January 6, 2015: Lowry Farrow

***Personal Entry***

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Chad and I just welcomed our second lady into the world. I’m sitting here feeding Lowry at 1 something in the morning and although I’m exhausted, I can’t help but feel beyond lucky to be the mother of two amazing girls. Chad is now forever outnumbered by us powerful women, and he is embracing it magnificently. In my mind, I always imagined being a mother to boys. I grew up with two brothers, no sisters. I was a tomboy at heart and still kind of am today. Yet for whatever reason, I longed for at least one girl and ended up with double the beauty.

We constantly get asked about the girls’ names, so here is the scoop on baby #2. We chose Lowry maybe two weeks before she was born. Finding an unique name is a must for me, and this really makes it hard. Chad and I each had one favorite name, but we weren’t sold on either…so we scrapped them both 🙂 I found Lowry during one of my countless internet searches and loved it. A little more research showed only an author and a painter with it as a last name. After letting it simmer for only a few days, we decide that it was the one. Farrow is for my brother. His name Fletcher means arrow maker, and I had been trying to think of a way to honor him. I saw a random neighborhood in Hatteras called Farrow something, and it was perfect. F for Fletcher plus the arrow. Being an uncle is the best thing he’s ever done, and I’m so proud and thankful for the role he plays in our girls’ lives. Can it really be a coincidence that she came out with a full head of blonde hair just like Uncle Fletch?!

Two weeks later, I am finally ready to write Lowry’s birth story. It’s been a wild couple weeks but nothing compared to our 5 hour labor and maybe 2 minutes of pushing! You can read about my first birth with Beyah HERE and then prepare for a completely different story the second time around.

Everyone kept reassuring me that “the second one is always faster and easier,” to which I always replied, “I hope so!” Fast forward to somewhere around the 30 week mark and you’ll find me quickly growing bigger and more tired of being pregnant. While I greatly appreciated the honor of being able to create and grow our own babies, I will never enjoy being pregnant. I started to have some pretty significant hip pain that carried over from my last labor and quickly caused me to start sleeping in our recliner (I’m literally writing this still from the recliner). My saving grace was going to see a chiropractor, which at least continuously realigned my hips and helped me to avoid some severe pain when rolling from side to side. A huge thank you and shout out to Brent with Thrive Chiropractic. I can’t say enough about him as a person and a chiropractor.

Fast forward to the end of December and I’m feeling pretty anxious about which will come first, Christmas or baby. With Beyah being a little over 2, I hoped for babe to wait so that Beyah could enjoy everything. This was the first year that she really understood and was so excited. At the same time, I was ready to be done…

Christmas came and went with no baby in sight. We got the tree out of the house and everything ready for baby mode…and then we waited. Beyah was born at 40 weeks and 6 days so I figured it could be a while. Still, earlier would be awesome. My “due date” of December 30 came and went. No matter how much I have educated myself about birth and letting everything happen naturally, it was still a letdown to watch the days go by. With both births, I was committed to waiting for it to happen naturally and to go through labor as naturally as possible. I am extremely happy and thankful to have accomplished this goal twice.

After the 40 week mark, the subtle pressure of the medical aspect of things starts to creep in and it really takes a lot to remain confident in your body’s ability to do its job without intervention. We turned down the doctor’s offers of “getting induced on a day convenient for us when we had a baby sister lined up.” I found that line quite comical. I could use that baby sister now!

Our midwife Ashley was amazing through it all, knowing that we wanted to buy as much time as possible and push it to 42 weeks if necessary. We agreed to an NST test at 40w6d, and baby girl passed with flying colors. We turned down an ultrasound, agreeing to consider it later in the week…we never made it to that appointment.

I’ll never forget the late afternoon drive home from Elizabeth City that Monday. After a good cry at 40 weeks and then rebuilding up the strength to stand our ground at our appointment, Chad and I drove home listening to some of our favorite tunes and watching an absolutely beautiful full moon rise ahead of us. I know what statistics say, but I’m batting 1000 with this. Beyah was born on a full moon and I joked throughout my pregnancy that the second babe would come on January 5, the full moon…I ended up being 4 hours off 😉

I felt a wonderful sense of peace on that drive home. It felt like a powerful night and I felt very connected with my husband, but I did not feel any signs of labor. We got home, ate dinner, put Beyah to sleep, and I took a hot shower. Still nothing. We went up to bed (the recliner) about 10 or so. As I had been most nights in the home stretch, I was awakened by what I thought we’re Braxton Hicks contractions. It took a handful of them for me to realize that they were actually crossing that line into painful. I got up, went to the bathroom, stretched for a while, did some breathing, all while trying not to wake up Chad. I thought this could be it, or it could not. Eventually he woke up and I asked him what he needed to do if it was go time. “Take a shower,” he said, to which I replied, “go do that.” I texted Whitney telling her it’s a maybe/probably/I’ll let you know. That was maybe around 1am. Contractions quickly became close together, and we called my mom to come over to stay with Beyah. We got everything packed up, still somewhat taking our time. Crazy me wanted to “labor at home as long as possible to avoid getting in that hospital bed or being on the clock to deliver.” Little did we know…it must have been almost 3am by the time we actually left. I told Whitney it was definitely go time and her mom was nice enough to come over in the middle of the night to watch her kids (Adam was out of town for work).

As soon as we left, Chad called the hospital to let them know we were on our way and to call our midwife, Ashley. They did not. About 30 minutes later, we were nearing the Elizabeth City turn when I started to feel the urge to push. Can this really be happening?! I told Chad to call them again to make sure Ashley was called and that I had to push as soon as I got there, but again they didn’t call. I’m guessing they just didn’t believe us. With a few minutes left to drive and Chad speeding like you see in the movies with a woman in labor, I told him to get them to have a wheelchair waiting outside the door…this baby was coming. At least they listened to this request. We pulled up, and I rode the 1 minute wheelchair ride up to Labor and Delivery, during which my water began to break. It must have been a sight to see because I stood up in the room, ripped off enough clothes, and said I have to push. They sent Chad to park the car of all things, and he barely made it back. They called the other midwife on call but she didn’t make it in the next 3 minutes. A nurse told me not to push yet and to get in the bed so she could check me. I told her I didn’t want to get in the bed…still hell bent on ideal labor positions…too funny when I think back on this. Seconds later I hopped in the bed, and there she was. I pushed a handful of times at best and needed no stitches. The cord was loosely wrapped around Lowry’s neck one time, and there was a true knot in the cord as well. Neither were tight and neither affected her. She was perfect, with a head full of sandy blonde hair. My official admission time was 3:57am, and she was born at 4:01am. 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 20.5″ long. We skipped all the standard procedures in favor of her resting safely on my chest. Minutes later the other midwife Donna walked in, and joked that we didn’t need her. It was a good problem to have! Maybe 5 minutes after that, Whitney walked in and began snapping away. It would have been awesome to have her there for the actual birth, but I wouldn’t trade the quickness for anything 😉

Eventually the cord was clamped and cut, and I was still having some pretty strong contraction pains. They wanted to give me Pitocin to help my uterus contract and slow down bleeding but I opted to try and nurse instead. Low nursed like a champ, which made me so happy. Still, I kept bleeding more than usual. The nurse came back and said I really needed Pitocin, so I gave in. Low was no longer attached and I realized that it was fairly serious. I ended up losing a lot of blood and was quite dizzy and light headed for several hours. I couldn’t hold Low or do much of anything, but Chad took good care of her. We stayed in the delivery room until lunchtime, and I finally felt stable enough to sit up and switch rooms.

The nurses took great care of us and mostly left us alone to settle in with our new babe and get as much rest as possible. We were cleared to go home the next morning but stayed through lunch to take showers and eat.

The whole experience was very surreal because of how fast everything happened. There was little time for thought, no option for pain meds of any sort, and not enough pushing for severe hip pain. I feel very thankful for all three. I never even had an IV and have only taken Motrin during my recovery.

I had my placenta encapsulated once again…it unfortunately got lost in the mail, so I am just now starting it but looking forward to its benefits. Breast feeding is going unbelievably well so far. I had countless issues the first time around and made many mistakes, so this experience is so appreciated. Moms-please feel free to contact me with questions or to vent…I am no expert but am happy to share my good and bad experiences.

Since the day we came home, we’ve been overwhelmed with kindness from our family and friends…everything from home cooked meals to groceries, fruit, bread, snacks, beer, chocolate, you name it, it’s been here.

Unfortunately, through all of this, we have also been dealing with a devastating exit from this world. Fletcher and I lost our dad a day before Lowry was born, but did not find out until several days later. While I do not want Lowry’s entrance into this world to be anything but happy, it has been especially trying because of the timing. Again, we were overwhelmed with the way our friends swooped in with their amazing support. The hugs, texts, calls, cards…the company, laundry, and sending me upstairs for a nap…it has been unbelievably uplifting and we can’t thank everyone enough.

Beyah, Lowry, Chad, and I are excited to embark on our new journey as a family of four. We can’t wait to enjoy the bond between sisters that has already begun. The good days are here, and we are thankful for each one.

Check out Whitney’s blog post for more pictures of Lowry’s birth HERE!

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