Well... it's taken me a couple of weeks to get settled with you, but things have calmed down a bit and I'm ready to tell you about your birthday!
You were due on Saturday, February 19th. I actually thought that you would come much, MUCH earlier than that. But, Mother Nature likes to mess with Mommy (remember that) and keep me as uncomfortable as possible... for as long as possible. So, on Friday the 18th we went to the doctor to check my progress and... yep. No progress. But, your cute little head was sitting right on a nerve that was causing me a lot of pain. So, the doctor decided to induce the following Monday.
We were scheduled to go in at 9 a.m., but at 6:45 that morning, the phone rang. (Just as a side note, no good ever comes from a phone call before 7 a.m., baby girl.) Anyway, apparently every woman in Ogden (with the exception of your mother) went into labor that morning. The nurse told me that they were completely swamped and didn't know when they could get me in... or even if they could get me in that day.
So, we spent the day with your grandparents and your older sister. Just basically sitting around twiddling our thumbs. I did, however, manage to throw my neck out while getting dressed after a shower that afternoon. It was bad enough that I had to make an emergency trip to the chiropractor... who was a little taken aback at how in the world he was going to adjust the HUGE pregnant woman who was due THAT DAY.
After the adjustment, I came home and laid down to rest and ice my neck. And your Daddy decided that he would take Hazel to the Treehouse Museum for one last day of fun for her before your presence blew up her world. Right about then, the hospital called and told me that we should be there in an hour. I jumped up and caught your Daddy just as he was about to pull out of the driveway.
Prior to leaving for the hospital. Our last photo as a family of three!
We got to the hospital at 3 p.m. and got checked in. By 4 p.m., they had broken my water and induced me. When they broke my water, they discovered some meconium in the fluid and the doctor told us that it was a good thing we were inducing now, as it would be possible that you would have developed an infection from the meconium if we had waited much longer. Which is good because we had been questioning whether or not inducing was the right way to go with you, or if I should just be content with being fat and miserable for however long it took for you to come on your own.
One last bump pic before you joined our family.
And then the waiting game began. We had waited for you for 9 months, I suppose what's a few more hours, huh? The thing is, I forgot how utterly uncomfortable labor and waiting for labor is in that stupid hospital bed... hooked up to every monitoring machine known to man... which my insurance company willbcharge me an ungodly amount for using.
But, I digress. Let's just say that the next few hours were not ones that I care to repeat. I wasn't in pain, per say. Because, well... yea, I'm all about the epidural. But, the epidural doesn't fix the lack of any kind of comfort to be found in that bed. And the nurses who keep coming in and asking you to roll to the other side because apparently, baby doesn't like the side you're lying on. As if rolling over while 40 weeks and 2 days prego, while attached to every monitoring device this side of the Mississippi is the most natural and easy thing in the world. And... oh wait! The baby doesn't like THAT side, either! Time to roll back. And let's do this ALL. DAY. LONG.
But, you know... other than THAT, things were good. Daddy and I watched some movies (in between the rolling) and reminisced what our life was going to be like with two little girls running around. I have to also admit that I was silently girding my loins for the hell that would be the first six weeks of your life. The scars we developed from your older sister's first few weeks of life are still visible and just a little bit of salt on the wound brings it rushing to the forefront of my brain. All the crying, all the screaming... and then, of course, there was how Hazel handled her first few weeks of life.
Honestly, Daddy and I were pretty convinced that the reason we struggled so much with your older sister is that... well, we just pretty much sucked. And we were hoping that with you, we would be better since we would learn from our mistakes. But who knew???
Anyway, by 9:30 p.m. that night, I was at a 4. A. FOUR. All of this misery and moments of outright dignity killers (oh, trust me, you'll know what I'm talking about one day when you have kids of your own) and I'm only at a four???
Two hours later, I had progressed to a whopping 4.5.
And my brain exploded.
The doctor told me to get some rest and brace myself for a long night... and that she was going home and would be back when I was ready to deliver. Your Daddy and I decided that we would try to catch some shut eye.
At least, that was the plan. After we shut off the TV and turned out the lights - and after your Daddy managed to fit his 6-4 frame onto possibly THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE COUCH EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, because why should Mommy be the only one uncomfortable during delivery? - well, see, that's when the LifeFlight helicopter touched down right outside our window.
And your Daddy has always had a fascination with things that can fly.
Which is why whenever I think about the moments immediately preceding your birth, I picture the profile of your 34-year-old father, on his knees on the couch in the dark, looking out the window in fascination at the helicopter as it landed.
A few minutes later, I started feeling a certain pressure that followed every contraction and it dawned on me: I hadn't pooped in about 24 hours.
Perfect. I'm in labor with an epidural that has rendered me effectively paralyzed from the waist down... and the only thing I fee like I'm about to deliver? Not. A. Baby.
So, I woke up your Daddy and asked him to call the nurse and asked her what the poop protocol was. Surely, they had one. Which - because he's a rockstar - he did. The nurse who came in didn't seem to be fazed by the question and responded that if I had to go to the bathroom, it probably meant I was ready to deliver.... so let's just check, mkay?
I remember rolling my eyes and explaining to her that it took me 2 hours to get to a 4.5 from a 4, and there was no way I could be at a 10 right now because it had only been 20 minutes and SERIOUSLY? I just need to poop.
But, after a quick check the nurse said: "Yep... you're ready to go."
To say that we were a bit stunned would be putting it lightly. To say that it took every ounce of willpower I possessed NOT to push for the next 10 minutes as we waited for the doctor to get there would be a HUGE understatement. I remember holding your Daddy's hand and looking into the corner of the room and thinking to myself: "What are they going to do if I do push? Put me in delivery jail?"
Luckily, the doctor got there just in time and didn't even have to say the word PUSH. The first contraction I felt I went for it. I remember the doc counting to 10 while I pushed. And then telling me to rest for the remainder of the contraction. And I remember thinking to myself that she could shove it... and then saying out loud: "NO! Let's go!" and I pushed again.
Right then, I could see your head. Yes.... I caved and asked for a mirror. I knew this was my last pregnancy and would be the only time I would have the opportunity to see a baby being born, so I thought what the hell? And yes... seeing your head down there was just... WOW. Unbelievable!
I rested until the next contraction, and the doctor told us that on my next push, we would get to meet our new little girl. Boy, did that give me some motivation and on the next contraction... there you were! (And, sidenote: I have to say, if all women could have a two minute, two contraction delivery like that... well, I think more women would be willing to give it a shot.)
You came into this world at 12:12 a.m. on February 22. Seeing you come out was an amazing experience, and one that I'll treasure forever. You came out crying. Immediately. When your sister was born, it took a little bit before she started crying. You? You were crying the second your nose and mouth were out.
You were SO tiny, baby girl. I couldn't believe it. You came into this world at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 20.5 inches long. A skinny little thing. I still can't believe that your Daddy and I could roll out a 7 pounder. We were expecting AT LEAST 8 pounds. For as big as I got during the pregnancy, I couldn't rule out a possible 9 pounder! SEVEN POUNDS? Unheard of!
Anyway, after you came out, the doctor held you up for me to see and I was expecting her to hand you to me and let the nurses clean you off while I held you, as had been the plan prior to your arrival. But, she didn't give you to me. Instead, the nurses took you and started cleaning you off and suctioning you out. I didn't realize for a little bit that this was because there was something wrong. Apparently, you had inhaled some fluid during delivery... and since there was some meconium in the fluid, it was further cause for concern.
I don't know how long it was before they finally let me hold you. It felt like YEARS. And when I did hold you... it still brings tears to my eyes the laborious sound of your breathing as you tried to expel the fluid on your own.
I just held you and you looked up at me while you struggled for breath. It was an awful rattling sound and you looked miserable. It broke my heart. I just kept encouraging you to breathe. I thought maybe that if I sang a song to you, that would somehow help. It didn't. I don't know how long I held you... three minutes, maybe? But the nurses decided that you weren't going to be able to kick it on your own, and that you needed a breathing treatment. And the next thing I knew, you were out of my arms and out of the room.
I made Daddy go with you... to wherever they took you for your treatment. And the next thing I knew, I was alone in the room. EVERYONE had left. The doctor. The nurses. The technicians. I was just sitting in my bed, crying and staring at the door just waiting for Daddy to come in and tell me that everything was okay. But, the door remained closed and I have never experienced a fear like that. And hope that I never do again.
When the door finally opened, it was your Grandma and Grandpa Paskins and I immediately sent your Grandma to go find you and Daddy and report back to me on what was going on. Right about then, the nurses and doctors suddenly reappeared and began filling me in on your progress. There were a lot of medical terms and explanations of what therapy they were performing on you... but the gist of it was: You were going to be okay. Shortly thereafter, Daddy came in and told me the same thing... before rushing off to watch over you some more. A little while later, he sent one of the nurses - who happens to be a friend - in with a camera to show me pics of you with the oxygen tubes in your nose holding your Daddy's finger.
Right about then, I demanded that they take me to see you. It had been FOREVER since I'd held you in my arms. So, the nurses got me in a wheelchair and wheeled me to the nursery. It wasn't until that moment that I actually knew you were going to be alright. Your breathing was so much better and the icy fist that had been squeezing my heart since the moment you were born finally started to loosen its grip. I got to hold you and we posed for our first photo with you.
Your first bath!
And that's when we decided to officially give you your name: Amelia Grace Nadolski. But you are currently known as Millie. We chose the name Amelia because we love the name. And there was also a movie about the life of Amelia Earheart on HBO this winter and every time I turned on the television, there it was. We also love the name Grace.
We spent the first night with you in the room with us and you pretty much slept through the night. This was a new experience for us, as your sister didn't let us get a whole lot of sleep that first night. But you? You were chill. And have been ever since. Sure, we've had some issues with nursing... in that you're not really good at it yet and it requires a LOT of patience on Mommy's part. Even two weeks later. But, we're getting better.
Your older sister wasn't quite sure what to make of you when she met you the next day. But you have to give her a break, she was sick and teething three teeth, so she wasn't really herself. The first week you were home was pretty tough as she acted out quite a bit. But even while she wasn't happy with the situation, your older sister sure liked to love on you. Every night before she goes to bed, she gives you a "hug" by putting her head next to yours. I hope that you and she will be best of friends when you get older.
We are so happy that you're a part of our family, Amelia. Our family feels like it is complete with your arrival. I hope that we make you as happy as you have made us already.