1 week. Our sweet, dreamy baby girl. She’s been in our world an entire week already.
This post has been a really hard one for me to write. For a few different reasons but before I get into that I want to say that A: she’s healthy. B: I am healthy C: We don’t have any serious conditions or residual complications that we are living through and I am eternally grateful for that. I know so many people who have lived harder experiences, more traumatic and more heartbreaking, so even in the emotional aftermath I am more than anything thankful. So heart wrenchingly grateful. For health, and for my little ones. For the evident ways I can see God walking us through every step.
So with that being said, I move forward, cause this is Holland’s story.
Since our return from our babymoon a few weeks ago I have been experiencing some prodromal labor (I shared a bit about this in an Instagram post). I really don’t like pregnancy. Passionately dislike and it always will be a hard truth to share knowing what life on the other side, struggling to get pregnant, feels like, but it’s the truth. It really is as much an emotional battle, a mind battle, as it is a physical one. I had a lot of ups and downs the past couple weeks but felt like I got to a mental state of acceptance for the pain I would live through till our scheduled c-section on October 15th. 9 days before our due date. I had thanksgiving,, and a friends wedding and my birthday, and plenty of daily life to do and get me through. I was mentally ready and prepared to do it, almost happy to knowing that two weeks of family time and our new baby was on the other side.
But life can change so fast. And when it comes to havin babies absolutely nothing is certain!
THURSDAY, September 27th 2018
If you had asked me what would be the day you least expect to have your baby.
This would have been it.
It started like a super normal average day. Bo had preschool, me and Ivy were meeting my best friend for coffee, while out for coffee I got a text my other friend had given birth that morning! It was sunny and beautiful out and we walked around getting flowers for the new baby girl and a gift and I went off to go pick up Bowen from school and head home for some lunch and naptimes.
I phoned my mother in law when we got home to gush about the new baby news and talk about heading to see some construction going down at the farm with the kids after naptime and as I was walking around getting lunch ready I felt this slight stabbing pain over my incision scar (from previous c – sections, both kids were (read Bowen’s birthstory Here, Read Ivy’s birthstory Here). Now as I said I had been having some prodromal labor (steady contractions, getting close and painful at night) and some cervical pain, kinda like the baby’s hand was coming through my cervix
But this was new. I thought maybe it will just go away. Then lunch passed, then some snuggles on the couch with a show before naptime, and still the pain was there. I texted Brent asking about his day and just told him a little “heads up” having some incision scar pain, pretty sure it’s nothing but may get checked when we visit the new baby if a bath and nap don’t help. These are pretty normal texts from Me by now so he wasn’t alarmed. So that’s what I did, kids went down, had a warm bath, and a quick cat nap. But when I woke up it was still there.
My tenant… ok my sister lol texted saying she was home if I needed help and so I told her I was gunna go in to get looked at and see the new baby and she happily came up to watch the kids. I slipped on my jeans, some sandals, put the flowers and gift in the car. Texted Brent and headed to the hospital. This is the part I for some reason go over in my mind, or I think about it often, and when I came home it kind of shook me up a bit. The things I left out, things that stayed right where I left them because I was so positive I was coming back. I didn’t even grab my packed “Go bag” just in case. So, so completely and fully unaware of how the next few hours would transpire. I never would get to visit my friend, the present is still in the front seat of my van.
I arrived at the hospital, left the flowers and gift in the car to come back for after a quick look in triage. I got to the counter to check in and no sooner had I handed over my care card but our Surgeon Dr T (whom delivered our other two and was scheduled to deliver this baby on the 15th) came bounding around the corner and stopped pretty quick when he saw me with a “Auh.. what are you doing here?” I fumbled out something about some incision pain and he told me he was going to do an emergency C so go in and get a bed and he would be back soon. I kinda assumed by his tone (the guy is one of the sweetest people you will meet) that he was having a busy day so I went in to triage, and got on the monitor, Baby was happy and healthy kicking away as per usual. The minor contractions where there on the page, but unfortunately there’s no tests or imaging you can do for incision pain other then some people pressing on it. The nurses came by to do vitals and check it out, they seemed concerned but not overly. All of a sudden our Surgeon was there again and gave it a feel as well, and very not impressed by how tender it was. He told me again that he had another emergency to get to but that he would be back to talk game plan. After that little interaction I’m pretty sure all my blood drained from my face. I could tell he was serious. He was going to tell us Baby was coming out soon.
I sent Brent some texts, pretty panicked. They are funny for us to look back at now but was serious in that moment.
I knew something was brewing but I felt a pretty decent amount of hope that Brent was going to come and talk down our Doc off the ledge I felt he was leading us off. Brent was pretty confident too. He came right away after probably the busiest work day he had in awhile, still in suit and tie. Ready to negotiate. There was no negotiation. He started to ask some of the same questions I did (ex. What is this a sign of, what are the risks, can we find out with tests for sure if this needs to happen). His response was simple. No there is no tests and if we want to put my life and our babies life endanger then we would decline taking the baby now. Today. As soon as the words left his mouth I started to ball my eyes out. I just was taken so off guard. I know that Uterine rupture, which is what they feared was happening or about to, was extremely dangerous but if you know me. I am a huge planner. Like almost obsessively. I can handle the odd small change in a day no problem but big things like this can feel like a punch to the chest. I didn’t feel ready at all. This was my last pregnancy, my last baby and it was about to all end tonight, actually within an HOUR. No pre warning. I could tell my Doctor felt for us and could see our shock that we hid so well .. he asked if there was anything he could do to help the blow of it. We just wanted to know if baby would be ok, what about her gestational age? 36 and 2 I knew was a good amount along, but still not full term. Would baby face any underdevelopment’s, would we have any NICU time? He assured us that the baby would most likely be good to go but there was a chance of some NICU time depending on the babies sugar levels. So then I just asked if I could just go home for a shower, grab my bags and say bye to my kids, but he told us he didn’t feel comfortable having me leave the hospital. With that all being said he went to do another operation, and sent our nurses into prep me. Brent decided he would run hoe as we don’t live very far from the hospital to grab the kids and my sister to come say some goodbyes before becoming a family of 5 and to take our Van home, and so he could grab our hospital bags which – YAY! – were the only thing close to ready for this day. As he was leaving our surgeon stopped him and told him to be back before 6 because that’s when we were starting. It was almost 5pm. No pressure.
5:00pm – 6:51pm
They came in with my gown and and all the paper work, and then the kids got there. It made what I felt was my emotional peak feel like the bottom of the hill seeing them. They were so excited I could see it in their eyes. I was still grieving a bit the plans we had to enjoy our last days together as this little family but the joy in their faces made me see past it. I knew they would never be hard done by in the sudden change, this was something they had been looking forward to for a long time too.
So we said our good byes, had our kisses and off they went home.
Brent had called our amazing friend Julie who we had lined up to shoot our scheduled birth, and she just happened to be able to come. She made it just as they were wrestling on my IV.
We filled her in, had some laughs with the nurses over my awful veins (they had to try 3 different people ) and talked details about skin to skin, and breast feeding in recovery. Then it was time to roll down to the OR. We never even saw our room just straight from triage to operate. I have to preface this also by saying how incredibly busy it was at the maternity ward was that day, and the ones to follow. There were 13 births during the day that day, and 6 in the night to follow. And the next days were similar, if not more. It was baby mayhem and people were being turned to different hospitals. We are incredibly thankful we came in when we did and that our Surgeon happened to be on. Not something we take as coincidence.
Waiting in the pre op waiting area is always a very strange moment, your anticipation is debilitating and it’s when the real fear of what’s about to happen hits. This time was no different but I felt literally in shock for the entire process really, it felt like I was watching it happen to me, not really experiencing it. I told our amazing Nurse K to expect me to be an absolutely baby about the spinal tap when we got in there and she agreed to hold my hand till Brent came in. That’s always the worst part, the husbands only come in once you are frozen and about to be opened up. So in we went, and a baby I was, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Then I was laid out, the tarp went up and Brent came in.
Holland Alida arrived, beautiful, covered in vernix and little lungs that were so strong. It’s always emotional and my husband and I balled our eyes out. Yes it’s surgery, it’s not an ideal birth experience obviously, but it’s our experience and those moments in the OR for all 3 of my babies will remain the best moments of my life. They cleaned her up and checked her out, her Dada cut the cord and then her beautiful little body, all 6 lbs 5oz of it were placed on my chest. She cried into my kisses till she started to calm down, something she still does a week later. Something I will do for her for life. She instantly reminded me of Bowen, but with even more beautiful dark hair. LOTS of dark hair! Who would guess right? But my babies have a tendency to have it, loose it, and go blonde (So we will see!). They took her to weigh her and have some skin on skin time with Dada in Recovery. As Brent stood up to take her away our Surgeon told us that we made the right decision. It brought a flood of memories back from when Bowen was born. He told me the same thing when his cord was wrapped tightly 3 times around his neck, so I knew it was as serious as he predicted.
He then told us before even opening up my uterus he could see Holland’s hair. through my Uterus. Not the waters sac. My Uterus. It was paper thin. Like a ticking time bomb. The suddenness of the situation didn’t leave me for quite awhile after her birth but in that moment I felt a rush of peace. I know the severity of what could have happened. And I am eternally thankful it didn’t. If we hadn’t already been confident that 3 was our number, this sealed the deal.
So when I was sown up, and into recovery Brent handed me our teeny daughter, our sweet little girl who was the missing puzzle piece to our family. Skin to skin she fed, and I studied her every piece. Each of my kids have instantly felt like home to me. And with a third it was no different then the first.
Looking back on the past week, and more so last Thursday’s events it still feels like a bit of a blur, the feeling sitting all of a sudden in our room at 9pm, with our baby in our arms and wondering what the heck just happened, that feelings been hard to shake. It may not sound like the biggest deal but let me tell you hormones and intense situations bring out things like that.
I’m happy to say we have eased into our life again pretty smoothly, the kids have transitioned even better than I could expect, I am healing well, and our girl is a dream. We escaped the NICU thanks to some pre pumped colostrum, and we have been fighting off jaundice, but we have a healthy girl. A beautiful healthy girl.
Holland, you came in like a whirlwind and have changed our life for the better. It’s a better place because you’re here. We know God has big things for you, there is a calling on your life, and we can’t wait to watch it unfold as he leads you. Our sweet calm baby, we will cherish you forever, you’re our forever baby.
A special thanks to the staff at ARH who are amazing angels in my eyes, doing this day in and out, dealing with hormonal parents having the biggest days of their lives. To our Surgeon Dr T, for bringing all our babies earthside and for taking such good care of us, Nurse K for holding my hand and checking in on us even past being in charge of our care. To Julie for the incredible photos that have allowed me to process and to start to heal in some emotional ways. To my sister and mother in law for taking such amazing care of our bigger two so last minute. To my husband, my rock and the best dad in the world, you carry our family and you carried me through these births.