"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." -Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hannah Grace Adams

If you are new around here, you should know that Hannah Grace Adams has arrived (which I'm not sure how you couldn't know already from our plethora of social media postings)!  She is beautiful and perfect and sleeping as I type this blog post. I'm certain she'll wake up and fall asleep multiple times before this post is completed, but that's okay. That's our life these days (and half of you reading this completely understand)! I have been anything but a good blogger these past couple of years, and I'm not going to promise that will get better. I see you Mama's who post every other day. That won't be me. I wish and maybe it will be occasionally, but not currently.

No, currently, we are in that survival newborn stage. Remember it (if you have kids)?  It looks like this: SLEEP WHEN YOU CAN, WASH CLOTHES WHEN YOU CAN, EAT WHEN YOU CAN, REPEAT!  Sometimes I have to remind myself to eat. Sometimes I smell something gross and remember that my shirt has 4 rounds of spit up on it.  So blog posts are not at the top of that priority list.

However, I did want to take an opportunity to share with you the arrival of our baby girl and document it for my ability to always remember.

On January 6th, the craziest thing happened. I went to my 37 week checkup expecting everything to be normal.  The doctor's office was super on time (which never happens). I was used to catching up on all of my thank you notes while I waited. Not this day. My favorite nurse called me back 10 minutes before my appointment and before David could arrive. I hopped on the scale to see the dreaded number and then proceeded down the hall to the room. I sat on the table and held out my arm to have my blood pressure taken.  I knew the drill--after all, we had 37 weeks of this behind us already.  All through my pregnancy I had been concerned with high blood pressure. I have had too many friends be delivered early due to this.  However, my BP had been stellar all through pregnancy. We're talking 105/60 most of the time. For that reason, when the nurse said my BP was 150/80, we were all concerned.  She promptly took it again and got 148/80.

While waiting for the doctor, I heard her in the hall say very loudly 150!!!!  She walked in and gave me the "what are we going to do" look.  She asked me if I'd ran any marathons today to which I replied no.  She told me that we would wait 15 minutes and try to take it again. I was 1 cm dilated and 90% effaced (for those of you that know what that means).  David walked in about the time they were rechecking my BP. Needless to say, it had not gone down.  My doctor walked back in, asked if I was experiencing head aches or blurred vision (which I was not), and said, "if it is still up next week, we'll go ahead and induce you. I know it's not what you planned, but you're full term, and it's just not worth the risks."

I was devastated.  I did everything to keep my BP down the next week. And yet, I walked in the next Monday at 38 weeks with the same high BP.

Now, let me pause here and say that I realize this is not EXTREMELY high BP. But it was for me. And I trust my doctor. And you can keep your opinions to yourself. Keep reading. You'll understand why we induced, I promise.

We scheduled the induction for 4 am on Wednesday, January 15th.  My doctor would be the doctor on call and that gave me great peace of mind (side note: if you need a female doctor in Memphis, please ask me about mine. I love her).  I went to work on Tuesday to clean up a few things and came home early to prepare for Hannah Grace.  I decided (at 2 pm) that I needed to make a sign for the door of the hospital. This is how I spent my last afternoon before my baby arrived:

Minus I did not fill in any of the details as they were unknown.  After completing my project, David and I went out to dinner for our last dinner of two.  We sat over catfish at Soul Fish Cafe in East Memphis where he proclaimed to me that I looked beautiful, and while I looked pregnant, I most certainly did not look like I would be delivering a baby the next day (yeah, I'm keeping him).  When we got home, you can imagine how well I slept the night before. David and I went to bed early (I think it was 9 pm). We were all packed. I had showered.  The goal was to sleep as much as possible.  I think I fell asleep at midnight and to say that 3 am came super quick is an understatement.  We woke up and got ready.  It is a weird feeling packing to go to the hospital to birth a baby when you aren't in any pain or having any indication of labor.  I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions since about week 34 and a few regular contractions off and on the day before, but they always ended up going away. We left for the hospital at 3:45 am.

Once arriving at the hospital and parking in a front row spot (amazing how few people are at the labor and delivery unit at 4 am), we got checked in and taken back to a room. Our nurse introduced herself and took my blood pressure.  I think she thought we were crazy when it registered 120/85 (or something like that). Did I mention that I had been tracking my blood pressure? It started getting bad in the afternoons. It was stellar every morning so this number was not surprising to me! She asked us a zillion questions--seriously!  I even commented to her that I bet there were multiple women that hated her when they were in labor with her asking all of these questions.  She did a terrible job of putting the line in for my IV and pitocin. Seriously!  And I'm not in the habit of bashing people on my blog. It HURT!   Then she had to take 4 million tons of blood to run lab works (guessing it was because of the high BP) and she did not hit my vein right for like 4 times. She had to use both arms to get it started. Ugh. I have NEVER had a problem with people getting blood from my veins. I just kept telling her it was fine and to take her time as nice as I could because nothing makes me more nervous then to feel like I'm failing. It just causes me to screw up more.  I thought if I could calm her down, it would all be over soon. And soon enough it was.

I was asked a bunch of times 3 questions. Question 1: Have you had a flu shot. I was asked this 4 times. Yes, I counted.  Question 2: Have you ever had Hepatitis? "No I haven't." "Are you sure?" "Yes, I'm positive."  Repeat this conversation 4 times with same nurse from above.  I HAVE NOT HAD HEPATITIS! Question 3: Would you like your epidural now?

Now, of everything in childbirth, the epidural scared me the most. Seriously. I was not worried about birthing a baby.  She was coming out one way or another.  I was scared of the massive needle and anesthesiologist!  When I arrived at the hospital, I was not convinced that I wanted an epidural.  Call me crazy, but I was set on enduring pain of childbirth over the needle. I know...crazy!  So the fact that they started offering the epidural when I first arrived (and was 1.5 cm) was annoying to me. Stay tuned.

I asked the nurse if she thought we'd have a baby by lunchtime. She reluctantly answered, "uh, your first baby? Probably not. Most labor between 12 and 18 hours and you're being induced."  Oh well, it was a nice thought.  Remember, said nurse already thought we were crazy because of the BP thing.

At 5:30 am (yes, it took an hour and a half), the pitocin was started.  I started contracting almost immediately.  I began timing the contractions and we were at 5 minutes a part and lasting for a minute each. I remember thinking "wow, we'd be heading to the hospital already if this wasn't induction."  For the most part, we were laid back at this point.  I wasn't in too much pain. I could deal with everything that was coming towards me.  Enter nurse coming in and telling me to let her know when I was ready for the epidural.  To be fair, I didn't share my thoughts in the above paragraph with her so she didn't know I was considering going au natural.

At 6:30 am, all was still going well. David had gone to get things out of our car. I was trying to read a magazine in between contractions.  The nurse (same one) came in and turned up my pitocin. I asked her how many other patients she had this morning, and she told me I was her only one. Great news as I had heard bad things about our hospital being over crowded.

At 7:00 am, all was still going well.  The anesthesiologist came in to ask the same zillion questions the nurse asked "just in case I needed an epidural."  When he left, he said, "you just let your nurse know when you're ready for it. It's never too early."  This went against everything I had heard about epidurals. I thought you were supposed to wait until you were dilated a lot before getting it.  But everyone kept reiterating that I could get it "whenever I wanted it."

Good news though. 7:00 am meant changing of the nurses! :)  With it brought a new nurse who was super sweet. She might have been just as bad at her poking skills, but I didn't have to find out.

At 7:15 am things started heating up. No less than the anesthesiologist had left was I in massive pain. David was trying to rub my back and help me through them, but the contractions were coming so fast.  I was breathing through them and trying to invoke the "Go to Hell Ole Miss" breath that David and I had created during child birth classes, but it wasn't working. It was working, but as soon as I would get through one, another was coming right along behind. I couldn't even catch my breath much less verbalize to David what I needed. All I could think was that at 7:30 am, that nurse was coming back in to bump up the pitocin. And that had me terrified.

At 7:30 am, right on time, my new nurse came in to turn up the pitocin.  About 5 minutes afterwards, I struggled to verbalize to David that I needed the epidural. I did not care how much pain it caused. I needed some relief!  Within 10 minutes of asking for it, I was pain free.  They were so super speedy giving it. The only bad part was him having to tell me everything he was about to do. :( I don't like knowing what's coming. After it was over, I thought about turning around and looking at the instruments he used (med device geek), but then thought about the fact that I would have more children and need more epidurals.  Maybe on the last one, I'll check out what he used, but not on this one!

About 5 minutes after my epidural, my nurse rushed in the room over to the pitocin and said "I'm going to turn this thing down. Your body isn't getting any breaks in between contractions."  I wanted to yell at her NO JOKE!!!  But I held that in!  That was the entire reason I broke down and got the epidural (which wound up being a great decision).

After that, we were much more relaxed and laid back. My doctor showed up at 8 am to check on me.  When she found out that I'd gotten the epidural, she went ahead and broke my water. I was 3 cm and effaced when she checked me.  Now that I think back, if the pitocin hadn't been so bad, and I had not gotten the epidural, she would not have gone ahead and broken my water.  In the end, that was a blessing as I know it sped things up.  Did I mention how much I love my doctor?

My parents arrived as did David's and came to visit (and take pictures).  We read a little and tried to pass the time.  They would not let me elevate my bed because they told me that the epidural would go to my feet and not where I needed it. So hello double chin.  I'm sure all of the fluid they were pumping me full of didn't help matters either.

Our parents hung out in the waiting room while we were laboring.  My parents arrived from Jackson about 9:30 am. One blessing when you are being induced is that everyone knows when to arrive!  My Mom freaked when I told her I was getting my epidural when I did because she said everything went super fast for her after her epidural. She was afraid Hannah Grace would get here before her.  My Dad commented that he was glad they didn't run into any State Troopers on the way.  

At 10:30 am, my nurse checked me and told me I was 6 cm.  Looking back now, I should have realized how fast things were going, but I was expecting to have a baby by dinner time. Not by lunch time.  All based on what crazy, unable to poke people correctly, nurse told me that morning.  This nurse looked at me and asked, "are you feeling any pressure?"  I wanted to look at her and say "Lady, I couldn't feel anything down there if I WAS having pressure!"  Those drugs are good.  But I didn't say that.  I simply said no.  Hello double chin again. 

We hung out a little longer (and got more fluids so my chin would look like a triple chin--why did someone not tell me to sit up a little?).  We watched the Food Network while I tried to look at a magazine.  I mainly text a few friends and caught up on Facebook news.  To be quite honest, we were in that anticipation mode, but we were BORED!  David played Monopoly on the iPad.  We both were just bored and ready to meet our little girl!  I think I kind of wanted breakfast at this point too!

At 11:30 am out of no where, I felt pressure! I was surprised to feel ANYTHING and looked at David and said "uh..I think I feel something. Should we call the nurse?"  Don't judge me. It was kind of like that "oh crap this is about to get real" feeling. Excitement, anticipation, and feeling something for the first time in 4 hours.  David responded, "um YEAH. That is what she is here for."

The nurse came in and checked me.  She said, "no wonder you felt something. She is right there!"  Silly me responded, "how many centimeters am I?" Oh my goodness how silly I must have sounded!  "TEN," she responded. "We're calling the doctor."

My mom walked in right after that to return the camera and excitement ensued!  She went back to the waiting room to tell the others and wait on Hannah Grace's arrival.  

The next part was super fast and sort of a blur!  At 11:45, I began pushing.  At 11:50, my doctor (who I love--have I mentioned that?) walked in. And at 12:11 pm, we had a BABY!  

A 6 lb, 2 oz, 19.5 inch long BABY! 

Welcome to the world Hannah Grace Adams! (double name)

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." -Psalm 139:13-14

And her precious little toes!

And before I knew it, I was holding that precious baby. Our precious BABY!  The baby that God created and knit together. The one that He already knows the plans for.

And just like that, we were a family of 3 (four if you include Lacey, and you know I do!)

When Hannah Grace was born, the cord was wrapped around her neck twice.  I asked my doctor later if she was concerned about it when it happened and she said no, but only because her vitals had been so good the entire time they were monitoring her during labor.  She said that the cord looked more like a necklace than anything as it was loose.  However, she pointed out that the situation might have been MUCH different had I gone to full term.  She noted that we might have ended in a C-section if Hannah Grace had been much bigger.

Isn't God amazing?  Blood pressure that doesn't spike until the afternoon.  Doctor's appointments in the afternoon to catch the spike (which wasn't much, but enough to alert my doctor).  Every appointment that I tried to make at 8 am to get to work earlier that wasn't available because it was the new year and everyone was coming in for annuals.  Whew... even though we can't always see Him at work, I LOVE it when we can! What a constant reminder that He is orchestrating HIS plan...even when it comes to the birth of a baby girl!

It was time to go get the grandparents!  David left our room to tell them the good news. Apparently, at 12:12 pm, my mom looked at her cell phone and said, "she's here" to everyone. How right she was!

I love my Mom's face in this picture. David took it through the waiting room door!

And all of a sudden, Hannah Grace was surrounded by her family. She cried most of the time through it, but that is a moment I won't forget. You know how in the Bible it says that "Mary treasured up all of these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19)?  I finally understand that verse. As much anticipation as we'd had before Hannah Grace was born and the excitement, I was exhausted after.  It hit me that I'd had 3 hours of sleep and nothing to eat. I sat in that room and just took it all in. I will forever treasure those moments.  Baby Jesus didn't get family. He got shepherds and donkeys and cows. And angels.  I'm pretty sure Hannah Grace got angels too.  Both places with new life. Both places with different circumstances. Both places full of love.  And I'll never read that verse the same again.

Right now, there is a tiny human being asleep on my chest as I type this (yes, we've fallen asleep and woken up multiple times in the days it's taken me to type this post). I am blown away at how AMAZING that sentence is.  A tiny little life that looks a whole lot like me has been entrusted by God to us. I could stare at her all day long and watch her sleep.  I'm constantly torn between not wanting to wake her up and wanting to kiss the sweet chubby cheeks.  Join with me as we continue to pray for Hannah Grace and trust that the Lord has big plans for her life!

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

 I started it around 5 weeks. We're at 11 weeks now.  The photo below was taken around the time we started it!  You get an award if you actually read all of this! Please disregard typos. Hannah Grace just woke up!

No comments:

Post a Comment