Saturday, May 7, 2011

Brees Elizabeth


Tomorrow, I will celebrate my first Mother's Day as a mother of TWO.
We will rejoice and give thanks for the gift of these two little girls who have both
changed our lives so much.  In honor of Brees's first Mother's Day, I thought that
I would share her birth story with you.  It is a story that is still so fresh in my mind,
 a day I think of often.  A day that changed my life once again and continued
my evolution as a woman.  Her story, our story, a family formed.
 It was a Tuesday morning, a week before my due date.  I went to
my weekly doctor's appointment, excited to hear what kind of progress we had
made.  I was 4 cm dilated and 60% effaced.  The baby was in the perfect
position and rather low in the birth canal.  The sonogram measurements estimated
her to be around 9 pounds.
My doctor and I had a long talk about "options".  She felt that I could go into
labor at any time, but if I went too far beyond my due date ( I was 10 days late
with Isabelle and when it comes to childbirth, history tends to repeat itself), I may
 be C-section bound because of the baby's size.  My first baby was 9 pounds and
we had no complications, but this baby was already that big and was getting bigger
 by the day.  We decided that if I didn't go into labor on my own, we would check
 into the hospital on Monday morning (two days before my actual due date) and induce.
I am a nurse, I am well versed on medical intervention.  Induction made me nervous
because of the increased chance of having to have a C-section if the induction didn't
work.  We prayed about it, talked to our family and friends, weighed all our options.
The bottom line to me was that whether or not I had the induction, my chances for
C-section were high regardless.  I decided to place the baby and her arrival in God's
hands, He would lead us to the right decision, the right moment.  We were in great
care with our doctor and I had faith in her decisions and in God's plan for us.  And so
we spent the rest of the week preparing: buying groceries, cleaning the house
 spotless, spending extra time with Isabelle, and resting.
And so Monday morning came, and still no baby.  We woke up early and drove to the
hospital as planned.  I felt so close to my husband that morning, so thankful for
his strong presence.  We talked the whole way there, laughing and enjoying our
time alone.  He put my mind at ease and reassured me that everything would be
fine and for that I was so thankful.
The nurses brought us to our room and got us checked in and settled.  As I was
changing into my hospital gown, Shawn walked over and hugged me close and said,
"I will miss seeing you like this.  You've never been more beautiful than you are
right now with this sweet belly."  And I thanked God for this husband of mine and
all his strength and love.
Pitocin was started at 7 am.  We watched the morning news and read the paper.
My mom arrived around 8 after she had gotten Isabelle off to school.  Just as she did
during my first birthing experience, she sat right next to the monitor and watched
the contractions.  Each time she saw the graph moving upward, she looked at me and
 said, "Are you okay?".  You never stop being a mother and worrying for your children.
The contractions were coming but were very manageable.  I breathed through
them, imagining a wave washing over me and then releasing it through my body.
Imagining each one bringing my little girl closer to me.
Dr. I came in around 9 to see us.  She is a mother of three and one of the most calming,
 loving doctors I have ever been around.  She checked me and announced that I was
now 5 cm dilated and 75% effaced.  She gave me a big hug and reassured me that
the baby and I were both doing great.
The morning passed quietly with my two sweet nurses catering to our every need (they
were both older, had been nurses for over 20 years, and made me feel like I had
two extra mamas watching over me).  Friends and family came in and out of the
room, checking in but not overcrowding us.  And of course my lovely coworkers, using
all of their breaks that day to walk over and see us.  I had the baby at the hospital
where I work so her arrival was the talk of the whole building!
Dr. I came back around noon to check in.  She decided to rupture my membranes to
really get things moving.  It was a painless procedure and over before I knew it and
 then WOW, holy contractions, Batman!!!!  Within seconds, my contractions intensified to
the point where I could no longer control them.  I had planned to get the
epidural as I had one for Isabelle and loved it.  But now, after having my water broken
and the contractions developing beyond belief, I wanted the epidural NOW.
These contractions were coming one on top of the other, they were constant and so
 intense.  It was time for some relief!
The anesthesiologist, God bless him, was there within 10 minutes and had the
epidural up and running in no time.  I didn't feel a thing except the big, warm nurse
holding me and rubbing my back through contractions.  They cleaned me up,
repositioned me in bed, and had me snug as a bug in no time.  And I felt amazing.
I was able to rest and relax.  Shawn sat next to me and studied for an upcoming test
while I dozed and all was well again.
At 3, Dr. I came in and checked me again and I was now 7 cm dilated.  As she was
washing her hands and giving me instructions on what would come next, I suddenly
felt an overwhelming need to push.  Now.  She looked at me intently and said, "Yes,
you are in transition.  Your whole face has changed."  She checked me again and
within 5 minutes, I had gone from 7 cm to 10!  I was fully thinned and she could
actually feel the baby's head.  It was time!
Lights came on, the bed was adjusted, nurses excitedly filled the room.
Shawn made everyone laugh when he said, "Look at how pretty your legs are, babe!
They're so soft and shiny.   Doesn't my wife have the prettiest legs you've ever
seen?"  And then he took my hand and stared deep into my eyes.  And our
souls talked, connected, the whole room disappeared.  In that moment, it was just
Shawn and I, ready to welcome another child born of our love into the world.  And
tears rolled down our cheeks, unspoken love so strong that I felt it in every fiber of
my being.  And it was time.
"Okay, Liv, here's a contraction and let's PUSH!".
1,2,3,4,5...One long push and her head was out!
Again! 1,2,3,4,5...Another long push and her upper body was out.  But, WAIT, the nurse
in me knew.  Something was wrong.  Faces changed, energy shifted, we were in
emergency mode.  The room came alive and everyone was moving into action the way
only a group of nurses can.  The way that I do at my own job when something is wrong
 with a patient.
"Olivia, the cord is wrapped around her neck and her shoulders are stuck.  You're
going to have to push as hard as you possibly can, NOW!!!"
So, I pushed, the doctor pulled, a nurse jumped up and pushed down on my belly.
And it seemed like an eternity before I heard, "She's here!  She's out, she's fine!!!
You did it!!"
I looked down and saw my baby, completely blue and silent, lacking oxygen because
of the cord.  I watched the nurses carry her quickly to the incubator right on the side of
me.  I heard everyone reassuring me.  But my brain was numb, my body tensed,
my heart dropped into my feet.  Until I heard the most important sound in the world.
In minutes, I heard her CRY.  
Thank you, Jesus, our sweet baby was here and she was crying and all was well in
our world!  In only took three pushes to bring her into this world, but the moments
after that were the scariest seconds of my life.  As she cried, we cried, tears of
joy and thankfulness.  Shawn on one side of me and my mother on the other,
kisses and tears and prayers of thanks whispered between us.
Within minutes, the nurses had her stabilized and brought her over to me and our
eyes met for the first time.  And I fell in love all over again.  There's no way to imagine
that feeling until you experience it, the earth shattering moment when you feel an
extension of yourself and your love placed into your arms.  The overwhelming sense of
love, relief, adoration.  I nursed her as soon as they placed her in my arms, our skin
warming each other, our hearts beating together.  The room quietly cleared and Shawn
and I were left alone with our daughter, studying every detail of her face, marveling
at how much she looked just like her big sister.  Thanking each other for this gift, for
the love and support, for all that we are and have been.
 We spent an hour alone, nursing our sweet baby, savoring those first few moments.
 This being our second child, I think that we were much more aware of just how
precious those first moments are.  We weren't in any hurry, we didn't want to bring
anyone in too soon.  We wanted that moment for ourselves.
But, then, it was time for another special little girl to meet her long awaited sister!
Isabelle was one of my biggest supporters and caretakers during my pregnancy, she
was so excited to welcome another member into our family.  My aunt brought her in
and she was so gentle, so soft, a look of love on her face that made us all cry.  And
it dawned on me how mature she was, how grown she now seemed.  It was one of
the most beautiful moments of my life, seeing two sisters meet for the first time.
Brees Elizabeth Vasquez came into our world on November 15, 2010 weighing
9 pounds 11 ounces, 21 inches long.  Though I was originally opposed to a scheduled
 induction, I thank God everyday for leading us to that decision.  It saved us from
having to have a C-section and actually saved her life.  If we had gone any longer and
she had gotten any bigger, we would have had serious complications.  Everything
happened as it should have and it was a beautiful experience.  I was cared for with
love and kindness by my doctor and nurses and surrounded by the most important
people in my life.  My recovery was amazing, the fact that the labor was so short and
I only pushed three times made the aftermath much less traumatic.  Birthing babies
is not an easy undertaking in any way, shape, or form.  But I believed very much in
our plan and in the capabilities of the team assisting me and together, we
made the experience so beautiful. 
I thank God everyday for looking after us on Brees's birthday, for filling that
room so full of love.  We are a blessed family in every way.  
Happy Mother's Day!!

9 comments:

the momma-kana said...

that is such a beautiful story and great pictures to boot. I just love babies. Have a FAB Mothers day!

mkhansens.blogspot.com

Ashley said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate Mother's Day! I had tears in my eyes reading your story!

p.s I also got your sponsor button purchase and have you up! Thank you SO much! xo

Elena (Running in Heels After Child) said...

So sweet. My baby is one but looking at your just born pictures make me want another baby.

Happy Mothers Day,

elena

Sarah said...

What a beautiful story! Loved reading it - and the pictures are so clear and perfect! So happy it was a good delivery - and what a cute baby! I could stare at those cheeks all day :D

Wendy said...

What a beautiful birth story! I always love reading this because it brings back so many wonderful memories. Your husband sounds like a really great man, and your family is just gorgeous.

Summer Craig said...

Ok I just saw this and cried my eyes out at work at 6:30 in the morning!! Why didn't you warn me!! I LOVE YALL SOOOO MUCH!!

Elena (Running in Heels After said...

So sweet. My baby is one but looking at your just born pictures make me want another baby.

Happy Mothers Day,

elena

the momma-kana said...

that is such a beautiful story and great pictures to boot. I just love babies. Have a FAB Mothers day!

mkhansens.blogspot.com

MarieHarmony said...

This is so beautiful Olivia, I could not wait to read the next line, my heart was beating a bit more than normal and I had tears in my eyes when I saw Brees tiny face.
I wish you all a wonderful and magical life! You are fabulous!