In one week Anniston will be turning one. And as I reflect on this past year, I can’t help but think about how it all started. My husband and I, parents to a thirteen-month-old, about to have a newborn, so excited to give Juliet a little sister, but knowing that it was going to be difficult, exhausting, and totally worth it.
One year ago we were anxiously awaiting the birth of our baby girl, but what I didn’t realize, is that I would be entering into one of the hardest months of my life.
Anniston was late. And after one failed trip to the hospital with contractions, I went in for my 40 week check-up and
requested begged to be induced. My midwife reluctantly agreed, and at 40 weeks and 4 days I went in to the hospital to have Anniston. The labor and birth were relatively smooth, despite my epidural not working, and within six hours I was holding my baby girl.
We left the hospital two days later as a family of four, and, at the time, I was actually feeling much better than I had felt after having Juliet. However, that all changed over the next few weeks.
Kevin stayed home from work for four days, but when he returned, it was just me. Me, with a thirteen-month-old and a newborn. The doctors and nurses always tell you that you need to rest, relax, take it easy for a few weeks after delivery, but how is that even possible? As much as I tried, one of the girls always needed me. So, as the first two weeks went by, we found ourselves at birthday parties, at the store, running errands, and I still felt like my body was not recovering. At all.
About two and a half weeks after having Anniston, I was out with the girls and I knew something was wrong. I was in tremendous pain and I was bleeding uncontrollably. I called my midwife and she suggested I go straight to the Emergency Room. My husband came home from work to be with the girls and my mom came over immediately to take me to the hospital. After blood tests, IVs, and an ultra sound, they didn’t see any issues and they sent me home.
About 5 days went by and I was just longing to feel like myself again. I wanted to be able to do the things I used to do, with Juliet, my partner in crime. So, my mother-in-law came over to watch Anniston and I took Juliet to the beach and the splash pad. What was I thinking. After we played for about an hour, we ran a few errands before returning home. As I walked in my front door I knew there was something really wrong. The pain was almost crippling. I, again, started bleeding uncontrollably and could not stand up for more than a minute at a time.
The next day my husband went to work and he had probably not been there even an hour before I called him and told him he needed to come home. I have never done that. I always feel like I can handle whatever situation I am in, and I hate asking for help, but I knew that I needed it. He came home to take care of the girls while I attempted to rest on the couch. After a few hours the pain got worse. I was freezing cold and my body was shaking so bad that I could barely stand. I spoke with my midwife again, called my mom, and the consensus was that I needed to go the Emergency Room for a second time. This time my sister drove down to take me and instead of driving the 20 minutes to the hospital where I had Anniston, we went to a closer hospital, only 5 minutes from my house. I was admitted, they performed blood tests, and they found an infection. After three or four IVs and another ultra sound, they found that I still had placenta remaining in my body. I am not sure how the first hospital missed it, but by this point it had gotten so bad that they kept me for over 8 hours on additional IVs of antibiotics.
I was finally released sometime in the middle of the night, and the next morning made a follow-up appointment with my doctor. I was given several medications, antibiotics, pain pills, and one to finally make my uterus contract. After only about three days I finally felt like I was on the road to recovery. However, this was almost two months after I had Anniston.
Although I can remember all of it like it was yesterday, it also feels like such a distant memory. A year goes by so fast but it is filled with so many milestones, stories, hard times, sweet moments, sleepless nights, baby cuddles, and love, the truest love there is. I hate that my first two months with Anniston were spent the way they were, but the 10 months after that have more than made up for it.
I can’t believe that at this time last year I was willing this child to come out already, and now we are here, with Anniston, a girl with a serious case of FOMO, who spends her days running all over the house, beating up her big sister, breaking into every room and cabinet in the house, all while smiling from ear to ear to show off her adorable dimples.
I would do all of it all over again. Because this girl made me a mommy for the second time and I couldn’t be more lucky that she chose me.