Last week our little rainbow baby finally arrived after nine long months of anticipation — and she’s a girl! We’re so excited to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Winnie Theodora Kopp.
Winnie’s birth story isn’t quite as dramatic as her big sister’s. This time we made it to the hospital (much to my relief). But her birthday was not without its own twists and turns (because this is the Kopp Family that we’re talking about…we don’t do “normal”).
So last Wednesday in the early morning hours, I was lying awake in bed doing what moms do (you know, worrying and writing a “to do” list in my head). My back was bothering me and I couldn’t get comfortable. Then I felt a contraction. Followed by another one, and another one. Since Carmendy arrived so quickly, we decided not to take any chances and called my mother and told her to come over right away.
We headed to the hospital shortly after my mother arrived to watch our kids. The contractions weren’t nearly as intense as when I had Carmendy, so I was confident we’d make it to the hospital in time. In fact, as we made our way through the morning rush hour traffic, I began to think that maybe I was having false labor pains. I mean I’ve only done this child birth thing three times…what do I know? (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I have no maternal instincts.) I told Richard I didn’t think this was IT, that maybe we should turn around and go home. Since we were nearly at the hospital, Richard said we should err on the side of caution and see what our doctor said once we got there.
Well the doctor said I was 5 centimeters dilated and we were quickly sent to labor and delivery. Again, what do I know? The monitor showed I was having regular, strong contractions but I just felt irregular, mild discomfort. Apparently, after living with children for 4 years, my senses are fried and I have a high threshold for pain.
For the next few hours, I walked up and down the halls in labor and delivery. I still wasn’t feeling much pain, but there was a dull ache in my back that felt much better when I was walking. Also, I was bored and walking was more interesting than sitting in bed.
The doctor checked me again, and things were progressing pretty quickly (nothing like with Carmendy, but by normal standards). She recommended breaking my water and getting the delivery over and done with.
That’s when things got a little weird. After breaking my water, nothing happened. Nothing. Instead of intensifying as it should have, labor came to a standstill. I was nearly 10 centimeters dilated, but the pushing part wasn’t happening. The doctor stopped waiting after a while, and left us with our nurses.
My contractions were becoming increasingly painful, and my back hurt like a bitch. Yet the urge to push remained elusive.
Two hours passed. At this point I was weeping through the contractions (my pain threshold is high, folks, but not that high). In the hospital bed, on my knees and crying, I inquired about an epidural in desperation. Just as my nurse was about to go investigate the possibility of getting a quick epidural for me, I suddenly felt like I had to push. And I mean SUDDENLY. The nurse told me to wait, but I couldn’t. She yelled that the baby was “posterior” and told the other nurse to get a doctor. But within seconds, the baby was out. Richard had to catch her, since a doctor couldn’t make it to our room in time. So once again, Richard got to be the delivery man.
In the moments following Winnie’s birth, I have never felt such incredible RELIEF. I was relieved that she was alive and healthy. I was relieved that the painful labor and delivery was done. I was relieved that my dad wasn’t there to see my hoo-ha again. I was relieved that it was over, but not the end. This was the beginning. This time we would get to go home with our baby in our arms.
Winnie was born sunny side up. I didn’t know what “posterior” meant, but the nurses explained that she came out facing up. Apparently, this is rather unusual. Later I googled it while nursing Winnie in the middle of the night. I saw a lot of “more painful,” “longer,” and “increased risk” in the results. Babies are supposed to come out face down; when they are face up, they can’t “bend” to easily go through the birth canal and the hardest part of the head is against the mother’s back, making it hurt like an SOB. That’s why Winnie’s birth was so much slower than Carmendy’s. It seems like a fitting end to a pregnancy that I can only describe as psychological torture. After a difficult labor, Winnie was indeed a “sunny side up” gift.
So why did we name her Winnie?
Mostly because I like the name. It’s still growing on Richard.
The meaning of the name Winnie is blessed; peacemaking; fair and pure happiness. Such a perfect meaning for our rainbow baby — a blessing that has brought peace to our hearts.
Winnie is usually derived from Winifred, so I should also note that St. Winifred is the patron saint of virgins. Yep, patron saint of virgins. What could be better for our youngest daughter?
Her middle name Theodora is Richard’s maternal grandmother’s name. Theodora means “gift of God.”
And what a special gift Winnie Theodora is…a gift that likes to eat all night long.
So now we are over a week into extreme sleep deprivation and life with three children. It’s as crazy and wonderful as we expected. There are moments when I hold Winnie that I’m overcome with emotions; I can only sum it up as an immense happiness and thankfulness that she’s here with us, deepened by the memories of our baby that is not here with us.
At first, we thought Winnie looked like a fairer version of Carmendy. But, as the days have passed, she’s looking more and more like her bro. Her personality also seems more like Owen’s. She’s alert and obsessed with eating, a la newborn Owen. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well Owen and Carmendy have adjusted to Winnie. I felt sure that Carmendy, who’s prone to jealousy, was going to be pissed off by Winnie’s presence. But so far so good. I’m sure that will change once they are old enough to fight over toys.
Being a third baby, we haven’t taken very many photos of Winnie (ain’t no time for that). But even though she most definitely won’t have a baby book, she is very, very loved. As I told Richard shortly after she was born, I worked hard for this one. Our rainbow baby has a special place in my heart, just like Owen, Carmendy and Frances.