Number five arrived. The last kiddo, for real this time.
Maive was scheduled to arrive on 11/11. I have this thing. (I have several things.) Blaise is the 9th; Laine is the 19th. Saige is the 17th; Baby is the 7th. I’m the 16th; my sister is the 6th. See the pattern? Having a fifth threw off this pattern so I picked 11/11 since 11 is my favorite number. That was the plan. And my doctor was on board. I’m always an elective induction because I can. I’m a planner. And I don’t like surprises.
The way my hospital works is that you can’t schedule an elective induction until 10 days prior. I was at my doctor on Friday, October 25 for a standard prenatal appointment. Saige and Baby were with me. As I was lying there while he listened to the heartbeat—with assistance from the girls—I started thinking, I should have her on the 29th so it’s still kind of a pattern. Without thinking much about it, I joked with my doctor, “Can’t I just have her next Tuesday?” I was tired and done being pregnant but accepted I had a few weeks left. To my surprise, he said, “Sure! Let’s have a baby. Exciting!” And with that, he was out of the room and faxing the hospital induction paperwork, scheduling me to start Monday night (so I would have her on the 29th). I hadn’t even processed what I actually asked for, and that it was actually going to happen.
I left my appointment, realizing what was about to go down. Somewhat in denial, a little bit in shock. I called Brian and told him to get everything in order, that we were having a baby next week. He was taken aback, and not ready for paternity leave; he still had loose ends to tie up at work.
We spent the weekend waiting for a call from the hospital, telling me to check in Monday night. Nothing. That’s the thing with elective inductions, you get the boot when naturally occurring labors happen. Understandable.
Monday morning, I received an email from my doctor telling me to check in Tuesday night at 8pm. I have kiddos quick so I was still hopeful I’d have her on the 29th. Spoiler: I didn’t.
Tuesday night at 8pm, baby time. Lisa came and stayed with the kiddos while Brian and I left for the hospital. I love having babies. I love everything about the hospital and birthing experience. This time was no different.
I was 37 weeks and nowhere near any dilation. Not even a fingertip. They gave me an oral cervix softener to kick start the process. It was maybe 10pm when I took the pill. I asked for a sleeping pill so I could just sleep while I waited for my body to kick in. They obliged. I slept. I woke up around 3am and still no dilation. But I was starting to have slight cramping. I don’t do pain so an epidural it was.
They moved me to an official birthing suite, gave me an epidural, and I went back to sleep. I wasn’t making much progress. I was maybe 1cm dilated by morning with no change by 2pm. The attending doctor came in and asked me if I wanted to try some Foley bulb thing to get my cervix going. I said sure. That was it. I went from 1cm to 10cm in about an hour. Then it was time to labor down… all these terms that make no sense unless you’ve had a baby. Basically, I had to wait for the baby to get into pushing position.
It was almost 4pm and I said to the nurse I was ready to push. Even with the epidural, I could tell. That’s when it gets crazy. Everyone comes in, sets up the room for the impending bloodbath (it’s like a Dexter kill room in there) and baby arrival. I pushed twice and had a baby at 4:06pm. My doctor was there but I’m always down to let residents do the work. My doctor is a general practitioner, so he is literally my doctor and was for all my pregnancies… also Brian’s and all the kiddos’ doctor. It’s a family affair when we go to his office. The resident said that in his two years in labor and delivery, this was the easiest birth he’s seen. He actually looked bewildered at how easy it was. And the poor guy, he couldn’t swaddle a baby worth beans.
With the other four, they cleaned them up before handing them to me, as per my request. I asked them to clean her first but they don’t do that anymore, immediately putting her on my chest. That feeling when you first hold your baby, amazing. I’m not a crier so I don’t get overly emotional, but it’s a pretty wonderful feeling. And the baby just knows you are their mom. There is a sense of calmness that comes over them. Or maybe they’re just in extreme shock from going from a cozy womb to the real world. I held her a bit before they finally cleaned her and did all of her measurements.
She was 6.13 pounds. And this is terrible, but I forget how long she was. Maybe 20 inches?! And in keeping with the others, she arrived with black hair and a darker complexion. Nature’s DNA test. Brian and his Native American genes, definitely his kiddo. None of our kiddos look like me at birth.
All cleaned up and swaddled, Brian took her. I was starving. You can’t eat with an epidural. I ordered food and ate while Brian fed Maive for the first time. I don’t breastfeed. I think it’s best and fully support it, it’s just not for me… although I’ve never tried. I never knew I wanted kids but I knew if I ever did, I wouldn’t breastfeed. I like personal space—or a body bubble as Saige and Baby call it—and even more, I love sleep. Nobody wants to be around me if I don’t get enough sleep. Brian can attest to this.
She was hungry and downed almost an ounce. The nurse flipped. She only wanted her to drink a few milliliters. Eh, this wasn’t our first kiddo and Blaise downed two ounces his first bottle immediately following birth. That nurse flipped also. If they’re hungry, they eat. I also ate while the epidural wore off. It was pretty quick. I’ve always recovered from birth quickly, but this was the first time I felt amazing not long after. I was up and moving around as if nothing happened.
An hour after birth, they moved us to a postpartum room. I felt so freaking great. I was up and moving, and I even put on my regular clothes instead of the hospital gown. Granted, it was a simple maternity dress but it felt so good to feel normal. I even told the nurse I didn’t feel like I had just had a baby. I settled in and Brian took advantage of holding Maive before he left for home to relieve Lisa from kiddo duty. I love this time. When it’s just the baby and me, in the quiet and calm of a hospital room after the high of giving birth.
It was a quiet night, except for the baby in the room next door. That poor mom, her baby screamed all.night.long. Maive was quiet. She slept like crazy. I don’t wake babies to feed them; I feed them when they wake. But the night nurse—whom I really loved—asked that I feed Maive every three hours. I agreed, mostly because she was coming in every three hours to check on me so I knew I’d be woken up regardless. But that whole feed her every three hours on the dot went out the window as soon as we left the hospital.
The next day was Halloween and I desperately wanted to be home for the other kiddos, to see them in their costumes. It’s just one of those things as a mom I want to be around for when they reminisce. More with how much I love my doctor, he knew this and worked with the nurses and me to get me discharged by morning. I’m fairly certain the daytime nurse was not on board with this plan but she didn’t say anything.
They typically like to keep babies 24 hours so they can do blood work 24 hours after birth. My doctor said they could do blood work at 18 hours after birth. And before the blood work, they scrambled to get the hearing test done. She passed. Maive and I were ready to roll at 11am. Brian took Saige and Baby to school, and Blaise to DigiPen. Laine wanted to come with Brian to the hospital to get me and meet Maive.
We left the hospital to get on with our standard Thursday schedule, plus Halloween. It’s funny, I picked up Saige and Baby from school Tuesday, pregnant. I picked them up after leaving the hospital Thursday, not pregnant. Waiting for the girls, one of the moms was chatting with me and then realized my bump was gone. She said something like, “Where’s the baby?!” And I said, “In the car.” Haha. Back to regular life. Saige and Baby had ninja after school on Thursday, which is basically a time-killer until Blaise and Laine finish DigiPen at 3:15pm. We left the farm, dropped off Laine at DigiPen for her afternoon class, hit Target for a drive-up order—I didn’t have a baby blanket, the hospital doesn’t let you take one anymore—and then went to ninja before picking up Blaise and Laine from DigiPen. Welcome to the world, fifth kiddo! Maive finally made it home at 4pm, just shy of 24 hours of life. We quickly fed the kiddos before they suited up in their Halloween costumes.
The kiddos holding Maive for the first time, second time for Laine.
Halloween kiddos! Blaise and his friend before trick-or-treating, all the kiddos post trick-or-treating, and Baby who decided she was finished half-way and came home. Our neighbor made special bags for our kiddos, including the glasses with funny nose.
Life with five began. I keep saying I didn’t know I wanted a fifth until she arrived. I wasn’t super into the idea of having another, after the oops of getting pregnant (Brian has since been snipped). But I am SO happy we have her, our bonus baby. And I’m super excited to just have one baby, one toddler, one preschooler… I’ve always had kiddos in pairs so this will be a nice way to truly appreciate having one last kiddo. Although I’m fairly certain Brian would have gone for a sixth. My biggest fear is that his vasectomy will reverse itself and I’ll get pregnant at 46.
I still felt great the days after having her. I did overdo it and decided to take that Saturday as a couch day. But even still, I was up and moving some at home. I still felt pretty damn good. I had plans Sunday to go to a drag brunch with friends as a non-baby shower baby shower. I’m not an anything shower person. They offered to reschedule but I said nope. I was ready to get back into life. And Brian loves baby time so he was thrilled to just sit and hold Maive for the day. Thankfully the other kiddos are pretty self-sufficient at home, and don’t require much if we need time.
Brian has been home on paternity leave since October 30. He gets 12 weeks. This week is technically his last but he’s going to extend it another week, taking floating holidays and PTO days. He can’t get enough of us! I know he’s anxious to get back to work and programming but he says he needs more time with Maive. He is a baby person. Big time. She is going to be hit with reality when he does go back, he holds her all.the.time. I’ll need to put her down to get on with things. She’ll adjust. Eventually.
About her name. Poor Brian, I vetoed Bliss again. I think he had a feeling I would. We went with Maive (Maeve) because it fits. I never planned on being a name theme parent but here I am. Blaise, Laine, Saige, Vaile, Maive. Hence the spelling of Maive. Eh, even Sara/Sarah Kathryn/Katherine/Catherine all have to spell their names. Or you know, Brian/Bryan and Lora/Laura. No biggie. If Maive had been a boy, she would have been Ridge Harvey.
And while I didn’t get a birthday to stick with the pattern, I’m happy she arrived before the holiday season (even if just by one day). We start birthday season in July with Laine, followed by Blaise and Laine in September, Baby in October, and now we’ll wrap it up with Maive. We’ll be able to check off birthdays before the rush of the holidays.