Our sweet baby girl (who we can now call by her actual name, Charlotte Madeleine Murray), was born Friday July 21st at 3:47 am, at 7 lbs 14 oz and 20 in long. Garrett dubbed her with one last nickname – “Twinkle Toes” – when he met her in the hospital, and not gonna lie – it kinda stuck. He also couldn’t help but notice the “Italian trademark” of dark hair covering her ears, to which he inquired, “Why does baby sister have so much fur?” LOL. It’s hard to believe that just this past Tuesday was my original due date, but this little lady had other plans. She shocked us with what we’re now calling our “trial run” the Wednesday night before, which sent us to the hospital and then back with irregular contractions 3-6 min apart. So come Thursday night, I told the hubs that I was just going to ignore any weird contractions I was feeling. Easy enough, that is, until 1 am rolled around and I got up to go to the bathroom, after tossing and turning for lord knows how long, only to realize my contractions were 2 min apart and had me buckled over in pain. Yep, it was the real deal. So we called our sweet neighbor again to come stay at our house with Garrett until my MIL could make it over, and Grant literally flew down the freeway to the hospital 40 min away – with me white-knuckling the passenger door handle the whole time.
By the time we got checked into our L&D room, it was 2:30 am. I was begging for the epidural, which can only come after an IV, which apparently was also easier said than done because the poor girl could not get the dang thing in my arm – mumbling something about me having lots of valves in my veins (????). Thank God for my awesome nurse, who took over and proceeded to coach me through all those crazy breathing exercises I had learned a billion years ago in my prenatal class with Garrett and that I never thought I would use. I kid you not – it wasn’t 5 min after they shot me up with the good stuff that my nurse was frantically trying to track down the doctor on call who couldn’t believe it was already time for me to deliver. At the same time, she realized my hubs had stepped out to go to the bathroom, and she was about to page him before he and the doc both appeared with shocked looks on their faces. About 15 min later, kaboom – we were welcoming our little Charlotte into the world, and all I could do was laugh/cry. You know that overwhelming feeling you get sometimes when you’re so happy you can’t help but laugh – well that was one of those moments, as I looked at our baby girl and then looked back at Grant thinking “We did it, she’s actually here.”
The next two weeks that followed have been such a whirlwind, but in a good way. Grant’s whole family, and I mean whole family, came into town the minute she was born and it was so amazing the love that surrounded us. That was very different from when Garrett was born in LA, since it was just my mom there, and Grant’s family was only able to make short visits if any at all in those first months. We also were so thrilled to be bringing her back to our first home (instead of a one-bedroom apartment), so much so, that we opted to only stay one night in the hospital. If I had to compare the second time around to what it’s like being a first time mom – first, I’d say that everyone is right, and that you truly are so much more relaxed with a few years of mom-ing under your belt, and the little things that rattled you before are no biggies now. Second, I’d say it really all depends on the baby, which is a total crap shoot – Charlotte just happens to be one of the easiest babies I’ve ever met. Coupled with the fact that she’s an awesome nurser, and also doesn’t have colic the way her big brother did that sent me into a deep state of PPA. I know we have a long way to go in the newborn stage (p.s. If you haven’t read this, do yourself a favor and read it stat), and trust me – it’s not all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. We’ve had our fair share of rough nights, up for hours on end trying to soothe a fussy baby. But when all is said and done, I’m reminded to revel in all the snuggles, coos, and gas-induced smiles I can take in. I’m also overwhelmed that my lovely friend Marlo was able to capture her sweetness in these first few days, and that feeling of completeness we’re all feeling now that baby Charlotte’s arrived.