It really is amazing to watch time fly by you, as if it is in a hurry to get somewhere. Two years ago today I was in a hospital room... feeling frustrated that Harper was down the hall in the NICU. Because today is her 2nd birthday it seems like a great time to write her birth story and some the things I love most about her in this stage of life so far.
My due date was June 12th, I woke up at 3:00 am on June 13th with contractions. Up to this point I hadn't really had many contractions (unless I was doing chest compressions in a code, then I contracted every time!). But this particular morning the contractions woke me up, I stayed in bed through the first hour of contractions, sometimes getting up for the actual contraction or kneeling on the floor by the bed, but as soon as it was over I was back to sleep. By 4:00 I was awake enough to go ahead and get up and go downstairs. I figured there was no need to wake Dustin up yet, who knew, this could stop at any moment. At this point contractions were 10 minutes apart. I watched some mindless TV for a couple of hours, watching the contractions come closer and closer. Finally around 6:00 am I decided to call the doctor's office and wake Dustin. Contractions were 6 minutes apart and more intense. I called the physician's office and Dr. Carter called me back, she said to go ahead and head in and she would see me there. I got in the shower while Dustin called both sets of parents. His parents were coming to our house to be with Beckett and mine wanted to come to the hospital. The shower was great, so much more comfortable! I got dressed and threw a couple of last minute things in the bag. We were still waiting for Sharon and Gary. Around 7:00ish I was outside trying to get through a really tough contraction. I was bracing myself on the front porch rail and moaning... Dustin stuck is head outside and said, "really, out here?" I yelled at him to find out where his parents were. They were getting "close" they said... so I kept breathing through contractions that were really intense now. Around 7:30 they finally arrived... turns out they were lying about being close before. I walked down to the car, as soon as it started moving a contraction hit me, I asked Dustin to stop so I could stand next to the car, it felt so awful sitting still while in pain. After the contraction we were on the road, I dreaded each contraction I had to endure in the car, I tried to breath and change positions, but mainly I remember squeezing Dustin's hand and asking him to put really hard pressure on mine to distract me. We got to the hospital around 7:50, Dustin ran to get a wheelchair, I told him I could walk but was secretly really thankful he went to get it. He pushed me quickly down the hall and through the maze that is St. Luke's to get the L & D area. On arrival the nurses were expecting someone by a VERY different name, I think it was "Pam" something, apparently I hadn't done a very good job stating my name when I talked with Dr. Carter. They took me to a triage area to check me... I got undressed and the nurse put monitors on me while going over the basics of what number baby this was, who was my Dr., what was my due date, etc. I can remember her asking if I wanted pain meds and if so what kind. I told her, "if this is what 4 cm feels like I want an epidural". She tried checking me twice and couldn't ever feel the back of my cervix, but she told me she was pretty certain that I was at 10 cm and ready to deliver. Crap! I was nearly that lady giving birth in her car on the side of the highway... glad I made it! She uphooked the monitor and asked me to follow her across the hall to a delivery room. As I made it outside the triage area my water broke in the middle of the hall... damn. On to the delivery room where I remember asking to stay out of the bed, all pain is worse while lying in bed, but the nurse really wanted to get a look at the baby's heart rate. So I lay down and within 5 minutes was pushing. I will admit it didn't go as fast as I wanted, I think I pushed a total of 20 minutes. Every contraction felt like an eternity, I just wanted someone to pull the baby out. I felt exhausted and like I could never do this. I'm pretty sure I expressed all of this with a few curse words throughout. Dr. Carter arrived and I remember asking where was Lee, my midwife. Dr. Carter said that she could call Lee but she knew she was on a camping trip with her family and would not make it in on time. I remember asking for something for pain but then when it arrived was clear enough to say that I didn't really want it.
Finally at 8:21 on June 13th she was here.... perfect, pink, screaming and a GIRL. I was utterly shocked. I was just sure I was having a boy, but here she was. We were so lucky that St. Luke's has a policy about leaving the baby skin to skin with mom for 1 hour after birth. I just lay there with her, studying her, talking to her, nursing her and soaking it all in.
When it was over I remember feeling kind of embarrassed that I hadn't really even introduced myself to my nurse or physician. So as Dr. Carter was doing my "repair" work I can remember looking over my legs and saying, "hi, I'm Kristin Sollars, it's nice to meet you." and launching into chit chat about how she had delivered my friend Theresa's baby just a few months ago. I can remember introducing myself to my nurse and telling her I worked here at St. Luke's too.
I can remember Dr. Carter collecting cord blood since we had opted into a new cord blood banking process that had been set up at the hospital. I can remember my nurse sticking me twice to get an IV started to give me antibiotics since I was GBBS+. After our hour as a family my sister, brother in law, dad and mom came into the room. Everyone knew I was having a girl but my mom who wanted to find out when I did. When I announced it was a girl she was so excited she just started screaming and crying, to the point that one of the nurses started crying too... so fun.
We all passed Harper Kate around, talking about the delivery and ohhhing and ahhhing over how perfect and amazing she was.
She was eventually taken away for her bath which was when she had some trouble breathing that eventually lead to lab draws and a 4 day trip to the NICU. But that experience is for another day.
Today I marvel at Harper. She is such an amazing little person. I love her curly thick hair and I hope she always thinks it is as beautiful as i do. I love her BIG blue eyes and the funny way she wrinkles her nose when I take her picture. I love her fat little girl arms and legs. I love the way she runs and could watch her run around the playground all day long. She is so in-love with her babies and wants to dress them, push them around in their stroller, feed them and give them a pacifier. She loves her paci too, something we will have to get rid of this summer for sure, but for now it is so sweet and I love that it is one of the only baby she has left. It cracks me up when she comes to tell me she had a poopy diaper and needs a change.
Her eating habits could make me scream. She really only likes to eat bread, cheese and fruit... in short if it isn't that great for you she loves it. But I know that one day her tastes will change and this too is only a short season of our lives. She loves to rock in the rocking chair in her room, looking at books and singing, "this little light of mine." She LOVES her brother, she follows him around and repeats what he says all day long.
Yesterday she took about 20 rubber ducks out of a bad following a baby shower and lined them up in a perfect line by the front door, she was so meticulous and proud of what she had accomplished, I loved watching her work.
From the first minute she has reminded me that she has her own time table and way of doing things. I love you Harper, from the first minute I lay eyes on you... to just a moment ago when I put you to bed. You make me smile. You make me laugh. You make my life complete.