At about 6:30am on that Friday (March 18th), they took my blood work again to check to see if it was still too thin. About an hour later they came back and said that my blood was back to normal and we could move forward with the c-section! I was so relieved. All these months, all the waiting, then the delay...we were finally going to meet our daughter! They were going to take me straight back to the OR for the c-section, but another mother had to have an emergency c-section (she was just 28 weeks...and thankfully, her and her baby did just fine). At that point I started having pain in my hand from where they had put my IV. Let me just say that the IV is one of the WORST parts of being in the hospital. It's so painful! My FAVORITE nurse, Amy came in. She was my nurse when we had Noah and she has become a friend since then. Amy had to take out my IV in my left hand because it wasn't working properly and she was able to put a new one in the top of my right wrist. She did a fabulous job!!! I didn't feel a thing and it was in a much more comfortable place.
At 9:00am David put on his scrubs and we headed down to the OR. David sat in his "Daddy chair" and waited while they prepped me for surgery. They led me down a hall and to the room on the right. We had Noah in the room to the left. I was thankful for the change. I had a different anesthesiologist this time. He was the sweetest man. He carefully explained everything about the spinal and exactly what he was going to do and what I might experience. He warned me that I could get really nauseous and throw up during the c-section. Not just because of the spinal, but because of all the stretching and pulling they do to get the baby out. I thought to myself, "no...I've done this twice already and I've never thrown up". I shared with him about Noah and he told me that he and his wife lost twins at 21 weeks many years ago. He understood our pain and we had this instant connection. I found out later this man is a Christian and then I understood why he was so comforting to me. He really shared the love of Jesus. I sat on the edge of the table with my head on a little head rest as he started the spinal. I was so nervous, but I didn't feel a thing. Not even the tiny pinch he said I would feel. They helped me lay back on the table as I slowly felt the numbness. Within a few minutes my chest started to go numb and I started to panic. I felt like I couldn't take a deep breath so I said, "I need oxygen!". They put the little tube in my nose and told me to stay calm. (TMI alert) Then a few minutes later I realized the anesthesiologist was right...I was going to throw up. But how? I couldn't feel my chest or stomach or anything and I was laying down on a table! I had to turn my head to the side and throw up in a little pan he held beside me and he used a little suction tube to help get it all out of my mouth. I have never had such difficulty throwing up....it's REALLY not easy to do in this position. Anyway...gross, I know. I was so upset that I felt so sick in a time where our lives were about to change for the better. They let David in and the poor guy had to witness more of the vomiting. He was so sweet about it though. They started the surgery and I started praying. "God please let Ella be healthy, please let me hear her cry quickly, please let this be a different experience. God, kiss my little boy for me. I miss him so much."
Thankfully the nausea stopped just in time. Normally you're not supposed to take video in the OR, but when you've lost a baby, they tend to bend the rules for you a bit. David got the whole thing on video. Yep, he filmed over the curtain so I could see it all later. I heard Dr. D say "baby's on the move" as they started trying to pull her out. My heart was beating so fast. Could it really be? After all the tears, all the sleepless nights filled with grief, after thinking this baby wasn't really there in the beginning, after the hemorrhage, after 200 injections, all the high risk appointments, all the worry, all the pleading with God to let her outlive us, was this finally the moment? I just wanted to hear her cry. Then David said, "Unbelievable! She's out...she's good. She is healthy." And in the next second the doctor held my daughter over the curtain to let me see her and I started the ugly cry and David started to cry. He filmed my tears and said, "Are you sure you want me to film this?" For the first time in a really long time...I could breathe. The relief I felt was so freeing. My baby girl was here. She was safe. She was crying. Thank you, Jesus.
At 9:57am, we met our daughter.
First, the ugly cry...
8lbs, 15oz. 19 inches long.
They stitched me up and took me into the recovery room. They brought Ella to me and I was able to nurse right away. She latched right on and I know you men won't understand this...but that was an incredible moment. More tears. Our family got to come in 2 at a time to meet Ella. It was such a celebration. We wanted to make it a special moment when Ethan met his little sister for the first time, so we waited until later in the afternoon. Another amazing moment.
We spent the first few days just loving on her and cuddling with her. I don't think I slept at all the first night. I just couldn't stop staring at her. In the first 48 hours she lost 14oz and was 8lbs, 1oz. They said that was ok, but that they hoped she wouldn't lose much more. Most babies lose a few ounces at birth, but they didn't like them to lose more than 10%. She was nursing like a champ, so we didn't worry too much about it. On Saturday night my blood pressure was extremely low...they said probably due to lack of sleep. I drank a lot of water and though I was very upset about it, I let them take her to the nursery for a few hours only with the promise that they would bring her back to let me nurse her and would not give her formula. I was able to get some good rest and my blood pressure started to get back to normal Sunday morning. Then Sunday night I only got about 1 hour of sleep. By Monday (the 21st), Ella was down to 7lbs, 13oz. and David and I noticed she was looking a little yellow. We were supposed to go home on Monday, but Ella was jaundice so they wanted us to stay another day to put her under the Bili lights for a day. I was an emotional wreck when they told us that. Really it wasn't that big of a deal, I was just so exhausted and was ready to go home (remember I had already been there since Thursday and now we weren't going to leave until Tuesday!).
Here is Miss Hollywood under the lights...
One of the happiest moments of my life...
And so a new chapter begins. In no way does this little girl replace Noah...he cannot be replaced. And we would never put that kind of expectation on her. But she sure does bring some sunshine after the rain. We are so thankful for her. We love her. Ethan adores her. I can't wait to watch this little girl grow up. Thank you, God for such a beautiful and precious gift.