It is with a flood of emotions we welcome to the world a beautiful, beloved little girl who was born at 29 weeks yesterday, Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 3:18pm weighing in at 3lbs 5ounces and 15 inches. We aren't ready to share photos, her name, or anything quite yet as honestly, I am just getting to know her, but did want to let all of our friends & family know that God blessed us with a beautiful and healthy for being born at 29 weeks, little girl who is doing well in the NICU now.
Yesterday morning I posted some updates as the reality we would become a family of four drew near. At around 6am, I called Grant (before I even notified my nurses) as my contractions were quickening and I just had a feeling she was coming. I told him to pack a bag and have some breakfast because we were in for a long day. I am pretty certain he thought I was being dramatic, but he arrived just as I was being moved to Labor and Delivery.
The next few hours were quick and filled with excited anticipation. Indeed she was coming, I was dilating fairly quickly. I got a walking epidural to slow things down and relax the body a bit, this was a lifesaver as it actually gave me some peace to have the difficult conversations with the neonatologists with a sound mind, instead of in between screams of pain. In quick reflection, it was a decision we debated but the best decision we could have made. I needed time to compose myself, my emotions, and physically get ready to give birth to our little girl almost 3 months before her due date.
We had some time as I dilated from 4cms to 7 cms, so both Grant and I tried to nap for about 30 minutes. I thought I felt a little trickle, and when the nurse came, she noted my water broke. Maybe the most uneventful waterbreaking ever. About an hour later the doctor came in and noticed that while my water was leaking, the bag was still intact so she broke it and within 2 minutes I felt the need to push. It was truly a miraculous effort seeing the NICU team and my delivery team converge in our room, scrubbed up for surgery and all working together in under 10 minutes- every team could learn a great lesson from this. I was honestly stunned.
After a few easy pushes, out she came- even with a little cry! Immediately whisked away, though they did bring her by my bedside in her incubator after running immediate diagnostics. Grant followed her to the NICU while they cleaned me up. As they thought, pathology showed that my placenta had indeed had an abruption and there were blood clots. I never got to hold my little girl the day she was born, but I was so thankful Grant was able to go with her.
A few hours later they wheeled me down to the NICU where I was able to put my hand in her incubator and touch her foot- so tiny but perfect in every way. She had immediately had a little surgery to put two lines through her stomach and another in her mouth to help her with nutrition and respiration, and she is on a CPAP machine but doing really really well for being born 11 weeks early. She may be small, yet she sure is mighty. I am already so proud of her.
I am writing this sitting outside the entrance of the NICU at 4am. I woke up to pump (breastfeeding is so important to a preemie) at 2am. When I arose to shower, Grant asked me what I was doing. When I explained I was going to bring the little vials of colostrum to the NICU, he said, "You must miss her so much," I just closed the bathroom door, put on the shower and cried. The honest truth was I couldn't label this emotion as missing her quite yet, yes I wanted to be with her - I just felt like I didn't even know her. I had only spent two- 10 minute visits with her, surrounded by doctors and nurses and wires and machines. I still haven't held my baby to my chest or felt her breath. I have no idea when she will meet her big sister. There is so much uncertainty, but I do know that this baby girl is so loved, by me, by her father, and by the outpour of support from our community.
Spending time with her alone this morning did good for both my heart and soul. Aside from the nurses, the NICU was quiet and not crowded and I just sat and read her prayers and poems about strength and perseverance. She really is doing great, and she really is perfect. Hopefully in the next few days I will get to hold her and show her just how much I love her and vow to protect her through all of life's challenges. This may be the first of those challenges, but we will share a long journey ahead.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers, we are so blessed to welcome our little one into a world filled with love, kindness and generosity. I recognize with all that is happening in the news sometimes it seems like the world is falling apart, but each of you have restored my confidence of the good in people - and I feel blessed to raise our family where love trumps all and miracles do happen.