Since I wasn’t blogging when I had my first two kiddlets, I’ve decided to dedicate a post to each of them, where I go through what I can remember of my pregnancy and birth experiences. I thought it fitting to release them around their birthdays, which is why Ary is first.
From the very beginning, Arya was completely different from her sister. I got really sick with her; 6 weeks of non-stop nausea. I only threw up a handful of times, but the nausea was so intense that I lived off of ginger ale and club crackers. I ended up losing 4 pounds because I couldn’t eat hardly anything. I was still nursing Eowyn at the time (just at bed time and nap time to put her to sleep), but one day I woke up and was completely dry. As if my body was saying, “This is too much! Something’s gotta give–this milk factory is shutting down!” Luckily, Eowyn handled being cut off cold turkey remarkably well. Then began the hell of getting her to fall asleep with just a binky, but that’s a different story.
After the first 6 weeks though, I was fine. Exhausted, but not sick. Except of course when it came to coffee. I could not stand the smell of my formerly beloved coffee. Tyler had to switch to instant coffee and drink it in a travel mug with a lid because brewing it would have me nauseous for a good hour afterwards. I could smell it from a mile away too, so if I was out shopping and came across a Starbucks I had to hold my breath and run past. Eating out was difficult too because you never know what the surrounding tables are going to order.When I was pregnant with Eowyn, this coffee aversion lasted through the whole pregnancy and magically disappeared after she was born. With Arya, it magically disappeared in my 6th month of pregnancy. Since I spent my days chasing a 1 year old Eowyn, I was glad to have my coffee back!
I didn’t really have any strong cravings with either of the girls. I do remember craving Fall cakes from Little Debbie and craving pears. I would go through whole bags of pears on my own. Considering all of the fatty things I could have been craving, I’m glad that it was pears. But it was kind of a weird thing to crave; aren’t pregnant women supposed to want ice cream with pickles or something?
I had a nerve thing in my left hip through most of this pregnancy that was quite uncomfortable. Sometimes when I would take a step, I would get a shooting numbness/pain down my leg. It lasted throughout the whole pregnancy and then went away after she was born. I also got dizzy spells in my last month. Some of them where so bad that I would lose my balance and run into walls. I would just have to lay down until they stopped; sometimes they lasted for over an hour.
Ary was a very active baby! She still is a very active baby. She loved to twist and turn; it was like she was doing somersaults in there. Her head didn’t engage until the bitter end (like days before I delivered), so she continued her gymnastics far after she was small enough to do it. I remember doubling over in pain in the 9th month because her twisting was so painful. Her movements made my stomach look like I was carrying an alien that was about to burst out of me at any moment. From the very beginning, she was set on doing what she wanted to do.
I had gained 50 pounds with Eowyn, and had only lost 19 pounds of it before getting pregnant again with Arya. I hate exercising and was not prepared for my metabolism to slow down after giving birth. I naively thought that I was going to be able to manage my weight the same way I always had: mainly by diet. Let me tell you–your body is never the same after having kids. Just like the little baby that is placed in your arms at the hospital, your body is suddenly a complete stranger. I had finally joined an exercise class to start firming up, and halfway through it I got pregnant (of course). I was determined to not allow myself to gain a bunch of weight the second time around, and was much better about staying away from fatty foods and staying active (having a toddler to chase helps the second part). I am very proud to say that I only gained 17 pounds with Arya. 12 pounds came off with the delivery, leaving me only 5 pounds to shed, which I did by Halloween (3 weeks).
My husband and I like to be surprised as far as the baby’s sex goes, so we never find out ahead of time. We figure that this is life’s greatest surprise, so why ruin it? We knew in our gut that Eowyn was a girl when I was pregnant with her. Since this pregnancy was so different from my pregnancy with Eowyn, we both thought with 100% certainty that Arya was a boy. I second guessed this once about a week before she was born, but then dismissed it. Everything felt different about this baby–it had to be a boy. WRONG! It was just a very different little girl.
My body likes to be super prepared for the big day, and therefore starts prep work way earlier than any of the books say is “normal”. (By the way– there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to pregnancy. It is different every time for every person. Throw your baby books away and just go with it!) My due date was October 5th, yet I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions at the beginning of August. I’m talking all day contractions for 6 out of 7 days a week. For 2 full months. I was 2-3 cm dilated and 90% effaced by mid September. My mid-wife was positive that the baby was going to come before we got to October. Yet my due date came and went and I was still pregnant.
I only went to get checked for a false alarm once; I thought that my water had broken. I know what you’re thinking, “How do you mess that up, lady?” From too much reading, that’s how. My water had to be broken by the doctors with Eowyn, so I had no idea what it felt like to have it break naturally. I read in my stupid baby book that it can be a huge gush like you see in the movies or it can be more of a little trickle if the baby’s head is low, because in the latter case, the baby’s head is kind of acting like a cork. I had been sitting on my yoga ball (the only thing that relieved the pressure) and felt a small gush. Then I continued to leak a small trickle for the next hour. Turns out that once you get towards the end, normal vaginal discharge can thin out and feel more liquid-y than usual. I felt really stupid and cried the whole way home.
The day before I was scheduled to be induced, one of my best friends came over to catch up on Dexter with me. I had been having more of those stupid practice contractions all day and was looking forward to a distraction. My in-laws (who had flown in from out of state for the birth) took Eowyn to the park and Tyler was out, so my friend and I parked on the couch and started our Dexter-a-thon. Somewhere during the second episode, I began to notice something different about these contractions: there seemed to be a rhythm to them. I noticed my friend kept looking over at me, because she was putting that together as well. The contractions were more painful once the episode was over, so we decided to try to time them. Sure enough, they were about 9 minutes apart.
Being the skeptic that I am, I still was not sure that I was finally in active labor, so I didn’t allow her to call Tyler or my in-laws back home. The last thing I wanted was another false alarm. But the contractions kept coming at regular intervals and increased intensity. Eventually everyone came back and by then I was confident in saying that I was probably in active labor. We waited until they were 5 minutes apart, and then headed to the hospital, which was a 45 minute drive. There was a whole caravan: us, my in-laws, my mom, my sister and her boyfriend, and my friend. Even though all signs pointed to this really being it, there was still a part of me that was paranoid that it was going to be false labor again. I was dreading the embarrassment of showing up to the hospital with a butt load of people just to be sent home again.
But the pain was getting worse; by the time we got to the hospital, it was difficult for me to talk through the contractions. They got me back into a room and hooked me up to a monitor and the proof was on the screen–wavy lines going up and down in a pattern; never ceasing or stopping this time. Next they checked my cervix–5 centimeters dilated. This was it! I was actually in labor! Real, active labor!
Kaiser has this policy where they force you to answer ridiculous questions such as, “After being discharged, do you intend on taking your baby home with you?” before they admit you. I wasn’t going to give the nurses a hard time about it because they were just doing their job, but that’s the last thing I wanted to do while I was gritting through intense contractions. I let them know right away that I wanted an epidural so that we could get the paperwork ball rolling for that immediately after the bureaucratic nonsense, and even though they wasted no time with any of the admission stuff, by the time I finally got the epidural I was at 7 centimeters. The anesthesiologist was awesome and hooked me up; honestly the dose was almost a bit too strong! I had handled the pain really well; never screaming or crying or grunting. Just silently breathing through it. More than once the nurses and anesthesiologist asked if I was sure that I wanted the epidural because I was doing so well. I was flattered, but did not want to let it get any worse. I wanted to be able to enjoy the baby once it was out rather than be focused on the pain.
Once the medicine kicked in, I was able to relax for an hour or so, which was nice because it was midnight. The next time they checked me I was 10 centimeters and ready to push! However, my water still had not broken. The doctor said she could actually see the water bag! I’ve come to the conclusion that my uterus is built like a tank because I don’t understand how the water bag could withstand so much pressure and stubbornly hold tight regardless. The doctor popped the bag and I pushed for 2 minutes and the baby was out!
When the doctor announced that it was a girl, Tyler and I were shocked. I couldn’t see her completely because my belly was in the way, so I asked the doctor to hold her up so I could see for myself. Sure enough–girl!
Arya came into this world angry and screaming. I remember looking at Tyler and exchanging looks of, “Oh boy–this one is different!” She screamed until they put her on my chest. Then after 10 seconds, she calmed down and instantly stopped crying. Already, our bond was strong.
Tyler and I are not the type to come up with a list of names beforehand. We just find it too difficult to come up with names for someone we’ve never met. The first name that popped into my head after the shock of realizing that she was a girl, was ‘Arya’. We are big Game of Thrones fans, and anyone else who is familiar with the story can laugh at the irony with us: she had succeeded in tricking us into thinking she was a boy. As perfect as it was, we weren’t going to set it in stone until researching the meaning of the name, because I’m really big into the meaning behind a name. It doesn’t matter how pretty sounding a name is; you have to make sure it really means something. A name sets up a child’s destiny, and it’s not something we take lightly. Thanks to smart phones, Tyler was able to Google the name ‘Arya’ while the nurses were cleaning her off. Now typically, the name is spelled ‘Aria’, which means ‘melody’. The Sanskirt version is spelled with a ‘y’ instead, and has a completely different meaning:
“Arya (Sanskrit, also ārya; Pāli: ariya) is a term frequently used in Buddhism that can be translated as “noble”, “not ordinary”, “valuable”, “precious”,[a] “pure”, etc. Arya in the sense of “noble” or “exalted” is frequently used in Buddhist texts to designate a spiritual warrior or hero.”
When we read that, we knew that that was the name for our little girl.
Her middle name, ‘Kinlie’, is a different story. One of our friends got pregnant with her first baby a month after me. Unfortunately, they lost their little girl at 12 weeks. They named her Kinlie Marie. We asked our friends if they would allow us to name Arya after her, so that her memory would live on. And so, Arya Kinlie came into the world, already no ordinary girl. At every one of her birthday parties, we’re going to display this picture in honor of Kinlie Marie.
Even though Arya was born at 1:45 in the morning, a very excited 23 month old Eowyn was still wide awake and waiting with the rest of the family for her baby. She had gotten very attached to the baby throughout the pregnancy, and despite her age, seemed to know exactly what was going on. Tyler brought her to the room alone first, so we could be a family of four for the first time.
She was completely in awe over Arya.
She just wanted to hold her all the time.
These two bring to life Jane Austin’s famous words,
“There is no greater companion than one’s own sister. “
Despite the fact that I have brown eyes and Tyler has hazel, Arya defied the odds and ended up getting Tyler’s grandpa’s blue eyes. Regardless of both of our dark brown hair, Ary has somehow ended up with strawberry blonde hair. There are relatives who have blonde hair, but no one on either side has the red note that Ary does. The name ‘Kinlie’ means, “fair haired viking”. I do not believe that it is a coincidence that God gave her strawberry blonde hair.
Arya is passionate, energetic, and certainly no ordinary girl. Although she takes a bit to warm up to new people, she loves fiercely once she lets you in. She has brought never ending excitement and happiness to our family.
We love you, Arya Kinlie! Happy 2nd Birthday, you little butt!