Happy New Year and hello again dear friends
I feel like I have re-emerged from the 4th trimester! With the holidays (and Charlotte’s 5th birthday) behind me and a few hours of continuous sleep each night (followed by a large cup of coffee to start off the morning), I am finally able to sit and write the long overdue birth story for Susanna. As many of you may recall, this pregnancy was plagued with test after test to determine if anything was seriously wrong with my baby girl. And at the start of the summer after ever test came back “normal” I was left with the aching feeling that something might have been overlooked despite the continued great prenatal checkups with my midwife. The baby was growing, I was healthy, and after a third trimester ultra sound showing a very healthy baby girl, I could finally breathe a sigh of relief and focus on the birth!
My midwife is incredible and has made the birthing experience so wonderfully positive. After I had Lillian, I felt I could conquer anything. Natural child birth may not be for everyone, but it has given me back the confidence I so desperately needed after my preterm birth with Charlotte. This third birth was going to be special no matter what because it will most likely be the very last time I give birth so I went into the entire experience with bitter sweet happiness. The morning of September 23rd was nothing short of perfect. The temperature was a balmy 70 degrees and the sky was a beautiful blue. I laughed with my sister that day after my last prenatal checkup that I couldn’t possibly have this baby for at least another couple of days because I felt great! Since my birthday was a few days before, my sister decided to treat me to a pedicure, which was just the thing my toes needed! During our pedicure, we joked that both of us had chosen the 24th as the birthday and how wrong we were since I felt totally fine. Later that evening, however, I could tell something was amiss as I felt the waves of sporadic contractions. At first I thought it was Braxton Hicks or possibly dehydration, but after they didn’t subside, I knew it was the real thing!
I am so happy looking back on the night of Susanna’s birth that I was able to put both girls to bed. After reading a few extra stories in bed with both girls cuddled next to my big belly, I tried to savor every moment with just the two of them. I laid in the middle of both of them until they fell asleep not wanting to change a thing, knowing that tomorrow everything would be so very different and yet so very wonderful. To be very honest, I was reluctant to move out of the bed and start on the path of changing everything and yet I was excited to meet our baby girl!
For most of the evening, I sat with John and my mom with a heating pad on my tummy sipping chamomile tea. I was excited and nervous and delighted that we were spending the night at my folks, which was a 10 minute drive from the hospital. Once mom and John went to bed for a while, I sat in the quiet of the house where I grew up. The house where I played hide and seek for afternoons on end, the house where I built sleeping bag forts in the den with my sister, the house where I put on my wedding dress on the magical day I married my best friend and the house where my daughters now love to spend lazy afternoons with their Nani. The quiet of the evening brought a peaceful, calmness over my laboring. And so I sat curled up in my favorite chair listening to Bon Iver conquering each contraction. As the contractions progressed, I eventually woke up John and we made our way to the hospital not before I took my signature “two thumbs up” labor picture!
I was envisioning getting to the hospital, laboring in the tub for a while and delivering baby girl. However, this time since my bag of waters remained intact during my labor, I didn’t feel the contractions were as intense as I had with the other two births. So shortly after I arrived at the hospital I was shocked when the midwife came into my room and said I was ready to deliver the baby. She joked that I had cut this one a little close and I smiled saying I secretly wanted a home birth! My wonderful husband put on the soothing music of Bon Iver and within a half hour my beautiful Susanna was born. My sister and I were both correct that Susanna would arrive on September 24th! The moment she arrived I was elated she was perfectly healthy.
Ten fingers, 10 toes, and two big beautiful eyes that opened and looked right into mine and in that moment she made me the happiest mama in the world. I held her so tight breathing in her newborn smell over and over while droplet of tears rained down on her soft head. All those months of waiting, worrying, testing and anxiety were wiped away in an instant as I held her in my arms. Susanna Cervany Carr we love you so!