Saturday, March 19, 2011

The stork: Welcome, Baby Madeline!

Hip hip hooray! Wonderfully, our newest little daughter was born at 12:46am Tuesday March 15.

We have named her Madeline Abigail, and she is sweet, healthy, and full of grace.

Thank you for your prayers regarding the timing of her delivery. I had been so concerned that our eldest daughter be looked after at home by someone I completely trusted - my sister. My sister Aimee flew in from Massachusetts for the 9 days surrounding my due date, in hopes to be of service (and she was soooooooooo helpful in all possible ways!)....and the days crept past with nary a true contraction or much of anything labor - like. I grew tense and restless, and although I myself was not tempted to do the whole cod-liver-oil labor inducing trick, I certainly began to understand why some women want to take matters into their own hands! Anyway, on the last day of Aimee's visit, I sort of resigned myself to the thought that our new child would not be born during her visit and we'd just have to be ok with that.

On Monday the 14th, in the morning Aimee made a strawberry pie called The Old Boy's Strawberry Pie. It was the same recipe I'd made the day before our Elena was born (back then I was crazy enough to actually entertain guests while I was 39 weeks pregnant!), so it seemed fitting to have it. Maybe it would help, and at the least it couldn't hurt. Then my husband and sister and daughter and I headed out for a day at the zoo. I especially enjoyed the giraffes and the expressions on my daughter's face during the monkey forest exhibit. I had a teeny bit of back pain, but otherwise felt nothing unusual in the whole Going Into Labor department of my life.

Mid-afternoon I had an OB appointment, and my doctor calmly told me that I was at 4.5 and he thought I should head for the hospital right away. My first thought was :
"Yay! Aimee's plane leaves tomorrow afternoon! There is still time for the baby to be born while she is here so she can look after Elena!!!"
(I realize this is prosaic, completely one-track-minded, and kind of boring. But, sometimes that is life.)
So, we drove home to get my overnight bag and check in with Aimee, then headed to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 5pm, and I felt nearly no contractions of the traditional sort until I was very far along into labor - 7 cm or so at 11:30pm. Beautifully, God answered all my prayers about nurses: He sent kind, wonderful, calm, intelligent and attentive nurses to care for me during and after labor, it was absolutely divine.
The first nurse actually remembered me from my bout of pneumonia last fall! And when her shift ended, the next nurse was - if its possible - even more wonderful and full of calm soothing suggestions for dealing with labor naturally. I truly know that God hand-picked these nurses for us, it was beyond amazing. And He threw in some humor, too! A team of a resident physician and a medical student came in early on to do something simple, and they were great, but the funny thing is, they were named Heather and Amy, just like me and my sister! The next day I had 2 nurses named Leah and Rachel!!! Isn't that priceless? They joked about it and said "all we need is Jacob to argue over!"
And so, the end of the story is that labor got super intense and hard to handle, and my husband was so supportive and wonderful, and then I knew it was time to push, and ta-da! Baby.
(my husband pipes up just now, that it was maybe 12 pushes! I hope this isn't too much information for the squeamish among us...but know that I too am in that squeamish camp, and I find only relief in the fact that I had to push for such a small amount of time. In fact, pushing was over so fast that the dr. who was supposed to come help didn't make it!)

Thank you so much to all who prayed for us, I am so grateful for you. I hope all is peaceful and bright by your hearthside.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Prayer Request

Dear Friends,
Would you please pray for me? Tomorrow I will be 40 weeks pregnant! Please pray that our baby would be born before Tuesday.

My sister is in town visiting us and helping out tremendously with my toddler and with around the house everyday things, and she leaves on Tuesday! I am very hopeful that the baby will be born while she is here so that a) my sister can meet her new niece or nephew, and b) so that our little Elena will have someone familiar to look after her while I am in labor.

It feels rather selfish and anxious to ask for this, but I am asking anyway. I have been having false labor mild contractions (2 days ago) and yesterday I had dreadful bouts of back - labor - like pain consistently for a few hours....but nothing came of it, I was so disappointed. Yet, I know God is in charge of all of this and as the author of all life he's got it under control - so hard to be peaceful and not concerned about the timing of this, though. Ach, I'm so very human.

May all go well at each of your hearths, readers!
Love, Heather