Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
So, if you recall, Park was adamant we were having a boy.
He would not even discuss or entertain the idea that he might have a sister. And truthfully, he was so convincing, I just assumed he would be right. When we asked him how he KNEW it was a brother his answer was simply, "I asked God and he told me so."
After rejoicing over the little girl God gave us, one of my first thoughts at Presli's birth was how in the world would Park take the news. Because I had a hunch there may be some gnashing of teeth involved, I opted to let Chris break the news prior to Park arriving at the hospital to meet his new baby brother....um, that was a sister.
Presli was born just before 3 AM and around 7, Chris made the drive home to pick up Park. Knowing that my absence meant his sibling had arrived, he was anxiously awaiting the news.
"Can we go meet Pate, Daddy? I can't believe my baby brother is finally here!"
"Well, we are going to the hospital to meet someone, buddy, but actually it is Presli! You have a new baby sister."
And here is the part where Park's face lit up and he squealed, " Really? I can hardly believe it. Deep down I was actually hoping it was a sister! I already love her so much!!"
OK....So I'm completely lying through my teeth.
Actually, he sobbed like there was no tomorrow. BUT, only for about 5 minutes.
Chris told him it was alright to be sad and that sometimes we want certain things, yet God gives us something different. He assured Park that God knows what we need and we can trust that He is going to give us the very best, even when that is different than what we were hoping for.
Park seemed to believe Chris, but I think what really sold him was realizing he didn't have to share Daddy with anyone else on their special "just the boys" dates. It just didn't seem like the opportune moment to mention that Presli may like to fish, too.
And then Chris showed him some video of Presli getting her first bath and that was all it took.
Upon meeting her, it was love at first sight. From the moment he arrived at her bedside, he fully embraced having a sister.
Now that he has had two weeks with her at home, he is even more smitten. That girl has him wrapped around her little finger. He is crazy for her and if she can live through his love, she will be one tough cookie.
Today he was singing "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." When she didn't respond, he told her, "Sister, you are a happy girl, so I'll just have to clap your hands for you until you get big enough to know how."
Baby girl, you are one blessed little lady.
That brother of yours may not have known to wish for you, but now he certainly would not trade you for anything.
Looks like you may get that Tiffany's bracelet, after all.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
One week ago today our lives were forever changed as we welcomed our baby girl into the world.
So far, life with Presli has been a complete joy for all of us. Park is in love with her and she already has Chris completely wrapped around her sweet finger. As for me, any questions I ever had about how I would love another child as much as Park were answered the moment I layed eyes on her.
*WARNING: Below is the story of her birth, which includes words such as "dilation" and "water breaking", as well as being rather lengthy. Read ahead at your own comfort level.
At 37 weeks I was encouraged to learn I was dilated to a 2 and by the next week I was already a 4. I had many Braxton Hicks contractions throughout the pregnancy, but they began to pick up in intensity the weekend before her birth. On September 1st, I felt that heaviness that precedes labor and wondered if our baby would come within the next several days.
Although the contractions seemed to be a lot stronger, they were very sporadic. By about 6 that evening, I was extremely happy to see Chris walk through the door. I felt tired and the contractions were starting to get stronger and come every 30 minutes. We put Park to bed around 8, but I became really unsure this was "it" because they seemed to be getting further apart rather than closer together.
I tried to go to bed about 9 to rest up for the days to come, but finally got up around 10 after finding it impossible to sleep. By 10:30 I started to panic a bit. Chris was helping me manage each contraction but I began questioning how these "early" contractions could feel so intense and how on earth I would handle the stronger ones at the end.
I remembered the last contractions with Park and was I crazy or did these feel that same intensity? But, considering they were still thirty minutes apart it seemed completely ridiculous to go to the hospital at that point.
By 11:30, I was so glad we had not gone to the hospital because they stopped all together. Certain labor wouldn't start until the next day, Chris and I went to bed around midnight until I was awakened by a horribly strong contraction at 1:30. It was so intense I did not have time to wake Chris and after it passed I decided to time one more before dragging us to the hospital unnecessarily.
The next one did not happen until right before 2 and it was very rough, as well. Just as I was deciding that irrational or not, I was ready to call his mom to come stay with Park and head on to the hospital, another one hit about 2 minutes later.
At this point, I begin to have the sinking feeling that we may have waited too long to start our 20 minute drive to the hospital. With the contractions coming on top of each other, we opted to call a neighbor to come until his mom could make it and headed out the door like a tornado. Chris knew I meant business when I barked at him to forget loading the suitcases and "GET TO DRIVING ALREADY!!"
He drove with the hazards on about double the legal speed limit, all the while calmly assuring me that we had plenty of time.
Clearly, he was not the one sitting on someones head.
About 5 miles shy of the hospital I announced that I absolutely had to push.
Enter Chris' 911 phone call.
I think Chris may be the only husband in the history of roadside deliveries who remained completely calm while communicating to the operator that we were minutes from having our baby in the car and under no circumstances should the police pull us over for speeding.
And then he firmly instructed me to sit tight and not push, he would have us there before I knew it. In retrospect I appreciate his even tone, but at the time his calm demeanor may or may not have caused some mild irritation that led me to share how I really felt about his "sitting tight" idea.
And then my water broke.
Thankfully it released enough pressure to allow me to "sit tight" for the remaining two minutes until we burned rubber into the hospital parking lot. Somehow we made it up to labor and delivery in time for me to announce I was "HAVING A BABY RIGHT NOW!"
And here is where the real fun began.
The nurse at the desk asked me to give her some details so she could pull up my information, and then asked me to describe my contractions because depending on what happened after being checked, I "may or may not be sent back home for false labor."
Never mind that I could not breath, let alone talk. Or that I had water dripping down my leg.
Here is where Chris (in his overly calm voice) explains that I am about to have a baby. Clearly not convinced, the nurse asks me to walk down to triage (because every room was already filled), get a gown on and wait to be checked.
Sadly, I was not as calm as hubby when I personally assured her, "I'm ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY!!"
By some miracle they decided to skip some steps and just check me and that is when everyone flew into high speed mode. "Get her doctor here NOW!!" I heard, as they rushed me into a room.
Somehow I now took precedence over the 32 other women there to give birth that same night. Seriously, 32. Is that not insane?
I was told I was a 9 1/2, but Nancy the Nurse was not fooling me that they were trying to stall, hoping to keep me from pushing until my doctor arrived.
The next 10 minutes were a blur, as everyone around me went into frenzy mode. Although my focus was on managing contractions, I vaguely remember being stuck repeatedly as they tried in vain (pun intended) to get a hep lock in my arm.
Another nurse was on the phone calling representatives from the neonatal unit to come up in preparation for an unassisted delivery. The table was being broken down and I was told to pant through the next few contractions. I told the nurse I had pushed for over 5 hours with my son and asked her to go ahead and let me at least get started for crying out loud.
As my legs went in the stirrups my doctor flew through the door, putting his scrubs on as he went. As deeply as I felt the need to push, I also felt the need to get my hair into a ponytail ASAP and a kind nurse gladly ripped the rubber band from her own hair to place around mine. Tresses firmly in place, I was ready to get down to business.
The first push brought back all the fear from Park's delivery and without meaning to, I felt myself hold back. My typically mild mannered doctor, fully aware of my previous experience and wanting to keep me from panic mode, informed me, "That was pathetic! Now bear down and push like you want to meet this baby! The head is crowning and you can do this. I give you about a 4 for effort and I need a 10. Let's do this!"
Nothing like a good pep talk to motivate a girl in pain. I pushed like I MEANT it and the next thing I knew I saw what looked to be a carbon copy of my Park being layed on my chest. I had seen the umbilical cord between her legs just moments before I heard Chris scream, "It's a GIRL!!!!"
After double checking, indeed, he was right.
He cried tears of joy and I cried tears of relief that we had made it and our baby girl was healthy and here in our arms.
And it all happened less than 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Thank you Dr. White for running the 4 red lights from your house to the hospital.
Everything from getting pregnant to facing fears from my previous labor/postpartum recovery provided me with the opportunity to lean more on Jesus. As has been true throughout my walk with Him, He has once again proven 100 percent faithful and trustworthy. When I look into Presli's eyes, I'm reminded that He is the Redeemer- full of grace, mercy, and restoration. He alone knows what we need and when we need it.
And speaking of that, my next post will pick up with big brother's reaction to meeting his new baby sister....
Friday, September 4, 2009
born Sept 2, 2009
I cannot put into words how thankful we are for such an amazingly healthy baby girl and a wonderful delivery/recovery that only God could be responsible for. He was in every detail and she was definitely worth the year we prayed and waited on her.
Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement along the way.
And please forgive me in advance for the obnoxious number of pictures I'm sure to post in the days, weeks, and months to come!