Warning: Long post ahead...just trying to get all my thoughts down and share the "rest of the story" with everyone...
Bella Grace entered the world on her own time on Friday, February 6th at 8:41pm. We were scheduled for a C-section on Monday morning, but she and my body chose otherwise. If you know me at all, you know that I do not really like the whole "pick your child's birthday" idea that comes with a planned C-section. I had kind of half hoped to go into labor on my own so that I would not be choosing the date of delivery. It seems that in the end, that's what I got.
I woke up Friday morning with really swollen hands and feet...now, I know that is normal for the end of a pregnancy, but I have not really been swollen at all this time. And it was so sudden. I felt pretty crummy as well and when I took my blood pressure, I quickly found out why. I was getting readings like 148/96 over and over again. This was not just a fluke reading. So, I rested most of the day and took a long nap with the boys thinking it might get better. In the afternoon, the bp was still up along with a headach so I called my OB's office and they told me I needed to report to L&D for monitoring. This really flipped me into high gear because even though I was scheduled for Monday morning, I didn't have bags completely packed. I just wasn't ready and this could be it. The nurse said they would monitor my pressure and if it was managable send me back home. If it could not be maintained, they would go ahead and do the C-section. After calling Mike and my mom, who would have to come to the hospital to be with the boys, I started throwing clothes into bags for the boys, putting my last minute stuff in my bag and really freaking out...which I'm sure really helped my blood pressure.
Off we went to the hospital and reported to L&D. We checked into triage around 5:45pm. They monitored my pressures and the baby. They told me I was having some contractions and yes, my blood pressure was still really high. So, needless to say, I was not going back home but would be having a C-section some time that night! A doctor from my OB's practice was available and already at the hospital, so that was not a worry. They systematically started getting me prepped for surgery. Family gathered in the waiting room and we got closer and closer to meeting our little girl. Finally, we went back to surgery to get her.
When they pulled her out, I didn't hear cries which made me nervous but they assured me that was normal with section babies. The minute I laid eyes on her, I was in love. She was beautiful. She looked so much like Eli did when he was born, but at the very same time, she had some of Zane's features. Absolutely perfect and beautiful. She really had those chubby cheeks that I had seen previously in the ultrasound. And her lips were puckered out like I saw in that same ultrasound. It's so hard to get a good look at them when you are on the table crucifix style and can only see from upside-down!
Things were so different this time around. They basically weighed her and checked her over and wrapped her, which only took about 10 minutes, but those were the longest ten minutes of my life. After wrapping her, Mike carried her over to me and we got to sit and stare at her while the doctors finished with me. She then got to stay with me while I was in recovery. Both of my boys had been whisked away and I got to see them several hours later after their baths, etc. But those first few hours with our baby girl were so special. All the family including the boys got to come back to Recovery and meet her. Zane was so excited and Eli did not know quite what to think. He was a little unsure of everything. I was able to start to try to breastfeed while still in recovery. My blood pressure was still up and down so I got to stay a little longer than intended in Recovery. Baby Girl went upstairs after a couple of hours to get her bath and thorough exam. I was exhausted. It had been really a long day! We finally settled into our room and shared our first night together. She was really mixed up on her nights and days for sure when she came out! But who wouldn't be? We pretty much didn't sleep at all Friday night and into Saturday we had visitors, but those first hours were so sweet. I was exhausted but didn't really care becuase I had this beautiful little girl in my arms to look at!
Until Sunday morning our little girl still did not have a name. We really wanted to spend some time with her and make sure we chose the perfect name for her. We did have it pretty narrowed, but just wanted to make sure. First off, we both just love the name Bella. It means beautiful, which she surely is! But even more than that, we have more reason for loving the name. While we were in Philadelphia, we lived in a wonderful little Italian neighborhood called Bella Vista, which means Beautiful View. So, the name Bella is a little special to us in that our baby girl was conceived during our time in this great little neighborhood in Philly. Grace has long been a favorite name of both of ours. We've even debated using it as a first name at times. We really feel that our baby girl is a huge blessing to our family. Sometimes God choses to bless us in ways that we don't even understand. He gives grace that we don't deserve. We truly don't even deserve the blessings that He gives on a daily basis, but He is loving and gives to us anyways. So, we truly believe that Bella Grace really is just that, she is beautiful and is truly an outpouring of God's blessings and grace to us. We are in love. The boys are amazed at her. And she's already got Mike wrapped around her tiny little fingers!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Our baby girl arrived at 8:41 pm. She weighed 7lb 12oz and was 20in long. She is doing fine. Leslie is doing much better now as well. Her blood pressure has stablized and she is resting.
Zane and Eli were glad to welcome their baby sister. Eli was a little unsure but Zane was super excited.