Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Angel Ellie

Ellie Lauree, My Beautiful Birthday Girl,
What I wouldn't give to be celebrating your first birthday WITH you. It shouldn't be this way. I never, ever once thought that I would plan a ladybug birthday party for a you and you wouldn't be there for it. I'm not sure how we will survive tomorrow. We are still having a party for you. We want to make you proud. I hope you know how much we love you. We miss you every second, with every breath. The pain of missing you is incredible but today we will try to put on our happy faces and celebrate. Because you deserve a celebration. I will be forever thankful for the pain of every contraction that brought me you exactly a year ago. You gave us so much joy in your short time. Although you aren't with us to celebrate in your red & black tutu, striped baby legs, tshirt with a 1 on it and headband (maybe even pigtails!), we will do the best we can to make tomorrow what you would have loved.
I can't help but wonder what you would be like as a one-year old. Would you have those pigtails? Would you be taking those first few wobbly steps- oh you would be so proud of yourself! Would you be talking? Would you dive into your cake or just poke at it? Would you tear into your presents or crack under the pressure of everyone watching you? Would you have been sound asleep for your nap when I took your birthday picture at exactly 12:42pm? I know one thing for sure, you would be adorable and loving all the attention. You would have taken in every detail and squealed (or growled) with delight.
I miss you so much. Heaven better be having one heck of a ladybug birthday party.
Forever your Mommy. I love you, little Birthday Girl.

After the kids were born I wrote down what I could remember from the day they were born, sealed it in an envelope and put it in their baby book. My hope was that when they were older and started asking about their Birth Days, they would have their own little story to read with all the details (well not all the details... no need to cause any emotional trauma...). Ellie will never get to read her story. So I wanted to share it here, for her. On her birthday. Her 1st Birthday. It's not the greatest literary piece. When I wrote it I was likely very sleep deprived, sore and holding at least one screaming child (oh what I wouldn' give for two screaming kids..). But here it is...

The Day You Were Born
Friday January 15, 2010

My entire pregnancy with you was pretty much without complication. But I was in an incredible amount of pain from the nerve compression you were causing. My hips, legs & pelvis were in so much pain it was nearly impossible to move around or take care of Max. For this reason, my awesome doctor, Dr. Cho, decided to induce labor on Jan 15 at 39 weeks and 2 days.
Although I think it would have been fun to spontaneously go into labor, it was nice having a plan. We were all stocked up on groceries, the house was clean & the laundry was all done. Grandma came over the night before so she could stay with Max the next day. Dada and I went to bed that night in disbelief that we were going to be having another baby. I was however, more nervous about the pain of labor and delivery this time than I was with Max. I suppose because I knew what was coming this time, and it was so terrible the first time with Max. I was so uncomfortable and anxious that I barely slept. Daddy however, slept ok.
I woke up the next morning at 5:45am so I could shower and finish packing. At 6:30am I called the hospital to see if I could still come in for my induction. The charge nurse said they didn't have any open beds and to call back if I hadn't heard from them by 9am. I was so upset and angry- you don't do that to a pregnant woman! I called Ma and told her and Grandma woke up then so I told her too. I went upstairs to tell Dada, who was cuddled in bed with Max. I cried a little and then went back downstairs to finish getting ready. When I was done I crawled back into bed.
At 7:30am the phone rang- it was the hospital calling to say we could come in. Yay! I ripped Max out of bed and told Dada to shower fast. I woke up Max, got him settled with Grandma and finished packing. Then we were out the door. We arrived at the hospital at about 8:30am.
The nursing assistant showed us to our room and I changed into my gown. As soon as I came out of the bathroom our nurse, Giselle, and Dr. Cho were waiting for me. Dr. Cho did an exam and found that I was already 3-4cm. She broke my water and said she would come by later. The nurse put my IV in and started the Pitocin. My IV drove me crazy! It was so sore, burned and made it so I couldn't bend my wrist.
While we waited for things to start progressing, Dada and I played Scrabble. Ma arrived at the hospital at about 9:15am and then Dada went to get breakfast. By 10:30-11am, the contractions were starting to get bad. I got out of bed to use the bathroom and decided to sit on the yoga ball.
The contractions were to the point where I couldn't talk through them. At first I thought I would try to go the whole way without an epidural but I feared the pain of another manual placenta removal more than labor and delivery. Plus, if I didn't have to feel the pain, why would I? My doctor really encouraged the epidural and the nurse called the anesthesiologist. (I'm really glad I got the epidural, it allowed me to not focus on the pain, and really enjoy every moment of your arrival- I was definitely more present than I was with Max).
Within about 15 min, he arrived. Ma and Dada left while he put the epidural in. All I felt was the shot of numbing medication. It was very hard to sit still through the contraction but my nurse was a lot of help. Within a half hour I was no longer feeling the contractions and was very comfortable. The nurse checked me and I was at 6cm.
Ma went to get lunch while Dada and I talked. After awhile I wanted to rest but was starting to feel some contractions over the epidural and getting that feeling of low pressure. When Ma came back from lunch, Dada went to grab something. Just as he left, Giselle and her student came in to check me. I was at 10cm and you were very low! This was about noon. She told me to call Dada and tell him to come back right away. So I did- he had just finished buying his lunch. The nurse didn't even leave the room- she had the charge nurse call Dr. Cho and started prepping the room for delivery. Dada got to the room, surprised at the sudden turn of events. We had him eat his hamburger while they prepped me, but he didn't finish his fries :)
I love you Dave!
Dr. Cho arrived very quickly and we all had a laugh because she had said she would like to deliver you on her lunch break and she was just headed to get her lunch when they paged her.
At this point, I still wasn't feeling the contractions a lot and felt a little disbelief about what was about to happen. I was a little worried I wouldn't remember how to push. It wasn't until everything was set up that Dr Cho let me push. I was able to push just fine and the closer you got, the stronger the contractions got. I was really focused on pushing but it was so much better with an epidural (Max's had been stopped and pretty much worn off by this point!). I kept thinking this isn't so bad! I was able to touch your head. Insane! I think I pushed only 15 times and then out you came!
When just your head was out, you started crying! You wanted the world to know you had arrived! It was the most amazing sound! I immediately teared up. When the doctor put you on my chest I couldn't believe how perfect you were. Beautiful, strong and healthy- exactly what every Mama hopes for.

Dada cut your umbilical cord while Ma took your first pictures. Dr. Cho took your cord blood to donate.
Things got a little fuzzy after that- all the excitement, hormones, activity and the pain of the placenta removal- but best I can remember they let me keep you on my chest for 10-15 min. Then they gave you a check up (healthy!), and weighed you, gave you the Vitamin K shot & eye cream.

Not exactly the "no more than 6lbs" the doctor predicted...

After I was settled, I got you back from Dada and was able to nurse you- for like 40min! Dada and Ma were busy spreading the good news! Eventually they packed us up and I carried you while they wheeled us to the postpartum ward. As we left the L&D floor, they played a lullaby over the hospital loudspeakers, signaling the arrival of a new life- your life! I felt very proud as I held you for that wheelchair ride.
We got settled in our new room and after they checked us, Grandma brought Max to meet you. Max was a little timid about being in the hospital and the fact that I had been gone all day and was now holding someone else. Max mostly just stared at you and didn't say anything. He did give you one kiss though. We brought a book & stuffed alligator (Ellie-gator) as a present from you to him. Then Grandma came in to meet you.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent showing you off to everyone- MJ, Emily, Evan, Chrissy & Bompa all came to meet you. Everyone thought that you were so perfect and tiny. Evan wouldn't touch you, he kept saying his hands were "dark and dirty." I nursed you a few times and ate dinner- quesadillas, corn and lemonade, while everyone took turns holding you and entertaining Max.
Eventually the nursing assistant came in to do your footprints and give you a bath. We all had a good laugh because the nursing assistant kept talking to us like we'd never given a baby a bath, even though she knew Max was just 15 months old.

Mommy not too happy with nursing assistant... although slightly amused with her stupidity
After you were done laying in the warmer, we put you in a gown from home to match your purple bow.
I was really sad when Ma took Max home and missed him a lot. But it was nice when it was finally just the three of us and we could just stare at you and cuddle. It wasn't until later that night that I had to take anything stronger than Motrin for pain. I felt so good compared to when I had Max. We held you for a long time and then had a nurse take you to the nursery for a while so we could rest. I didn't want to be away from you, but Max scared us with all his choking and turning blue the first few days. So we wanted you to be with the nurse while we slept in case you needed anything or had any problems.
So that's pretty much the story of your arrival. I am so thankful you were healthy and everything went so well. The day you were born was one of the best days of my life! I love you!

An Angel from the very beginning
 Happy 1st Birthday Ellie Lauree! We love you! Mama, Dada and Maxer


Debbie Posey said...

You don't know me, but my friend Tiffany Torres shares Ellie's birthday and pointed me to your blog. Happy Birthday angel Ellie...... I hope today you can find peace as you celebrate Ellie's birth day. I can tell how much she was loved in the short time that she was here. May God strengthen you and comfort you today.

Debbie in Alabama

Angie said...

Happy birthday angel Ellie!

The first birthday is such a tough, bittersweet day. I don't know yet that the other ones are any easier, but I like to think that maybe they are because you've done it before.

Anonymous said...

I have been in tears reading your blog today. I hope Ellie sends you a ladybug sign on her first birthday and that you are surrounded by love and able to feel some peace. Many thoughts and prayers for you and your family today. Your baby girl was absolutely beautiful, and it is so unfair that you aren't celebrating with her today. Nothing about that is right. I will hug my little ones a little tighter today in honor of your sweet Ellie.

Anonymous said...

Happy 1st Birthday, Ellie! I can just hear the choir of all of God's Angels singing you your Happy Birthday song. Beautiful girl, be with your Momma, Daddy, and big Brother today - let them feel your love all around them.

XOXO little one.

Tracie said...

Happy 1st Birthday to your precious Ellie in heaven. (You don't know me. I'm a friend of Tiffany's - another Tiffany). You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Quinta Nicole said...

I was pointed to your blog by Tiffany Torres. Happy Birthday to your angel Ellie in Heaven! May the peace of God continue to rest upon your family as it has ours during this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Happy 1st Birthday dear Ellie! What a wonderful way to keep a record of they day your precious children were born. Thank you for sharing Ellie's big day with us all! You are a beautiful writer :)

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your angel Ellie.

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