Life with Lucia (her first month)
May 21st, 2015
Lucia’s first day of life
When Lucia was placed on my chest I was completely overwhelmed with how much she looked like Sirena! It was as if I had given birth to Sirena a second time, I was blown away. When Sirena was born she was pretty alert but it didn’t compare at all to how alert Lucia was. She just stared at me with her big eyes for those first 5-10 minutes in my arms and I just stared right back at her. Just a few minutes after she was born my sister and Sirena arrived and it was surreal telling S that here was her brand-new sister, after all those months talking about it! She and Jessie left the room and Kevin took L while the midwife and the birth attendants joined forces to help me get out of the tub and onto the bed. After I was settled, Kevin brought L back to me so that we could attempt breastfeeding and she latched on immediately which I was so happy about.
For the next couple of hours the birth team allowed us bonding time and all of the visitors (Nani and Bopa, Grandma and Papa, Auntie Jessie, Brianne and Brian) got their chance to hold L. Kevin and I were finally able to eat the dinner my mom had bought for us at Hole Mole 5 hours prior and boy did it hit the spot! Turns out L was born on “Taco Tuesday” so my mom and Steve had to fight the crowds and wait an incredibly long time to get the food in the first place. Maybe L is destined to be a foodie just like her big sis (and mom)?? After a couple of hours Jessie took Sirena back to her place so that she could get some rest from the crazy evening she just had.
Vickie came back into the room to prep for L’s newborn tests. It was such a difference from the hospital experience–she laid a blanket out on the bed right next to me and performed everything (other than weighing her which was done on the scale just a couple of feet from the bed) right there with all of L’s family surrounding her. All of us were anxious to find out how much L weighed and Libby, one of the birth attendants, commented that she had to be at least 9 pounds. All of us were shocked and said there was no way! Libby was certain that she was at least 9 pounds and I had a hard time believing she knew what she was talking about because L seemed so itty bitty compared to my now big toddler! The moment of truth arrived and L weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds, 9 ounces!! She measured 21.75 inches long and her head circumference was 15 cm. (For comparison’s sake, S weighed 8 pounds and measured 21.5 pounds, not sure about head circumference). Libby commented that L’s head was the biggest she had witnessed yet and was amazed at how well I did (if you think about it, a woman’s cervix dilates to 10 cm). Up until L’s birth she said that the largest head she witnessed was 14.5cm which she says was a “doozy.” It was at this point that she told me that of all of the midwives I could have been paired with for L’s birth, Vickie was the best one for me. She said that Vickie was the best at coaching moms through the pushing stage so as to minimize tearing and I know now that with a baby’s head as large as L’s, if I had birthed in a hospital and not had a coach like Vickie working with me, I would not have had the healing birth that I had set my intentions on and I would have had a much longer and painful recovery. I am so grateful for Vickie, my birthing team, the birth center, and Kevin of course for supporting me in my decision to birth there. It was so nice to hear all of the positive feedback from our visitors, everyone commented about how different the experience was even for them as visitors from a hospital experience and it was so wonderful hearing those comments.
Three hours after she was born I started getting restless and exhaustion was starting to take over so I asked Kevin to ask Vickie if we could start wrapping things up. Our visitors began leaving so that I could get cleaned up and dressed and so that Vickie and the team could talk with me and K about what our next steps would be with a brand-spankin’-new baby at home. It took about an hour for all of that to be taken care of and at just 4 hours old we made our way out of the birth center and on our way home. My mom and Steve caravaned behind us so that they could help us get settled in the house and Steve commented about how amazing it was that I walked out of the birth center, into the car, and walked into my home just 4 hours after giving birth (with Sirena’s hospital birth I used the wheelchair to go anywhere those first 2 days). In every way imaginable, birthing at the birth center was a much more calm, pleasant, empowering experience than my previous hospital birth and I cannot say enough good things about it!
We greeted Lola (who had held down the fort for us since we left at 6pm) and she gave Lucia a good sniff and quickly returned to her bed (she loooves her sleep). Kevin, Lucia and I made our way to the bedroom as well and were able to sleep peacefully, without any interruptions from nurses/doctors or beeping machines or bright fluorescent lights like at the hospital, for a few hours.
The next morning Jessie brought Sirena home to get acquainted with her little sis. It was so emotional seeing the two of them together finally after imagining it for so long!
Her first Week
Lucia had three doctor appointments within her first two full days of life–it was somewhat overwhelming to get us all out of the house on time for three appointments with a 3 y/o and a 1-2 day old! But somehow (somehow!) we did it. We first saw her pediatrician when she was not yet 24 hours old and she wanted to see her again the following day as well. When the nurse practitioner came out to the lobby to get us and she asked us how old she was she couldn’t believe that she was less than 24 hours old! They don’t get many babies coming in who are born in a birth center so it was a new way of doing business for them, seeing a brand-new baby like that (babies born in the hospital are generally observed around the clock by nurses/doctors for the first 2-3 days of life). She had lost some weight those first 24 hours but it was a very minimal decrease so there was no concern there at all. By her second appointment she had gained the weight back and then some (she was born at 9 lbs, 9 oz and by day 3 she was 9 lbs, 13 oz!) Our pediatrician was super happy about her weight gain and she said she was an overall healthy looking newborn! The third appointment Lucia had was back at the birth center where they conducted the newborn screening. It was surreal being back in the room where she was born just days before.
That first week we stuck around close to home either at our house or at my mom’s and we welcomed a nice group of visitors to the house to meet the little nugget throughout the week. Here are a few photos from L’s first week:
First time taking the new double stroller out for a ride! We walked the block at our annual neighborhood garage sale when L was 4 days old.
A very unhappy baby getting her first bath!
Another attempt at a siblings shot
We were out and about a lot more after her first week which felt really nice.
We took a trip to the Long Beach Main Library (which Kevin and I hadn’t been to in years). Sirena had a blast in their huge children’s section and Lucia, well, she just slept through the whole excursion. 🙂
Sisters both passed out in the car
We surprised Sirena after preschool one day and took her and L to Rancho Los Alamitos for an afternoon visit.
Lead the way, big sis!
We also made a trip to Royal Palms beach in San Pedro–this is a really special place for my family because my mom grew up spending a ton of time at this beach with her family and she took me and my siblings there a bunch growing up as well. It was really special to take my girls there to continue the tradition. My mom, Steve, Jessie, Derek, and Steve’s grandson Christian joined us for a very nice (but super chilly!) afternoon.
Auntie Jessie holding L
My First Mother’s Day With Lucia
My one Mother’s Day wish was to go to the Renaissance Faire with my family which I am so happy to report we were able to do!
That morning my mom invited us over for some coffee and pan dulce and it was a really nice, relaxing Mother’s Day morning. Then Kevin, Jessie, the girls, and I were on our way to the Ren Faire. It was Faery Day at the faire so Sirena was happy to dress for the part.
Sirena was a bit taken aback by the people in character who would approach us but she did agree to wave her magic wand for this lady 🙂
Jessie trying on some amazing masks!
Lucia’s first concert!
The one photo that was taken of me and both my girls–me changing a diaper and helping Sirena with her drink. Typical “mom” moment, right??
Sirena wanted Mama to ride the giant swing with her. I gotta be honest, it was a spooky ride! Those guys pushed us sooo high, I almost thought I’d slip out at one point but I had to keep my cool in front of Sirena to not freak her out, haha!
Queen Sirena at your service
My little munchkins