Just over a week ago I was writing a post about getting through the last month of pregnancy. And here I am now with a 10 day old precious baby girl. If I could relive any week of my life, it would be this one. I makes me sad to think this sweet newborn time has to eventually come to an end, but I try not to dwell on that, and just enjoy every second I have with my baby girl. I want to write down her story, just like I did with the triplets. I can’t even count how many differences there are between the two pregnancies and deliveries. I am so grateful to have had both experiences. We’ll start with last Monday, March 9th.
I was pretty uncomfortable at this point in my pregnancy. But I made plans and had a busy week ahead of me with somewhere I had to be every day. I used this day to do a Costco run, and gather some gifts for teacher appreciation week. While walking through Costco, I definitely felt some pain, pressure, and the Braxton Hicks contractions I was very used to. But I just brushed it off as third trimester discomfort. I was happy to be at 36 weeks because I felt like I could go to places like Costco and lift the heavier things without any danger of early labor anymore (I had avoided going there alone for a while because I was so paranoid about delivering early). I went about my day as usual, picking up the kids and laying around. Also, that afternoon I finally packed the pile of things I’d gathered on my dresser into a suitcase for the hospital. For Family Home Evening that night, we had a talk with the kids about our baby protocol, or what would happen when the baby was going to come. We told them someone might be here when they woke up, or they might have to sleep at someone’s house, etc. I felt a bit of relief after that conversation, knowing the kids would be slightly prepared when anything happened. Funny how we chose that night to do that. Definitely inspired. I watched the painfully drawn-out Bachelor Finale, all the while feeling my baby girl kicking away in my stomach. I never got tired of how amazing and bizarre that was. I loved watching and feeling it every single day.
Around 10:30 I went to bed, fully expecting to wake up pregnant the next morning and ready to tackle the my to-do list. Around 12:15 am, I woke up to a painful jolt, and knew something was going on. KC was still up so I told him what was up and I called the doctor on call. Soon became very apparent that my water had broken. We called my awesome friend Jana who was on my speed dial for this very event (seriously, she is so awesome to come over in the middle of the night!), packed up a couple more things, and by around 1 am we were on our way to the hospital. It’s a quick 10 minute drive, and on the road is when I felt my first really painful contraction.
We drove up and went into the very empty emergency entrance where they checked us in and told us someone would be there to pick me up soon. It seemed like an eternity before she got there. Let’s remember my water had broken, and contractions were getting intense. She wheeled us to the L&D floor, and did all their tests to determine that I was really in labor. Ha. Formalities. When we walked into my room, it felt so weird. Like I realized this is where I was going to meet my baby for the first time. I was so nervous and excited. I asked for the epidural right away. I knew I was going to get one from the start (by choice and because it’s what they recommend when trying for a VBAC) so why wait? Contractions were bringing me to tears at this point. The team of nurses, and the doctor on call were doing their thing drawing blood, placing the IV, and filling out paperwork. When they checked me at this point, I was three centimeters. I knew the labor with the triplets went quickly, but I wasn’t sure how things would happen this time around. I think they thought we were in for a long night, but I had a feeling we wouldn’t be there long. The doctor was very nervous that she hadn’t yet received the operative report from my c-section. She had never done a VBAC without one. So there were more papers to sign. The epidural was placed quickly and easily, with no pain that I can remember, and everything calmed down. The left us to get some rest. I heard KC snoozing away, but I was far from able to sleep. I decided to freshen up and put on a little make-up. Laugh if you want, but it made me feel more like myself, and ready to take on the day. Really, what else did I have to do? It was probably around 2:30 at this point.
While I wasn’t feeling the pain of the contractions anymore, I was definitely feeling pressure. I guess the monitor had shifted and wasn’t catching all the contractions. I asked my nurse if she was seeing the one I was feeling right then, and after watching for a while she saw that they were pretty close together now. So close that the baby’s heart rate wasn’t tolerating them very well. She said something about slowing them down, which seemed bizarre to me. Weren’t they supposed to get close together? I guess they didn’t think my body was ready for that many contractions yet, but when she checked, was was shocked to find out I was fully dilated. I knew that pressure meant something!
Then things got exciting as everyone gathered around for the main event. They gave me some oxygen I think to help with the baby’s heart rate. It got a bit low during the contractions but always seemed to come back up. I was amazed at how calm the room was. People were busy getting things ready and asking questions, but it just felt so calm in there. No one was talking loudly, or running around. Everyone was just smiling, and encouraging, and it was actually really peaceful.
When all was set, they told me to start pushing through the contractions. They saw during the first round that this was going to happen fast. I just remember wondering if this was all really happening. Was I really having my baby right now? Was I really having a normal delivery? All it took to get here kind of flashed before my eyes. It was a surreal moment and I tried to take it all in. The Doctor quietly told me that we were going to get her out during the next contraction and I didn’t know what to say. That next contraction came, and before I could even think, I had a perfect baby girl screaming like crazy on my chest. It was 4:31 am. They were rubbing her down, and I just looked at her mumbling something about how happy I was and how beautiful she was while tears flowed freely down my face. It didn’t feel real. I couldn’t believe I was looking at the little girl that has been inside of me for so long, and who had been waiting for us to be ready for her for so long before that. After a few minutes, they took her to the warmer to get cleaned up and everything while they finished up with me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I felt like I was in a dream world. Just a few hours earlier I was at home, and now here I was looking at a darling pink little girl crying away. I could live in that happy moment forever.
They brought her over to me and I held her close to keep her warm. KC and I were just in awe of her perfection. We didn’t get to experience this bonding time with the triplets, and we were just breathing in every second of this sweet time. She was three and a half weeks early, so they had someone there to make sure she was alright because of that. They quickly determined they weren’t needed. This baby girl was obviously ready to be here. It took them a while to get the scale in there to weigh her, but I was anxious to find out her size. They finally told us she was a petite 5 pounds 10.3 ounces. That seems small to some, but it’s double the size of the triplets, so I was happy! We watched her first bath, and laughed at every little squeaky cry. She sounded like a little puppy sometimes. We couldn’t help but fall in love with every little thing she did. I’ll never forget those sweet few hour as long as I live.
We made our way to our next room where we’d stay for the next couple days. We were texting and calling family and friends, and making sure the kids were alright. They were so excited, of course, and I couldn’t wait for them to visit. After we got settled, KC went to pick them up. My friend was so sweet to fix their bed-head and make sure they were picture ready. I told her they would dress themselves, and they did a pretty good job. When I heard they little voices down the hall, I peaked out, and saw that they were all getting cute hospital bands that said they were a big brother/ sister of a Sky Ride baby. They thought that was pretty cool. Then they walked in almost reverently. They didn’t talk above a whisper, and if I did, they were sure to let me know I was being too loud for the baby. Cute kids. Bennett and Ruby were excited to hold her right away, but Alex just said “no thanks” this time around. Funny boy. I think he was a little nervous. They loved all her tiny features, and I loved watching them. They were so happy she was finally here.
KC took them to school, and I told him to go ahead and stay home to get a nap before picking them up. I snoozed a little myself between feedings. It was such a quiet, peaceful, wonderful day. I was sad watching the hours pass, knowing the day had to eventually end. I just kept looking at her in disbelief feeling like life couldn’t get any better than right then.
That afternoon, I was pleased and excited to find out my brother Drew and his wife Julie had their baby girl Adelaide that very same day! How fun for these cute cousins to share this birthday! It was such a special day for our family, and there was a constant flow of cute pictures going back and forth. Really, such a wonderful day.
Jana insisted the kids sleep over that night. KC and I enjoyed dinner together and were so tired because of the lack of sleep the previous night that we tried to go to bed early. She was pretty squawky that night, and between that and feedings, there wasn’t much sleep happening. I was also still fighting an annoying sinus infection and that was making it really hard to sleep as well. With her being under 37 weeks, they wanted us to supplement and pump after nursing to make sure she was gaining weight, so feeding took a little time. I think we finally slept an hour or two in the early morning. Still, a new morning brought new energy. KC did his thing with the kids again, and I was feeling a lot better pain-wise than the day before. I was uncomfortable, but it was nothing compared to a c-section. In fact, just a few hours after delivery, I realized my friend was just down the hall with her new triplets she’d had the day before! So I took a walk to see her without much discomfort. Something I never could’ve done after my c-section.
My mom was able to find a flight quickly and came in Wednesday night. KC and the kids picked her up and brought her straight to the hospital. I loved introducing her to little Hazel, and talking about who she looks like. I honestly can’t find any similarities between her and triplets, but time will tell who she looks like, I’m sure. Alex finally decided to hold her and was instantly in love. I knew he’d come around.
They all left to get the kids to bed, and KC came back to spend our last night in the hospital with me. We opted to have the baby in the nursery that night, and the nurse was more than happy to oblige. Of course I still had some trouble sleeping with my sinuses, and I kept waking up wondering if it was time to feed her. We let them give her bottles for a couple feedings since we were supplementing anyway. Around 5-6 she came back, and I was so happy to see her cute face.
The rest of the morning was spent packing up and getting ready to be discharged. They were pretty busy, so it was a slow process, but we didn’t mind taking it easy, knowing the kids were with Nana, and going to school. We left around 1 pm, and I was surprised that I was sad to go. I wanted to go home, but I didn’t want this heavenly time with my new baby to end. I didn’t want to enter real life. I felt great, but still wanted to be taken care of. It was a mix of emotions, but still, going home felt right and exciting. I sat in the back with Hazel, and before I knew it we walked her into her new home.
From that point on we’ve been living the sweet new baby life. Laughing at her cute faces and sleepy smiles, feeding around the clock (after a few days of nursing, bottles and pumping, she’s exclusively nursing now), sleeping well thanks to mom insisting on helping at night, and thanks to the baby for loving her sleep as well, occasional tears thanks to hormones and changes, older siblings showing their love for their baby sister constantly, my Dad coming to join the fun, and just really loving life with a sweet new baby. The kids have definitely been adjusting as they have clearly been more emotional that usual, but they seem to be coming around to their old selves, and just love their sweet baby Hazel. They are also extremely helpful, just as I hoped they would be.
Things do get overwhelming at times as I try to ease back into real life, but I have to say, it’s astounding how much easier this is than the triplets. Not only was the pregnancy, delivery, hospital stay, and recovery exponentially more calm and enjoyable, but having one newborn around the house instead of three is blowing my mind. Even when she’s up a 2-3 times a night, I still get enough sleep. When she’s sleeping, I don’t have to worry about anyone but her waking up. Nursing one is pretty much the best thing every after pumping, making formula, and washing insane amounts of bottles every single day. I can hold her as long as I want without another baby demanding my attention. I mean, I’m sitting here typing as she sleeps peacefully in the the bouncy seat. She also doesn’t have the preemie issues we had with the triplets, like reflux, apnea monitors, etc. I love that I got to experience so many new things with the triplets, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am just so happy to have experienced this side of things as well. I always said I wanted to see what having one was like, and I can’t believe that this is my reality now. I constantly have to pinch myself to remind myself that I really did get pregnant with that frozen embryo we had stored all those years, and I really did give birth to this beautiful baby girl. I say a prayers of thanks over and over for this wonderful blessing. Now I just have to figure out how to deal with the pain of her growing up way too fast because I know that is going to happen. But for right now, I’m going to keep staring at her, kissing her, and loving her more than words can express.