On October 4th at 11:53 a.m., Regan Emma Laine Shaver came into the world at 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and 18 1/4 inches long.
(Photos by Alisha Rudd Photography)
It was absolute love at first sight. Seeing her face for the first time instantly transported me back 6 years ago to when I saw her sister for the first time too. There is no doubt that they are twinning!
Robert and I have somehow developed a “thing” for Shakespeare, which is where her first name came from. Since I am a former English teacher, I’ve always had a love for Shakespearean plays. He was one of the first writers in history to ever make a female character the hero in literature, after all. 😉
Robert and I got married on April 23, which is Shakespeare’s birthday. Olivia’s name was invented by Shakespeare in one of my favorite plays, Twelfth Night. So when we were juggling around baby names for this second babe, I looked up a list of female Shakespearean characters, and the name Regan, from the play King Lear, was our favorite of all.
Her middle names Emma and Laine came from my great-grandmother’s middle name (Emma) and my and my mother’s middle names (Elaine). And her initials, RELS, ended up being the same as Robert’s.
I’m so amazed how different her labor went in comparison to my first with Olivia. Around midnight – early Wednesday morning I woke up to my water breaking and thought I had peed the bed. Haha! I had absolutely no signs of labor leading up to that.
With Olivia, it was totally opposite. I labored for 16 hours at home with the most awful back labor contractions, hardly any progression, and not one sign of my water breaking.
But this time, once I was sure I hadn’t actually had an embarrassing wet-my-pants-pregnancy-moment, I called my midwife, and Robert and I practically danced our way to the hospital where we were admitted at 5:30 a.m. I had barely the slightest twinge of a contraction and was laughing through it all.
As soon as we got into my hospital room, they started me on pitocin, and the smile on my face went away REALLY quickly. I remember telling my nurse what a total wimp I am when it comes to pain, and that I would be ready to start an epidural as soon as I got uncomfortable.
After an hour of fast progress, I was begging for the epidural, but the anesthesiologist was so backed up, that he couldn’t get to my room fast enough.
I progressed from 2 cm to 9 1/2 cm in 3 hours without any pain meds, and I remember praying during every single contraction just begging God to help me through them (and also cursing Eve a little bit because that chick really ruined this baby birthing thing for all of us).
I don’t know how I would have made it if Robert and my mom weren’t in the room encouraging me through the contractions.
20 minutes before it was time to push, the anesthesiologist arrived to give me an epidural, but it ended up only working on one side of my body. I still felt everything.
But once I realized there was no way out, that this was my reality I had to accept and there was no giving up, I hit an adrenaline rush. I’ve never felt so determined, so empowered, so strong in all my life. And in a matter of 5 pushes, our beautiful, healthy baby girl was born. I immediately forgot all about the pain.
The hospital room around me buzzing with nurses and doctors was a blur. And all I cared about more than anything was this warm, squishy ball of a baby lying on my chest, who was screaming to high heaven. It was the greatest sound in the whole world.
In the middle of all of that immense pain, I wanted to be mad. I wanted to scream (and okay, maybe I did towards the end). But when it was all over, I was dang proud of myself because I would have never learned how strong I really was if it weren’t for that greatest challenge I’d ever faced.
And you know… it really taught me even more about life itself. Yes, we’re going to face trials and tribulations. We’re going to face moments that scare the daylights out of us. But when it’s all over, we’ll be stronger knowing we kicked butt and conquered it.
Already this little girl has taught me so much, and I cannot wait to see what other great things, what other eye-opening life lessons God has planned for us through being her parents.
When Olivia came to the hospital to meet Regan for the first time, it took a while for it to really sink in for her that this was her baby sister.
Now that we’re home, she’s been the best little helper with grabbing blankets and burp cloths for us, helping us bathe her, singing to her. Seeing the two of them together melts my heart. I fall deeper in love with our new family of four every single day.
We are so thankful, and we feel so blessed.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above.” James 1:17