Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cressey’s Birthday

Miraculously, Cressey stayed put until April 8th, 2016, the date that this self-proclaimed math nerd had had my eye on from the get-go (see it? 4-8-16). Dr. Neblett further sealed my adoration of him when he pointed out that it was even further divisible by 4 when you considered the 20 in the year- love it! It’s amazing what this did for my self-esteem- who knew that my body would hold onto a baby that long?!

We had to show up at Baptist Women’s Hospital at 5:30 a.m. for a 7:30 c-section. Helen Grace spent the night with Spiffer and GD the night before, so John and I had a low-key night at home, mentally preparing for the next day. My nerves about the IV and spinal had faded a bit in the last few days, and I was really excited. I got in bed early but didn’t sleep well because I kept thinking about what she would look like, how Helen Grace would respond, etc. I finally got up around 3:30 and took a nice, long shower.

We made it to the hospital on time, and I went back by myself first for all the medical history stuff and to get the IV started. That was the worst part of the whole experience as my blood pressure dropped to 60/40 and I went “a little gray.” It took me a bit to recover from that, but they let John back there and that helped. As the anesthesia people and then the surgery team kept coming in, I started getting cold feet. I asked the nurse and John if I could make a run for it, and they laughed and said it was a little late for that! Soon enough, it was time to head to the OR.

The spinal was the other ‘bad’ part that had me nervous, but I figured at least it would be quick and then I wouldn’t be able to feel anything. (At least, that’s what I told myself to ease my nerves!) It turned out as well as I could have asked for. The surgical team of nurses and CRNA were top-notch. They stuck to my request of only sharing with me the necessary info (not scary details), they kept me talking, and they held my hands (even Dr. Neblett!) and encouraged me during all the tough parts. The spinal itself was uncomfortable at times, but as soon as it hurt, it was over. And then my whole body was hot and tingling- the oddest feeling I have ever experienced.

Within a minute or two, they let John in the room, sat him on a stool near my head, and put up the paper tent, and then they were getting started. I looked at John and told him I needed him to be directly over my face so that I could calm down, he laughed and moved toward me, and then we heard the nurse saying, “She DOES have a lot of hair. Here she comes!” And then we heard a very high pitch scream coming from Cressey, and that girl didn’t stop screaming for the next ten minutes. John turned on the video on his phone, got so excited that he popped up to see over the paper tent, and quickly sat back down next to me! Soon, Dr. Neblett brought her around to introduce her to us, and then John got to watch them weigh her and clean her up.

Even though she was predicted to weigh way over 8 lbs, she came out 7.8 lbs and was 19.5 inches long. She had a headful of dark hair (mostly straight, maybe a little wavy up on top). The feisty little brunette made her way over to me at last, and I got to see her and touch her sweet face. After Dr. Neblett did his infamous artwork on my tummy, we headed over to a recovery room, which was the perfect opportunity for John and I to stare at Cressey and kiss all over her and to have some skin-to-skin time.

Within two hours, we were ready to head up to a real room, and Spiffer and GD had arrived with Helen Grace (and Grandma was just a minute away- perfect timing). As they wheeled me onto the floor, headed to the room, we see Spiffer and HG poking their heads out of the room- they had beat us there! I had warned John that if he only got one picture of the entire experience, it needed to be HG meeting Cressey, so the poor guy drops his bags and grabs his camera and captures HG meeting Cressey who is laying on my chest. Such a sweet moment between brand new sisters!

We settled into our room and had a great hour or two with just HG and the girls’ grandparents. Then, a steady stream of visitors and flower deliveries began…Mary Chris, Dr. Xu, Bubba, Brandy, Jessica Balderson, Aunt Di, Melissa, Christy Berko, and David Frasier. And we thought we were in heaven with the amount of Whimsy Cookies and Muddy’s cupcakes that were brought to us by our sweet friends and family!

Also, we gave Helen Grace a gift for being such a great big sister- a Lego Friends treehouse set. It turned out to be perfect because she kept busy putting it together with her daddy or a grandparent for a good chunk of Friday, which entertained her and also put attention directly toward her by someone. Plus, it gave her something to do over the weekend when she was up at the hospital, as well as any little friends who were visiting. Several other people brought her happies and craftsy activities too, which made her feel very special.

One Bible verse has really stuck with me throughout the last year of our struggle and helps me make a little sense of this crazy, incomprehensible fertility ride..."God never said we would escape loss and suffering in life, but He does promise to never leave our side, no matter what we face." Psalm 9. Today was a wonderful ending to our story, but I need to always remember that even in the darkest times, He was right there with me, never leaving me to suffer alone. Also, Emily Nail mentioned that this verse came to mind..."Weeping may remain for the night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5. The stolen joy came rushing back to me at no greater moment than laying there on the operating table as I heard my baby's first cry, realizing that all of this was worth it for that one noise. We celebrate with all of the prayer warriors that have carried us through this and have lifted us up over and over. We are forever grateful for your love.

The very first picture of Miss Cressey Margaret
Delivery room scales look a little different these days.
Already has Daddy wrapped around her finger
Finally Mama gets to touch her! I was crying big, ugly tears at this point. As soon as I heard her scream, I was overcome with thankfulness. I totally missed out on this experience with HG, so I tried to soak it all up.
Delivery room photos thanks to our awesome CRNA, Chris (aka birth photographer)
Dr. Neblett’s handiwork
Basking in the joyful glow in recovery
In recovery, John got to watch them wash her up and also measure her. She didn’t like this either.

She was a master big sis from the get go. She handled Cressey tenderly and expertly, talked quietly and sweetly to her, and listened to every word the nurses said. At one point, I heard HG praising Cressey for crying loudly. Confused, I asked her why, and she said, “The nurse said that crying clears the gunk out of her throat and that it was a good thing to hear her cry.” Oh, well ok!
Meeting Spiffer
And now it’s Granddaddy’s turn
And make room for Grandma!
During a quiet moment, HG climbed up in my hospital bed for a quick snuggle.
2016-04-08 11.54.32
Then we asked for Cressey to complete our girls’ pic!
Working on the Lego treehouse
Christy was there the night HG was born, so of course, she was there within hours of Cressey’s birth too.
Melissa stopped by too!

She likes to make this grunting, growling kind of noise. While we were sitting there Friday night with our friends, we decided to record a little bit of it so we could remember what newborn Cressey sounded like.

Proud papa

Mrs. Barksdale sent these sweet messages to us that day...

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