Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Emma Grace Virginia Reinberg - Born January 27th, 2014

We are overjoyed to announce the birth of our second daughter, Emma Grace Virginia Reinberg.  She is named after 3 grandmothers - Emma is the name of my maternal grandmother's grandmother, Grace is Andy's paternal grandmother who I just adore, and Virginia is my paternal Grandmother, Grandmary's middle name. Emma Grace is actually her full legal name.

Emma Grace's birthday was such an incredible day and for memory's sake and because I love when people share their child's birth stories - here goes:

January 26th - when it all began:

I was 1 week overdue and as if my labor inducing massage, pedicure, chiropractic adjustments, daily 6 mile walks, and using YouTube to attempt using pressure points to induce labor weren't enough.  We finally moved to the last thing I was "open" to that my Dr. and friends suggested...and it worked!  Around 3pm, my contractions started and I was starting to see other "signs" that indicated things were happening!

My contractions went from 3pm all evening and were anywhere from 1-15 minutes apart.  I starting cleaning like crazy, baking cookies for the nurses just in case, and trying to move as much as possible so my contractions would progress.  I was SOOO excited because with Eleanor I was literally not dilated, not contracting regularly, NOTHING when I got induced so actually feeling contractions that were not pitocin induced was amazing!

Around 10pm, we decided to try to get some sleep - I was still contracting and they were getting more painful but one of my biggest prayers in all my very intentional prayers regarding a natural childbirth was to not labor through the night/deliver a baby in the middle of the night.  So I knew if that were to happen I would need sleep.  Welll...I didn't really sleep much that evening.  My contractions were getting more painful - so much so that I could lay down through them.  And they were coming every 15 min. so as soon as I would fall back asleep I would have another.  The awesome part though was that I was so excited every time I would have another because I knew they were being productive.

I made it through the entire night with them going 15 min. apart and around 9am they STOPPED!  I couldn't BELIEVE it!  Thankfully, we had an appointment with Dr. B at 11.  Andy had already decided to take off that day so he could go with me to the appointment because at this point - we would schedule an induction date hoping I wouldn't have to get to that.

January 27th - Dr. Behan Appointment

We dropped Eleanor at school, packed our bags, and all we would need for labor and after Emma Grace was born in the car (just in case) and headed to our appointment.

I told Dr. B all about the night before and he checked me - I was a FOUR!  I had never gotten to a four on my own before.  I was so proud and excited all at once!  I know this sounds silly but for someone who's body couldn't initiate childbirth on it's own with Eleanor, this was awesome!

Dr. Behan was amazing as usual - he knew I didn't want to be induced but after knowing about my contractions for 18 hours straight the night before and the fact that I was 4 - he literally suggested giving me just a "wiff" of pitocin and it would start everything again.  Andy and I talked for a minute and decided to give it a go - we agreed that:
1. Dr. B really had our best interests in mind
2. I felt rested enough but going a whole evening again with no sleep might make the next day rough
3. It was earlier in the day that MAYBE the baby would come in time for Eleanor to come meet her that evening
4. Dr. Behan promised I would only go to like a 4 and that we could have conversations with him/the nurses before upping it/before he would break my water

All important reasons for inducing right?

SO we left the office, went to get "lunch" at Smoothie King (girls you KNOW why I didn't want solid food for lunch...right?) and checked into L&D around 1ish.

I got back to my bed and met my nurse gift from GOD, April.  She walked in and was SO super sweet, positive, and gave me a pep talk before I even asked her for it.  I told her I was wanting to achieve a natural childbirth, how it went with Eleanor, and she basically said - this IS happening, you ARE doing this.  Not only did I have Andy has my coach and cheerleader, my nurse believed I could do it as well.  I had been recommended by two friends to pray for my nurse on the months leading up to my due date.  I am telling you, y'all, GOD DELIVERED!

All ready to go...
April did all the questions, blood work, and hooked me up to pitocin and monitors by 2pm.  We got to a 4 in pitocin and I literally wasn't feeling anything so she called Dr, Behan and asked if we could up the pit.  From then on, things started getting stronger.  Andy was AMAZING - my sweet husband there when I needed him and quiet when I needed that ha - turned the music up when I asked and sprinted to the right side of the bed when I needed to stand and lean on him (side note - when you are hooked to pitocin you are chained to the bed because you have to have the baby monitored 24/7 - April allowed me to stand by the bed though and would come re-hook up my monitors anytime I needed her to - she never ONCE acted put out by accommodating what we needed to be comfortable and achieve our goal.).

Then all of the sudden, my water broke - it was nothing exciting like Charlotted on Sex in the City -- just enough that I realized what had happened.  April came in and checked me - I was a 6/7!!

I couldn't believe in only a couple of hours how much I had progressed!  Contractions started getting strong after that and I started feeling the urge to push - she checked me again and I was an 8.  At this point, it was getting rough.  I remember telling Andy a few times I couldn't do it - but I am telling you - in retrospect, it was possibly like 20-30 min. at most that I was in transition...maybe an hour but not long looking back.

It's TIME!

I felt like it hadn't been hardly any time at all and the urge to push hadn't gone away.  April would come in, I would yell at her (in the nicest way I could) that I needed to push.  I remember her telling me to hang in there and that it would be soon but my body was literally pushing as I was sitting up in the bed - I couldn't help it.  She told me to breathe and I was not happy about it.  I PROMISED her it was time and sure enough, she couldn't believe how quickly Emma Grace had dropped but it was time!

She checked me and quickly ran to the phone to call Dr. Behan to get down there.  She assured me he was on his way and I remember asking, "Is he RUNNING!?"  It was the weirdest feeling needing to push but not being able to.

Finally Dr. B came in, got dressed (not quickly enough in my opinion at the time ha) and before I knew it, I was stirruped and ready to go!  The entire entourage of nurse leadership in L&D walked in along with a couple of baby nurses and I pushed for the first time.  It felt like such a relief but was also pretty painful of course.

Another crazy bodily impulse I couldn't control - the yelling.  Everytime I would push I literally yelled...a few obscenities might have come out as well for which I countlessly apologized.  I remember the nurses finally saying you do NOT need to apologize for anything right now.

4-5 pushes in and she was already crowning - I remember them commenting on her dark dark hair and before I knew it - she was here!  Only about 4 hours after I had first been admitted to the hospital.

Before I could even look down at her, April leaned in and gave me the biggest hug - even before my husband!  I say this not to put down Andy or April for that matter but just to illustrate the kind of nurse she is.  You can tell how invested she is in her patients - she made me feel so special and was so absolutely wonderful.  Just like when Eleanor was born, I remember gazing up at Andy and seeing his eyes well up with tears along with a HUGE smile across his face.  It happened, we finally got the gift of another child we had been praying for for so long.

We had asked Dr. Behan before that if everything was ok with Emma Grace that he wait to cut the cord and let all of the cord blood empty out into her.  He did and then finally allowed Andy to cut the cord - something he hadn't done before.

Skin to Skin
Another amazing experience that I hadn't ever known before with Eleanor was geting to hold my newborn baby seconds after she was born.  What made me laugh the most was that literally as soon as they put her on me, she let out the biggest amount of meconium I had ever seen - all across my chest!  After we got cleaned up, and she was swaddled, I absolutely loved looking down at her beautiful sweet face.

Dear Sweet Emma Grace,
I can't tell you how wonderful it was getting to see you for the first time.  You looked like ME which was a change from your sister and your beautiful eyes and precious little lips, teeny fingers, and the sound you made when you were eating all won me over instantaneously.  I was so afraid I couldn't love another child the same way I do Emma Grace but as everyone said - my heart's ability to love multiplied that very second.

As if it were timed that way, a soon as you finished eating for the first time (like a champ), Daddy got to talk to you, and Mommy was all finished getting "fixed up," your Marmi and Pop Pop brought by your big sister, Eleanor to meet you.

I will never forget the joy that came from my two babies meeting each other for the first time.  Eleanor smiled so so genuinely and was so excited to finally meet you.  My heart is complete and my "cup runneth over!"

This day could not have been any better and I can't wait to see what is come as you joined our family today!

Oh How Long We have waited - Isaiah 33:2 - #laterpost

"Be gracious oh Lord; for You we wait.  Be our strength every morning, our salvation in times of trouble ." - Isaiah 33:2

Sweet baby, this among many others has been our prayer as we waited for you.  Our journey began Summer of 2012.  

After much prayer and urging from your big sister, Eleanor, your Daddy and I decided it was time to grow our family.   With Eleanor, we got pregnant without even trying so we thought, (funny that God had a MUCH bigger plan) we would get pregnant with you summer of 2012 and you would be born spring of 2013 - perfect for a teacher's schedule and you and Eleanor would be exactly 3 years apart.  

Like I said before, God had bigger and MUCH more different plans.  Our failed attempts at what we thought would be so easy became frustrating and actually began to cause some tension between your Dad and me.  We were going about it in the wrong way clearly and decided to take a step back and continue to pray and hope God led us to where we needed to be while we also prayed that He understood the desires of our hearts and would grant us a baby soon enough.

Christmas rolled around and the one thing Eleanor asked for more than anything else was a baby sister.  Talk about pressure!  We finally let her know that Daddy and Mommy really had no control over it, this was something we needed to, as a family, pray about because the only person in control over whether or not she would get a sibling was God.  We continued to wait and trust.  Trust that God knew what He was doing and that soon enough, a new addition would come.  Every night Eleanor would ask God for a baby sister (sometimes we could get her to say or brother as well) some day soon.

On a March morning (2013), I woke up very early and decided I needed to take a pregnancy test.  Don't worry, we were practically storing tests until the end of time at this point.  As I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, I glanced down and finally saw 2 lines!  Could this be true!?  I sprinted in and jumped on the bed so excited to tell Andy!  It was finally our moment - we were finally pregnant!

The next few days I started feeling really sick - I couldn't believe my morning sickness had already set in - I was only about 7 weeks by this point and hadn't been to the Dr.  I called Dr. Behan to tell them the news though and set my appointment for a week away.  I never made it to that appointment though as 5 days after the super exciting double line revelation, I woke up really early - around 4am to lots of intense signs of a miscarriage if you know what I mean.  I called Dr. Behan's after hours line and he called me right back, at 4 in the morning.  How many OB's do that?  He told me to call at 9am and make an appointment that day to come in.  Heartbroken, Andy and I drove to his office awaiting the inevitable news that I had miscarried.  

We had a sonogram and found that I was 8 weeks and that the baby had already passed.  After that, we spent a very healing 45 min in our room with Dr. Behan.  This is why we drive an hour in rush hour to his office.  This is why we are so blessed to have him as our OBGYN.  He prayed with us and made sure we knew there was nothing we did to cause this - that merely God had another plan for this baby. It was beautiful and exactly what we needed to hear.  Of course we were heartbroken but so thankful for that time with Dr. Behan.  We left the office and spent the rest of the day together which we don't get to do all too often.  Your brother or sister holds a special spot in our family and we knew that he or she would protect you before we even knew of your existence along with Eleanor and any other child God blessed our family with.  Another beautiful thing about this entire experience was that it happened over Easter weekend.  I was able to enter into Jesus' passion in an entirely different way than before as we grieved your sister or brother.  Even more beautiful, we were able to receive His healing grace as we celebrated His resurrection at Easter.  What an amazing plan God had for us that spring.

We knew that we needed to wait 6 weeks before "trying" again but it was definitely our plan to try again for another baby.  God, once again threw us a crazy curve ball and WAY before the 6 week goal, but beautifully appropriate, we found out we were pregnant again with YOU on Mother's Day weekend!    Once again, a feeling of joy and excitement overcame us.  We also felt a bit apprehensive to celebrate too soon though and even waited to tell family for a bit just due to our previous experience.  We continued to strive to trust that God had it all in His hands though.  

We finally went to see Dr. Behan today - June 11th - you are the size of a tiny Kidney Bean and we couldn't be more excited to see that you are there and looking great!  He confirmed your due date from your first sono - January 19th!  We cannot WAIT to tell your sister about you and to proclaim to the world that FINALLY we are welcoming another member of our family so very soon!  We can't wait to meet you sweet baby!  God is good!