Friday, July 4, 2008

The Birth Story

This is another long one...go get a cup of tea before you sit down to read.

Well we got some good sleep last night, but we've been back and forth to the hospital for over 24 hours now and Lucy just keeps getting cuter and cuter:

We have a "group room" on Snapfish with lots more photos, so send me an e-mail if you'd like an invitation to join it.
Now that I have a few moments (M and T are back at the hospital sleeping with Lucy and we're home for a bit) I'll give a looong birth story.

After the previous posts, I went back to the hospital around 8:30 AM and took a nap on a couch in the waiting room until around 9 AM when a bunch of loud people came in to see a baby who had just been born. M and T were both sleeping until around 10 AM and woke to irregular contractions and only 6 cm dilated, so the doctor ordered pitocin and she started that around 10 AM. Between 10 and 1 we hung out and M was doing fine (I went home for 1/2 hour to change and freshen up, too, and we brought in Sonic for lunch), but the nurses kept coming in and bugging her to turn over because they were having trouble keeping the external monitor on the baby's heartrate because Lucy was down so low. It was scary seeing the nurse take so long to find Lucy's heartbeat, but it was fine in the end.
Toward 1 PM, M started feeling the contractions again and they were coming strongly, back to back, and Lucy's heartrate was dipping pretty dramatically with each contraction, although not dangerously low. The nurse checked M and she was 10 cm and ready to push. It took about 30 minutes to get everything set up for the delivery and get the doctor there, and everyone got kicked out of the room except for T, me and M's mother. J and M's 13-year-old daughter got kicked out to the waiting room. My in-laws were waiting at our house after driving down from Minnesota that morning.
As soon as they put M's calves up into the stirrups we could see Lucy's little head with her beautiful hair peeking out, ready to come into the world! I have to pause here and say that I hadn't been expecting that M would want me to be sitting on the couch with a clear view of the "action" and I hadn't wanted to make her feel uncomfortable, but she was so sweet and encouraged me to get in a place where I could see the whole thing. I am so grateful to her!
The doctor asked M to push and then stop, and with that one push, Lucy's head was delivered and the doctor took a minute to suction her and cut the cord, which came out with her head. The next push brought out one shoulder and the final push brought her whole body into the world at 1:52. M is a champion pusher...she only needed 3 and none of them were very strenuous pushes. I got out the video camera and tried to tape those first moments but at first the nurses were all around her and I didn't get good shots until a couple of minutes had gone by. They rubbed her and suctioned her a lot, because she'd swallowed/inhaled some meconium during the process of being born. She cried at first but then was very quiet for the rest of the hour and 20 minutes she was awake right after birth, before going to sleep for a few hours. Her Apgar scores were 7 and 9, and I think that second score wasn't a 10 just because she wasn't crying at that point. We all agreed that she was perfect and the most beautiful baby ever born. The nurses agree!
After the nurses did their "thing" for 1/2 hour, they put on her wristband and ankle band and wristbands on M and I (so that I have the same rights as M to go get Lucy from the nursery and be alone with her), and then let J and M's daughter come back to the room. At that point I let M and T and M's daughter and mother hold Lucy while J looked on and I made phone calls to grandparents, our social worker, lawyer, pediatrician, friends, etc. Then J and I had a short meeting with the hospital social worker and then went back to M's room where I finally got to hold Lucy for the first time and then J did as well. Then we got kicked out so that the hospital social worker could talk to M and T privately, and I made more phone calls in the waiting room. We went back to M's room after that and J's parents came to the hospital to see her, too. We hung out, holding her and talking, until around 5 PM, when a nurse came to "steal" Lucy and take her for and hour and a half for shots, hearing screening, bath, etc. and at that point J and I went home for a bit and I took a much-needed shower.
We had a glass of wine (not a good idea for me since I was working on 40 minutes total sleep and the wine made me soooo tired) and got yummy pizza from a local joint. Right before the pizza came, T called me to say that M was asleep if I wanted to come get Lucy time, but I stayed home until the pizza arrived and I had a few pieces and then went back to the hospital, J following me about 15 minutes later. They had brought Lucy back smelling like baby powder with that little bow stuck to her head with KY jelly (giggle)...see the above picture. She had gotten even cuter with just a few hours, how is that possible?
We visited for 1/2 hour and then T's mother and sisters arrived to visit and J and I talked with them a few minutes but then went home to give them all some privacy to visit. I hadn't mentioned, but during this whole time we'd been hoping the hospital would have a room available for J and I to stay in. The nurse and social worker had mentioned at our pre-admittance tour of the unit that they try to find an empty room for adoptive parents to stay in for free whenever possible. However, there is a baby boom happening in our city right now and there haven't been any rooms available these past couple of days. Hopefully one will open up tomorrow and Sunday because M will be discharged tomorrow and we wouldn't have anywhere to hang out with Lucy if there are not available rooms! Please send me prayers/good vibes that we can get a room by tomorrow night.
I told T to call me if they were going to sleep and I'd come up to take care of Lucy. He called around 10 PM and I went back up to the hospital until 1:30 AM, when I realized that I absolutely had to go home or else I was going to pass out, having not slept more than 40 minutes in the previous 40 hours. I came home and slept from 2 until 10. We had breakfast and then went back to the hospital, bringing along a chocolate cheesecake that J and his mother had made as a special "no more gestational diabetes" treat for M. We hung out, held Lucy, sent J out for Popeye's chicken for lunch, and J's parents came to see Lucy again. Then we left at about 1 PM because Lucy was sleeping and the unit has quiet time from 2 to 4 for everyone to nap, and I'm sure M and T are napping with Lucy as I'm typing this. I told T to call us when they are ready for more company. Our social worker advised us to give M and T as much time and privacy with Lucy as they want during these couple of days in the hospital, because it is their time to snuggle with her and come to terms with their choice, while we'll get to enjoy the next 18 years! I am very grateful, though, that I've had several opportunities to hold and interact with Lucy when she is awake and alert, to start the bonding process. She looked at me quite a bit during the first 1/2 hour when she was in the bassinet being tended to by the nurses and I was right next to her, filming and taking photos. She is a very quiet, alert baby and likes to study people's faces. Last night I was holding her after her 11pm feeding and she spent a few minutes gazing at my face as if she was trying to memorize it. That made me cry with joy! I've been talking to her and singing to her when she's awake, too, and so she's getting to know the sound of my voice and my not-so-hot singing voice. :)
Deanna asked about my emotions in a comment a few posts ago, and I'm sorry I never got around to posting about how I was feeling then, so I'll go into some detail now. J and I have just been giddy for the past 2 days, ever since we talked to M on Wednesday evening and found out she was having contractions. I feel like I'm ADD because I have trouble focusing on anything, but I'm doing better now after getting good sleep last night. (By the way, when I woke up this morning I thought for a minute that it had all been a dream, but then looked down at the hospital bracelet on my wrist and teared up with joy that it is real!) M and I were both crying right after Lucy was born and I felt like I was dreaming as I watched her come into the world. It was so magical and I couldn't believe how much I loved her as soon as I just saw the top of her head coming out! It's still hard to believe she's here after waiting so long and worrying, too. When I look at her I feel such a wave of love come over me that it brings tears to my eyes and I find myself just stopping at random times and sending up a prayer of thanks to God for her. At the same time, we are trying to give M and T some space, as I said earlier, and I have to admit that we are holding a piece of our heart back and being cautious, on purpose, to protect our hearts from the potential pain of M and T changing their minds at the last minute. I haven't seen any evidence that they will change their minds, but I can see how they are bonding with Lucy and so in love with her and proud to show off her beauty to their relatives. When I see them cuddling and cooing with her, feeding her and showing her off, my heart hurts with jealousy and anxiety, but I am endeavoring to hide those feelings and rise above them. Sometimes, too, I just feel numb because I'm so overwhelmed with exhaustion and so many conflicting emotions. I would say that my overriding emotion leading up to the past 2 days was boredom and restlessness because I just didn't have anything to do but wait and clean the house. The question we have gotten most over the past few months is "are you excited?!!!!" and the honest answer is that we have been excited, but not with four exclamation marks. The apprehension we feel about these few days of waiting for M and T to sign the paperwork puts a damper on all of our emotions and takes away a lot of exclamation marks. Sad, but true.
We will visit with our lawyer at her office on Monday morning at 9am and then we will go to court in our county at 2pm that day. If everything goes as planned, we'll leave that court date with a court order that we can take back to the hospital so that they will discharge Lucy to our care. After that, we'll have a follow-up home visit from our social worker and one or two from the court, and then we'll finalize the adoption in 6 months.
When we get home from the hospital on Monday afternoon, we have a yard sign to put out so the neighbors will know (they will be shocked, since they haven't seen me walking around pregnant!) and a nice bottle of wine to open. J's parents will be here until Tuesday morning and my mom will fly in on Tuesday to stay for awhile. Non-grandparent guests will be invited to visit starting in August, but until then we'll be staying home mostly and bonding with Lucy Beatrix, the light of our lives, the bringer of joy.


  1. Sweetie, I'm just so very happy for you guys. I'm so glad you got to be a part of her big Welcome to the World party. It will be something you can tell her about the rest of her life---a story that I'm sure she will cherish as much as you and J.

    I'll be thinking of you all weekend, and will breath a lot better as well once you can post about Monday's goings-on. I am wishing you an uneventful day that unwinds like clockwork, ending in successful paperwork and a ride home from the hospital with your little girl. *HUGS*

  2. So very very happy for you guys! I'll be thinking of you on Monday and pray for an easy court day.


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