The biggest thing being that we found out we were going to be having another baby boy and he arrived on February 27th! (2 days before my birthday!)
His name is Harrison Thomas and he was born at 4:59 in the morning, 9lbs 1oz, 22inches long.
Finding OutWe had plans to go to the zoo and I took a pregnancy test right before I left. Like RIGHT before we left... like I didn't really have enough time to wait the 3 minutes to see what the result was. I had about 1 minute (because hand hygiene) in which time I could see a very faint blue positive line. I thought: maybe I was but maybe I wasn't. And we left for the zoo.
We had a great time at the zoo (mostly) and Abe LOVED all the rocks.
The train ride? -we weren't so sure.
But have you seen these rocks?! :-)
2 year olds. What do you expect!
So we got home and I found a more clearly-positive pregnancy test in the trash.
Another pregnancy test later, I was sure this was the real deal. Michael didn't know I was taking these tests (I kinda like keeping him in the dark about these things) so I had an opportunity to surprise him. The next day was Fathers Day so I wished him a Happy Father's Day by holding up the positive pregnancy test. Big hugs, lots of excitement.
As the pregnancy progressed I was just so sure we were having a girl based on how different I felt compared to last time. Wrong. Another boy!
We were so excited that Abe would be getting a little brother!
As the due date approached there was discussion about his size. With the tearing I had with my last delivery (3rd degree) and the estimated size of this baby (he was measuring 2 weeks ahead for head circumference and about 9lbs when I was 38 weeks), my doctor offered to induce me. I wasn't super excited about being induce (again) but knowing that I would likely be overdue like I was with Abe and possibly tear again, we agreed to go ahead with the induction.
Labor & DeliveryInduction with Pitocin started at 8am and went very slowly. Harrison was still pretty high so my contractions were not really painful until after the Doctor broke my water around 8pm when I was 4cm dilated. So Michael and I had a very boring day of walking, TV, podcasts, repeat. Then once my water was broken, contractions really started to progress and intensify. Epidural was in around 1am. Boy was I was ready for it! One hour later I was nearly 9cm. And another hour later I was 10 cm. The doctor wanted me to "labor down" which just meant that, since I had an epidural, I could just rest and allow my contractions to bring Harrison down further into the birth canal. When the nurse came in to do some "test pushes," she quickly stopped me or else she was going to be delivering him right then and there. Once the doctor came, 1.5 pushes later and he was born!
1st time vs 2nd timeI debated on whether or not I was going to share his birth story, but the reason I wanted to share was to say that even if you have a tough first labor, it doesn't mean that your second will be that way. With Abe I pushed for 2.5 hours only to deliver with vacuum assistance and a 3rd degree tear. This time I pushed for maybe a minute and would not have torn at all except that Harrison's hand was up by his face when he was delivered and his elbow cost me a 2nd degree tear. But let me tell you from experience, there is a HUGE difference between a 2nd and 3rd degree tear. I was feeling better *down there* in a matter of a few weeks instead of a few months.
So I'm incredibly grateful for how this labor went in comparison to the last one.
As far as comparing postpartum periods, overall, the 2nd time around was so much easier.
I have enjoyed the confidence that comes with having done this before. I initially planned on breastfeeding for 3 months before switching to pumping but plans changed. About a week after Harrison was born, I was rushed to the ER with postpartum hemorrhaging. I lost so much blood that my blood pressure was bottoming out and I was unable to sit up without getting pretty faint and nearly passing out. The severe lightheadedness only lasted about 8 hrs and then got better as they pumped me full of fluids, but it was long enough to have to give Harrison a bottle and he struggled latching after that. I didn't fight it, I just switched to pumping exclusively and we haven't looked back since.
And that's what I mean about confidence. I didn't even hesitate. I just did what needed to be done for both me and Harrison. I didn't guilt myself into forcing breastfeeding when I didn't really need to. ...When I knew that pumping would work for me. I'm so thankful that I could switch to pumping with no problem and could still provide Harrison with breast milk.
About HarrisonBefore Harrison was even a twinkle in his daddy's eye ;-), we were praying for him. We would nightly ask Abe what he would like to pray for and every time he would say "Baby!" So every night we prayed for "all the babies", including any that would come into our family. Once we found out I was pregnant, we started to pray more specifically for our baby. I prayed that God would give us EXACTLY who we needed in our family. And it's so fun to see how he is already answering that prayer, and will continue to do so.
Harrison's NameWe chose his name as a nod to Purdue University, our Alma Mater and a very special place for Michael and I. At Purdue, there is Harrison Street and Harrison Hall and Harrison High School. These are all named after Benjamin Harrison who was on the Board of Trustees and the 23rd President of the United States. We loved that we could name him something that signified a place that means so much to us. Purdue is where we started our careers, grew in our faith, made life long friends, got married, and started our adult lives together. His middle name , Thomas, is after my dad. (If you remember, Abe's middle name is Mark, after Michael's dad.)
Abe's Big Brother RoleAfter people ask how Harrison is doing, they always ask about Abe and how he's handling his new role as big brother. My answer is always: Great! We really couldn't expect any more from him. He LOVES his baby brother. He'll come up to him and put his hand on Harrison's cheek and smile. "Hi baby Hairless." That's how he says Harrison. So sweet! I'm sure it will change as Harrison gets older and starts to get into Abe's toys but for now, they couldn't be any sweeter together.
Thanks so much for all you well-wishers and for sharing in our excitement. We couldn't feel more blessed to have these two boys in our lives.