Sunday, April 24, 2016

Willa's Birth Story - Part 2

Part 1 is here.

I nearly fell out of the bed. I’m not sure why I was shocked since I had labored in the night and we had voluntarily driven ourselves to the hospital. But when I wasn’t further dilated and they tried to stop my labor I just wrote the whole thing off. 

The ultrasound had showed that our baby was really sleepy and wasn’t moving around as much as she should’ve been. They had spoken with my doctor and he wanted her to go ahead and come that day. 

They got us settled into a nice little delivery room. My nurse was named Hanna and she was excellent. She was kind, a good listener, attentive, patient, gentle and smart. I remember seeing the baby station and bassinet and it was so wild knowing that all of it was for my baby. And she would use it today! 

I got my epidural early on. I was really nervous about it because I had started to pass out after my last one and had to have oxygen. Nurse Hanna stood in front of me and let me hold onto her. She told me to breathe and talked to me to help me stay calm. The anesthesiologist was a woman and she was wonderful. It was the least painful one of my three. A few minutes later I was still doing great but then the room started getting dark and I felt like I was going to black out. The doctor and nurse shifted my body to one side and kept it from happening. I’m not sure why my body does that. I was totally fine after that. 

Curtis, my mom, Melissa and Crista were with us at the hospital during my labor. It was a happy and fun atmosphere in the room. We talked about the Lord’s goodness a lot. Curtis played my favorite worship songs on his phone. I hadn't slept the night before so the epidural made me very loopy. If someone spoke to me, it took me about 5 seconds to respond. The doctor came in to see me and broke my water at some point. He thought I would have the baby around 6 or 7 that evening. I thought it would be earlier based on my past labors. Around 3 I told Mom and Lis and Curtis to go get some lunch. They had been awake for hours and hadn’t eaten. Crista stayed with me and we watched my contraction monitor for fun. All of a sudden I felt pressure and Crista said, “Whoa! That was a really big one!” I was so thankful for my epidural. Nurse Hanna, who had been monitoring me from her station, burst in a couple seconds later and asked how I was feeling. Crista left and the nurse checked me. I was a 10! Crista texted Curtis, who was in the middle of the sky bridge that connects the hospital to a shopping mall, and told him to get his butt back to the room. Mom and Melissa had just ordered a nice lunch at Churrasco’s nearby and had to come right back. Oops!  

It wasn’t long before my room was emptied of the people I knew and filled mostly with people I’d never met until that day. Curtis, of course, was by my side. He counted and I pushed and at 4:44 PM, that sweet Willa Rose Jones was born. As with her sister, the cord was wrapped around her neck. She cried a little but when they laid her on my chest she got very still and seemed to fall asleep. That moment is supposed to be really sweet and bonding and everything, but it scared me to death. I thought something was really wrong with her because she wasn’t moving around.  The nurses eventually got a little nervous too and took her to the baby station. They did what they do and the baby was fine. (Remember how they’d said she was “sleepy” in the womb?)  My doctor and all the nurses sang Happy Birthday to Willa while they were working on her. They wiped her off and put her in a blanket for me. Curtis and I marveled at this priceless treasure we had just been given. 

About an hour later, my mom and Melissa came in. Then Crista and her son Noah came in. It was a joy to introduce everyone to our new daughter. Later in the evening, my dad brought my grandmother and Jackson and Annabeth. My mom says that she’s never seen a happier little family than the first time the five of us got to be together in the hospital room. There are many things I can’t recall, but I remember Annabeth arriving in some leggings and a t-shirt. Apparently my dad didn’t know that she was supposed to have a skirt on over it. Ha! I think my first postpartum meal was a burrito from Freebird’s. 

We hated to say goodbye to our sweet Nurse Hanna when her shift ended. I wanted to keep her. Before she left, she told us that on her way to work she always prays for whomever she will meet that day. Willa’s birth had already been covered in prayer before we met her. How precious is that? 

Our night nurse was Pat and she gave Willa her very first bath in the sink in our room. I’m kind of old school and I was looking forward to her getting a thorough cleaning. Nurse Pat was really funny and kept me giggling through the night. She helped me get out of bed those first few times, which is a traumatic part of the whole process. You really want great people with you for the first 24 hours. 

Curt’s Mom and Dad spent the entire day driving from Missouri and they made it late that night. We got to see them for a little while before they checked into the hotel connected to the hospital. The Lord has been so kind to us with the births of each of our children. Despite distances and crazy travel schedules, all three of our kids got to meet their four grandparents on the day they were born. I’m so grateful. That day we also saw Corey, Cassi and Dustin, and Crista’s husband Brian. 

The baby and I had a hard time falling asleep. Gone are the days when you could send your newborn to the nursery at night. Hospital policy is now to keep the baby and mama together at all times, unless the baby is having a test done. There are mostly pros to that, but one con is that it’s against the rules to sleep while the baby is in your hospital bed. There aren’t that many ways to comfort a crying baby in the middle of the night when you’ve just given birth. I couldn’t get up yet without great effort, nor could I even lift her out of the bassinet from my bed. So I finally cradled her around my stomach on the Boppy (in the very spot where she used to kick me at night) and we both snoozed a little bit. It was as close to the womb as she could get. The baby on the other side of the wall from us cried all night long and I felt so bad for the mama. 

The next morning my mom came to the hospital and continued the tradition of drying my hair for me. It’s so awesome that she does that. We had lots of new visitors, including the Parkers, the Moseleys, Alicia, Laura, Cassi and Sadie, the Altics, and Christine. 

Our third day in the hospital was very strange. While it was still dark, a nurse came in with a special bassinet with lights on it. Willa’s bilirubin was high. (Being born a bit early caused her system to operate slowly and this was one of the effects.) She had to lay under the lights the whole day. We were really upset that we couldn’t hold her. But if she didn’t spend enough time in there, she might not be discharged with us later that day. We prayed hard that that wouldn’t happen. Ralph and Jane Borde came to see us, which was really fun because their baby was going to be born in that same hospital two months later. They helped take our minds off the jaundice drama.

Willa Rose passed her blood test that evening and we got to take her home. We picked up a pizza and salads on the way home and then started our life as a family of five together. 

Even though we were really happy, that first week was extremely stressful. I ended up wishing Willa had been born a couple weeks later and avoided the jaundice drama. We were discharged on a Wednesday and had to be at our pediatrician’s office every morning - bright and early - for the next three days for a bilirubin check. On Saturday morning I had to take her to an after hours clinic in order to do that. I had to show up before it opened to make sure they got us in before all the sick kids showed up. At that appointment I found out that Willa had to go back to the hospital for more phototherapy. There was no way to get us the equipment required to treat her at home since it was the weekend. I was in a bit of shock. I was incredibly exhausted, my body was still in pain, and my emotions were wacky. By God’s grace alone I was able to deal with that news without having a meltdown. 

Willa and I checked into Texas Children’s Hospital in Katy later that morning. She had to be under the lights as much as possible, so I pumped milk for her so her time outside the glowing bassinet would be minimal. I also pumped so that we could be sure she was drinking enough to flush the jaundice away. She was not a good nurser and we didn’t really have time for her to get good at it. It was hard, again, not to be able to hold my baby as much as I wanted. She got very restless and was constantly ripping off her little eye mask and flipping her body around. 

The nurses and doctors at this hospital were incredible, although I hope I never have a reason to go back there again. It’s a very sobering place. When I felt overwhelmed, I remembered that any one of the parents in that building would trade places with me. I think jaundice is probably the most minor thing you can be admitted for. We had a male nurse and I would've adored that if I’d been there with Jackson, but it was a little weird for me since I was in a postpartum state and pumping non-stop. I just had to get over it. He was very professional and wonderful with Willa. (I’m super thankful for male nurses, by the way. Curtis had one during his hospital stay six years ago and he was tremendous.)

The next morning my baby girl was discharged and we picked up celebratory donuts and kolaches on the way home. It was like a little party around our breakfast table. Willa had finally kicked the jaundice! We had a couple more bili checks that week (her poor heels!) and then our lives finally calmed down. I got to sit on my couch and snuggle my newborn in my pajamas for hours on end, just as I had imagined. 


Meggie said...

So, sooo happy for y'all!!

Unknown said...

I am 33 weeks pregnant with my first, I LOVED reading your story. It made me realize how I need to be patient with her timing, and that coming sooner isn't always the best thing.
Thank you! said...

Our precious first grandchild Lisa Jo was born in May and Beth our daughter in love was due a week later but she was getting pre-eclampsic so they wanted to induce her. She spent three days in labor and it would start and stop so finally a good nurse had her get on all fours in her hospital bed and that got the labor started again but she was close to having a C section not something Beth wanted. Beth's parents were there I stayed away til next AM. Lisa is the joy of our lives. Beth has a doctorate in physical therapy and must work so I do day care for Lisa four days a week. I prayed about it and though others told me not to do it, God intervened and I have to say it has been fun for the most part. Some days are very taxing for me as I am in my mid 60's but I am now thinking of home schooling Lisa for her first two grades in school.
I know the ache in your arms to hold your baby. Scott our son who is Lisa's Daddy had pyloric stenosis at six weeks. He had projectile vomiting and I did not know what was going on but I could see he seemed to be getting weaker. It was January in ND and the roads and weather were horrible so we had to wait til his checkup. turned out he needed surgery. It is fairly common in boy babies but at the time we were making trips to Mayo for problems with Paula (she has a form of dwarfism) so I though this would be another trip there. It was a relatively simple surgery and he was fine but I remember wanting to hold him but I could not as he was hooked up to so many monitors.
Blessings to you and much love,
A devoted Siesta Sister
Betty Marschner

Its a Wonderful Life said...

Praise the Lord for a healthy beautiful baby!! :)

Deborah said...

Oh my goodness - that all sounds exhausting! So glad that Willa is here, that her jaundice is gone, and that you're back home with sweet baby snuggles.

Dionna said...

I'm so happy to see you blogging again! What a wonderful birth story, filled with so much love. I teared up when you mentioned the doctors and nurses sang happy birthday to Willa. So precious. I know God had his tender hands around you - even though some of it was filled with more stress and anxiety than you would have preferred. I know Willa is a gift from the Lord..... and I'm really, so very, very happy for you and your family.

Country Mouse said...

:) such sweet memories and treasures shared.... hugs and prayers all the way from Maine.....<3 Thank you for blogging again and the part where your Dad didn't know to put leggings on Annabeth made our family giggle....I have a 6 year old and I can picture MY Dad not knowing either :)

This Is The Day said...

Thank you for posting your birth story! I just had my fourth baby girl a few months ago so it was extra fun to read about your experience and remember my own. :) I love how God writes each baby's story a little differently. :)

Ashley Beth said...

What a beautiful story! After having three kids of my own and knowing how unique and precious each birth is, I never tire from hearing birth stories. May Willa be a blessing and a joy to you and your family all the days of her sweet life. It's clear she already is!

Unknown said...

This is so beautiful! The details make it so precious - your future self will thank you for writing all of this down (as will Willa). A gift indeed to treasure!

Holly said...

Finally stopped by to see if you had time to post (you are a wild woman! I figured you would be so busy, it would be a week!). I'm so thankful for the gentle unfolding that God gave to you. Even in the midst of troubled news, He went before you. Our Sydney had jaundice in Colorado...and we had a light at home that they sent. Of course, the sun in Colorado in August helped a ton, too! I love your story--even more I love you and your family. So thankful for Willa Rose. Praise be to God!!!

Sarah said...

Beautiful story. Glad you and the baby are healthy now and that you have family nearby. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing!