Friday, November 13, 2015

Hannah's Birth Story - delivery

The past 2 times I have given birth it was a time filled with uncertainty, anxiety, grief, and pain.  Even with the boys, there was so much about it that was not how I planned.  I wanted my body to do more, to do better, to carry them longer.  I was rushed into surgery and couldn't even make it through the whole process without having to be sedated (though I will blame the magnesium drip on some of that craziness).  Regardless, these were my experiences: vaginal delivery into a silent room and emergency cesarean with micro preemies.  Neither ideal.

On November 3, we calmly woke up at 7 (who am I kidding, we were both up and restless long before then!) and played with the boys.  We (they) ate breakfast, played with blocks, had a great time.  My parents arrived at 9:30 and we left for the hospital at 10.  Along the way, we stopped by the NICU to drop off some more supplies for Reagan's Garden and then chatted with some of our favorite nurses from 6 weeks on Special Maternity wing.  It seemed like any other morning, relatively carefree.

There is something surreal about walking into labor and delivery to say "we're here to have a baby" without needing a wheelchair or having strong contractions.  We got all checked in, were loved on by some of the nurse managers we've met through Reagan's Garden, and lead to our room.  Room 860.  As we round the hall, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach.  I see the room, and I break down in the hallway.  This is the exact room where I delivered my precious Reagan.  This is the room where I became a mother for the first time, where I held my child in my arms for the only time, where I said goodbye.  Reagan's entire existence outside me what lived in that room.  I couldn't do it.  This day needed to be about Hannah, about joy and life.  I knew Hannah wouldn't be born in that room, but it was too much for my emotional heart to take, I couldn't even walk in the door.  We were quickly moved to another room.  And the entire nursing staff was so sweet and kind to us in the process.

Once we were settled in our room, I was able to finish reading through the Bible...we had the tail end of Revelation left for that day.  I love that Warren, Dean, and Hannah have all heard the entire Bible while in the womb.  My contractions began to pick up and were actually consistently every 4-5 minutes.  And getting stronger.  Hannah would be coming very soon with or without the scheduled c-section.

I walked into the OR to see an entire table set up with scary looking silver things - probes and scalpels and who knows what, all lined up.  Deep breath.  Okay, another deep breath.  The anesthesiologist was incredible and gave me my spinal with almost no pain whatsoever - what a drastic difference from my cerclage placement!  I had a minor freak out that I wasn't actually numb yet before I was assured that if, in fact, I was not numb, I would not be lying still on the table.  Oh, I guess things had started.  It seemed like forever, with lots of tugging and pulling, before Andrew was able to stand up to watch Hannah come out.  It took a few seconds before I heard it, but there it was: crying.  Such a sweet sound.  She was crying.  The NICU staff showed me her sweet little face before setting her on the warming table to examine her lungs (we had some low fluid levels and no amnio to confirm lung development, though we fully expected things to be good at 37.5 weeks).  She had the biggest cheeks ever!  She looked absolutely huge to me, I was a little in shock.  How could she be so big already??  She weighed in at 6 lb 11 oz, but looked so much bigger to me.  Andrew was able to hold her and go back with the staff for first bath and footprints while they continued to work on me.  I was sedated with the boys after they came out, so I don't have any memory of the closing process, but it was way longer than I thought it would be.  About 45 minutes later I was taken to recovery and able to hold my sweet Hannah for the first time.  She was beautiful, just perfect.  She has these tiny petite features, despite the big cheeks.  She has her mommy's eyes and her daddy's chin.  And then this happened...she quit crying.  She needed her mommy.  There was something so special in that, something I haven't been able to give any of my other children at birth.  The calming of a mommy's touch.  She was able to nurse right away, and I was able to cuddle with her for over an hour, working on getting my toes to move.

Hannah Grace Savant was born at 2:45pm, November 3, 2015.  She weighed 6 lb 11oz and was 20 1/4 inches long.  She is perfectly knit together in my womb, a gift from God.  We are incredibly blessed to bring home a healthy baby girl.

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