Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Isabella's birthday

(Excuse the long post.....just wanted to make sure I got everything down I remembered from Bella's birthday! Feel free to come back later when I return to the regularly scheduled program of cute pictures and funny stories!! haha!)

This is us on Bella's birthday.....about 5 hours before she arrived.
I was 37w2d.....and once I had reached 37w and restrictions were removed (meds, strict bedrest, etc.), I was really anxious about going into labor at home and having things progress quickly like they seemed to do with the girls. But - I knew there was nothing I could do about it so we waited. I had only seen my primary OB throughout this pregnancy (versus rotating through all the doctors in their practice) and I really wanted her to be the one to deliver...but again -- it was totally out of our hands. Luckily (should I say luckily when technically she was still early, but technically full term?) this day was one of my doctor's on-call days. I was having the same contractions as I had always had -- they were lasting a little longer but weren't painful, but I was having another issue that made me call the doctor's office. They told me to go ahead to the hospital to be checked out but to not be surprised if I was sent home.

Since it really didn't seem urgent, we took our time. I finished packing (yeah...I'm the girl who carried her camera to the last few doctor's appointments just in case we went in and the doctor decided it was time to have a baby right then......but I didn't finish packing my bag until we were making an actual trip to the hospital - haha!), we waited for mom to get to the house to watch the girls.........oh - and of course we took a picture. After all - this may be (and ended up being) the last ever picture of us with me pregnant! We drove calmly to the hospital wondering if this was the day. D dropped me off at the front and parked, I hung out and waited for him to walk in. It was such a relaxing afternoon - I was so calm.

We get to the OB triage area and sign in -- they seem busy so we were waiting in a room for a good while before they even got my info and connected me to the monitors. We had arrived at the hospital around 6pm and it was after 7pm before they started monitoring. After about 5 minutes on the monitor for contractions, I told D there was no way the doctor was going to send me home. Although the contractions weren't painful, they looked pretty impressive on paper. We chatted. We watched TV. After about half an hour of monitoring, the nurse came in and said she was going to call the doctor (who was at another hospital) and see what she wanted to do -- deliver or send me home. So we waited some more. It was after 8 (because I remember a re-run episode of Grey's Anatomy coming on TV - they sometimes show a re-run before the new episode at 9) when the door opened and a nurse and someone from patient transport came in with a wheelchair. We had not heard back from the other nurse about what the doctor wanted to do, but we definitely had our answer. It was time for a birthday! And for some reason, at that moment I went from calm to really, really nervous.

After they showed up in the doorway, things seemed to move pretty quickly from then. I was taken to the OR pre-op area.......I could hear them making calls to my doctor.......they had to run blood tests before they could operate......more questions of me......papers to sign.......met the anesthesiologist........a total whirlwind of activity. All the while D is calling our parents to let them know Bella was on her way. Then all of a sudden everything stopped. Everyone had all the information they needed......and we were just waiting for the blood tests from the lab......and I found myself just sitting there. Extremely nervous....almost nauseous.....think about what was about to happen.

D was ready:

He's such a ham!! Notice the front of the scrub top stylishly (??) tucked in. And then it was time to go. One of the nurses who was checking in on me was the same nurse who was taking care of me the day the girls were born. She recognized D. How funny! The double doors opened and my doctor was walking down the hallway -- I was so glad she was going to be the one to deliver although I think she would have preferred everything to go down a little earlier in the day - haha! So we get to the OR and things are so white and bright, but what I notice the most is how empty the room seems. Empty of people, I mean. Of course this is different from when the girls were born where there were what seemed like tons of people, but I was looking around thinking "Don't ya'll need more help than this?" Hahaha.
The anesthesiologist had trouble getting the spinal started -- it must have been a good 20 mins or so of him working on me. This made me extremely nervous but my doctor and one of the nurses were standing there talking to me so that helped. When it was finally in and I was laying down it was time to get started. They must wait until after they start the incision to bring in the significant other because I kept saying "Don't forget D!" He came in as they were getting started.
I don't remember all of what we talked about, but I remember laughing at D being goofy and snapping crazy pictures. And I remember saying over and over "I can't believe she's almost here" (which later changed to "I can't believe she's here" about a million times!). I could hear my doctor talking and could feel tugging and remember thinking "She's working awfully hard." D said at one point he thought he heard the doctor say something like "I just can't get her" -- I'll have to ask when I see her next week. But! Then all of a sudden I hear lots of to my ears....and D stands up and starts snapping pictures. It was kind of surreal to hear her, to know that D was looking at her, and I'm just laying there listening to everything going on around me. They finally brought Isabella around the curtain for me to see her and she was still all curled up -- I remember thinking she looked like a little square Buddha doll - hahaha. Funny the things that cross our minds.
They took her over to be cleaned up and checked out and D took pictures. When they announced her weight at 7lb14oz, I remember D and I both saying "What??!!!" The nurse seemed surprised at our reaction - haha - I'm not sure if she knew Isabella was 37 weeks or not - but I think she went back and double checked the weight - haha. So they wrap her up and bring her over to D and he sits next to my head and holds her for the next 20-30 minutes while my doctor finishes the surgery. So this is how "normal" deliveries go down, huh.
Oh. And I must say. Probably the scariest thing about the whole surgery was when they were transferring me from the OR table to the gurney. That may sound odd, but you know those team-building games we've all played where you have to trust your team and do things like cross your arms and fall backwards and let your team catch you (or...hope your team catches you)? That's kind of how it was -- they were rolling me from side to side and I swear it felt like I was going to roll right off the table. Of course I didn't, but wow. I was freaking out.
Before they were finished with me, they went ahead and let D go back to the recovery room where I would be returning once finished (he wasn't part of the team-building activity I mentioned above - haha!). As D was leaving, I made him promise to not let anyone else hold her until I got to hold her. At the time I didn't realize the challenge I was giving him - haha! There were 2 anxious grandparents (my parents) and an anxious aunt (his sister) waiting to meet her.....and they were going to have to be happy just looking for a bit - haha.
Here's proud Daddy back in the recovery area waiting for me.
They were very nice to let my parents and SIL come into the recovery area. Typically they only let one person there at a time but when D asked if he could take her out to the waiting room to meet the family, they said it was okay for the family to come back. That was so nice to have everyone there when I was finally wheeled back.
Here's D and Isabella with my parents. I think D had the hardest time holding off Papa from holding Isabella - haha!!
My awesome sister was nice enough to stay with the girls so she wasn't at the hospital that night, but she got to meet Bella the very next morning.

I can't believe I'm posting a terrible picture of me all puffy and sleepy looking, but hey -- this was the first time I got to hold my sweet baby experience I didn't get with the girls until 4 days after they were born.
It was after midnight when we left the recovery area and moved to a room on the floor. They wheeled my bed down the hall and I got to hold Isabella and smile at all the people we passed. This "normal" birth thing is pretty cool - haha. Apparently I was lucky a couple of times --- I either got the last or the next-to-last room in the unit and I think I heard the nurses in the OR area saying I was lucky to get in so quickly because all of a sudden there seemed to be a line of people waiting to have c-sections.
It turns out Bella was considered large for her gestational age (I kept hearing LGA - creative acronym, don't you think?) according to some statistics chart so they ended up checking her blood sugar which was on the low side.....which meant we had to supplement her with formula every few hours that first night and then they would draw blood from her heel. When we finally saw the pediatrician the next morning, I asked if all that testing was necessary....her poor little heels had been pricked about 5 times by then and from what I could tell we were trying to get a a specific blood sugar number but there weren't any other concerns for her. Luckily the pediatrician agreed and that was the end of that!
So that's that. Isabella's birthday. We spent the "normal" amount of time in the hospital....with the baby in the room, like "normal" and when it was time for me to go home, we packed her up in the car seat and took her with us.

Oh. I almost forgot. I love the head of hair this little one has!! We originally thought it was darker than the girls, but I've since decided it's exactly like their hair was then they were born. I don't think she looks particularly like Olivia or Sofia when they were Bella's size, but I do think they look like siblings. Babies change so much when they're this little so we're still waiting for her to come in to her own looks, but one thing is for sure - we have another sweet baby girl to add to the sweet big girls!!

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