I have thought many times about F's birth these last few weeks.
Every time, my heart races, tears fill my eyes and my heart feels as though it could burst.
Those moments leading up to finally meeting her, after so many years of heart ache and not knowing, are going to be hard to put down in words...
...but, I will try my best because I do not ever want to forget just how incredible those moments were.
And so, here goes nothing...here's the story of the moments leading up to and then the grandest moment of all, the moment we met our daughter, Faith Elizabeth.
(It's long...so grab a drink and some popcorn ;) And please excuse the grammatical errors and whatnot...I more or less am just typing it without a care in the world besides getting it out
on paper there. )
On Sunday, February 3, the day before my due date, I was having pretty regular contractions, so regular in fact that we headed to the hospital. Upon getting there (as I blogged about here) they decided I was just exhausted and gave me something to help me sleep and sent us on our way home.
The next day (due date!!!) I woke up and thought surely, since Sunday proved to be quite exciting, today we would be making more progress to meeting this little one.
Not so much.
The whole day passed with nothing exciting happening.
No water breaking.
No contractions regular enough to time.
I know that due dates are only a guesstimate for baby's arrival, but still...there's something about that day coming and going that is a little discouraging. I mean, for 9 whole months you are counting down to that special day. For 9 whole months, when people ask you when you are due you excitedly tell them that special day.
Needless to say, due date night, I didn't sleep well...1)I was physically uncomfortable and 2)My nerves and the anticipation were getting the best of me as well.
The rest of the week was spent with tons of nesting and lots of answering texts, calls and FB messages about whether or not I had had the baby.
On Thursday, February 7th, I had my doctor's appointment...with a new doctor! My doctor, who was a month behind me, had unfortunately been diagnosed with preeclampsia and had to be put on bed rest pending her induction. I was so sad to know that the doctor who had been with us from the beginning would not be delivering us. I went into the appointment feeling nervous about meeting this new doctor and nervous about whether or not I had progressed.
I assumed I would have progressed since I had still been having contractions off and on throughout the week.
Not so much.
The new (but thankfully, wonderful) doctor checked and said that I was only dilated to a 1 and that I was "barely" effaced.
I nearly broke down in tears.
But I held it together long enough to come up with a game plan. We decided that I would come in for another appointment next Tuesday and if I still hadn't progressed we would talk induction for Wed or possibly Thur.
At that point I was definitely ok with induction, even though I had wanted to go into labor on my own...but since I was so eager, and at that point I would be 41+ weeks, I was ok with them inducing me!
After our game plan we got to have an ultrasound to check on our sweet little one. Her cheeks looks chubby and she looked healthy. Seeing her gave me strength to remember it wasn't about me, it was about her!
We left the appointment and surprisingly I felt ok with everything. My husband and I said a prayer and I felt such a strong sense of peace with everything.
We had waited so long to meet her, that what was another week...because afterall, if she wasn't here in a week then we would look into induction...so there you have it, a plan...a plan to meet our sweet little one.
That night my husband went to work with his regular statement of, "call if anything happens...I'll be here no matter what!"
Nothing of course happened that night except that I got the best sleep! Which I loved because I hadn't really slept well in over a month.
Friday, February 8th started quite the same, numerous texts, phone calls and FB messages asking if the baby was here or on her way. I told everyone that, "no progress but we have a game plan!" And that sense of peace stayed with me all into the morning and afternoon.
Then Friday afternoon my (new) doctor called and said she was going to go ahead and schedule the induction for Thursday, February 14th, because things were getting really busy with trying to arrange all of my (old) doctor's patients around. I gladly said we would definitely be okay with that! After I got off the phone I called and texted family and told them that it looked like we would have a little Valentine's baby and told them that we would be checking into the hospital Wed the night before to start the process!
My husband I couldn't believe that come one way or the other it looked like we would be meeting our daughter in less than a week.
EEk! So exciting!!!
To celebrate, I took a picture of my belly and was going to title it "The day she was given her eviction notice!"
That night, my husband left for work saying to call if anything changed-I laughed and said, "yeah right...she's snug as a bug!" especially since I hadn't felt that many contractions that day.
After he left for work I decided that that night would be the night to make curtains and new pillows...so off to hobby store I went! I found fabric and woddled around looking through all the fun craft stuff.
I made my curtains and pillows and then realized that it was getting close to 10 and I was STARVING...so I ordered my go to meal...Papa Jo.hns pizza!
As I was cleaning up, I noticed that I started having some contractions again, but didn't think much of it because I had been having them all week long.
Right before the pizza guy got there I noticed the contractions were getting closer and were feeling rather intense, so intense that I had to stop and really concentrate on my breathing.
Then of course right towards the end of a pretty intense contraction, the pizza guy gets there.
I open the door, leaning on the wall, and am breathing threw the remainder of the contraction.
He looks a me, without making eye contact, and goes, "umm...are you...umm...having a...good night?"
He was so uncomfortable and looking back I am sure he was freaked out that I was going to deliver right there!
I got my pizza and put it down, fully thinking I would be eating it just as soon as the dern contractions would stop.
But the thing is, they didn't stop.
They kept coming.
And they were getting more and more intense.
So intense that I realized that I could not even think about eating that delicious pizza, whose aroma filled the living room!
That's when I knew something was different...I couldn't eat! ;)
I called my husband and told him that I wasn't sure if it was really "go time" or what, but that things were pretty intense and I needed him home for support.
He told me later that after he got off the phone with me he told his partner that he knew it was time and was so excited!
Seeing as he is a police officer, his partner drove him home in a patrol car, so it didn't take much time for him to get home.
He walked in all ready to go to the hospital but I told him I needed to shower.
He thought I was crazy, especially since I was hunched over the side of the bed, tears filling my eyes, breathing and concentrating through yet another contraction.
I jumped in the shower and let's just say it was the most painful shower I've ever had with the contractions coming ever 3 or so minutes.
Right after I got out, I changed quickly and we headed to the hospital all the while fussing over that fact that I felt every.single dip and bump in the road!
At this point, I was still unsure what was happening (heck, I'd never been in labor before!) and told my husband that maybe I was cramping because I needed to go to the bathroom or maybe I pulled a muscle or something! He of course thought I was crazy and reminded me that those things don't come every 3-5 minutes!
We got the hospital and checked in around midnight. The sweet nurse told me that they would monitor me for a few hours and then the doctor would decide what to do from there.
They hooked me up to the monitor and sure enough she could see I was indeed having regular contractions.
She went to check me and I thought yet again that with these crazy intense contractions I had to surely be progressing.
Not so much.
Like, not at all.
Yesterday at my appointment I was dilated to a one and that night I was dilated to a one.
I was so bummed and at that point thought they would be giving me something to help me relax and get some sleep at home, like they had the Sunday before.
We were monitored for about 3 hours, all the while, I was thinking that these hurt so bad there's no way I can go home and simply "relax and sleep."
She came back in to check me and said I was at a 2.5. I got excited because it was progress. Then I got bummed because she said they like patients to be at least a 3 or more before getting admitted but that she would go get the doctor!
So there we sat, feeling a little defeated, and quite exhausted, waiting for the doctor to come in and say, "Take this medicine and go home and rest!"
Instead, in comes the doctor about 30 minutes later, checks me and finds that I am actually dilated to about 3.5 and proclaims, "Let's get y'all admitted...y'all are having this baby today!"
Then both the nurse and doctor left and my husband and I just sat there, dumb founded, staring at one another.
We couldn't believe that after waiting so many years, that here we were...being told that today was THE day.
We laughed, kissed and then paused while I breathed through another contraction!
The nurse came in to hook up my IV and my dh left to get our bags.
After he came in, he said, "people would never be able to tell that I am about to meet my daughter!" There was lots of pink...
The rest of the morning felt like it went by in a flash. Like, I'm fairly certain I blinked 3, maybe 5 times and then it was time to push! I kept telling my husband that it STILL didn't feel real!!! But here's the low down of how everything progressed in a nutshell:
7:25am-checked and was dilated to a 4 and so they ask if they can break my water. I say yes...let's do this!
9:00am-after attempting to hold off with the epideral, in fear it would slow things down, I decided that after nearly 11 hours of intense, painful (goodness...there's no words to describe the pain!) and exhausting contractions I ask for the epidural. Notice the bottom chart on the screen...I was having contractions but couldn't tell because the epidural was BLISS. PURE BLISS. If God wills us to have any more children, I will not wait for an epidural...I will get it right away because it was BLISS...have I mentioned how blissful it was? ;)
10:00am-the doctor checks and sees that I am at a 4 and asks if I want to start a low dose of pitocin. I agree again, because I am so eager to meet our little one. The pitocin doesn't bother me...hello blissful epidural...
11:00am-my Gm arrives because she is too eager to sit at home and wait for the call. My husband naps, I talk with my Gm about how I feel like I am dreaming and that it doesn't feel real, etc...at this point I am so grateful that my Gm is there, she's the one that raised me and as much as I didn't want anyone else in the room leading up to F's birth, I definitely needed her.
12-2:30pm-I'm told to try and rest. Ha. Don't these people know that this is the day I am meeting my daughter, there's no way I can rest!!! Although I do try, there was no way my brain could shut up long enough to actually fall asleep. During this time they up my pitocin a couple times also.
3:00pm-the nurse checks me and I am a 7! My dh, Gm and I all get excited! We are making progress!!! The nurse informs me that it could still be a few more hours and that I should still try and rest. Ha. Not going to happen. My dh texts/calls the family and close friends to let them know that we have a few more hours but that we were making progress.
4:25pm-since we figured we still had a few more hours, my dh's mother arrives and wants to come in and visit. So, my dh goes down to get her.
4:30pm-doctor comes in while my dh is down getting his mother, my Gm is sitting on the couch and says she is going to check me. Now, this is where things start to really get crazy. She says, "okay, great, you are fully effaced and dilated and let's start pushing!!" My dh and I wanted to be the only ones in the room for her delivery and here I was, hearing him walking through the door with his mom, and with my Gm on the couch! Thankfully my Gm understood this and jumped up and saying she will go with my MIL to the waiting room! My poor Dh, he had no clue it was already time. I'm sure his mind was racing seeing me pushing already.
I push and each time the nurse says I am doing a great job. I tell her not to flatter me, if I'm not doing it right to let me know. She laughs at me and says she's not lying...that I really am doing great!
Thankfully all this time, the epidural is helping with pain but I am still feeling lots of pressure and am able to know when to push through the contractions. It was crazy, it was all happening so fast and it was, dare I say...much easier than I anticipated-I guess the nurse was right, I was doing great because...
...not very many pushes later and....
5:02pm on Saturday, February 9th-our world is forever changed and our sweet little one is born. They lifted our daughter and I was in complete awe that she was there.
They placed her on my chest and I looked at her, with tears in my eyes and said, "hello sweet one, we have been missing you for so many years..."
I looked at my husband and he looked at our daughter.
She was here.
And so beautiful.
Later, she was crying on my chest for a moment and my dh started talking and she stopped crying and instantly turned her head towards him. She knew that was her daddy...that voice was the same voice she had heard talking to her for these last 9 months.
The rest of the room was busy with the doctor stitching me up, and the nurses checking the baby, but for my dh and I, it was as if time was standing still...it was as if it was just him, me and our daughter. We kissed, hugged, laughed and cried.
So many emotions.
Not enough words to properly describe that day.
There is absolutely no word to use to describe seeing her for the first time.
And that's ok, because I know how it feels...and I know that that moment will forever be seared into my mind...into my heart...into my soul.
So there's that...our daughter's birth story.
So very blessed.
So very blessed indeed.
Thank you Lord for entrusting us with one of your most precious gifts.
I wanted to go back again, to recapture the moment that had gone, and then it came to me that if we did it would not be the same, even the sun would be changed in the sky, casting another shadow..."If only there could be an invention," I said impulsively, "that bottled up a memory, like a scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again." [Daphne du Maurier]