Natalie Grace was born on May 24th 2012… on her maternal Grandma’s birthday. It was a planned c-section and originally the date was set for May 25th, however there was a problem with scheduling and when the doctor called to change it, he wanted to put us in for the 24th. Mommy thought about this and realized it was Grandma’s birthday so she asked her if it was OK… and of course, without hesitation she was completely thrilled at the idea. There was really no surprise with this birth, for the first time – we knew the sex, and we chose the name, and as you see- we chose the date too! But… one thing is for sure, the fact that we GOT pregnant was the surprise. You see, with the first two children there were doctors, infertility treatments and months of waiting (or years with the first!). So when we were pondering the thought of going for the 3rd child… we said, let’s see how things go cycle-wise and in about 6 months we’ll go to the doctor. Low and behold, first month without prevention we were pregnant… BIG SHOCK!!!! The most interesting part about it was that Natalie was conceived on the exact same day that Mary Elizabeth was. (A hard day to forget – September 11th).
This was from the start a true blessing, and certainly meant-to-be!!! The pregnancy went very smooth – had all the typical symptoms of course and so forth. Ultrasounds went great and we were “tickled pink” with the news it was a girl. Mary Elizabeth especially because she SO wanted a sister.
To be honest, we waited a bit after having Drew in order to truly enjoy this last baby. We were robbed of that “first baby” experience with Mary Elizabeth, and though she was worth it and is special to us for all we’ve endured… we wanted to re-experience this after the kids were a little older so we could really cherish and enjoy each moment. And there is a lot of ‘healing’ taking place in that respect, though you can never replace it to be honest, but it still worked out perfectly. With only 2 weeks in, we can see that this is truly a blessing for all of us.
So now that you have the background on it all… despite some false alarms of cramping and a few contractions that ended up going no-where, Natalie didn’t come before the 24th. So EARLY that morning we woke up – and got ready. (Yes, I even did my hair and make up that morning). Grandma Ray arrived at 4:45 in the morning to allow the kids to continue to sleep while we left to go have our baby. Drew had off from school but Mary Elizabeth went in still (for a half day) so Grandma put her on the bus that morning. We left and arrived at the hospital by 5:30am. It was so early that no one was really around, so we thought we’d have to go in through the ER, but a really nice security officer walked us up through the front and escorted us the whole way. When we got there, the nurses were really friendly, chipper and helpful. They did some pre-op bloodwork and so forth. Andy took my picture as a last pregnancy shot to remember.
I changed into the awful gown they gave me, gosh I loved that hospital and the people there etc, but they had awful hospital gowns. I know they were meant for nursing moms, they had slits in the front but they did not close!!! I wasn’t nursing any baby yet! The good thing about going in early is I was hungry but didn’t have to wait all day to eat. They put an IV in and then we waited. The bad thing about knowing when you are having the baby is the anticipation. At this point I was looking at the clock, knowing 7:30am was the time I should be going in but it didn’t seem like it was going to work out… THEN I was greeted by my doctor and the anesthesiologist and shortly there-after they had Andy put his gear on. So wow, I was wrong… right on schedule!
They wheeled me in first, the OR room was hand painted and beautiful. I took note of this because it was nice to look at. They had a sky at the top, beach on the side, and it had a beautiful saying along the top edge of the wall. Wish I could remember it now. And right above the bright light where my head was and I looked up at… it said “BREATHE” – cute I thought, just breathe!
I got a spinal for my c-section, that might have been the hardest part- and it wasn’t even bad at all. I requested anti-nausea medication because I get nauseous easily and remember I nearly threw up last time when I had Drew. I laid down and they chit chatted with me. Asked if it was a boy or girl, and at that moment I realized that there was always a chance the sonograms were wrong. They told me a story about a mom who ended up having a boy and then I was more nervous because we painted the girls’ room and I had a homecoming outfit with the name Natalie on it! I looked back up at that word “BREATHE” and that’s exactly what I did.
The doctor came in and then they began to start, moments later Andy came in. Whatever anxiety I did feel went away at that point. Something about having my husband there calms me, Andy is very calming 😉 love him!!! We kept looking at the clock because before they brought me in, I said for sure she’d be born after 8am. Well then I felt them do the ole heave-ho on the top of my belly, pushing my lil girl down just a bit further, which doesn’t hurt at the time- but it feels bruised for a good week after in that area. Anyway, they took her out and I heard her starting to cry and the doctors were saying.. what time is it… 8:01? No that clocks wrong, it’s 7:59, yep 7:59 that’s what the computer says. OK 7:59 it is. Doh, mommy was WRONG! Lol.
They took her out and showed her to me, this is where it ended for Drew (and as we know I didn’t even get to see Mary Elizabeth because I was put under general anesthesia). At this point Drew was taken to another room and daddy followed. But here, at this hospital they had her right next to me and I got to watch them do all the stuff… wipe her down, footprints yadda yadda. Right before they weighed her Andy and the nurses took guesses at her size, they all had the 6lb range, Andy said “6lbs 8oz… well, she weighed 6lbs 9oz (rounded up from 6lbs 8.8oz) so he was quite accurate!!! They SAID she was 19” (but we found out later at the dr office she was really 18.11 and they just rushed the measurement at the hospital, oh well- for all official purposes we had to leave it at 19”)
Anyway, I laid there SMILING from ear to ear while watching her scream her little tushie off. Man was she MAD! It was so cute though, and I kept looking at Andy in awe, and then telling him- “hun take pics!!!” I forgot I was even having a c-section (how perfect is that? Because normally I’d be alone without my husband and baby and only having that to focus on!). Before I knew it, they brought her back over to me and laid her on my chest, it was heavenly, and she was so calm immediately, then started nuzzling on my neck and trying to suck on my chin. It was a treasurable moment, and for a c-section ONLY type of mom, it was an experience I’ll never forget because so often we can’t hold our babies for a bit. But I got to!!!
And then next thing I knew they had me all together and were taking all the coverings down and about to wheel me to the recovery room I had. Andy walked over with me and the baby got wheeled right beside us. And then immediately I got to breastfeed her, which without hesitation she latched on RIGHT AWAY and there we were… mommy and baby. Just like that!
I didn’t have any nausea, I didn’t have the shakes, I felt great, did great and had an awesome experience. So I was over the moon. Natalie was wide awake for hours after her birth, with a nap in between and then wide awake again when her Grandma, Grandpa, and brother & sister came to visit.
So aware and alert, lots of smiles (I know, I know- Gas.. but it does seem real!!!). She was a peanut and tiny and sooo sooo adorable. She looked a lot like Drew to us, but a little different, more feminine I suppose. The one major difference was her eyes. When her eyes were closed she looked SO much like Drew, but then open… hmmm no, she looked different. Drew has the similar eyes to his big sister, they have daddy’s eyes but we think Natalie’s are more like her moms.
The hospital stay was great, most of the nurses were awesome (minus one overbearing one). I had a nice private room with a really nice private bathroom. The hospital food was great, you got to order exactly what you wanted and they’d bring it after you called within about 30 mins. It was like room service really! The people were laid back and just really easy going. I can’t complain at all!
Before discharge they weighed her at 6lbs 1oz, but that’s ok newborns tend to lose a little weight at first. They allowed us to go home 1 day early, which was great, because who wants to be stuck in the hospital? 😉
The kids, and us are all in love and enjoying every moment. Sometimes we fight over her, but can you blame us????
Thank you Lord for blessing us with this little girl!