Morgan Louise Brokovich
July 30, 2016
6 lb 5 oz, 20 in
After a surprising and quick delivery with Connor (which you can read about here), I had been praying the last few weeks that this baby would give us enough warning to get safely to the hospital. Thankfully, that was in her plans!
I woke up around 4:00am on Saturday, July 30 feeling contractions. (I was 38 weeks and 3 days.) The contractions were not particularly intense, and were about 8-10 minutes apart. We had a false alarm about 10 days earlier, which helped me realize that these contractions were the real thing. I decided to get up, drink some water, and take a shower and see if the contractions continued, which they did. I woke Charlie and he got ready while I called our neighbors, who we had already arranged to take care of Connor when the time came. They have two kids ages 4 and almost 6, and Connor always has fun with them. It was so comforting to know that he was in good hands while we focused on welcoming our new baby into the world.
We drove to the hospital and were placed in a Labor & Delivery triage room. A nurse hooked up the external fetal monitor, and once she saw that everything looked fine, she left us for a while. She came back around 7:30am to check my cervix, and I was 4cm dilated and 70% effaced. She was starting to explain that I was right on the borderline of active labor when my water suddenly broke. We knew from experience with Connor that I would probably deliver quickly now that my water had broken. The nurse started putting in my IV. Although I didn’t want any routine fluids, I was supposed to have antibiotics 4 hours before delivery because I was positive for Group B Strep. I was pretty sure that we didn’t have 4 hours before delivery, but I didn’t argue!
While the nurse was working on my IV, our room was suddenly filled with a doctor, nurses, and an anesthesiologist explaining that the baby’s heart rate had dropped too low after my water broke, and if it didn’t come back up we would have to do an emergency C-section. My mind was spinning as we tried to process what was happening, but thankfully a nurse suggested that I turn over onto my hands and knees to see if that would relieve enough pressure on the baby to allow her heart rate to come back up. (The cord had wrapped itself pretty tightly around her body when she dropped down after my water broke.) After I changed positions, the baby’s heart rate soon came up high enough that we were out of the woods for an emergency C-section. We were so relieved! The doctor checked my cervix again and I was 6cm.
The doctor and nurses wheeled me down the hall to a delivery room, then helped me move over to the delivery bed. The doctor checked me again, and I was just about fully dilated. The contractions were coming quickly, and I could feel the baby moving down with each one. Within moments, the doctor said my cervix was completely thinned out and that I could bear down when I felt the need. Over the next couple of contractions, all of which came quickly, her head came out and then there she was! Morgan was born 45 minutes after my water broke.
The doctor put her on my chest immediately, and we were overwhelmed with joy to see our precious Morgan Louise for the first time. Once the cord stopped pulsing, Charlie cut it. Unfortunately, my repairs after delivery were more painful than the delivery itself. From what the doctor said, I had two tears that weren’t severe, but the location made one of them extremely painful to repair and required a catheter temporarily in place while the doctor was stitching. I’m grateful that I had Morgan on my chest throughout the repairs so that I could at least attempt to focus on her instead of the discomfort.
Once my stitches were finished, it was finally just Charlie, Morgan, and me for a little while. Charlie had already called our immediate family to let them know the good news. After about an hour, a nurse came to weigh and measure Morgan and give her a bath. Charlie watched and took pictures while another nurse helped me get cleaned up. It was probably about 3 hours after Morgan was born that we moved to a room in the Mother-Baby unit. Charlie stayed with us until late afternoon, then went home to be with Connor and wait for my mom, who drove up from Atlanta after Charlie told her about the birth.
Because I had been positive for Group B Strep and didn’t get the antibiotics before delivery, we had to stay 48 hours so that the pediatricians could keep an eye on Morgan. It felt like a long time, but I’m glad it wasn’t 72 hours like it was with Connor, which was for the same reason. Morgan latched on decently and nursed a bit during the first hour after birth, but the rest of the day and pretty much until the next morning she was incredibly sleepy. The pediatrician wanted to check her blood sugar by doing a heel prick before 3 of her feedings, but she was just so sleepy that it was hard to get her to latch on at all after getting her sugar checked. (I was told during this pregnancy that I did not have gestational diabetes, but when the pediatrician looked back at my lab results from the 3-hour glucose test, he felt like I should have actually been diagnosed with it, so that’s why he wanted to go ahead and check Morgan’s sugars.) Thankfully each reading was normal, although it was no fun to have her heel pricked so many times.
The day after Morgan’s birth, Charlie brought Connor and my mom to visit us at the hospital. I wanted to make sure that I had Morgan settled in her bassinet when they arrived so that I could focus on greeting Connor (after our first night apart ever), but after giving me a quick hug he just wanted to see and hold his baby sister! After some bonding time, we left Connor in the hospital room with my mom while Charlie, Morgan, and I went to a required discharge class down the hall.
Morgan and I were beyond ready to go home the next morning! Charlie came to pick us up and it was wonderful coming home to Connor and my mom. Morgan took a long nap in her bassinet after we got home, and I was grateful for the chance to focus on Connor. Overall it has been a fairly smooth transition for him so far, but we certainly had a few tough moments the first couple of days at home. Charlie took time off on top of his paternity leave, so he will be home during the entire month of August! His parents are coming to visit later this month, and my dad and stepmom are planning to visit soon as well.
Morgan Louise, we are so blessed to have you in our lives!
Morgan’s 2-week update (August 13)
Morgan is 2 weeks old today! Time has flown by and we have enjoyed every moment with our little girl.
Morgan’s 2-week checkup isn’t until later this week. At her 4-day checkup she was on track to regain her birth weight in no time. She is still wearing newborn-size clothes and diapers. Although Morgan hasn’t appeared to have put on any fat on her little arms and legs, we have seen a big change in her face.
Morgan has slept like a champ since the day she was born. At night she has one long stretch between 4-5.5 hours, and outside of that she sleeps 2-3 hours at a time throughout the night and day. She generally has an alert period in the morning and sometimes again in the late afternoon. Of course she loves to sleep in our arms, but she also has no problem sleeping in her bassinet, car seat, or while being carried in the ring sling. I am amazed at how easily we can transfer her while she continues to sleep (from our arms to her bassinet, in and out of the car seat, etc.), and I hope that continues! So far, Morgan can sleep through any amount of noise. The day we brought her home we started right in with digging through Lego containers, using the Vitamix, and vacuuming.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps” doesn’t work as well with a 4-year-old in the house! I am so grateful for Morgan’s long stretches of sleep at night, but I can’t take advantage of her final morning stretch because Connor is up early and ready to play. Charlie and I have been staying up late watching the Olympics, so once they are over, I will be able to go to sleep earlier and make up for the morning sleep I’m missing out on!
Nursing has definitely been easier the second time around. We established a good latch after a couple days, and my milk started coming in the day we came home from the hospital. Morgan often falls asleep while nursing, but doesn’t stay latched on after falling asleep like Connor did at this stage.
Connor loves his baby sister! She has made the transition easy on us by sleeping long stretches and letting us put her down to sleep so that we can still focus on Connor. He likes to hug her, kiss her, and look at her “bright eyes” when they are actually open. He gets upset first thing in the morning when he isn’t allowed to hug Morgan because she is still sleeping peacefully! Connor refers to her as “my baby,” and also likes to include her as a character in all of his (constant) role-playing.
This week, my friend Melissa offered to pick Connor up and keep him for the day. He had a blast playing with her two kids, and meanwhile Charlie and I had a much-needed nap with Morgan, a lunch date, then relaxed on the couch snuggling with Morgan and watching the Olympics.
Connor starts 4-year-old preschool after Labor Day and is nervous about going 4 days each week (9:30-1:00) instead of just 2 days like last year. I hope he will enjoy the time being out of the house and having fun with friends!
We were so lucky to have several meals brought to us by friends throughout our first 2 weeks at home with Morgan. It was such a relief to not worry about cooking! Connor was spoiled with many “big brother gifts” from friends and family…and a few from us, too. My mom was here the first week after Morgan’s birth, and Charlie’s parents will be here in a week. Another special visitor was my German teacher! She was visiting the states and spent a week in Virginia Beach with another family that we had been stationed with in Germany.
Morgan has slept through every outing we have taken so far: playground, library, Target, lunch at a restaurant, and the commissary.