Dear Baby Princesses,

I can't believe my littlest princess is almost 11 months old.

Before any more time passes, I want to share with you BP2's birth story. I am sorry that it's taken me so long to do it, but rest assured that I remember the important parts pretty well.

My due date was Tuesday, July 2, 2013 and I was convinced that I was going to have a July 4 baby. The previous Saturday, June 29, we spent a nice portion of the afternoon at Baby N's first birthday party. It was a great time; it had been a while since we had seen everyone, and it was nice to get together. As is always the case at their house the food was excellent and I was glad that I didn't hold back; as it turned out, I wouldn't get to eat dinner that night.

We came back to the house after the party and I believe we just took it easy for the rest of the afternoon.  We didn't have any real plans for Saturday night, so Daddy and I were sitting with BP1 while she ate a light dinner, and then we likely would have put her to bed, and gotten into our pajamas for a night on the couch.  I got up from the table to get something else for BP1 - I want to say it was more milk - and then I felt an extra hard contraction followed by something soaking through my underwear.

I'd been having contractions here and there for a few weeks at that point, but I knew this one was different.  I thought my water might have broken (I learned later that it hadn't, but since my water hadn't broken with BP1 either I wasn't sure what it was supposed to feel like).  So I called the doctor, who told me that it sounded like I should at least come in to be checked.  We called Uncle B, who had just sat down to dinner, and told him to go ahead and eat but please come over to take care of BP1 after that.  In retrospect, the timing could not have been better; I took a quick shower and was able to get BP1 ready for bed and even read her a quick story.  We were so glad that her routine didn't have to be interrupted, but that she saw Uncle B right before bed so it wasn't a surprise when he was there the next morning.  By the time he arrived I was pretty sure that this was not a false alarm, and was ready to get to the hospital.

And off we went, BP2, timing the contractions in the car.  I want to say it was close to 9pm at that point, and we were grateful that the roads were nice and clear.  I told Daddy in the car that the goal was to be far enough along to get the epidural, but not so far along that you would be born before midnight (at which point we would essentially lose that second night in the hospital).  We arrived and this time I knew the drill - I did my best to insist on being checked quickly, since I feared that I would have to spend time walking around the way I did with BP1 and I wanted to get things going right away.  But in your case, you were more eager to get out, so I was already well dilated and as soon as they got a bag of IV fluids into me, I was able to get the epidural.  It didn't make the pre-epidural time any less painful, but at least it was shorter than it was the first time around.

Once the epidural kicked in I prepared myself for several hours of waiting and (hopefully) resting.  But then the doctor came in (the same doctor that delivered BP1, incidentally).  She took a look at me, broke my water (then I realized the difference) and told me that she was going to fill out some paperwork.  She estimated that I would be ready to push in a few minutes

I was shocked by that but remember the moment of excitement when I realized I was finally going to get to meet you!  Then I almost got impatient because I truly couldn't wait.  The doctor came back in and I pushed a couple of times .  .   . and out you came.  I suppose it doesn't get any easier than that!  I asked what it was, and the doctor put you on my belly, face up, and asked "What is it, Dad?"  "It's a girl!" he told me, and I hugged you tight as you screamed at the top of your tiny little lungs.  It was an amazing moment in my life and I feel so grateful for it.

You were born at 12:38 am, perfect timing once again.  By the time they got you all cleaned up and checked out, and got all of us moved into a regular room, it was probably after 5 am.  Daddy went to sleep there for a few hours, and then went home to find BP1.  She'd been having a lovely day with Uncle B, Aunt J and W - apparently they took her for brunch and couldn't believe how much she ate (can't imagine where she gets that either).  Grandma and Grandpa M came to see you that day, and they were there when your big sister came to meet you for the first time.  She was a little overwhelmed at first, but tentatively happy to see you (and very happy to get lots of "big sister" stickers).  Every day since, she's grown to love you more and more.  I think it's safe to say she truly doesn't remember life without you.

I love you, my smallest baby princess.  Thanks for letting me be your mom and bringing us smiles every day since your first.



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