In my arms sits a beautiful, tiny dark haired daughter. We have another girl; as lovely as her sister, so similar and yet so different.
Other than it being the same hospital, the manner of her arrival was at the opposite end of the spectrum to Kitty’s; where Kitty took a nice set of induction medicines, and 48 hours of hard work to shift her from her comfy spot, this little lady started things off herself with a few Braxton Hicks on Tuesday afternoon as I crawled around on the floor wrapping up all the available Christmas presents. When they started to pick up overnight, and wouldn’t ease off walking around or by having a bath I thought something might just about be starting. I was in two minds whether or not to send H to work on Wednesday morning but decided that I’d rather have him at home even if it was a false alarm so he dropped Kitty off at nursery and came back home to find me with my head buried in the seat of her rocking chair, rolling gently back and forth through each contraction.
Truth be told, he had a much better sense that this was really real than I did and talked me into setting up my TENS machine, timing a few contractions and having a quick chat with the hospital. By the time his parents arrived we were ready to head to the hospital but in my mind it was really for the reassurance that this was labour, and not just an evil run of Braxton Hicks.
According to the car park ticket we arrived at the hospital at 14.57. At about 4pm I was 3-4cm and not yet considered in active labour but our lovely midwife Rhiannon suggested a little bounce on a gym ball or a walk around the hospital to see if we could get things going a bit more rather than sending us home again, “just in case”. At some point not too long afterwards that gym ball bouncing must have done the trick because at 17.11, no more than 10 minutes after my waters broke, a rather startled little girl entered the world. I hadn’t even worked out how to get the TENS machine into the active labour stage, let alone the setting for delivery.
At 8lb 2oz she’s a smidge lighter than Kitty and seems not quite as long although we haven’t yet got the tape measure out. Quite simply, she is (jointly) the very best thing we ever made and we are all utterly smitten.
And her name? Her real name is as beautiful and unusual as her sister’s but for the purposes of the internets and her Mama’s firm intention that no prospective employer will turn up her baby photos in a google search, her name here is Elma. It was her bump name and means both “amiable” and “God protected” which seems a perfect fit.