Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Olive

I started this post, oh, maybe two weeks ago, maybe three. I'm finally getting back to it. And, for the record, both girls are in bed tonight before 9 p.m. While Olive will be up again soon, I count this a fairly large accomplishment.

Without further adieu...

Olive's birthday started out early...very early. My C-section was scheduled for 7:30 a.m., which meant we needed to be at the hospital between 5 and 5:30.

My kind, selfless, generous friend Lee Ann made her way to our house around 4:30 that morning to stay with Addie until she woke up and then would take her to her house. Addie knew all of this, as we'd been rehearsing what her schedule would be when "we went to the hospital to get Olive." All along I was praying she would transition well into the next couple of days. I'd selfishly kept her up a little later the night before, knowing it was our last night as the Chaneys 3. She didn't know the difference, but I did!

After a little sleep and a lot of last minute nesting tasks on my part, the car was packed and ready to go. Sabian and I headed out and made our way down the long, dark two lane highway that would take us closer to meeting our little girl. I wasn't nervous, but I was excitedly anticipating the next couple of hours. In my mind I kept replaying the events of the morning when Addie was born. I hoped I wasn't naively assuming that things would unfold similarly...it was all I had to go on and, since our experience with her was so positive, I believed it would be the same with Olive.

We arrived at the hospital, took a couple of last belly shots, and headed in.

All was pretty quiet in the labor and delivery wing. It felt a little surreal, knowing that soon we were going to see a little face we'd so been waiting to meet.

We went through all of the regular pre-op stuff, talked to nurses, the nurse anesthetist, the doctor who would be doing the C-section and answered a ton of questions.

 One of the things that had been so hard for me when we realized I'd have to have a C-section with Addie was that we would be picking the day for her to come, not her. All along I'd wanted it to be the right day and the right time and in my mind I thought that could only happen if it came about spontaneously. With Addie, when I was hooked up to the monitors, I actually started to have some contractions. At the time, Sabian and I knew that was confirmation that it was right, that the day we'd chosen for her to come was right. This time, my belly was taking a strange shape, as Olive was moving quite a bit. One of the nurses asked me, "Is she transverse?" She was asking if the baby was laying sideways. I honestly didn't know, but if you looked at my belly, sure enough I had two lumps sticking out horizontally across my belly, her head at one end and butt at the other. If this was the case, then we knew that there was likely no way Olive would have come on her own. Again, to us that was confirmation that this was THE day for her to make her appearance.

Once they started suiting Sabian up for the OR I was feeling a little more nervous. Obviously I knew surgery was involved with getting Olive here, but I started thinking more about the details of her arrival. Not just the seeing her, but all that would have to happen in order to get her here.

I really can't say enough about the staff at the hospital. Everyone was so nice, reassuring, comforting and supportive every step of the way. Everything went pretty smoothly and I felt well taken care of. At 7:34 a.m., when Olive made her appearance, they lifted her up so I could see her and she made her presence known with loud cries. I was able to watch as they cleaned her up, with Daddy standing by to take pictures. He brought her over so I could kiss her face, tell her how much I loved her, how happy I was to see her, and then Sabian and the nurse whisked her away for her real clean up.

One of our main requests is for me to see our babies while I am in the recovery room, before they take me to my real room. There, I was able to get a good look at her while I nursed her for the first time (she was a champ!). Her dark hair and darker complexion set her apart from her older sister but she resembled Addie in other ways. We suspected she might look more like my side of the family but I was so happy to see that she and Addie looked alike. She has her dad's fingers and toes, just like Addie, and was one inch shorter than Addie at birth. She did surprise us in weight - we expected her to be bigger than Addie was when she was born, but she was actually smaller. At 6 lbs., 12 oz. and 2o inches long, we were so happy to finally be holding her in our arms.

Later that day Lee Ann brought Addie in to meet Olive. Again, we'd rehearsed this with her, but I really didn't know how it would play out for us. I couldn't have been prouder of her. She marched right in to the hospital room and declared that she wanted to hold her baby sister. She climbed up in bed with me and Addie and Olive met for the first time. 

I'm so thankful Addie did so well with this first meeting. I'm also so thankful that Olive is here, safe and sound.

We really have so much to be thankful for.

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