I’m so excited to share the birth story of our second daughter, Flora James today, exactly one week from her birth. I can’t believe it’s already been 7 days since Flora was born, it’s been a sleepy, blissful week and I can’t wait for life with this sweet girl in it. You can read the birth story of our first daughter, Piper Rose here! Later this week I’ll be sharing the meaning behind her name and a postpartum update! This isn’t my best writing but I blame sleep deprivation.
Flora was born one day before her due date on 12/11/2017. Going into my labor my goal was to have an unmedicated birth but I was keeping an open mind this time reminding myself that nothing is in my control, and going with the flow is the best mindset to have. If I decided to want an epidural, I’d get one! I didn’t have one with Piper and had been mentally preparing myself for a few weeks for having a natural birth.
At my appointment two weeks prior I was 2-3cm dilated, 80% effaced and she was super, super low. I was really expecting her to be early and was relieved, since I was induced a week after Piper’s due date and really wanted to avoid that this time around. As I finished up work and made final preparations for her arrival my body was so sore and she felt so low like she would just drop out (if only it were that easy) and I kept waiting to go into labor. At the last minute I decided to stop working on December 1st, giving myself what became over a week off work to just relax and get ready — and I’m so, so glad I did this! My anxiety level was so high, since I was induced with Piper I had no experience with my water breaking, or contractions starting.
The morning before Flora’s due date I woke up really early around 5:30am and after going to the bathroom discovered I was having “bloody show”. I felt a rush of anxiety and relief at the same time! I knew that it could still be days before I went into labor but I had a feeling it was going to happen sooner than that! I quickly started cleaning and organizing before Piper woke up. I had my final OB appointment later that morning and Austin was planning to go with me after we dropped Piper off at school. We got Piper to school, and despite all of my emotions about saying goodbye to her as possibly the last time being my only child I think that adrenaline had kicked in and it was almost like a regular drop off. In the weeks leading up this day I had been preparing myself mentally and emotionally. I ran a few quick errands before my OB appointment. I saw my favorite doctor and she said she thought it was likely I’d have Flora ‘today or tomorrow’ – she was very, very low and I was 4cm dilated! I went home after the appointment and Austin headed into work. I had a few stops to make on the way home and by the time I got back it was around 12:30. I started having what I thought were light contractions shortly there after but told Austin not to come home yet, by 1:30 they were coming more regularly, around every 6 minutes but weren’t that painful so I was still unsure about what was happening. Austin decided to come home anyway and by the time he got here things had intensified a bit, they were longer and were starting to get more painful. I had started practicing different pain coping techniques to work through these in preparation for what I knew was to come. I found dropping down to a squat helped as did leaning over and holding a wall or table and swaying my hips. After an hour of the contractions being between 30-45 seconds every 5-6 minutes I called my OB and luckily they sent us to the hospital! By the time we were in the car I was having a HARD time working through contractions being constrained with a seat belt. Luckily we live close and I only had 2 contractions in the car before getting to the hospital.
We checked in quickly and by 3:30pm we were in triage being examined — I was 5cm!. I still couldn’t believe it was all happening quite this fast. We were moved to a labor & delivery room and my contractions quickly became pretty intense, I knew that transition was in the near future and mentally tried to prepare myself. I asked Austin to put on a Mariah Carey Christmas station and he laughed, not sure where that came from!! He also pulled up videos of Piper dancing to the Nutcracker that I would watch as the contractions built. I also had Austin count my breaths which I found helpful. Soon, nothing was helpful! At 8cm they asked if I wanted my doctor to break my water so I could get ready to push and I didn’t really think much of it and just said SURE! As with Piper I had the urge to push pretty quickly after my water broke and my doctor quickly got ready– I was looking forward to this part as I found it such a relief to push through the contractions of transition. After 3 long pushes, Flora James Kruse was born! We immediately got skin to skin and Austin cut the umbilical cord. She didn’t want to latch right away, but we tried for 5-10 minutes before they took her to weigh, clean her up etc. After they returned her to me she latched and nursed great. I guess second babies really do come quickly :) My parents brought Piper to the hospital after dinner and it melted my heart to see her interact with her baby sister.