Friday, August 29, 2014

Lara Anne's Birth Story

It was 4:50 am.  We were on our way to meet our little girl! 
There is absolutely no words to describe the emotion we felt during that car ride.  Fear, excitement, anticipation, anxiety....but most of all, relief that the day had finally arrived.
August 15th, 2014.
Our little girls birthday.

Before we left the house that morning, we snapped a picture, the last
picture as a family of three.
Once I wrapped my head around the fact that I'd have to have a C-section, I was finally able to see the many blessings & perks that come from having a "scheduled" birth.  One thing I'll forever be thankful for, was being able to prepare (as best you can) for what's to come.  My last day at the office was Wednesday, August 13th.  I said a teary goodbye to my team and hurried out the door before the waterworks really set in.  It was actually much harder than I ever thought it would be, to walk out the office door on that last day. That just goes to show the amazing people I work with day in, day out. 
That evening Jon and I had one last date night at our favorite Thai restaurant where we've celebrated many relationship milestones.  Before leaving, we snapped my last bump pic.

The next day was spent cleaning the house. I've heard of "nesting" but honestly, I had no idea how powerful that feeling actually is.  I mean, I scoured the inside of my microwave. The inside, folks.
After I'd cleaned my little pregnant butt off, my Mom and I hit up Target one last time and enjoyed a much needed mani/pedi session. 
We both walked out of there with shiny pink nails, of course the only appropriate color choice.

The next morning, it was GO time.
When we arrived at the hospital, I began contracting which was a bit terrifying.  They finally subsided once we got settled into the suite outside the operating room.  I slid on my adorable pink & white polka dot hospital gown and settled in for the two hour wait.
It was 5:30 am.
Shortly after Jon and I arrived, both sets of parents joined us in our suite.

I was SO THANKFUL all four of them could be there to "distract" us during the scariest 2 hours of our lives.  We laughed our ass' off, joked around with the nurses & then laughed our ass' off even more when Jon came out of the bathroom all prepped for surgery.
Oversized scrubs tucked into his cowboy boots. 
Sexy, I know. 
At around 7:00 am, lots of people started coming into the suite including the anesthesiologist, nurses, a med student who would be shadowing my doc during the procedure, more nurses and then finally my doctor arrived.  We were still holding out hope that she may have possibly flipped within the past few days, so we did one last sonogram to make sure. 
Of course, our feisty little girl remained sitting on her booty, head up, just comfy as can be.
I thought I would be emotional in that moment, realizing the finality of what was getting ready to happen.  Realizing that a vaginal delivery was absolutely out of the question. 
But you know, I really wasn't. 
I was so ready to meet our baby girl, that nothing could bring us down.
.......and then I walked into the operating room. 

I have never been more overcome with emotion than I was in that moment.  I remember climbing up on the table.  I was shaking all over.  Shaking so hard that you could visually see my entire body convulsing. Jon stood there by my side, solid as a rock. 
Strong and calm.
 The wonderful nurses brought me a warm blanket and wrapped me up in it. 
I began crying a few moments later.  A quiet cry as I was hopeful no one would notice. 
Tears were just streaming down my cheeks. 
I remember feeling so fearful I would cry thru the entire birth of my daughter.  A sweet young nurse, fresh out of school, tried her best to console me but she just wasn't cuttin' it.
Right then, an older female nurse cut in and I remember her just grabbing my hand.  She began talking to me in the calmest voice I've ever heard.  She asked me what I was afraid of, to which I replied, "everything." 
I know, I really gave her something to work with, huh?  ;)
She began talking me thru., step by step, exactly what was happening to me. At the time, they were administering my spinal epidural. 
My anesthesiologist looked like Santa Claus, and I have to say, he gave me the gift of relaxation like I've never felt before.
The next 10 minutes were a blur, but what I remember most were the sweet nurses wiping the tears from my cheeks.  I felt my legs begin to tingle which meant the epidural was working thru my blood stream.  I immediately felt a wave of calm take over my body as they laid me down on the table.  The fear began subsiding allowing the feeling of excitement to sweet over me.
I realized my daughter would be here in just a few short minutes!!!!!
Jon sat right beside me, holding my hand the entire time.  I remember just staring at him as we talked about what was getting ready to happen.  The experience was so peaceful....and quite honestly, beautiful.  Later we talked about that moment, me laying on the table and looking into his eyes.  Those moments, the conversation we shared right before our daughter entered this world,
we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
I told the doctor to tell me everything that was happening. 
I was draped heavily so I couldn't see anything but the anesthesiologist and my husband.  
About 10 minutes later she began bringing our daughter into this world!
"Her legs are out!  Oh, there's her butt.  She just pooped and peed! 
 Her arms are out!  And she's here!" 
I remember the next minute feeling like the longest minute of my life.  She didn't make a noise for what seemed like an eternity!  I was getting very anxious and (yelling at) asking the doctor what was going on.  She told us that Lara had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.  Less than 10 seconds later, the doc lifted our beautiful baby girl up over the drapery so we could see her and right then, she let out one mighty scream!  It was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard!!
It was 8:13 am when our little 6lb 13 oz, 16.75 inch, tiny bundle of joy entered the world.
They quickly whisked her away to the other side of the room where they began cleaning her up.  Tears streamed down my cheeks as I lay there listening to our baby girl cry her little lungs off! We knew in that moment that we had one feisty little girl!    

I yelled across the room and asked if she had 10 fingers and 10 toes. 
Because, you know, that was the most pertinent information at the time (NOT)
I could tell the nurses were a bit caught off guard, but I heard them quietly begin counting. 
They hollered back to reassure me that, yes, she did in fact have all her fingers and toes.

They called daddy over to get his first glimpse.  Jon yelled across the room, telling me how beautiful she was.  In these moments, I was a blubbering mess.  I had the sweetest anesthesiologist stationed right by my head who was extremely comforting in all that she did. 
A few minutes later, Jon brought her over to see me for the first time. 
 I could literally feel my heart expand in my chest as it began filling with love for this little girl. 
A love I could have never prepared myself for.



The moment captured above is a moment I'll cherish forever.  The first time I got to kiss her sweet little cheeks....and smell her beautiful little face.  The anesthesiologist held her there, right by my head.  I remember kissing her over and over...and over again.

About 30 minutes later, I was stitched back together and they wheeled me into the room next door for recovery.  They swaddled up our little bundle and let her rest right there beside me. 
That afternoon was somewhat of a blur as I was in and out of sleep most of the day until around 5 or 6:00 pm.  I remember wanting to hold my baby so badly, but with all the morphine in my system, my arms felt like 150 pounds each. I just was not strong (or conscious enough) to really hold her until later that day.
Which meant that this handsome fellow was on diaper duty for the first 24 hours.  He was also my camera man  that day, and I cannot tell you how thankful I am for all the candid shots he captured amidst all the chaos.  These pictures are ones I will treasure forever!!
As the day wore on, the medication began to wear off. I remember feeling very itchy all over, which was a side affect of the morphine working it's way out of my system.  I became quite nauseous mid-afternoon, however our nurses were on the ball.  She immediately got me some medication and later that day, I was able to get down a nice liquid meal for dinner, with a side of ice chips. ;)
I thought I'd be just starving, but honestly, I really wasn't. 
I was consumed with so much emotion that food was the last thing on my mind. 
Our family spent the entire day with us, and even though I was in and out of sleep, it was so comforting to drift off to the sound of them loving on our sweet little girl.
When everyone left that evening, we had some alone time with our Lara Love. 
 And love on her we did!!

Around 1:00 am, we let her go sleep in the nursery so we could get some much needed rest
after all the excitement had that day. 

That next morning was one I'll remember forever.  I was going thru withdrawal from having her gone all night.  When Jon placed her in my arms that next morning, I remember looking down at her in awe of this tiny little being we created. 
I just stared at her for a very long time, feeling a happiness I've never felt. 
I'm a wife.
I'm a daughter.
I'm a friend.
I'm a sister.
I'm an aunt.
And now.....
I'm a mother.  


Unknown said...

Congrats!!! She is so beautiful! You did good mama!!!

"And now..... I'm a mother." totally gave me chills and I teared up! SO happy for you!

Sarah said...

Well now I'm crying at my desk.

This is beautiful! So happy for you, friend and MAMA!