Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Happy Birthday!!

             One year ago we welcomed Olive Mary into our family.  Finally, the constant worry of whether everything with our growing miracle would be ok was over.  Olive had arrived and was laying, snuggling on my chest.  The road to that point was trying and scary.  After having my two miscarriages, I was in constant alert mode while pregnant with Olive.  We had a scare that I was delivering her at 25 weeks, but after a visit to the E.R. we found out that everything was fine.  The next month was uneventful and I could feel her strong limbs pushing against me.  Then after I measured small at a doctor's appointment, they sent me for an ultrasound.  The tech said that everything looked fine, but she kept looking and looking, then switched probes, and still kept looking.  I had a feeling the tech saw something suspicious, but did not want to tell me without consulting a doctor first.  Later the doctor called and said that our little girl had fluid on the brain.  She told me that I would have to wait until the following week to go to Dartmouth for an ultrasound and genetic appointment.  A week!?  I was devastated and worried about what would be necessary to take care of our baby.  I talked with my uncle who boosted my spirits and after a lot of prayer I realized that no matter what our little one has to deal with, we would love her still the same.  After thorough ultrasound by a neonatologist at Dartmouth, the fluid on the brain diagnosis turned out to be another false alarm. 
                The last two months were smooth sailing.  I felt so good and we were becoming anxious and excited for our new arrival.  On December 6th I woke up feeling a little off.  I was throwing a children's Christmas party and had lots to do so I got to it.  Baking cookies, mixing frosting, setting up the nativity puppets.  The party was busy and by the end I was very tired, and feeling a little worse.  Caroline and I went about our day.  Around 4:00 I realized that I was having some sporadic contractions, which I figured were just Braxton Hicks (seeing as how many of my pregnant friends had been having them for weeks).  But then at 4:58 the sharp pains started becoming more regular, longer, and more painful.  This was such a different experience than when I had Caroline.  It felt like my insides were doing flips.  I sat on the couch with Adam's watch clutched in my hand as I timed how long each contraction.  At this point they were about 7 minutes apart.  Quickly that shifted to 4-5 minutes apart and I immediately called Adam and the doctor.  I still have the index card with my chicken scratch writing indicating that at 6:06 p.m. we were rushing out the door to the hospital.  We dropped Caroline off with our dear friends, the Dortchs, for the night.  I had to sit down a couple of times on the floor at their house while some contractions passed.  Part joking, part serious, Cary asked if I needed his wheelchair.  (In hind sight, Adam asks, "Why didn't you just stay in the car while I dropped Caroline off?")
                When we got to the hospital I was measuring at a 5 and feeling energized.  I had Guster and Indigo Girls playing through my ipod in one ear, while Adam was comforting me in the other.  I enjoyed a whirlpool path for a very long time.  It was perfect to keep the pain under control as I progressed stedily to a 7-8.  When I reached a nine, I felt terrible and started throwing.  This is when I decided to call the anesthesiologist for an epidural (too bad I didn't know the anesthesiologist was at home and that it would be an hour before my epidural was finally in place).    One hour post epidural, at 1:02 am, our little 6 pound 9 ounce baby arrived.   As I looked down at our beautiful girl, rather than the sense of pure relief I thought I would experience upon her arrival, I was filled with fear because I didn't hear her newborn cry.  Olive was a dusky grey color and time stood still as we waited for her to take her first breath of life.  In my mind I thought, "We have come this far, and now this?"  The doctor quickly cut the cord and moved her to the warmer where he was joined by a team of nurses.  Adam fought the urge to follow the doctor to ensure that he was doing everything possible  to help Olive breath.  Instead he stayed with and comforted me as we prayed for our little girl.  I sat there shaking my head whispering, "No, no, no," over and over.  The doctor stayed very calm  and told us everything he was doing.  By 1:04, which seemed like an eternity, she was pinking up a little, but the room was still disturbingly quiet.  Finally, at 1:05, after the longest 3 minutes of our lives, Olive took her first breath and the ear shattering silence was broken by her perfect newborn cry.  Minutes later, I was holding Olive in my arms and my Christmas wish of having Olive here safe had come true.

Our little O,
Today you are 1
Today you L.O.V.E. to climb
Today you love eggs, any meat, all cooked veggies, bananas, blueberry pancakes, pears
Today you lay your head on my shoulder before you go to bed and we 'hmm' back and forth
Today you love to lay on Caroline's chest and make her giggle
Today you have two and a nubbin teeth.
Today you love to spoon water out of the Nalgene bottle when you bathe
Today you have lots to say to everyone all day in your happy voice
Today you sign doggie, all done, and milk
Today you love to put things in bowls and baskets
Today you say hi and wave, and bye, mama, and dada
Today you love to try to put on hats, headbands, and shoes over and over again
Today you can't tolerate milk, but love to drink soy milk from ONLY a spoon so far
Today you help put your coat on by sticking out your arms
Today you have taken 7 steps alone toward toddling
Today darling Caroline can always bring a toothy smile to  your face, even if you are sick
Today is the second Christmas season that we are blessed to have you
We sure do love you sweetheart!


Adam B said...

I love you Olive Mary! We are so lucky to have you as part of our family. Happy Birthday to my little O!!!

The Winegar's said...

We are so happy to have Little Olive in our family. She is such a sweetheart. We love her very much. I can't wait to see her and you in a couple of weeks. Love you Grandma Mary.

Gardner's said...

Wow, even knowing cute olive is here safe and sound reading that made me so nervous. At the end I was thinking to myself "breath Olive" (I had to remind myself that she is ok). I didn't know about her delivery scare but hopefully that is the most this sweet little girl will make you worry that much in her lifetime...unfortuately, as with all kids, I doubt it! When are you coming home!!

Kaeloni said...

Great post! Glad she's here and doing well! She is adorable!

Brandon and Brittany said...

Babies bring so much worry don't they???? It's a miracle that babies come out so healthy and perfect when so much can go wrong. She is beautiful! I can't believe that she is a year old!!!! =)

trine k said...

Wow, I never all these details. So amazing! You really are one of the sweetest mommies I know, she's a lucky lucky girl to be part of your family! Happy Birthday cute Olive!

Mary said...

I didn't know you had such a hard time getting little Olive here. She is so beautiful! Happy Birthday, little one!

Lauren Stuart and Madeline Jane said...

I knew you had some complications with the birth but after reading that story I couldn't help but tear up. I don't know how you got through that. I would be a MESS! SOO glad cute Olive is here and she is one of the cutest little blue eyed girls I know! Happy "late" birthday little Olive!

Halley said...

Happy Birthday cute girl! What sweet words for such a darling Olive. I loved reading this. :-)

Jill said...

She is such a sweetheart! You have such a cute family.

Lori Passey said...

What a cutie! Have a very merry Christmas!

Corinne said...

Could she be any cuter? Oh, I love her so much. Happy happy birthday you sweet thing!

Here And Happy! said...

We love our perfect little Olive Mary. She is sunshine!