Our newest member to the family + our second baby girl Aspen Joy Allegri was born on May 8th 2019 at 10:40am! She weighed 8 lbs 11 oz, and measured 22″ tall. She came out with a head full of hair, and a loud set of pipes! After a long 41 weeks and an eventful day leading up to her birth, we were so excited to finally finally meet our newest daughter and to introduce Izzy to her baby sister.
John and I are thrilled to be second time parents, that our first baby girl is going to grow up with a sister, and to experience the joy that little Aspen has been bringing into our family even before she was born.
In this post I would love to share the story of how she made her entrance into the world, as well as reveal the most beautifully captured imagery of her first few hours taken by Chanel Lynn Photography. She did my maternity photos and is also doing our in-home newborn session next week!
Just like her big sister was, Aspen was fashionably late to the world – by 1 week! Her due date started at May 9, then was changed to May 1, and at her gender ultrasound we were told “possibly April 30, but we will keep it at May 1.” She was born on May 8th 2019, so either she was a week late or a day early if we were going by her “original” due date of the 9th. I am such a planner and big on prep, so you bet we had everything as ready as we could way before her due date. The waiting and anticipation was KILLING me at 40 weeks, knowing I might have to wait longer like how it was with Izzy’s birth.
After the due date came and went and once I hit 41 weeks I was more than ready to finally meet our second baby girl – we did all the things to progress labor like eating spicy foods, walking a ton, eating all the pineapple (luckily I’m not tired of it!), you name it we tried it. With izzy, we also tried all the things but she was still 4 days past her due date…and now that our second baby was also “late” I figure for our next babies I won’t even be counting because clearly my babies like to bake in the oven for a while!
Now this is when the fun starts – steady contractions!! During the day on May 7th, we spent the afternoon walking around the Safari Park trying to get baby A to wiggle her way down. After all, at 41 weeks with barely 1 cm of dilation, I was definitely were ready for her to be out. I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever at that point, while John would joke: “like, are you even pregnant?” ..because, where was this baby?! Things get a lot harder once you’re past 40 weeks…walking, bending over, and tying shoes are pretty much comparable to running a half marathon.
I started having steady contractions during the day on May 7th at the Safari Park, which made us super excited thinking she would arrive that night! We decided to head home around 4pm, and then ended up leaving for the hospital at 645pm after they started to get pretty uncomfortably strong. My water had not broken like it did with izzy, so I didn’t know how fast or slow my labor/contractions would go without that as my sign.
heading to the hospital pt. 1
We live 50 minutes from the hospital where we wanted to deliver, and it was definitely a drive we didn’t want to have to make twice if they tried to send us home. We had izzy with us (it was past her bedtime and she was getting crazy), I was having steady and strong contractions, and my hubby had all our hospital stuff plus the stroller with izzy in it. However, our experience definitely did not go as we had hoped it would when we showed up…
The nurse who took us to the initial room where they check for dilation and monitor for contractions was surprisingly rude to us, telling me that my “story was not very convincing” enough to let us stay. I was at 1cm, I had said I didn’t think my water had broken yet, but wasn’t positive because with izzy it obviously broke and with Aspen I just felt a trickle. I was having steady and intense contractions, at exactly the timing you’re supposed to go in for, too.
This nurse then told me that my contractions “weren’t ALL measuring at the same intensity,” and therefore, she “wasn’t convinced” we needed to be admitted…and that if we insisted on staying, we would have to deliver in that room (stark, not a real delivery room, not a real “delivery bed” and nowhere for John to sleep or camp out) PLUS we would have to wait to see if there was even a doctor available for me. She continued to go on saying she didn’t believe I was in active labor, at which point I tuned her out and just wanted to leave.
You bet I was furious at that point. No expectant mama at 41 weeks with husband and toddler in tow past bedtime wants to hear or experience that especially when she’s in labor, am I right?! After her shpeel, I didn’t feel comfortable delivering there after all…sometimes you just have to roll with plans changing – birth plans included!
heading to the hospital pt. 2
On the drive back home, my contractions were getting much worse and more intense so quickly to the point where I was shaking and gripping the sides of my seat – 30 minutes after this nurse told me I wasn’t in active labor. Yeah right, not in active labor!
Right as we got to our exit I yelled at John: “TURN THE CAR AROUND RIGHT NOW AND TAKE ME TO PALOMAR!!” (which was a much closer hospital that contracts with our insurance – so I was “allowed” to deliver there but it wasn’t my first choice). There was no way I could hold on any longer for “worse” contractions! I was hoping we would have a much warmer welcome and experience than what we had at the first hospital we went to, crossing my fingers that we would be admitted.
I will say that I’ve never seen a man whip a minivan around turns and into a parking spot quite like John did that night haha! By the time we got out of the car it was closer to 10pm, izzy was a crying tired mess, John was a pack mule carrying ALL the hospital things plus pushing the stroller (like a champ), and then there was me – in labor, could hardly walk upright, pausing every 30 seconds to keel over and wait out every contraction, shaking as if it was 5 degrees outside.
Thankfully, our experience at this hospital was much different than how it went a few hours earlier. Everyone, including the receptionist, was so warm and welcoming! They helped push the stroller while John carried our things. They took me to a super nice delivery room, and made sure I felt comfortable right away. We also were admitted right away after I was told I was dilating quickly, and were told we would be meeting our baby within a few hours – the best news we had received all day!
I did an epidural with izzy and you better believe I was going to have it again with our second baby. It gives me a sense of control over my body, allowed me to relax (and even take naps), and to fully experience labor and birth with a clear mind/calm demeanor. This time around with Aspen’s birth, I could still feel my legs enough to move around on my own (with minor help).
I got the epidural around 11:30pm when I was 5cm dilated, and was so glad to be able to get some shut eye before it was “go-time.” With my first pregnancy, I was not allowed to eat or drink anything at all once I got the epidural which was rough (I was in labor for 13 hours then)…but this time around I was able to have soft liquids like jello and drink water. It was such a relief and made me feel much more relaxed and like a normal human!
a quick delivery
I started to feel the need to push around 9:30 am the next morning. It was very subtle at first, so I didn’t think it was quite time yet…but then around 10:30 am I said “okay this is it!” We got my legs up, got the doctor (I lucked out with this one – she was amazing and so nice, very warm and sweet), John held my left knee while I held the other, and after one minute of pushing (yes, ONE MINUTE), Aspen was out. It was so incredible. I pushed for 40 minutes with izzy, which felt like an eternity…so three 7-second pushes felt like cake!
I saw her reflection in the light fixture above my bed right as she came out – and of course I started tearing up right then. It’s just such a magical miracle-feeling knowing that this little life that’s been growing in your belly for so long, who you have prayed for and dreamed for, is suddenly right there looking into your eyes and needing you more than anything else in the world. Watching John’s face as she came out and how he smiled so big when he cut the cord was one of my favorite moments.
We stayed at the hospital one more night after that and went home the next afternoon with our fresh little bundle – and it’s been bliss ever since. Sure it’s been challenging at times this last week and a half, but so is any new adventure. I’m just so thankful and grateful that John gets so much time for paternity leave to be here at home with us – I don’t know how I would do it by myself without him!
Watching him be a dad to two daughters has been one of the best experiences ever. He is so gentle with Aspen, and I love watching him hold her and admire her. Some guys were just meant to be fathers – he is definitely one of them!
izzy meeting aspen for the first time
This was such a sweet moment for us as parents, to have our first baby become a big sister right before our eyes and meet her little sis just hours after she was born. The video is just priceless and so sweet! It’s saved to my Instagram highlights under “Aspen Joy” if you would want to watch it.
Izzy was beaming the entire time, and just wanted to hold and snuggle and kiss her new baby sis. She held her on her lap for a while, snuggling into her face and gently kissing her forehead. That was also one of my favorite moments to experience!
Birth stories are personal, exciting reflections of the best moments of a new mama’s life – I hope you enjoyed reading mine! In the coming weeks, stay tuned for blog posts on the following:
Going From One To Two Kids: What It’s Actually Like
Upgrading Our Diaper Bag: Packing For An Infant + A Toddler
How Our Marriage Changed After Our Second Baby
How To Get Out Of The House Every Day During The Fourth Trimester
These were my most requested topics once I started posting more on Instagram about life with two littles after we came home from the hospital – if there are other topics or things you’d love to read about here on the blog, let me know in the comments!