Friday, December 4, 2015

Delivery Day

Never in this pregnancy did I think I'd be overdue.  The boys had both been early, so surely this baby girl would follow their lead.  Not so much.  The 28th came.  The 30th rolled around, and there I was walking into the doctor's office at 8 a.m.  I had bounced out of there just the week before saying, "Happy Thanksgiving!  I'll bring in a baby the next time I see you."  Because there was no WAY she'd be overdue, right?  Wrong.

So, 8 a.m. Monday morning I was seeing my doctor.  Quite honestly, I probably would have let this girl hibernate for a couple of more months if I had the guarantee that she wouldn't get any bigger.  I wasn't that uncomfortable (also different this time around) and clearly she was in no hurry either.  But having had big, over nine pounds babies in the past I was nervous about her size -- and my recovery after because of her continued growth.

My doctor gave me the option of an induction, which was a new experience that I was completely open soon as possible.  When she said 10 a.m.  I smiled.  Yes!  Let's do this, and as soon as possible please!

We dropped the boys off at my mom's and drove down to UC Davis.  After getting checked in, admitted and hooked up to the usual machines, my beloved pitocin drip started.  All of this was under the care of the very best nurse possible named Nadine.  What an angel.  We had mentioned that this was our last baby, and she did all that she could to make sure it was a sweet, memorable experience.  And it was.  I'll never be able to thank her enough for all that she did to create magical moments for us on that last day of November.

After a couple of hours of pitocin I had the option of getting an epidural or waiting about an hour while the anethesiologist helped with a c-section.  I opted to wait, but then about twenty minutes later mentioned to the nurse that as soon as that good doctor was done I sure would appreciate it if he'd come (running) my way.  Turns out the c section was delayed and he was there in minutes.  Thank goodness.  It didn't take much to turn this body into full delivery/contraction mode, and I was anxious to get some relief.

He started with a regular dose that helped only marginally.  In the end, I had five doses of epidural in addition to my magic button that I diligently waited to push every ten minutes.
 They were surprised that my blood pressure tolerated all of that medicine.  Even with a lot of medicine on board, my contractions ramped up quickly and the epidural drugs couldn't catch up.  I think I was breathing hard enough to keep a kite in the air.  It felt ridiculous, but the pain was a crazy kind of intense that only a mother in labor can understand.  With all of the painful drama happening the nurse checked me and this baby girl was only minutes from arrival.  It's amazing how fast a labor and delivery team can be ready for action when a baby is so close.

Tears streaming down my face, tears starting to stream down Nate's because of what I was going through, I was pushing even without having a contraction (not very productive, by the way).  Five or six tiny pushes and our girl was here.  And in that very instant, at 5:50 p.m. to be exact, all of the pain was gone, and both Nate and I were overcome with the love, gratitude and closeness to Heaven that is truly unique to childbirth.

She cried almost immediately, and my tears continued right along with her.  Maybe we were both so excited for her to be in the world that emotion got the best of us both. :-)
UC Davis is really dedicated to baby bonding time so once our little girl was delivered, she was all mine for two hours.   Two hours!  It was just such a special time.

 No weighing or measuring or checking. 

 Just me and our girl...and Nate watching over both of us. 
It was part of what made the day so magical.  The love in that room for each other and the closeness we felt to Heaven was palpable.  I'll never get tired of saying how special it truly was.

That was true treasured time that I'll never experience again, and will forever be thankful that I did this time around.

When I was ready the nurse did her usual check up routine on our baby girl.

She seemed small to us, but we've thought that about all of our babies.  8 pounds, 1 ounce and 19.5 inches long.

A small baby!  Sure, that's normal size to anyone else, but she was by far our littlest, and we just loved it.
When all of the poking and examining was done, I told the nurse to hand her off to her dad.  He sure had been patiently waiting for his turn.  Neither of us can really explain it but something about this little girl instantly melted our hearts in a way that we hadn't quite experienced before.

We had talked all day about her name.  Sometimes seriously, and other times tossing around ridiculous names just to pass the time.  Really, we had talked for months about her name, with no real resolution or decision made.   But Nate would be heading to the airport to pick up his Dad, and he would be bringing the boys to the hospital first thing the next morning. It seemed like we should really commit to a name.

So we did. 

Leah Evelyn. 
I'll write a post about her name later.  But she's definitely got some sweet, strong women to reference when it comes to that beautiful name.

 Nate drove over to the airport to pick up his dad.  It meant a lot that after a long day of traveling from Cleveland that he extended his day (well, night really) even longer to meet grandbaby #9. 
 I don't tell him often enough how much I appreciate the kind of grandpa he is, especially since he's the only one my kids have.  He's the perfect combination of so much love and so much fun.
 At about 10:30 p.m. he and Nate headed home, and baby Leah and I settled in for the night.

She still had some fluid in her lungs that was keeping us both awake for a while.  In the end, she settled down by snuggling right up next to me for some sleep.

I mentioned to her that this was a one time, it's your birthday kind of thing and down the road sleeping in mom's bed is not an option. :-)

Morning came and we anxiously waited for our visit from the boys in the family.


The Wigginton Family said...

This made me cry and cry and cry. What a beautiful story and beautiful pictures and you and that new baby girl of yours are just the most beautiful humans. Thanks for sharing and I'm so glad it was such a great experience. Hooray baby Leah!

Brandon and Evie said...

Seriously, just beautiful. Welcome to the world Leah!