I thought this might be a good time to share what happened on that day. If you get squeemish around birth stories, feel free to skip the italics. (Mine is fairly standard)
The Birth Story
I woke up about 5:30am (give or take) to the first contractions, which were 5 to 10 minutes apart. I knew that they could be Braxton Hicks but as they continued to come regularly over the course of the morning, I guessed that it would be the day. In fact, after a few hours I would think to myself between each contraction, "come on, don't stop now - I don't want that all to have been for nothing"... and then when another contraction started I'd be like, "oh no, oh no, oh no" haha!
By 8am my husband had called his mum to say that it looked like this was the day, and could she keep herself free to come and watch Natalie once we headed to the hospital.
My Visiting Teachers at the time (one of whom is a midwife!) had arranged to see me that morning, and they came anyway as well as picking up a few things to get Natalie through the weekend as grocery shopping didn't seem likely over the next few days. (I love those women <3)
Around 11 mum got to our house and we were at the hospital by about 12.
All morning I was thinking to myself that I was handling contractions much better than I had with Natalie's birth and supposed it was because, having done it once, I had a better idea of what to expect. That was true on the whole, but I have to say that right towards the end of my labour that changed for a while - it was like I remembered exactly what I was going to have to experience to have this baby, and I just broke down and was sure I couldn't do it. But after a little panic attack and having a good cry on my superman's shoulder, I came round :P (Not much I could do about it at that point anyway, right! hehe)
I had a water birth with Hayley, and scooping her out of the water and holding her for the first time was a truly incredible experience that more than made up for how awful I'd been feeling in the hour prior to that moment. It was definitely much more positive for me than my birth experience with Natalie, which as far as childbirth goes still wasn't all that bad.
|Wasted, but SO on top of the world!|
She was born about 2:30pm weighing 2.94kg (6 pounds, 5 ounces) - smaller than her sister at birth.
We had forgotten our camera and Jonathan had called mum earlier to see if she could drop it off for us... and since the labour was much quicker than we anticipated Hayley had arrived by the time she got there! This was really a good thing in the sense that Natalie got to meet her sister so soon after she was born. She was so excited and has been quite attached ever since.
|Natalie and Hayley - love at first sight!|
|Hayley is a lot more excited about sisterly affection now than she was in this photo!|
One Year On
Hayley, although very small, brings a LOT of joy in to our house. Especially over the past week or two, she seems so happy most of the time.
She is a very determined little soul. When she first started crawling a few weeks ago, you could tell it was really difficult for her, but that just made me all the more proud of her.
She is so cute, it is disarming! I love it when we're in the car and we might be at traffic lights or have just arrived at our destination and I look back to see her watching me... and when she realises I'm looking at her now, a huge smile pops up on her little face. Lately she has also taken to putting her hand over her mouth and smiling or giggling when she's really happy <3
Natalie and Hayley share a room now, and in the past week we have heard them chattering to each other and playing a bit before they go to sleep. Earlier Jonathan was out and I was playing with both of them and it was so cute to see how they started to interact more with each other and I could just step back a bit and watch. Hayley is really becoming a more social little girl and she especially loves her sister.
She also loves her daddy very much and has started to be more aware of his coming home - she gets so excited when she sees him! He is one of very few exceptions to the usual, "no one must hold me but mummy' rule.
I love it so much when we're out and about and so many people will stop and smile, and often comment on how gorgeous she is.
Over the past year (and before that) we have had the support of family and so any wonderful friends who have adored and spoiled our daughters as well as helped us in many instances. I was thinking today that I haven't taken as much time as I wish I had to thank many of these people... a situation which must be rectified.
BUT, relevant to this blog right now - thank you so much for being there for us as well as showering our little girl with love over the past year. We're all so blessed!