“Next time you two plan another major life event, could you warn the rest of us first?” We got a few reiterations of this in various words the week Madelyn was born. In true Nicole and Max fashion, our celebrations come followed by a major weather event or circumstance. Wedding tornadoes, tropical storm honeymoons, snow storm house possessions, global pandemic babies, and Madelyn’s birth preceded another snow storm. We called it too; back in May when we found out, we thought to ourselves, “baby is due in January, we’re going to summon another snow storm, aren’t we?”
I had been having contractions since around 2pm but didn’t dare jump to conclusions since I had been having prodromal labour for like 3 weeks prior to this. I swore she was going to come early, but girl had other plans. My mom was already over as the last few weeks I was sick and in pain and needed all the help I could get. Similarly with what happened with Élise, Max got home from work and things started to get real — but I still dare not hope. Dinner time rolled around and I knew it was likely. We called our midwife and got to the hospital around 11pm, got checked into our room by 11:30 and at 3:00 am on the nose, Madelyn made her appearance.
So apparently my body has a very specific baby mold template. The girls had only a 1.5 ounce weight difference, 0.7 length difference, born early morning and both born exactly on their due dates. What are the odds? Well actually, only 5% of babies are born on their due date. And I have two. Crazy. I swore early on that this one would be early, but I should have known my clockwork body would wait until her due date. I won’t go into crazy detail about my labours which are fairly boring, quiet, and full of vomit. But I’m probably one of the quietest labouring women out there.
Trigger warning; this one was quite different from Élise’s birth, which gave us both quite the scare. It all happened so fast, we don’t have many photos at all. There was all of 3.5 hours between hitting the hospital bed and her being born. My wonderful midwives, Charlotte and Kailey, caught her and put her on my stomach. That moment will never get less real. I still remember holding Élise for the first time like it was yesterday. The difference was that Madelyn was quite blue and not making much noise, which was a surprise given we had no prior signs that she wasn’t A-okay in there. The midwives brought her to the station to try to get some of the liquid out of her lungs. They quickly asked for the help of the birth unit at the hospital and Madelyn was rushed out of the room, and one cannot quite understand how scary that is until it happens to you. Lying on the bed tearing up in fear of my baby’s status, little did I know I was having a minor hemorrhage myself. I think poor Max is still recovering from his brain trying not to freak out about two major things at once.
Not too long after, they finally brought my little girl back to me, looking much better in colour and sound. Oh, the relief. I didn’t get to hold her for too long as they wanted to bring her to the nursery for monitoring. They brought me to a room and set me up with an iron IV. We didn’t get the hour-old nursing start we had hoped for, but I’m so grateful we’ve had relatively no issues after starting at around seven hours.
I naively thought it would a few hours of monitoring for the both of us and then let us on our merry way. Little did I know we’d be staying there 24 hours. Max went home at noon to refresh after no sleep and spend some time with Élise. It was long, but we would know for sure that Madelyn was stable and her body was working 100% as it should on its own. I’m so thankful for the nurses in the special care nursery that took such great care of her and put up with me visiting way too often. They even called me every time she woke up to nurse, which was special.
Max came back to pick us up and off we went to meet her big sister. I didn’t know what to expect or how much Élise understood. She would say “baby,” point to my belly and stuff my navel full of water and Cheerios, but would it mentally connect that “baby” was on the outside? It could not have gone any better. She somehow knew right away and has been smitten with her little sister ever since. She gives her unprovoked hugs and kisses and from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to bed, it’s, “baby? baby!?” Working on trying to get her to say Maddie, which hopefully isn’t super far off because “Minnie” is every second word off her tongue.
All in all, we are both happy and healthy after a little bit of a hiccupy start. Our beautiful second daughter is now three weeks old. Poor second child is already getting the delay ;) Thank you so much to everyone who has sent us cards and well wishes already.
Two under two, let’s go!
Cover photo by Nicole Fee