We’re so excited to introduce the newest member of our family, Lila Burke Wennerstrom. I took some much needed time off but I’m back and so excited to kick things off with my return by sharing Lila’s birth story because is there anything better than that newborn magic? Nothing puts things in perspective quite like a brand new life. So here’s how she made her big debut.
Just like Elin, Lila had us waiting past the due date, a whole week to be exact. But this time my doctor recommended we induce at 41 weeks. So I gave one last effort on Saturday by going on a long beach walk, had a dance party and still nothing. So at 10 pm that night we headed to the hospital to get induced with Cervidil which softens the cervix and takes 12 hours, hence going in at night with the idea that you’ll sleep, which we didn’t really do much of. My doctor arrived at 11:30 am on Sunday to check me and I was 4 cm dialated and suggested breaking my water next, which last time made everything happen in lightening speed so I was a little nervous and anxious knowing what was ahead. Sure enough within 20 minutes I was getting strong painful contractions and the nurses started setting up for an epidural, per my request. With Elin my labor was so fast and furious I was denied the epidural, which turned out to be fine since it was so quick however I felt like my eyes were closed the whole time and I blinked and it was over. This time around I wanted to be more present (like opening my eyes!) and every story I heard that involved an epidural sounded a little more peaceful so I wanted to try and take that route.
Of course, having a baby is one thing you can’t really control or plan. The no plan plan is usually the way to go! So here’s where my envision of a dreamy epidural experience went.
Right after they broke my water (mind you I was already getting painful contractions) the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. He explained to me that because I had hardware in my spine and potentially scar tissue from my spinal surgery that he couldn’t guarantee that it would be 100% effective. He said it probably wouldn’t work in front (where you feel the contractions). Oy! I didn’t care (remember I’m already in labor at this point) and told him to try. Just like he said it only partially worked. I had one numb leg and felt every contraction as if it were natural labor.
After 45 minutes or so of painful contractions my doctor came back, checked to see how much I had dilated and said, “Ok let’s have a baby!” I remember being so relieved because I was ready to push and a wave of excitement/adrenaline kicked in as a few nurses shuffled in and they turned on those bright lights. Next thing I know I was pushing and 15 minutes later my doctor said “reach down and grab her,” and just like that Lila was on my chest. Back to that epidural we thought wasn’t going to do anything? Turns out it did a little something for me during the pushing because I had my eyes open most of the time and definitely felt like the pain wasn’t as excruciating as I remember with Elin. Also the first thing my doctor said when she saw Lila was, “Oh she’s chunky!” But we didn’t realize how chunky until she was on the scale… 9.4 lbs!? I remember thinking wait, what? That has to be a mistake, there’s no way I could birth a nine pound baby? Two pounds heavier than Elin was and they were both born exactly a week late. Surprisingly (and thankfully) I only had a first degree tear, which I experienced with Elin too. My recovery was almost the same minus the bleeding and trip to the E.R. 11 days postpartum—saving that for a whole other post!
Overall it was a smooth, safe and amazing birth that I wish I could relive a thousand times over. Three hours later Elin arrived and we introduced her to her new baby sister, a moment that will forever make my heart swell. The first thing she said was “Happy Birthday Lila!” And wanted to hold her right away. The past month has been surreal to say the least and we’ve been soaking in every fleeting moment with Lila.