Lua’s birth story:
I was several days past my due date of June 13th and doing everything I could to keep myself from going crazy. Prenatal yoga, lunch and shopping with my mom in the Mission, a hike with Josh on Mt. Sutro and climbing the 300 mosaic stairs on Kirkham and 15th, floating in the pool at the Nob Hill Spa… but Miss Lua was taking her sweet time. Just like her older sister, Lua Magnolia was born 5 days past her due date. And once again I went into labor at 2am!
I had been having regular contractions for two days actually but these were finally the real deal. Josh’s mom and sister had been spending the night at our apartment for several nights, ready to watch Tilly if we had to up and leave. When the time came, we packed up a few things and were at the hospital by 3am. I labored in triage for about an hour before the doctor saw me and at that time I was finally admitted to a labor room. We were prepared with an extensive playlist for the labor but when the time came, all I wanted to listen to was Haim… I guess I needed some girl power to get me through. With Tilly I felt most of my contractions in my back but this time it was all in my lower abdomen. Josh compressed my hips during each contraction and the pressure really helped. Still, I requested an epidural as soon as I could. I had been throwing up, sweating profusely, and shaking from the adrenaline… As soon as the epidural hit I was so relieved! The nurse brought me a Popsicle and I just chilled out, it was an incredible relief.
By 8:30 I was dilated enough to start pushing! Even with the epidural, I could feel the top of my belly tighten with each contraction so I intuitively knew when to push. UCSF is a teaching hospital, so there were a ton of people in the room at that point. My mom was there, crying tears of joy from the corner, plus the midwife, two residents, two nurses, and one very fragile-looking undergrad watching from the corner… They got her a chair part way through the labor, I think she was about to faint! All of the doctors and nurses were women and each of them was totally beautiful. I swear, it was like I was on a TV show or something, they were all young and gorgeous and brilliant. I had to hold off pushing through a few contractions because the midwife got pulled away to another birth, but all in all I think I only pushed 5 or 6 times, and out she came at 9:33! Wow, the feeling of cathartic relief after Lua left my body was incredible.
She was 7lbs 12oz and 19.5 inches long. They set her on my chest immediately and Josh got to cut the umbilical cord! He didn’t get that chance with Tilly so he was pretty psyched. Oh my goodness what a gorgeous baby she was! That full head of hair, it must have been an inch long! I felt like she was ready for preschool the moment she was born. She nursed immediately, for a full hour. At 10:30 Tilly came in and we were a family of four for the first time! I’ll never forget the adoration on Tilly’s face when she saw Lua. “She’s soooo cute!!” The brilliant nurses brought Tilly some celebratory ice cream as a gift from her sister, it was so sweet.
My dad and Jolynn, Kyle and Kate, Will, Rachael and Westley, and Josh’s family all visited us in the hospital the next couple of days. Just as we were about to go home I developed a pretty bad headache that turned out to be a spinal headache from the epidural. It lasted for 3 days and the only way to make it go away during that time was to lay completely flat on my back. A pretty strange and annoying phenomenon to say the least!
We’ve been home now for 2 weeks and Lua has been super easy going. The hardest part for me has been breast feeding – it just made me miserable and I stopped after about a week. Lua lost 12.5% of her body weight within the first week (normal loss is 5-10%) so we started supplementing with formula pretty early on. I’m happy to say at her 2 week check up today, Lua had reached her birth weight again! Now she (and I) can sleep for four hour stretches at night – Yahoo! My body has recovered remarkably fast compared to last time. I swear, after birthing Tilly it hurt to walk for weeks, but with Lua I felt pretty normal from the moment we came home from the hospital. And I don’t really know how it’s possible, but I’ve lost 22 lbs since giving birth two weeks ago, with virtually no effort. Our bodies are incredible, to say the least.
Josh is home with me for paternity leave through the end of this week, so I really need to soak it up. He has been taking Tilly to school in the mornings – it’s going to be a lot harder when I have to get all three of us out the door on my own! I’m glad we’re easing into it.
A lot of people have asked us where we got the name Lua. I think it’s funny that it really does sound like a normal name to me, but it doesn’t have entries on the popular name websites like nameberry.com or babynames.com. The name comes from a Bright Eyes song that Josh and I really loved when we started dating. It’s kind of a sad song, but it’s really beautiful and symbolizes that special time in our lives. I’ve had the melody stuck in my head the last two weeks, I just love it. It also means “moon” in Portuguese, which I think is a perfect complement to the sunshine baby shower we had for Tilly. They’re like yin and yang, opposites but perfectly balanced – kind of like me and my own sister actually. And a magnolia is my favorite tree, although the name may also be subconsciously inspired by our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Magnolia Gastropub. I love to sing “Sugar Magnolia” by the Grateful Dead and “Miss Magnolia” by Matt Costa to her as I sway her to sleep each night.
This weekend we’re going on a little trip to Discovery Bay for the Fourth of July, and we also just booked a flight to San Diego at the end of this month for Josh’s cousin’s wedding (Tilly’s the flower girl!). Life rolls on, even after such life-altering events. But now it’s a little sleepier and a lot sweeter!