Okay, I'm back! I hope everyone has enjoyed the last two posts by Ben regarding Amelia's arrival. We're now about 2 and a half weeks into our new life as a family of 4, and I must say, things are pretty good. I remember that when Ally was born, I felt like I had been run over by an 18-wheeler, I was experiencing sleep deprivation like never before (i..e, like pulling repeat all-nighters for weeks on end), and I was thinking to myself, "what the heck did we get ourselves into???!!! I want my old life back!" But with round 2, things have seemed much more easy going and natural. Even the nights haven't been that bad. I don't think it is necessarily that Amelia is a better baby than Ally was, but probably more a function of the fact that we've "been there, done that" so we knew what to expect with a new baby. Even so, I think we are all still in a period of some adjustment, especially Ally. But to be fair, in addition to getting a new baby sister, Ally has completely potty trained, moved into a bigger bedroom, had a birthday, and had both sets of grandparents visiting, all within a span of about 3 weeks. So a lot has changed in her life, and being that she is 3 years old (and a 3 year old's mind is not the most rational of entities), she is sometimes a bit more emotional and clingy than normal. But now that all the visitors are gone, and it's just us, I think life is calming down and we are settling into our new normal. And to Ally's credit, she is a very loving big sister, giving Amelia lots of hugs and kisses.
One thing that has been completely different is my labor/delivery experience with Amelia compared to the one with Ally. So with Ally, I was induced at 41 weeks, and the whole ordeal took over 20 hours. But it was a very slow experience, and even when it came time to push, that was pretty low-key as well (I was completely numb to the pain thanks to the epidural). I felt like the recovery from Ally's L&D was pretty slow as well, as I think my butt was pretty much glued to the couch for the first 3 weeks. Also, I think it took like 4 days for my milk to come in and a full 2 months to really get the hang of nursing. But with Amelia, everything has been in fast forward. I started feeling contractions at about 11:15pm on Friday the 27th (1 week before my due date), and after letting a few go by, we realized that they were consistently about 5 minutes apart. So we got out of bed and started packing our bags, as we had not even gotten around to that yet! We got our next door neighbor to come over to stay with Ally, and headed to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, I was about 5 cm dilated and definitely having contractions. I promptly asked for the epidural, and while it definitely helped, I could still feel quite a bit of pain. Shortly thereafter, my water broke, and like three EXTREMELY PAINFUL contractions/pushes later, Amelia popped out. Total time of L&D: approximately 4 hours. My recovery has been faster this time too, no more maternity clothes, and I am even entertaining ideas of going for a run sometime soon! My milk came in really fast this time, and nursing seems so much easier this time too. So all in all, things are going quite well, and I am truly enjoying having this time to take a step back, spend time at home, and get acquainted with this new phase of life.