Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gabriel's Birth Story - July 2, 2012

I wasn't going to take the time to type Gabriel's birth story... I mean, how exciting is a planned c-section?  But then I got to thinking about how much I've been forgetting lately!  I really don't want to forget one minute of either boy's births.  So here goes...

On Sunday night, July 1st, we tried to go to bed at a decent hour.  Granna and Papa (Miller) were her to keep Elijah for us since Chris and I needed to leave the house by 4:30 AM.  However, little Gabe wasn't about to let Momma get one final night of rest... the heart burn, his continual movement, and the continual contractions left me with about 3-4 hours of sleep.  We got up at 4:00 AM, July 2, to head towards Freeman Hospital in Joplin.  We couldn't figure out WHY on earth we had to be at the hospital two hours early!

We arrived and admitting directed us straight to the Birthing Center.  It was a bit surreal walking down those hallways knowing in a few minutes I would meet the little man we'd waited 10 long months for.  I remember walking to the nurses station and being told we'd need to head straight to the prep room.  We walked in and were greeted by two wonderful nurses whose names escape me at the moment.  (see what I mean about already forgetting?)  I think one's name was Melanie; she was still in training.  In fact, she was anxiously awaiting her bar results that day; she'd just taken the test the previous week. Still, her care was completely faultless.

It took right at two hours to prep me for surgery.  All the questions, the monitoring, the IV (ugh!), all of it took the full two hours.  Then I walked, yes, I walked to the OR.  I remember cracking jokes with the nurses who were already suited up and waiting for me.  All I could see were their eyes - in fact, at one time, I told them "I can't tell who's talking to me!"  We all had a few laughs... they asked how big my first baby was (8 lb, 8 oz) and wondered if I knew how big the doctor was expecting Gabriel to be.  I told them Dr Langer was expecting Gabe to be at least 8 lbs.  We also joked about the possibility of this baby actually being a girl!

Dr Langer walked in the room and within seconds we were ready to begin.  Chris had joined me by then and was tucked securely away behind the curtain.  The nurse who gave me my spinal gave me a "play-by-play" so we would know their progress.  It seemed to take forever, but really, was only a few short minutes.  I remember the nurse saying "Get ready Daddy, he's about to make his appearance."  About that time, I heard the most heart wrenching infant screams.  Chris stood up at this point and started snapping pictures.  He later told me that Gabe was screaming before he had exited the womb!  Which means, Chris got a full view of my guts when he stood up to get that first peek at our baby boy! 

It seemed Gabe screamed and screamed... and I cried and cried. I was thinking "oh boy, we got ourselves a live one!"  Somewhere between the screams, I heard the words "9 pounds" and boy, I was shocked!  I couldn't believe I'd had a nine pound baby!  But then the real surprise came when I heard "13 ounces"! That's nearly 10 pounds of baby!  Wowser.  (My total weight gain was 26 lbs) The first thing out of my mouth was "thank you God, I didn't try this on my own!"  I meant it sincerely.  As I laid there listening to him cry, I cried right along with him.  Couldn't help myself.  I was so happy he was finally here... Official arrival time: 8:01 AM.

It seemed forever, but in a few minutes I heard the crew coming bringing me my little man so I could meet him for myself...

What a precious moment.  Just recalling it brings tears to my eyes... so many emotions in that moment.  Of course, I had to kiss him.  I remember him immediately reacting to my voice - that's such a sweet moment for me. I know this sounds silly, but it just confirms that he's mine!  All mine!

The team, Daddy, and Gabriel moved on... Dr. Langer ended up needing to do some reconstructive surgery from my prior c-section which delayed my moving to the recovery.  However, once in recovery, they brought Gabriel back to me to feed him.  His blood sugar was very low - but feeding him brought it right back up to normal.  Thank you Lord!  He nursed like a pro for 30+ minutes! 

Of course, big brother, Elijah had to come meet Gabriel. 

I'm so thankful for the very short few minutes our little family had together in the recovery room.  Elijah was so excited and promptly proclaimed Gabriel as "so cute!"  He'd brought his gift for Gabriel and immediatly opened the gift.  It was a "silky" for Gabe.  (A fuzzy blanket with a satin ribbon edging - very similar to Elijah's "silky") 

The nurses from the Birthing Center then wheeled me down the hall to my room.  We made a brief stop by the nursery window and spoke with my sister and sister-in-laws.  Once in my room, the rest of the day became a blur.  There were so many visitors in and out all day long.  Mostly family anxious to meet our new addition. 

I do remember being so shocked at how good I felt.  Even when it came time to get up and walk, the difference is unbelieveable when compared to my first c-section.  (Which occurred after 20 hours of labor)  I actually walked to the bathroom - not shuffled as I had the first time.  My pain was managed so much better this time.  I took the pain meds faithfully with no apparent side effects.  I couldn't have asked for a better delivery.

I would love to go back and personally thank each member of the nursing staff at Freeman for their care of Gabriel and I.  However, I know I'd end up missing one or more of them.  One Nurse Tech that will forever stand out in my mind is Amanda.  She was my NT for three shifts during my stay there at Freeman.  She was so patient, so gentle, and kind.  She's the kind of nurse I'd want to take care of me and my family.  I pray God blesses her for her kindness to me.

I'd also love to personally thank everyone that helped our family during this time.  Whether it was keeping Elijah occupied, making a meal, coming to visit, etc... we are sincerly grateful from the bottom of our hearts.  "thank you" just doesn't seem adequate. May God richly bless each and every one of you.

Click HERE to see a full album of pictures.

Gabriel Josiah Beard
July 2, 2012
9 lbs 13 oz
21.5 inches