Well, girl, it's been a week! A lot has happened since I last wrote you. Last Wednesday I didn't feel too great. My mom and sister both thought I was in denial, and that it was early stages of labor. By three in the morning on Thursday, I was believing them. My entire abdomen was cramping and painful, and I was nauseous. I couldn't sleep. Since my doctor had said to come in with anything consistent, even cramping, I thought it would be best to heed that advice. I could tell it wasn't "the real deal," and the few contractions I was having occasionally definitely weren't much of anything, but thanks to your sister's speedy arrival, we decided it would be best to head in to the hospital just in case it did develop into something. I woke your dad up at about 5, he agreed, and we called your nana and papa. They came over at about 6:30 to stay with Blythe, and we headed out. [A funny story here: your papa, at 6 in the morning while I'm grimacing on the couch, is asking your dad about loans/carrying money/money orders….and THEN when we are finally heading out the door, he corrals me and has to tell me about the dream he was having when I called them. This will all make sense when you get to know your papa].
By 8 o'clock we were situated in the triage room-- the exact same room where I progressed from a 2 to a 10 in an hour with your sister. My cramps had subsided and were more like contractions, but my nausea had completely gone away. Again, I could tell it wasn't really labor, but since we were at the hospital, I was more than happy to let it begin. I think the hardest contraction I had came when your dad and I got to laughing about something-- he was in tears and couldn't stop, and I was trying to tell him to quit cause it was kind of hurting to laugh. I love that man, your father. We had a wonderful nurse, who kept assuring me that I did the right thing to come in with my history. They let me stay awhile longer than most "you're-not-really-having-a-baby-you're-just-taking-up-space" patients, and we walked around for an hour to see if it would progress into anything. I was only ever dilated to 2cm. [Which was eerily familiar]. I kept repeating the verse that I want to hold fast to when I am in labor: "Stay your mind on me." [Isaiah 26:3]. Nothing progressed. By noon we knew it was time to go. While we were there I kept praying that things would either pick up and be obvious, or that everything would completely stop. I didn't want to leave and be in some weird limbo and worry that you were going to come and not be close to hospital. My prayers were answered. Everything stopped, minus a few strong Braxton Hicks, and we had lunch with your Nini. We decided to go to our friends' place, Brandon and Courtney's, and take a nap and just make sure nothing else happened before we headed home. We decided it was "all clear", that you were staying put for awhile yet, and headed home around 4.
I was pretty exhausted on Friday, but was able to rest thanks to Matt and Stacy taking your sister for a bit, and once I had showered and gotten ready for the day, I felt pretty much "back to normal." At least as normal as I can at 38 weeks! I did, however, realize that I was developing what I thought was another UTI. Bummer. It was my third for this pregnancy. Saturday was beautiful and I got stuff done around the house, enjoyed being outside, spent some time with Paige and Torri who were home for Easter [and hoping you would come while they were here!], and had a pretty good day. I had called in and gotten a prescription for the UTI and started taking the meds, hoping it would relieve some of that discomfort. That night the left side of my back hurt a bit, but I figured I'd just been on my feet too much, put some heat on it, and took a Tylenol pm and went to bed. Sunday was Easter Sunday! I love Easter, baby girl. Your daddy thought it would be a great day for you to come, however, we weren't really planning on it and made plans to go to your Great Grandma Ann's for lunch after church, then head over to Nini and PopPop's for the evening if I wasn't too pooped and Blythe was cooperating. I did tell your dad that I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and throw our hospital bags in the van before we left for church, since we wouldn't be home for awhile.
I woke up with that same pain in my back though, on my left side. It wasn't in my lower back, like most back pain I've had lately, and it was mild to intense. I sat down and got ready for church. Took some tylenol. I figured I'd slept on it wrong or that you were just in a funny position. I had your dad take this week's picture, and then we left for church. By the time we got to church in St. Joe, I wasn't feeling very good at all. Your dad dropped me off at the door and I thought maybe going to the bathroom would help. It didn't. Your dad got your sister situated in nursery and I slinked my way into a pew. As the sermon progressed, I couldn't even concentrate because my pain was increasing. I went to the bathroom again, trying to relieve some of the pressure, and again it didn't really help. I came back into the service and kind of slumped over sideways on your dad, taking whatever pressure I could off of my left side. When we sang the last songs I didn't even stand up [and they were some of my favorite songs!]. Immediately when the service was over, I told your dad to just go get Blythe and that we needed to go. On the way home was when it got really bad. I was trying not to cry from the pain, which was sharp and constant. I was praying that I would start contracting, as I felt like that pain would lessen what I was experiencing. I told your dad we should still just go to Grandma's because I may as well be in pain there, rather than at home, but he's a good man and he knew something wasn't right. He called Nana and Papa, and they met us at our house. They would take Blythe to Grandma's and we would figure out what we were going to do.
At this point I couldn't change my clothes myself, and he had to help me. But I got some heat on my back and got my feet up, and it started feeling a little more manageable. You were moving and groovin' the whole time, so I knew you were doing alright. I checked in with my friend Brandon, who is an MD, and he said I should probably put a call in. So I did. The on-call nurse that day was actually a friend from church, and she said, "Sorry to tell you this since I know you were just in town, but you need to come back and have it checked out." I was NOT looking forward to getting back in the van, baby girl, as the ride home had been pretty miserable. But our bags were already packed, and I brought the heat pack with me and crawled in the very back so I could put my feet up. I just kind of made myself "go to my happy place" for the drive back.
I limped back into labor and delivery around 2:30, and it felt like we had just left. The first few hours were pretty miserable. They poked and prodded me, drew blood, and some other uncomfortable stuff. I was still 2cm when they checked, but I knew I wasn't in labor. I knew this was something else entirely. They could tell I didn't have a UTI quickly from my labs. Which was strange to me, because it really seemed that was the case on Friday and Saturday. So I had to head off to have an ultrasound done on my kidneys where the pain was radiating from. Besides the ride home from church, the wheelchair ride to and from the ultrasound room was the most painful. I was finally able to get some heat on my back around 5:30 or 6, which helped. At about 7 a nurse came in to hook me up to an IV for a saline drip, drew some more blood, and informed me that I had a kidney stone and that my kidney's were inflamed and that I'd be staying the night. The good news was, the entire time I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and your little heartbeat was pounding throughout the room. It was the comfort I needed in the midst of everything-- to know you were still safe and healthy.
Some more good news came around 8, when the nurse told me I could have some Percocet. She said I could also have morphine if I needed it. Since I hadn't been allowed to eat anything, I was a little nervous about how my empty stomach would react to that, so I settled for the Percocet and it made me a lot more comfortable. Before trying to sleep, your dad reached over and grabbed my hand and we prayed for you, for the night, and for the pain. Without going into too many crazy details, sweet one, throughout the night they monitored me and were trying to tell if I passed the stone. I went through three IV bags, and didn't get much sleep, but by morning I was feeling a lot better. All night while I was trying to sleep, but would get anxious, I repeated the verse, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still." [Exodus 14:14]. Your dad actually slept pretty well. Yes, you see, little one, he never left my side. That is what your daddy is like.
I took my last pain pill at 8. They said I could eat! This was the news I had really been waiting for-- I was SO hungry! :) By noon my pain was very mild, I declined the next pain pill, and we waited to speak to the urologist. The urologist was great, and he said since I'm 38 weeks we would just try to manage the pain, and then check in with him after I deliver. This sounded like a good plan to me, and also meant we got to break free. At about 2 o'clock, we were able to be discharged, and I was feeling pretty okay. We got some Sonic, happy hour drinks to celebrate and headed back home. I was exhausted and took a nap, then ate leftover Easter dinner, then your dad and I crashed. I slept pretty well, but woke up with some pain in my left back again. I was nervous it was all going to start all over. So I have been taking it easy ever since, and the pain is tolerable, usually mild.
Oh baby girl, please know you are worth all of this. I won't lie and say it's been a walk in the park, but knowing you're on the other side sure does help. I have learned a lot through this week: you know the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well, you and I are already experiencing that. And let me tell you, you have some truly wonderful people looking our for your mama, and for YOU, already. I don't know how many offers for help have been extended, meals provided, etc. have already come in. Your dad has obviously been wonderful, but the people he works with have been wonderful in allowing him to be flexible too so that he can be here for us when he needs to be. You grandparents, all of them, have already done so much I'm afraid they'll be too pooped to help when you really do make your appearance!
And you know what I think is kind of crazy? That the backdrop of this entire weekend was Easter-- the resurrection of our Savior. This couldn't be more fitting. A friend of mine wrote on her blog in reflection of her own Easter and feeling that she'd "failed" to make it special: "The point is I can't, but He can-- and did-- and continues to do…It's Friday evening. And there is hope." It sure has felt like Friday evening around here lately. But there is hope. There is hope of new life coming. What a beautiful, tangible picture you have given me of Easter, sweet girl. I pray that when this is all said and done, and you're in my arms, and we look back and I tell you these stories and you read these letters that you will see His hands at work throughout it all; little touches of His grace in your story. At church on Easter morning, though I was doubled over in the pew as the congregation worshiped around me, I still sang out to our risen Savior. And as we sang the lines to one of my favorite songs that went, "From life's first cry, 'til final breath, Jesus commands my destiny," tears sprang to my eyes, a lump to my throat, as I thought of you and your little life that is about to unfold. And I thought of the pain I was going through, and that Jesus was ultimately in control. And I thought of the pain that HE went through that has allowed all of this to be worth it. Oh I can't wait to tell you all about Him, baby girl.
I know this is the longest letter I've written you. Needless to say, this week definitely has made me long to hold you more. I love you.
Comparison: 38 weeks baby two and 38 weeks with Blythe.
I think it's been very similar [minus all the extra stuff I've gotten to experience this time :)]
Oh, and, hey! Remember when I had curly hair?