Welcome Baby Berto 2.0

So, I started writing this on Dec. 24. Then I tried again on Dec. 30. And now it’s January 13. We welcomed our second daughter nearly a month ago and the days (and long nights) since then have been full of smiles tears (happy and sad) and a blur of doctors visits, friends, family, errands, holiday preparations and other assorted tasks related to a newborn. We’re settling into a routine of feedings and staring at each other through all hours of the day and night.

I have been trying to convince Kelci to write her birth story. But every time I catch her nodding off while Sydney feeds on her, I come to realize just a little bit more that my job here is to assist her wherever she needs it. And so here I am, trying to put words down for her.

The fast and the furious

I had just fallen asleep a bit before she entered the room. Her presence immediately caused me to wake up; I must have sensed something was up. When she said the words “I think my water just broke” my heart and instincts kicked into overdrive. See, we weren’t ready. Sure, the crib was built and even the  bag was packed. But ready was more than just having the house put together. I had a bit of mental preparation to do, but those words helped move it along. A well-timed sneeze erased any doubt of if the action was about to begin.

By the time I was up and dressed, it was 12:15 am. Our first phone call was to our amazing care taker to pick Kylah up. Then I scrambled to toss the suitcase, car seat and a few other things into the car and we were off. By now the contractions had started and Kelci was being a champ about breathing and focusing through the pain. But we were just getting started.

Triage and admitting

It all seemed surreal. The phone call to Kelci’s mom. The phone call to my mom. The helping Kelci into the car. The helping her walk to the hospital room. It was all happening so fast.

As the labor pains intensified and the attempts at breathing through the contractions became more futile, we were quickly escorted back to Kelci’s room. The room where we would meet Sydney.

As we made our way from the triage room to the birth room, we had to pause about four times for Kelci to breathe through the intense contractions that kept washing over her in waves of pain. Seeing her doubled over and holding her hands gave me a renewed appreciation for what she was going through.

Here she comes

The contractions had moved to Kelci’s back by this point. So, we tried to have the tub alleviate some of the pain. After some time in the jetted tub, we tried to get her out of the water. But by now the contractions were essentially stacked on top of each other. We helped her get back into the bed as the continuous contractions engulfed her.

I was sitting next to Kelci on the bed with one arm holding her hand and my right arm around her. I felt every muscle from her shoulders to her knee caps tense up. As Kelci moaned through each wave of pain, she demanded the epidural that would bring her some relief. As the anesthesiologist was literally running to her room, the midwife insisted on checking her dilation. See, at about 2:30 am, after she exited the tub, Kelci had dilated to 4cm and epidurals can slow labor down.

As Kelci swung one leg over the bed, I moved out of the way for the midwife to examine Kelci. As the midwife sat down and began, she looked at me and said “I feel the head, it’s time.” I pushed the sleeves up on my shirt and went t be next to Kelci. As she managed to get the second leg up on the bed, I held her hand. The midwife told her to push and despite Kelci’s insistence on the epidural, it was time. One major push and Sydney was out and immediately made her presence known with a hearty cry.

She was perfect.

Sydney Hazel just a bit after she was born

Sydney Hazel just a bit after she was born

Mommy gets to meet Sydney.

Mommy gets to meet Sydney.

Happy and healthy

Sydney had a few bruises from where the midwife literally caught her. We’ve spent the last few weeks staring into her eyes and admiring her round cheeks. She’s an amazing sleeper and isn’t shy about letting us know when she needs to be changed. Our family gained a member that night. Our older daughter gained a little sister and she has been beyond amazing. Offering to help and being gentle and taking care of all of us. Kylah has matured so much over the last few weeks since Sydney arrived and Kelci and I are lucky to have them both in our lives.

We have many adventures ahead of us. We have some parenting challenges on the immediate horizon and we have a lot of learning and smiles and hugs and tears ahead of us.