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On November 2, at 2:45 pm, my husband and I welcomed our second child, a little girl, into the world. Carys Rhys weighed in at 8 lbs, 2 oz and 18 inches of sweet perfection.
Her name is Welsh in origin. Pronounced "Care-iss", the name means "much loved", something that we always want her to feel that she is. Her middle name is the traditional Welsh spelling of Reese, and is pronounced the same way. This name is a family name from my husband's side of the family, as our son's middle name (Gabriel) comes from my side of the family.
Carys arrived on her due date, something that I'm told only about 5% of babies do (She's already so punctual!). As I was getting Ransom ready for bed the night before her arrival, I had a strange feeling that she might be coming the next day. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to get my hopes up or jinx it (that's a thing, right?), but I took extra time getting Ransom to bed and made sure I gave him extra snuggle time just in case it was his last night as an only child.
Around 3:00 am, I woke up feeling what I thought might be contractions. I couldn't go back to sleep so I stayed in bed and timed the contractions: 6 minutes apart. At 3:30, Ransom woke up crying for me, so I went into his bedroom and nursed and snuggled him back to sleep, quietly saying my goodbyes to him before getting ready to head to the hospital.
By 4:30 Ransom had fallen back to sleep and my contraction were 4 minutes apart and getting more intense. I went back into the bedroom to wake my husband up and he called my mother-in-law to come and stay with Ransom while I got dressed to go to the hospital.
We got to the hospital a little after 5:00 am. I was hooked up to monitors and the nurse quickly confirmed that I was in early labor - quite a relief since I had a few "false alarms" before the real thing happened. My contractions remained consistent, but didn't progress for several hours. The nurse checked to see if my water had broken, but the test was inconclusive.
My doctor arrived at 7:00 am and checked me again, confirming that my water had, in fact, broken. Since I hadn't progressed at all since getting to the hospital, she suggested starting pitocin to get things moving. I declined, opting to give my body a little more time to let nature take its course. However, after another hour and a half, my cervix had not changed at all, so I agreed to start a pitocin drip.
The pitocin made the contractions were intense, but I was able to breathe through them using a birthing ball and a heating pad. However, after 2 hours of receiving the maximum dose of pitocin, my cervix had only changed from 2 cm to 3 cm, and the pain was getting more and more intense. I decided to try a low dose of pain medication at the doctor's suggestion, hoping that it would help my body relax enough to make more progress.
The medication worked quickly to help me relax and by my next exam (an hour later), I had gone from 3 cm to 6 cm. I was also fully effaced and baby girl was engaged, so I was encouraged knowing that I was getting close to finally meeting my daughter.
I started pushing a little after 1:00 pm and pushed for somewhere around an hour and a half. Adam was a wonderful support throughout the entire labor and held my hand and encouraged me the whole time. My doctor encouraged me to push when I felt the need to, rather than telling me when to push. This was so different that my first labor, where the doctor tried to dictate the entire thing and didn't give me the chance to listen to my body's natural cues. This time I was able to reach down and feel Carys' head crowning and take the lead in the delivery process, and that really made a huge difference - I felt very at peace throughout the delivery process and honestly didn't mind the contractions once I started pushing. The pushing did seem to go on for a while, but I was mostly just inpatient to meet my little girl. When the time came, I was able to reach down and catch my daughter myself, something that I will never forget. Such an amazing and empowering experience.
Carys and I enjoyed skin-to-skin time for several hours after birth. She latched on beautifully and nursed right away and it felt like I had already known her forever.
Several hours after the delivery I hemorrhaged fairly severely. I got out of bed and felt a sudden rush like my water had broken again, but when I looked down the floor was covered in blood instead of amniotic fluid. The doctor and nurses came running into the room and I remember them administering multiple injections and performing painful exams before I passed out. The whole thing was terrifying and much more painful than the actual delivery. However, after a day of bed rest, medications, and lots of fluids, my hemoglobins were back where they needed to be.
We are all doing well and resting at home. Ransom is madly in love with his baby and won’t let her out of his sight for more than a few minutes. He has transitioned into his role as big brother beautifully and is fiercely protective of Carys and perfectly gentle and sweet with her. Carys is calm and inquisitive, quietly taking in her new surroundings. She is happiest when she is being held or worn, is breastfeeding and gaining weight well, and sleeps marvelously. She really is the perfect addition to our family and we all adore her.
Until next time,