Monday, August 27, 2012

She Brought The Dawn (Lucy's birth story)

I've been wanting to blog about Lucy Anne's entry into the world while the details are all still fresh in my mind, and here we are seven weeks later.  WHAT?!? My baby is already seven weeks old?!?! How is that possible?!?! What a wonderful seven weeks it has been.  Not without it's challenges of course, but we love this darling baby girl God has brought into our family and can't imagine life without her.  Ryan and I were able to enjoy our first date post baby last night and as we pulled into our driveway he said "We have a fun life with a funny dog and funny baby.  Remember what life was like five years ago?" Five years ago neither one of us had a clue we would be married to each other, let alone have a baby!  Kind of crazy to reflect on that and think of all that has changed and all the blessings God has poured out.   

There are so many things I could say about life since Lucy arrived, but this blog is supposed to be about her birth, so I will save that for another day.  Disclaimer:  If you're a dude, read at your own risk. :)

Tuesday, July 3rd - This was the day that I went into nesting mode full force!  I was dusting ceiling fans, taking down curtains to be washed, moving furniture around (with Ryan's help) and just generally acting like a crazy person preparing for Lucy's arrival.  I may or may not have been a little cranky and emotional. ;) At this point I wasn't really having any "feelings" that she was going to come soon because I had convinced myself that she was comfy cozy in there and wouldn't be coming out for a couple more weeks. HA!  That night we went out to the chapel to sit in the parking lot and watch the fireworks.  We weren't sure if we wanted to go since it was so hot, but I really didn't want to miss the fireworks and we knew the chapel would be open with the air on and an easily accessible bathroom, so we decided to go. I had been having irregular contractions but I just passed them off as Braxton Hicks and not drinking enough water. We got home late and I was exhausted. Before bed I went to the bathroom and noticed the tiniest bit of blood on the toilet paper. That was a little strange to see after nine months of not seeing any blood. :) I assumed it was probably bloody show and when  I informed Ryan of my discovery his response was "She's comin'!" said in a very matter of fact and totally unfazed tone of voice. :)  I didn't want to burst his bubble but I knew that it could be days before she actually made her appearance.  I was trying not to get excited too soon.   

Wednesday, July 4th - I woke up around 7 AM and I couldn't go back to sleep. I was still having irregular contractions but I wasn't in pain or uncomfortable at all.  I went and sat in Lucy's room for awhile to pray and read some verses that my doula had given me, and then I called my mom and talked to her for a few minutes but apparently I forgot to mention that I was having contractions?!?   I guess I just didn't really think it was worth mentioning.  :)  After awhile I decided to crawl back into bed for a little bit and try to sleep.  We finally got up and went about our day like normal, doing things around home and enjoying a yummy brunch together.  We had plans to go up to Ryan's parent's house later in the day for a 4th of July meal and I was in charge of bringing dessert so we made a fruit pizza together and headed up to their house around three o'clock. Before supper I tried to lay down and rest again as I started to realize that I might be needing all the energy I could get if this was really happening! I called/text messaged my doula, Sarah (who happened to be 36? weeks pregnant at the time) a couple times just to keep her apprised. She was a huge encouragement.  I really wanted to labor at home as long as I possibly could and my biggest fear was going to the hospital too soon and either be sent home or have them pressure me to be induced to speed things up. Sarah gave me the confidence and reassurance that there was no need to go to the hospital at this point, I was doing great and I should just keep doing what I was doing! I talked to my mom again and gave her an update and said it was up to them if they wanted to come then or not because I wasn't sure how quickly things were going to progress.  After supper I sat in my in-law's jacuzzi tub (which felt amazing) while Ryan kept me company and timed my contractions with his phone. They were about 3-4 minutes apart and I could still talk through them but used the time in the tub to concentrate on relaxing and breathing. I text messaged some friends and family letting them know what was going on so they could be praying.  I text messaged my parents telling them that perhaps they should go ahead and come so we didn't have to call them in the middle of the night and have them rush to get here and risk missing the birth! I received an immediate response from my mom that said "We're 25 miles away from Davenport".  Ha!  Apparently dad made the decision to hit the road about one second after he found out I was having contractions and had been having them all day! :)  I got out of the tub shortly after my parents arrived and we went back to our house around 8:15 pm, telling Ryan's family that we would keep them posted. Once home, I went up to our room to lay down because I wanted to get as much rest as possible while I still could. I turned off the lights,  lit a candle and tried to get comfortable by reclining against a bunch of pillows on our bed.  The most "pain" I felt was in my lower back, so with each contraction Ryan would massage and put pressure on my back.  Contractions were getting closer together and between each I would doze off to sleep just in time for another contraction to come.  

Thursday, July 5th (also happened to be my parent's 44th wedding anniversary!) - Around 1:30 am I had Ryan call our doula as it was becoming a little more difficult to talk through contractions. She knew things were getting serious when it was Ryan calling her instead of me. ;)  I wanted her to come to the house and labor with me for a while so she could help me decide when to head to the hospital. While we were waiting for her to get here, I had Ryan load our hospital bags into the Jeep since I had a feeling we'd probably be going in the next couple hours.  When Sarah arrived, Ryan left to take Gilbert up the hill to his parent's house.  Right after he left I went to the bathroom and while sitting on the toilet I had a contraction and a new feeling of a lot of pressure down there and the urge to push.  Sarah wasn't too far away and must've heard my breathing change because she asked if I was OK.  When I told her I was feeling the urge to push she said "well lets not do that here!"  haha!  While waiting for Ryan to return (felt like forever) I had another contraction bent over and leaning on the dining room table for support.  I began to sweat and feel like I might throw up.  As soon as Ryan walked in the door I told him it was go time. He ran upstairs to tell my parents we were leaving, we grabbed a "barf bowl" for the ride just in case, and off we went with Sarah following close behind and my parents and Ryan's parents and sister following not too long after.  Somewhere in all that, Ryan called ahead to the hospital to let them know we were coming.  Although it was very early in the morning with pretty much no other cars on the road, the 25 mile trek to the hospital never felt longer.  I had several contractions on the way there and I was convinced one of three things was going to happen. ONE... I was going to throw up.  TWO... My water was going to break. Or THREE.... I was going to have this baby in the Jeep!  I just kept breathing through the contractions and thankfully none of those things happened.  

It was around 3 AM when we finally pulled up to the doors of the ER where a hospital employee was sitting in a wheelchair outside and he promptly hopped up and asked if we needed the chair.  As soon as the current contraction was through I sat in the chair and they wheeled me up to the desk where they of course ask all the annoying but necessary questions while you're in labor, only they couldn't find my name in the system which was odd considering I had been going there for all of my prenatal appointments.  They finally asked me my SSN and found me under my maiden name????? Weird.  A nurse led us up to a triage room and on the way she asked "So, what's going on?" To which my awesome husband replied "Um...she's having a baby."  I think he probably refrained from saying "Duhhh".  ;)   Once in the triage room we were asked more questions by a different nurse that had only been there for four months.  She checked me and found me to be 4 cm dilated.  I admit I was a little discouraged.  I was hoping to be a little further along. I looked at Sarah and said "I'm only at a four???".  She was very quick to tell me not to be discouraged and assured me that it was good.  The nurse did say after checking me that my bag of waters was right there which might have explained all the pressure I was feeling.  Less than a minute after she checked me, it was like a water balloon burst and there was no mistaking that my water broke.  They got me settled in a labor and delivery room, asked more questions, had me sign some things, and strapped the monitor on so they could monitor Lucy's heartbeat.  The nurse acknowledged that I did not want to have the monitor on the whole time as I had stated in my birth plan, but they wanted to get a clear reading of Lucy's heartbeat before they took it off.  The problem was that every time I had a contraction they would lose the heartbeat, which resulted in a lot of fiddling with the monitor.  I just kept praying that everything was OK and they would get a good read soon so I could get out of bed...walk around...get in the tub...ANYTHING but lay flat on my back.  If I was only at a 4 I certainly didn't want to be laying in bed the whole time.  During this time some of our family members were coming in and out of the room.  It's all a bit fuzzy to me now.  Of course my mom, doula, and husband were all sitting on the couch quietly waiting to jump into action once I was off the monitor.  Ryan was by my side with each contraction putting pressure on my back.  My sister in-law Melissa was in the room for a little bit and I distinctively remember her saying that she and my father in-law, Jody were going to get Starbucks and doughnuts and bring them back for everyone while we waited for something to happen. Even in the throes of labor I wanted to say "Oh, Starbucks sounds soooo good right now.  Can you pleeeeeeaaaaaase bring me back a caramel macchiato?!".  My contractions were getting more intense but still not agonizingly painful and with each one I felt like I was going to have a bowel movement.  Sorry, for those dudes who decided to read this...I'm just telling it like it is.  I continued to breathe through them and at some point the nurse asked me what my level of pain was on a scale of 1-10.  I think I said six but I was feeling quite a bit of pressure and a little burning sensation down there, so the nurse asked if I wanted her to check me again.  I kind of reluctantly agreed.  Call me pessimistic, but I didn't think it was possible that I had progressed that much.  As it turned out I didn't have to worry about that because all the nurse did was look down there and say "I don't need to check you because the head is crowning! You're at a 10! I need to call the Doctor!" and with that she put the sheet back over my legs.   Um...what????  I don't know what I said...if I said anything at all, but I'm pretty sure I looked at my doula, mom, and hubby with an incredulous look on my face.  None of us were expecting that I would be at a 10.  This is when things got crazy. With the next contraction I sat up a little in the bed and felt Lucy's whole head pop out.  No one else in the room knew this right away because the sheet was over my legs and I wasn't really supposed to be pushing because the Dr. wasn't there yet.  I didn't even really make a conscious effort to push, I just let my body do it's thing during the contraction.  I think I looked up at Sarah and all I could think to say was "the head!!!". I think someone in the room said "what do you mean, the head?" haha!   The next few moments are fuzzy in my mind, but I remember the nurse going into panic mode and saying "press the button! press the button!"  My husband was on that right away pressing it over and over, when my doula pushed him out of the way and said "I'll do that! you get down there!" motioning to the end of the bed.  He got down there pretty much in time to catch his daughter as the rest of her body "squirted" into the world at 5:30 AM, just 2.5 hours after we arrived at the hospital! Ryan jokes that the only thing keeping her from flying right off the bed was the umbilical cord which had actually somehow mysteriously become detached at some point.  Lucy was immediately put on my chest and I was pretty much speechless.  I'm still speechless when I think of how everything unfolded. I'm still speechless sometimes when I look at my precious girl's face.

Sarah ran out to the waiting room to inform my dad and mother in-law that Lucy was here, which of course shocked them!  My mother in-law called Melissa and Jody right away to tell them the news. They were still at Starbucks and couldn't believe that Lucy decided to make her appearance in the 20 minutes that they were away. :)  The Dr. made it just in time to deliver the placenta (real fun) and check me over.  Somehow I didn't tear at all.  I did lose quite a bit of blood but they got it under control.  

The next couple hours were of course spent staring at Lucy, holding Lucy, and taking pictures and videos of Lucy. Such joy and excitement.  That day I looked at Ryan several times and said "we have a baby".  :)

As if things hadn't been exciting enough...after everyone left us to get some rest, I got up to go to the bathroom for the first time after Lucy was born.  The sweet nurse walked me from my bed to the bathroom, asking me several times if I was doing OK.   I definitely felt weak, but I was doing OK, until I saw all the blood in the toilet. :)  On the way back to my bed the nurse kept asking if I was OK again and I said yes, but the next thing I knew I was crumpled on the floor,  with another nurse behind me holding me up and my poor husband standing there holding Lucy wondering what just happened!  First time I had ever fainted in my life!

It was quite the day and we thank the Lord for the safe arrival of our little Lucy.  The name Lucy means "light" which is appropriate considering she was born just as the sun was coming up!  I pray that she will be a light in this dark world and I cannot wait to see how God uses her for His glory.  

Lucy Anne.  7 lbs 1 oz 19 1/2 inches.  Born at 5:30 AM on July 5th.

If you haven't read my dad's blog about the Lucy's birth, you should.  Make sure you have some tissues handy.

Also...this is pretty amusing.  In the last week both my doula and my friend Kristi sent me this little tidbit from a blog entry of mine before Lucy was born.... "My dear husband apparently has so much confidence in me that when asked by his sister if he was worried to see me in labor he said "nah..she'll be fine! she's going to pop that baby right out!". Just like that. Oh dear. Thanks, babe. :) While I'm fairly certain it won't go that way, I'm glad he'll be cheering me on. In the she arrives is how she arrives and I'm trusting God for that. He has the perfect birth plan and it might be different than mine. :) "   He pretty much nailed it. :) 

can't believe she's almost 2 months old already!