Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Amazing Story of You

They began around 8:30 p.m. on February 23, 2008.  These things called contractions, but let me go back two weeks.

February 9th, Mom (your grandma) went to Heaven to live with Jesus.  Because of that I was given a one week grievance period.  When I went back to work, the teacher who was going to fill my spot after I permanently left the teaching profession had already taken over my class. 

I felt a little out of place just sitting in my classroom not really doing anything (actually, I wrote out the thank you notes to everyone who had attended the school baby shower the previous Friday).  My boss recommended that I bring a book to work, prop up my feet, and just wait out my time.  I felt bad doing that (you know, that whole work ethic thing) so I asked if I could be a "go to" person for the teachers- someone who would make photo copies, work one on one with kids who were struggling with their work, etc.

Friday, which was the last day of work for me, was probably my hardest working day.  Running up and down the stairs to classrooms, walking across the campus umpteen times taking these fliers to this teacher, returning these photocopies to that teacher.  My legs were ridiculously swollen!  My feet and ankles were literally three to four times their normal size!  I was told by everyone that I was going to deliver soon.  Some people even told me to take a huge dose of castor oil to help trigger and move along the labor (did not try and would not recommend!).

Saturday morning, I had this incredible urge to reorganize all of my baby clothes- a major case of nesting.  My stomach had a really funny shape to it, too.  But I didn't think anything of it.  You were supposed to come on March 5th, and in my schedule oriented mind, that is when you would be here.

Grandpa and Aunt Faye were staying with us at the time, and Grandpa was working a weird shift at his job so he wasn't home when the contractions started. 

At 8:30 p.m. I began feeling this burning sensation start from my lower back and wrap around the front of my belly.  It definitely took me by surprise.  I made a comment about it, and Aunt Faye sprung to action getting our friends from NC who had taught me some Lamaze breathing techniques on the phone. 

Within three minutes, I was having another contraction.  Okay, wait a minute!  I thought contractions were supposed to come gradually, like every twenty minutes and then every fifteen and so on.  I guess every woman is different and every labor and delivery is unique. 

As bed time rolled around, I tried to climb into bed (you know, the high bed that Mommy and Daddy have that we won't let you on unless we are right there with you?) which triggered my next contraction.  I was not going to go to the hospital until I knew for certain that I was going to deliver my baby (Grandma Ana and I had already talked about waiting until the latest possible moment to go to the hospital... I didn't want to be poked and prodded for too long), so Daddy and I moved to the couch where he fell asleep and I walked around.  Every time a contraction began I would stop walking, lean over, and rock back and forth to relieve then pain and pressure.  You know, contractions are not nearly as bad as I thought they would be.

Grandpa had gotten home at 11:00 that night and had gone straight to bed in case you came in the middle of the night.  He had to go to work the next morning, so he needed to get some rest. 

Finally, at 2:30 a.m., I called my doctor's answering service and told them how long the contractions had been coming and how far apart they were. I was told to come to the hospital immediately.  My bag was already packed (you know me), Daddy grabbed a few things (you know him), and we were off- Aunt Faye and Grandpa in one car, and Daddy and I in the other. Grandpa ran every red light to get to the hospital.  I told Daddy to not even think about running a red light.

We arrived around 3:00 a.m. (ten sets of contractions later, and believe me, I felt every one of them!) where I was found to be 4 cm along and progressing nicely.  I continued walking around the room which helped you drop and me progress.

However, when I reached 8 cm, the nurses said they needed to monitor me.  I was made to lie down and I had a monitor strapped to my belly.  Because I was no longer in control of my contractions or the pain, I requested a relaxant.  This was to change the course of events.

The relaxant not only relaxed me, but it caused you to relax as well.  Because of that you had a bowel movement while in utero.  When the doctor broke my water, he discovered this and recommended an immediate C-section.  I have never seen Daddy look so scared before.  He looked like he didn't know what to do, but he wanted to do something.  We gave the doctor permission to perform a C-section for your safety.

I was wheeled into the operating room. As we were being wheeled in, I heard the song "Amazing Grace" over the sound system.  It was a bit of a surprise, and I immediately thought of my mom.  She was not one for hymns, but she loved praise and worship music.  The only hymn she liked was Amazing Grace because it was the song she marched to for her wedding.  I don't believe Mom was there, but I do believe that God knew how much I missed her at that moment, and He let me know that He knew what my heart needed right then. 

Daddy did not go into the operating room right away.  He had to get dressed up in his scrubs first.  While he was dressing, I was being given the anesthesia.  The doctors were wonderful, patient, and caring.

And then we heard you!

We heard this little cry/scream, and we looked at each other.  Daddy and I both said at the same time, "That's her!"  The doctor brought you around the screen for us to get a glance at, and we were amazed again.  We both had ideas of what you would look like, and you looked different from what we imagined.  You were so much more beautiful!

Daddy cut the cord for you because I had begged him for months before hand to do that.  My logic was I was carrying you and giving birth, and all I was asking him to do was cut that little cord. He did.

You were screaming and crying while they wiped you down and cleaned you up.  You even grabbed the little oxygen mask they had on you and held it yourself. The nurses couldn't believe your coordination at being able to do that!  You have continued to surprise us every day of your life.

You were taken for an exam, and I told Daddy not to let you out of his sight.  I remained in the operating room as the doctors patched me up.  We were reunited in the main room, infront of all of our family, and I got to hold you for the first time.  I thought "Mommy wisdom" would come instantly, but when you started crying and everyone started asking me why, I had no clue!  I had just met you, and I felt like I was supposed to know (and they expected me to know) everything there was to know about you. After all, my mom did- or so I thought. 

Because of all of the medication, the rest of the day was a daze and blur.  We were visited by family and friends and surrounded by love. 

We never quite got the nursing thing down.  I was so confused by all of the conflicting information that the different nurses gave us, and one nurse bottle-fed you without our permission.  I did give you my milk for 6 weeks (I pumped), but then we moved on to formula. 

It has truly been the most wonderful three years of our lives and we look forward to watching you grow into  a beautiful, young woman with a heart for the Lord.  Happy birthday, Addie girl!

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