Once she and I were stabilized by the paramedics, we rode together in a hundred-degree ambulance to the nearest hospital (since there was no warmer, the temperature of the entire cabin had to be adjusted to keep Amelia warm). It was not the hospital I had planned on giving birth at, but luckily, it was the same hospital at which I gave birth to her siblings, so at the very least, it was familiar.
It was full of familiar faces, as well. The on-call obstetrician when I was brought in was one of the same doctors who oversaw my overnight stay at Virginia Hospital Center exactly one month before, when it was feared that I was in pre-term labor. (The next day, I ran into the same OB who delivered Abby 2.5 years ago, and on my last day, I was assigned one of the same nurses who was involved in my care after Michael's birth.)
It was lovely to see her again, but not so lovely to be examined by her. I'd been bleeding quite a bit in the ambulance, and had a rather impressively-sized blood clot appear shortly after my arrival that got everyone a bit concerned. She had to perform a pretty intrusive exam to rule out lacerations and hemorrhaging which was so grueling that I quickly acquiesced to her offer of morphine. Not that it helped much- it proved more of a distraction than anything.
Ultimately, everything looked good, though I had to get a shot of methergine, and some follow-up oral doses, just in case.
In the meantime, Amelia was getting weighed, measured, and cleaned up.
When Tom arrived (he had followed behind in his own car with our bags and things), my exam was just finishing up, and Amelia's was just beginning.
This is what her tiny, adorable feet looked like before they got pricked and prodded all over for the blood draws required to test her white blood cell levels.
Because I was considered a carrier for GBS this pregnancy, and did not receive any antibiotics during labor (for obvious reasons), there was some concern that I may have passed infection on to Amelia. Unfortunately, her blood had to be checked a few times to rule out the possibility, and her heels had to be pricked each time to collect it.
Poor Abby had a similar experience, for a different reason. Due to her size, she had to have her glucose levels monitored. Michael was largely spared; he was pricked only once for the obligatory PKU test.
Finally, both of us were allowed to rest and reunite.
A little later in the day, Mei Mei came by after work.
Amelia spent most of the afternoon and evening sleeping, though she did occasionally open her eyes to look up at me...
... before falling asleep again.
Sadly, sleep did not come so easily to her overnight. She had a rough time of it, trying to expel the fluid from her stomach that did not get pushed out during her birth, due to the speed at which she flew out.
I held her to my chest for as long as I was able, since being on her back seemed to upset her stomach, but eventually I grew too sleepy and had to send her off to the nursery for a couple of hours. Of course, during that time, I couldn't sleep, and logged probably a half-hour for the night, sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 in the morning.
At around 6:00, Amelia got her first bath, and was rewarded with a new pink hat and a nice, tight swaddle. She was very patient as her hair was scrubbed clean, but turned a pretty impressive shade of red once she got wet. I think she didn't much like feeling so cold.
What followed was quite the busy day, which- once again- Amelia attempted to sleep through.
Her siblings didn't mind, though. Abby was ecstatic to meet her. I had wondered how well she would understand that Raspberry was a baby, and that that baby was Amelia, but she truly seemed to have put it all together.
Michael was excited as well. A little too much so. We definitely have some work ahead of us to do, training him in the art of gentleness.
And I was amazed, as I held Amelia throughout the day, to behold the constant changes in her face as the swelling slowly went down.
Her features were really starting to reveal themselves.
Auntie Lisa came late in the day, and though I was a pretty poor hostess, she was a lifesaver. She calmed a fussy Amelia and kept her sleeping so that I could catch a quick (and much-needed) nap while Tom ran to pick up some non-hospital-provided dinner.
As a result, I had just enough energy to get a blog post in (despite the frustratingly slow WiFi) before crashing. It killed me to have to send Amelia off to the nursery twice, but I also knew that it was my last chance to take advantage of the extra overnight help that I had at my disposal.
By the next morning, Tom and I were absolutely itching to get home, though we were thankful to have had the extra night.
He still took some time to grab some snuggles with Amelia while I grabbed a shower and put on real clothing for the first time in a couple of days.
Just look at all of that hair! She definitely has more than Abby or Michael did at birth. Honestly, she has almost as much as each of them do now. Maybe that's why my heartburn was so intense in the last month...
Granda came by after lunch to help us get packed and out the door. Amelia snoozed in his lap while I began to gather up our things.
Afterwards, I tried to fit in a last-minute photo shoot, but Amelia was not on board with that plan, so I had to cut it pretty short.
Even the pretty pink bow-hat didn't cheer her up.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
She wasn't too happy on the ride home, either, initially. I feared that she might prove as poor a traveler as her brother, as she resumed wailing at every red light.
Eventually she found her groove and fell asleep, and it was smooth sailing from there on out.
And then we were finally home, though -as Tom reminded me- not actually for the first time. Home is where it had all begun, after all.
Big Sister Abby made sure to give Amelia a very special welcome anyway.