Sunday, May 10, 2015

Our tiniest princess

I figure I need to write all of this out before I forget it, plus it is fun to go back and read the details that become forgotten later on. :) So here it goes...

Last week, probably Thursday, I began to experience some early signs of labor but since I was determined to not be impatient with Cora's arrival I just noted them and kept moving.  Saturday Todd and I had our last "before the baby comes" alone time where we walked all over Tomball- the farmer's market, antique stores, etc... It was a lot of fun and totally exhausting at the same time.  I took a hefty nap once we got home. On Sunday I noticed I had some back pain and although I had read just the night before signs of early labor, I thought nothing of it.  Now I realize the back pain was my first indication of a contraction.  Sunday was a great day, though, because Todd  and I got a lot done that we had wanted to get done.  The weekend had been one full of preparation for the upcoming week- the house was clean, laundry done, groceries bought (oh my goodness I went to the store alone on Saturday- glad my water didn't break then!), loads of the projects we had been working on were complete.  Were we completely ready?  No, there were a few things we still needed to accomplish to feel completely ready, but the house, the kid stuff, and all the important stuff had been crossed off the to-do list.

Working on my bedroom wall...

Finished!  And I made a bunch of the stuff myself!

Despite all of the signs (that I was missing/ignoring), Sunday afternoon we loaded up and headed to church.  I waddled around receiving words of sympathy and suggestions on how to get this show on the road. Todd and I subbed for Ava's primary class and then I was off to conduct the Relief Society meeting.  In opening exercises I joked about still being here but that I promised I wouldn't be here next week. Someone from the audience joked that we ought to all say a prayer for me right then and there- I joked back saying that we needed a moment of silence.  Then we sang a hymn and the prayer was said by my sweet visiting teacher, Jennie.  In the prayer she prayed for me and the safe delivery of the baby.  Very sweet and I promise I only blushed a little at the attention.  Once I gave all of the announcements and turned the time over to Cindy for the lesson, I sat toward the back next to Jennie and listened to the lesson.  10 minutes before our meeting was over I felt a small gush. I wasn't certain that it was my water breaking, but that's what it felt like- so I picked up my phone and walked out of the meeting straight for the bathroom.  My water has broken on its own 2 other times and I knew the potential for a flood was a reality.  I texted Todd "I think my water just broke." Then texted 5 of my friends hoping that one of them had their phone on them "I'm in the bathroom, I think my water just broke."

Poor Todd. I gave him no directions, so he goes to look for me in the Relief Society room, then realizes I'm probably in the bathroom.  He is standing outside the women's bathroom debating on how he can get to me when Taryn and Amy come racing around the corner.  They come in full of excitement and questions.  So far, there is no big puddle or mess- its actually just a dribble really (your welcome for the visual). Amy & Taryn spring into action telling me what I am going to do, what they are going to do, and then they escort me out of the bathroom and take off to put the plan in action.  Todd sees me, and we decide he needs to tell the girls what is going on, so he leaves. For a moment my team has left me alone to walk down the hall to the van...all the while hoping my water doesn't leave a trail behind me.  Luckily, Evelyn comes out in the hall ready to help- she walks behind me just in case the trickle becomes a flood.  We make it to the van and Ashley joins us as well, offering her help.  I have no towel or blanket or anything to sit on- so its a good thing we live so close to the church and have leather seats! Taryn and Amy meet back up with us to get car seats and then Todd and I head home to get all of our things and head to the hospital.

Once we get home we are still kinda like dear-in-headlights despite the fact that this is baby #5. I remember that I hadn't set out Lucy's clothes for the week- so I go do that real quick, then make sure I have everything together for Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner for the girls and Taryn's family who will be staying with them until my parents arrive.  I had already made the rice and the chicken + cream of chicken soup was in the crock pot. All set. Toppings set out. OK- last minute stuff thrown into the bags.  I change clothes- what does one wear to the hospital when you know that you are going to gush all over it? As we are leaving Taryn pulls up with the kids, we say our goodbyes and good lucks- then we head to the hospital.  On the way I begin to feel real contractions, they are 5-6 minutes apart and strong.  We are both nervous for the night ahead.

Once we get there we go to the check in and they say that they have no proof of my pre-registration. As a result, I get to fill out some forms, initial here and there, all the while sitting on 2 bathroom towels and intensifying contractions.  Eventually- and this may be only after a few minutes I'm not sure- I tell Todd to just fill out everything else.  I'm done. Did I mention we forgot to grab my wallet?  Well- it wasn't on my list and I wasn't driving- it slipped my mind. It didn't help the situation, but eventually they let us walk to the OB intake/triage area.  We are put in a tiny room and have more questions to answer.  They check my progress and I'm only measuring a 2 or 3, so there appears to be no rush.  They go to put in an IV and my veins roll.  UGH. They try twice in my arm and eventually concede to do it in my hand...which hurts worse and is generally uncomfortable, but hey- pain is relative at this point, right? The contractions at this point are irregular and my blood pressure has spiked, so they are turning me on my side- which really hurts. The nurse explains that there is a C-section about to start so they have asked for the anesthesiologist to come right away for the epidural.  Good!  'Cuz this hurts! They are ready to move me into the delivery room. We are getting closer.

Everything goes pretty fast once we move in there.  They tell me that the C-section has begun so its going to be at least an hour before I can get an epidural.  Fine.  I tell myself that I can survive an hour. At this time I am in constant pain.  The contractions have become so irregular that there is no reprieve in the pain and it hurts so bad that its making me nauseous. The nurse leaves to go get some pain medicine that will also help the nausea, while we wait for the epidural and the doctor to be finished with the C-section. While she is gone, I can feel the baby really low and the desire to push.  Todd runs to get the nurse and she checks my progress, I'm measuring a 7 and the baby's head is right there. No time for any medicine, no epidural, and that doctor better hurry. The rest goes pretty fast, well, for everyone but me! Todd urges the nurse to hurry because once we get to this point in my deliveries, the rest goes very quickly.  The nurse calls out to have the hospital's OB doc to come quickly.  I feel like I should push and the nurse tells me to try to take a deep breath and wait for the doctor.  Ya, right.  I push slightly and the doctor comes in, ready to go.  He tells me that I'm in charge- to push when I feel it and he will guide me through it.  So far things have not gone at all like we had planned, but this doctor was the best option for me, a tender mercy. Funny side note- my actual doctor whom I adore checked the hospital log at 5pm to make sure none of her patients had checked in, she checked again at 9pm and was shocked to see my name had appeared with the notation "delivered".

Now pause. Let's have a moment here.  If you've ever been a patient at a hospital they ask you to rate your pain throughout your time there.  I never really know what to rate my pain.  I don't want to be a wimp but I also don't want to underestimate if there's a way to make it less.  Well, this pain is a 10.  Big sad, crying out face on the scale.  Ouchy McOucherson. Have you ever seen a movie or TV show where they have someone delivering a baby and they scream? They do that because it hurts.  A lot.  Todd says he can still hear me scream.

I pushed 2 or 3 times all the while feeling like I could pass out from the pain at any moment- and then she's here!  Just like that, 2 hours and 30 minutes after leaving the church parking lot and our baby has finally arrived!  Exactly 1 week early. Right after the delivery they place her on me, all fresh and new- but I was still in pain and my head was super fuzzy. It takes me like 15 minutes before I am able to appreciate that it is over, our sweet girl- waited and anticipated for- is here.  She is our tiniest princess weighing in at 7 lbs, 4 oz and 18 3/4 inches long.

Today Cora Adeline is 1 week old.  That's hard to believe, but it happens when you're on a newborn's sleep schedule and the days all meld into each other. At this point, we can't say she looks like anyone in particular, although we can tell that she is one of ours...and probably leans more toward looking like Todd than me, which should surprise no one.  She is a very relaxed baby.  Sweet and tiny.  Its amazing how much you can love someone so much and only have known them for 6 days.

I love LOVE this picture.  Cora is completely adored by her sisters every waking moment.  My sister Leah came to help us during our first week of adjustment.  I'm going to miss that help tomorrow when real life begins.

I had a moment with Cora yesterday.  We were in my bedroom alone and I was looking into those big precious newborn eyes and I just had this thought- of all the mothers in the world, she chose me. It's a huge responsibility, one that I do not take likely, and although her arrival has been unexpected in every way from the very beginning, I feel so blessed to be on this journey with her.  My number 5.

Today is Mother's Day.  Being a parent is the most difficult thing I've ever done.  Its an every day struggle to balance the good/better/best and keep the bad influences away. I can't say that I go to sleep every night feeling accomplished or that I've done my job to the best of my ability- but I can say that I've tried. Cora's initials are CAB, which we joke is short for caboose. The completion of our family.  Over the upcoming days, weeks, months, and years as I grow into the role of a mother- I want to remember these precious little moments when these little girls of mine were new to the world, to me, to life. Their fresh start, their new beginning...a journey that is bound to be filled with twists and turns, trials, and tribulations, blessings and tender mercies at every step. What a blessing.

Welcome to the world, Cora Adeline!
We're so glad you're here.

A Mommy photo shoot for the birth announcements.

Friends decorated the house to welcome us home, such a fun surprise.

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