Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Lucy Pearl Giles! :)

She's here!!!

...and we could not be more in love with such a tiny little person! She is beautiful both inside and out and is such an easy baby! We, of course, are still adjusting to life with a newborn, but compared to what other newborns I've known... she's a breeze! She absolutely makes our lives complete and of course, we're elated that we can consider ourselves a real "family" with three of us now! I typed up these details of her birth a few days after she was born, in hopes that I wouldn't forget anything. I'm so glad I'll have it for memories...

Lucy’s birth story actually started at week 36 when we found out she was turned sideways. We were told to wait a week, and if she had not turned by our week 37 appointment, we would make a decision between performing a c-section or inducing labor during week 38. Well, as God had planned, she had not turned at our 37 week appointment, and Chris & I decided to plan for a c-section. We were able to choose between the dates of July 18, 19, & 20. With me being so uncomfortable from her lying so awkwardly in my belly, we chose the earliest date – July 18, 2011.
We were originally told it would take place around 12 noon. We so eagerly told our family & friends so that they could plan to be there for or right after the birth to visit her! This was on Tuesday of week 37, and on Friday (38 weeks, 1 day) we went to the Medical Center of Central Georgia for pre-op preparations. We filled out a bunch of paperwork, I peed in a cup, they took some blood, and we were told our surgery had been bumped up to 9:30 because of some cancellations. We again eagerly called our family & friends to alert them of the change so that they could plan to be there even earlier – especially those coming from out of town, like my parents & sister.
Chris & I spent Sunday thinking all day “this will be the last time I’ll do _(fill in random activity – wash dishes, go to the movies, eat supper, etc.)__ without a baby in the house.” I couldn’t have anything to eat past midnight Sunday night, so I ate and ate and ate up until 12 just so that I wouldn’t be hungry the next day. We went to bed a little after 12. I woke up around 4:30 to use the restroom and though still sleepy, couldn’t go back to bed because my mind was just running with thoughts of what was going to happen the next day, how things were going to go, did we have everything we needed packed & ready to go, etc. Chris slept all the way up until our alarm at 5:45 a.m.
I was given some certain soap I was told to bathe in the evening before and morning of the surgery, so we got me all bathed and dressed and we headed out the door to meet our little girl! We arrived at the hospital around 7:30 hoping to see our families before we headed back for monitoring. We had to start surgery preparation around 8:00 and our families showed up around 7:50 – talk about cutting it close! My mom, dad, & little sister, Christy all got there first and we all just hugged and took pictures – talk about excitement! Then, Chris’s mom & dad showed up and they had brought me some flowers – so sweet! Chris & I headed on back, got dressed in my surgical gown and waited for the surgery preparation…
….and we waited, and we waited, and we waited. They finally put a couple of belt monitors around my belly – one monitored me and one monitored Lucy. They also had a monitor on my right index finger that monitored my oxygen and had an IV of fluid going in my left hand. We waited for what seemed like an eternity. I could only have one person back there with me at a time, so Chris sweetly rotated out with each one of our family members so that they could all have a turn to see me and I could try to keep from getting bored. I was told that I couldn’t wear makeup or nail polish for the surgery, but Christy sweetly snuck me some mascara to wear so that at least my eyes could be pretty for pictures.
Eventually we were told that our surgery had been bumped back to 11:00 due to some emergency c-sections that came up. This was fine with me, I wasn’t in labor and wasn’t in any pain & my baby was just hanging out waiting to be born; if there was someone else’s baby who needed to get here before mine in order to be born safely, then I was more than happy to let them go ahead of me – I would want them to be as equally understanding if it was the other way around. Besides, what good could really come from me pitching a fit about it? It’s not like I can perform the surgery by myself… At one point, we were given a glimmer of hope that our surgery would be around 10:30; but that hope only lasted for a split second as, one more time, we were bumped to 11:30.
Finally, it was our turn. The nurses came in, had me drink some tart drink to stabilize my stomach acids, and rolled me back to OR Room #1. Chris wasn’t allowed back yet, so he stayed back and got changed into his surgical attire. I sat on the operating table just looking over at the table that held all of the sterile tools that would be used to perform this surgery. They didn’t look comforting. My attention as soon refocused to the two anesthesiologists putting in my epidural. They described in detail what to do and what was happening as they did it, and it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be; in fact, I didn’t think it hurt nearly as bad as the IV that was put in my hand earlier. It took no time before my legs were feeling warm, then heavy, and eventually not at all. It was such a strange sensation to see my legs being moved but having absolutely no feeling in them whatsoever!
Next thing I knew, they were throwing up the drape, and starting to cut me open when Chris walked in. I was so happy to have him there. He told me all about what he was wearing and how he split the boot covers because his feet were so big; he also told me about what he talked about with our families in the waiting room while he was letting different family members take turns coming back to visit me. I felt lots of tugging and pulling but literally, no pain. I could see the reflection of what was happening during the surgery in the lens of the surgical lights that were overhead. I didn’t particularly want to watch, but kept an eye on it just in case I would get to see her be born – that I wanted to see! Chris was talking about teaching my little sister how to play Angry Birds when all of a sudden I saw Lucy’s little foot pop out of my belly! I said “I see her foot!” and anxiously watched the rest of my little girl come into this world! Dr. Slocumb held her up over the drape for us to see and we thought she was the most beautiful baby to ever enter this world!
Chris went with her to get all cleaned up and I, of course, had to finish getting all stitched up. The anesthesiologist, Rad, could tell I was getting a little anxious with Chris being gone and began asking me what kind of music I liked listening to. I thought this was strange conversation but replied with “Country.” He then asked me to name an artist I particularly liked listening to and I said “Carrie Underwood.” Before I knew it, he had found Carrie Underwood songs on Pandora Radio on his cell phone and had it laying beside my head for the remainder of the surgery. I thought this was a particularly nice gesture.
I was eventually transferred back to the recovery room while Chris was with Lucy in the nursery. It was there that I had to wait for my temperature to re-stabilize and get some feeling back in my legs from the epidural. I was in this room for an hour! They had put in a spinal epidural for the surgery and used the same port to place my morphine pump. I loved pressing the button and getting instant pain relief! I really wanted my mama back there with me, but I was only allowed to have one person past the front desk while I was in recovery, and since Chris was back there he was considered my one person, even though he was with Lucy. I would have rather had him be with her anyways, I just wanted someone with me, too.
After a while, Chris came to see me and show me pictures of our little girl. I remember asking him “Is she just perfect?” and he said “Yeah. She really is!” After about 10 minutes, they were ready to send me to post-partum. I couldn’t wait to see my little Lucy Pearl! I got to the room and they got my bed situated where it needed to be, and they asked “Can we get you anything?” and I said “Yeah… my baby!” About two to three minutes later, in came Lucy and boy was she hungry! I had decided previous to delivery that I definitely wanted to breastfeed but had not put much thought or reading into what all it involved, different latches, how it would feel, etc. They handed her to me and said “Here she is, Mama, and she’s good and hungry – are you ready to nurse?” It was such a sink-or-swim moment for me and I just put her up next to me and she latched on great and quickly from the start. In fact, the next day in the hospital the on-call pediatrician said that out of the eight other babies on the labor and delivery floor, she was the best eater they had! That made me a proud mama!
Soon after we arrived in our post-partum room and had a few minutes just the three of us, all of our family that had been sweetly waiting (for a lot longer than they had expected) came in to meet her. Mama came over and sweetly kissed me on my forehead first and said she needed to know how her baby was before she checked on my baby. Everyone was just in love with her! They all thought she looked just like me when I was a newborn – and she really does! There was a picture Memaw had brought with her to the hospital of me when I was one day old. It was really uncanny to hold that picture up next to Lucy and see just how nearly identical we are. Lucy had really great coloring and such a nicely rounded shaped head that everyone commented on.
That same day, we had one of my students from last year, Courtney Ellis and her mom Jamilyn stop by to see Lucy. Jamilyn works at the Medical Center, just on a different floor. It was really sweet for them to stop by, especially since I felt bad that my students all knew I was pregnant but wouldn’t be able to meet Lucy, I was glad at least one of them were able to!
The next was full of visitors, too as we had Christy & Korey Sutton, Alecia Martin, & Summer Leggat all stop by. Summer sweetly brought you purple flowers. I’ve been in love with the color purple for her this whole pregnancy – I think it’s such a sweet color for a little girl without being stereotypical pink. That day was also very busy with so many visits from my OB-GYN, the on-call pediatrician, the lactation consultant, the person who conducted Lucy’s hearing screening, and nurses & techs checking on both me & Lucy throughout the day and night. We were so happy with all of the polite help we received throughout our stay at the hospital. Of course, some nurses were better than others, but it was more a conflict of personalities and opinions than anything else. I was so glad to not have left with any bad stories to tell for years to come.
I was also made to get up out of bed Tuesday mid-afternoon. I had heard from lots of different people that getting up and walking a.s.a.p. would be the best thing for me after a c-section, so I was excited to get out of bed & get started on this recovery process! I also was anxious to get out of bed, at this point, I had been in the same hospital bed for over 24 hours -- my legs were ready for some exercise! My two sweet nurses came in and helped me sit up. I sat for a second on the side of the bed just letting my feet touch the floor to "get my bearings." After I felt like I was ready, I proceeded to stand up. My main nurse, Abby, had told me that my body is going to want to stand at just a 45 degree angle, but to try to stand up straight. I didn't feel the need to bend over at all -- it felt so good to be up and out of that bed! She had also told me to not look down and to focus on something straight ahead as I began to walk towards the bathroom. I tried to focus on the towel rack. I made it to the bathroom and my tech helped me take a shower. It felt so nice -- awkward, but nice!! As soon as I stepped out of the shower, though, I felt very light-headed and dizzy. It was all I could do to make it back to my bed. That was the extent of my walking for that day. Getting up and out of bed also caused me to run a low-grade temperature. Nothing major, just a combination of getting up after being bed-ridden for so long, my body trying to recover from surgery, and also from my body trying to fight off the breast milk it was trying to make. Apparently, your body sees it as a foreign substance and tries to fight it off. Hmm, interesting thought!
Wednesday was calmer in that we didn’t have any visitors and the nurses weren’t needed to come in as often any more so we had lots and lots of time to spend with our baby girl as a family of three. I was able to get out of bed and walk the halls a bit by myself -- a great improvement from the attempt the day before! Chris kept Lucy in the room by himself. She's normally great with him & loves being in his arms more than anything else in this world, but as soon as I left, I could hear her cry & it was so sweet that she stopped crying as soon as I walked back in the room. It was like she knew her Mama was gone and she missed me! Chris was getting a little bit of cabin fever and had really outdone himself taking such great care of both me and Lucy during the days and especially at night not only changing her diapers, but then walking around and singing and talking with her and really working to enhance the special bond he had already created with her while she was in my belly. She is just in love with her daddy. I didn’t really get to see her eyes open for the first couple of days, except by accident or when he would get her to me quick enough before she would shut them again, but every time he would hold her and speak to her, she would open her eyes just as wide and just stare at him. I remember while pregnant with her, that every time he would talk to her, she would move differently than she did at any other time of the day. She already has him wrapped around her sweet little finger. Mom sweetly volunteered to come give Chris a break and allow him to go home and get some things done, work out, and spend a night at home and that she would come and spend the night with Lucy and I.
He definitely took her up on her offer, but spent the entire night calling to check on “his girls” and he endearingly refers to us. He was able to work out and then come home, set up her Angel Care Monitor, put together the diaper genie, and mount the flat-screen television we had gotten for her room. He was back bright and early the next morning though to help us get ready to come home!
The pediatricians were a little concerned by her biliruben levels. They weren’t high enough to have her be put under the bili lights or the bili blankets, but they were high enough to be slightly concerned and they just wanted us to follow up the next day with our pediatrician at home here in Milledgeville, Dr. Marshall Ivey. After two follow-up appointments for heel pricks and blood drawn, by Saturday, Lucy’s biliruben levels were back to a safe level and they are no longer concerned!
Lucy really is the sweetest baby; never cries, unless she’s uncomfortable like when getting her diaper or clothes changed, or having to switch sides while breastfeeding. She is very alert, opening her bright blue eyes, big and wide, for up to 10 minutes at a time several times a day. She had lost a little bit of weight since birth, which is normal, getting as low as 6 lbs. 8 oz. but her weight is now on the way back up. Her daddy and I could not be more proud or in love with a little girl we think is the most absolutely beautiful baby to ever be born. We love her so much and cannot get enough kisses from our precious Lucy Pearl! <3

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful story :) Lucy is an absolute doll. Congratulations again!