Thursday, March 25, 2010

I had a dream

About three or four years ago, I had a dream. A beautiful dream. A dream of a little baby girl in my arms. I distinctly remember the feel of her soft skin as I stroked her cheek and the sight of her head full of soft, dark hair. I stared at her in awe, knowing she was a blend of her daddy and me. What a heavenly feeling as I held her, filling what had so long been my empty arms.

Then I woke up. Realized it was a dream. Felt IMMENSE pain. I sobbed. A lot. No baby. Just a cold, dark room full of dreams. Shortly thereafter I wrote a poem called "Sweet Baby." I wrote it for the baby girl that only existed in that little bit of heaven as I slept.

Mike video taped me reading that poem just weeks before giving birth to our little Alexis Faith. It took a long time to record it...not because the poem was that lengthy, but because I couldn't stop crying. I think we maybe had five or more takes before I could finally get the words out. Maybe I'll post it for you to see someday.

So before, I had a dream.

But now, I have a little girl... sweeter than the sweetest dream.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Little Miss Sunshine

What fun we are having with our happy baby girl! She has recently started smiling a LOT now as you can see! And yes, we are aware that she has a mohawk. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Birth Story: Part 2

(Got a few minutes? This is a long one!)

It was only minutes before Mike joined me in the operating room, but it felt like hours...

There were so many emotions coming toward me during this all felt somewhat like a dream.

A dream that we have had for a very long time.

I realized how quickly things are beginning to move around me. There was already so much action amongst the doctors and nurses, and the surgery had not even begun yet.

It was time to lie back on the table now. Let me tell you, I realized then how large I really was as I was trying to center myself on a table that seemed to be a foot wide. Not an easy task.

The anesthesiologist began testing the effectiveness of the spinal. He rubbed a cold swab on my legs first. I could feel the swab, but not the coldness. He continued that test to see how far upward the anesthetic was going. He decided to raise the head of the table a bit. How strange that I could feel all the swabs...hmmm... hoping the spinal's doing its job!

More action around me. My arms were being velcroed to the boards stemming from the table. Trays of tools were being wheeled up toward us. I really tried not to look at those!

Wonder if I can still move my feet. I tried, but it felt like it was definitely in slow motion...such a strange feeeling. At that point, I decided not to try anymore, so I wouldn't freak myself out!

The curtain was up, blocking my view of the surgery. I knew they had begun prepping me.

Did I just hear someone welcome Mike into the room? I tried to look toward the doorway, but there were too many nurses to see around.

Then I saw him...nothing can describe how great that was. We were together. He had on the mask, and the full OR outfit. Although I couldn't see much of his face, I knew that he was smiling. He sat down on the stool next to me and said, "This is it, babes."

A woozey and lightheaded feeling was hitting me big time. And they hadn' t even started surgery yet. Or so I thought.

"Will they be starting soon?" I asked one of the anesthesiology assistants who was standing near my head.

"Oh, they've started alright. You're open right now, sweetie," she told me with a laugh. I was glad to know that we were that much closer than what I realized.

A minor drawback of being awake for surgery--there was a lot I was trying to ignore so I wouldn't feel worse. But the smell of flesh or skin burning was about more than I could ignore.

Just breathe, Jenn....soon....she's coming soon...

"It'll be just a minute now," she told us.

Mike and I looked at each other again, in total and sheer excitement. He was holding the video camera up high, but not high enough to catch the surgery itself.

So much tugging and pulling, then pushing up high on my ribs.

I was waiting...waiting to hear the words. Any minute now...

Months ago, when we found out we were pregnant again, we asked people to pray for two specific things. The first was obviously for a healthy pregnancy this time. And the second... the second was for Mike and I to be together this time in the operating room, so we could hear our baby's first sweet little cry together.

Thank you, God. Both dreams were coming true...

I heard it right then. The most beautiful sound that ever reached my ears.... the sweet sound of a strong cry from our baby girl.

I didn't have to look up at Mike to know that we were both crying at that moment. So much to go through to get here, but this moment was worth it all.

I heard some aww-ing from some of the nearby nurses. I saw other nurses standing by the baby's bed, waiting for her.

Then I saw her...just a glimpse, but still I saw her. Saw a little foot sticking above the arm of the nurse carrying her to the bed. A glimpse of some chubby little legs. And dark hair? Did I see that? We knew she would have lots of dark hair!

Then I saw something equally as amazing... I saw Mike being a daddy. He was standing beside her with the video camera, soaking in his little girl.

More tears....that's what I had waited for for years....not to just be a Mommy myself, but to also get to see Mike be the Daddy that I know he's been longing to be. And here he is with her now... such a proud Daddy already, touching her and bending down to talk to her.

"Will they bring her over to me?" I asked.

"Yep, they'll wrap her and bring her over to ya here soon."

I couldn't wait. Couldn't wait to see her little face up close.

I was still trying to ignore the extreme light-headedness I was feeling.

The assistant told me, "Your blood pressure dropped pretty low, so we're giving you tons of fluids... and you'll feel much better once they put your insides back in..."

What?? Did I just hear that? Oh, no details please.

Just then I looked up to see Mike holding her, all wrapped and snug in his arms. Then he looked up and stepped toward me. I quickly asked the assistant if I could have one arm freed so I could touch her.

He lowered her down. Then I felt the softest little cheek next to mine. Heard some soft cries, and saw the cutest, chubbiest little face. I touched her soft skin and through my tears, I said the words that I had been waiting to say--

"Hey Baby Girl, I'm your Mama."

Mike had to leave then as they were finishing surgery and cleaning me up.

Everything still was happening so quickly. Soon they were done, and it was time for them to move me from the table back to the bed waiting nearby.

"You'll get to hold her as we take you both to recover in your room."

"I'm afraid I'll drop her...I feel like I can't move most of my body right now."

"No...we'll have her tucked in good with you. She won't go anywhere."

They brought her over and laid her in my arms.

Such a moment right there that I'll always remember. The moment where the years of waiting were no more. The exact moment where the past two years of loss and heartache turned to nothing but total joy. All washed away by our little dark-haired angel that I was holding in my arms. Tears just flowed quietly.

They wheeled us back to our room, and I knew what we would find there... Mike holding the video camera, welcoming his wife and daughter.

The nurses left, then it was the three of us. Mike and I just took in everything about her, and just held her tight. We were all smiles.

"She's here, babes...she's finally here," he said.

I just whispered back with a smile, "Yes, yes she is..."

Alexis Faith, we have eagerly waited for you with such perseverance. And even before we had the comfort of holding you, we trusted our Heavenly Father that He would lead us to this day. And now little girl, here you are...

Safe... in our arms.

"For we were saved in this hope. But hope that is seen is not hope. For why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance." (Romans 8:24-25)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Beginnings!

Alexis Faith
December 22, 2009
Born 37 weeks
8 pounds, 13 ounces
21 inches
Our Best Christmas Gift Ever!!
(Read below for Birth Story: Part I)

The Birth Story (Part I)

Last week, our lives changed forever...

The amnio from Monday did show our baby's lungs to be mature. We were then told to call in the next morning at 5:30 am to find out the open time for a c-section that day. We were so excited that night before, I don't think we slept a wink. We got to the hospital about 7 am, for my surgery scheduled for 9 am. Again, so eager, nervous, excited...knowing we'd be meeting our baby girl that day!

Our ride to the hospital was still in darkness, as it was so early. I couldn't help but remember an early morning two years ago, when we drove the same route, at the same time, for very different reasons. We drove then to say we were going to meet someone for the first time!

We got to labor and delivery, this time in all smiles. So many false labor trips and scary runs to the same department these past months, and now we were celebrating that we made it. I not only made it to my third trimester...but also made it to something that seemed like a luxury to me...a scheduled, planned surgery date.

Sinking in... we made it....thank you, God!

Remember that sidenote prayer request I mentioned before? The one how Mike and I dreamed to be in the OR together this time? We found out it was going to be a last minute decision that morning after the anesthesiologist met me and assessed my scholiosis. We were mentally prepared for that to go either way. He looked at my back, and said it would probably take more than one attempt for the spinal...he guessed five attempts to possibly find the right spot. FIVE attempts at sticking a giant needle into my spine?? Not the best news, but we were very relieved he was going to at least try.

Surgeon came in as well as the resident, introduced themselves, checked out my previous incision. Did the ultrasound to check location of placenta, etc...

We were getting closer...

They left and the nurse started the IV fluids. I was so excited, I could hardly stand it! She said the doctor was almost ready for me.

The anesthesiologist and a couple assistants came in to walk me down to the OR. Said goodbye and kissed Mike...hoping I'd see him in a few minutes.

The doctor took my arm and we made our way down the long hall toward the OR. Straight ahead at the end of the hall were the double doors which led to the NICU... a walk Mike and I took many times from where I stood.

Full circle.

I think I mentioned that in a previous post. Everyone says this must be so bittersweet for us. It's not, really. It's a feeling of every sorrow coming back around and ending in joy for us... a full circle of events.

We walked into the OR. I saw the window in the room the nurses used to hand Tyler into the NICU. More tears tried to come.... Come on, hasn't even started yet! Hold 'em back... Soo wished Mike was in there.

Time to try the spinal. Please, God, let this work. I sat up on the table, leaned forward...well as forward as possible with the giant beach ball of a belly I had. The anesthesiologist was pinching vertebraes to find the right placement. Little pinch from the shot used to numb the area.

Now time for the spinal.

Lean forward more, more...

More pinching.

Spinal needle going in. Sooo cold in that room. Stop shaking, Jenn! He's got to get this...

Done! He said he was sure he got the right spot. A few seconds, then tingling began in my toes.

They said Mike would be in soon!!

Ohhh, sweet relief! Thank you, Heavenly Father. The first part of our dream is coming true right now....

We would see our Baby Girl for the first time together.

(Part II coming shortly!)