-an unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing.
That is the best way to describe my second child.
After my first child Crew was born, my husband and I were very emphatic that he would be an only child. We were so happy with our little guy that we couldn't even imagine adding anything or anyone else to our happiness. Every time someone would ask us when he was going to have a little playmate we very kindly said, "NEVER!" We both knew how lucky we were to have such an easy, happy, calm baby. He slept through the night very early on and he was that kid that we just took along with us wherever we went. We didn't let having a baby change our lives. He made being parents...easy.
I will honestly say that I didn't believe it would be fair to have another baby. Most moms have their first baby and say that they can't wait to have more. That wasn't me. I was so in love with him that I couldn't imagine my heart growing any more than it already had. I felt like the Grinch...my heart had already grown 3 sizes too big. How could it possibly grow any more to love another child?
On February 22, 2015 came surprise number 1:
A positive pregnancy test.
My reaction can pretty much be summed up in this quote:
" If I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now."- Chevy Chase, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
I was terrified. My recovery with Crew was awful. He weighed over 9 pounds. That is not something I ever planned on doing again in this lifetime. I can honestly say that my fear took away from my happiness. If I had another recovery like I did with Crew how would I take care of a toddler AND a newborn? I couldn't even take care of myself. I was afraid that Crew would be jealous. That he wouldn't like the new baby. I was afraid I wouldn't love the new baby as much as him.
On May 9th 2014 came surprise number 2:
Daniel has always wanted a little girl. He grew up in a family of all boys. He always said he thought it was impossible for him to have a little girl. Why? Maybe because he wanted one so badly and maybe because he comes from a family of all boys.
I also grew up in a family of all boys. I am the youngest of four. I was a tomboy. I had THREE older brothers so I had to learn to hold my own at a young age. I was also a bully. I will admit it! I was rough and tough and not girly at all. My mom was hoping for a little girl for so long. Then I was born after 3 boys and 3 miscarriages and 10 years after my brother. I am sure I was not quite what she had in mind. I was ALWAYS in trouble. I never owned a Barbie doll. I was more interested in playing with the neighborhood boys and swimming in the creek than I was tea time and princesses. I never watched Disney movies. I was the girl that got spanked at school! Who gets spanked at school?! I did! I was downright BAD. My brothers always told me that someday I would get my punishment in the form of my own little girl. Well, Crew was born and I thought I was safe.
When I found out that we were having a girl I was definitely surpirsed. I was scared. I have 3 brothers, I married into a family of 4 boys, I had my own little boy. I thought I would be the mom to all boys. I remember thinking What would I do with a girl? I don't know how to braid!! I need Disney Princess 101!! I love having a little boy. He is so easy. Will she be born a diva?! Will she cry all of the time and I won't love her as much as Crew?
One thing I knew for sure, was that if I had a little girl she was probably going to be like...me. (GASPS) It was a scary thought. So when it came time to start planning her nursery I had this plaque made for her:
My little girl will be little, yes. But she will be fierce. She will stand her ground, she might seem abrasive and bossy at times, but underneath it all she will have a big heart. A big laugh. She will probably be accident prone, but again that will make others laugh and she will always have the best stories. She won't be that girl that fades into the background. She will never settle for mediocre. She will love fiercely and she will never settle for less for herself or those she loves.
On October 23rd 2013 came surprise number 2:
It was 4:00 in the afternoon and I was 10 days from my due date. I was terrified of having another big baby and I knew if I went early that might help the situation. I felt contractions coming on and I knew from a previous doctor appointment that I was already over 5 cm dilated. Since Daniel had to go in for night shift that night I knew it would be a good idea to make sure baby wasn't coming that night. I didn't want to chance it with my luck. I can only imagine baby coming too fast and me delivering her by myself with a toddler assisting.(although that could have made a REALLY good blog)
When I got to the hospital at 5:30 I was at 6 cm but not showing signs of active labor. I was too progressed to go home, but not enough that they could admit me. So I walked the hospital until 8:30. I was still not making any progress so the midwife asked if I would like to be admitted and she would break my water to see if it would get things going.
I had already made up my mind that this birth was going to be on MY terms. All natural, no iv fluids, no induction, no pitocin, no nothing! I agreed to let her break my water, but that was it. By the time I got admitted it was 10:15. She broke my water at 10:30 and within minutes I was in hard labor. I paced the room the entire time. I bounced on the birthing ball. I thought I was going to die. The song Ring of Fire was playing in my head. That's what unmedicated childbirth felt like. A ring of fire. At 11:50 pm I called for the midwife to check me because I couldn't imagine the pain getting any worse. I felt like baby was coming. She told me I was at 8 cm and it was probably going to be a while before baby came. I kept telling her that I felt like baby was coming NOW. While Daniel and the midwife were discussing epidurals(like I wasn't even there) I said I had to go to the bathroom. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom and the nurse followed me and waited outside the door.
I sat on the toilet and thought I was going to throw up. But instead a noise came out of me that still haunts me to this day. I know everyone in the hospital heard it. It was an excorcism like scream and I did it twice and when I looked up Daniel, the midwife, and the nurse were standing at the door and their faces had turned white. According to Daniel's recount of the story, he walked in and I was standing up and he saw a head between my legs.
The midwife told the nurse to get the rapid response team. When the nurse came back in she grabbed me and pulled me on top of her and fell down on the floor. We were blocking the door so the rapid response team just sat behind us and watched. Daniel and the midwife were between me and the shower. One more push and baby was born right into Daniel's arms. On the bathroom floor. No gloves, no scrubs. Cali Larke Patel was born at 11:58 p.m. She weighed 7.7 pounds and 20 inches long. She was born exactly 7 minutes after the midwife entered the room to check me and 1 minute after she told me it was going to be a long time.
That little girl was in a hurry. Of course she was going to have a dramatic entrance into the world! She's my daughter isn't she?!
I walked back to the bed. My baby was born on MY terms this time. No drugs, no IV fluids, no pitocin, no epidural, She was born on the bathroom floor into her Daddy's arms and it was crazy and hectic and emotional and beautiful and perfect. Just how a daughter of mine should be born. With a story.
After I got back to the bed I finally got to hold her. She was beautiful and perfect and boy oh boy did she have great hair!
Surprise number 4: I wasn't expecting Cali to be such a sweet happy baby. She was just as easy as Crew. I wasn't expecting Crew to love her so much. He has never shown one sign of jealousy since she has been born. She fit into our family perfectly and as cliche as it sounds she completed it.
Start to finish this little girl has been the biggest surprise of our lives. She was the best surprise.
And the biggest surprise of all? I never thought I would love this little girl so fiercely.