Good Morning! It is now 1:30 July 25, and I am awake and alone in the hospital. I just had the first uninterrupted 4 hours of AWESOME sleep in probably the past 3 weeks....and probably the last in the next, um, forever? Trust me, it was cherished :)
As most of you now know, yesterday was Vivian's Birthday! At 6:32 or 6:34 am (depending on who you ask) our beautiful bundle of sweet joy graced this world with her life. She has a wild head of jet black hair, weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces and is 18.5 inches long. I know I am a prejudice mother, but she is the most precious and beautiful little thing--i can't hardly believe what a beauty God has given me.
Rod and I went to the OB at 10:30 on Monday morning. As you know, we were scheduled for induction on Thursday, but after another long night of little sleep, we were both anxious to get this show on the road. We decided on the car ride to the doctor that we would be going to the hospital that day to welcome Vivi into the world. After having an ultrasound that seemed as though she was underweight (5lb, 10 oz) there was no persuading needed for our OB to admit us that afternoon. It was WAY to easy to call that shot! 3 o'clock we entered triage of Good Sam, and began the journey. All the emotions I antcipated for this day were coming to the surface. I was excited to meet my miracle, but at the same time I was freaked about the unknowns of what was to happen, not at all to me, but to her. Hearing she was 5lb. 10 oz. set me over the edge in fear. Every person I called to let know I was going in, I had to control the tears that came with the fear. When we arrived to Good Sam, we walked in some crazy way, but God did this to calm my heart. Immediately off the elevator from the parking garage were 2 HUGE pictures side by side, one of Mother Teresa and the other of Pope JP2. What a great peace that spilled over me knowing Viv's "God-parents" were there as we embarked on this journey to getting her here. God is here! :)
For those of you who know my family know that this week is the most sacred week of our summer--Fair Week. I had anxiety about bringing Vivi this week of all weeks, but in God's most intricate of ways, He finagled the family schedule to allow Vivi's birth to be perfectly situated between showing days :). I got settled into my room, and literally minutes later my parents walk in coming from the fair, and not long after, Clare and Bob show up wearing birthday hats and foam fingers for Vivian's big day.
In typical Lees/Dunlap Fashion, we began this event with a PARTY--with the early doses of pitosin, I had no pain and no real contractions. From about 3-7:30 we enjoyed both our families and some friends in our "party suite". I guess our reputation follows us....we were placed a double room at the end of the hallway, with no one scheduled to join us :) Around 7:30 my contractions (which were nothing that I expected...and I have dubbed them period cramps on steroids) picked up to an unexpected need to focus through. Rod was an amazing partner and coach. I was so proud of all the ideas and thoughts he remembered from our birthing class. I knew that this experience would bring us closer, but I didn't fully realize that it is perhaps you see a side of your spouse that laid dormit. I can honestly say I am more in love with him after those hours :) As for my family, well they started a new party in the waiting room that didn't end until after Viv was born. Is anyone surprised?
Going into labor I was STRESSED about having a c-section. Not because a c-section is bad, but because I didn't want to be separated from Rod and Vivi for longer than need be. In my mind and what I had heard, interventions lead to increased risk of c-section, so el natural was THE ONLY way to go. No epidural, which always allowed for me to receive crazy looks, but i didn't care. Well, after 6 hours of crazy, pitocin induced labor that lead to no progress, and Vivi's heart to start going crazy, an epidural was the best option for us. As I threw in the white flag for the epidural, I welcomed my family in once again (it is now 2:30 ish in the am) to say 'good-night' to them and 'good-bye' to the feelings in my lower half. I was exhaisted, and the epidural allowed me to fall into a sleep that loosened me up to waking up at 5:45 fully dialated, effaced and ready to push. My doctor arrived at 6: 15 and after 15 minutes of pushing, out came the most wonderful and perfect miracle--my heart exploded with a joy you can't explain until it happens. What a complete and utter miracle life is--God is so visible in those moments. I couldn't believe that I received into my arms the little body of the most perfect gift I ever had been given, and that she was absolutely perfect...just the way she is :) Our moments together were short lived, as NICU swept her away to begin the assessment of her condition. Rod has done such a wonderful job stepping into his "daddy shoes" he hasn't left her side since she has been born--it is so beautiful and so incredibly sweet to see this side of him.
At this moment, I feel as though I need to describe a bit the party. In attendance as I had mentioned was Rod's parents and brother until some point late into the evening Monday, my family (all except Pete who is in WA for Army Camp), my friend Angela who doubled as our birth photographer, and Rod and my very dear friend, Fr. Matthew who came to the hospital directly from his journey home from vacation. I always hate to miss the fun--apparently they had a "slumber party" in the waiting room waiting for Viv's arrival. They were all there to see her after she was born, and at 9:30, minutes before she was transported to Children's, Fr. Matthew did the honors of baptizing our sweet girl. It was a beatutiful and incredibly hard moment as a mom--you never think you will need to scamper on administering a sacrament, but then you never know what will come. To only be able to touch her through the incubator transport thingy to say good-bye was a really tough moment. I had already only been able to hold her for a few minutes, and I just wanted a few minutes more and she had to leave and I was stuck at a different hospital while her and daddy left. It's all the bittersweetness of this beautiful day.
Its hard to write because I am so exhausted and I feel like there are so many things to share but the words aren't coming....I think this gives a good overview of what is happening at this point. Vivi is stable, settled and a precious joy. I will continue to post as we learn things from the doctors, and as our hearts grow, hurt and love. Keep the prayers coming....our journey has just started!