The natural follow up to Bean's birth story is of course, Pinga's. "Pinga" by the way, is the name of the baby sister penguin on the claymation show "Pingu", which Bean was obsessed with during my pregnancy. We decided to call the baby Pinga, even before we knew it was a girl - we lucked out. Anyway, the plan was to have her the end of February, and the only thing I was really concerned about was whether or not she would come on my birthday, which is on the 25th. As we all know however, sometimes things don't always go as planned.
On February 1st, I had a routine prenatal appointment where I was told that the baby was measuring on the small side. As a precaution, I was sent for a non stress test and told to make an appointment for a growth ultrasound the following week. At the non stress test, I was told that I would have to show up twice a week for these tests until the end of my pregnancy. As I didn't believe anything was wrong with the baby, I was more irritated with this than anything else. There was an interesting tidbit revealed at that test though, and that was that I was having contractions pretty consistently every six minutes. This was news to me, but apparently that's what the handy little machine said. I was then sent to a doctor to have my cervix measured. I was only one centimeter so I was sent home.
Fast forward two days later...on February 3rd, I was rudely woken up at 3am with annoying pregnancy pains. When the pain started occurring every ten minutes I started to wonder. Could the baby really be coming almost a month early? Good thing the crib arrived yesterday, even though it wasn't set up yet. And that darn hospital bag! After being caught unprepared last time, I had started packing it but I thought I still had a month to get that ready. Like last time, I hastily shoved a few things in the bag all the while growing more and more uncomfortable. Calling the hospital was the same old story - "You're probably not in labor blah blah..." which actually made me doubt myself. Was I overreacting? I wasn't due for another month after all. I decided to let hubby go to work while I figured out just how much pain I was in. Half an hour after he left, the contractions (if that's what they were) went from being ten minutes apart to two minutes apart. I called hubby. We dropped Bean off at a good friend's house and headed for the hospital. I didn't arrive in quite the same dramatic fashion as last time, but I was in a good deal of pain. Everyone commented on how well I was handling it, and I could only think of how much worse the pain had been last time. This time I was seven centimeters dilated and once again, whisked off to the delivery room. Time for a picture:
I may look happy and relaxed, but I was really freaking out and totally in pain! At least I was coherent enough this time around to ask politely for an epidural. They also had to give me antibiotics because the results from my Group Strep B test hadn't been read yet. Therefore, I was left waiting there for four hours while the medicine kicked in. Finally, it was time to break my water and start pushing. Pinga came out alot quicker than Bean did, and at 4:46pm I had a gorgeous six pound baby girl. Ironically enough, she didn't come on my birthday but on my mother's instead.
Oh, and that mildly scary thing that happened during Bean's pregnancy that I said I would tell you about? The same thing happened with Pinga. Very few people know this, but my 20 week ultrasound showed the presence of an echogenic focus (EIF), or bright spot on the baby's heart. It's usually nothing to worry about, but it is a soft marker for Down Syndrome so of course I was terrified. With Bean I opted to do an amniocentesis to ease my fears. With Pinga, I actually saw the mark there myself during the ultrasound but when I questioned the tech, she said she wasn't allowed to say anything. I had to wait two days for them to call me and tell me what I already knew. This time I didn't do the amniocentesis, and tried to put it out of my mind for the remainder of my pregnancy. Needless to say, I have two adorable and healthy children. I'm one lucky mama.