Friday, August 31, 2012

Paisley's Arrival

Well, who would have thought...

that the last post would be so timely...

Let's back up to Friday, July 20.

This was one of the "last trips to the pool as a family" I talked about earlier. My OB, Dr. Cole, called after hours on Friday and told me she thought it would be best if we induced. Since I have felt God's guidance with her as my physician from the very beginning, I trusted her wisdom on this. I was a little hesitant about taking P early...would she be ready? Dr. Cole assured me 39 weeks was far along enough and induction would give me the best chance to avoid similar complications I had with Hunter. Ok! She told me to "get out our calendars" and look at a date. Yikes!

Of course, in my mind, I immediately thought of which "day" had a ring to it. July 26th always stood out as a day that sounded equally charming and cheerful. But that would have been too early. I wanted P to wait as long as possible. The month of July also had a ring to it...such a happy month of casual celebrations and happy memories from my childhood. So, when Dr. Cole suggested July 30th for induction, I was sold. Family immediately put "Paisley's birthday" on the calendar, etc.

And so, the blog post before this was born. Mini-dates and memories with Hunter followed. Treasured times.

Wednesday, July 25th, I wrote the blog post about Hunter and me during his nap time. I also sent an important email to a friend, watched "Giada at Home" (which, for me, the was the first daytime television I'd watched period for about a century). I felt the Lord tug me to get my full nap in today while Hunter was asleep. This was difficult! I did go to sleep eventually (after the blog, some Giada and the email). You'll see why this was so important that I obey God fully later! I believe in full-disclosure blogging--as much as it might benefit the reader--so I'm sharing some of my faults here~ :)

My mom came in that night to go get pedicures before Paisley came. I really wanted to go to the hospital with pretty feet. Which is funny, when you consider I wore those silly rubber-soled socks the whole time. But by-golly-- I knew underneath those socks were some pretty Strawberry Margarita pink toes!

I also strongly felt God tell me to go to bed early that night. Like at 10. Hmmm.. After the pedis, this should have been easy. Mom decided to go ahead and stay the night at our house. But after dinner I found out she had never seen the movie, Baby Mama. No further explanation needed. That was the first diversion to going to bed early. We didn't finish the movie because I knew I needed sleep and I had one more thing I wanted to finish before going to bed that night...

Earlier in July, I received some constructive critique on my manuscript, and that Wednesday night, I had literally a handful of edits before I could send it back to my contact. After finishing those, the send button was pushed, and I went to bed. Actually, I was in the bed when I pushed the send button. My computer hadn't given me official send/receive confirmation yet, but I knew I had to just put the computer down and go to sleep--- it was 11 pm.

On a side note, a few days ago (mid-August)-- I was listening to an audio lecture on "Time Management for Writers" by Nick Harrison from Harvest House publishing. One of his suggestions was to carry around a notepad to collect quotes, observations, ideas you collect as you go throughout your day. At the very end of his session, he laughed and said although he carries it wherever he goes, he doesn't expect you to bring it to the labor and delivery room of the hospital or anything! Yeah. If I had read this last month, I would have laughed right along with him. 

Except the way it worked out...I almost did just that

Because just 4 short hours later, my contractions began. Josh didn't really believe me. Or better stated he was in denial because 1) he didn't want to get out of bed and 2) he didn't want to get to the hospital before Dr. Cole would be the doctor on duty. Contractions 3 minutes apart. Consistently. Then 2 minutes and 40 seconds a part. I tried to convinced Josh this was really it. He asked if he could take a shower, to which I gladly said yes. I mean, I still had to put on my makeup and use the Chi, so of course he had time.

I woke up my mom. She was shocked we were really going, but so thrilled. Over the next few hours and many iphone keystrokes later, and a Sleepless in Seattle-type map could have tracked the happy, not-typically awake, Paisley supporters spanning the miles!

I stood around our kitchen island. (Hanging on for dear life every few minutes is more like it). I'll never forget my mom asking me, the one whose had her bags backed for weeks, if I remembered to bring a "focus picture" for labor. No. A few more no's followed. How could I have forgotten so many items? I thought I was so prepared! Just then, Josh ran into the kitchen from my office--a little out of breath. "Just so you know," he said,  "your email from last night went through." Leave it to Josh to give me peace about something totally unrelated and yet what he knew to be very important to me. Mom literally tossed a small picture frame to me with a pic of Josh and me from UMHB's college formal dance night for my focus picture. And off we went.

I was so glad we went when we did. Not only did my contractions get worse and worse, but after I got a room at the hospital, I found out there were several Mary and Joseph's in the very full hospital. We got the last available bed.

Josh still couldn't believe this was real. When the nurse told me I was at a 6 and confirmed my contractions were very steady and consistent, he asked her, "So, I guess this means we are staying and not you're not going to send us home?" I'm sure she looked at him a little funny, and I just started laughing. I think he just really wanted to be sure I wasn't going to have to labor hours on end when I could be at home because as soon as he got this affirmation from the nurse--he went to the restroom and changed into his new "Coach/Team Strong" shirt. We were officially ready.

Things after that went fast. Dr. S came in for the epidural at 6:30. Thankfully, he looked NOTHING like Ben Stiller this time (readers from who read Hunter's L&D story will appreciate this reference).

At this point, I want to share that in my last few weeks of pregnancy, God nudged me to pray for specific things I desired about the delivery process. He knew I was anxious about the epidural and I also really did not know how the complications from last time would come into play. I prayed for both of these items -- very specifically. This prayer pattern was inspired in part from Mark Batterson's book, The Circle Maker, which addresses the importance and life-giving quality of of praying "specifics." I'm not saying I said some magic words or anything, all I'm saying is God heard my prayers. The epidural had a rough patch (more my own anxiety than any problems), but it was successful and seamless. And the trouble I had last time in my delivery and recovery which could have easily been repeated, did not happen at all. Miracle. And now that I look at it, isn't it perfect the word "miracle" is almost an eclectic combo of the words "circle" and "maker"? Something to consider.

The doctors kept checking me. I had some nausea and my blood pressure dropped, but both the nurses were able to get under control. At about 10:30, the nurses were surprised that it was already time. They called Dr. Cole in quickly! This time, we were all in denial. What? She's already here? And she was. The morning of July 26th. Yes, wings included :)

I had a labor and delivery playlist going the whole time I was in labor. This included all of the songs that relaxed me and had lyrics of encouragement. One of my favorite parts of this whole process occurred the first time I remember holding Paisley and my senses clued in to what was playing in the background. The music was stopped on Nichole Nordeman's "Jesus Loves Me." Will. Never.Forget.That.

I'll always remember our first real moment it was just "us" -- me and P.  Everyone left the hospital to either take Hunter home or to go pick up food at Luby's. I turned on my music again and just looked at Paisley in her little bed. The song "Hold on to Jesus" by Erin O'Donnell & Janna Long came on. Oh. My. I'll copy some of the lyrics at the end of this post. Listening to those lyrics and looking at P, I lost it. The biggest teardrops I've ever produced fell onto my clothes, and I just wept.

"Coach" and Mommy -- approx 5:30 am

Waiting Room Shot

My Boys 

Hunter and I decided to name P's new giraffe, Dr. Cole!

Quite possibly the favorite

a little George Banks action


A hug from Nana, with love

The look of love

Leslie!!! So happy to meet you!

Paisley's visitors each took home a hot pink rose. Party favor!

Nothing says a close friendship better than this shot...:) Love y'all, M&E!

Daddy's girl

Going home...She had a really cute outfit on under there!

Dad (Pappy) went to get pink balloons for the sign...but they were all out at the store! What you see here is his creative genius--pink kickballs taped to the chalkboard! :)

Excerpt from "Hold on to Jesus"

You're a little piece of heaven
You're a golden ray of light.
and I wish I could protect you
from the worries of this life.
but if there's one thing i could tell you
it's no matter what you do
hold to Jesus, He's holding onto you 
The world will try to tell you
that might is more than right
and beauty's on the outside
and being good's a losing fight
but remember what i've told you
'cause the world will make you choose
hold to Jesus, He's holding on to you 
Hold on to Jesus, and cling to his love
rest deep in his mercy, whenever things get rough
and don't lose sight of his goodness 
and don't ever doubt this truth, that when you hold on to
Jesus He's holdin onto you. (Yeaaaa)
Hear me dear Jesus, 
rock this little one to sleep
keep her close when she's scared, and
give her grace when she is weak.
I know she'll stumble, but i know she'll make it through
if you hold on to her just like you said you'd do
hold her jesus so she'll hold on tight to you