let me introduce you to the newest member of our family.
mira grace anima pathak.

mira decided to show up a few days early, unlike her older sister who kept us waiting. she was born friday, may 22 (due may 26) at 5:26pm, and weighed 7lb11oz.

i'm feeling so incredibly thankful and blessed to have this beautiful addition to our little family. her delivery was also an answer to prayer with no complications since there had been some concerns later in the pregnancy about the placenta being a little too low for a normal delivery. thankfully things moved to where they were supposed to be in time for her to arrive, and her arrival into the world was relatively much easier than her older sister's!

she let me know wednesday late night/thursday early morning that she might be interested in spending memorial day weekend with us with contractions that started happening about 10 minutes apart. i've never really been one to have braxton hicks, so these made me pay attention. i had a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment thursday morning, so i asked the doctor about it then. he said just time would tell me if this was the real deal or not, and i was just dilated to a 2 at that point, so not enough to indicate that i was in labor.

the contractions continued through the day, but they stayed about 10 minutes apart. my mom went ahead and came up to our place in the evening though because she was pretty sure i was about to have a baby. i still wasn't sure this was it, even though the contractions felt intense when they came. i really didn't want to go to the hospital and get sent home, so there was no way i was going until they were 5 minutes apart or less, although i was getting lots of pressure from my mom and grandma to go on in since second babies tend to be faster. i figured since my first labor was 36 hours i probably was in no rush!

finally though around 2am on friday morning the contractions became consistently about 5 minutes apart, so i agreed to go on in to the L&D and see what was up.

so we got all checked in, and the nurse checked me out and i was dilated to...a 2!!! :P ugh!! i was so disappointed. but since the contractions were steady they wanted me to stay for a couple hours to see how quickly i progressed now that they were close together. thankfully i started to dilate about a cm per hour at this point, so a couple of hours later when the on call OB came by to see me i was dilated to a 4, which was enough of a cervix change that they let me stay! it turned out to be a good thing i had come in early that day though. apparently everyone who was pregnant decided to go into labor that friday morning, and the hospital actually ran out of delivery rooms! so i got there early and got my spot. :)

around 9-10am they checked me again and said i was dilated somewhere between a loose 5 and a tight 7 (6 maybe? lol), and at that point after 2 nights of little to no sleep i was ready for an epidural. after waiting through 30 hours of active labor last time to get it, i told myself that if i was sleep deprived with this delivery that it would make no sense to wait so long this time...last time the nap i got with the epidural was the only thing that gave me enough rest to have energy for the actual pushing!

so i went ahead and got the epidural once the anesthesiologist was available, and took a glorious nap! somehow the getting to rest and relax actually seemed to speed labor along a bit. i think just being able to relax and rest did me some good. since i was steadily progressing, the nursing staff actually encouraged me not to take pitocin or anything, which i always appreciate an L&D that doesn't try to force drugs on me! that's why i love this hospital. they really try to go with your birth plan. but my birth plan this time mostly just consisted of just "get the baby out!" :)

at some point they broke my water since i was getting pretty dilated, but little girl's head was still up a bit high. they thought maybe it would help her to work her way down.

eventually i was dilated to a 10, and they tried to have me do various things to help her work her way down into a lower station, which worked somewhat though she still wasn't quite as low as they hoped by the time i was really strongly feeling the urge to push.

so they let me go ahead and push, but warned that i might be pushing awhile since she was still a little high.

however, 20 minutes later i was holding my baby girl!

most of the time i was pushing, not a lot was happening. then all the sudden on one really good push, she just came out completely!! i wasn't even crowing yet, and the doctors and nurses hadn't even set everything up! lol. everyone was pretty surprised. their guess was that she had her head at a weird angle that was keeping her up higher, but once she turned her head she just came flying out! :) i can't complain. 20 minutes of pushing wasn't bad at all compared to the almost 1.5 hours with my first!
and since this little one was a pound smaller than my first that made it feel even easier this time. not as much damage on the way out! ;)

at the end of my first birth experience i remember thinking that i never wanted to do that again...but immediately after having mira i was feeling so great that it made me a little sad that this is most likely my last one! things going so easily was kind of exhilarating. i'm thankful for what was over all a great birth experience, but most of all for a healthy baby girl!

everyone at the hospital was great and took such good care of us, and i can't say enough nice things. i had a great experience with them last time, but this time they had made some new changes that i really appreciated. like giving 2 hours of skin to skin time immediately after delivery!

so far mira has been a joy. of course she has her moments like any newborn, but she seems overall to be a pretty laid back gal.

we had a short list of names, but were still undecided about which one it would be when she was born. however, jia was set on the name mira, which seemed like a good fit for this little one once we met her. the indian meaning for mira is ocean, and she definitely reminds me of a tranquil sea...most of the time. i also loved the latin meaning...full of wonder. she's our little miracle.
her middle names are after her great grandmothers.

and she is simply adored by her big sister. this is such a special little season in our family...i wish i could just press pause on time and savor this sweet moment!

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