Yes, our precious girl is here and we are cherishing every moment with her. I'd like to blog about our experience in bringing her into this world as it culminating a long, prayerful, emotional journey that many of you traveled alongside us.
I spent much of Friday night finalizing things around the house and texting and chattng away with a great friend. Needless to say....I was restless, anxious, and excited, so we were on the phone well after midnight. After a few hours of rest, Fred and I got up bright and early and made the trip to Northside.
We arrived as scheduled at 6:30, however it was after 8:00 before we were placed in a room. We got in, got settled, and then looked at each other with a sense of uncertainty as to is this really real...are we going to meet her today? Things were busy, so not much went as planned, however, the day proceeded. My OB decided rather than wait on the epidural he would go ahead and remove my stitch. Well...that proved to be extremely painful and took me a short while to gather myself once that procedure was over. Shortly after, we began pitocin and then I received an epidural.
As anticipated, I had quite a bit of scar tissue which slowed things considerably. The midwife and my OB spent much of the morning and early afternoon trying to tear away at the scar tissue to help me progress. By mid/late afternoon I had made progress, however, Elizabeth was not dropping. Finally, after a very long day, the call was made at 6:15 for a C-section. As we prepared, I was overcome with emotion. I was tired, very tired, but now a bit afraid. However, I was reminded in my soul, He was with me, He had carried me this far, and He was not going to leave me or us now. I loved on Amber and William and gave them lots of kisses and reassured them all was well, while all the time hiding my tears. Mom and Dad took them to the waiting room, and Fred and I finalized paperwork and preparations to be taken to the OR.
We arrived in the OR and my OB was just as excited as we were. After lots of tugging, pulling, shaking, etc....we heard my OB say, wow...she is a big one! Shortly after, we heard her cry. It was at that moment, I fell apart. The cry I was hearing was the cry we, at one point, never thought we would hear. This cry was more than a new baby cry...it symbolized a journey of Faith, Love, and Prayer and as she cried, I felt the prescence of God holding my hand and just as I had reassured my children minutes earlier all was well, He was reassuring me at that moment, all was well.
I saw Elizabeth briefly, and Fred left with her to wait for me in our recovery room. Once I was finished in the OR, I joined them at which point I was finally able to hold my precious angel. All I could do was kiss her precious nose, lips, head, and stroke every part of her precious body. I could not believe she was real, the moment was real, and our journey was complete.
I did not sleep much at all that night. The pain was great, but I spent much of the night just holding her, staring at her, and finding myself in thanksgiving and praise over and over again. I knew she was here by the works of His hands, and only His hands. I knew if it weren't for prayer and Faith, that moment would not have been.
We spent the next few days in the hospital loving on her, welcoming her, and embracing the new life God had so richly blessed us with while continuing to remain humble. Time and time again, from OR recovery, to my many nurses, each would ask the other, "Have you heard this baby's story?". Sure it's a story, but I think now, it's much more than that. It's a revelation that God is real, prayer is real, and Faith does carry you. Our journey tells the story of God's love rather than simply just being "a story". Elizabeth is the living testimony of God's Grace, and His desire to Love us.
Yet, through it all, I am reminded that although our prayers were answered just as we had desired, there are many mommy's right now grieving the loss of their child and grieving for prayers that weren't answered as they desired. However, I still believe God answers all our prayers, but sometimes, they aren't how we want them answered. It is up to us to find the beauty in these moments, and trust in Him to give us the strength and courage to embrace the jouney that comes with those moments. Again, I am reminded of my friend Sarabeth's journey and her reliance on Faith. I admire her Grace and count it a blessing to call her my friend. She has taken her "unanswered prayer" and turned it into an answered prayer that has allowed her to share God's Love with so many.
Tonight, we are home. I'm still in a lot of pain, but I am home with my sweet Amber, my precious William, and my Amazing Elizabeth Grace. As I lay down shortly to rest before she wakes up, I am brought to tears by the blessings God has given me. Blessings I don't deserve. My children have been loved and cared for this weekend by my wonderful parents while Fred and I welcomed Elizabeth. My home is decorated for Christmas, Dad is baking, and mom continues to prepare meals to feed us. I hope, just as we are, you are reminded of the Reason for the Season.
I will post more pictures soon.