Thursday, April 20, 2017

Holland's Birth Story

The night before Holland arrived was some of the best sleep I'd had in a long time.  I was so ready to meet her that the typical pains and discomfort didn't keep me up like they had for the past few weeks.  Since the c-section was scheduled for noon on Friday we didn't have to wake up at 3:30 am as we did with the twins.  When it was time to go we loaded up our bags, took some final pictures as a family of four, and left around 9:30 to make it to the hospital by 10.

The drive was fine but the nerves I hadn't felt before suddenly kicked in.  We found a perfect parking spot (I've always considered that a good sign) but it felt so odd walking into the hospital in broad daylight, knowing we were going to have a new baby in two hours.  

Once we checked in they took us to a labor & delivery room and had me put on the infamous gown.  From there, I was asked tons of questions, got my IV, four dozen wristbands (or so it seemed), and met several people who would be with us during the surgery.  Then it was time for my epidural.

Epidurals make me extremely nervous due to my scoliosis and this one was especially hard because they wouldn't allow Michael in the room.  The anesthesiologist could not have been nicer and talked me through it all.  Even though it wasn't my first time, it was definitely comforting to be reminded of each step along the way.  Once it kicked in, they helped me lie down and then I waited and waited... and waited for Michael.  They finally let him come in and my eyes filled with tears - it was then I realized how anxious I was.  I remember saying, "I'm pretty scared." I wasn't sure if having a repeat c-section would make me less nervous (I knew what I was getting into) or more nervous (I knew what I was getting into) but it was quite clear I was the latter.  

Michael knelt down and grabbed my hand.  Surgery started and I just stared at him the entire time so I wouldn't think about what was happening on the other side of the sheet.  The doctors were chatting about everyday events and the anesthesiologist must've seen my face because she leaned down and said, "It's good when they chat.  We worry when they're silent."  A few minutes later she told me I was about to feel a lot of pressure. I guess Holland was in the perfect position because I felt one push and my doctor said, "That's all we need. I've got her."  And then we heard the loudest screech.  I'm not sure anyone has ever made an entrance quite like Holland.  The whole room cracked up and several of the ladies wished us luck with her in the future - HA!

They cleaned her up and Michael went over to the scale while they took her measurements.

Holland Claire Haynes
April 7, 2017
12:21 pm
8 lbs 8 oz

As soon as she was cleaned up they brought her back and put her on my chest.  It was hard for me to see her because she was so close to my face but I asked Michael who she looked like, if she had hair, how much hair, etc.  They repositioned her so I could get a better look and I remember thinking she was absolutely beautiful.  

My doctor asked if I was still certain I wanted a tubal and I quietly said yes.  But in that moment, I wanted 40 more babies.  Michael cleared his throat and said a firmer "YES" for my sake (and his) so the doctor got to work.  

After she finished they wheeled us back to our labor & delivery room for a few hours to recover.  I tried breastfeeding and Holland was an absolute pro from the beginning, just like her brother.  Both sets of grandparents came in to meet her and passed her around the room.  Everyone commented on her dark hair and sweet face.  Michael and I could not stop smiling.

We stayed in the hospital for three nights and it was an amazing experience - the nurses were all incredibly friendly and so helpful.  Jude and Sloane met her on Saturday and it was pretty much what we expected:  Sloane was head over heels and Jude took a little bit to warm up.  "Mom has a baby in her belly" was a little too abstract for him throughout the pregnancy so actually seeing the baby was a bit of a surprise.  By the end of the visit, he was comfortable with her and couldn't get enough. 

I'll be honest, the time we were in the hospital felt like a mini vacation.  There were so many quiet moments of just bonding with our new daughter and it was such a sweet time for the three of us.  I missed the big kids terribly but knew they were having so much fun with their grandparents.  

My milk came in on day two and it turned into quite the ordeal as my body was prepared to feed twins again.  There is pain and then there is MISERY and I reached that point by Sunday evening so I borrowed a hospital pump for some relief.  It didn't work itself out until I'd been home for several days and had taken to heating pads, ice packs, pumping, NOT pumping, cluster feeding, and finally cabbage leaves to decrease my supply.  I know it's a great problem to have, but I am very thankful my body has since adjusted. 

One of the biggest differences between this c-section and the last was the recovery.  With the twins they had me in bed for 24 hours (with my epidural) before I was allowed to get up.  This time?  They had me up and walking around my room six hours after surgery.  Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed because I was very much looking forward to 24 hours of pure laziness, but I knew this would be better for my recovery.  I did more walking in the hospital than I did the first two weeks with the twins.  

Holland is incredibly laidback and has the sweetest disposition.  She has made the transition from four to five so easy and fun.  I'm embarrassed to admit how obsessed I am with her but it is such a good feeling since I was originally scared I would have a hard time bonding with her.  Instead, I have a hard time sharing her with anyone - whoops!

I'm so grateful Michael and I get to do this again - something I never expected to happen but the absolute best surprise of my life.  I have huge dreams for this girl and cannot wait to get to know her more.  Sweet Holland Claire, you are loved, you are loved, you are LOVED.


Emily said...

Beautiful story and beautiful baby! It was good to read a birth story with a scheduled c-section since if we have a third it'll be planned C (my second was a failed VBAC) and I'm already nervous even though I'm not even close to being pregnant. Happy to hear everything went smoothly and everyone is well!

Susie said...

Gaga and Poppy are so in love with Holland!

Ginger said...

Meredith, and Michael, I'm glad to hear all is going well and baby Holland is just beautiful. I love the pictures too. I know life in your home has changed and it sounds as if it couldn't be better with all the support and love surrounding your family. I'd been shopping before she was born; but made a swap yesterday and will get it in the mail this morning. Love to all, Ginger and Bill.

Jenn said...

She is so beautiful! I'm so happy you get to experience a newborn all over again. I've realized if it were feasible, I would be in newborns forever. A new one every 6 months would be good. ;)


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