A Week Ago

I thought it was difficult to choose a REAL name for this little girl, but I’ve struggled all week (and for many months before now) to figure out what to call her on my blog. 

After much deliberation, I’ll be calling her Ani, after the main character in one of my favorite books, The Goose Girl. (Ella, if you have a very long memory for insignificant details, is from Ella Enchanted). 

Last Friday, Bart and I woke up early, got dressed, and ate some breakfast. My lovely friend Allison came over at 6:30 to stay with Ella, who was still in bed, and we headed out to the hospital. 

We filled out some paperwork, were assigned to a room, and I was given the always-flattering hospital gown to change into. When I came out of the bathroom and handed Bart my clothes to stash in his backpack, he said, “You won’t have to wear those again!”

Bart and I sat on the couch in the room for a couple of minutes and then the nurse came in and started setting things up. Two minutes later, the head nurse came in and said, “The good news is that you’re going to have a baby. The bad news is that it won’t be this morning. It’s too busy and we need this room. Come back at one this afternoon.”

So, I got back into the clothes Bart had said I wouldn’t have to wear again.

We came home, spent a little time with Ella, and then I took her to Ralphie‘s house for our co-op preschool. Bart and I took advantage of that time for a nap because getting up at 5:45 a.m. is not our idea of a good way to start the day.

We picked up Ella from school, visited with Ralphie a bit, then came home and had lunch. I called the hospital (I was really paranoid that they would say, “No, still too busy. Come in tomorrow instead”), and they said to come on in.

I put Ella down for a nap, and Landen‘s husband came over to do homework while she slept.

And back to the hospital.

We were quickly sent to a new labor and delivery room, and then we sat around for about forty minutes waiting for someone to come in. Finally, at about two, I got hooked up to the Pitocin.

The nurse checked me and said I was almost at a five (I’d been a four on Tuesday at my doctor’s appointment), and that they’d just run a slow drip of Pitocin and see how I progressed. Once the contractions were getting somewhat painful, I could ask for an epidural.

The nurse, Wendy, said she needed to do a c-section so she wouldn’t be my nurse, but when the head nurse came in, Wendy asked if she could stay with us and the nurse agreed that some other nurse could swap with her. Bart and I were both very pleased, since we really liked her.

Over the next two hours, we visited with the nurse, I ate a popsicle (Wendy said she’d never seen anyone eat two popsicles during labor without throwing them up, so I restrained myself to one), read some of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother for bookclub, and Bart read segments of The Happiness Project aloud to me. I called Landen and talked to Ella for a few minutes too.

My doctor is married to another OB-GYN and they work at the same practice, so, although he was the one on call that night, she swapped with him so that she could deliver my baby (I think she also had another patient or two in the hospital that evening). I was thrilled to find out that my doctor would be the one there, rather than someone I didn’t know. 

Around four, I started to think that I would really like an epidural. The contractions weren’t unbearably painful, but they were getting progressively less fun and I knew there would be a delay between the time I asked for an epidural and the time I actually got one.

Twenty or thirty minutes later, the anesthesiologist came in and, thanks to Bart’s backpack from the University of Texas on the couch, we discovered he was doing the executive MBA at UT and knew one of our friends who is doing that program. I think you probably don’t generally talk about MBAs with your anesthesiologist, but we did that afternoon. 

I laid down for about five minutes to give the epidural a chance to spread, and then the nurse checked me and said I was at an eight. At first glance, she thought she could see the baby’s head, but then she said, no, she couldn’t, after all. My doctor said nothing ever happens if she stays and waits, so she was going to run and check on something.

I laid on my right side and after about three minutes, I felt this strong strong pressure on the top of my leg. 

The nurse checked me again and said, “You’re at a ten! This baby is RIGHT there.” A quick call to the doctor who showed back up in about thirty seconds, and it was time to push. 

I’d been crossing my fingers for months that I wouldn’t have to push for three hours again, and that all the stories about how second babies are so much easier to deliver would be true for me. 

After pushing through my first contraction, I said, “Did I make any progress?” and Bart and the doctor and nurse all said, “YES!” The nurse told me, “You will NOT be pushing for three hours with this baby.” 

I pushed for two more contractions and then the baby was out. The doctor looked at me with this shocked look on her face and said, “Janssen, this is a really big baby! She has rolls of fat!” 

The baby cried immediately (so much more reassuring than Ella’s birth where she had a quite traumatic entrance into this world), but the minute they laid her on my chest, she went completely silent, looking around with huge eyes.

Bart and I both noticed what a big mouth she had (since then it hasn’t looked at all large – but with those first couple cries, it looked enormous). 

After a couple of minutes, I said, “Okay, I’m dying to know how much she weighs” and the nurse took her over to the scale. I asked Bart what he guess was and he said, “Just under eight pounds.” I guessed just over. 

I think everyone in the room was a little stunned when the scale read 8 lbs, 12 oz. 

She cried while she was being weighed, but as soon as Bart picked her up, she was instantly calm again. 

It was all just such an easy, quick delivery, and recovery has been much better than last time around. I was really really hoping to not be induced (I was pretty terrified about the whole thing, actually), but it was a completely positive experience. We loved the hospital staff and our whole stay was nothing but fantastic. 

And now we have this sweet little baby who has fit easily and wonderfully into our family. We couldn’t be happier.

Oh, how we love her. 

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  • Reply Ash December 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Congratulations again! Welcome to the world, beautiful Ani!

  • Reply Jenny December 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    OH!!! Congratulations!!!

  • Reply Kayla @ Freckles in April December 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I'm still boggled by how big that baby was. But she's beautiful!!

  • Reply balancejoyanddelicias December 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    congratulations! Induction is really not that bad, i was induced and it was a great experience too. 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie Lee December 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing the birth story! How wonderful. I'm so glad it was a bit easier for you this time around. Can't wait to meet her in person someday.

  • Reply French Lily December 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Congratulations! She is beautiful. Glad all went well.

  • Reply Rachel December 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Yay!! So glad she's here and so glad it went so well. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Carly December 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Love reading birth stories! SO glad it was such a positive experience! And yay for big babies! I love them :).

    ps will you tell me her real name too? I'm dying to know what you've picked!

  • Reply k8te December 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    congratulations!! ani is beautiful!

  • Reply Jess December 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    This is so sweet. What a great birth story! Congrats on your family of four!

  • Reply Sherry December 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I have been a little worried about how things went since finding out how big Ani was. (But I didn't want to bother you with an email since I knew a post would come soon enough.) I'm glad it was so easy! And also, sorry if I worried you about the induction. Sounds like it was totally different than mine. Happy baby-ing!

  • Reply Merrick December 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Maybe I mentioned this to you, but for some reason being induced terrified me too! Glad ours both went smoothly. And happy one week to that beautiful baby girl!

  • Reply Heather December 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Beautiful. My induced baby was my easiest delivery! How did you grow such a big baby! I love the name Ani too, good choice.

  • Reply Karri December 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm


    I never realized till now that Ella wasn't Ella's real name 🙂

  • Reply JoLee December 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    So happy that you had such a positive delivery. I also did not know that Ella was not your girl's real name. I think it's cute that you pick names from books for your blog. Of course now I am all curious about their real names.

  • Reply Kelly Jo December 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I love me a good birth story! So glad everything went well!!!
    Yay for little baby Ani!

  • Reply preethi December 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Oh, how I love birth stories, and this one is a total winner. So fun hearing all the details. I'm glad everything went so smoothly. Isn't it crazy having the baby come out in about 1/20th the time of the first? I kinda didn't believe everyone when they said the baby was literally coming out RIGHT THEN.

    Also, I cannot believe she was nearly 9 pounds, especially with how teeny you are. We don't get to see too many fat rolls with our peanuts!

  • Reply Angella December 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    She's perfect!

  • Reply Packrat December 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Also amazed (and thankful) that you had no trouble since Ani weighed so much! Beautiful baby.

  • Reply Jillian December 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I'm so glad this time was easier! Welcome to the world Ani, you're beautiful!

  • Reply Becca December 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Congrats on your Happiness Boat delivery! Oh how I envy that. 🙂 Welcome to the blogosphere sweet Ani.

  • Reply kimmie December 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Congrats!! She is beautiful! And I dont know how excited it makes me that you love the goose girl too. It's my absolute favorite fairy tale retelling, and the audiobook is equally amazing, I've probably listened to it 4 times and I'm still not sick of it. The other books in the bayern series, however, left much to be desired and I practically hated the last one 🙁 I can't wait til my kids are old enough to read the goose girl though 🙂 Your little Ani is just precious and congrats again!

  • Reply Monica December 14, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    She is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love your story and it gives me more courage to face a second delivery! What a great set of parents this little girls gets to have.

  • Reply Rhi December 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Oh, congratulations! There is really nothing better than a chubby little baby. She's so lovely.

    (Also, I'm so glad that your doctor delivered her! That was one of my huge childbirth fears, that my doctor would not be the one to deliver my baby.)

  • Reply Abby December 14, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I love birth stories! Thanks for sharing yours and congratulations! She's gorgeous! 😀

  • Reply Shelly December 15, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Congratulations again, birth stories are so fun. It's fun to remember little details about the conversations you have with various hospital staff. When I delivered my daughter the nurses and the doctors were talking about race cars and I still laugh about that conversation.

  • Reply Sarah S. December 15, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Thank You for Sharing! And Congrats again! She is adorable.

  • Reply AEK December 15, 2012 at 2:51 am

    So beautiful. Your second birth experience was very similar to my own. I was due to be induced and actually started to have contractions while we were getting ready to go to the hospital. She also came out so much easier than my first. After she was here, I thought to myself "Now this is why people have lots of kids!"

  • Reply Chrissie December 15, 2012 at 3:17 am

    This is so sweet, and great choice on her blog name! Is Ani pronounced like Annie or Ah-ni (clearly I haven't read the book!)? I'm also glad to hear that everything went smoothly for you. Love the picture too, she really is so precious. 🙂

  • Reply Mrs Gray December 15, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Congratulations on that sweet girl!

    We had a similar anesthesiologist experience. My husband had on an A&M shirt, so we started talking football while he was doing the epidural. It made my husband pretty nervous, but I welcomed the distraction!

  • Reply Saskia December 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Great story, great name.

  • Reply Lady Susan December 15, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Yeah! Love birth stories. However, I am dying to hear what you decided on for an actual name (although I love the screen name as well.) Please share!

  • Reply Laura December 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Such a smooth birth experience!! And what a big beautiful girl! 🙂 My boys were 8 pounds 14 ounces and 9 pounds! Good work, mama. Congrats to you all!

  • Reply BrittWilk December 16, 2012 at 3:48 am

    hip hip hooray for lovely and uneventful labors! so glad everything went perfect! she's perfectly chubby and cute. my favorite way for little girls to be right now. 🙂

  • Reply Elsha December 16, 2012 at 5:42 am

    What a great story! And she is just beautiful.

  • Reply lifeofadoctorswife December 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    She is so beautiful – and I'm so glad this birth was so (relatively) easy. I'm dying to know her real name, of course, but what a LOVELY blog name for her!

  • Reply Emily Kate December 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I loved reading this. And was happy to hear it went pretty well! She is so darling!

  • Reply Katie December 17, 2012 at 3:42 am

    Congratulations! So happy that things went well for you, Bart and your sweet little baby.

  • Reply Lindsay December 17, 2012 at 5:12 am

    I didn't realize that Ella wasn't your other daughter's real name — I actually love that name and am considering it for one of my kids, in part because I love "Ella Enchanted" so much. 🙂 Glad your labor was so quick!

  • Reply runtspickins December 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Congratulations!!!! So precious!

  • Reply Lexilooo December 18, 2012 at 2:44 am

    lovely! congratulations!

  • Reply Mel December 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Oh, yay! She's here! I have no idea how your petite frame housed a nearly 9 pound baby but way to go on that one. She is adorable and I'm so happy for you that you are now in two pieces. Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Nemesis December 21, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Such a wonderful story, and the sweetest little chub of a baby ever!!

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