HARLOW SAVVY GEGOLICK
It was the fastest few hours of my entire life! My water broke at home at 1am and at 4:46, just over an hour after getting to the hospital, we were parents again! Our doctor and our birth photographer missed the delivery and seeing their faces as they walked into the room, shocked to see a baby, was pretty priceless. We had told Jasmine (Honey Lime Photography) when we were still in the triage room that she shouldn’t rush and it would probably still be a while, even though she said she was coming and would be there within the hour.
I was already holding Harlow in my arms but I was still reeling from the delivery. Davin and I honestly didn’t expect me to be as close as I was, but by the time we arrived everything happened so fast and we had no time at all to process that she would be here so soon. You can imagine my surprise when they laid her on my chest just minutes after I was expecting to get pain relief and have a much needed break. But holding her made everything worth every crippling contraction and it was the absolute best reward at the end of a sometimes trying pregnancy and fast and hard labor.
We immediately marveled at all of her miniature features. Her nose was so tiny and came to a perfect little point with a crinkle at the top, just like her daddy but nothing like her sister. Her hair was the darkest shade of brown and covered all of her head but the top. Her skin was a dark shade of purple and as soft as butter. Completely unlike her sister, Harlow didn’t want to latch right away and a few minutes after she was born she started crying, and my oh my was she LOUD! We couldn’t get her to settle for what felt like forever and I kept looking at Davin and saying ‘remember that joke I made last week about hoping that she liked us? Oh my God. I don’t think she likes us!’ Eventually we figured out that the lights in the delivery room were what was bothering her and as soon as we shut them off I held her and she latched.
Davin was able to sneak in a quick text to our families right after she was born and in the midst of taking her all in his phone rang from his parents who wanted to FaceTime. We were quick to ignore it because…well, it was just a little soon to chat. But they texted us right back and said that it wasn’t them, it was Lyric that woke up from the noise of our text and she insisted on talking to us and wouldn’t go back to sleep until she did. My heart basically swelled to the size of Texas hearing that so Davin quickly FaceTimed them back so we could tell her the news.
I wish I could remember every detail of that conversation but seeing her big face on that little screen, WIDE awake and asking about her baby sister was such a gift. If I were ever to have a home birth I would want my other children there to witness what a miracle it is and I felt like Lyric knew that her sister’s birth was just that, knowing that she just couldn’t miss out on meeting her ASAP. I remember being the same way when all of my neices and nephews were born. She is truly a girl after my own heart.
Dr. McCubbin made it in time to stitch me up and help Davin bag my placenta so it could be sent off for encapsulation (more on that another day). Might I just add what a difference being in the ring (read: delivery room) for a second time made on my hubby?! He got a little bit of blood on his hands when he bagged it, put it on ice and carried around that placenta-in-a-cooler like a pro! Haha! Never in my wildest dreams could I picture him being okay with that. But seriously, his nervousness was completely at bay this delivery and thank GOD because I relied on him so much more this time. I would have crumbled to the floor and died without him, I’m sure.
While we waited to move to the maternity ward, I watched as they weighed Harlow and Davin follow her across the room just like he had done two years ago. Suddenly our entire relationship that has lead to this point was playing over in my mind. We were just kids in high school and I knew – I KNEW – I would marry him. I would tell my friends that with such confiendence all the time. After we started dating I would talk about our future together and it always involved children which, at the time, terrified him. He would humour me though and talk about what we thought our kids would look like. Dark hair and button noses were always on the list. And now here we were. My entire life I had wished for a family and I had just delivered our second daughter with a man that my heart picked out of a group of friends in a small town and refused to let go of. This point in time felt so painfully far away back then, yet ‘back then’ feels like such a short time ago. When he walked back to my bedside with her tiny little body perfectly cradled in one of his arms I looked at him and wanted to tell him everything I was just thinking but ‘we have two girls’ with the most sincere smile on my face felt like more than enough. I have never felt so accomplished in my life as the two days we brought two healthy children into the world — not as a woman, or as a couple.
There is no better friend than a sister and there is no better sister than you
We got situated in a semi-private room thinking that we would get to go home later that day. Harlow was fussy a few more times but the three of us were finally able to get some rest in a twin bed in between all of the nurses visits which are NEVERENDING, by the way. I believe at that point I told Davin our next one should be delivered at home.
Davin’s parents planned to bring Lyric to the hospital later that morning and we were so thankful they did. We forgot that they keep newborns for 24 hours to check for jaundice so we had to stay the rest of the day and that night. I definitely could not have waited until we got home to see her (and I don’t think she would have agreed to wait either). When they arrived the nurse was in our room and Jasmine was making her way up, so they had to wait a few minutes but I could hear her little squeaky voice in the hallway and I was SO EXCITED to see her. It felt like I had been away from her for months. It had only been, like, 8 hours, haha, but our lives completely changed in that time and it felt absolutely necessary to celebrate it as a family as soon as humanly possible.
I could hear her excitement as she was hopping around outside the door, but as soon as her daddy picked her up to help her wash her hands she settled and her voice got soft and low. He carried her around the curtain and our eyes locked for a brief second before hers shifted to her brand new baby sister I was holding. Mine stayed fixated on her and filled with tears. With the whirlwind that was the delivery this was the first time my emotions were able to let go. God. I was looking at and holding two beautiful, healthy girls that were all mine. She said ‘mommy! ‘s that my baby sister?!’ as Davin helped her to gently sit beside me. She kissed her instantly and couldn’t wait to hold her after she pointed out all of her little features. Her wittle eyes. Wittle ears. Wittle hands and wittle lips. It made us so proud to see her so lovingly welcome her little sister.
Davin’s parents held their newest granddaughter while Dav and I scarfed down the hospital food and the food they brought us. Lyric was entertained with toys that Davin’s mom brought for her and they were able to stay long enough to help us move over to a theme room so we could get a decent night’s sleep that surely wouldn’t have happened in the semi-private room we were in.
Once we got settled and Lyric broke the bed in with a wrestling match with her daddy, they were on their way back home. Our best friends Jordan, Michelle and their daughter Paiyton came to visit later in the day and other than that we relaxed in the queen bed(!) and watched tv(!). Then Davin ran out and got us Asian food for supper which was the easily the third best thing to happen that day.
We were released from the hospital the next morning and made it home just after 1 o’clock. Oscar met his newest little sister and Lyric made it home from a walk with her baba shortly after. And just like that we were a family of 5!
Although a natural drug-free delivery was something I fantasized about, it was definetly not the plan since I had already experienced how contractions are the furthest thing from a walk in the park. But I have to say, there are some big rewards once you conquer the Mt. Everest of physical challenges. Recovery was a BREEZE! There is obviously no need to wait for the anesthesia to wear off, no catheter to have removed and no grogginess afterwards. I felt completely myself after she was born and loved being able to get up and walk around. Because they had literally just finished putting in my IV and spinal catheter when I was ‘allowed’ to start pushing, the biggest and only annoyance was that they wouldn’t remove the IV from my arm for a couple of hours (the spinal they were able to remove right after after she was born). And I had a one degree tear that required two stitches which felt non-existent compared to second degree tearing with Lyric. I did have some major lower back pain for three weeks following delivery but that was my hips taking forever to move back into place.
Life has been busier and better than ever. Thankfully, Harlow’s first impression in the delivery room wasn’t foreshadowing for her personality, because she is the sweetest, smiliest and most content little girl who only cries when it’s required. The day you have your baby is small in the grand scheme of things; it’s just one day out of their entire lives. But to you and your partner it is a day that you will never forget for the rest of yours. It might go perfectly according to plan, or better than expected. Or! The universe could have a completely different idea of what your son or daughter’s first day on earth should look like. What matters is you are present, have open arms and are ready to carry more love in your heart than you could even dream possible.
We love you Harlow.
Birth Photography Photos by Honey Lime Photography except the photos we took below. Thank you Jasmine for capturing this incredibly special day for us. xo
This post was sponsored by Belabumbum who kindly sent me the most comfortable nursing pajama set I’ve ever owned.