Caroline made her debut a week early. She is absolutely beautiful and perfect. Her entrance into the world got off to kind of a rocky start, but God has been with her and she is doing great.
We had game night on December 1st, and it was low key because so many couldn't make it. Kelli, Cody, and I just sat around talking after dinner. Little did I know what my body was gearing up for. A couple hours after they left the contractions started and lasted all night long. We finally went in to Labor and Delivery Sunday morning about eight to be told I was only in early labor and to go home. I won't lie. I cried. We went home with some meds to help me sleep through some of the contractions since I had been awake for about 30 hours at this point. We went home, I slept a few hours, ate a little something, and the contractions started back with fierce intensity. By midnight I couldn't talk through them. So we went back. I had only dialated one more centimeter to 4 and kept thinking to myself that if they send me home I am going to refuse to go (well that's the nice version of what I was thinking.) Within 45 minutes I was at a 5 so they kept me and finally gave me something for the pain. We got settled in and she was ready to make her appearance by 5 a.m. When the doctor pulled back the sheets she noticed meconium in the water so we were told that Caroline would go straight to the pediatric team before we got to hold her. After an hour and fifteen minutes of pushing she was here.
The next few minutes were the scariest of my life. The doctor cut the cord and immediately, literally, threw Caroline to the pediatric team in the room. There were five of them. Caroline was blue from head to toe. We kept being reassured that they weren't letting her cry because they didn't want her to ingest meconium and they were suctioning her. The suctioning seemed to go on forever. The doctor and my nurse have horrible "poker faces" as my husband says. They kept trying to be reassuring but you could tell by looking at their faces that something is wrong. I just began praying for her. I just knew in my heart God wouldn't let us try for so long to have another baby to bring us to the point that we would lose her so soon. So I prayed. And prayed. She was born at 6:23 and by 6:45 they had her out of the room and in nicu. Looking back that seems like a long time to me, considering they were telling us she was having trouble breathing. She was still pretty blue at this point. She had started breathing on her own (she wasn't at first) but she wasn't breathing well. Before taking her they wrapped her and brought her beside me so I could look at her. All I could say was "you look just like your brother when he was born" then she was gone. The next couple hours were tough. They told us to call in a couple hours to check on her. We knew down to the minute when we could call. They called us in an hour to tell us that she was on oxygen but was doing ok.
We didn't get to go see her until about noon. They wanted me to change rooms and sit up before letting me go down the hall. I'm so glad mom and Alan got there just before we went down the hall. I think I held it together just knowing they were there. They warned us that she would have an iv and be hooked up to monitors. We got great news that she had regulated her breathing on her own.
First pictures of my beautiful girl!
Walking back to her isolette was a sobering experience. All the babies were so tiny. Many with transparent skin they were born at such a young gestational age. Caroline looked like a giant compared to all the other babies. She was born at 7 pounds 11 ounces. By noon she was doing quite well, though. We don't know for sure her length. The paperwork says 18.5 inches, but at the pediatrician's office on Friday she was 20 inches long. It's hard to believe she would have grown an inch and a half in 5 days. It doesn't matter to me, though.
We didn't find out until the next day how serious they first thought her breathing problems were. They were getting ready to send her to Vanderbilt. I know that it is through prayer and by God's grace she didn't have to leave me to go across the state. If she had to go though, I also know that God would have taken care of her and of me.
The next couple days were filled with trips down to the nicu day and night. She was on fluids, beginning to get jaundiced, and needed to learn to eat. I was down there every three hours to nurse. She had a little bit of trouble at first, but by late Tuesday night had the hang of it. Late Wednesday they decided to keep us all another night to make sure she was nursing well and to recheck the jaundice.
She was finally moved to the room with me.
|With our wonderful nurse, Abbi. She cried with me a couple times on Wednesday.|
|Wheeler meeting his sister.|
|Proud big brother. He loves her so much.|
On Thursday morning we finally got to go home! You know that feeling when something life changing is about to happen and you wish it would just happen so you can start your new "normal?" It was finally here and I was thrilled. We love being at home and being a family of four.