried and got out some of the scared outta my brain. The husband said we should just go to the hospital. And I knew we should because I’d have more support there. But! Then! I’d have to have a baby! I took a deep breath, said OK! and we started packing our things up to leave. Not so strangely, my contractions really picked up and I would have to stop whatever I was doing to breath through them and they did seem more frequent but I didn’t bother timing them because I knew we were really gonna do this thing!
At the hospital, I was the only patient there. The nurses kept commenting that I had contractions which made me wonder if some women show up without them?! I was admitted to the room and as I breathed through all the tightening going on, the doctor was asking me such inane questions like “when was your last period?” “I don’t know!” I shouted. I thought the whole very pregnant and breathing intently was pretty indicative of being with child, but I guess not. I really wanted a particular midwife to be present but they called her and she didn’t think she’d make it because I was already 6-7 cm. This was around 2:30/3 am and after getting hooked up to a TENS machine (wonderful gadget that sends out electric shocks to your back and distracts you from immediate pain and helps you feel like you’re actually doing something to get through each contraction), making god-awful sounds and having my water break with one contraction, I was ready to push. In fact, no one seemed to believe that I was ready and they kept telling me not to push, a very difficult thing NOT to do at that point. It had only been an hour to an hour and a half since I was admitted but when my mother-in-law and husband insist that they check me, ta-dah!, it was baby time!
As they wheeled me into the delivery room, I kept saying to myself “we’re going to have a baby, we’re going to have a baby” just to remind me that there was a point to all this! Not too many pushes later, some screaming and some dogs howling outside in response, the husband and I were entirely surprised to have a second daughter!!
After being so scared, I had done it! It was over! I didn’t have to be in labour anymore, I didn’t have to be pregnant and huge anymore! And we had another sweet little girl, a sister for Zizi!! It was so exciting! So exciting, in fact, that I cried with relief!
Daggy is two weeks old now. Recovery has been pretty easy compared to the first time and I generally feel less like I’m in a fog. Adapting to being a parent (i.e., me, myself and I are no longer number one) has happened without thinking. Daggy is a really good baby (especially compared to Zizi who was most likely colicky) and hardly cries, enjoys her baths and doesn’t mind the zillion kisses from Zizi which are often accompanied by a squish to a leg or arm as she eagerly leans in.
A new baby is soooo precious…I love her smell and her wide eyes (when she’s awake!) and her sleepy noises and little grunts and farts. She’s so lovely!