Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Plan

Here are some photos of our new little girl.


Our little firecracker! Nothing fits this little girl.

Grandma teaching me how to give her a bath. So cute in her hooded towel!

Grandma and Grandpa Hakes. Grandpa Hakes was a surprise visit! I loved having them visit. Mom and I got our toenails done. It was so nice to do something together.

Sleepy Heads

Also, I heard this song today by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It made me think of the plan of salvation and how beautiful it is. Below are the lyrics.

In the quiet misty morning When the moon has gone to bed, When the sparrows stop their singing And the sky is clear and red,

When the summer's ceased its gleaming When the corn is past its prime, When adventure's lost its meaning - I'll be homeward bound in time

Bind me not to the pasture Chain me not to the plow Set me free to find my calling And I'll return to you somehow

If you find it's me you're missing If you're hoping I'll return, To your thoughts I'll soon be listening, In the road I'll stop and turn

Then the wind will set me racing As my journey nears its end And the path I'll be retracing When I'm homeward bound again

Bind me not to the pasture Chain me not to the plow Set me free to find my calling And I'll return to you somehow

(softly) In the quiet misty morning When the moon has gone to bed, When the sparrows stop their singing I'll be homeward bound in time

The Miracle Of Life

Below is my birth story. Sorry it is so long. I wanted to remember most details for my journal and for Daphne. I am going to post some pictures later this evening.

Sunday morning, the 27th, I was having some spotting and mild cramping. Kelly told me I wasn’t allowed to go to church and to stay off my feet. I did so, and started feeling better. That afternoon, however, I felt slightly worse and decided to call my OB and get his advice. He stated it was likely nothing to be concerned about. I felt more at ease and thought I would feel better come morning. I asked Kelly for a blessing to feel less anxious. I was worried our little girl wasn’t doing okay and needed some reassurance.

The next morning, I felt much better. I decided to do a light workout, very light. I went about my usual day, but mid morning I was cramping again. It felt like menstrual cramps, so I had no idea it was real labor. I felt it on and off all day. It wasn’t pleasant, and it was uncomfortable. Because I was worried, I called the OB again, and this time spoke to a Nurse. She repeated most of what the doctor had said the previous day and was confident it wasn’t labor. I had an appointment the following day, so I again was assured.

That night I asked Kelly to make dinner because I really wasn’t feeling great. He ordered pizza. J It was a relaxing evening, despite the cramps. I took a hot shower hoping they would stop, and it did temporarily. Not an hour later, I felt the cramping again and more spotting. Looking back now, I think to myself, you idiot, how could you not know you were in labor! It was just too soon. I wasn’t due for 6.5 weeks, so the thought of actually being in labor was crazy to me. Kelly and I made several jokes that day about Daphne coming so early. Despite all this, we just didn’t think it could actually happen this way. My pregnancy had been very healthy.

About 9:30pm, I told Kelly I just wanted to go to bed. We decided to lie in bed and watch The Magnificent Seven, an old western. The cramping continued. A couple of weeks prior, we downloaded an application for my Droid that times contractions. Jokingly, we decided to time my cramping. I even called my mom to let her know my concerns. I had avoided this all day because I didn’t want to sound overly concerned. She felt the same way the Doctor and Nurse did. It just didn’t seem likely that I would be in labor. I explained to her that my cramps felt like menstrual cramps and they were located in one area, my lower abdomen. One thing I learned in this is that contractions do not feel the same for every person. My mom said her contractions were all over, including her back. I had some back pain, but it was mostly in my lower abdomen. Now that I look back, I realize these “cramps” started small and increased in intensity, climaxed, and then decreased in intensity. Now, if I hadn’t been so in denial about going into labor, I would have realized they were true contractions.

Anyway, at 10:45pm Kelly and I are lying in bed, watching Magnificent Seven, and jokingly timing my contractions on the phone. After about 5 cramps, we realized there was some kind of pattern. They were coming 5-7 minutes apart and lasting for 60-90 seconds. A red flag began to wave. I decided to get some rest, but as soon as I did, I felt my water break. It was now 11:45pm. Now, without getting into details, having your water break is a very odd feeling. I knew it had to be my water breaking because I had never felt anything like it before. We called my mom back, and she said I needed to get to the hospital “STAT.” She said they would probably try and stop Daphne from coming since I was so early. I remember thinking, “great, I am going to be stuck in the hospital on bed rest for several weeks.” My sister did the same thing when her water broke early. My sister-in-law was also in the hospital for several weeks with twins.

However, as soon as my water broke, I began to have VERY intense contractions. The earlier contractions were very uncomfortable, but these were very painful, take-your-breath away. I tried to focus and breath, but I didn’t have enough mental preparation yet. I was 33.5 weeks pregnant for heaven’s sake! My plan all along was to go natural, and I was preparing for it by taking a natural childbirth class, reading about it, and trying to learn relaxation techniques. However, I had only been to this class once by this time. And, these contractions were coming very fast. My mom was on the phone and I remember her saying, “you’re having another one? You need to get to the hospital!”

Kelly was great. He thought quickly while I was doubled over in pain. He grabbed me a change of clothes, the camera, the phone chargers, and the car seat. I don’t know how he thought so fast, but I am grateful for him. We raced to the hospital, which was 25 miles away in Macon, GA. We called my doctor and was told to wait and hear b.ack from him, which we never did until he showed up in the delivery room. I decided I should time my contractions. They were three minutes apart at this time. Quickly they jumped to 2 minutes apart. By the time we arrived to the ER (at 12:30am), they were 45-60 minutes apart. Kelly dropped me off at ER entrance. I feel bad now that I cut in front of everyone else in the ER. They wheeled me up to the OB unit and made me sit there and sign in! Finally they checked me and said I was dilated to seven centimeters. The nurse left the room and Kelly and I could hear them talking about the baby being very low.

The next thing I know, they were wheeling me into the delivery room. All of a sudden, the room was full of people. I wasn’t paying too much attention because I was in pain, but Kelly said he was shocked by how many people were in the room. There was the Resident MD, my main nurse, Kristen, a couple of other nurses, and members of the NICU team because Daphne was premature. As soon as I arrived in the delivery room, I was checked again and told I was dilated to 10 cm! This baby was coming tonight. It wasn’t until this moment that I realized I was having a baby tonight.

Some things that happened in the delivery room: they gave me an IV with antibiotics in it since I hadn’t been tested for Strep B yet. They told me it was too late for any pain relief which gave me mixed feelings. The Resident MD asked if I could wait for the on-call OB doctor to show up before having the baby. I said flat-out “no, I haven’t even met this guy. You can deliver it, right?” I knew she could because my brother is a resident and has delivered several babies. She said she could. Kelly stood on my right side and let me grasp his hand very firmly. He gave me encouraging words, but mostly him letting me firmly hold his hand helped me. My nurse on the right, Kristen, was awesome. She explained what they were doing to me.

And then it was time to push. The contractions came less often as I began to push, every 3-4 minutes or so. Pushing didn’t feel as great as I was told it would. The only reason I liked pushing was knowing it would soon be over! The on call OB came in soon after I began pushing. He let the resident do most the work. I think I pushed for 10-15 minutes before my little girl came out. She had a head full of dark hair! The doctor estimated she would weigh 3 pounds, but as soon as I saw her, I knew she had to be about 5 pounds. She was 5 lb, 2 oz and 18 inches long. I wasn’t allowed to hold her right away because she was premie. It was kind of anticlimactic for that reason. The NICU team had to check some things before they gave her to me. I only waited a couple of minutes, but it seemed like forever. But then they placed her in my arms, and it was soooo surreal. I think I was still in shock at this point. Kelly and I just looked at each other with the thought “is she really ours?”

Over the next 24-48 hours, I slowly began to realize how blessed we were that Daphne was so healthy. She came out breathing on room air with the ability to eat without a tube. She had high scores on the APGAR tests, and left Level 2 nursery within 12 hours. They never had to supplement formula in the hospital because I was able to get some colostrum in her and her glucose level went up. Breastfeeding at home has brought challenges. I have learned to pray a lot about simple things, like how to get your daughter enough to eat or how to wake her up. I have learned patience; with much more to learn I am sure. Life isn’t about me or Kelly anymore; it’s about someone else who relies totally on us. It’s an adjustment, but it brings with it some great feelings of love and sacrifice. I also feel closer to my Savior and Heavenly Father. I am grateful he has given us the blessing of raising one of his children. She’s fresh from heaven.

Kelly and I are very grateful for our little daughter, Daphne Cathleen Wood. She sure surprised us, but we are glad she came when she did.