Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Birth Story of Natalie Grace

Obviously, this is a touch late. I worked on this just a couple weeks after the birth of our third daughter, Natalie Grace, but life got me so I never finished it. But here it is. I hope you enjoy!

It's 4:30 a.m. and our alarm is going off. It's time to get up, shower, get dressed and get our things in the car. It's baby having day!

The ride to the hospital only takes us fifteen minutes and it's just after 5:00 a.m. so there's very little traffic on the roads. Daniel and I chat about the process we'll be going through for the morning. Since Naomi's birth was a scheduled c-section we know what to expect this time. We'll be separated for a good hour or more while they prep me in triage.

We arrive at the hospital right at 5:30 a.m. We take the elevator up to floor number two and I'm asked to fill out a little card and told by the woman up front to have a seat and I'll be called back in a few minutes. As we sit in the waiting room I update my status on Facebook because I know everyone wants to know that we're at the hospital. :) About fifteen minutes later we get called back for our insurance cards and chat with the woman in records. She sends me back to the front where another woman tells me she'll take me back to my triage room and Daniel has to go sit up front. They'll bring him back when it's closer to time. We part ways which is always hard. I don't want to go about any of this process alone. The hospital is cold and sterile. While the faces are friendly it's not somewhere I want to spend a lot of my time.

I get to my room and the woman hands me a bag and tells me to remove all my clothing and any jewelry and put it in the bag.
"A nurse will be with you shortly." she says.
"Thank you so much, "I tell her.
Even as uncomfortable as this process is I still put a smile on my face and am friendly to everyone I encounter.

I undress, place my stuff in the bag, lie on the bed and patiently wait. Thankfully, I don't wait long before a nurse comes.
"Good morning," she says.
I reply, "Good morning."
"Who's here with you today?"
"My husband is."
"Before we start, is there anything you need to tell me in confidence?"
"No ma'am."
"Do you feel safe going home? Do you feel safe taking your baby home with you?"
"Yes and yes."
She hooks up the baby heart monitor. These are the last few moments I'll hear Natalie Grace's sweet little heartbeat from my insides. It's been such a joy being able to carry another little person in my belly. While I've been very uncomfortable for the last 10 weeks or so and the weather turned hot on me, it's truly been a joy carrying this precious life inside of me. I know there are so many who can't or won't ever be able to experience what I've experienced in carrying 3 healthy children. This is never far from my mind as I know a few woman personally who have struggled with getting pregnant or never could get pregnant. I am thankful.

Next, what seems like one hundred questions, begins. It's everything from, "Do you have a religion preference?" to "Do you have a living will?"

Dr. Li comes in and asks how I'm doing. I tell her, "I'm good and ready."
"Do you have any questions for me?" she asks.
"Nope, just take care of me." I say.
"I will," she says.
And I believe her. I'm thankful for my doctor and know that she will take care of me. This is our third c-section together so I have every confidence in her.

Dr. Li leaves and the questions continue by one nurse and the other is poking me with a needle to get my IV going and apparently I'm a "bleeder" because out shoots a good amount of blood. I look but quickly turn away. Blood doesn't make me queasy but it was quite a lot and it's just after six in the morning and I've not eaten anything. I think it best to not look at what's going on. And she got it all over my hand, the bed and the floor. So, yeah it was quite a bit.

Finally, my IV is in, some fluids and medicines are starting and the questions are over. I ask when my husband can come back and not long after Daniel arrives in the room. Finally! I have his smiling face next to me and we can chat to pass the time.

Waiting in triage

I can't imagine going through this with any other person. I thank God for him and that he's next to me. We talk about our last guesses of how much and how long Natalie Grace will be. He's sticking with under Nyla's birth weight (she was 9 pounds 8 ounces) and I say she'll be a bit bigger but not ten pounds, though I did dream a couple weeks ago that she was 10 pounds 5 ounces. A nurse comes in and tells us it's almost time. She leaves and I ask Daniel to pray for us, just as I did with the other girls. Tears roll down my face as he's praying. I am so thankful for the spiritual leader of our family and thankful for his words during this time. Tears of anxiousness and excitement. Tears to say goodbye to being a family of 4 and hello to being a family of 5. Life as we know it is about to change. As the time has passed today, the more nervous I've gotten. I know what to expect this time and while knowing ahead of time usually makes me feel more comfortable (I'm an introvert after all), this time it has not. I'm not looking forward to the spinal or the surgery. I'm ready to get it over with and praying I don't have a similar recovery to Naomi's.

It's just before 7:30 a.m. and the time has come. It's time to move into the surgery room. I know Daniel and I have to part ways for another few minutes and this makes me more nervous but I know he'll be by my side before long.

The room is very cold and sterile. I move to a thin, hard table for the surgery. I have to sit back and hunched over to get the spinal. I'm nervous. The anesthesiologist talks with me about what to expect, what I'll feel and the order it all goes in. He's really nice and comforting. It helps a little to have him tell me each step. His assistant does the actual spinal and he keeps talking to me. She presses on my back to find the right spot and this is fairly uncomfortable. The shot to numb the area comes next and it hurts. My nurse, Lindsey, is there next to me. I'm hunched over holding a pillow saying, "ouch ouch ouch." I have a very low tolerance for pain yet I take pregnancy and all that comes with it like a champ. At least I think I do. Next comes the actual spinal. I'm glad I don't see the needle because I expect it's fairly large. I feel quite a bit of pressure from the needle and I'm thankful when it's over. Now I have to lay down and my legs are going numb. It's such an odd sensation. I remember with Naomi I went numb almost instantly and I don't this time and it worries me. I don't want to feel anything and I don't want to get incubated because the spinal doesn't work. Thankfully, it starts to kick in as they're prepping me. The next thing I know the sheet is coming up in front of me, my chest feels heavy and it's hard to take deep breaths. It feels like I have an elephant sitting on top of me. The assistant anesthesiologist pricks me here and there and asks if I can feel anything on different areas of my body. Most importantly, I don't feel below my chest so I know I'm good to go!

He's ready!

Daniel comes in and sits down next to me. I'm thankful for his calming presence. We are ready to meet our baby girl.

Anxiously waiting

I don't hear too much around me. Well, really, I'm blocking it out and trying to talk to Daniel. I want him to distract me so I don't hear anything that scares me or freaks me out. I feel quite a lot of tugging and pulling for a few minutes. I keep thinking Natalie Grace should be here, I don't remember it taking so long with Naomi. Dr. Li says I have a good bit of scar tissue and that's why it's taking a bit longer. Well, that explains it. But soon enough I feel tons of pressure on my chest. It's almost as if someone is sitting on me to pull her out. "You'll feel lots of pressure," someone calls out. I definitely do. Then I hear, "That's a big baby!" And then I hear her cry. There is nothing quite like hearing your baby's first cry. As I did the two times before, I cry tears of joy. Natalie Grace is here. Each girls cry are so very different and I just love that. I know I won't ever really remember exactly what it sounds like, just that it's one of the most beautiful sounds in all the world. Thankful. Grateful. Full. Joyful. Loved. All my emotions hit me at once. This pregnancy is finally over. Natalie Grace is finally here. Praise God for this little life.

She's here and she's beautiful!

Yes, you're reading this right. 11 pounds 9 oz.
We had so many comments on her weight. I would proudly tell people she's not my first 11 pound baby. Naomi was 11 pounds 4 oz. :)

Big girl!

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