39 weeks 5 days pregnant

In labor at the birth Center

Birthing chair in the back ground
7 lb 4 oz

Love my new baby Penny

In awe of his new baby girl

so small!

Ava meeting her baby sister for the first time

kisses  non stop  🙂

So it’s taking me some time to write this out, but I wanted to write out my birth story before I forget everything.  What a different experience than Ava, and WOW am I grateful, anyone who knows my birth story with her can understand why this experience was so incredible.  On February 29th (the day before my due date) was the beginning of my labor, but to start at the beginning of the day, I had decided to make homemade caramel delights (girl scout cookies) so… I did, which really is quite the project.  I got about a 45 minute nap in the afternoon, and when I woke up about 3:30 pm I noticed that my braxton hicks were different, not really painful, just different, lower, around my back and uncomfortable.  After I had a couple I started to time them just to see if they had any sort of pattern… and they did, about every 13 min I had one.  We had planned to go to dinner at some friend’s house, so I made some yeast rolls for that, cleaned the kitchen, went on a walk, still having the contractions consistently.  On the way over to our friend’s house for dinner my contractions were getting noticeably stronger, and I told TJ that I was going to have this baby the next day… so when we got to our friend’s house I told them about my consistent contractions and if I breath deeply and work on relaxing for a minute here and there, they will know why.  We had a delicious dinner and ended up having a really serious discussion until we left which was about 10:30… poor Ava was so tired and ready for bed long before we left.  By the time we left I was absolutely convinced that we would be having the baby the next day, which coincidentally was March 1st, my due date.
When we got home, we put Ava to bed, TJ went to bed to get some sleep that we knew he was going to need, and I did some things around the house, put clothes away, finished getting the rooms ready for my brother and sister in law (Del, Arielle, and their 2 kids) who were going to be arriving at our house the next night, cleaning up some of Ava’s toys, and just doing things I knew I was going to be able to do for the next while.  I then got things ready to go to the birth center, like making tuna salad, and getting our food and drinks ready to go that I had bought before hand… I didn’t want to be worrying about all this stuff when I was in a lot of pain and we needed to leave.  So after doing all that, I laid down to get some sleep as well, by this time my contractions were about every 15 min, but pretty painful, after a couple of hours of tolerating the pain on the bed, I got up and started to walk around the house, as they got more painful I asked TJ to get up and help me through some contractions, they were each about 1 min 20 seconds long which are pretty substantial contractions and were getting to be about 6 m in apart, TJ said it was time to go, so he put everything in the car, including Ava and we left.
After we dropped Ava off at Kyle and Cherie’s house we were off to the birth Center.  My contractions slowed down to about every 10 on the way there, but they were still long and strong every time I had one.  When we got to the birth center in Orlando at about 5:15 a.m. my midwife checked me to see how far along I was, I didn’t think I was very far along because I hadn’t even seen my mucous plug come out, after she checked me she sat back and laughed… I said “Why are you laughing?!!!”  She said “You are SEVEN centimeters!”  I couldn’t believe it, and instantly was so in awe of how far I had already come in this labor, especially because of the experience I had in my labor with Ava.  We started to walk around the birth center outside for a while, then inside through the hallways, and around the room.  I was feeling a little discouraged because things were not progressing as quickly as I would have hoped, but my midwife encouraged me to listen to my body and understand that it has a pattern and a progression that I need to run with, not fight with, so slowly but surely my contractions grew closer together and very strong.  This time I decided not have the baby on the bed, mostly because of how much I hate having a contraction while laying down, so I decided to try the birthing chair.
When it came time to push the baby out I was on my knees leaning against the bed, I thought maybe that would be easier… I quickly realized I hated it, and felt like I couldn’t hold myself up and push a baby out, so I moved to the birthing chair, in between every contraction I would get up and walk around for a second just to make sure a contraction was going to come and they did… all on their own, Jennie didn’t have to help me with her hand inside me for 2 hours like she did with Ava… I truly was thanking God!  It came time to push, on my first push my water broke, it actually popped, and thank goodness no one was in front of me because they would have gotten shot with some bodily fluids… :).  Once it came time to really push and get this baby out, I really didn’t want to do it, a contraction would come and I felt like I couldn’t do anything but fight it, until my midwife Jennie got in my face to tell me I needed to push with the contractions and push with a purpose, so I did… I JUST DID IT!!!  AAAaaahhhh… I really hate pushing babies out… not fun!  But who really does?  I only pushed for about 5 to 10 minutes when the baby came.  The cool thing about this time was that I actually had the urge to push, and from my angle I could actually see the baby coming out, once the baby’s head came out I felt an immense amount of pressure released but still had to push the rest out, and I did, once she was out, they put her against my skin and I kept saying over and over I can’t hold the baby I can’t hold the baby, they looked at the gender, I didn’t see anything extra hanging and TJ opened her legs and sure enough she was a GIRL!!!  I couldn’t believe it, this whole pregnancy I have been convinced that my baby was a boy, I am proven wrong… and was so surprised and so grateful at the same time to have another little girl.  I instantly said “HI PENNY!”.  They quickly moved me to the bed where I delivered the placenta and found out that I didn’t tear at all… yay!  Penny Kate Shropshire was born March 1st at 11:43 am.

Those moments where everything was done and I had my baby girl in my arms were those that I had been looking forward to for a long time, labor and birth were over with, I could just stare at my little girl as she learned to nurse from her mother who loves her more than life itself, such glorious special moments that I will never forget.  My heart felt and still feels so full to have two such beautiful girls and gifts from God, I can’t believe that He has chosen to bless me so much.  We spent a couple hours recovering and going over some paperwork, weighing Penny in at 7lbs 4 oz, eating some food, and getting replenished a little bit.  We left the birth Center about 3:00 and got home at 4 pm.  So we left the house at 4 am and got home at 4 pm… pretty amazing!

Our Midwife Jennie Joseph… who we LOVE!

Ava giving Penny kisses

She loves her baby (4 days old)!

My brother Del and his wife and family came in from California the night I had Penny, they are going to be staying with us for a few weeks, and it has already been so nice having them here, they have been so helpful, Ava’s cousin Ezra just being a couple months older has been a great play mate for her, and a good distraction from all that is changing right now.  When meeting Penny for the first time Ava couldn’t stop kissing her and was very upset when we decided to take Penny back.  She has not stopped loving on Penny since she came home, Ava is definitely transitioning right now, she is not jealous of Penny at all because she truly just loves her so much, but is understanding that something different is going on and mommy’s attention really is going somewhere else rather than just on her, so she will need a little time to adjust, but I would say she is doing really well!

I had my appointment with my midwife on the 5th, and everything with Penny is great, she is eating great, sleeping great, gaining weight faster than normal.  And what a difference it has been for me healing this time, I am still being really careful, but am just feeling amazing!  I am healing so quickly, I won’t go into details, but I am so grateful to be having a speedy recovery.  All around this experience has been pretty fantastic, Ava really seems to have paved the way. 

Aunt Cherie meeting baby Penny
5 days old