It is hard to believe that yesterday was our second day with Rose. She slept well the night before, basically either nursing or sleeping all night, with only a couple short wakeful periods. It was the best first night that we have ever had.
We started the day with the kids hanging out with us in the room for a bit, then they headed to spend the day with the Reagens. Nate took them swimming and then it was back to their house for playing and games.
We spent the day with Rose and Lu, hanging out and relaxing. The nurse from Willowsong, Laura, stopped by at around 11:30 to check on Susan and Rose. Both of them are doing well and everything is checking out as it should be.
For dinner Susan and Rose joined us downstairs and after dinner Rose got to go outside for the first time, spending some time on the back deck.
Aunt Mary, Luke, and Mimi stopped by and then just a couple of minutes later Erin and the kids arrived. Fun was had by all, and then it was time for bed.
Rose slept most of the day yesterday, so last night was a little rough. Susan bore most of the brunt, and stayed up nearly all night either nursing Rose or just hanging out.
I think yesterday was one of the longest days of our lives. Rose was born very early in the morning, so we did not even go to bed last night. She was born at 2:39 and the initial welcoming took a couple more hours. I think the midwife, Kari, left at around 5:30 am. Our adrenaline was still going strong at this point, so we were able to function pretty well.
Rose came into the world a fairly peaceful being, and that continued throughout the day. She would cry out occasionally, but was quickly soothed, usually by Susan. She nursed most of the day, and when she wasn’t nursing she was usually asleep.
All of the kids were excited to see her in the morning and had a turn holding her. We spent a lot of time just hanging out in the bedroom, adjusting to the new Liesland clan.
The morning is a bit of a blur for me. I pretty much crashed from about 8 until noon. I have never done well with a lack of sleep and I think the stress and anxiety from the previous couple of days finally caught up with me. I was nauseous and needed a couple of naps to get me back on track, and even then I was not moving very fast.
Luckily Erin was able to come over in the morning and help out, to keep things running smoothly. She brought some food and then took the kids on some errands and to the park. Susan and Rose rested.
In the afternoon Erin took all of the kids to the park to meet the Reagens at another park, where they played for a while before coming back to our house for all of the Reagens to meet Rose.
Mimi and Papa came over to make dinner and sing happy birthday to Rose for the first time, then it was time for some relaxation, and bed.
It has been a busy 48 hours. On Sunday morning at 10 Susan started having some light contractions, accompanied by a very strong muscle pain in her uterus. She was in bed most of the day Sunday. The contractions subsided, but the muscle pains did not.
Monday brought more contractions, and the muscle pain had weakened dramatically. Susan spent most of the day in bed, trying to get some rest, but being jolted back into alertness every 10 or 20 minutes by very strong contractions. She made it downstairs for dinner, but did not eat a thing and was up to bed about as soon as dinner was over. I got the kids to bed at 9, hoping and knowing that we were in for a long night.
The contractions intensified and by 11 or 11:30 we were fairly confident that this was the real deal. The contractions continued, intense, but never incredibly close together. By 1:00am Susan was in the birth tub and by 1:15 she thought it was time to call the midwives. I was not so sure it was time, but over the years I have learned that Susan is a very wise woman.
The midwives arrived around 1:35 and things continued as before. I didn’t feel like things were getting too intense and, in fact, I thought that opposite – that the tub was slowing down the contractions.
At 2:34, according to the midwives’ notes, all of a sudden Susan’s birth noises changed – from the groan of a contraction to the grunt of a push. Every labor is different, but for Susan these noises are very clear. I was surprised at how quickly things turned and before I knew it the midwives were standing over us with the rubber gloves on, ready for their part.
5 minutes later we got to meet Rose Eileen Liesland! This is always an amazing experience. Once Rose was in Susan’s arms, Susan asked if I would wake up the other kids. I woke up Andrew, Mari, and Elliot and let them know it was time to come meet the baby.
Officially born at 2:39 am, Rose Eileen Liesland, born at home, weighed in at 9lbs 0oz and was 21 inches long.
This afternoon we had our regularly scheduled midwife appointment. Most of the preparation is behind us now and Susan is in good shape, so the appointments are pretty quick. We usually go through some basic stuff, check on how Susan is feeling, look at some vitals, and then head home.
One of the items that we discussed at our family meeting tonight is a baby pool for some of the details of #5. The winner, determined by #5, Susan, and I, gets their own Over the Top the first time we go after the baby is born.
With just about 2 months to go, we are starting to get serious about getting ready for the baby. In March that meant updating our bedroom, where the baby will be born and where we tend to spend a lot of time in the first few weeks.
We repainted, lowered the bed, made room for the birth tub, and redecorated. Other than some work in the basement, to get ready for school, this is the first work we have done in any of the rooms since we have moved in.
What has Susan been up to, you might be wondering? Growing. She is 24 weeks pregnant and feeling good. We are all excited for the 7th Liesland, expected June 2015.