Archive for September, 2011

The story of Maribelle’s arrival actually starts a few weeks before her actual birthday, which was September 11, 2011.  The story begins at my 36 week appointment where the doctor I was seeing mentioned that we could choose to induce labor this time around anytime after 39 weeks if we wanted.  She was my least favorite doctor in our practice so I didn’t ask too many questions, but it got Royce and I thinking and talking.  (For context, we have 7 doctors in our practice.  You see them all during pregnancy, and then whoever is on call when you go into labor is who delivers your baby).

37 week appointment–I saw our FAVORITE doctor, Dr. Wurzbacher, who delivered Annelise for us and was just overall awesome.  I asked her a lot of questions about the possibility of inducing.  She said that medically there was no reason not to with a second pregnancy if the first was a “normal” delivery with no complications.  She assured me that, unlike the first, with the second baby, the risk of C-section is not any higher with induction of labor.  She did say of course that we would lose the romantic story of not knowing when our baby would arrive.  I left the office after finding out who was on call at the hospital each day for the week after I hit 39 weeks.

Royce and I talked about this option a lot.  We went back and forth several times.  I honestly was so done being pregnant.  I was just in pain all the time and was exhausted from carrying so much extra weight and chasing Annelise all over the place every day.  But we both really liked the idea of our little girl surprising us with her arrival.  After a lot of deliberation, we decided to schedule an induction for September 9th.  Our second choice of doctor was on call that day, and our first choice was only on call on September 11th so we thought that Friday, the 9th would be perfect.

38 week appointment–I went to the doctor.  No progress towards labor.  The doctor I saw guesstimated that this baby would weigh about the same as Annelise.  And in light of how big Annelise ended up being (8 pounds, 12 ounces), she said it could be wise to be induced.  When I left the office, I scheduled our daughter’s birth with the receptionist.  The only glitch was that September 9th would not work.  The hospital was already booked.  So, I did the next best thing and chose to go with our favorite doctor and deliver our baby on September 11th (all the while hoping we would actually go into labor on our own before that).

Royce and I had already decided that we would only tell our immediate family and our staff team about the induction and date.  We made this choice for two reasons.  One: we wanted people to still be surprised when Maribelle came.  And two: we didn’t really want to hear people’s opinions about inductions or about our daughter’s birth date.  We knew we were making the best choice for our family, and I felt so relieved to have an “end date” in mind.  It made dealing with the day-to-day aches and pains so much more manageable.

39 week appointment–I mostly spent this week convincing myself that my water was going to break and then convincing myself that no, it was never going to break and that this baby did not ever want to meet us.  I saw another doctor this week who guessed the baby would weigh 8 pounds, 2 ounces.  Haha.  I must carry babies in such a way that no one has any idea how large they are because Maribelle definitely surpassed everyone’s expectations as far as size goes.

The Belly (with over 3 weeks to go)

September 11, 2011.  Royce and I got up at 5:00 am after barely sleeping the night before.  My parents had come on Saturday to stay with Annelise while we were at the hospital.  One cruel thing about knowing when you’re going to have your baby is then also knowing when you are spending the final time with your firstborn.  I sobbed when we put Annelise to bed on the 10th.  I don’t know if I can explain it, but I just felt so inadequate as her mom.  I knew that her whole world would be changing and that I couldn’t explain it or prepare her for it.  Plus, I loved our little family of three, and part of me was really, really scared that I was going to ruin it by bringing home another person (spoiler alert: it hasn’t been ruined, only made all the more wonderful).

Our Last Family of Three (four including Sunny) Photo

We showered, got ready, and headed to the hospital.  We checked in and went to our birthing suite, where I got the standard IV and contraction/baby monitors strapped on.  It was all kind of surreal.  We kept looking at each other, like “Is this really happening?”  We put SportsCenter on the tv because all the stations were re-playing footage from the terrorist attacks from 10 years prior.  Although we wanted to remember and honor that, we knew that for our family, from 2011 forward, September 11th would be Maribelle’s day.  A day of joy and celebration.

The nurse started pitocin around 7:30 am, and Royce and I just kind of hung out while it did it’s job.  Labor wasn’t too bad, and we were enjoying ourselves.  My water broke around 10:00 am, and the contractions started getting more and more intense.  I thought, “No big deal.  I’ll just get an epidural, and everything will be fine.”  So I asked for the epidural, and they came in and gave it to me.  And it did help, but I was still in quite a bit of pain, mostly from the pressure of Maribelle moving down.

Enjoying my popsicle, pre-epidural

The next few hours were intense and hard.  I had to breathe through every contraction.  It was NOTHING like labor with Annelise.  With her, once I got the epidural, I felt nothing until after I had been pushing for a while.  This time, I was just in pain.  We found out partway through that Maribelle was facing up instead of down so we had to do some moves to try to turn her.  We had people praying because the nurse warned that if she was still face up, pushing would be a lot harder.  I did not want pushing to be harder because I pretty much knew that I could not repeat what I did with Annelise.  The prayers worked because Maribelle did flip before it was time to push.

The pinnacle of pain came when I called the nurse to tell her that it was time to start pushing.  She called my doctor and couldn’t get in touch with her (she was doing rounds on a floor that had no phone reception).  We waited and waited.  The nurse told me that she could either up my epidural dose (which could also make pushing harder/longer) or we could wait a few more minutes for the doctor.  I chose the latter, but I will say that if there is anything more painful than pushing, it is not pushing when your body is ready.

Finally, Dr. Wurzbacher arrived, and we got started.  I only pushed for 45 very intense minutes.  I don’t remember much from this time.  I remember asking Royce to move the curtain so I couldn’t see the clock.  I remember knowing it was getting close to the end as Royce updated me on how much of Maribelle’s head he could see.  And the next thing I remember is the doctor laying this sweet little baby on my chest.  She was beautiful.  I remember worrying that she wasn’t crying enough (no fears, she was).  I remember thinking that they were letting me hold her for a long time before cleaning her up, and I was really thankful.

Me and my girl

The nurse then took her away to be cleaned and weighed.  I kept reminding Royce to get the camera.  He made me guess how much she weighed.  I had no idea.  Then, he proudly announced, 9 pounds, 7 ounces.  I couldn’t believe it.  Of course, it made the pregnancy make more sense.  No wonder I was so uncomfortable!

Then, Royce, dad of two, delivered our new baby to me, mom of two, and we all got acquainted.  The little life that we first learned about on January 6th was here in our arms.  At 2:06 pm on September 11, 2011.  Maribelle Joy Baker, the newest little love our lives.

Daddy's Girl

Mommy's Girl


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A Letter to My Girls

Dear Annelise and Baby Girl #2–

I’ve been meaning to write each of you for a while now.  Your own separate letters with all my thoughts and feelings and all the details of your little worlds right now.  Instead, I’m finally sitting down less than a week before my due date and writing a combined letter because luckily your daddy reminded me that I needed to do it.  So much for setting the bar high for you girls, huh?  I guess it’s probably best that you get used to an imperfect world now since I am certainly not a perfect mother.

Annelise, you are a little fireball.  I love it.  You are 19 months old, and you are so much fun on most days.  Although your non-stop energy and desire to explore wear me out on most days, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

You love to climb things.  Anything.  You are constantly being told, “Annelise, no climb.”  The thing is that you’re actually pretty good at it and rarely fall.  You climb up the side of your high chair, lay sprawled out across the top of it before somehow getting your legs down into the right spot.  I picked you up from the nursery at MOPS the other day, and you were standing on top of a tricycle.  You scale the tall stools at the Berg’s house as if they’re nothing.  You are fearless.

You talk and sing a lot although Mommy and Daddy still can’t understand most of it.  You understand us though.  We can say almost anything to you, and you know exactly what we’re talking about.  You follow directions really well, and you love to help us with things.  The things you say the most right now are “Hi–eeee”, “Thank you”, “Here you go”, and “Mama”.  You also sing the tune to the ABCs a lot, and you sort of say “One, two, three”.  Okay, you make the noises for “One, two, three” even though the sounds aren’t quite right.

Mommy made Daddy a book for his 30th birthday, asking people to write him letters.  In one of the letters, his aunt described him as the “sweetest but busiest kid” she knew.  That. Is. You.  You are your father’s daughter in so many ways.  You love to go, go, go.  If you are awake, you are on the move.  You do not snuggle with us.  You would much rather fill your Little Tikes grocery cart with toys, move them across the house, take them all out, and then put them back in the cart to tote off to another location.  But you are as sweet as can be.  In the mornings, Daddy gets you out of bed and brings you to our room where you always greet me with an enthusiastic “Hi–eeee” before walking over to Sunny’s crate, letting him out, and giving him a hug/tackle.

Mommy is really excited for you to become a big sister.  You love babies, even though you can still get a little rough with them.  You especially like pointing at their eyes and saying, “Eye”.  That makes you very proud and Mommy very nervous.  Even though I’m really excited, I’m a little sad that I’m going to lose the one-on-one time we’ve had together.  You’re just my little buddy who runs errands with me, eats lunch with me and just tags along wherever I go.  I know that our outings and time together will get a little more complicated once your little sister arrives.  I’m beyond thankful for the quality time that we’ve had together, sweet one.  You made me a mommy, and I am forever grateful for that.

Baby Girl #2, little sister, we are so beyond ready to meet you.  We already know you are part of our family, and we just can’t wait to get you out in the world to snuggle and love.  I’m dying to see what you look like.  No pressure, but I really, really, really want you to have hair.  We had to deal with a LOT of “What a cute little boy” comments with your sister.  And there is no non-awkward way to correct that.  I also can’t wait to see what your personality is like.

The last trimester of this pregnancy with you has been hard, and I am anxious for it to be over.  The circumstances were just not ideal…we were in Chicago and then had to drive to Colorado and were sleeping on uncomfortable beds all summer long.  And the heat of the summer combined with the non-stop motion of your sister wore me out.  The last month, every day has felt like I was running a marathon.  I’ve cried a lot.  You have been slightly unkind to my bladder.

But, I think the hardest thing about waiting this time versus with your sister is that this time I know everything is so much better when you’re on the outside instead of the inside.  Sure, we won’t get to sleep much and will probably be slightly shocked at all the work that comes with having a newborn AND a toddler.  But none of that will really matter because we’ll also get to have you.  Every single day since I hit the 38 week mark (the point where you officially became a freeloader), I’ve been praying that I would go into labor.  I keep expecting my water to break (mostly because that is how labor started with your sister).  Every day that it doesn’t is a little disappointing, but we are trusting God that He will bring you at just the right time.

I hope you know how much we love you.  I am in awe that we get to have another daughter.  Every time I see a baby, I pray to the Lord, “I can’t believe we get to have another one.”  You are a gift.  I don’t deserve you.  I am humbled that I get to be your mom.

Now, please come soon so I can pat that little butt you keep sticking out my right side in person instead of through my uterus.

I love you girls more than you will ever know.

Your momma

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