Wednesday, April 4, 2012

caroline's birth story.

I loved being pregnant. Every stage of it. From finding out, seeing my tiny baby bump begin to appear, watching my belly grow bigger and bigger each week, and even the end when I couldn’t sleep and had a swollen leg and ankles. I was overjoyed to be having a child.  A child I longed for, for as long as I can remember.  A little girl. I took pictures of my growing belly each week, excited to know she was growing and each week we were a little closer to meeting her.  

Throughout the pregnancy, there were so many supportive family members and friends to share in the excitement with me.  I loved every “how far along are you now?”, “how are you feeling?” and even every belly rub.  Then there’s my doctor, the most wonderful, good and kind doctor.  I never had to worry about anything because with her, I never had a reason to.  I was beyond relieved to know that she would in fact deliver my daughter; I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else. 

The morning of January 25th, 5:30 am, my water broke. I’ll never forget the excitement we experienced getting ready to go meet Caroline.  We couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived.  A day we waited for and dreamt of.  I was quickly showering and getting ready as Kyle was making sure we had everything we needed and spending some time with Chester.  Before we left the house, I remember looking around our quiet home, a home the two of us had shared, was about to become a home of our sweet little family and our lives would never be the same. Kyle walked up to me and I knew he was thinking the same thing.  We looked around and kissed…I’ll never forget that moment.  Our last moment together in our house, just us.   We had been waiting for this day for so long.  We were so excited that we were going to meet our girl.

The drive to the hospital seemed to take forever.  We called family and friends on the way to share our excitement with those we love most.  Inevitably, we were stuck in slow moving traffic for most of the trip.  I remember gripping the door handle every time I had a contraction and praying for everyone to just get out of our way! We finally pulled up to the hospital and there was no one at the front to valet our truck so I got out and walked inside(all bags in tow) while Kyle quickly parked.  I remember thinking what the &*^$ is taking him so long! The security guy helped me and put me in a wheelchair as he could clearly see I was having contractions. Soon, Kyle came quickly through the door and pushed me up to labor and delivery.

I remember walking into my room.  I looked over at the warming bed that our daughter would soon be in.  I remember thinking that this baby that’s inside my belly will soon be here, in my arms.  I picked up the little hat that would soon be on her head.  I was filled with so many emotions.   I got settled in and met my nurse, Theresa.  She was so sweet and made me feel so at ease, I will never forget her and how she made this long day such a calm one.  She shared in our excitement to meet our girl, and that meant so much to me.  She checked me and I was 100% effaced and dilated to a four.  They said anesthesia would be in shortly for my epidural.  My parents finally got there (they were stuck in traffic too) and I was so happy to see them. 45 minutes later the epidural had arrived.  I was so ready for it, as I was progressing quickly and the hubby says he thought he had lost a couple of fingers. J After the epidural was in I was told a few contractions later I’d have some relief.  My legs started to get numb but the contractions were strong as ever.  They weren’t sure what was going on but gave it a little bit longer.  My legs were even more numb and my butt was numb but I still felt every contraction with no pain relief.  It turns out I had what they call a “hot spot” and the epidural wasn’t working correctly.  Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more the anesthesia god came in and put something manually into my epidural and about 10 minutes later I finally had relief from the contractions.  They checked me again and I was at 7 cm.  Progressing quickly…we all thought at this point that we’d have our baby out by lunch time! J About an hour later I was at 9 cm and started feeling my contractions again. They came back in to put something else manually into my epidural and 15 minutes later I finally had relief again.  The next time they checked me, it was time to start pushing!

So my parents went to the waiting room with my grandparents and the pushing began.  I pushed for about an hour and half…I was making progress but very slow progress.  Out of nowhere I started feeling my contractions again and they had to come in one last time to give me medicine manually.  Another hour and a half of pushing and I was exhausted and the progress was still very slow. Theresa said she was moving down but just not as much as she should be at this point.  Finally, Dr. Miller arrived and suggested Pitocin and resting for 20 minutes and they emptied my bladder once again.  She mentioned using forceps which I told her I did not want.  So she said “Let’s see what you can do now.” I remember pushing.  Pushing like my life and my daughter’s depended on it. I remember praying to God that I could do this and wouldn’t need forceps or a c-section.  I remember looking up and seeing my daughter’s head in the mirror (yes, I wanted the mirror…I didn’t want to miss one second of the most amazing thing that would ever happen to me).  She said “Ok, looks like you’re going to push this baby out all on your own.” Thank you, Jesus.

About 20 minutes later, her head was out and the next two pushes she was here.  I remember watching this sweet perfect, pink little girl come out of me.  They handed her to me.  I remember being in complete euphoria.  I had never been happier than I was in that exact moment.  She was here. She was perfect.  I remember seeing her sweet little face as they placed this perfect angel into my arms.  I remember tears of joy falling down my face as we stared at this precious thing that was all ours.  In that instant I knew I would never love anything more than I loved her.  Sweet Caroline Alaine…we kept telling her how beautiful she was and how much we loved her as she quietly looked at us.  I remember kissing her over and over.  I remember Kyle’s face being right next to me as we looking at our daughter, in complete awe.  I forgot everyone else in the room existed and it was just us, the three of us. Crying, smiling, laughing and kissing. I remember thinking the happiness I felt must not be humanly possible.  I must be dreaming.  We drank her in and marveled at her perfect pouty lips, tiny button nose and perfectly golden hair. 

I will never forget seeing Caroline and her daddy for the first time.  Watching him hold her and tell her how much he loved her as she just stared at him.  So much love filled my heart and we shared something that no one else could ever share with us.  The love of this little girl, OUR daughter.  He brought her back to me and we talked to her and stared at her for the longest time. I remember thinking, “I never want to forget this moment.” I don’t see how I ever could.

I loved having her grandparents and great grandparents pile in to admire and love on her.  I filled my heart with so much joy to see those we love, and the love they have for her.  I got moved to a much nicer room and they went to bathe our sweet girl.  It seemed like she was gone for the longest time and I longed for her to be in my arms again.  She finally returned and she was even more beautiful than I remembered.

We had many visitors that came to see her that night.  I’ll always remember those who came to celebrate our sweet girl’s arrival.  But what I remember most was when they all left.  I remember looking at my daughter and thinking I’d never felt more proud.  I thought my heart would burst.  Pure, raw emotion that can’t be put into words.  That’s a feeling that never goes away.  I still feel it every time I look at her.  She’s here. She’s mine.  And I love her so very much.

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