Hi Baby Girl, As I write this you are in my arms. I'm typing one handed, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's still so surreal that three weeks ago we were leaving the hospital with you. I have such wonderful, precious, priceless memories of that weekend when you were born. I hope I do it justice here...
Friday night, the day before you arrived, I had made a huge list of things to get done. It was one of the first weekends where I felt really ambitious, and your dad and I both realized we had a lot to do to prepare for your arrival. I still have that list, sitting by the bed, and I smile every time I look at it. As you can probably guess, none of it got done that day, and it was all ok. Better than ok in fact, because God had plans for us to meet you.
Around 6:45 Saturday morning I got out of bed to use the restroom, and halfway there thought I may have had my first bout of incontinence, if you know what I mean. I know this is common during pregnancy, but I had never experienced it. I was having to use the bathroom every 10 minutes it seemed during the third trimester, but I had never not made it in time. So I called your dad to come look (I don't know what I thought he was going to do) but we both thought it probably wasn't my water breaking because there wasn't enough of it. Five minutes later though, there was more, and we were sure. My water had broken…there was no question. I'm pretty scared at this point, because you're not due for another 3 1/2 weeks, and we are still so unprepared. We didn't have a bag packed, and I hadn't washed any of your new clothes (that was on the list I had made!). So your dad started packing me a bag, while I just continued to kind of stand around in shock. I called the doctor, and the doctor on call immediately called me back. She was very positive and upbeat and just told me to head to the hospital! Holy cow I am going to have a baby.
I then remembered a suggestion a friend of mine had recently told me. She has said if you have time, to shower before you go to the hospital. That way I'd feel nice and clean….and who knows when I'd be able to shower again! So I did that, got dressed, and then started to try and help your dad. He had woken your brother up to tell him we were going to the hospital, and I remember he packed a bag of own, which consisted of nothing more than a stuffed animal. :)
About 45 minutes after my water broke, I started having contractions and began timing them. They weren't too bad; we stayed home another 45 minutes while I looked for your going-home outfit. It was the one thing I wanted to remember to take, and it was the one thing I couldn't find. I was very, very frustrated. The contractions started getting stronger though, so we had to eventually leave without the clothes.
We were only five minutes from the hospital so we got there quickly. It was weird just to walk in and ask what to do…I guess I always pictured it as a little more chaotic. But we just went to labor and delivery and they checked us into maternal observation. It was all very calm and easy. They started monitoring my contractions and at this point they had started to hurt pretty bad. We were there for about an hour while they prepared a delivery room for us. Your uncle Jacob and soon to be aunt Rachel came up to the hospital to get Ian, and then the nurse came and got me and your dad and moved us to the room where you were to be born! I had told the nurse I could walk, but the contractions were pretty difficult to walk through, and they started making me nauseous. So she put me in a wheelchair.
Once we got to the delivery room, as much as I wanted to try and have a natural birth, I asked for an epidural. I was pretty disappointed in myself, but in the end, I believe I made the best decision that I could at that point. I wasn't really able to focus on much else but the pain, and I didn't really want to spend the entire day fearing the next contraction. I wish I could have done without an epidural, but all in all, I think it ended up being a really good thing. It did give me the shakes pretty badly, but those subsided. And more than anything, it enabled me to enjoy the day with my family in the delivery room.
Jacob and Rachel and Ian had returned with coffee and breakfast tacos for everyone (except me…only liquids for me!) Oh, and Jacob had gone to our house, searched our entire garage, and found the outfits I couldn't!! I don't know how he did it but I was SO grateful!! My mom and stepdad (your grandparents) arrived around 11am, and your other grandpa, who lives further away, arrived a bit later to meet you! Jacob and Rachel had also had a big weekend planned…they were remodeling their soon to be home and had planned on working on that all day. But they were so sweet and spent most of the day taking care of/entertaining your big brother, bringing us food, etc.
That Saturday was the start of the college football season, so we just all hung out and watched a lot of football. Your dad is using a towel as a blanket in this picture because apparently it was cold in the delivery room. I was the only one who wasn't freezing the whole time!
Your uncle Jake had brought me some of my favorite things…chocolate covered fruit bites and sour patch-type candy, and I couldn't have any of it! But I drank a ton of juice and ate a bunch of jello.
I had my Bible and a book on the bed with me, and the stuffed animal that Ian had packed and given to me when he left (Your brother is wild and crazy, but he has such a sweet heart). I didn't end up reading my book at all, but my Bible was definitely a source of comfort to me when I got nervous or scared.
Labor progressed pretty quickly…I cant remember exactly but I think I was around a 4 when we got settled into the delivery room. A couple of hours later I was at a 6, and then about an hour later your heart rate dropped significantly and I called the nurse back in. (I watched this monitor more than I watched any of the football going on on TV).
The nurse rechecked me, seeming to know that that drop in your heart rate meant something, and said happily that I was already at a 9! From there, once I was fully dilated, the nurse checked with the doctor and they said that now we were just kind of going to wait and see. They weren't in any hurry for me to start pushing, and I trusted them. So we just waited some more! Again, this was one of the blessings of the epidural…I know it's not for everyone, but it enabled me to stay rested and upbeat while I waited.
Finally, around 5:30 pm, they said it was time to push! I couldn't feel anything, and this was actually the one time I wished there was a little pain, because I couldn't tell if I was doing anything right! Even though I wasn't in any pain, it was definitely hard! I remember closing my eyes between pushes and just feeling SO exhausted. But, two hours later you were here! Best thing EVER. I remember the doctor telling me to open my eyes and look at my daughter, and all of a sudden you were in my arms, and in my heart.
I also remember hearing your dad laugh right when you were born…not a humorous laugh, but a completely overwhelmed with joy laugh. He had tears in his eyes and a big smile on his face and I knew he was already as in love with you as I was.
Ian got to come back in soon after, and he was SO excited to meet you. He had been for quite some time. From the very first time he found out he was having a sister he was always so upbeat, positive, and sweet. He loves you bunches.
Then Jacob and Rachel came back to meet you! Notice the paint on your uncle's hands! They were able to fit in a couple hours of work before you arrived. Once they met you they left to get us all dinner. I was so hungry I didn't care what we ate, but they ended up bringing back an AMAZING celebratory dinner from Nonna Tata. We ate fresh foccacia, salad, gnocchi, chicken picatta, and a handful of other completely delicious italian dishes. It was such a sweet gesture.
I wish I had pictures of the whole evening, but I wasn't really thinking of much else besides you! I'm thankful my mom managed to at least get the photos I've shared here.
You are such a gift from God, Adalyn. Your birth day was one of the most amazing days of my life. Sometimes I wish I could duplicate the feeling of meeting you over and over and over again. But I'm so grateful that we get to spend the rest of our lives getting to know you more each and every day.
Next time, I'll recap our first month together. And I'll cry. I can't believe it has passed so quickly.
Thank you for giving me this experience, and for being you. You are perfect.
I love you more than I can describe,