Sunday, July 06, 2008

birth of Ellie Hollyn

I am going to attempt to post my 'birth story' since I'm sitting here next to a somewhat peaceful Ellie. The rest of the family, including Gramps & Gramme, are at church while I have stayed home with the baby since I feel she needs a little more 'home time' before taking her to church to be around lots of people. Something about the doctor telling me that ANY fever before 6 weeks is immediate admission to Texas Children's Hospital makes me want to be careful with exposing her to large groups. I doubt I'll stay in for 6 weeks, but a little longer anyway.

We are slowly getting used to the whole 'newborn' stage again. *sigh* I am waaaay too old for sleepless nights! HA! Seriously, I have never done well with the sleepless night thing, and I guess she's not doing any worse than either of the other 2 have done, but there are times when I just wish she would be as peaceful as she looks right now at 10:30 in the morning. I'd love to go to sleep and just wake up in the morning around 8:30, well rested. Of course, I don't guess I'm the first mom to have such feelings. This too shall pass.....and then I'll probably be sad that she's growing up so quickly! I want to savor each moment as I know she's our 'last' baby. She really is pure sweetness, even at 2 in the morning!

My official due date for baby Ellie was July 4th. Since this was a 3rd c-section, we knew she would have a scheduled date that was a little before the due date. The doctor scheduled it for June 24th. We truly felt she would come before that date because Gracie & Katie have both come on their own which was so exciting. Gracie came a little more than 3 weeks early and Katie came about 10 days early. Ellie's scheduled date was actually about 10 days early, so I guess she came about the same time Katie did. I just kept hoping & hoping that she would come 'on her own.'

Part of the reason I wanted her to come on her own was because of the excitement! The adrenaline is pumping, and there's just not as much time to be nervous about the fact that someone was about to cut open my abdomen and take out a human being! For weeks, I would go to bed saying, "I think tonight might be the night." It got to be quite the joke with Chris & my mom because we all said it so many times. My dad had scheduled his flight from Atlanta for the 23rd. We thought the baby would be here way before he was, but he ended up making it in time! Even when Katie was born only 2 1/2 hours from my parents, they still didn't make it before her c-section was over, so they were both excited to be here for Ellie's arrival. We had let Gracie & Katie's gender be a 'surprise' and had really debated about finding out if Ellie was a boy or a girl. I loved the suspense of finding out Gracie & Katie's gender at birth, so this experience was totally different-knowing that Ellie was a girl AND knowing her birthday! It was nice to already have a lot of things we needed though since we knew she would be a girl.


Monday, the 23rd, Mom & the girls took me to the hospital to do my pre-op blood work and get all that stuff squared away. Since we had just moved here in April, I wasn't real familiar with the hospital and had chosen it based on a recommendation from a new friend. We went upstairs to catch a glimpse of the birthing center and were impressed with what we saw and the friendliness of the lady who showed us around. Chris had worked that day but was of course taking Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday off. He already had Friday off which worked out nice. That night after dinner, Mom left to pick up Dad at the airport. They got back home kind of late, and the girls were excited for Pappy to be here. Guess who didn't sleep much that night??? ME!!!!!!!

Yes, I went to bed but sleep wasn't coming very quickly. I ended up bringing the laptop into the bedroom and watched parts of old episodes of "90210." I know, I know.....crazy! I used to LOVE that show, and it took my mind somewhat off what was coming the next morning....I was nervous!

I didn't have to be at the hospital until 10:30, so once I did fall asleep I got to do so for a little while. I finally got up and got ready. The girls were ready to go with us, but they stayed with Grammer & Pappy and came later since there was no reason for them to hang out at the hospital for any longer than necessary. Katie was having some issues with 'separation,' but Grammer & Pappy stepped in to help with that.

We got to the hospital and signed in and were taken to my room. It was a nice room, and I was kind of surprised we were put there since I was having a c-section. With Gracie & Katie, they never really let me have the "nice" room since I would be taken to the operating room soon. I got all set up with my IV and monitors and all that good stuff. My doctor came to talk to me for a minute. Once Grammer & Pappy got there with the girls, Pappy distracted Katie so Grammer could bring Gracie to see me. We didn't want Katie to come back because we thought it would be hard for her to see me for just a minute and then have to leave again. Like I said, she had been having some 'separation issues.'

So, Chris & I are sitting there waiting. With Gracie & Katie, things had always moved so quickly since my water had already broken. This time, it was just 'relaxed.' Well, I'm not sure how relaxed Chris & I were, but it was a routine kind of day for pretty much everyone else there! When it was time, I walked into the operating room (something else different since I was rolled into the OR with the other 2). I sat on the skinny little operating table and watched the nurses count the equipment (I'm glad they did since I sure didn't want anything left inside of me!) I sat there a little too long though in my opinion since I was getting more & more nervous as I looked around the room and thought about what they were about to do to me!

The anesthesiologist (I don't know how to spell that!) came and started my spinal block. I tried very hard to be still (the nurse was holding me really tight to help with that) and tried not to think about how easy it would be for him to paralyze me! Soon after he got that done, they laid me back and I started feeling veeery warm & a little loopy. It is a claustrophobic feeling to me to not be able to move my legs, so I had to try to keep my mind off of that and pray not to freak out.

The doctor came in and talked to me for a minute then they put up the little curtain so I couldn't watch what they were doing-thank goodness!!!! Chris came in soon after and they began. I told Chris at one point I needed ear plugs so I couldn't hear what they were saying. At one point, I heard them say, "Suction." "Suction's not working." "Oh is." I don't need to hear them say that suction's not working! HA! The spinal block works pain but I still felt tugging, pulling, & pressure. I remember one time trying to swallow and having trouble then noticing that my upper body was feeling kind of numb so I really had to try to calm myself down. I don't think anyone else knew I was freaking out on the inside, but I kinda was! I kept moving my arms to reassure myself that I could move them! was all worth it once I heard Ellie's cry!!!!!! Wow-I didn't worry at all about her lungs-she was really letting go with the crying! Chris left me to go watch her while the doctor finished up with me. I was so surprised when he came back and told me that she was 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long! Gracie was 5 lbs. 11 oz. and Katie was 6 lbs. 10 oz. Ellie was a big girl! They actually said she was 'too big' for her gestational age, so they had to check her blood sugar for awhile after birth, but it all turned out okay. She has lost quite a bit and was 7 lbs. 15 oz. at her ped. appt. at 8 days old.

Chris left with Ellie and they wheeled me to recovery where we met Chris in the hallway. They asked him to wait in the hallway for a few minutes then allowed him to come in to see me. I still couldn't move my legs which was really bothering me, but I was keeping it together. The nurse let me sit up a little and brought me some ice chips, but I felt dizzy even lifting my head enough to eat them, so I tried to keep pretty still. Something in the anesthesia makes my nose & face itch soooo bad, so I was dealing with that, and they did put something in my IV to try to help with that. Chris went ahead & called a few people while we were in recovery, and it was fun to hear him tell our friends & family about Ellie Hollyn's birth!
After awhile, they wheeled me to my regular room. When they went over bumps, I could feel a tingle in my legs-such a relief!!!! Soon after I got to my room, I could move them. was like taking a deep breath after not being able to for awhile. I was happy to hear the nurse say that the doctor had cleared me to eat regular food that night and they went ahead and brought me some jello & other liquid type things.

I was still feeling pretty dizzy if I would raise my head too much, so they gave me something for that and I was on some pretty good pain meds as well. I did end up getting sick once-well I guess twice but right after each other-and it HURT! Not much I could do about it though. I was glad Chris was there to hand me what I needed!

Mom & Dad had taken the girls to get some lunch after they'd seen Ellie through the window, then they came back later that day and were able to see her & hold her & love on her. Gracie & Katie both love her & want to hold her constantly! We're having to watch Katie because she's not quite as gentle as she should is expected with a 4 year old!

I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday nights in the hospital. We were sooooooooo happy with the hospital! 99% of the people were sooooo nice and we would really have to think hard to come up with anything bad to say about our experience. We were just so impressed with the care that both Ellie & myself received. It is a fantastic hospital that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a good place to have a baby in the Houston area! Chris was able to stay overnight each night since there was a fold out couch in the room. He left a few times but never came home. Grammer & Pappy did a great job of taking care of Gracie & Katie (I know they were tired!) They took them to church and brought them to the hospital and took care of them. One of the really neat things about the birthing center for Gracie & Katie is how they decorate the walls with the handprints of the big brothers & sisters-they had fun doing that!
On Wednesday, he took Gracie & Katie to a pizza/games place (similar to Chuck E. Cheese but bigger) so they could have some Daddy time. Mom & Dad stayed with me so they could help me with Ellie. I was getting around somewhat okay by that point, but it was nice to have someone else there to help me pick her up, etc. We also found out Wednesday that we were getting an offer on our house in South Carolina!!!!!!!!!!!

We heard the official offer Wednesday night and had to decide by 5:00 Thursday what we wanted to do with it. Based on the details of the offer, we decided to accept it AS IS. Chris had the realtor fax the offer to the hospital, but then he had to go somewhere else to fax it back to her so he took Katie with him Thursday afternoon to find a fax machine. The house inspection was done Monday after which we did a little more negotiating. Now we have to have the appraisal tomorrow then the buyers want to close THIS NEXT FRIDAY! We are thrilled & thankful!!!!!

Thursday was the day for visitors! I had 3 new friends come visit-all 3 of them are named Lisa-too funny! I was also thrilled to have Jaime-a 'South Carolina friend' who now lives in American Samoa-stop by to visit on their way through Houston. That was sooooo wonderful! Chris was able to go downstairs and visit with Philip & the kids.
We were able to leave the hospital with our precious Ellie Friday and brought her home to her 2 very excited big sisters & Grammer & Pappy! We then had to take her back to the hospital Sunday morning for a jaundice check (which came back okay!) since our new pediatrician doesn't have Sunday office hours. I took her to her first 'real' pediatrician appointment Wednesday which was traumatic because of them having to stick her heel and squeeze way too much for her liking-mine either. Oh...she was mad!!!!!!! I wasn't 100% impressed with the whole ped. office, so the jury is still out on whether or not we'll continue to use that one. I did go ahead & make her 2 month appt. and Gracie's 8 year well check appt. since one time when I called I was on hold for OVER 20 MINUTES! ugh

My c-section recovery is taking its time. I still hurt and get tired easily, but I've recovered twice before so I'm sure I will again. It has been wonderful and a blessing to have such great help with Grammer & Pappy and Gramps & Gramme!

Ellie is precious, sweet, and 100% a gift from God! She is loved by her big sisters and her whole family, and we are so thankful to have her in our family! We have been blessed to have lots of family come love on her-my aunt & uncle, Chris's Houston relatives, Chris's brother & family (Uncle Mike, Aunt Erin, & Sara Jane), and both sets of grandparents! We look forward to watching Ellie grow and see what kind of plan God has for her.

We are also looking forward to starting a serious search for a new house! We are so thankful that we have been blessed with someone wanting to buy our house-especially in the stinky real estate market Aiken has been having! I have been praying that it all goes through!

This week is VBS at church and Gramme has agreed to take the girls during the week. I know they will have a blast! Jennifer-and many others at church-have been working hard on it, and I look forward to hearing all about it!


Krista said...

OH!!! She is SO precious and SO tiny . . . makes me want a 4th!! =) Loved your updated post and pics! Did you get my email last week? You guys should be receiving a package by the end of the week! =) Oh yeah . . . and tell Gracie that Blake says 'hi'!

Miss Hope said...

What a beautiful story. Just makes me go right back and "visit" the memories of my own babies. (One who will be a high school freshman this year!)

The picture of Gracie holding Ellie reminded me of Paige holding Vitt when he was born. She was such a blessing and has helped so much.

Prayers for your continued recovery!

Cindy Deister said...

Wow! Your story made me remember so many things about C-section, and mine was over nine years ago. I remember that feeling in my throat too, and the itchiness. You are so good to wait to bring Ellie out. Cade got a fever at five weeks (I wasn't careful enough about who held him. ) and he was in TxCH for a week. Good to be careful!

SG said...

I love birth stories! Sounds like it went pretty well for a c-secton. So happy for you! Honestly the "no sleep at night" part was hardest on me with Ella Kate. Having to older active kids that wake up and need Mom no matter what the baby has done the night before make it harder. It's an adjustment to be "Mommy" to a newborn, a preschooler and a elementary student all at the same time... but I have no doubt you will do great! Still, the sleep thing is hardest part of having a newborn. Hopefully you will be able to just stay home and take it easy for a few weeks while you all get adjusted. AND since Ellie is a bigger baby (the size mine all were at 8, 10 , & 12 days early) she will probably be able to sleep longer earlier. I know that's crazy sounding but the bigger their little tummies, the more they hold and therefore the longer they can go between feedings...which for my babies translated into better sleep! Yeah!
I'm so happy that your house sold too! Last week was a BIG week for your family! :)
OK sorry for this way too long comment! I just so remember being right where you are...just two years ago this week! :) Enjoy every minute with that precious baby girl!

TMK said...

Awe, birth stories are so fun. Great how each child has their own distinct entry into this life. I loved reading it! she is so stinkin' adorable. She looks so content!

Jennifer Reinsch said...

Such a sweet story. Although, the having to walk into your own operating room makes me laugh just a bit.

MB said...

finally! a picture of mommy and ellie!

love the girls VBS shirts!!!

Kimberly said...

I have been SOO out of the loop and just got moved and internet hooked up so I am thrilled you posted the whole birth story so I feel like I was following along!
Congratulations! Welcome to the world, Ellie Hollyn! She is gorgeous and seeing your 2 girls with her is just precious!
So excited to continue to follow along with you guys now!